Indie Spotlight

2014/09/21 18:51:07 +00:00 | Tamika Jones

We're back with another edition of the Indie Spotlight, highlighting the recent independent horror news sent our way. Today's feature includes a trailer for Exists, Don't Blink, and The Wolves of Savin Hill, an announcement of the Fifth Annual PollyGrind Film Festival, Dead Rage first details, and more:

New Clip from Exists: "For five friends, it was a chance for a summer getaway - a weekend of camping in the Texas Big Thicket. But visions of a carefree vacation are shattered with an accident on a dark and desolate country road. In the wake of the accident, a blood curdling force of nature is unleashed - something not exactly human, but not completely animal - an urban legend come to terrifying life and seeking murderous revenge.

Opening in select theaters and On Demand on Friday, October 24th, 2014. Directed by Eduardo Sanchez and written by Jamie Nash, Exists stars Dora Madison Burge, Samuel Davis, Roger Edwards, Chris Osborn, Brian Steele, and Denise Williamson. Executive producers are Reed Frerichs, Gregg Hale, George Waud, and D. Todd Shepherd."

For more information, visit the film's official Facebook page:


First Details on Mania, Kill the Production Assistant, and Desolation: "Jessica Cameron and Jonathan Scott Higgins (Truth or Dare) are preparing for their triple feature cross-country horror project with feature film Mania and the documentary Kill the Production Assistant. They are pleased to announce their collaboration with filmmaker Ryan M. Andrews (Save Yourself, S.I.C.K) with his feature film, Desolation.

Two lesbian lovers are forced to flee cross-country after a brutal murder changes their lives forever. Mania was written by Higgins and will be Cameron’s 2nd directing vehicle.

Along the back roads of America, a hitchhiker is waiting. Gorgeous, mysterious and full of sadistic rage, what chances do an unsuspecting couple have against her? Desolation will replace The Exiled (dir. Brandon Slagle, starring Devanny Pinn) on this film slate. The Exiled has been pushed to a later date.

A feature-length making-of documentary, chronicling the travels and filming of Mania and Desolation. This is a chance for audiences to see a grassroots approach to independent film making. Cameron and Higgins will produce all three projects.

This November, Cameron, Higgins, and Andrews will load into an RV with other cast/crew and depart from Los Angeles to make back-to-back feature films while traveling cross-country. Filming will take place all over the United States, but the filming locations will be decided upon by the amount of fan participation. The city and states with the most interaction and financial contributions through the project's website will determine the route the filmmakers will take. The more people contribute, the more pins will be dropped onto a digital map on the project's website for the home city/state of the contributor. Thus far, the top states are Arizona, Pennsylvania, and California."

To learn more about these films, or how to contribute to the project, visit:


Newly Released Trailer for Don't Blink: "In this gripping suspense-thriller, 10 friends head to a remote mountain resort for a quiet weekend getaway. But upon their arrival, the rustic lodge is more than just sleepy … it’s deserted.

Food is served, baths are drawn and signs of guests are everywhere but the forest and cabin are eerily silent, devoid of all life. With no gas, cell service or phones to be found, the anxious group is left wondering what to do next.

Suddenly, one of their own vanishes right in front of their eyes! Terror grips the friends. Miles from the nearest town, tensions run high and loyalties falter as others abruptly, and inexplicably, cease to exist! Savaged by fear the desperate survivors realize, Don’t Blink or you will be next!

[Don't Blink will be released] Thursday, Sept, 18th on VOD, Friday, Sept 19th in select theaters nation wide, [and on] Tuesday, Oct 14th on DVD.

Don't Blink stars Mena Suvari (American Reunion, American Pie 1 & 2, American Beauty), Brian Austin Green (Chromeskull: Laid to Rest 2, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Domino), Zack Ward (A Christmas Story,Transformers, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Almost Famous), Joanne Kelly (Warehouse 13, Diamonds), Fiona Gubelmann (FX’s Wilfred, Blades of Glory, Employee of the Month), David de Lautour (DmC: Devil Man Cry), Leif Gantvoort (The Amazing Spider-Man), Curtiss Frisle (Terri), Emelie O’Hara (Josephine and the Roach, Stained Glass Window, Undocumented), and Samantha Jacober (First Winter)."

For more information on Don't Blink, visit the film's Facebook page at: or on Twitter at:


Production Details on A.: "Clayface Pictures has inked a co-production deal with The October People ("The Invoking", "The Device") to produce the supernatural thriller "A."

Elias ("Gut", "Dark") will direct from his original script and The October People's Matt Medisch, John Portanova, and Jeremy Berg will produce alongside him.

Tristan Risk ("American Mary", "The Editor") and Nicholas Wilder ("Gut", "Like The Spider") will star, with more cast announcements expected soon.

"A." centers on Elton, a man plagued by visions of his dead 4-year-old sister, which pull him deeper into a world where his obsession brings her back to life as an adult woman with dire consequences.

"Elias' script grabbed us right away with its personal style and dark, vivid imagery," says producer Matt Medisch, "We're thrilled to help him bring his vision to the screen."

Shooting is planned for late Spring 2015, with the film to be lensed by Berg.

The deal was brokered by Matt Medish for the The October People with Elias for Clayface Pictures."


Stranger in the Dunes Extended Teaser Trailer Released: "Bizarre events occur when an old friend visits a troubled married couple at their beach house.

Delphine Chaneac ("Splice") stars in the new thriller "Stranger in the Dunes" from writer/director Nicholas Bushman ("Sandbar", "Union Furnace")."

To learn more, go to:


Fifth Annual PollyGrind Film Festival Announced: "Seven world premieres and the return of filmmakers Stuart Simpson, C.J. Wallis, Albert Pyun, and Todd Sheets a.k.a the makers of El Monstro Del Mar, Dead Hooker in a Trunk, Road to Hell and House of Forbidden Secrets are slated to highlight the fifth annual PollyGrind Film Festival in Las Vegas this October.

Twelve features and more than 50 films, shorts, music videos, promos, webisodes and trailers will screen Oct. 16-18, and more than $30,000 in prizes, including distribution, consultations and software will be awarded, during what is being promoted as PollyGrind 5: Victory, the event’s most streamlined event to date.

The bulk of this year’s event will take place in the Cinemark Theatre inside the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa with after parties at Hell Town Studios and Back Lot, the zombie themed bar and pizza joint The End, and a special stage production of Evil Dead: The Musical 4D at Planet Hollywood.

The international film festival, which received more than 800 entries this year, is steeped in artistic freedom and celebrates individuality, diversity, creativity, and empowerment by showcasing the work of filmmakers with defiantly independent visions.

The world premiere of Pyun’s experimental found footage film The Interrogation of Cheryl Cooper headlines opening night on Oct. 16.

Wallis, the editor and one of the stars of Dead Hooker in a Trunk, world premieres his debut feature BB, a thriller about privacy and obsession, to close the fest on Oct. 18.

Other world premieres at the festival this year will be the documentary Rebel Scum, the action comedy Teddy Bomb, Sheets’ experimental found footage film Spirits and the creepy doll found footage film Heidi.

The west coast premiere of Simpson’s dark comedy Chocolate Strawberry Vanilla, the Nevada Premiere of the anthology Hi-8: Horror Independent 8, will also screen along with the RXSM Film Exchange Showcase of the documentary Love Child and the Wild Eye Releasing Special Showcase of Memory Lane.

Directed by first time filmmaker Shawn Holmes, Memory Lane has drawn comparisons to Memento and The Butterfly Effect.

“Memory Lane is a great film that I feel is part of this new wave of experimental directors doing drama type science fiction on very small budgets,” Freeman said. “It’s similar in vein to last year’s big winner Desolate. I’m really excited about this type of filmmaking that I’ve dubbed mumblecore low fi. Memory Lane was made for a few hundred bucks and it’s good. Really good.”

Highlights from the shorts playing this year include 19 year old Nicholas Lamoreux’s film on bullying called Forgive Me, Jeff Freeman’s Cask of Amontillado which stars Grindhouse legend William Grefe, Guy-Roger Duvert’s medieval fantasy Cassandra, and Vanita Shastry’s 9/11 inspired Go North.

Past festivals have included concerts, burlesque and artshows, a social media contest, a live audio recording of the audience for a DVD audio commentary, charity events, as well as a zombie red carpet walk and cupcake eating contest, while still staying focused on celebrating good quality films."

For more information on PollyGrind, and a full rundown of events at the festival, visit: or on Facebook at:


Werewolf Rising Release Details and Trailer: "Desperate for a break from big city life, Emma heads to her family’s cabin deep in the Arkansas hills. As she settles in for some much-needed R&R, she learns that something unspeakable lurks in the surrounding darkness. As the full moon rises, a bloodthirsty werewolf emerges from the shadows, slaughtering everyone in its path and revealing a sinister underworld Emma never knew existed. Thrown into a fight for her life, and her very soul, Emma will need to escape these big bad woods before it’s too late.

Image Entertainment, an RLJ Entertainment brand, announces the DVD release of the horror thriller film Werewolf Rising. Directed by BC Furtney and starring Bill Oberst Jr. (Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies), Melissa Carnell (Boggy Creek), Matt Copko (Dirty Laundry), Brian Berry (Hellspawn), and Irena Murphy (Bitter is Better). Werewolf Rising will be available on DVD on October 14, 2014."


Pre-Order Details for Novel, Dead Rage: "When Steve Bannon and the crew of the fishing boat, 'Mandrake' sailed into Grey Stone harbor, they sailed into the very jaws of hell.

The zombie apocalypse has overtaken the coastal town and Bannon must fight for his own survival in a horrific world filled with unimaginable peril and betrayal at the highest and the most personal levels.

'Dead Rage' is a white-knuckled ride into the frenzied terror of the apocalypse, where friends become enemies and every step is a life and death struggle.

From the bestselling author of 'Ground Zero: A Zombie Apocalypse' and 'Die Trying', Australian writer Nicholas Ryan will be releasing his third book, Dead Rage, on September 25th.

The book is available now for pre-order on Amazon, iBooks, and will also be on Kobo."

To learn more about this novel, or to pre-order it at various locations, go to Amazon or iBooks.


Newly Released Dementamania Trailer and Website: "A frustrated office worker finds himself caught between the realms of his deranged imagination and the mundane reality of his everyday existence.

After a small theatrical release on October 17, the film – premiered at FrightFest 2013 – will make its way to VOD via TheHorrorShow.TV on November 17."

For more information on this film, visit the official website:


Miskatonic West First Details: "Miskatonic University has a West Coast campus, and it is the center of an attempt to awaken the primordial god Dagon from the vast unknown depths of the Pacific Ocean in “Miskatonic West,” a new webseries set in H.P. Lovecraft’s literary universe. Professor Sousaku Kaos, head of the Biology department, and his intrepid students pull back the curtain on a world of monsters, magic, and mystery as they race against time to stop the Esotoric Cult of Dagon from their eldritch undertaking. Will Kaos and his students prevail, or will the Esoteric Cult of Dagon succeed in unleashing unnameable horrors into the world?

Miskatonic West is the creative spawn of Harry Kakatsakis and Noah James Butler, who are currently crowd funding to help make the inaugural episode. The creators hope that their efforts will in turn launch a complete first season.

Kakatsakis says, “The series is a grounded and suspenseful take on the world of H.P. Lovecraft as seen through a 21st century, West Coast lens.” Butler concurs, “We hope to bring the same verisimilitude and pervading sense of doom that Lovecraft brought to the page. And of course, there will be plenty of close encounters with the monstrous and supernatural.”

Harry Kakatsakis is the director of the award winning short, “Admissions,” starring James Cromwell. Noah James Butler is an actor who may be seen in “Primrose Lane,” “A.N.T. Farm,” and “How I Met Your Mother.” Miskatonic West stars Ken Narasaki, veteran of film and television, as Sousaku Kaos. The series is written by Harry Kakatsakis and Andrew Moore, playwright and co-creator of the web series, Levon and Otis Picture Show Review.

“The Southern California setting gives us the opportunity to contribute something new to the Mythos while honoring Lovecraft’s original work,” says Moore. “After all, we know who waits dreaming in the Pacific Ocean.”"

To learn more, and to find out how to support this project, go to:

  • Tamika Jones
    About the Author - Tamika Jones

    Tamika hails from North Beach, Maryland, a tiny town inches from the Chesapeake Bay.She knew she wanted to be an actor after reciting a soliloquy by Sojourner Truth in front of her entire fifth grade class. Since then, she's appeared in over 20 film and television projects. In addition to acting, Tamika is the Indie Spotlight manager for Daily Dead, where she brings readers news on independent horror projects every weekend.

    The first horror film Tamika watched was Child's Play. Being eight years old at the time, she remembers being so scared when Chucky came to life that she projectile vomited. It's tough for her to choose only one movie as her favorite horror film, so she picked two: Nosferatu and The Stepford Wives (1975).