We return with another edition of the Indie Spotlight, highlighting recent independent horror news sent our way. Today’s feature includes news on a horror auction promoting, a clip from Ditch Day Massacre, details on the Lethal Ladies of Horror Film Festival, information on Screambox, and more:
Horror Items Auctioned For Charity: “Mental Fitness, Inc. [is] a national nonprofit charity that educates on various mental health and fitness issues that include eating disorders, body image awareness, self-esteem, depression, stress management, and other important issues. We have a online silent auction up on CharityBuzz. We have some pretty cool horror auction items up on the site and will be adding more throughout the next few days.
Alyssa Lobit (writer and star of Among Friends), Christy Carlson Romano (former Disney and Mirrors 2 star), and Jonathan Tiersten (Sleepaway Camp and The Perfect House star) have partnered up with the national nonprofit, Mental Fitness, Inc. (formally NORMAL). Each actor will jump on Skype to chat with some lucky fan to answer their questions, hang out, and talk about the movie industry. Jonathan will also perform a song for the winner during the Skype session. Bidding on these auction items end on October 15th at 3:00 PM EST.”
To learn more about this charity, and how to bid on the auction items, visit: https://twitter.com/NORMALInSchools or
Lethal Ladies of Horror Film Festival Announced: “Regency Theaters is pleased to present the upcoming Lethal Ladies of Horror Film Festival. See the details below:
Lethal Ladies of Horror Film Festival (featuring various Lethal Ladies in Attendance) [at the] Historic Regency Village Theatre in Los Angeles, CA.
Films: “Night of the Comet”, “Christine” (30th Anniversary Screening), “Carrie” (2013)
When: Thursday, Oct. 17th, 2013 with first film beginning at 6:00 p.m.
Guests: For “Night of the Comet” Catherine Mary Stewart and Kelli Moroney.
For “Christine” the 1958 Plymouth Fury used in the film plus cast and crew.
For “Carrie” with special appearance by actress Portia Doubleday plus prizes.
This will be an amazing event for all fans of horror and those with an appreciation for strong roles by women in horror. (Thus our association with the SAG-AFTRA National Women’s Committee). As always we will have much for fans who attend the fest including great concession specials, cool Lethal Ladies themed décor and even the arcade game Tempest so prominently featured in Night of the Comet in the lobby for fans to enjoy – it’s going to be a night to remember.”
For information on this event, or how to purchase tickets, visit: www.regencymovies.com
Ditch Day Massacre Clip: “Jenny Bilson, a high school senior, is the perfect student, a wonderful daughter to a veteran police detective and an all American Dream. But the one mistake she is unaware of making is about to haunt her in a very violent way, as her past returns for revenge.
Horror fans will be pleased to know that the much anticipated Ditch Day Massacre is finally complete. Fans have selected the official artwork, and a clip has just been released.
Ditch Day Massacre is a film directed by Joe Hendrick and written by Daniel P. Coughlin and Ryan Coughlin. Bill Oberst Jr., Lynn Lowry, Zach Silverman and Pandie Suicide star [in the film].
Ditch Day Massacre has been submitted to several film festivals. This title will begin its film festival run as early as October, 2013. The film has been submitted to the Tucson Terrorfest: Horror Film Festival (Oct. 17th -19th) and also to the Sundance Film Festival. A World Premiere is coming soon! The official wide release promises to follow shortly.”
First Details on Pink Slips: “Horror Icon Bill Moseley (House Of A Thousand Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2) is on-board to play the lead in the slasher-comedy Pink Slips.
In Pink Slips, Moseley will play a “corporate guy” who gets laid off with three of his co-workers. Desperate times call for desperate measures. They decide to kidnap their ex-boss’s daughter for ransom. Things take a bloody turn, when the boss’s daughter just happens to be the only survivor of a masked psychopath.”
Pink Slips is written & directed by Joshua Hull. Bryan Wilson (Underground Entertainment: the Movie) will produce. David M. Brewer (Insidious) will serve as Director of Photography. Filming slated for Spring, 2014.”
To stay up-to-date with the progress on Pink Slips, go to: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pink-Slips/160105920860588
First Details on Strange Nature: “Our feature film project Strange Nature is an Eco-Thriller that revolves around the ongoing unsolved frog deformity outbreaks in the U.S. and the dangerous places they may lead.
Due to my professional background in Special Makeup/Creature FX (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, PROXY, Deadgirl, Hellboy 2, Where the Wild Things Are, Pacific Rim, etc.) we can bring the more fantastic elements of where these deadly deformities can lead to startling realism in the film. If people believe it on screen maybe they’ll pay attention to the real problem as well.
We’ve received significant support from the Ecological community in this matter. One of our strongest supporters, Dr. Pieter Johnson of University of Colorado along with his research team found a population of frogs in Oregon this year where every frog suffered a deformity…100% deformity rate. The problem is growing and we hope to expose that. The film will be a bizarre and terrifying journey but an important one as well.”
For more information, visit: http://www.strangenaturemovie.com
Mischief Night Theatrical Event Details: “Mischief Night tells the story of a terrifying home invasion on the evening before Halloween. Emily Walton, a young woman suffering from psychosomatic blindness ever since the car accident that took her mother’s life, must summon every instinct at her disposal to protect herself and her loved ones from a mysterious intruder.
SPECTICAST inks distribution deal with RUTHLESS PICTURES and GMI FILMS for an exclusive one night only theatrical event release for the new home-invasion thriller, Mischief Night.
The recently completed home-invasion thriller will premiere on screens everywhere on October 30, 2013 for a one-time theatrical event on the very same night the film takes place.
The film’s talented ensemble cast is led by experienced young actress Noell Coet (Cowgirls n’ Angels), and also includes veteran actor Daniel Hugh Kelly (Cujo, Someone To Watch Over Me, The Good Son), Charlie O’Connell (Dude, Where’s My Car, Cruel Intentions, “Sliders”), Erica Leerhsen (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), Ally Walker (“Sons of Anarchy,” While You Were Sleeping, Universal Soldier), Stephanie Erb (The Ring, Starship Troopers), Richard Riehle (Bridesmaids, A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas) Adam C. Edwards (Flight) and Ian Bamberg (Second Time Around, Warrior Road).
Following the film’s theatrical release, Image Entertainment plans to release the film on DVD, VOD and Digital in the fourth quarter of 2013.”
Screambox Contest Announced: “Horror Fans! Enter NOW for your chance to WIN SCREAMBOX subscriptions and gain access to over 150 uncut, commercial-free HORROR movies anytime, anywhere on any device! PLUS to help make your Halloween nightmares come true… Gift Cards to The Horror Dome Costume & Prop Shop!
Three lucky Winners will be selected at random on Sept 30th to win one of the following:
1 yr subscription to SCREAMBOX + $100 gift card to The Horror Dome
6 mth subscription to SCREAMBOX + $50 gift card to The Horror Dome
3 mth subscription to SCREAMBOX + $25 gift card to The Horror Dome
To learn more about this contest, and how to enter, you can also go to: https://www.facebook.com/ScreamboxTV
Zombus Event Details: “The dead have come back! It is the sum of all your fears! This is an insane event where you shoot zombies! The Zombies are attacking and it’s up to you to stop them. The zombie slaying machine will take you into the heart of the zombie village! You must eliminate them. You will be shooting them with special TRACER balls. They will not shoot you but they will try to infect you and turn you into a zombie. Zombies will be coming out of castles, pirate ships, and the woods. Can you survive the attack?
John Calliari, from SOS Radio states, “Each year, every day in October they [Commando Paintball Sports] do something pretty wild. They outfit a number of buses with paintball guns and patrons pay to be driven around the course to shoot at zombie actors that attack the bus. The fun bit this year, I have been hired to create a “War of the Worlds” audio production to be played on the bus during the activity. So, while they are firing at the zombies they are listening to my fake news broadcasting describing the zombie threat surrounding the small town.”
No advanced tickets required. If you have a group of 20 and want to all be on the same Zombus please tell us at the gate. Ages 4 and up, although there is a scare factor.”
To learn more about this event, and purchase tickets, go to: http://zombie.commandopaintballsports.com/
House of Bad DVD Release Details: “Written and directed by Jim Towns, “House of Bad” tells of three sisters on the run with a suitcase full of stolen drugs, yearning to break free from their sordid pasts. When the eldest sister Teig (Tyler) decides they’re going to hide out in their old, abandoned family house, its painful memories quickly become too real to fight off. Unable to distinguish dreams from reality, this attempt at a new lease on life turns into a race for survival.
”House of Bad”, winner of the fan favorite award at this year’s Big Bear Horro-Fi 2013 Film Festival, has been acquired by Osiris Entertainment.
Osiris has set the highly-anticipated home entertainment title for a DVD release in December.
The pic features an electric mix of young up-and-coming stars including Sadie Katz, currently starring in “Chavez Cage of Glory”, and “Jobs” co-star Clint Jung. Heather L. Tyler (TVs “Dexter”), Cheryl Sands (TVs “Nip/Tuck”) and Lisamarie Costabile (TVs “Rescue Me”) are also part of the ensemble.”
For more information on House of Bad, visit the film’s official website at: www.houseofbad.com
The Castle Project Trailer: “When architect Brian Higgins and partners purchase the home for renovation, they are skeptical of the home’s tragic past. But soon workers begin to experience sightings of ghostly children, unusual temperature changes and whispering voices. Higgins had the foresight to begin filming, and after several hair-raising nights spent alone in the building he began to wonder if there was a reason why souls never checked out at the Croke-Patterson Mansion.
The Castle Project (Documentary) [will be released] next week on DVD and Video on Demand platforms including Hulu & Amazon Instant – 10/1.
This is REAL scary. Not Hollywood scary. Denver’s historic Croke-Patterson mansion has a history of souls checking in but never out…”
Rough House Film and Comic Book Details: “The story begins with an athletic young woman known only as “The Girl” who is kidnapped and thrown into a bizarre world of masked serial killers who torment their victims in brutal underground fights, backyard wrestling matches and deadly mixed martial arts bouts. She soon proves herself able to hold her own in death matches against colorful masked killers with names like “Bone Job”, “Baby Fat, and “Skeeter the Devil Boy”. Once inside the Rough House ,“The Girl” uncovers dark secrets that possibly link her to a secret government program and to the fighters themselves. As “The Girl’s” psyche is worn down by brainwashing and psychotropic drugs, she becomes more and more of a stone cold killer herself. She must decide whether she will escape the Rough House or stay focused on her true target, the ringleader called “Big Daddy.”
Asylum Press and Pretend For Real Studios have released a trailer for their upcoming film and several comic book preview pages for their latest horror franchise entitled Rough House.
Rough House is a gritty, action-packed horror movie and comic book series that examines innocent victims thrown into a caged fighting match with deranged serial killers where they fight to the death.
Rough House combines the brutal ruckus of Fight Club, the twisted horror of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and drapes it under a cloak of a government black ops conspiracy.
Rough House is based on a story idea and trailer created by Mike L. Taylor of Pretend For Real Studios and a feature length screenplay written by Elizabeth J. Musgrave (Farmhouse, Darwin’s Pâté).
The project will be released as a digital first 4-issue comic book mini-series through Asylum Press and later in print as a graphic novel.
The Rough House trailer was directed by Mike L. Taylor based on a script by Elizabeth Fine and a story by Mike L. Taylor. It features Ramona Cast (Rad Girls) as “The Girl”, David Yow (Scratch Acid, The Jesus Lizard) as “Big Daddy”, Devyn Ashley as “Baby Fat”, Noshir Dalal as “Bone Job”, Maria Kanellis (WWE DIVA, Playboy) as “Trixxi”, Mike Bray as “Skeeter” and Carlos Cespedes as “Trixxi’s victim”, Rob Czar and Ganesh Hennings as “Dead Heads”, Nick Seone as “ear donor” and Brandon Riley, Matt Fry, Joel Peterson, Brian Testa, Mike L. Taylor, Ganesh Hennings as “Baby Fat’s fans”, Brandon Riley was co-producer, Mike Spatola was make-up FX Supervisor, Anton David was stylist, music by Fantasizer, sound design by Micah Johnson, Matte Paintings by Brandon Riley.
Rough House the comic book will be available digitally on iPad, iPhone, Android, Kindle, Mac and PC via the following apps: Comixology, ComicsPlus, Graphicly, My Digital Comics, iBooks, DriveThruComics, and AVE Comics.”
To learn more, and to view a preview of the comic, go to:
The 28th Day: Wrath of Steph Details: “Somewhere lurking in the forests of Southern California, there is an evil so powerful, it can possess the weak minded. An evil so messed up, it preys on women who are on their period.
Steph (Jodie Grundin) awakens in a forest not knowing that she has been possessed by the spirit of the Evil Lord Zasulground (Jeff Trenkle), a spirit that possesses women on the 28th Day of their cycle. It’s up to her and her best friend, a bored Archeology student, Liz Lucky (Kate Nichols) to try to defeat him. But Unfortunately the evil consumes Steph’s body and Liz employs the help of Paranormal Psychiatrist Dr. Irving Woogie (Rollin Blanton) and his mentor Rufus (Derek Houck) to try to get Steph back to normal.
Directed by Zack Scott (“The 28th Day”, “Becoming One”, “The Long Drive”) “The 28th Day: The Wrath of Steph is an action packed horror film in the vein of “Evil Dead 2” and “Ghostbusters” filled with laughs, thrills, cringes, and chills.
The 28th Day: Wrath of Steph stars Kate Nichols as Liz Lucky, Jodie Grundin as Steph, Rollin Blanton as Dr. Irving Woogie, Derek Houck as Rufus, Jeff Trenkle as Lord Zasulground.”
This film is available now on DVD via the Amazon store.
For more information on The 28th Day: Wrath of Steph, or to purchase this film, head over to Amazon
Interview with Ian Clark, director of The Facility
By Kristian Hanson
Seeing as how The Facility is taking place during a drug trial, did this come from your own personal experience of being a “Guinea” pig to a new drug? If not, what made you want to explore this area of medical research and the side effects that could happen?
Ian Clark: I considered it as part of my research but the script was ticking along nicely so I didn’t see the need to go through it. Some friends had done drug trials so I spoke to them about it and actually there is enough information and testimony out there to piece together a mental picture. I felt like I had enough to create a convincing environment. There’s a really interesting blog called Guinea Pig Zero written by professional guinea pigs and there’s a book of the same name too.
I had made a number of shorts and was looking for an idea for my first feature – something that could be achieved on a very small budget. I read a little bit about a drug trial in the UK that went catastrophically wrong and the subjects suffered horrendous side effects – it happened in 2006. That sparked the idea of a horror film set during a drug trial – a small cast, one location, a simple story. When I considered the idea that they would be injected one at a time, that’s where the tension comes from. Once the last guy, Adam, takes the PRO-9, the first guinea pig starts to suffer side effects. It’s too late for any of them to go back and they are all now fighting for a way to reverse the effects of the drug before they lose their minds. I knew I wanted to make a horror film that was not supernatural and was more about tension and anxiety rather than gore. So, everything I wanted clicked with this idea.
Who would you say are your inspirations in the horror community? Do you enjoy horror film and if you do, what are some of your favorites?
Ian Clark: I love horror films but most are formulaic and not particularly exciting. Peter Strickland’s Berberian Sound Studio got under my skin in a very clever and insidious way, and Ben Wheatley has found a way of making unnerving and unpredictable films on very small budgets. He has a great understanding of performance and how the behavior and psychology of the characters is what makes a decent horror film tick. I have a lot of admiration for him. I don’t know if these references are known in the States. From the mainstream Del Toro is my favourite – amazing eye for character design combined with an understanding of how a horror/fantasy film should impact on you emotionally. So many horror films are made where the only intent is to make the audience jump. They might achieve their goal but they are instantly forgettable.
My favourite horror films EVER would be Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Rosemary’s Baby – totally different movies but both are perfectly realized. If there’s a connection I would say it’s the vein of black humour that runs through both of them – I love it when a film gets the balance right between humour and horror and the act of laughing amplifies the viewer’s feelings of dread and increases their personal discomfort.
What would you say is the one film that left a resounding mark on your life and made you want to become a filmmaker?
Ian Clark: Probably Pulp Fiction. The decision to make films was a gradual one – I knew I wanted to practice some form of visual art and I tried different things until I realized cinema and audio-visual narrative excited me as a viewer over anything else. So, Pulp Fiction didn’t immediately change my course but it was the first film I remember seeing and coming away with an excitement about the process and an interest in its construction, rather than merely receiving it as a piece of entertainment. I was, at the time, much more passionate about music than movies and Pulp Fiction was like watching an album. It was probably the first ‘indie’ film I had seen and the punk energy and the profane sense of humour was something I hadn’t seen before in a film.
The film starts off as a found footage type but takes a different turn which I enjoyed. I enjoyed how the camera was there and not on a steady cam so it felt as if you were with the characters. How did you come up with filming it this way?
Ian Clark: The story dictated the style, which tends to be how I work – I’m not trying to work in a particular cinematic style, but I develop stories that interest me and then figure out which approach will tell the story best. With The Facility, it was clear from the initial one-page outline that the camera would be loose and reactive to the action and we would be in there with the actors. I never considered it to be ‘found-footage’ but I wanted it to feel ‘real’ as if the characters were going through this in real time and the camera was picking up what it could in the moment. I wanted to apply the style of observational documentary basically, which meant shooting each scene all the way through from a number of angles. We still blocked and lit the scene but in such a way that we could change and adapt as we went along. It was very improvisational – there was no storyboard.
In the same way, the choice to have no music throughout was made before I had written the script. Often I think music does the opposite of what it’s supposed to in horror films and actually comforts the audience by reminding them they are in a movie. So I was trying to find ways of making the film feel less artificial.
Being in the age of remakes, if you could remake any film, what would it be and why?
Ian Clark: There are very few remakes that improve upon the original but I understand why there is a culture of it, and in a way why shouldn’t there be? Stories are told and re-told and that is the way it has always been. The problem is most horror films that are now being remade were originally made by auteurs outside of the Hollywood industry who were in a position where they had to innovate to realize their visions. The remakes only really exist to make money and inevitably fail to match the originals. Having said that, if I was offered any film at all I would take Lord of the Rings. My version would stay in the Shire and concentrate on the police investigation into Bilbo Baggins’ disappearance. Sort of a light-hearted study of police incompetence within the hobbit community.
If you could be any super hero or have any super power, what would it be and why?
Ian Clark: The Hulk, because he’s not really responsible for his actions. The responsibility that comes with a super power would be too stressful, so I’d rather have an uncontrollable curse. If I save some children while I’m Hulking out then that’s great, but if I smash up a shopping center and maim a bunch of innocent consumers then it’s not really my fault. I also like the idea of drifting from town to town by myself, with that sad piano music playing.
What would you like to say to upcoming filmmakers that can possibly help them in reaching their goals?
Ian Clark: Well I’m a long way from achieving my own goals so I might not be the best person to ask, but firstly work on films you feel passionately about. Even making a short can be a long process, so make films that you yourself want to see and don’t try and second guess what might be popular or cool. If it speaks to you, chances are it will speak to someone else. Try and retain as much control over the idea as you can, while listening to the thoughts of your collaborators. No one knows the film as well as you and no-one cares about it as much as you, but if you have the right team around you they will make it a better film and ultimately it is the film itself that is most important.
“THE FACILITY will be available on demand starting September 24th and showing at special late night theatrical engagements September 27th. At a remote medical facility, a group of seven strangers begin a clinical trial for the experimental new drug: Pro-9. As the untested drug begins to course through their veins, unexpected side-effects start to take hold and several of the volunteers are sent into an uncontrollable murderous rage.”