We return with another edition of the Indie Spotlight, highlighting the recent independent horror news sent our way. Today's feature includes release details on Amnesiac, The Atticus Institute, and Alien Outpost, multiple trailers, premiere details for Head, and a Q&A with the founder of The Philip K. Dick Film Festival:
Amnesiac Distribution and Release Details: "Amnesiac tells the story of a man (Wes Bentley) who wakes up in bed suffering from memory loss after being in an accident, only to begin to suspect that his wife (Kate Bosworth) may not be his real wife. The web of lies and deceit deepen inside the house where he soon finds himself a prisoner.
XLrator Media has acquired North American distribution rights to the psychological thriller Amnesiac starring Kate Bosworth (Still Alice, Superman Returns) and Wes Bentley (The Hunger Games series, Interstellar). XLrator Media will release the film in Summer 2015 on its acclaimed “Macabre” genre label.
Amnesiac was directed by Michael Polish (Twin Falls Idaho, Big Sur) from a script by Mike Le and Amy Kolquist. The film was produced by Lucas Jarach and Jason Price.
“Amnesiac is a stylish and twisted thriller in the vein of Misery with superb performances by Kate Bosworth and Wes Bentley. Audiences will discover a side of Kate they have never seen before!” said XLrator Media CEO Barry Gordon.
The deal was negotiated by XLrator Media’s Barry Gordon with Paradigm’s Ben Weiss and Meghan Oliver."
The Atticus Institute Trailer and Release Details: "Dr. Henry West founded The Atticus Institute in the early 1970s to test individuals expressing supernatural abilities – E.S.P., clairvoyance, psychokinesis, etc. Despite witnessing several noteworthy cases, nothing could have prepared Dr. West and his colleagues for Judith Winstead. She outperformed every subject they had ever studied – soon gaining the attention of the U.S. Department of Defense, who subsequently took control of the research facility. The more experiments they conducted on Judith, the clearer it became that her abilities were the manifestation of evil forces within her, prompting the government to take measures to weaponize this force. But they soon discovered there are powers that exist in this world that simply cannot be controlled. Now the details of the inexplicable events that occurred within The Atticus Institute are being made public after remaining classified for nearly forty years.
Anchor Bay Entertainment presents the disturbing new horror thriller The Atticus Institute, from producer of The Conjuring Peter Safran, available on DVD and Blu-ray January 20st, 2015. Written and directed by Chris Sparling (writer of “Buried”) in his directorial debut, The Atticus Institute stars Rya Kihlstedt (“Dexter”), William Mapother (“Lost”, The Grudge), Harry Groener (“Buffy The Vampire Slayer”), John Rubinstein (“Angel”) and Sharon Maughan (The Bank Job) and was executive produced by Dan Clifton. Special features include “The Making of The Atticus Institute” and deleted scenes."
Premiere Dates Announced for Head: "Four twenty-somethings go for a weekend camping trip in remote New England, only to discover that the land on which they're staying was the site of a brutal mass murder years ago.
Head is a throwback to the 70's and 80's Grindhouse B-horror film. What could be better than a weekend camping retreat with your friends? What could be worse than finding out the woods where you’re setting up camp was the site of a brutal mass murder from the decade before? Instead of playing it with human actors, we are shooting with puppets (because we’re Elmwood). However, we are using puppets outside of the conventional “puppet” world. They are not “puppets” in this film – they are people. When is the last time you saw a puppet play it straight?"
"Elmwood Productions invites you to join them March 28th and 29th at Paris In Plantsville Gallery and Studio in Plantsville, CT for the premiere screenings of Head.
Following the film the film makers along with cast members will be on hand for a Q&A session for anyone interested.
Tickets will go on sale February 1 on Paris In Plantsville’s website or directly at the gallery, and are $8.00. the 3/28 screening starts at 8:00 PM, and the 3/29 screening is at 7:00 PM, doors open an hour earlier both nights.
Head is Rated R, for gore, horror, four letter words and anything else you’d expect in a horror movie starring puppets, so we advise leaving the kids at home!"
To purchase tickets to this event, go to: http://parisgallerycafe.com
A Preview of A Dark Souvenir: "The content life of Frieda and John Golden begins to spoil after they return from their honeymoon in Scandinavia. Threatening messages are received from the former occupants of their home. They fear that someone is stalking them: Frieda keeps finding their belongings rearranged, their pets are disappearing and dying. John finds strange markings on his body. The couple struggles for a return to normalcy as something seems to be pushing its way into their lives. Is it the former owner of their house? Or is it something supernatural? The newlyweds must figure out what is happening to them before the intruder pushes them out of their home and out of their minds."
New Films Added to Third Annual Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival: "The Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival is returning to New York City for its third annual event from January 15-18, 2015 and has announced three exciting new films added to its lineup on 1/17/15 at The Producer's Club. The new films are Christopher P. Garetano's documentary Montauk Chronicles (2014), Chris Alexander's Queen of Blood (2014) and Christian Carroll's Suicide or Lulu and Me In A World Made For Two (2014). That evening will also host the panel Perils and Profits: Independent Filmmaking In The 21st Century led by several directors and producers. The additions join a previously announced lineup which has already has fans gleaming ear to ear.
The festival will surely be yet another successful event which celebrates the cinematic style inspired by Philip K. Dick. The festival is grateful for any support as the team continues to offer the very best in science fiction film, culture and excitement."
For more information, or to purchase tickets to this event, visit: http://www.thephilipkdickfilmfestival.com
Seclusion Trailer Released: "A group of friends travel to a remote location for an intimate wedding. Unfortunately for them, the romantic getaway turns into a nightmare, as one by one the wedding party is stalked and killed. Leaving those alive to wonder, who is after them, and who will be next."
LA Apocalypse DVD Release Details: "For 5 billion years the Earth's core has operated like a giant, nuclear reactor. Now it's overheated, melting down like a bomb that's about to explode. The earth is being ripped apart at the seams and beneath LA, pressure is building. After a mass evacuation, Calvin Crawford is one of few left, desperately searching for his fiancée, Ashley Pace, who unbeknownst to him, has been kidnapped and is being held hostage. With LA becoming more unstable by the minute, Calvin, must find a way to save Ashley and get them both to safety before the city is completely annihilated.
On March 24th, Anchor Bay Entertainment heats up the New Year with the unforgettable end-of-the-world tale LA Apocalypse on DVD. This is a wild sci-fi film that takes idea of Los Angeles and its earthquakes to another level with a fantastical story of volcanic activity at the Earth’s core that turns La La Land into a living nightmare. Directed by Michael J. Sarna (A Tiger’s Tale), LA Apocalypse stars David Cade (Bigger Than the Beatles), Gina Holden (“Teen Wolf,” Final Destination 3), Eric Allan Kramer (“Good Luck Charlie,” American Wedding) and Christopher Judge (“Stargate SG-1: Unleashed,” The Dark Knight Rises). The pre-book is February 18th.
LA Apocalypse, much like the city of Los Angeles, is outrageous, over-the-top and utterly absurd, all the ingredients that make for a campy cult classic, and a must be seen before the world ends. Sure, the scenario presented in LA Apocalypse may not be scientifically sound, or even vaguely plausible – but stop thinking – and just enjoy the fun!"
First International Trailer for The Transparent Woman: "Anna is a beautiful,fiercely independent blind woman. Due to financial problems her husband Carl has to sell the apartment they lived in. They move in an old house in a remote location surrounded by fields. Anna is not happy there and feels even more isolated as she is most of the time all alone… but eery noises and strange facts lead her to think that someone is in the house too... or "something".
M International Films (Phantasmagoria, L’amour à la plage) unveils the first international trailer of its Giallo film "The Transparent Woman", directed by the Italian filmmaker Domiziano Cristopharo starring Roberta Gemma and Arian Levannael (Hunt Angels, Poe 3: Pieces of Eldritch).
With its typical Italian atmosphere and vintage photography, The Transparent Woman evokes the spirit of cult films directed by Mario Bava, Pupi Avati, Dario Argento or Sergio Martino. The movie is written by Andrea Cavaletto (Alerta: Recuento de cadáveres, Hidden in the Woods, Beautiful People). The music score is composed by Giovanna Nocetti, Salvatore Sangiovanni and Paolo Limiti.
The movie will be unveiled at the 2015 EFM at the beginning of February in Germany."
[Editor's Note: We've been told that the actual music credits are as follows:
Score: Susan DiBona and Salvatore Sangiovanni
Additional Music: Giovanna Nocetti/Paolo Limiti"
Frankenstein Vs. The Mummy Release Announced: "Dr. Victor Frankenstein and Egyptologist Naihla Khalil are both professors at a leading medical university. Victor’s latest grisly “experiment” is the re-animated corpse of a sadistic madman and Naihla’s most recent find is the cursed mummy of an evil pharaoh. When the two monsters face-off in an epic showdown, no one is safe from the slaughter. Can the murderous rampage be stopped and the carnage contained before it’s too late?
RLJ/Image Entertainment will be releasing Frankenstein Vs. The Mummy on DVD and Digital Download on February 10, 2015.
Directed and written by Damien Leone. Cast [includes] Max Rhyser, Ashton Leigh, Brandon DeSpain, Constantin Tripes, [and] Robert MacNaughton."
Alien Outpost Trailer and Release Details: "Two documentary cameramen embedded in an army unit in the most hostile place on earth, an outpost surrounded by the last remaining alien fighters (Heavies) of an invading attack force. The world may have forgotten about the Outposts, but the Heavies are planning the second invasion of Earth and the soldiers are the only ones who can stop it.
[Alien Outpost is] IFC Midnight's upcoming action/scifi directed by Game of Thrones' visual effects supervisor Jabbar Raisani. The film is releasing in select theaters on January 30th.
Cast: Adrian Paul, Rick Ravanello, Reiley McClendon, Douglas Tait, Joe Reegan & Matthew Holmes."
To learn more, visit: http://www.ifcmidnight.com
Q&A With The Philip K. Dick Film Festival Founder, Daniel Abella
by Heather Wixson
The Philip K. Dick Film Festival is returning for its third year on January 16-18, 2015 at the Tribeca Cinemas (54 Varick Street) in NYC and recently, Daily Dead caught up with founder Daniel Abella to discuss his experiences working on the fest and what attendees can expect from this year’s line-up.
I’d love if you could start at the building and talk a bit about what inspired you to start the fest and how science fiction has come to mean so much to you over the years?
I have always been a fan of magical realism, the kind of fantastic literature associated with Jorge Luis Borges. A while back, I came across an quote by Ursula Le Guin, referring to PKD as our "Homegrown Borges." Intrigued, I picked up a novel called VALIS, the story about a vast intelligence system creating a Matrix-style simulation. After reading this book I was hooked. I proceeded to devour everything I could get my hands by PKD.
A few years later, I wrote and directed a sci-fi feature called The Final Equation where the hero lives in multiple realities after discovering Einstein's missing equation. Many people liked the ideas floating in the film. It occurred to me to have a festival where other filmmakers could showcase their film inspired by PKD. The kicker came in when I realized NYC also did not have an official sci-fi film festival. I thought what better way than introduce our very own with PKD as an inspirational piece. Three years later we are here.
I loved the Foundation Trilogy of Asimov, Dune and works by Arthur C. Clarke. I was influenced by sci-fi films classics like The Fly, The Day the Earth Stood Still and Invasion of the Body Snatchers. These films inspired me to study science and eventually film. For me science fiction is the science of tomorrow.
I noticed that you’re a filmmaker as well- do you feel like that background has given you some added perspective as you put together the fest each year?
Absolutely. I feel all programmers should be filmmakers, at least having written and directed a short. It gives you a perspective on filmmaking, its frustrations and exhilaration. Some filmmakers are idea people, others tell good stories and others have great plots. We look at all three in our selection process. At our festival, we offer detailed feedback to all filmmakers who request it and an opportunity to be considered for our European cousin festival. We work with filmmakers anyway we can.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced since you started the PKDFF and what’s been the most rewarding aspect to it as well?
The real estate market in NYC is insane. Many venues are closing down such as Millennium and more recently IndieScreen where we held festivals for the past two years. This makes it difficult to put together a festival when the rents are expensive and there is little state support for the arts. But our fans love us and this is what keeps us going.
Congratulations on a strong line-up for 2015; can you discuss what fans can expect from these films later in January and what’s got you most excited for this year’s fest?
Amazing features, docs and shorts. I guarantee you there is sci-fi for every taste here from the AI surveillance thriller of Mark Netter's Nightmare Code, the parallel universes of Matt Duggan's Inverse, underground sci-fi in James Fotopoulos' There and an art house sci-fi in the tradition of Terry Gilliam seen in Christian Carroll's Suicide or Lulu and Me In A World Made For Two.
Let’s not forget for those who love supernatural thrillers with a touch of sci-fi. We have some great shorts in the tradition of HP Lovecraft, an expressionistic supernatural horror story in Chris Alexander's Queen of Blood and a paranormal haunted house in Kathleen Behun's 21 Days. Last but not least, we have some great docs as in Jacob Akira Okada's Painting the Way to The Moon which explores the connection between art and science and Christopher P. Garetano's Montauk Chronicles, an exploration of our own Area 51 located in the sleepy town of Montauk, Long Island where murder, time travel and alien abduction has taken place. Come to our festival and you will find some real gems that will make you smile.
What’s your best piece of advice that you have for aspiring and up-and-coming sci-fi filmmakers out there?
Read. There is a plethora of great sci-fi stories that hasn't be explored. Write compelling characters and narratives instead of relying on sci-fi effects. One rule of thumb, if you take away the sci-fi will the story still sizzle? If the answer is yes, you have a good one. And lastly, please stay away from clichés like time travel or androids unless you have a truly original twist.
For more details, visit: