We return with another edition of the Indie Spotlight, highlighting the recent independent horror news sent our way. Today's feature includes a trailer for Never Let Go, new episode details from L.A. Macabre and How to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse, the short film Knock Knock, a Q&A featuring The Walking Dead's Amber Dawn Fox, and much more:
Never Let Go Trailer and Premiere Details: "Here is a sneak preview of what's up for grabs at the Berlin Film Festival later this week - Howard J Ford's (Director/Producer Co-Writer of 'The Dead 1&2") latest epic Never Let Go. Shot in Morocco, Spain and the US, the film tells the story of Lisa, a single mother (played by Angela Dixon) who takes the law into her own hands to get back her abducted child. The completed film will screen at Cannes Market in May.
Howard Ford said today: “Having nearly lost my own child whilst on holiday in Malta, I have experienced briefly first hand that feeling of all-encompassing dread as you fear the absolute worst. I became intrigued by this overpowering state that I was in where I would have done absolutely anything morally right or wrong to get back my son and wanted to try and capture that feeling on film. Also, women can endure things physically and mentally that us men could never go through and I wanted to explore this inner strength surfacing and the most impossible of situations”.
Never Let Go is a Latitude Films presentation of a Howard J Ford film, starring Angela Dixon, Rami Nasr, Nigel Whitmey, Velibor Topic, Heather Peace, Sarah Perles, Michael Xavier, Samantha Bolter & Lisa Eichhorn. Produced by Howard J Ford, co-producer Laura Jane Stephens, Executive Producer Amir Moallemi, Special & Visual Effects by Dan Rickard, Sound Design by Rob Davidsson, Special Make-Up Effects Max Van De Banks. Director of Photography Travellian Skipaldi, Aerial Photography by Jon Ford. Music by Imran Ahmad. Written and Directed by Howard J Ford.
World rights are currently available via Latitude Films UK Ltd."
Watch the Short Film 'Knock Knock': "...Who's there? A man becomes unhinged as he's tormented by a mysterious, hellish racket.
Short Film. Written, directed, produced, edited, mixed and starring Chris & Jason Thornton."
To learn more about this film, visit: http://www.themthorntons.com/films/
The Burning Dead DVD and VOD Release Details: "Director Rene Perez's The Burning Dead (formerly Volcano Zombies), starring action superstar Danny Trejo (Machete, TVs Sons of Anarchy), arrives March 3rd on digital and VOD from Uncork’d Entertainment. The DVD sears DVD a month later, April 7th.
Written and produced by Jeff Miller and Jason Ancona (co-writers and producers of Axe Giant: The Wrath of Paul Bunyan), The Burning Dead pits a a horde of lava-filled zombies against a sheriff charged with the plight to rescue an estranged family from a volcano eruption. Trejo plays Night Wolf, a Native American warrior who knows way too much about the curse that unearthed the coffin dodgers.
The Burning Dead also features Tom Downey (Axe Giant, Sorority Party Massacre), Moniqua Plante (“Nashville”), Robert F. Lyons (Dark Night of the Scarecrow, 10 to Midnight), Nicole Cummins (Logan), Kevin Norman (“Melissa & Joey”), Kyle T. Heffner (Runaway Train, “Bizarro George” from “Seinfeld”), Julia Lehman (Cheerleader Massacre 2), Tom Nagel (Hillside Cannibals), Jenny Lin (Piranhaconda), Robert Amstler (Alien Showdown), and Morgan Lester (John Carter).
The Burning Dead filmed in several locations over three states, including around active volcanoes in Lassen Volcanic National Park, California.
Miller’s and Ancona’s companies produced, along with casting director and co-producer Mark Sikes. Mel Lewis (The Beast of Bray Road) composed the score.
Special features on the DVD will include a commentary track; Michael Kallio’s “Danny Trejo vs. The Burning Dead,” an interview with Trejo; and the film’s trailers."
First Episode of How to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse: "The zombie apocalypse happened when Norm Elman was just eight years old, so he barely remembers a life outside of the supposed safe haven he and his father call home. Founded a decade ago as the deliverance from the undead, Soteria keeps its residents breathing through their obedience to The Oath and the town’s leader who crafted it. Norm’s flouting of Soteria’s strict rules has made him its least favorite son, so when his father does the unthinkable, he’s forced to either fall in line or figure out how to survive with his own mind.
How to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse is a web series designed around the next evolution of the iconic horror monster. Zombies’ main food source is not just humans but their brains. This series reinterprets that fact. Saying more would ruin the surprises, but you better believe, it’ll eat your brain out.
Part The Walking Dead and part The Hunger Games, How to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse seeks to do for zombies what The Strain is doing for vampires–make them horrifying once again. Currently, the series has released its pilot and is raising funds for a complete first season, so if you enjoy the episode, please show some support."
To learn more about the pilot episode, or the series, visit the official Facebook page.
Season One of L.A. Macabre and Character Vlog Details: "Half Ast Productions and D Studios Productions have completed the first season of their hit web series L.A. Macabre. The found footage style show rolled out its first episode on October 12th and aired its season finale on January 13th, 2015 and is now gaining momentum toward various new media awards shows and a year-long festival run.
The first season follows a small group of web series creators as they develop and release their new series, L.A. Macabre. When a former cult member joins them, their show evolves from a documentary style, fact finding show about the dark history of Los Angeles, to a thrilling exposé focused on a disbanded cult, The New Family. “Our cast and crew really enjoyed this first season and we’re hoping that our audience will follow us into a second season,” says Producer David Schatanoff. “We're thrilled with how our first season turned out, but even more excited with where our second season will take us,” adds Director Dan Ast.
The show is being released via YouTube on Dan Ast’s Grinning Man Pictures channel. The channel boasts over 6,000 subscribers and over 17 million views across current content. The series is currently averaging 8,000 views per episode. Show creator Dan Ast, and producer David Schatanoff, Jr. are thrilled with the story they told in season one and how it established the tone of the show. “It starts with the script and Dan (Ast) crafts a great story,” states Schatanoff. Ast adds, “There are so many opportunities to expand on the characters, conflict and world of the show. It's been a rewarding challenge to write a story long form in the web space.""
The first season of L.A. Macabre can be viewed online at: http://www.YouTube.com/grinningmanpictures
Jamie Macabre (Jamie's Vlogs)
Misogynist Pre-Order and DVD Release Details Plus Trailer: "Trevor is an extreme misogynist who campaigns underground seminars, teaching his ideology of women. Only through referrals and word of mouth, he provides bizarre, offensive, and outlandish strategies to young men, with the promise that they can control any woman. His best student is Harrison, a young man Trevor took under his wing when he was most vulnerable. Viewing Trevor as a father-figure, Harrison will do what Trevor instructs him to do. Soon Harrison starts to realize Trevor has an ulterior motive and is hell-bent on revenge in the most brutal of ways.
Midnight Releasing will be delivering writer/director Michael Matteo Rossi's new psychological thriller 'Misogynist' on 3 March 2015. It'll be arriving on DVD along with some special behind the scenes clips as well as audio commentary and is now available to pre-order from Amazon. 'Misogynist' stars Jonathan Bennett, Jon Briddell, Eve Mauro, Tracey E. Bregman, Danielle Lozeau, Kris Black, Alia Raelynn and Adam Treska."
For more information, visit the film's Facebook page.
Bikini Mayhem Teaser Trailer Released: ""Bikini Mayhem" tells the story of an aspiring model who seeks revenge on those who ruined her life by drugging her."
New VANish Red Band Trailer: "Fans of Death Proof, Reservoir Dogs and Machete will be right on board with the road trip thriller VANish, a new action shocker that rides in the fast lane and never slows down. The adrenaline-fueled film comes to Digital Download, Blu-ray and DVD from Dark Sky Films on February 24, 2015.
Hoping to score a hefty ransom, three thugs viciously kidnap a drug cartel boss' only daughter from her home in broad daylight. The captors imprison the young woman in their van, dictate terms to her notorious father, and then travel to the outskirts of the desert for the exchange.
What the amateurs don't realize is that their victim is a force to be reckoned with on this violent road trip full of murder and mayhem. It's hell on wheels as time ticks away and the pressure mounts. The kidnappers find themselves in increasing danger from the police, hit men and crime bosses, and must find a way to keep their plan in order before all hell breaks loose.
Featuring standout performances from Maiara Walsh (Desperate Housewives, Disney Channel's Cory in the House, The Starving Games) and genre favorites Tony Todd (Candyman, Final Destination, Hatchet II) and Danny Trejo (Machete, From Dusk Till Dawn) and a story that puts a bold new spin on the action thriller, VANISH is a high-octane trip through a no man's land where trouble lurks behind every turn of its twisting plot.
First-time writer-director Bryan Bockbrader (who also appears in the film) [stated that], "I had this idea of doing a road movie from the perspective of inside the vehicle, giving the viewer a chance to ride along as a passenger. As the tension builds, we are trapped in this intimate place with extremely dangerous people and when the s--- hits the fan (or van), there's no escaping the chaos.""
First Details on Good Family Times: "Blanc-Biehn Productions will go into production on the supernatural psychological thriller feature “Good Family Times” on February 28th, 2015 in Topanga Canyon, CA.
Meet Beatrice. She’s happily married, has a darling young son, and she’s a talented artist. Her home is a happy one. Beatrice dotes on her family, and they love her back. Too bad her husband and child are not exactly… alive. When Beatrice comes into some money, another family – one that’s not quite so happy – decides they’re more deserving of the dough and set out to rob her by breaking into her home under the cover of night. In the course of that one evil evening, both families soon learn the true meaning of ‘blood relations’.
“Good Family Times” is based on a story by producer Lony Ruhmann (“Psychophonia”). It is written and directed by award-winning filmmaker and cinema pundit Staci Layne Wilson (“Fetish Factory”, “The Night Plays Tricks”). “Good Family Times” is produced by Blanc-Biehn Productions (“Hidden in the Woods”), created by famed husband and wife filmmaking team, Michael Biehn (“Terminator”) and Jennifer Blanc-Biehn (“The Crow”). It is also produced by Danny Bellens, Tony DeBenedetto (“Treachery”, “Psychophonia”, “Jacob”), Cynthia Paredes, Garrett Longley, and Jenimay Walker (“Psychophonia”, “The Lincoln”).
The cast features Arielle Brachfeld (“Watch Me Die”), Jennifer Blanc (“Everly”, “The Victim”, “Hidden in the Woods”), Douglas Tait (“Star Trek”, “The Fiance”), Elissa Dowling (“We Are Still Here”), THE Richard aka Richard Cardinal (“Fetish Factory”, “Psychophonia”), Sean Keller (“The Cartridge Family”), Aaron Kai (“Day for Night”), and Nikita Black (“Fembot”, “Psychophonia”, “The Lincoln”).
The main character of Beatrice is played by sexy scream queen Brachfeld, who is known for her work in genre films such as “The Haunting of Whaley House”, “Return of the Ghostbusters”, and “LOVE: As You Like It”. Arielle is actively involved in several charity organizations including The Horror Starlets, a group that fund-raises to fight breast cancer, and The Young Storytellers Foundation which encourages literacy through the arts.
Cinematographer Steve Romano, whose credits include Blanc-Biehn Productions’ “She Rises”, “The Night Visitor”, and “Altered Perception”, has also shot music videos for Beyonce (“Rocket”), Vassy (“Beautiful”), and many more.
Original score by Randy Chance, a former member of rock supergroup The Lovin’ Spoonful (“Do You Believe in Magic?”), with additional songs by up-and-coming Japanese heavy metal band, MergingMoon (“Greyen”).
The film is also being sponsored by Katy Fielder Designs."
Wolf House Release Details: "In October 2010, six friends went on a camping trip in Hartland, NY. Their weekend is cut short when one of them shoots a mysterious creature. They decide to bring it back with them, but soon find out that it's not dead, and it's very angry. Terror and claustrophobia set in as they become trapped in the Wolf House."
To learn more about this film, and to keep up with its progress, go to: http://theunexplained.webs.com/apps/blog/
Zombieworld DVD Release Date: "Image Entertainment in association with DreadCentral announce the DVD and digital download release of Zombieworld. The no-holds-barred, post-apocalyptic film will be available on DVD on February 24, 2015.
Zombieworld is a collection of short films focusing on survivors across the world as they struggle to overcome horrifying circumstances when a pandemic brings forth a zombie apocalypse. The collection of blood and guts is brought to life by a group of new and up-and-coming directors from around the world, including Adam Myette O’Brien, Adriàn Cardona, Cameron McCulloch, David Muñoz, Jared Marshall, Jesse Baget, Jonathan Brown, Luke Giudici, Paul Shrimpton, Peter Horn, Tomy Woodard, Vedran Marjanovic, and Zach Ramelan. Each director brings his or her take to a world of mayhem now populated with flesh-eating corpses. Among the brilliant shorts to be included in Zombieworld is Peter Horn and Jared Marshall’s Dark Times, a blood-splattered scamper through the woods shot entirely in POV, where zombies, aliens and even Santa Claus make an appearance.
In Zombieworld, there is nowhere to hide…nowhere to run…the Zombie Apocalypse has come, and our world now belongs to the dead! From Ireland, Canada, Australia, Europe and all over the U.S., the bone-chilling news reports tell the same gruesome tale – walking corpses terrorize and devour the living. Only a few desperate humans find the courage to stand and fight for their last chance at survival. But the hordes of undead keep coming, and there’s only one thing on the menu – us.
The DVD will also include the bonus short film “Marathon Apocalypse.”"
Blood Vengeance Release Details: "Sick of being bullied, seventeen-year-old Brennan Cooper packs up for San Francisco to start over. But before he can settle into his new home, Bren is drawn to the abandoned apartment downstairs. In its shabby rooms, he sees the grey and rotting ghosts of murdered girls claw each other in sick imitation of their deaths.
With his wild new friends, Brennan explores the seedy streets of the city. But the laughter and screams downstairs continue to both terrify and entrance him. After meeting Tara, his dream girl, he convinces her to explore the downstairs apartment with him. There they encounter not only the murdered victims but the raging spirit of the girls’ dead killer.
Bren and Tara’s ghost-hunt soon becomes a manhunt as they trace the history of the “San Francisco Ripper.” But retaliation for their meddling is quick and brutal. Now time is running out, not just for Brennan and his friends, but for the spirits of the girls trapped for all those years with their murderer.
Written by Michael Schutz-Ryan. Publication Date: January 20, 2015."
To purchase Blood Vengeance, head over to Amazon.
Undead: What's Dead Should Always Remain Dead. Released: "UNDEAD is the story of Matthew Holmes, a gay single parent with three children, who has a dark, troubled past. In his youth, Matthew and his friends bullied and tormented a young girl named Rosemary Maze, who eventually killed herself because the abuse she suffered at their hands..Eventually a demon named `Lilith' brings Rosemary back from the dead to seek revenge against those who did her wrong...
Matthew, who is in his late twenties, doesn't remember much of his childhood because he suffers amnesia and brain damage from the abuse he himself suffered at the hands of his alcoholic father, Jacob, who bashed his head into a concrete wall in the basement of his home as a child. The only memories Matthew has of his youth are from high school..Until his own dead son, Cameron, appears to comes back from the grave, and Matthew begins to have flashbacks of his own childhood...And piece by piece, the truth about his terrifying, mysterious past begins to fall into place..."
To purchase this novel, head over to Amazon.
Indie Spotlight Q&A with The Walking Dead's Amber Dawn Fox
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us! Can you start by telling our readers how you got involved with The Walking Dead?
Amber: That's actually a funny story. I had worked for the casting company that does "The Walking Dead" a few times before. On set, I would ask people who lived in Georgia how to get on to "The Walking Dead" (I live in North Carolina). Everyone said it was the hardest show to get on. I really wanted to work with the cast, because it is my favorite show! So, when I saw Norman Reedus (Daryl) was doing a movie through that casting company, I applied for that. I thought at least I would get the chance to work with one cast member if I got chosen. A few days after I applied for that, I got a text message that said they received my submission for the movie, but had a part for a featured police officer on "The Walking Dead" that I would be a good fit for. So, they asked if I would be interested in that role instead. It had to be approved by the director after that; but, it is amazing how things work themselves out.
Can you tell us a bit about the casting process? Did you know about the role you'd be playing right away or did you not find out until you showed up on set?
Amber: After I was offered the role and it was approved, I had to come for a costume fitting. I knew I would be playing a police officer, but didn't know anything else until I showed up. I spent weeks trying to figure out why there was a police officer this late in The Walking Dead!
You were present for a major character death during the mid-Season 5 finale. Can you tell us about your experience during this scene?
Amber: There was plenty of somber moments during filming of that scene. As a fan of the show as well, I had a roller coaster of emotions that day. I was sad knowing that was going to happen, but so excited to be there at the same time. At the same time, everyone in the cast and crew were a pleasure to work with and very down to earth.
This was obviously a very emotional time for the actors who have been around since the beginning. What was the atmosphere on set?
Amber: It was a very somber atmosphere at times because of the scene. But, there was a bit of laughter and chit chat between takes as well.
What was your favorite memory from working on The Walking Dead? What kind of interaction did you have with the main cast?
Amber: I can't pick just one moment from my time on set. There are so many great memories. It was a dream come true! All the main cast members I worked with were fantastic. Most introduced themselves to me and asked my name, and I had great conversations with them between takes as well. A great group of people.
Will you be making any more appearances on The Walking Dead or have they specifically told you that there are no plans to revisit the hospital?
Amber: I couldn't comment on this either way. We have to sign non disclosures every day!
What has it been like for your personal life, being part of such a massive show as The Walking Dead? Are you planning on doing any convention appearances this year?
Amber: It has changed my life quite a bit! I have quite a bit more followers on social media, and spend time doing interviews and working with my management on personal appearances..which I didn't do before! I will be making convention appearances this year. Many of them are still in the works, and I can't announce all of them yet. However, I will be at EnigmaCon in Daytona Beach, Florida in October.
Aside from The Walking Dead, I know you're part of a new series coming up, called Realm. Can you tell our readers about that and any other projects you're working on?
Amber: Yes, Realm is the biggest thing I am working on coming up. I will be filming an indie film called "Proverbs" in South Carolina next month as well. Realm is a supernatural drama. Realm stretches over a 6000 year time period, it has 7 different worlds each world carries a bit of what the world use to be like, including immortals and even mythological stories. As the show goes on we learn how all these things are connected. Realm is really not like other shows and covers a lot. There is something for everyone and you're sure to fall in love with the characters.
Where can our readers find you on social media?