Brooklyn Horror Film Festival 2019 presents Fessenden’s Depraved: Making Frankenstein in a Brooklyn Loft, as well as many feature-length and short films, as the second wave of films has been announced. Also in today's Horror Highlights: an exclusive look at artwork and a Q&A with writer Matt Miner for Death Trap, a trailer and release details for Witnesses, and details on this year's AlienCon.
Brooklyn Horror Film Festival Announces Second Wave of Films: "Hot off the heels of its first wave announcement, which included Opening Night Film THE BEACH HOUSE and DANIEL ISN’T REAL as Centerpiece, the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival, which will return for its fourth edition from October 17–24, has unveiled the rest of its jam-packed 2019 slate of diverse feature premieres and over 40 short films.
Ready to end the festival’s week with multiple literal bangs, BHFF will host director Joe Begos for the New York Premiere of his new raucous, Fangoria-backed siege knockout VFW as its Closing Night Film. The screening will be held at the Nitehawk Cinema in Prospect Park, BK, with Begos in attendance, followed by the Fangoria Closing Night Party.
Elsewhere in BHFF’s second wave, zombie cinema receives a powerful and politically charged twist in Jeff Barnaby’s BLOOD QUANTUM, coming off its buzzed-about debut as TIFF’s Midnight Madness Opening Night selection. Brooklyn Horror’s signature “Head Trip” feature section, dedicated to films that subvert horror tropes in unique and challenging ways, will be home to IFC Films’ fascinating gem SWALLOW, as well as provocative international genre film additions from Poland and Uruguay.
Popular BHFF touchstone section Home Invasion, where local filmmakers’ latest horror works are put on full display, has expanded to include three features, proudly presenting the world premiere of a special making-of documentary for Larry Fessenden’s DEPRAVED, and 12 shorts.
On top of returning short blocks Nightmare Fuel, Head Trip and Creeping Terror BHFF are thrilled to announce the evolution of our Slayed program, once reserved for the best new LGBTQ horror shorts and now encompassing features as well. The section includes Kurtis David Harder’s FrightFest breakout SPIRAL for its North American Premiere and Emily Harris’ haunting Sheridan Le Fanu adaptation CARMILLA.
Here’s the full breakdown of BHFF 2019’s second wave features and all five short film blocks.
Things are going to get messy when Joe Begos caps off BHFF 2019 with VFW!
New York Premiere
USA | 2019 | 92 Min | Dir. Joe Begos
A tight-knit group of grizzled military veterans (played by a formidable cast of genre fan favorites, including Stephen Lang, William Sadler, and Fred Williamson) just want to have a laidback night of hard boozing inside their VFW digs. Too bad for them, though, that a gang of punk drug dealers and supercharged addicts have other plans for their unsuspecting elders. Coming off of his excellent descent-into-hell eye-opener BLISS, horror grime master Joe Begos puts his bold stamp on the good old-fashioned “siege movie” with this gore-drenched and delightfully sleazy adrenaline rush.
Director Joe Begos in attendance.
Canada | 2019 | 96 Min | Dir. Jeff Barnaby
In the midst of a zombie outbreak, all hope seems lost, but there’s one glimmer of salvation: A small Indigenous community populated by folks who are somehow immune to whatever is turning people into undead flesh-eaters. Having been marginalized and persecuted for their entire lives, though, the lucky, and still healthy, residents see an opportunity to both keep themselves alive and pay back those who’ve wronged them by keeping their community’s entryways closed. And with that, Canadian filmmaker Jeff Barnaby has conceived one of the cleverest uses of the socially potent zombie template, carrying the torch for the late George A. Romero in the process—not to mention Tom Savini, thanks to an excess of viscera.
Mystery Of The Night
Philippines | 2019 | 105 Min | Dir. Adolfo Alix, Jr.
In the colonial Philippines of the 1900s, a young woman who’s been raised by creatures in the woods meets and falls in love with, a man from the town. Soon enough, though, her new romance goes sour, prompting her to make him pay in ways you’ll need to see to believe. Cloaked in a hypnotic ambiance from its opening frame, Adolfo Alix Jr.’s MYSTERY OF THE NIGHT takes its time building up character and conflict before erupting with a dynamite supernatural payoff that’s shockingly primal. Behold one of 2019’s most unique horror gems.
In The Quarry
East Coast Premiere
Uruguay | 2018 | 82 Min | Dir. Bernardo and Rafael Antonaccio
Excited to introduce her new boyfriend to her longtime friends, Alicia sets up a hangout session at an abandoned quarry near her hometown. At first, it’s all good times, with food and drinks abound, but as the day progresses, secrets are revealed and bonds are broken. And before the day is over, lives will be lost. Uruguayan filmmakers Bernardo and Rafael Antonaccio mine pure darkness and unpredictable brutality from their characters’ frayed dynamics in this tense and excellently acted riff on naturalistic heart-of-darkness genre fare the likes of Polanski’s KNIFE IN THE WATER.
East Coast Premiere
Poland | 2019 | 108 Min | Dir. Jagoda Szelc
Waking up to discover their bus driver gone, a group of hospitality majors arrive at a hotel in the middle of nowhere. The take-no-shit hotel manager greets them with the first lesson of their internship—no one cares what your name is. This loss of identity is followed by menial cleaning tasks and as one night bleeds into the next, the students begin to explore the dark recesses of the hotel. Mythic and tantalizing, Director Jagoda Szelc's sophomore feature channels the waywardness and palpable rage of youth.
USA | 2019 | 94 Min | Dir. Carlo Mirabella-Davis
Pregnant housewife Hunter (Haley Bennett) suddenly develops a case of pica—a psychological disorder involving the desire to consume inedible objects. The more her husband and his family try to stop her compulsions, the gruesomely deeper she falls into this harmful obsession until her perfect home becomes a patriarchal prison. Carlo Mirabella-Davis' metaphorically rich feature debut is a body horror film that feels utterly essential from its timely commentary down to Bennett's jaw-dropping lead performance.
Director Carlo Mirabella-Davis in attendance
This Is Our Home
USA | 2019 | 73 Min | Dir. Omri Dorani
Shaking off a tense roadside encounter with some strangers, Reina and her boyfriend, Cory, arrive at her childhood home. The quarreling couple is attempting to overcome a difficult decision that has put a deep strain on their relationship: the abortion of their first child. Late that night, there's a knock at the door. It's a young boy claiming to be their son. Disturbingly batshit in its exploration of unresolved grief and regret, THIS IS OUR HOME begs to be discussed and deciphered.
Director Omri Dorani, actress/producer Simone Pellicano and producer Jeff Ayars in attendance.
North American Premiere
Canada | 2019 | 87 Min | Dir. Kurtis David Harder
To get away from the city life, same-sex couple Malik and Aaron and their teen daughter, Kayla, move to a small suburban town in the mid-’90s. Unfortunately, they're greeted right away with homophobic threats. When Malik witnesses a strange gathering in the neighbor's house, he starts to fear for their lives. A queer horror game-changer, SPIRAL uses the genre to call out the deep-rooted fear of the other in America and expose the cycle of hate as the most corruptible, ancient evil of all.
Director Kurtis David Harder in attendance.
United Kingdom | 2019 | 95 Min | Dir. Emily Harris
Fifteen-year-old Lara has no freedom in her overbearing family’s stately manor, which makes her budding sexual curiosities all the tougher to navigate. One day, a carriage accident near their property leads to enigmatic teenager Carmilla taking up residence inside her home to recover, sparking a friendship that grows into something more passionate. Lara’s family, meanwhile, suspects there’s something inhuman about Carmilla. Adapting Sheridan Le Fanu’s classic vampire novella, which predates Bram Stoker’s DRACULA by nearly three decades, British filmmaker Emily Harris delivers an elegant and moody Gothic romance that isn’t afraid to let the blood flow.
Slayed!: LGBTQ Horror Shorts (co-presented by NewFest)
It’s an exciting time for queer horror, which is in the midst of a powerful renaissance. Look no further than these varied queer stories, covering issues like safe sex, religious persecution, identity confusion and closeted fears all through the genre’s lens.
Jeremiah, dir. Kenya Gillespie (USA), Stigma, dir. David Velduque (Spain), The Original, dir. Michelle Garza Cervera (United Kingdom), Penance, dir. Kayden Phoenix (USA), Bathroom Troll, dir. Aaron Immediato (USA), Docking, dir. Trevor Anderson (Canada), Switch, dir. Marion Renard (Belgium).
Fessenden’s Depraved: Making Frankenstein in a Brooklyn Loft
USA | 2019 | 75 Min | Dir. Larry Fessenden
With the release of Larry Fessenden’s DEPRAVED, horror fans have finally seen a new film from one of New York City’s, let alone that of the horror genre as a whole, most influential indie filmmaking legends, his first since 2013’s BENEATH. But for Fessenden himself, the journey to get his audacious and Brooklyn-set modernization of Mary Shelley’s FRANKENSTEIN made has taken much longer and proven the values of both dedication and determination. In this feature-length documentary, Fessenden offers an intimate look at bringing his most ambitious passion project yet to life. It’s an all-access dive into one of 2019’s best horror films, and BHFF will have Fessenden himself on hand to break DEPRAVED’s production story down even further. Frankly, it doesn’t get more authentically “Brooklyn Horror” than this.
Director Larry Fessenden in attendance.
East Coast Premiere
USA | 2019 | 99 Min | Dir. Frank Sabatella
Stan, Roxy, and Dommer are lifelong friends whose bond is being tested by the ever-taxing rigors of high school. For Stan and Dommer, in particular, the daily bullying they encounter comes in second only to watching Roxy’s popularity grow, and, in turn, her closeness to them dissipate. But there’s an unexpected possible solution to their problems in Stan’s backyard: a nondescript-looking toolshed, which houses something inhuman. Centered around the unlikeliest of villains, Frank Sabatella’s THE SHED takes what could have been a gore-drenched monster movie romp and layers it with potent coming-of-age anxiety and youth-in-crisis urgency. Don’t worry, though: There’s still carnage aplenty.
Director Frank Sabatella in attendance.
East Coast Premiere
USA | 2019 | 95 Min | Dir. Dean Kapsalis
High school English teacher Holly (Azura Skye) has always taken the stress and thanklessness of motherhood in stride, but a dark secret weighs heavily on her. The sudden appearance of a mouse and a betrayal by her self-absorbed husband send her spiraling down into catastrophe as she wreaks total havoc on her life. THE SWERVE is an epic, tenacious showcase for Skye, who shreds through the screen flailing for a lifeline in director Dean Kapsalis emotionally crushing feature debut.
Director Dean Kapsalis in attendance.
Home Invasion: Shorts
New York City's genre filmmaking talent is put on full display in our annual short film showcase built to equally impress and scare, this time featuring twisted meet-cutes, sadistic bakers and insatiable demons.
Deja Vu, dir. Cameron Strittmatter, LVRS, dir. Emily Bennett, Laundry Night, dir. A.K. Espada, Bakemono, dir. Sumire Takamatsu and Jorge Lucas, Brain Jail, dir. Carleton Ranney, The Muffin Man, dir. Ethan Blum, Let Me Play, dir. Andrew Bell, The Taxidermist, dir. Natalie Johnson, Ed, dir. Robbie Lemieux, Horizontal Fall, dir. Tin Lee, Deep Tissue, dir. Meredith Alloway, The Rat, dir. Carlen May-Mann
We dare you to try your best to sleep comfortably after watching these scare-fueled shorts, which run the gamut from insatiable cannibals to dating app ghouls, relentless serial killers, and occult-signaled demons.
Skin of Man, dir. Jimmy Joe Roche (USA), In Sound, We Live Forever, dir. Joshua Guiliano (USA), Inferno, dir. Bishal Dutta (USA), The Vicious, dir. Trevor Dillon, Ian Hock (USA), Megan, 26, dir. Brea Grant (USA), Midnight Talk, dir. Raffael Oliveri (Australia), Fatale Collective: Bleed, dir. Lola Blanc, Linda Chen, Natasha Halevi, Danin Jacquay, Francesca Maldonado, Megan Rosati (USA), Caw, dir. Laura Sanchez Acosta (Argentina)
Conventions are shattered throughout this subversive and genre-bending collection of shorts, which push horror in wild new directions that include nihilistic poultry conspiracies, homicidal zoo animals, real-world tragedies and psychedelic freak-outs.
Please Speak Continuously and Describe Your Experiences as They Come to You, dir. Brandon Cronenberg (Canada), Bad Seed, dir. Guilherme Daniel (Portugal), MJ, dir. Jamie Delaney (United Kingdom), Lili, dir. Yfke Van Berckalaer (Netherlands), The Video Store Commercial, dir. Cody Kennedy, Tim Rutherford (Canada), Valerio’s Day Out, dir. Michael Arcos (USA), The Obliteration of Chickens, dir. Izzy Lee (USA), The Haunted Swordsman, dir. Kevin McTurk (USA), Girl in the Hallway, dir. Valerie Barnhart (Canada)
For those with patience, the rewards are unforgettably horrific in this group of longer, more meticulous scare products that tap into deadly family traditions, unique vampire lore, urban legends and more.
Other Side of the Box, dir. Caleb J. Phillips (USA), Grief, dir. Brock Bodell, Daniel R. Perry (USA), The Burden, dir. Nico Van den Brink (Netherlands), Suicide by Sunlight, dir. Nikyata Jusu (USA), The Boogeywoman, dir. Erica Scoggins (USA)
2019 FEATURES JURY
Tom Philips (Journalist, GQ)
Jess Mills (Director of Content Marketing, Breaker)
Heather Buckley (Producer, THE RANGER, BLOOD & FLESH)
2019 HEAD TRIP FEATURES JURY
Madeline Whittle (Programmer, Film at Lincoln Center)
Madeliene Koestner (Journalist, Rue Morgue)
Charles Bramesco (Journalist, The Guardian)
2019 SHORTS JURY
Anya Stanley (Journalist, Dread Central)
Jamie Righetti (Social Media Manager, IFC Midnight)
Sean Redlitz (PR Director, Shudder)
2019 HOME INVASION SHORTS JURY
Chelsea Lupkin (Alumni ‘18)
Ben Sottak (Alumni ‘17)
Julia Zanin de Paula (Alumni ‘17)."
Death Trap Exclusive Artwork and Q&A with writer Matt Miner: Thank you for sharing this exclusive artwork with us at Daily Dead. Do you mind giving readers a little insight into this character named Tiger Soze?
Matt Miner: You bet. So, this weird dude in the mascot costume is called Tiger Soze. His real name is Joey, but see, Joey got thrown off a carnival ride when he was a kid and [his mental state is somewhat impaired] now. He was his Junior High School mascot and kinda started believing he was an actual Tiger, so he never gave up the suit, even when he got too tall to fit into the thing, so he cut it in half as you can see.
Tiger’s pretty sensitive about [his impairment], so he adopted the name “Tiger Soze” himself, in hopes he could convince other folks he’s not really dumb, he’s just playing dumb like Keyser Soze from The Usual Suspects. Tiger’s dad is Bob, a hitman, and enforcer with the Davenport Amusements crime family, who collects bobblehead figures, and is the guy who killed Ollie’s dad.
So, Death Trap is a story about a girl named Ollie, who grew up in a prominent circus family, and her father who is a ghost and together they go on a vengeance tour?
Matt Miner: Yep. Ollie grew up in the Strongin Circus crime family. They’re a traveling circus and their main rivals are with Davenport Amusements. There are colorful and weird characters on both sides, which really fill the world out, but when you get down to it, it’s a very relatable story about family—both the kind you’re born into and the kind you find along the way.
Ollie’s been trying to get her dad’s approval since before he was killed and she hasn’t stopped now that he’s a ghost. If she can help her dad get revenge for his murder, she hopes he’ll finally be proud of her.
You always come up with the most interesting and unique stories. How did this story come about?
Matt Miner: Chris Peterson (the artist) and I had an idea for a different carsploitation book that didn’t go anywhere, and we took one of the seeds from that concept and grew it into Death Trap. I’ve always been a fan of carsploitation and revenge grindhouse movies, and moreso the elevated exploitation films that dig a little deeper and have themes that speak to who we are as people.
The cover for the first issue seems reminiscent of ’70s grindhouse films for sure. Were you inspired by any specific films from the genre?
Matt Miner: Hah, yeah, I have a whole huge media cabinet full of those movies. Death Trap is the wackiness of Death Race 2000, but with the heart of John Wick and weird family dynamics like… I don’t want to say Friday the 13th, but Ollie’s pretty violent—she just knows what gray area to operate in. And before you balk about JW, I absolutely consider John Wick a grindhouse flick. It’s just a very smart one with a ton of heart.
[That's fair to say]... Your Kickstarter recently launched for Death Trap. Do you mind sharing the details of the campaign with our readers?
Matt Miner: Sure, so you can find it at www.deathtrap.world and the campaign ends on October 2nd. We need the money to fund the production of the art, and if we can land the Kickstarter, we have a great publisher ready to bring the book to comic stores. At the project, we have a ton of rewards for every price level, from exclusive copies of the first issue to whole graphic novels of the entire story, to original art or appearing in the book as a character! We hope Daily Dead readers will check it out and pledge today because we really want to tell this bananas story!
Check Out the Trailer for Witnesses, Plus Release Details: "Logline: Four college classmates are hunted by a
ruthless drug cartel hitman when they inadvertently record a murder while shooting their student film.
Taglines: What they recorded got them killed. You’ve never found footage like this.
Synopsis: Best friends, Steve and Luke, set out to create a short film for their Film Studies’ final project. Over their objections, Luke persuades Steve and their film’s cast members, Natalie and Quint, to deviate from the planned shooting schedule and film their final scene in an abandoned warehouse. Inside they discover a cache of guns and drugs and find a man savagely beaten and being held hostage by a merciless drug cartel. Before they can make their escape and get help, cartel enforcers return and heinously murder their hostage. Realizing they are not alone, the cartel sicarios hunt down to execute the film students who have witnessed their crime.
Relentlessly determined to kill them, the college classmates must evade capture and survive against these hitmen, or become their next victims. Driven down into the massive subterranean labyrinth of the warehouse, the students come across a group of captive women held as human trafficked sex slaves, the cartel’s secret drug processing lab, a hidden border-spanning drug-smuggling tunnel, and a sadistic execution
In the end, they must face-off with the cartel’s most ruthless killer, and do so, all while capturing the events on camera.
Witnesses Digital Release 09.09.19
Platforms: iTunes, Amazon Video, Google Play, Vudu, YouTube
Tech Specs & Film Info
Shot on RED and Sony
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Letterboxed to 2:19
English | Color | Stereo
Completion Date: March 2019
Filmed in Los Angeles
We Create and Distribute Awesome Content
PREORDER NOW ON iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/witnesses/id1472444540
Follow Witnesses on INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/whattheyrecorded/
AlienCon 2019 Lineup Announced: "AlienCon, the world’s first convention dedicated to seeking the truth about extraterrestrial existence and solving the mysteries of the universe, has announced new program details for the October 4-6 event in Dallas, Texas. A+E Networks previously announced celebrity guests at AlienCon Dallas will include HISTORY’s “Ancient Aliens” contributors Giorgio A. Tsoukalos, David Childress, Nick Pope, Caroline Cory, Jason Martell, John Brandenburg, Travis Taylor, and Jonathan Young.
Now adding to the captivating line-up of expert voices are cast members from HISTORY’s upcoming nonfiction series, “The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch” (working title), who will be featured on two panels over the three-day event. “The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch” is executive produced by Kevin Burns, the creator and producer of HISTORY's most popular series, including “Ancient Aliens” and cable’s #1 nonfiction series “The Curse of Oak Island” and will give viewers full, unprecedented access to one of the most infamous and secretive hotspots of paranormal and UFO-related activities on earth. The series will feature a team of scientists and experts who will conduct a thorough search of this infamous 512-acre property located in Utah’s Uinta Basin as they attempt to find out the truth behind more than 200 years of mysteries — involving everything from UFO sightings and paranormal activities to animal mutilations and Native American legends of a shape-shifting creature known simply as “The Skinwalker.” Few have ever gained official access to Skinwalker Ranch, and none have ever been able to bring cameras onto the property for a television series, but now, HISTORY’s exciting new nonfiction series is seeking to uncover the ‘who?’ ‘what?’ and ‘why?’ of an area that (until now) has remained as secretive and as forbidden as some of our nation’s greatest mysteries. “The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch” is slated to air next year on HISTORY.
The entire cast of A&E’s “Ghost Hunters,” one of the most successful paranormal series of all time, also joins AlienCon Dallas for a panel discussion, Inside the World of A&E’s “Ghost Hunters,” on Saturday, October 5 at 2:20 pm. Airing Wednesdays at 9 pm ET/PT, the A&E series follows team leader Grant Wilson and his handpicked group of professional ghost hunters as they use their decades of field experience to investigate hauntings across the country. Engaging forensic experts, historical records and the most innovative technology available, the team helps bring relief to people who are struggling with unexplained supernatural phenomena by following the evidence they uncover, wherever it may lead.
Panel: The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch
Friday 10/4 at 1:40 PM
A notorious 512-acre stretch of land in Utah called “Skinwalker Ranch” has been known as a hotbed for anomalous events, and UFO sightings recorded here as early as the 1700s. Billionaire businessman Robert Bigelow hired top scientists to study the ranch’s phenomena, and reportedly recorded more than 500 “anomalous events,” but was unable to make any definitive findings. The property’s purported origins and activities are prominent in local legend, and some Native Americans in the area today are said to avoid the site. The ranch is under new ownership and a diverse team of scientists and researchers are conducting the most advanced investigation on the property in an attempt to, once and for all, unlock the secret of Skinwalker Ranch.
Panel: The Future of Skinwalker Ranch
Saturday, 10/5 at 11:00 AM
In 1996, billionaire businessman Robert Bigelow purchased a notorious 512-acre stretch of land in Utah called “Skinwalker Ranch” for the stated purpose of using it as a “living laboratory” and studying the UFO phenomenon. Bigelow hired top scientists to study the ranch’s phenomena and reportedly recorded more than 500 “anomalous events” – results that the U.S. government took seriously enough to allocate $20 million to further Bigelow’s research. The records and results of what was found are classified, but in 2016, Bigelow sold the property. Today, this new owner — along with his dedicated team of scientists and researchers -- are determined to finally solve the mystery.
Panel: Inside the World of A&E’s “Ghost Hunters”
Saturday, 10/5 at 2:20 PM
Grant Wilson, team leader/executive producer, and panel moderator
Daryl Marston, co-lead investigator
Kristen Luman, co-lead investigator
Mustafa Gatollari, site analyst/researcher/paranormal investigator
Brandon Alvis, tech manager/paranormal investigator
Richel Stratton, paranormal investigator
Brian Murray, paranormal investigator
Have you ever wondered what it takes to investigate the paranormal? Hear from paranormal expert Grant Wilson and his new team of investigators from A&E’s hit series Ghost Hunters! Fifteen years after introducing the world to the authentic field of paranormal investigation, the series that terrified and captivated fans is back on television Wednesday nights at 9 pm ET/PT on A&E. For the first time ever, this team of seven paranormal investigators – Wilson, Daryl Marston, Kristen Luman, Brandon Alvis, Mustafa Gatollari, Brian Murray and Richel Stratton – are sharing their approach to investigations, the cutting-edge technology they use, and how they research and prepare to go into a hunt. Come explore the unknown and watch exclusive never-before-seen clips as the team discusses their mission to discover the truth and give relief to those plagued by paranormal activity!
Fans can learn more about ticket packages, special celebrity guests, and up-to-the-minute AlienCon Dallas programming information by visiting TheAlienCon.com.
AlienCon, owned by A+E Networks in partnership with Prometheus Entertainment and produced by Mischief Management, LLC, is a three-day fan event inspired by HISTORY®’s hit series, Ancient Aliens. AlienCon offers the opportunity for like-minded people to come together to challenge existing beliefs and seek disclosure of all kinds in an environment that inspires discovery and discussion. The event will feature over 150 hours of original programming, sneak peeks and exclusive panels. Attendees can meet and mingle with their favorite celebrity guests.
HISTORY’s hit series “Ancient Aliens” explores the theory that extraterrestrials have been visiting the Earth for millions of years. From the age of the dinosaurs to ancient Egypt, and from visitations by gods and deities in South America to sightings of unexplained objects around the world, each episode of the series gives thought-provoking consideration to the questions, first-hand accounts and grounded theories surrounding the age-old debate: did extra-terrestrial beings really help to shape human history? “Ancient Aliens” is produced by Prometheus Entertainment.
More information can be found on the AlienCon website: www.thealiencon.com/dallas"