We return with another edition of the Indie Spotlight, highlighting recent independent horror news sent our way. Today’s feature includes release details for Inbred, Blood, and 4 Dead Girls, a trailer for The Mole Man of Belmont Avenue, featuring Robert Englund, details on a Jason Voorhees-inspired charity, an interview with Nick Basile, the director of Dark, and much more:
The Mole Man of Belmont Avenue Trailer and Release Details: “Two years ago, the Mugg Brothers, who have never worked a day in their lives, inherited a brownstone apartment building. In that short time, their slacker ways have run the building into the ground. Tenants are moving out, no one drinks at the bar downstairs, and the building’s pets are going missing. If all that isn’t enough to make them sit up and take notice, they soon discover a mysterious creature is hiding in the basement and trying to eat every living thing in the building one by one!
Level 33 Entertainment is excited to announce the release of the award-winning horror/comedy feature film The Mole Man of Belmont Avenue. An official selection of 18 International Film Festivals and winner of the “Best Horror Comedy” Award at the Chicago Horror Film Festival, The Mole Man of Belmont Avenue will have a multi-platform release on September 10th including DVD and Digital VOD platforms including iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, PlayStation and XBOX available for rental.
Written and directed by Mike Bradecich and John LaFlamboy, The Mole Man of Belmont Avenue was shot on location in Chicago, IL. Starring Bradecich and LaFlamboy as the Mugg Brothers and featuring supporting performances by Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street) and Tim Kazurinsky (“Saturday Night Live”).”
For more information on this film, go to: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Level-33-Entertainment/222748346296?ref=ts&fref=ts
Inbred Release Details: ”When four troubled teens and their social workers take a community service trip to a remote Yorkshire village, a minor incident with some local inbred youths rapidly escalates into a violent, deliriously warped nightmare.
[Inbred comes out on] VOD August 22, 2013 [and] DVD September 24, 2013.”
Directed by Alex Chandon, Inbred stars Jo Hartley, Seamus O’Neill, and James Doherty.
‘The Hand That Feeds’ Release Details: ”How far will a parent go to keep their child alive?
John and Angela Mason’s lives are brought to a tormenting halt when their ten year old son is reduced to a lifeless shell. John watches his wife slip into madness as his son rises from the dead. He realizes they must escape the terrifying infection in order to survive but how can he choose between the insanity consuming his wife and the undying hunger of his son.
An appetite for death will come in one form or another and it will be left to John to decide on the hand that feeds.
September 2, 2013 is the release date for the eBook and print orders.”
To learn more about The Hand That Feeds, visit:
Blood Release Date Announced: “Image Entertainment, an RLJ Entertainment brand, has officially announced the release of Blood on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital Download on Sept. 10, 2013. Directed by Nick Murphy, the film stars Paul Bettany (A Beautiful Mind), Mark Strong (Zero Dark Thirty, Sherlock Holmes), Stephen Graham (“Boardwalk Empire”) and Brian Cox (The Bourne Identity).
Blood tells the story of the Fairburn brothers (Paul Bettany and Stephen Graham), detectives who will do whatever it takes to catch the killer of a shocking murder in a small town, while trying to live-up to the reputation of their tough-as-nails ex-police chief father (Brian Cox). But when a suspect’s interrogation spins violently out of control, the brothers must deal with the consequences and the mounting suspicions of a colleague (Mark Strong) seeking the truth. A gritty, electrifying suspense-thriller about the price of duty, the ties of family, and the bonds of Blood.
The film was produced by Pippa Harris (Revolutionary Road, The Kite Runner, Jarhead), the BBC, and executive produced by Academy Award winner Sam Mendes.”
4 Dead Girls: The Soul Taker Trailer and Release Details: “Breaking Glass Pictures and Vicious Circle Films are thrilled to announce the October 8th DVD release of 4 Dead Girls: The Soul Taker, arriving on home video in time for the Halloween season. Co-written and directed by Mike Campbell and Todd Johnson, 4 Dead Girls: The Soul Taker offers an exciting new take on the genre staple of beautiful young women (Katherine Browning, Leah Verrill, Ashley Love, Tiffany S. Walker) fighting for their lives against dark forces.
Lily (Browning), her best friend Bianca (Walker), sister Lori (Love), and Lori’s lover Pam (Verrill) move into their first off campus house together. The antics and the tempers run high. What they don’t know is that the owner is a Nalusa Chito – a soul taker – who eats the souls of evil women. And he has locked them in the house. For the girls, it is a battle to the death because only the innocent can kill him. Paying the rent has never been so deadly.
The DVD release will include deleted scenes, interviews with the cast, and a look at the special effects of 4 Dead Girls: The Soul Taker.”
Jason Voorhees-Inspired Charity Fundraiser: “Michigan based pop culture, film, and television t-shirt and costume website TV Store Online.com has teamed up with former and current contestants from the Syfy Channel’s hit television series Face Off as well as actors from the Friday the 13th film franchise for a Jason Voorhees inspired charity fundraiser.
TV Store Online’s “Design A Jason Voorhees Hockey Mask” contest will see former and current Face Off contestants competing with one another as well as against other hand-picked horror movie special effects and make-up artists to see who can transform the now iconic horror movie hockey mask into a unique piece of truly horrific monster art. All finished Jason mask creations will be voted on by TV Store Online.com readers via their Facebook page, a “Best In Show” awarded, then the Jason masks will all be auctioned off on Ebay in October at Halloween with 100% of proceeds going to Toys For Tots to help children in need during the upcoming holiday season.
Fred Hajjar CEO of TV Store Online says, “We have Derek Garcia, Roy Wooley, RJ Haddy and Beki Ingram as well as others involved from the Syfy channel show. Steve Dash who played Jason in Friday The 13th Part 2. David Katims from F13 Part 3-D as well. Plus, we have Mr. Evil Dead himself, Tom Sullivan, on board to create a Jason mask too. We should be able to raise a lot of money for Toys For Tots.”
To find out more about the TV Store Online Design A Jason Mask Contest and Fundraiser, visit: http://blog.tvstoreonline.com/2013/08/design-jason-voorhees-hockey-mask-fund.html
Photos from Monsters on Main Street: “In a small town suffering from the news of its first ever serial slasher, local high school athletic director Lance Dawson decides to get his down on his luck buddy, Paul Blake, a job coaching girls basketball. But when the fact that Paul has never coached, let alone played, basketball could cost both of them their jobs, they seek out Daniel Buckworth, the town’s local psychic, for help. Buckworth’s plan to summon spirits to help the girls win games fails when instead of just communicating with them, they accidentally awaken them in the form of zombies. Main Street has seen its better days as it gets ready for a three way battle royal between the slasher, zombies, and a group of friends who may be this small town’s only hope for survival.
Monsters on Main Street just completed Post Production and had its first Advanced Screening just a handful of days ago. Interestingly enough, just a week before the first Advanced Screening we picked up some additional photography which featured Todd Bridges of Diff’rent Strokes and Everybody Loves Chris fame.
Monsters on Main Street is a horror comedy that stars Martin Klebba, Robert Z’Dar, and Todd Bridges as well as Brad Leo Lyon.”
Mark Gantt Joins the Cast of The Second Region of Night: “Award-winning writer, director and actor, Mark Gantt (The Bannen Way, Dexter, Ocean’s Eleven), has been selected for the lead role in Barcelona based director, Antoni Solé’s psychological thriller, “The Second Region of Night.” The feature film is based on a script written by Solé (You Are A Terrorist, Alpha), and follows Johan Meyers (Mark Gantt) as he translates a five thousand year old text only to discover an evil curse he’s brought to life. The film is produced by Loris Curci (Zone of the Dead, 11:11:11), and will begin shooting principal photography in Barcelona on September 5th, 2013.
Acclaimed actors Timothy Gibbs (11:11:11, Max Payne), Reg Wilson (Perfume, The Machinist), and Nikol Kollars have also joined the cast.”
Scavengers VOD and DVD Release Details: “The starship Revelator’s crew of deep space scavengers have just discovered something…an alien artifact of mysterious, unimaginable power capable of threatening the balance of the known universe. Fiercely pursued by a rival crew of mercenary killers, who know what the life-altering device can do, the crew fights to protect not only the artifact’s missing pieces, but find themselves battling for their lives and the very future of the universe itself.
Image Entertainment, an RLJ Entertainment brand, announces the release of the adrenaline fueled, Sci-Fi thriller, Scavengers, starring Sean Patrick Flanery (The Boondock Saints), Roark Critchlow (V), and Jeremy London (Party of Five) and directed by Travis Zariwny. Scavengers will be available VOD and on DVD on September 3, 2013.”
For more information on Scavengers, visit:
Teaser Trailer for The Little Grey Wolf: “Actor and filmmaker Shane Hartline (Rock of Ages, Graceland ect.), his sister artist and musician Madison Hartline, and actress Sierra Golden (The Lighthouse) began last April writing their own screenplay for a thrilling horror film.
The result was ‘The Little Grey Wolf’, a chilling story about a wealthy, murderous family called the Volkovs. Working similarly to a pack of wolves, they stalk and capture their prey with precision and with ease. Holding captive, and torturing their unfortunate victims just for the thrill of it.
Ron Johnson (FSU Film Alumni) is onboard as cinematographer to film the movie and bring it to life. Before anything can be made, [we need funding].”
For more information about The Little Grey Wolf, visit: www.WhoAreTheVolkovs.com
Everybody Dies Horror Film Festival: “Back for its third year, the Everybody Dies Horror Film Festival is returning to Brea, California on September 13th, 14th and 15th. And this year, the scares will be on and off the screen! For the first time in the festival’s history, the EDHFF will be teaming up with Sinister Pointe, Southern California’s only year round permanent haunted attraction.
On Friday, September 13th, audience members will be treated to a VIP sneak preview of Sinister Pointe’s Halloween attraction! After they survive (assuming they survive), the audience will be treated to the first films of the 2013 film fest. On Saturday, September 14th and Sunday, September 15th, the festival will move right down the road to the Brea Plaza 5 Cinema, home of the EDHFF since 2011.
Over the span of the three nights, the Everybody Dies Horror Film Festival will showcase fifteen short and feature films. As with previous years, many of the filmmakers will be in attendance for an audience question and answer session.
This year’s film line-up is as follows:
9pm – First Halloween (Santa Monica, CA) directed by Andrew Ralston
Synopsis: Raised in a strict conservative household as a child, a grown man is reluctantly taken out by his friend to experience Halloween trick or treating for the first time.
Raptor Ranch (Greenwich, CT) directed by Dan Bishop
Synopsis: Raptor Ranch is sci-fi, horror flick with all the trappings of a juicy, action-adventure movie with comic relief thrown in. They’re not just raising cattle in Texas. They’re raising 70 million years of prehistoric terror. Move over Jurassic Park; here’s come Raptor Ranch! Yee-Haw!
Starring Lorenzo Lamas and Jana Mashonee
Saturday, September 14, 2013, the festival returns to the Brea Plaza 5 Cinema. Doors open at 5:30pm.
5:45pm – Ghoul School (Springfield, MO) directed by Brook Linder
Synopsis: Welcome to Baldwin High. It’s clean, drug-free, and has the highest MAP scores in the state. You might think it’s the perfect high school. But before you go joining the pep squad, there’s just one thing you should know. It’s haunted as hell!
Cold Turkey (Iceland) directed by Fannar Thor Arnarsson
Synopsis: It’s hard to wake up from a nightmare when you are not asleep.
Tasty Brains (Ladera Ranch, CA) directed by Andy Morrish
Synopsis: A man is forced to relive his past life after a zombie invasion separates him and his wife.
They Will Outlive Us All (New York, NY) directed by Patrick Shearer
Synopsis: New York City. 2016. In the years since Hurricane Sandy, the city has been brought to its knees by a series of ‘Frankenstorms.’ Roommates Margot and Daniel attempt to survive this ‘new’ New York by avoiding it at all costs. But with the advent of three strange deaths in their Brooklyn building, the world they’ve been hiding from begins knocking hard on the back door.
Grey Matter (Aliso Viejo, CA) directed by James B. Cox
Synopsis: An official adaptation of Stephen King’s short story about a man whose alcoholism causes him to change in horrific ways and how his teenage son must find a way to save his father.
EDHFF Alumni Screening: Survivor Type (Los Angeles, CA) directed by Billy Hanson
Synopsis: We’re thrilled to bring back the winner of the 2012 Everybody Dies Horror Film Festival’s TRULY DISTURBING award in a special, out of competition alumni screening! A disgraced surgeon stranded on a deserted island with no food and only a handful of supplies must go to great lengths to stay alive for rescue that may never come. Based on the short story by Stephen King.
The Gauntlet (Rancho Palos Verdes, CA) directed by Matt Eskandari
Synopsis: In a sunken Castle underneath the earth, five strangers wake. They have no food. No memory. No water. And no way out. These strangers are from every normal walk of life, yet they each have a secret. They don’t know it yet, but they’re capable of something they never imagined. They must organize and band together for the sinister adventure that awaits them. Starring Bai Ling, Warren Kole and Dustin Nguyen.
Due to the nature of the event, audience members must be 18 or older. Discounted pre-order tickets are available NOW.”
For more information, and the full list of the Festival’s lineup, visit: http://www.EverybodyDiesFilmFest.com
Elias Ganster Discusses Dark: “Elias talks about what it’s been like to create/write this film with a team and about the other movies he’s made like, GUT. His video as an insider into indie filmmaking on a low-budget [is very] interesting.”
First Details on Preternatural: “Goat Manʼs Hill just launched an ambitious horror feature entitled Preternatural. The team behind the 2012 indie thriller Sick Boy describes the new project as an unreliable documentary about fairies.
“Itʼs not a found footage film,” says writer/director Tim T. Cunningham. “Nothing against them, but this will be something more in the ballpark of Troll Hunter, but without any of the comedic trappings. Itʼs going to be a straight up horror film.”
The film is designed to start like a true crime documentary investigating the mysterious disappearance of an accused murderer, but quickly turns into a tale of monsters when questions are raised as to whether the person the accused allegedly murdered is actually dead. Promising to take full advantage of their visual effects backgrounds and boasting the creature design talents of Chris Grun whose credits include Land of the Lost, Cabin in the Woods, and R.I.P.D., the Cunningham brothers aim to create an experience that feels as real as possible.
If [we] raise the tiny $35K production budget, Goat Manʼs Hill intends to roll cameras late 2013.”
To keep up-to-date, or to support the film’s progress, go to: https://www.facebook.com/PreternaturalTheMovie
Martini Mom and Devil Spawn Season One Details: “We’re pleased to announce a web series that makes politics palatable again — with blood and guts! (not to mention Zombie Jesus, a Dick Cheney Robot sing-along, a Sarah Palin nunsploitation catfight, and a Satanic interpretation of the First Amendment among other chaos and carnage.)
Please be warned — there’s some disturbing lady-gore in episode 1.”
To learn more, and to watch the first season of Martini Mom & Devil Spawn, go to: http://martinimomanddevilspawn.com/episodes-and-videos/
Bloody Homecoming Trailer, DVD and VOD Release Details: “A group of seniors anxiously prepare for Homecoming night in the sleepy town of Winston. Three years after a tragic accident left a student dead at the annual dance, they find themselves haunted by a deadly visitor from their past. Unable to bury old demons, it looks like it’s finally payback time, and someone’s out for blood. Before the night is over, the halls will run red as they are stalked, staked and butchered by a relentless, savage killer bent on revenge. They must stop whoever is hunting them, or this year’s dance is going to be a killer.
Image/RLJ Entertainment will be releasing Bloody Homecoming on DVD and VOD on September 24th.”
Bloody Homecoming was directed by Brian C. Weed and stars Jim Tavaré, Rae Latt, Lexi Giovagnoli, Alex Dobrenko, and Randi Lamey.
The Wisdom of Fools Graphic Novel Announced: “[The Wisdom of Fools: A Graphic Novel Horror Anthology is] an 84-page journey into the collective nightmare of five writers and nine artists exploring horror in its many forms.
I Would Kill For A Hot Dog In Times Square: What happens when you dream? What happens when your dreams become threats to your reality? Young Addison is about to find out.
The Magician: Everyone gets old. Eugene Roberts, a polite and stately fellow, has an odd job for a senior citizen. He’s one of the most sought-after assassins in the world.
Every Man Dies Alone: “War is hell” as one man discovers he may be the true monster after all.
Making Friends: Three young boys spend a drunken night on a Scottish isle, coming face to face with the power of their personal demons, and running afoul of the local citizens.
Inheritance: A small boy learns some important lessons from his father including; ‘Always hide your treasures where nobody will ever think to look for them’.
Sweat: Ever woke up from a nightmare covered in sweat, thankful that the madness you just experienced wasn’t real? For one unfortunate man, his nightmares are his reality…but is there something even more sinister behind his hellish state of being?
Ragged Flags: What is a horror anthology without zombies? Here, we present an alternate history where the zombie apocalypse occurs in the 1960′s. Told through full page art with journal excerpts. Groovy.
The Prince of the Gold Hunters: Horses, Indians, Kit Carson, Bullets.
Plasticine Hill: What’s the best way to deal with a bad situation? Acid. Always has been, always will be.
Strands: Some people are crazy…some are lunatics…but the real dangerous ones talk to spiders named Eddie. And Eddie’s got some bad ideas.
Without you and people like you, this book would never exist. Rest happily, if mildly terrified, knowing that you’ve contributed to the realization of our communal nightmare.”
To learn more, and to support this graphic novel anthology, go to: www.fifthdimensioncomics.wordpress.com
Deadly Presence Trailer and Distribution Details: “Andie, Candace and Julie were looking for a night of fun when they decided to stay at the Stanton house, a house rumored to be haunted. Several months later Andie receives a phone call from Candace inviting her over to catch up. When Andie arrives at her apartment, she can’t help but notice Candace’s strange behavior and decides to stay the night. The following morning Andie wakes up to find a journal and video from Candace and soon after, discovers her dead in the bathtub.
After viewing the video, Andie stays another night at the apartment upon Candace’s request. Unsure of what to do, Andie tries seeking answers in the journal that Candace left behind. Andie realizes that Candace’s strange behavior started just days following their stay at the Stanton house. Is the house really haunted? Andie soon finds out for herself.
Maxim Media International, a worldwide distributor of independent horror films has acquired Deadly Presence for worldwide distribution. Plans are underway to release the film on DVD and Video On Demand with the North America imprint Brain Damage Films. Official artwork and release dates are coming soon!”
First Details for The Landlady: “Sultry Hammer Horror star Caroline Munro has teamed up with London’s Misty Moon Gallery to make a brand new horror film to be premiered at the Misty Moon Gallery in time for Halloween! The Landlady is a portmanteau horror in the tradition of Amicus classics like Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors, Torture Garden and Asylum telling the story of a mysterious landlady (played by Munro) who rents out a room to a succession of unfortunate tenants.
The Landlady is being shot with a professional cast and crew, but needs help with funding to make sure it’s completed in time for Halloween.”
To stay up-to-date, or to support the film’s progress, visit: https://www.facebook.com/TheLandladyFilm
The Nameless Trailer: “An asylum was built for the feeble minded and epileptic, but soon turned into a place where “rich” parents, who were ashamed of their child if it had any disability, would dump off the child.
The ghosts of the men, women, & children still haunt the asylum, as a group of adventurers/ghost hunters goes to explore these mysteries. Little do they know of the hell that awaits them.”
First Trailer for The Truck: “Riley Hollow Films has released the first trailer and official poster for the feature length road horror film “The Truck”.
When Roger and Alice take a weekend trip to explore an old campground Roger has inherited, they encounter a devilish truck that adds miles of terror. Is there anyone behind the wheel? Or is it driven by pure evil?
The Truck is written and directed by Lee Vervoort. This marks the second feature length film from the stunt man turned director. His sophomore effort follows the highly acclaimed 2009 film “Gun Town”. Vervoort’s stunt man roots are highly visible on screen during the action packed chase sequences of “The Truck”. The movie features a classic Ford Fairlane 500 being chased by a menacing 4 wheel drive monster. You can’t outrun it. You can’t outdrive it. You cannot stop The Truck.
The Truck features some new faces including John Michael Morris as Roger Newman, and Rachelle Christine as Alice Mason. The movie also co-stars Jenna Nichole Ruiz playing a teenage hitch hiker. It also re-teams Vervoort with members of his Gun Town cast, Tim Emery and Andy Grace. The film was shot in western Kentucky earlier this year by cinematographer Jim Dougherty. It is currently in post production, and being scored by Danny Lee Ramsey at Giant Shadow Filmworks in Nashville, TN. Ramsey also makes a special appearance in the film.
The Truck roars onto the screen on November 12th, 2013.”
For more information, visit: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Truck/
Indie Spotlight Impressions: Butcher Boys
by Tamika Jones
Butcher Boys was written by Kim Henkel, co-writer of one of the most prolific horror films of our time, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. It tells the story of a group of young adults out on the town enjoying a birthday celebration. Their fun night gets disrupted when they accidentally run over a dog that just so happens to belong to members of the Butcher Boys. After several high-speed car chases, and some pursuits on foot, the friends are picked off by the gang one by one. The only survivor of the group of friends is then taken to the Butcher Boys’s dungeon.
Henkel is phenomenal at creating depraved characters who do unconventional things in order to perhaps say something about human nature or society. Unfortunately in this film, neither the characters or that specific theme go anywhere. The motivation behind the Butcher Boys’s cannibalism felt unclear and, with little backstory given on the friends, it was difficult to feel any sort of fear for them when they are pursued and subsequently killed. However, there are several cameos in the film from actors from the original The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, including Marilyn Burns, Ed Guinn, and John Dugan. It was nice to see them all again, but they just weren’t given enough hearty material to really showcase their talent or bring anything interesting to this film.
To learn more about Butcher Boys visit: https://www.facebook.com/butcherboysmovie
Interview with, Nick Basile, the director of Dark
by Kristian Hanson
Thank you for taking the time to do this interview, Nick! First off, what is your upcoming film DARK about?
Nick Basile: It’s about paranoia, insanity, fear, loneliness, violence and sex! Or you can call it the NYC experience. That’s the best way I can describe it.
How did you and Elias come up with the idea for the film?
Nick Basile: I came up with the original concept while stuck in a house buried under snow a couple of winters back. It seemed like the east coast would be buried in snow forever and I couldn’t go anywhere and I was getting cabin fever. I felt trapped and longing for hot weather. Feeling kind of claustrophobic and anxious, I started to imagine a simple concept for a film that would utilize the factual event of the 2003 blackout as a setting for a thriller about a young woman stuck, going crazy, in an apartment and starting to believe someone was trying to stalk and kill her in the darkness. That was the basic idea. So, I called my longtime friend Elias, who is also a filmmaker, and pitched him the idea to see if he would want to develop the screenplay with me and I would direct. That began many sessions on the phone with Elias, lasting late into the night, with the two of us discussing and developing the characters and story. Especially the main character of Kate, whose state of mind is really what the movie is about. The blackout is really the McGuffin.
How did you get legendary director Joe Dante on board as a Producer?
Nick Basile: Originally we started working with another production company on this movie and were prepping to go into production last summer, then the money fell through, not an unusual story in the world of indie film, and we decided at that point to part ways with that company. I started to shop the project around with Whitney Able and Alexandra Breckenridge attached to star and eventually I brought it to Joe Dante’s company Renfield Productions. They liked it, he liked it and now we are working together to raise the funding through Kickstarter to get it going. I’ve always been a huge fan of Joe Dante. I grew up loving Gremlins, like any kid of the 80s, and also his other great movies like The Burbs, The Howling, Piranha and Innerspace. So, I was really happy and excited when he came on board for DARK.
What would you say is your biggest influence when it comes to filmmaking?
Nick Basile: Well, my influences change depending on what project I’m currently working on. It depends on what mood I’m in and what the story and tone are. I’ll then immerse myself in that zone. For DARK, Hitchcock and Cassavetes are both big influences. Now those two filmmakers may seem like strange bedfellows but that is what intrigues me about mixing those sensibilities. The concept for me always originated with the idea of – what if Cassavetes told a Hitchcock story? I thought it would be interesting to have a movie that starts off very much like a raw character piece, a NYC street picture, and then have it gradually evolve into this suspenseful nightmare after the blackout happens and night starts to fall. I’ve always admired the raw performances in Cassavetes’ movies, the utter truth he would get out of his troupe of actors. Also, since he was an actor himself, a great actor, he understood the process and what created excitement in a performance. His approach to filmmaking also resembled to me the idea of theatre, a group effort, which was always done on a low to no budget. He was able to inspire the people around him and create something raw and beautiful and real with limited funds and resources.
Hitchcock on the other hand may be the most influential filmmaker of all time and is possibly the greatest director of all time. The use of cinematic language and montage, mise-en-scene. He really knew how to tell a story visually. He experimented and created a cinematic language every film student studies today. The best moments in a Hitchcock film are not the dialogue scenes but scenes that create suspense, horror and psychological intrigue utilizing image, sound and montage.
So, the idea of approaching a concept that could capture the raw naturalism and performances of a Cassavetes film while approaching the technical side and use of symbolism and cinematic manipulation like a Hitchcock movie seems like a very exciting experiment stylistically. I will also say Antonioni’s Blow Up and Polanski’s Repulsion are also great inspirations as well, structurally and thematically.
What would you say is your all time favorite horror film?
Nick Basile: Jaws, I would say, is my favorite horror film. Jaws is actually one of my favorite movies of all time in any genre. It’s pretty much a perfect film. I’ve seen it countless times and it never gets old for me! One of the best experiences I’ve ever had at the movies was getting to see a beautiful print of JAWS at Radio City during the mid-nineties. Peter Benchley introduced the film. Radio City was packed, which is extraordinary in itself for a movie that came out in 1975. It was still a blockbuster in the literal sense of the term. That great moment when Ben Gardner’s head pops out from under the hull of the boat, the entire audience in Radio City jumped out of their seats in unison. The film had not at all lost it’s punch in all those years. It still hasn’t! I think it may also be the only movie on Rotten Tomatoes to receive 100% good reviews!
Growing up, did you have any horror films that terrified you and still scare you to this day?
Nick Basile: Yes, The Exorcist! That film terrified me as a kid! It’s still scary. I don’t even prescribe to that religious belief but while I’m watching that movie my suspension of disbelief is turned on. That’s a testament to the great writing of William Peter Blatty, the direction by William Friedkin, the performances, especially from Ellen Burstyn, all work towards making the completely irrational believable for two hours, and Dick Smith’s make-up for Regan with Mercedes McCambridge’s whisky voice coming out of twelve year old Linda Blair freaks me out! Now, having said that, in my adult life films don’t really scare me. Watching the news these days frightens me! The fear of not being able to make movies because I’m unable to raise the money frightens me.
If you could have any super power what would it be and why?
Nick Basile: Shape shifting would be a great ability. To turn your physical form into any person, creature, animal, plant, element or object. Dracula was a shape shifter. I also always loved the sequence in the Arthurian legend when Merlin and Arthur change into animals. It covers all the other super powers. If you desire flight, change yourself into a bird. Invisibility, change into something small like a fly on the wall or an element like mist. Disguising yourself through shape shifting is equal to if not better than invisibility. You want super strength, change into something strong and big like the Hulk or fast like a cheetah. Also, if you desire someone sexually you can morph your face and body into someone very appealing and desirable to that person you wish to go to bed with. You are no longer constrained by your physical form.
If someone wanted to learn more about DARK, how would they go about doing that?
Nick Basile: They can go to our Kickstarter campaign page here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nickbasile/dark-a-new-feature-thriller?ref=live
Finally, if you could offer any advice to future directors/filmmakers what would it be?
Nick Basile: You better love the process not just the end result. To me it’s all about the pleasure of process, the journey you go on with each project. The final film in front of the audience is just the grand payoff. Also, learn how to be a producer. I find they don’t teach that side enough in film schools. They will teach technique, film history (which is very important) and the technical side of things but what is lacking is how the business works. Any person who wants to be a director can’t come out of film school and think their talent alone is going to make it happen. No producer, smoking a cigar, is going to see your student film and drop a wad of cash in your lap to make the next blockbuster or even a small film. You are going to have to do it on your own. You may want to team up with someone who can produce with you and loves the business and logistical side, but at the end of the day the person who is going to do the most work to get your film made is you. It’s just a fact. It’s a whole other skill set and knowledge you need to develop. Most creative people hate it, but you cannot create without doing it. Very often it’s not the most talented people who succeed but the most tenacious.