Matt Brookens got a phoenix tattoo on the Learning Channel show LA Ink to promote his indie comedy The Art of Pain, which opens tonight at the Gene Siskel Film Center.  

Complete with ninjas, zombies and B-movie icons, The Art of Pain is the self-deprecating portrait of a tortured painter toiling at Landmark’s Century Centre (as Brookens did) whose art flourishes after a twisted coworker (producer John Laflamboy) seduces his girlfriend and mounts a campaign to ruin his life. With Lauren Bishop, Brookens’s brother Greg, Jake Hames, Arvin Jalandoon and Leena Kurishingal.

Since their childhoods in Springfield, the Brookens Brothers have been making lowbrow comedies like Skunk Ape!?, Of Bass and Men, and Roni vs. Lincoln, about a rampaging Lincoln zombie. 

Now working as a graphic designer in LA, Brookens hawked The Art of Pain to potential distributors at the American Film Market, only to find it widely available as a bit torrent days later.  The movie’s IMDB search ranking jumped from 66,165 to 225 in a week in January.

The Art of Pain screens at the Film Center, 164 N. State St., tonight at 8:15 PM, Sunday at 3 PM, and Monday and Wednesday at 8:15 PM.  $9.