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The first annual Popcorn Frights Film Festival in South Florida kicks off on October 1st. Also: an excerpt from Ted Kosmatka's The Flicker Men and details on memorabilia auction from TNT's Falling Skies.

Popcorn Frights Film Festival 2015: Press Release: "MIAMI, FL – Horror fans will soon rejoice as South Florida’s first and only genre film festival, the Popcorn Frights Film Festival, launches October 1-4, 2015 at the O Cinema Wynwood, premiering four acclaimed and highly anticipated international films, and an additional six shorts.

“We’re thrilled to present such an array of cool, twisted, beautiful, mind-bending, horrifying, and hilarious films for our inaugural genre festival,” said Co-Founders and Co-Directors Igor Shteyrenberg and Marc Ferman. “We scoured the globe for the freshest and craziest films to present for our community of film lovers, and this first incredible selection of films just gives a small taste of the fun that will be in store as our Festival grows in future editions.”

The program for the first annual Popcorn Frights Film Festival is a fearsome feast filled with vampires, werewolves, psycho slashers, cannibals, and all the sinister things that go bump in the night. Opening Night will see the Florida Premiere of Tales of Halloween, an anthology film featuring shorts by the likes of Neil Marshall (The Descent), Lucky McKee (May), and Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw II), while the closing night highlight will be Bone Tomahawk, starring Kurt Russell, Matthew Fox, Patrick Wilson, David Arquette, and Sid Haig in a horrific Western about how the west was truly won...against savage cannibals!

Other buzzy entries in the lineup include the Florida Premieres of Howl, An American Werewolf in London-inspired creature feature, and the genre-bending supernatural shocker The Diabolical, starring Ali Larter (Final Destination, Heroes). In addition to these feature films, the Festival will also present six award-winning short films as part of its official program, notably The Night of the Slasher, a remarkable shot-in-one-take short with nods to the slasher genre’s roots, and the eerie stop-motion animated film The Shutterbug Man, which features a voice over narration by the queen of horror Barbara Steele.

The Festival’s Opening Night on Thursday, October 1st will kick-off with an under the stars courtyard reception courtesy of Pollo Tropical. The reception will be exclusive to Badge Holders.

LOCATION:

All films will screen at 11 pm at the O Cinema Wynwood (90 NW 29th Street).

TICKET SALES:

Festival Premiere Badges are on sale for a limited time for $45, and single screening tickets are available for $12. To purchase badges or tickets and view the Festival schedule, visit www.popcornfrights.com.

MORE INFORMATION:

Follow the Popcorn Frights Film Festival on Facebook (/popcornfrights) or Twitter (@popcornfrights) for updates with the latest information about the Festival. Join the conversation using the hashtag #popcornfrights on social media.

FESTIVAL LINEUP

October 1st

TALES OF HALLOWEEN, Florida Premiere

Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, Axelle Carolyn, Adam Gierasch, Andrew Kasch, Neil Marshall, Lucky McKee, Mike Mendez, Dave Parker, Ryan Schifrin, John Skipp, Paul Solet US | 92 minutes | 2015

Ten tales of terror unfold in a sleepy suburb on All Hallows Eve as ghouls, imps, aliens, goblins, demons, ax murders, and serial killers roam the witching hour. Join our celebration of all things Halloween with a host of dreaded nightmares directed by the cream of the scream industry crop.

INVADERS, Florida premiere

Directed by Jason Kupfer US | 7 minutes | 2014

It’s Thanksgiving and two would-be robbers are planning a quick heist. But they might get more than they bargained for.

October 2nd

THE DIABOLICAL, Florida Premiere

Directed by Alistair Legrand US | 86 minutes | 2015

Ali Larter (Final Destination, Heroes) stars in this genre-bending supernatural shocker as a single mother trying to protect her two young children from an increasingly strange and
intense presence tormenting their quiet suburban home. Seeking help from her boyfriend, they embark on a hunt to destroy the violent spirit.

THE SHUTTERBUG MAN, Florida Premiere

Directed by Chris Walsh Canada | 5 minutes | 2014

An all-out stop-motion horror short that’s heavy on shadows and atmosphere and narrated by the queen of horror Barbara Steele.

HUSH, Florida Premiere

Directed by Michael Kehoe US | 6 minutes | 2015

A young college graduate babysits an 8-year-old girl during a terrible storm, only to realize their house is possessed by a malevolent entity.

October 3rd

HOWL, Florida Premiere

Directed by Paul Hyett UK | 95 minutes | 2015

Make-up effects master Paul Hyett (Dog Soldiers, The Descent) creates a lycanthropic horror tale about a group of passengers on a midnight train who find themselves under attack by a terrifying pack of werewolves. As his effects background might imply, Hyett completely eschews CGI beasts and takes a more An American Werewolf-inspired practical approach that is unlike anything the silver screen has seen before.

BAD GUY #2, Florida Premiere

Directed by Chris McInroy US | 10 minutes | 2014

This outrageously gory comedy follows a struggling hitman whose upward mobility lands him at the dreaded position of Bad Guy #2 – a prominent but ultimately expendable character in the bad guy pantheon – leaving him no choice but to up his game or die violently at the hands of his emotionally erratic boss.

NIGHT OF THE SLASHER, Florida Premiere

Directed by Shant Hamassian US | 12 minutes | 2015

Every slasher has rules for selecting his prey. But tonight’s prey might have the upper hand.

October 4th

BONE TOMAHAWK, Florida Premiere

Directed by S. Craig Zahler US | 95 minutes | 2015

Kurt Russell stars in this character driven and horrific Western about a group of men (including Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox, and Richard Jenkins) who set out to rescue a local woman and a young deputy who have been kidnapped by a tribe of cannibalistic troglodytes. This is a men-on-a-mission Western full of all the genre staples we love, but with the added joys of brutal horror such that, by the end of the film, you will understand how the west was truly won...against savage cannibals!

CROW HAND!!!, Florida Premiere

Directed by Brian Lonano US | 3 minutes | 2014

The title says it all!"

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The Flicker Men: "Disgraced scientist Eric Argus didn’t arrive at his new research position hoping to prove the existence of the human soul. Yet when a psychological breakdown at his job leaves him desperate for a fresh start, Eric embarks on a new path of scientific inquiry that threatens to blur the boundaries between data and divinity. THE FLICKER MEN (Henry Holt, On Sale: July 21, 2015) is a wildly imaginative and hauntingly smart science fiction thriller that probes the darkest mysteries of the universe at their most concentrated, quantum level.

The Feynman paradox, which demonstrates how an electron’s state alters depending on whether or not it is being observed, had never been tested with animals when Eric began his prestigious position at Hansen Research. As he replicates the double-slit experiment for creatures ranging from frogs to chimps, Eric is astonished to discover that humans alone influence its outcome and change the electron from a wave to a particle. These findings seem to elevate man to a unique place within the cosmos, gifted with a degree of consciousness and authority beyond the rest of the natural kingdom; only humans, witnesses conclude, have souls.

Eric’s results are celebrated and condemned in equal measure. But no one can predict where the truth will lead. Reports begin to surface of “soulless” individuals—observers spanning from fetuses to adults who cannot change the observer principle. And as Eric grapples with the seismic reverberations of this discovery, he must evade shadowy pursuers who believe he knows entirely too much already.

Soon Eric’s brilliant colleague, Satvik, goes missing, ostensibly lost on a feverish mission to further document the science underpinning the soul; untraceable businessmen begin to threaten Eric, and an evangelical preacher replicates the experiment himself, yearning to affirm, once and for all, the delicate relationship binding man to his Creator. THE FLICKER MEN is a gripping, provocative read that paints a captivating ominous portrait of science’s future directions.

About the Author:
Ted Kosmatka is the author of Prophet of Bones and The Games, a finalist for the Locus Award for Best First Novel. His short fiction has been nominated for the Nebula and Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Awards. He lives in the Pacific Northwest."

To learn more, visit:

"Excerpted from The Flicker Men © Ted Kosmatka, 2015."

22

"It was four days later when I got the call. A Saturday afternoon, just as the light was beginning to grow long outside my motel room window. The buzz startled me—a sudden glow from the table where I’d set my phone.

It buzzed exactly twice and then went silent. I eyed the screen. Missed call.

I didn’t recognize the number at first. Local area code. The number looked familiar but didn’t show up as a contact.

And then I realized why. I stared at the number.

It was a number I was familiar with but never called. It was my own number from work.

I stiffened, suddenly very much alert.

I called the number back, but there was no answer. My own voice on the service recorded once and then forgotten: I’m not in my office, but if you leave a message, I’ll get back to you. I called again.

Then again. Five times over the next minute or two, while I dressed, but there was never an answer.

Just my own voice on the other end.

I’m not in my office, but if you leave a message—

I’m not in—

I’m not in—

I began to hate the sound of my own voice. I considered calling Jeremy, but what would I say? That

I’d received a call from work on a Saturday afternoon? A mysterious hang-up? What would he do about that? People often were at the lab over the weekend. It wasn’t exactly the kind of thing you called the cops about. Or maybe it was, considering everything that had happened. Most likely, he’d just drive to work himself and check on it.

I splashed water on my face, trying to clear my head. I tried to picture who could have been at the other end of that telephone, sitting in my chair, dialing my number, and only one person came to mind. And he’d called me, not Jeremy.

But why call from the lab? Why not use his cell? After all the silence, why call from the work phone?

It didn’t make sense. Unless he didn’t want to be traced. Or maybe Jeremy was right, and he’d just lost his phone. Maybe the work phone was just the one he happened to have convenient. But then why hang up?

A third option was that it wasn’t Satvik at all.

I opened the duffel bag, rooted inside, and pulled the gun out, weighing it in my hand. There are some things you do, you can’t undo.

I checked for a round in the chamber. The weapon was loaded.

But you had to trust yourself. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror over the dresser. Brown hair wild. My square face thinner than it had been in a long time. My eyes restless.

I wrapped the gun in an old pair of blue jeans and put it back in the duffel. Then I put the duffel in the security box in the closet.

I found my shoes and headed out the door.

I drove to the lab as the sun went down, my phone on the passenger seat next to me. It had rained earlier in the day, and the roads were still wet. I hit the wipers to beat away the spray kicked up by other cars. I arrived at the lab just as dusk fell, and the small yellow light clicked on in the visitor parking. I continued on, taking the curving drive around to the back.

When I saw it, my heart beat faster. Satvik’s car sat parked in the middle of the lot. His gray sedan. I almost shouted.

I parked next to him and climbed out. I walked to the old Subaru and felt the hood, as I’d seen on an old cop show once. The hood was still warm under a few beads of water.

I headed into the main building and swiped my badge to open the security door. I crossed the lobby and took the stairs to the second floor.

The front halls were well lit, but deeper in, I had to rely on the last of the setting sun.

“Satvik!” I called out. “Are you here?”

There was no answer.

He’d called from my office extension, but I decided to check his office first.

The only sound was the clicking of my shoes.

As I got closer to his room, I saw that his light was off. Not a hopeful sign. At his door, I flicked the switch. The office was empty. It looked exactly as it had for the past few weeks. No sign that Satvik had been there.

I left the light on and continued down the hall, heading for Satvik’s lab space. This, too, was empty.

His equipment lay spread out across his lab bench much as it had every other time I’d visited. I was about to leave, but I stopped.

Something looked different. I studied the room.

It took me a moment to place it.

The diagrams were gone. Pulled down from their place on the wall. One corner of paper still flapped against the wall where it had been torn. The diagrams hadn’t been so much taken down as ripped away.
My nerves on high alert, I left his room and took the hall around the corner.

I stopped. Here, at last, a light was on.

My office.

I saw the light pouring out through my door.

“Satvik!” I called out.

I waited. There was no answer.

“Satvik, is that you?”

Only silence greeted me. I walked to my office.

It was empty.

I stepped inside, studying the small room. Not a piece of paper out of place. Not a thing disturbed.

I sank into my swivel chair, trying to decide what to do. The phone sat on my desk. I picked up the receiver and called Satvik’s cell, thinking maybe he’d answer if he saw I was here, but I got the same result as the previous week. Straight to voice mail. His phone was either turned off or dead.
I thought about calling his house, but something held me back. What if he still hadn’t contacted his wife? I didn’t want to disturb her. This was looking more and more uncertain, and I didn’t want to call until I had something solid to tell her. And if Satvik hadn’t gone home yet, he might have a good reason. No, better to wait and sort things out. There would be time enough for that phone call once I knew what was happening.

But what was happening? A mysterious hang-up. A familiar car in the lot. I laid my forehead on the desk. The surface was cool and solid.

If his car was here, it meant that he had to be here somewhere. Though not necessarily in this building.

My head snapped up.

I stood, crossed to the window, and pulled the blinds. Through the glass, across the rear parking lot, I saw the out-labs, and just beyond them, nestled at the far end of the lot, I saw the old warehouse—W building. The front door was open.

I moved quickly.

I took the stairs at a run and hit the glass doors. Cool evening air. Across the back parking lot, I followed the sidewalk up to the entrance of the warehouse and passed through the open doorway. The storage facility was larger than the main building and more open. But there was the same silence. In here was kept all the old equipment. A series of offices and small storage units took up the front of the building. The back was a grid of larger storage cubicles, piled high with the castoffs of a dozen closed facilities. An equipment grave yard.

“Satvik?” I called out.

I passed down a long hall of darkened offices and then pushed open a door leading to the interior. I hit the lights.

Nothing. The great room was empty. I walked the line of cubicles just to be sure, looking down the long rows as I went. I stopped at the far end.

It didn’t make sense. Where the hell was he?

Against the far wall was a workstation with a pen and clipboard. I tore off a sheet of paper, flipped it over, and wrote:

Satvik, call me.

I’d leave the note on his car, I decided. If I didn’t hear anything by morning, I’d call Jeremy, the police, his wife. I’d call everyone. Or better yet, I’d just pull my car around near the gates and watch and wait. If anyone came to Satvik’s vehicle in the next few hours, I’d confront them. I put the clipboard back and made my way toward the front.

As I crossed the room, I was so focused on my thoughts—the note and the car—that I didn’t notice the light at first. A glimmer out of the corner of my eye.

I turned my head.

One of the offices near the entrance. Light poured through a half-open doorway.

It hadn’t been there moments earlier. I was certain of it.

I stopped.

The note fell from my hands and wafted to the floor.

“Satvik,” I said.

There was no response.

Somebody had turned that light on. I wasn’t alone.

“Satvik, is that you?” Louder this time. I took a step toward the open door, a single step. It was the silence that stopped me. The utter, total silence.

I stood frozen in place. I’d spoken loud enough to be heard, but there was no response. And there wouldn’t be one. I suddenly knew, somehow, that whoever was in that room, it wasn’t Satvik.

I took a slow step backward.

And then the entire world came apart."

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Falling Skies Auction: Press Release: "EL SEGUNDO – Premiere Props will be auctioning off over 1,500 props from TNT’s hit series Falling Skies on Saturday, August 29 and Sunday, August 30 at their headquarters in El Segundo, CA.

The series finale (Reborn) will air on Sunday, August 30 at 10:00 pm (ET/PT) on TNT.  The final standoff brings the Masons, the 2nd Mass, and their new allies into the bowels of an iconic American location, wrought with new and unpredictable obstacles. Despite great loss along the way, they must persevere with hopes of once and for all reclaiming Earth and humanity.

The auction features items from all five seasons of the series and allows fans the chance to own memorabilia from their favorite show.

There will be a preview each day from 9-11 am PT with the live auction beginning at 11 am PT.

Items include:

  • Tom Mason’s (Noah Wylie) Hero Costume (Season 5)
  • Colonel Weaver’s (Will Patton) Hero Costume (Season 5)
  • John Pope’s (Colin Cunningham) Hero Costume (Season 5)
  • John Pope’s (Colin Cunningham) Faraday Helmet (Season 4)
  • Ann Glass’ (Moon Bloodgood) Hero Costume (Season 5)
  • Espheni Overlord’s Glowing Lava Stone (Seasons 4 & 5)
  • Ben Mason’s (Connor Jessup) Dornia species Pencil Sketch (Season 5)
  • Volm Grenade w/ LED (Season 3)
  • Lexi’s (Scarlett Byrne) “Triskelion” Necklace with Pendant (Season 4)
  • Volm Glowing Binoculars (Season 4)
  • 2nd Mass Gatling Gun (Season 5)
  • Espheni Overlord “Scorch” (Mark Gibbon) Life Size Head (Season 4)
  • Volm Laser De-Harnessing Machine (Season 3)
  • Cochise’s (Doug Jones) Volm Field Laser de-Harnessing Machine (Season 4)
  • Life-Size Skitter Creature
  • Life-Size Black Hornet Creature (Seasons 4 & 5)

Fans can starting bidding now, placing bids online at http://www.icollector.com/http://www.liveauctioneers.com and http://www.invaluable.com or calling to set up phone bidding with a Premiere Props representative.

Collectors can place proxy bids until the Hollywood Extravaganza Auction goes LIVE at 11 am PT on Saturday, August 29, 2015.

For more information, please visit http://www.premiereprops.com or http://www.hollywoodliveauctions.com or call (310) 322-PROP / (888) 761-PROP."

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).

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