We return with another edition of the Indie Spotlight, highlighting recent independent horror news sent our way. Today's feature includes production details for the documentary, Why Horror?, trailers for Muck, House of Last Things, and Xmas Tales, details on a horror novel giveaway, reviews for The Facility and In the Woods, and much more:
"Why Horror?" Production Details: "Why Horror? is a documentary look at the psychology of horror around the world in order to understand why we love to be scared.
You either love it or hate it ... but horror entertainment is truly a global phenomenon. If you’re reading this, chances are you count yourself among the millions of people who love it. We do!
This documentary aims to be the most comprehensive film ever assembled on the topic. We have an incredible line-up of horror experts on hand to talk. From legendary filmmakers to performers to authors, here is a list of people we’ve interviewed so far:
John Carpenter, Eli Roth, Barbara Crampton, George A. Romero, Gary Pullin, Tony Moore, Justin Erickson, [to name a few]... as well as a number of accredited scholars, including sociologists, psychologists, historians, anthropologists, and, yes, even critics.
Why Horror? is a love letter to horror, a long-overdue appreciation for the genre that always gets short-changed by the industry.
This is a film for us, by us – the horror film fanatics – that we want to share with a broader audience. Casual horror fans will understand why they enjoy the genre – and why we, the horror lovers, are so passionate about it. We’re already in production but we need your help to take us to the finish line!"
To learn more about this documentary, and to support the progress of this film, go to: www.whyhorror.com
Muck Trailer and Production Details: "WithAnO Productions just released the theatrical trailer for its upcoming "Muck" film. "Muck" stars the horror legend Kane Hodder ("Friday the 13th" 7-10, "Hatchet" trilogy) and the new Scream Queen, 2012 Playboy Playmate of the Year, Jaclyn Swedberg.
Besides the Horror Legend and Playmate of the Year, "Muck" features an amazing cast of up-and-coming actors, led by Australian hunk Lachlan Buchanan ("Newcastle", "Pretty Little Liars", and "NCIS: Red") and Indian beauty Puja Mohindra. Very few Hollywood films feature strong lead roles for Indian actresses, and this is a first for any American horror film, a breakout role for Mohindra."
To learn more about this film, go to: www.getthemuckout.com
Official Selections for The Freak Show Horror Film Festival Announced: "The Freak Show Horror Film Festival announced its official selections for screening at the 2013 event which will run from October 25 through October 27, 2013. The festival is part of the Spooky Empire Ultimate Horror Weekend located at the DoubleTree at Universal Studios in Orlando, FL. Now in its eighth year, the Festival showcases the best in independent horror from all around the world.
Below are the official selections and the day they will screen:
Friday OCTOBER 25, 2013
Refugio 115 – Short – Spain
The Plan – Short – Israel
I Heart Monster Movies – Feature Documentary – USA
Ellie Loves Frank – Short – USA
The Visitant – Feature – USA
Dream Computer – Short – USA
You Will Love Me – Feature – USA
Saturday OCTOBER 26, 2013
Found – Feature – USA
Maid Of Horror – Short – Australia
Out There – Short – Ireland
The Cabin – Short – USA
The Meeting – Short – Canada
Trapped – Feature – USA
Baby Sitting – Short – France
The Cemetery – Feature – USA
Torturous – Short – Canada
Pieces Of Talent – Feature – USA
All You Can Eat – Short – USA
Sink – Short – USA
Haunt ED – Short – USA
Rose Or The Mute Liars - Short – France
The Audition – Short – USA
Reh Rof Llik – Short – USA
Call Me Crazy – Short – USA
Doll Boy – Short – USA
Special Sneak Peek of the Film “Copiii”
Special Screening “Creepy Crawly” Spanish Version (World Premiere) – Short
Fist of Jesus – Short – Spain
Jersey Shore Massacre – Feature – USA
Sunday OCTOBER 27, 2013
Mister White – Feature – USA
Dirty Bill Of Health – Short – Canada
Next Exit – Short – United Kingdom
So Dark – Short – USA
Sound Of Nothing – Feature – USA
*THE FREAKYS* - RED CARPET AWARDS GALA
The FAMED “Freaky Award” represents independent horror’s highest achievement in Filmmaking, Acting, Cinematography, and Special FX Makeup. The Freak Show Horror Film Festival “Freaky Award” is designed by Special FX Makeup Artist Barry Anderson who worked on such films as George A. Romero’s “Day of the Dead” and “Jeepers Creepers”.
The Freak Show Horror Film Festival is part of Spooky Empire’s Ultimate Horror Weekend which is the largest Horror Convention in the State of Florida. Your paid admission to Spooky Empire’s Ultimate Horror Weekend includes your admission to the Freak Show Horror Film Festival. Just show your wrist band or pass at the door of the festival."
House of Last Things Trailer Released: "A supernatural thriller drama about an unspoken tragedy and its effects on a house, its temporary caretakers and the owners, a couple on a recuperative trip to Italy.
House of Last Things is proud to announce our first international release today in Russia through CMS FILM. The Michael Bartlett directed thriller was one of Oregon's first independent features to receive an i-OPIF grant. The film premiered in France in January and has since been selected for festivals in Brazil, Germany, Mexico, and Spain.
House of Last Things, stars Lindsey Haun, (True Blood), RJ MItte (Breaking Bad's Walter White Jr.), [and] Blake Berris (Days of Our Lives)."
To learn more about House of Last Things, visit: www.facebook.com/houseoflastthings
Retribution High Release Details: "16-year-old best friends Mitch Simon and Jordy Hubbard are two of the smallest kids in their suburban high school. All they want to do is hang together, mind their own business and survive their junior year. But their size, their lowly status, and their rumored sexual orientation makes them the targets of The Syndicate, a group of rich, arrogant kids who take pleasure in relentlessly bullying, tormenting and humiliating them, directly and on the internet. Desperate and powerless, with no one to turn to, Mitch and Jordy fervently pray to heaven for help during a very intense lightning storm. Amazingly, it soon arrives in the form of James Batt, a seemingly clueless kid who immediately becomes the primary focus of The Syndicate. But J.B. isn't exactly what he seems, and before long, the boys – and everyone else at school – are wondering: just who is this new kid, where is he from, and what's his agenda?
Retribution High, a new novel by Bob Gale, is now available exclusively in Amazon's Kindle Store, and from the Kindle Lending Library. A print version will be available soon.
Retribution High is a dark, twisted, horrific tale of high school bullying, subtitled A Short Violent Novel of Bullying, Revenge, and the Hell known as High School.
As J.B. says, sometimes God answers prayers, and sometimes the devil does.
"If you combine the Friday the 13th movies with High Plains Drifter and set it in a contemporary high school, you get Retribution High," says Gale. "Some people really like it, and some people are very disturbed by it, so it's clearly touching a nerve. I wish I could say that it offers some sort of solution to the plague of bullying, but it absolutely does not. It's a dark, violent retribution fantasy with some black humor and religious overtones, and that's all it is."
Retribution High is available in two versions, Standard (green) and Explicit (red). Although the overall story and content in each is the same, the Standard Version contains none of the 68 words or expressions banned on network television, and the sexual situations are toned down."
Details on The Spooky Stacks Giveaway: "Win $500 worth of signed books from bestselling horror authors Brian Keene, Jonathan Maberry, Scott Nicholson, and Bryan Smith! The SPOOKY STACKS GIVEAWAY runs from Oct. 24-31. Enter daily at their web sites!
Brian Keene: www.briankeene.com
Jonathan Maberry: www.jonathanmaberry.com
Scott Nicholson: www.authorscottnicholson.com
Bryan Smith: www.thehorrorbryansmith.blogspot.com
Be sure to pick up your free copy of the Spooky Stacks ebook in all formats at Smashwords."
Sadie Jane: A Halloween Short Film Released: "On Halloween, three old friends try to summon the legendary Sadie Jane through their bathroom mirror. It's just a little harmless fun... Until one by one...
Starring Chris Gierowski, Scott Gleine & Nathan Pinsoneault. Story by Nathan Pinsoneault. Shot by Scott Gleine. Produced by Chris Gierowski. Edited by Nathan Pinsoneault & Scott Gleine. Music by Atmosfear. A Midnight Prestige Production.
The team who created this short film are also responsible for making February 4th. The film will be "in the Zedfest Film Festival in L.A. as an Official Selection. We are one of the Showcase Highlights during the Short Film Program 2 at 10pm."
For more information February 4th's screening at Zedfest Film Festival, go to: http://zedfest.org/zedfestfilmfestival.html
Joe R. Lansdale Comments on Black Labyrinth Book II: "Currently working with Black Labyrinth to create a book of psychological horror, and well, a little bit of overt horror as well. It’s a novella, not a novel, but there will be plenty of room for shadow and sounds, for whatever it takes to scare a reader. What if there is a prison graveyard on an island for the worst of the worst. A place where the unclaimed go. Those who have been executed or died by disease or old age would end up on this island. Taken there by ferry in the middle of the night to be deposited in the ground like rotten rutabaga seeds. And what if on that island are two caretakers, a gravedigger and the ferry man. And with the remains of all that evil there in this dark, lost place in the middle of a great bubble of sea and wind and starry night sky, something goes way damn wrong. And it isn’t at all what you think it is.
That’s the premise for my novella for Black Labyrinth. The money for the writing of the book, as well as the art work by Santiago Caruso, the actual construction and publication of the novella will be, hopefully, provided by a Kickstarter program ran by Chris Morey, the editor of Black Labyrinth’s novellas. If you want to be a part of it, check this link out."
To learn more about this novella, visit: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/chrismorey/black-labyrinth-book-ii-joe-r-lansdale
Call of Duty Undead Trailer: "Hot Iron Production is pleased to announce the first trailer for their original horror thriller, "Call of Duty Undead," has been released.
In addition, former Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer, Artimus Pyle, has joined the cast. Pyle, a Marine Corps veteran and surviving member of the 1977 airplane crash that killed three band mates, will play Mr. Hoover, veteran father to Alpha Squad member Scott Hoover.
U.S. Marine Veterans Robert Woodley and Chris Clark star as Captain Roy Weiss and Nicholas Bergman, respectively. Woodley plays the leader of the Alpha Squad, with Clark as the nefarious Nicholas Bergman, an individual bent on creating a pharmaceutical drug that cures all aging and illness. As Bergman’s drug transforms into something else entirely, the Alpha Squad is brought in to answer the call.
Rounding out the cast is Kevin Tanski as 2nd LTN. Keith Watzel, Kahley Cuff, Will Mutka, Mike Sarcinelli, with Rick Primerano as Steel.
Aleksandar Ivicic, a 21-year-old Croatian refugee and winner of the 2012 Buffalo Screams Festival award for “Gagster: The Movie,” is directing the film based on an original screenplay with co-director Jim Clark. James Renzi is assistant director, with Mile Ivicic and Gary Dellaneve as producers.
“Call of Duty Undead” has a 2014 release date."
Zombies Ate My Friends Gameplay Details: "Welcome to Festerville, population 4,206 (mostly zombies). We hope you enjoy your visit: explore the town, take in the sights and sounds (mostly groaning), dine on whatever you can find, and get to know the locals (though we suggest you avoid the dead ones). For recreation, try zombie combat: use what you find, or visit one of the town’s many weapon-crafting merchants for your choice of the finest hand-scavenged implements of zombie removal. If you decide to stay, we recommend you find one of our relatively comfortable safe houses – but please remember to board the windows and doors. Have fun, and good hunting!
+ Create and customize your own survivor with hundreds of items including weapons, clothing, and equipment.
+ Fend off zombies from your safe house, then take to the streets to scavenge for loot: find kick-ass weapons, useful supplies, and hidden surprises.
+ Explore Festerville’s restaurants, apartments, police stations, stores and more... but make sure to return to safety before zombies get you!
+ Go on quests to help other survivors: choose your own path to uncover the story of this off-beat zombie apocalypse.
+ Sign in to Game Center and help your friends survive!
Zombies Ate My Friends is free to play, but you can choose to pay real money for some extra items, which will charge your account. You can disable in-app purchasing by adjusting your device settings."
Zombies Ate My Friends is available on Google Play and iTunes. To keep up-to-date on the latest news and updates for the game, go to: www.facebook.com/ZombiesAteMyFriends
Xmas Tales Trailer: "Come sit at the Christmas tree and experience three timeless tales of terror.
Every year for Christmas, a group of young ladies get together for their annual White Elephant Gift Exchange. But this year all the ladies get the same gift...Terror!
After the abortion of an unplanned pregnancy, Alexandria and husband Martin undergo a trying time in their marriage. She finds her daily regimen of anti-psychotics failing to stem her hallucinations and destructive behavior. The mounting tension and fear begin to break her fragile psyche, forcing her to face the fallout of her decisions.
When Allen Gregory taunts an uneducated desperate young couple who are seeking help for their sick child, his 'quiet drive in the country' leads to him being the recipient of an Appalachian curse in the form of...The Crann Doll."
First Details on The Devil's Women: "The story revolves around Irene, a young woman who is recovering from a brutal beating perpetrated by her former lover. She decides to regain her energy and zest for life which she believed impossible after finding out she had lost a baby due to the multiple injuries she had suffer from the violent act. Her best friend recommends some kind of activity that revitalized her strength. Irene enthusiastic believes she has found the answer in a booklet: theater classes. Once registered into the academy she never imagined being the only student at the mercy of a pair of deranges psychopaths who truly worship women's flagellation as the solution of sins.
The Devil's Women, the new horror thriller from director Guillermo Martínez started filming on June 9th. The film is co-written by Lucio Ferrante and its produced in association with Wolframia Audiovisuales and Juan Chiaradía.
The film has a cast conformed entirely with actors from the city of La Plata. The main cast will feature: César Genovesi, María Soledad Navarro and Alexia Encalada, with the appearances of Javier Batic, Noelia Vergini, Fernando Leiva, Ignacio Ardaiz, María Elena Morete, and María Laura Albariño."
To learn more about this film, visit: https://www.facebook.com/LasMujeresDelDiablo
Short Film, The Storm, Released: "The Storm”, written and directed by Andre LeBlanc, tells the story of a remote arctic station overrun by its own monstrous experiment, leaving the only survivors no choice but to face what they've created."
The Storm stars Caleb Scott and Amanda Howell.
Canopic Jars: Tales of Mummies and Mummification Release Details: "Their desiccated corpses creep through dusty desert crypts and cursed bogs; crowded old world bazaars and desolate no man's lands. Most of all, they haunt the darkest of our dreams, unleash the deepest of our fears, for once, they were us. Exhume terrifying secrets and unravel truths best left entombed in Canopic Jars: Tales of Mummies and Mummification.
Table of Contents:
Foreward - Patrick Rea (director of the 2013's Lionsgate Film, Nailbiter)
Death in a High Place - Esther M. Leiper-Estabrooks
Mum - Michael Bailey
The Monastery - Kyle Rader
Jarred Expectations - Erin Thorne
That's A Wrap - David C. Hayes
Crack in the Sarcophagus - Joe Knetter
Desert of Death - Roxanne Dent
Mummy Chips - Gregory L. Norris
Symphony of the Ancient Gods - T.G. Arsenault
Dead for Supper - Eric S. Brown
Walking White Death - Karen Dent
Jars - Lawrence Santoro
The Asps - Judi Calhoun
Run-off 31 - M.J. Preston
Unwrapped - Michael M. Hughes
Chamber of the Gods - Gord Rollo and Brett A. Savory
Luxor Decanted - Marianne Halbert
Sandcastles - Henry Snider
Jarring Lucas - Kristi Petersen Schoonover
Retribution - D.B. Poirier
The Hands of Time - B.E. Scully
Professor Howland's Assistant - Jonathan Dubey
Portraits of the Dead - Suzanne Robb
The Price of Forever - John McIlveen
Wrappings and Rapture - Allen Dusk
The Folks on the Hill - Philip C. Perron
Jar of Hearts - Melissa Gates
A Trip to Egypt - Tracy L. Carbone
Tomb World - James Pratt
Under the Pyramids - H.P. Lovecraft
The release date is November 8th [on] Amazon."
For more information on Canopic Jars: Tales of Mummies and Mummification, visit: www.greatoldonespublishing.com
Still Trailer and Production Details: "Still" is the story of Alice, young woman living in Chicago who survives an attack during an attempted robbery at her new job, but finds when she wakes afterward that she has an extremely rare neurological disorder: akinetopsia, or "motion blindness." This disorder is caused by damage to the physical part of the brain that processes the perception of motion. While Alice tries to deal with her new perception and get on with her life, she finds herself plagued by strange dreams and possibly followed by a mysterious figure. Starring Heidi Foland, Stephanie Leigh Rose, Nikki Pierce, Amanda Hiese and Aaron Christensen, "Still" is currently in production and slated for release in Spring of 2014.
Chicago independent filmmaker Jason Coffman has launched a Kickstarter to help complete his feature film project currently in production, a "psychological thriller" entitled "Still." Heavily influenced by 1970s female-centric genre films such as George Romero's "Season of the Witch" and Robert Altman's "Images," "Still" is being pitched as "'La Jetée' meets 'Let's Scare Jessica to Death.'" Funds raised will go toward completion of the film and covering 2014 film festival submissions.
Writer/director Jason Coffman has been shooting in Chicago locations both to ground the story in reality and to share some of his favorite places in the city. Shooting for the film has taken place at the historic Patio Theater and nearby Regulus Coffee Company, and a shoot at the Half Acre Tap Room is scheduled for November. The film is being made on an extremely small budget thanks to the volunteer efforts of local film professionals donating their time and equipment to help bring the film to life. The cast is a mix of professional actors and non-professionals; Coffman wrote parts specifically tailored to each cast member."
To learn more about Still, visit: http://www.facebook.com/StilltheMotionPicture
Nekromantik Special Screening Details: "Cult Epics celebrates a special October 24th 35mm print screening of Jörg Buttgereit's classic Nekromantik at the American Cinematheque in Los Angeles in anticipation of their new transfer of Nekromantik in a Special Edition feature his first short film Hot Love, The Making of Nekromantik, Jörg Buttgereit film trailers, featurette, and the isolated soundtrack from the film.
Jörg Buttgereit will appear at the Oct. 24th screening of Nekromantik, bringing other short films along with him, during BeyondFest at the Egyptian Theatre, and also appear Saturday, October 26th at the Housecore Horror Film Festival in Austin, TX, in conjunction with the fundraising for German Angst, an extreme horror film collaboration of Jörg Buttgereit (Nekromantik, Der Todesking) with Andreas Marschall (Tears of Kali, Masks), and Michael Kosakowski (Zero Killed). A long, hard walk down the dark alleyways of contemporary Berlin in stories of love, sex, and death, beginning production in January 2014.
German Angst celebrates the return of cult director Jörg Buttgereit after a twenty-year absence from horror filmmaking, while Andreas Marschall continues his exploration of a dark underworld embodied by lust and sex and the psyche with Michal Kosakowski confronting us with violence in all levels of society today, tossing the viewer’s preconceptions aside for a psycho-visual feast.
German Angst began its Kickstarter run on October 10."
For more information on the special screening of Nekromantik, or the film German Angst, visit: http://www.cultepics.com
Bubu the Murderous Monkey Comic Announced: "Meep! Comics is announcing the release of Bubu the Murderous Monkey, a free, twice weekly web comic starting October 1st, 2013. The four panel comic strip features the adventures of a murderous monkey named Bubu that delivers his own form of justice to the world around him. The strip was created by Frank Hannah, an award winning screenwriter / comic book scribe and Dave Bekerman, a documentary filmmaker and screenwriter. The strip also features the stunning artwork of British artist Alwyn Talbot who has worked in comics, video games and concept design.
“I think the world is ready for a comic strip like Bubu. He’s adorable, cute and furry, but don’t let that fool you. This isn’t a strip for kids.” said Hannah. “Dave, Alwyn and myself have been working nonstop to deliver a high quality comic strip that’s as dark and twisted as it is funny. And, of course, most importantly -- free.”
Meep! Comics is the partnership of Frank Hannah and Dave Bekerman. Bubu marks their first entry into the world of online comic book publishing."
Indie Spotlight Impressions: The Facility
By Kristian Hanson
The Facility is a movie that you instantly believe is going to be a found footage film. However, and nicely, that is not the case here. The film opens up with individuals going to a facility where they will become "guinea" pigs for the newest drug. Like with all testing, most of the individuals will be injected with the drug while some will be injected with a placebo, usually water. As the night goes on, something begins to happen within the people who have been injected with the new type of medicine and that is where the fun begins.
If you are expecting a zombie film, you will be disappointed because it does not involve zombies. However, if you are a fan of the RAGE virus from 28 Days and Weeks Later, than you will be happy, because that is ultimately what this is. Instead of trying to bite the people, the individuals want to choke and kill the people any way they can. I commend the film for using practical effects, as they are used nicely. There is a particular scene where they are watching a person sitting in a room and trying to rip their scalp off with a piece of glass. Another side effect of the drug is the individuals trying to remove their own flesh. The camera work is shot as if you the audience is standing right next to the person as everything begins to unfold. That can sometimes be hard to watch, but in the case of this film, it is done perfectly. The sound quality is great and the overall mood of the film is creepy. Definitely give it a watch with friends because there are some cringe worthy scenes that will make your skin crawl.
Indie Spotlight Impressions: In the Woods
By Kristian Hanson
In the Woods is a found footage film about three individuals. The first two people we meet are a couple that are going to spend a night in the woods together and they pick up the female lead's cousin for the evening. From the beginning, I can say the acting is well executed and the characters are believable. Also, once the cousin is picked up, you can tell something isn't right and the boyfriend begins to get jealous at what is going on between the two supposed family members. As the sun sets, the boyfriend ends up leaving and that is of course when the fun begins. In The Woods is a fun found footage film, but it honestly doesn't bring anything new to the already watered down genre of found footage films. However, the camera work is nicely done, and I did quite enjoy the script and the overall story. Overall, an enjoyable film that was well directed, written and acted.