Wednesday, 26 July 2017
Horror Channel FrightFest is delighted to present Graham Humphreys’ stunning artwork for this year’s annual Bank Holiday event, the UK’s largest celebration of genre cinema, taking place at Cineworld Leicester Square and The Prince Charles Cinema between Thurs Aug 24 & Mon Aug 28, 2017.
Celebrating a return to one of FrightFest’s former homes (The Empire) and the revival of some familiar characters to the festival line up, such as Chucky, Victor Crowley & Leatherface. were inspirations behind the concept.
Graham reveals: “My image is an attempt to amalgamate the Gothic roots of horror with the 70s Monster revival that saturated the US and UK, inspiring generations of filmmakers that created some of the most successful film franchises and oddities of the last 40 years. Universal monsters meets 70s bubble gum pop. I also thought it would be fun to play with the idea of a FrightFest Phantom, the face behind the best in horror and added the scratches and dirt to make it look like old damaged film stock.”
Tuesday, 25 July 2017
Stephen Biro has been the President and founder of Unearthed Films Inc. A horror DVD label in the United States. He has written several novels, ghost writes on occasion and writes screenplays. Stephen has recently wrote the film adaptation for the underground comic book, "Bubba The Redneck Werewolf" and is working on the new American Guinea Pig Series. He directed the first film, "American Guinea Pig: Bouquet of Guts and Gore" and wrote and produced, "American Guinea Pig: Bloodshock", directed by Marcus Koch. AGP: The Song of Solomon is about to be unleashed as his second directed film. Stephen just moved to Los Angeles.
Interview with Stephen Biro by David Kempf
When did you first become interested in writing?
Back when I was in the 10th grade. I was atrocious at it though. Took me a long time to teach myself the ins and outs of writing. I will always need an editor though.
How did you get your start in making independent movies?
Since I have distribution locked and handle international sales for a lot of other films and film makers. It is safer for me to make a movie then the average filmmaker. I have all the venues set in place and don't have to run around, sercing for distribution so it gives me a safer avenue to actually make this a business instead of an expensive hobby.
How did you get involved in fantasy/horror?
I've always been a horror fan since I was under the age of five. I blame my mother for that. Instead of a quarter under my pillow when I lost a tooth, I would find a rubber frankenstein or monster instead. I've always been attracted to the darker things in life but mostly I blame mom.
Is horror a full time job?
Very much so. Handling Unearthed, distro, making my own films, writing books and screenplays all in the horror genre, I have little time to do anything else.
How would you classify the genre you write?
Theological Horror is my bag. The afterlife, Heaven and Hell, demons, possession. I've been thru quite a lot of it. It's not often you talk to someone who admits they have met the Lord and the Devil and have been to Hell... but I can. So, i write from the heart and soul of my experiences. It's what Hellucination is all about.
Why do you think horror and fantasy books remain so popular?
People need an escape or they need to have questions answered about who they are and why they exist, so I figure were all searching for something and horror and fantasy can make us ask those questions and keep it hidden within the confines or a fantasy story while horror can delve into our nightmares and show us who we really are as people.
Why do you think people are so fascinated by the Devil?
The ultimate turn away from all that is Holy. The other side of good... everyone thinks they are good, but are we really? Lucifer is the opposite of the Lord and is used as a scapegoat many times over in this world but then again, the war between Heaven and Hell has been raging since the beginning of time and while we are stuck in the middle, pawns in the ultimate game of chess we don't see but can feel. He is a fascinating character and has been given many attributes, some false and others, on the nose.
If you remember, “He Man and the Masters of the Universe”, everybody loved Skeletor... I didn't like He Man at all. I always wished Skeletor won, just once. Now this doesn't mean I want Lucifer to win the battle for Armegeddon because he does win his share of battles because the pawns, really don't know the arena they are stepping into.
I could go on and on...
Demonic possession. Are you a believer or a skeptic?
Believer, but it's totally different than what movies portray but yet, the same in many ways. That person who killed their family and said that the voices told them to do it... very much so. Some people have the Id and Superego, angel or demon on your shoulder. Some people do not. Psychologically there is the Id and Superego... so when science has a term for the angel and demons on our shoulders... that should give us all pause.
God, Satan, Heaven and Hell... My trip to Hell would change any man or woman. My dealings with things from the other side has changed my perspective and I cannot write about anything else now... Even my screenplay, Bubba the Redneck Werewolf, a goofy horror comedy has the Devil show up to down and begin his sheenanigans. So yeah, imbeded into my soul so to speak.
What do you think the difference between American horror and British horror is?
British is more classy, gothic while American is more in your face. That could change but Hammer Horror really did change the landscape that I don't think you can ever get away from.
What are your favorite horror books?
Early Clive Barker, early Poppy Z Brite, Dantes Inferno (You knew that was coming) Paradise Lost by Milton and Hp Lovecraft. Some King and of coarse, William Peter Blatty.
What are some of your favorite horror movies?
Guinea Pig Films, (Original) Hellraiser, Frontiers, A Serbian Film, Salo, Cannibal Holocaust, Opera and Tetsuo the Iron Man
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment as an author?
Getting that late night message from a reader who says they haven't been able to sleep well after reading one of my books. I actually get a lot of them since my books usually push the boundaries of what a book actually is. Their more of a thought experiemnt and I usually force the reader to answer questions in their own minds about what life is about, what do you believe and who you are as a person. Some people are not ready for those sort of questions when they pick up a book to escape from the normal realities, of our reality.
Do you have any advice for new writers?
That's a hard one since the industry is flooded but this is my best advice. Write what you know. What affects you as a human being and make your voice stand strong and proud and allow the characters to envelop your mind and give them the room to grow so they can explore the boundaries of your own mind and don't ever stop them from going to places you don't want to go to. That is the magic of writing.
What is your opinion of the new self-publishing trend?
Flooded the market and makes it hard to find the diamonds in the rough. I love it, since it gives everyone a voice but if everyone has a voice, it's hard to hear the actual ideas and novels you want to find and read. It just made everyone choosier so a lot of talent is falling to the wayside.
What are your current projects?
Finalising the sound design on The Song of Solomon, working on A Serbian Documentary, working on the Extended cut of A Serbian Film, Working on The Unnamable full restoration, color correction and working on several releases thru Unearthed Films
Please in your own words, write a paragraph about yourself & your work.
My name is Stephen Biro. I used to be a comic book collector and I am still a ravenous horror hound. I got to a point in my life as to were I had to search for God using anything I could to accomlish that goal. I have. I have used enough LSD and nitrous oxide to peel back the layers of reality to find the Lord, the Devil and I have been to Hell, and I have achived Salvation. Not all was drug induced mind you. Since then, I have used films, books and visual interpretations to spell out the war between Heaven and Hell and I have done it in a way that has never turned anyone away. I'm a theologian and I am a gorehound and I understand what you must be thinking as you read this. Luckily, I am who I am and I no longer fear death and I will embrace it.
Stephen Biro Links
Friday, 21 July 2017
Is it hard to write scares into a screenplay? We wanted to find out so we sat down with Justin Price, writer-director of ALIEN : REIGN OF MAN, out this August to find out.
Writing, directing and producing – quite a workload for one person. But would you have it any other way?
Times they are a changing! What is so great about the times we are living in is people are more receptive to other ways of creative expression. That is exciting. I believe in order to break down barriers it takes a collective of people recognizing that they can be infinite. No borders or constraints on their creativity! That is what I have pieced together at my company Pikchure Zero Entertainment. The world is filled with people who have dreams and then decide for one reason or another that time has passed them bye and it has been a blessing to be able to discover great hidden talent.
We worked with a phenomenal actor who was spending most of his time running pageants and working in the medical field. All great things, but as an actor Johnny Llanes truly shines! It is because I am free to create that I am allowed to have my hands on all aspects of the vision. That is what is so liberating about wearing a lot of hats. I also think that if you have the talent to do it, then why not? I used to concern myself with being a jack of all trades and a master of none, but as time has progressed I think it’s far worse to be a phenomenal dreamer of ideas that end up in the graveyard. I am excited for my first foray into sci-fi with Alien Reign of Man which is releasing August 01, 2017 on VOD and all digital platforms!
Are these films easy to get up that you do? All privately financed I imagine?
I don’t think any film is easy to do. All films are a collaborative effort and regardless of what people may assume, there aren’t many cheap films. It takes a lot of work to make a supposed “bad” film. A lot of time and money. There are levels to this. We always begin with what we want to say and we check the temperature of the audiences. I may want to tell a story about a famous serial killer but if at the time the world is really in the mood for family and coming together, it wouldn’t be a good idea to create “the Jeffrey story”. And then my producing partners KHU and Deanna Grace Congo and I sit and either look through scripts we have an affinity for or think of things we want to see made and weigh the DIGAD process. Which stands for “do I give a damn” because ultimately time is our most valuable resource. And then we go from there. Again no film that is released to the scale that we release them are just put out to youtube unchecked and at our convenience.
Just going through the QC process alone costs thousands. And those guys don’t put films out because they like them, there has to be technical things passed in order to ensure it even makes it through to the major outlets. So most of the time there are things cut and moved that may have changed what a film looked like. What has happened with this great explosion of technology and access is people have come to learn only part of process and stages of things and in an attempt to sort of understand quickly, no one does research. Anyone that is in a position to release a film or interview talent, didn’t just wake up and hit enter and all things were easy. So for everyone reading just think about a movie taking eight months of multiple people’s lives to create and it was all for one hour and thirty minutes of entertainment for you. We do this because we love the craft. And no amount of money or budget will ever usurp that no matter what. A lot of people uplift people working with large budgets and studio resources and I would challenge you to bring those people to our playing field and see how long that mind set lasts. As in pound for pound I believe it takes just as much skill to figure out how to light talent in Iceland with limited resources as it would to build an Icelandic stage and VFX ect ect for 10 million.
Did the script change much before it went before the cameras?
Yes, every time I write a story I have to be open to the possibility that things will change. Alien Reign Of Man started out as this shoot em up bang bang film with a creature lurking in the shadows. But it just felt formulaic and we thought it would be much more interesting to invest our time and money into actually exploring places not seen in film. To let it be more of a character driven film about discovery. I think it made the film more intimate. There are locations in this movie that are just lensed beautifully. And being able to have a company that sees beyond the normal paradigm in Uncork’d Entertainment has proven to be paramount in the success of this creative freedom.
How did you pick your cast?
Angela Griffith and Mary Smith do a great job in finding talent for most of our projects. We are all multi-hyphenates so we sort of jump from behind the camera to in front of the camera as well. KHU does a great job as the lead in this film. As I mentioned up above, this creative freedom allows us to say to hell with stereotypes. This film is 80% female and there are African American people in space doing more than plotting courses or mapping out shuttle trajectory. I am excited to have that opportunity. Every movie we do it truly is about who fits the character and what makes the film better. It is my great joy to have the privilege to cast this way.
Is it hard to write scares into a movie?
Yes! Again I have to make sure I say this twice. Movies are hard. Audiences are watching films as if they are preparing for a 401k retirement. There are stats and critic comments and IMDB ratings. You could surmise that every movie goer is there making a small investment into your future. So thank you! I mean it’s that hard to grab attention now a days, so I never take it for granted when someone wants an interview or people rent or buy our movies. That is amazing. There are over a billion films and somewhere around 50,000 films made this year and people are taking the time between t.v. and social media to watch something we created, then we must be on the right track. So yes its very difficult to try and “sneak in” a scare. The one thing I pride myself on with every film I have made is there aren’t any true rhyme or reasons for my tone and movement. In Alien Reign of Man, I promise you audiences wont watch it and go “next scene I bet they are surrounded by floating planets “.
You also have another movie coming out, a romantic comedy, can you tell us about it. Just how different was it working on that to Alien : Reign of Man?
“Almost Amazing” comes out October 06, 2017 to all the digital platforms ITUNES, HULU, AMAZON PRIME, and VUDU. It was produced alongside Matthew Simmons and Eddy Herrero and Shaun Cairo. A Pikchure Zero Entertainment production, “Almost Amazing” follows three guys who are working for a breakup company and trying to come terms with the fact that they may be in love with the girls they were hired to break up with. It was awesome working on a Romance. Taylor Carter and Alisondra Alexander are the two leads and they do a phenomenal job. Again just undiscovered dynamo’s! I can’t wait till their performances are on display in this film.
It was great working on this film because usually these films are labeled “black” or “urban” which is odd to me. So I made sure that I put a lot of people on the cover and made the most open story I could. I didn’t want anyone working at a music studio and somehow selling guns and ect. We actually were told that the film was lacking that “black” appeal by some major networks. To that we say thank you! Because there is a fine line between paying homage to the culture and also not seeing that there are ways to advance story telling beyond stereotypical troupes. So as with Alien Reign of Man, it was great to be able to challenge the cast and the audience to go on a different journey.
What’s the best horror film of all time, in your opinion?
Ex Machina – I believe it was one of the greatest movies of this century. It was terrifying to me because what made it scary was the concept behind man’s inability to come to term with our own mortality and just the nuances and performances bring to light how far removed from reality we are. It was like holding a mirror up to society and saying –look! Anytime you can make people think without it being educational, then that’s scary. Melancholia was close second. That ending scene made me feel chills. Everytime I watch it I just put myself in there shoes. Where are you going? What would you do? The world is going to fkin end and none of the fancy linen and speeches can save you. Brilliant!
ALIEN : REIGN OF MAN out on VOD August 1, 2017.
Thursday, 20 July 2017
Film News (UK): Horror Channel celebrates FrightFest 18th year with monstrous slate including UK premieres for DEATHGASM & THE GREEN INFERNO
To celebrate Horror Channel FrightFest 2017, taking place in London during the August Bank holiday, Horror Channel is dedicating thirteen nights to past festival favourites, including six UK TV premieres: Luke Hyam’s beastly XMOOR, David Keating’s skin-crawling rural nightmare CHERRY TREE starring Anna Walton, Adam Mason’s blood-freezing home invasion thriller HANGMAN, Jason Lei Howden’s splatstick shocker DEATHGASM, Eli Roth’s notorious post-modern celebration of the Italian cannibal genre THE GREEN INFERNO and Gez Medinger’s & Robin Schmidt’s intriguing existential horror AFTERDEATH.
The double-bills, on every night from August 18th – 30th, starting from 9pm, also feature FrightFest crowd pleasing classics such as Matthias Hoene’s COCKNEYS VS ZOMBIES, Tommy Wirkola’s DEAD SNOW 2: RED VS DEAD, Vincenzo Natali’s HAUNTER, Ted Geoghegan’s WE ARE STILL HERE, Kyle Rankin’s NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEB and Tyler Shields’ FINAL GIRL.
Full details of season in transmission order:
Fri 18 Aug @ 21:00 – XMOOR (2014) * UK TV Premiere
With their sights set on a £25,000 reward promoted by a local newspaper, American documentarians Georgia (Melia Kreiling) and Matt (Nick Blood) head to Exmoor in North Devon to film the fabled beast supposedly slinking through the remote terrain. Setting up a forest camp with an old acquaintance, the trio fix cameras to the trees and rocks, linked back to a computer nerve centre where nothing should go unnoticed. But then they discover some putrefying body parts all neatly tied up and before long they realise they are in the lair of a beast right enough, but certainly not one of the four-legged variety.
Fri 18 Aug @ 22:40 - STUNG (2015)
Sat 19 Aug @ 21:00 - COCKNEYS VS ZOMBIES (2012)
Sat 19 Aug @ 22:50 - CHERRY TREE (2015) – *UK TV PREMIERE
Faith (Naomi Battrick) has her world turned upside down when she finds out her father is dying. When the mysteriously alluring Sissy Young (Anna Walton) becomes her field hockey coach, Faith finds a compassionate spirit and much-needed mother figure. Little does she know that Sissy is the head of a centuries-old witches' coven using the fruit of an ancient cherry tree in a secret ritual that restores life. And soon Sissy has enticed Faith into making a fateful bargain that is about to change everything…
Sun 20 Aug @ 21:00 - THE SIGNAL (2014)
Sun 20 Aug @ 22:55 - HANGMAN (2015) *UK TV PREMIERE
Arriving back from a two-week holiday, the Miller family unwittingly play host to a cold-hearted malevolent intruder who has broken into their home - and stayed there. Feeling violated, they have no idea he’s still watching their every move on surveillance cameras the meticulous interloper has secretly installed. Nor do they realise their true nightmares have only just begun. Horrors of the everyday reach a terrifying crescendo in this disturbing twist on the home invasion thriller bound to make your skin crawl. Stars Jeremy Sisto, Kate Ashfield and Ryan Simpkins.
Mon 21 Aug @ 21:00 - THE DYATLOV PASS INCIDENT (2013)
Mon 21 Aug @ 23:05 - WAZ (2007)
Tues 22 Aug @ 21:00 - THE SAND (2015)
Tues 22 Aug @ 22:50 - CHAINED (2012)
Wed 23 Aug @ 21:00 - ADRIFT (2009)
Wed 23 Aug @ 22:55 - DEAD SNOW 2: RED VS DEAD (2014)
Thurs 24 Aug @ 21:00 - HAUNTER (2013)
Thurs 24 Aug @ 23:00 - BAD MILO! (2013)
Fri 25 Aug @ 21:00 - DEATHGASM (2015) *UK TV PREMIERE
When metal-thrashing outcast Brodie (Milo Cawthorne) meets a kindred spirit in Zakk (James Blake), they start their own band Deathgasm. Soon the duo’s resentment of the suburban wasteland leads them to sheet music said to grant the Ultimate Power to whoever plays it. But the music also summons the ancient evil entity Aeloth The Blind One who threatens to tear apart existence itself. With their classmates and family inhabited by demonic forces that turns them into psycho killers, can the wicked force be stopped devouring all mankind?
Fri 25 Aug @ 22:45 - WE ARE STILL HERE (2015)
Sat 26 Aug @ 21:00 - TUCKER AND DALE VS EVIL (2011)
Sat 26 Aug @ 22:50 - THE GREEN INFERNO (2013) *UK TV PREMIERE
Eli Roth’s long-awaited return to the director’s chair after this six-year absence finds politically attuned NYC university student Justine (Lorenza Izzo) roped into a campus activist group’s idealistic plan to travel to Peru to halt the annihilation of an endangered tribe by a corrupt construction company. But after a horrific plane crash that leaves half the radicals dead, the survivors are caged by the very tribe they were trying to help. Worse, the mountain clan are cannibals and they are ravenous.
Sun 27 Aug @ 21:00 - AFTERDEATH (2015) *UK TV PREMIERE
Five young people wake up on a beach washed up by the tide. Where are they? What brought them there, and what are the strange creatures that surround them? All this and more will be revealed in this beautifully executed, award-winning first feature, chock full of exciting new acting talent from Gez Medinger and Robin Schmidt – future genre names to keep a sharp eye out for.
Sun 27 Aug @ 22:55 - I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (2010)
Mon 28 Aug @ 21:00 - TRIANGLE (2009)
Mon 28 Aug @ 23:00 - SHROOMS (2007)
Tues 29 Aug @ 21:00 - NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEB (2014)
Tues 29 Aug @ 22:50 - NO ONE LIVES (2012)
Wed 30 Aug @ 21:00 - FINAL GIRL (2015)
Wed 30 Aug @ 22:50 - THE LAST EXORCISM (2010)
TV: Sky 319 / Virgin 149 / Freesat 138 | Freeview 70
www.horrorchannel.co.uk | twitter.com/horror_channel | facebook.com/horrorchannel
Wednesday, 19 July 2017
Producer P.J Starks is back with another anthology of ridiculously fun horror with Volumes of Blood : Horror Stories, out August 1 from Dark Cuts. So we sat down with him for a chat.
When did you start making movies – not produced features but just for yourself. As a kid?
PJ: I started when I was around 12. My grandfather went out and bought me a VHS camcorder and that created a monster. I didn’t go anywhere without the camera. I was constantly taping something whether it a family event to hide and seek or skits with friends. It didn’t matter. If there was a possibility of drama or a story to be told, I was shooting it.
Do you remember what you’d shoot on?
It was an old RCA camcorder, which I still have to this day.
What genre did you gravitate towards?
I loved a lot of genre, but if it was something I was making with friends then it was almost always comedy. Comedy was always my second favorite genre so I was always renting things such as Spaceballs, Ghostbusters, Blazing Saddles and the like. My favorite genre was horror.
Always been a horror fan? Any particular type of horror?
Horror always has and always will be my first love. Oddly enough it was Ghostbusters that turned me on to the paranormal and after that I went renting and consuming horror every weekend. Some of the films I watched over and over was Return of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Rawhead Rex, Friday the 13th and Halloween. I’d have to say the slasher sub-genre is my absolute favorite. The stalk and slash by a masked killer with some kind twist have always been a go to for me. Even now when I’m bored I’ll pop in Madman, The Prowler or Black Christmas just to pass the time. I recently discovered Stage Fright and have fallen in love with it. I guess I just love seeing the different and creative ways the filmmakers come up with for dispatching their victims. Knowing what I do about special effects and having seen it first hands gives me an even deeper appreciation for what it takes to pull off that type of artistry.
Did your parents encourage you to partake in a career as a filmmaker?
Absolutely. My grandparents bought me the camera and my mom was always encouraging me to pursue what I loved most. I have to give credit to my grandmother Almeda, it’s because of her that I gravitated towards horror. Her and I became scary movie buddies a long time ago. You’d never know it looking at her, she’s like the classic Norman Rockwell apple pie grandmother. But beneath that beats the heart of a true horror fan. She instilled that love for the genre into me.
What was your first produced flick?
The first film I produced that allowed me to get my feet wet was The Confession of Fred Krueger, but Volumes of Blood was the real test. That was the first time I was truly facilitating an entire feature production. I didn’t do it alone, I had some amazing help from my wife Katrina who served as production manager to my now producing partner Eric Huskisson. There were so many facets to that film and I literally had my hand in every single area from script to screen. It was a big learning experience.
And how did Volumes of Horror come along?
At the tail end of 2013 I created a program called Unscripted at the Daviess County Public Library and it became an overnight success. I’ve since stepped away but has become an annual event at the library. Which I never saw coming and is really awesome. This program led to the creation of the Unscripted Film School, which gave the community of Owensboro an opportunity to participate in the production of short indie films. After the continued success of Unscripted they asked me to come up with something “bigger and better”. I had been wanting to make an anthology film since 2012 and that opened the door for me to do so through this program. In about 8 hours I sat down and conceived Volumes of Blood, which would be a series of interconnected short horror films that would culminate to a feature anthology.
Is it wrong to say it’s reminiscent of some of those old school ‘80s horror films like Romero’s Creepshow? Was that an inspiration?
We never intended the film to be compared to something as incredible as Creepshow or even Tales from the Crypt. Which has happened in several reviews and is wholly flattering. Those films and series definitely had an influence on the ultimate creation, but the real goal was just a bunch of horror fans getting together and making a horror flick for the fans. When I wrote the scripts for the first film and Horror Stories, I infused a bunch of horror nuances and homages. We wanted to incorporate everything we loved about the genre, while taking the tropes and trying some new things with them. What honestly inspired me to make Volumes of Blood, was I was tired of watching anthologies that were nothing more than a bunch of random shorts found on YouTube and slapped together. I wanted something more. That’s where the initial idea came from and it has grown into so much more.
How important a marketing tool has the internet been for the film?
I’ve found that it’s the most important tool when marketing and promoting an independent project. I typically can’t afford the expenses of hiring an outside marketing firm to push my projects so I’ve had to take it upon myself to get the word out. In a lot of ways this led to helping other filmmakers and their projects by coming on as an Executive Producer to offer up my knowledge of marketing and advising in certain creative capacities. The horror community can be one of the most aggressive when it comes to criticisms, but I’ve found that is equally one of the most supportive when it comes to helping push a film. As a producer I do what I can to get myself and my projects out there, hope that others appreciate said films and then enjoy the ride while it lasts.
Wednesday, 12 July 2017
Eat Locals - Poster & Trailer - out in selected cinemas and digital download from September 1st 2017
12th July 2017: London, UK - The Movie Partnership are pleased to announce that their star-studded Horror/Comedy Eat Locals, will be having its UK Premiere at this year’s FrightFest at The Prince Charles Cinema on 26th August.
This will be the Directorial Debut for acclaimed actor, Jason Flemyng (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, X-Men: First Class), who unleashes an action-packed and darkly comic thriller of supernatural proportions. Effortlessly blending gut-busting laughs with blood-spattered shocks, Eat Locals is Assault On Precinct 13 meets Interview With A Vampire in the story of a coven of bloodsuckers whose bark is almost as bad as their bite.
The film boasts a whole host of acting talent including Charlie Cox (Stardust, Daredevil), Freema Agyeman (Dr. Who, Sense 8), Mackenzie Crook (Pirates Of The Caribbean, Game of Thrones), Tony Curran (Underworld: Evolution, League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen), Eve Myles (Torchwood), Ruth Jones (Gavin & Stacey, Stella), Annette Crosbie (One Foot In The Grave, Into The Woods) and Vincent Regan (300, Snow White & The Huntsman, Clash Of The Titans).
Flemyng also reunites the cast of Guy Ritchie’s crime comedy Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, with Nick Moran and Dexter Fletcher both starring and Jason Statham directing the fight scenes.
“No vampires were harmed during the filming of this movie!” Freema Agyeman
In a quiet country farmhouse, Britain's vampires gather. They come together once every 50 years to discuss territories, disputes, threats and food stocks, and the approval of new members. On this night, a new face will be meeting them for the first time, and – if the vote is unanimous – could be the latest member to join their fanged ranks.
This new face, however – local lad Sebastian Crockett – merely thinks he's on a promise with sexy cougar Vanessa.
Unluckily for all, Sebastian's not the only guest who'll be dropping in tonight. A detachment of Special Forces vampire killers led by Colonel Bingham has tracked the coven to this remote location, although they've bitten off far more than they can chew: they expected one vampire, not an entire coven.
With barely a handful of men ill-equipped to take down such a bloodthirsty clan, Bingham must keep the vampires pinned down while the fractious coven must put their own differences aside if they're to escape before dawn.
For Sebastian, the soldiers and the coven, it may not only be the worst night of their lives. It may be their last.
EAT LOCALS will have its UK Premiere at FrightFest 2017 on 26th August, and will be in Selected Cinemas and PVOD from 1st September (iTunes & Sky Store, Google Play, Amazon Instant Video & Xbox Video Store & VOD/DVD from 30th October @Eat_Locals_Film
Friday, 7 July 2017
HORROR CHANNEL FRIGHTFEST, MPI MEDIA GROUP, DARK SKY FILMS & SCREEN INTERNATIONAL JOIN FORCES IN TALENT SEARCH FOR GENRE SCREENWRITERS
Barbara Crampton, Dominic Brunt and Travis Stevens named as mentors.
Are you a writer concocting fiendishly fantastic ideas in the witching hours? Have you hidden away your script in the deepest darkest catacombs but are now ready to unleash it onto the unsuspecting world?
As an innovative addition to this year’s main event, which runs from Aug 24 - Aug 28, Horror Channel FrightFest has teamed up with international production and distribution company MPI Media and their sister production company Dark Sky Films to create NEW BLOOD, an initiative which aims to find new genre writers and nurture their projects from script to screen. This initiative has the support of the UK’s leading film industry magazine Screen international.
MPI/Dark Sky Films, with its proven track record in producing and distributing a wide array of genre features including THE INNKEEPERS, STARRY EYES, STAKE LAND and IT STAINS THE SANDS RED, is on the search for exciting new ideas to develop into feature films budgeted below $1m for an international market.
The successful shortlisted applicants will have the opportunity to explore their ideas and scripts in a group setting under the mentorship of top industry professionals and genre experts including Travis Stevens, acclaimed producer of Starry Eyes and We Are Still Here; actor, producer and horror icon Barbara Crampton, actor / director Dominic Brunt and Giles Edwards, MPI Media’s Head Of Acquisitions & Development.
The NEW BLOOD event will be held on Thursday 23rd August, the opening day of this year’s festival, at the Radisson Hampshire Hotel.
Giles Edwards, MPI Media’s Head of Acquisition and Development, said today: “We are looking for original scripts or treatments for feature films which would appeal both critically and commercially to a global audience hungry for bold, diverse new voices in the realm of daring, thrilling, fiercely entertaining genre cinema. We want to unearth the UK's Julie Ducournau or Ti West, Jennifer Kent or Simon Barrett, Jordan Peele, Ana Lily Amirpour or David Robert Mitchell. We know you're out there, so don’t hold back. If you think your idea is original the chances are we will too. Suckerpunch us with your brilliance.”
Applications are now open through submission forms. The deadline is Fri 4th August. All successful applicants will be notified by Mon 14th August. All participants are expected to pay for their own travel and accommodation.
For full application requirements and terms & conditions: frightfest.co.uk
Wednesday, 5 July 2017
We catch up with Bonejangles DIrector Brett DeJager ahead of the July 18 VOD release.
How did you break into the business?
If I’m being honest with myself I’m certainly still trying to break into the business. I started with filmmaking back in 2005 or so when I teamed up with one of my good friends who was attending film school down in Arizona. We filmed our first feature length horror film in AZ shortly after, and I’ve been building on that experience ever since. I’d love to continue to write, produce, and direct movies moving forward! Hopefully people will enjoy Bonejangles and want to give me another shot at creating something people love.
Did you have encouraging folks?
Absolutely. I definitely wouldn’t be where I’m at today without my folks. They supported me emotionally and financially while I attended my undergraduate and graduate school pursing my doctorate of psychology degree. My parents even put up a large portion of cash for my first feature film, The Cochise Suicides, that unfortunately was never released. (Thanks mom & dad!)
Was the movie of choice at the homestead usually a horror movie?
My mother was a huge fan of older cheesy sci-fi movies and low budget horror! She definitely had a big influence on me growing up and my love for horror. Plus, we had a drive-in movie theatre as well so we got to go to the drive in to see movies. It was definitely a special time in life.
What were some of your faves growing up?
I’m a sucker for the classic horror films of the 80s: Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Halloween, Evil Dead, House, The Thing, Child’s Play, Fright Night, The Gate, Creepshow, and Killer Klowns from Outerspace. I re-watch those movies throughout the year.
What came first – the script or the character?
That’s a great question for Keith Melcher! I came onto the project once the first draft of the script was penned.
Is it harder directing someone elses script?
I think it adds a different dimension to the execution of the script. It wasn’t just my baby I was bringing to life but someone else’s. Keith put a lot of blood and tears into the screenplay for Bonejangles so I wanted to make sure I didn’t butcher it. I wanted to put my own vision into it but respecting his original ideas. Having him on set really helped since I was able to get his blessing for a lot of my ideas. It also adds a whole other level of complexity when the writer is ALSO one of the executive producers/money men. Thanks, Keith! :)
How many punnets of corn syrup were used in the making of the movie – or are they using something else for blood now?
Haha! I can’t be too sure but our practical effects guru, Ben Gersch, basically walked around with tubs full of blood just in case we needed it. That guy is a beast at what he does.
How did you entice Reggie Bannister into the flick?
We went through a casting agent to snag Reggie Bannister. I was told he really enjoyed the script and the rest fell into place. I’m pretty sure it was the coolest thing ever directing Reggie Bannister in a movie. Hard to top that!
Though a fun horror film do you think there’s an underlying message to the movie?
I think the underlying message for anybody reading this is to do what you love. It sounds cliché but it’s really true. If you have an idea and really want to see it through, just go for it. Collaborate! I wouldn’t be doing this interview without the support and teamwork of the entire Bonejangles crew. They all worked their tails off. Also – the amount of support and interest Bonejangles has accrued this year has also reinforced the ‘fact’ that horror fans typically don’t want remake after remake. They want original content, and I hope Bonejangles delivers.
Friday, 30 June 2017
Back in the heart of London’s West End for its 18th ‘adults-only’ anniversary, the world renowned horror and fantasy film festival will take place at the Cineworld Leicester Square and The Prince Charles Cinema from Aug 24 - Aug 28 2017, taking over five screens to present 64 films including 20 World, 22 European and 18 UK Premieres. Fourteen countries are represented spanning five continents, reflecting the current global popularity of the genre.
The opening night attraction is the global premiere of Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s criminally entertaining CULT OF CHUCKY, with writer and director Don Mancini and stars Jennifer Tilly and Fiona Dourif in attendance, alongside the iconic deadly doll of destruction himself. This is the seventh instalment for one of cinema’s most terrifying and enduring franchises and will begin its worldwide rollout on Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital in October.
Cult of Chucky
Mancini said today: “it’s a true pleasure to be hosting the world premiere of CULT OF CHUCKY at FrightFest. I have fond memories of unveiling CURSE OF CHUCKY there in 2013 so it’s great to be returning to the UK’s acknowledged home of horror – especially as this film picks up from where CURSE…left off”.
Two more of the horror genre’s most popular and beloved franchises are given their World Premieres: To celebrate a decade of his cursed Victor Crowley creation, writer/director Adam Green is returning to FrightFest with a version of HATCHET never seen before. Plus, there is a presentation of Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo’s LEATHERFACE, the stunning prequel to the terror classic THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE
FrightFest unveiled a bright new directorial talent when it screened Tyler McIntyre’s PATCHWORK at the Glasgow Film Festival and the closing night film is the UK Premiere of his amazing TRAGEDY GIRLS, where HEATHERS meets SCREAM in a dream combo. It stars super-powered heroines Alexandra Shipp and Brianna Hildebrand.
FrightFest also welcomes back Adam Wingard with the European Premiere of his supernatural manga DEATH NOTE, Joe Lynch with the European Premiere of his highly infectious action thriller MAYHEM, Mickey Keating with the European Premiere of his eye-shattering PSYCHOPATHS, Graham Skipper with the European Premiere of his surreal sci-fi romance SEQUENCE BREAK and genre favourite Barbara Crampton, who stars in Norbert Kell’s skin-crawler REPLACE, receiving its UK Premiere.
In a programme packed with innovation, uniqueness and individuality, other tips of the ice-pick are Ryan Prows’ powerful cult-in-waiting LOWLIFE, Trent Haaga’s stunning 68 KILL, high voltage THE VILLAINESS hot from Cannes, Alex de la Iglesia’s bleakly comic THE BAR, Miguel Angel Vivas’ remake of the French extreme thriller INSIDE, Daniele Misischia’s undead Romageddon THE END? Todd Tuckers’ affectionately creepy THE TERROR OF HALLOWS EVE, Brandon Christensen’s terrifying STILL/BORN, Sebastien Landry & Laurence Morais-Lagace’s head-exploding GAME OF DEATH, Kurtis David Harder’s provocative sci-fi horror INCONTROL and Royce Gorsuch’s kaleidoscopic mindbender MINDHACK.
Continuing the festival’s important and vital commitment to highlighting the cream of the homegrown crop, our British strand is well-populated with World Premieres for Dominic Brunt’s perverted shocker ATTACK OF THE ADULT BABIES, Christian James’ prison-set vampire comedy FANGED UP and Matthew Heaven’s scorching revenge study ACCOUNTABLE. There are also European Premieres for Dominic Bridge’s debut dark morality tale FREEHOLD, Tom Paton’s nerve-shredding REDWOOD and Benjamin Barfoot’s hilariously blood-soaked DOUBLE DATE. And the ‘First Blood’ strand Is back on the menu with five tasty titles: actor Jason Flemyng’s blood-sucking feature debut EAT LOCALS, Louis Melville’s squaddie shocker BOOTS ON THE GROUND, Hendrik Faller’s ice-cold thriller MOUNTAIN FEVER, Michaël Boucherie’s tattoo-terror WHERE THE SKIN LIES and Peter Stray’s alien-invading black comedy CANARIES.
The festival’s accent on rising talent is further enriched with Preston DeFrancis’ extreme slasher RUIN ME, Natasha Kermani’s sci-fi fantasy IMITATION GIRL, Clay Staub’s supernatural detective thriller DEVIL’S GATE, Caroline Labrèche and Steeve Léonard’s mesmerising RADIUS, Samuel Galli’s devilishly shocking OUR EVIL, Andrés Goteira’s dazzling DHOGS, David Chirchirillo’s Tinder Terror GOOD MATCH, Tini Tuellman’s spine-chilling psycho suspense thriller FREDDY/EDDY, Haritz Zubillaga’s car-killing giallo THE GLASS COFFIN, Scott Poiley’s hard-edged chiller EXHUME, Adam Graveley’s Aussie outback shocker 3RD NIGHT, Michael Mongillo’s audacious and haunting DIANE, Peter Ricq’s stark comedy DEAD SHACK and Carlos Algara and Alejandro Martinez-Beltran’s gripping psychological twister VERONICA.
Three documentaries will receive their eagerly awaited premieres at FrightFest this year. KING COHEN: THE WILD WORLD OF FILMMAKER LARRY COHEN is a dazzling career overview of the maverick director behind such classic horrors as IT’S ALIVE, Q THE WINGED SERPENT, fantasy television series like ‘The Invaders’, HELL UP IN HARLEM Blaxploitation, recent releases CELLULAR and soon the MANIAC COP remake. We welcome back on screen Kane Hodder, everyone’s favourite Jason Voorhees in the FRIDAY THE 13th series, with his moving and eye-opening TO HELL AND BACK: THE KANE HODDER STORY. Finally there’s the extraordinary MANSFIELD 66/67, a super Hollywood Babylon-style whisk through the final years of movie goddess Jayne Mansfield's life and untimely, possibly Satanic, death.
Other attractions include Emilia Clarke in VOICE FROM THE STONE, Robert Englund in NIGHTWORLD, the French graphic novel adaptation ALONE, the outrageous gore-fest MEATBALL MACHINE KODOKU, the Aussie chiller KILLING GROUND, the hilarious TOP KNOT DETECTIVE and Episodes 1 & 2 of the amazing Japanese TV series CROW‘S BLOOD. Plus two FrightFest Glasgow hits are being rescreened: Simon Rumley’s FASHIONISTA and Colin Minihan’s IT STAINS THE SANDS RED.
This year’s retrospective restoration strand highlights the underrated British horror DREAM DEMON, RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD III, two classic Hammers, BLOOD FROM THE MUMMY’S TOMB and DEMONS OF THE MIND, plus the longest version found of the seminal proto-giallo DEATH LAID AN EGG, lovingly restored by Nucleus Films’ Jake West and Marc Morris.
The Duke Mitchell Film Club is back with a hosted presentation of the UK premiere of Stefan Ruzowsky’s COLD HELL, a gripping serial killer thriller. This is followed by the not-to-be missed DUKE MITCHELL PARTY, where the audience and invited special guests can expect all manner of madness guaranteed to kick off your Saturday late night in style.
Alan Jones, co-director of FrightFest, said today: “The whole cinema landscape is changing and Horror Channel FrightFest is listening. We know the fans want to see the films first, see them fast and see them in an environment that is second to none. That’s why we have what we believe is the finest line-up ever assembled and are showcasing the superlative selection in premium surroundings. So, the West End becomes the Dark Heart of London once again. And we’ve made it to our 18th birthday. It’s going to be quite some party”.
This year’s guest list, special events and the Short Film Showcase entries will all be announced in the coming weeks.
Festival passes will go on sale Sat 1 July at noon and will only be available to buy online: http://www.frightfest.co.uk/tickets.html
Single tickets will go on sale on Sat 29 July from 9am.
Tuesday, 27 June 2017
Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Campisi spent many years dealing in the high-stakes world of motion picture finance, subsequently writing the bestselling The Independent Filmmaker's Guide to Writing a Business Plan for Investors (McFarland Publishers) presently in its second edition.
Campisi studied with UCLA's screenwriting professor Richard Walter, and has written for industry publications and genre magazines, including Hollywood Reporter, Variety, and Fangoria Magazine. He is a partner at Traplight Pictures and a member of the Producers Guild of America (P.G.A.).
Gabriel joins us today to talk about Death Pool
How did you get into producing, Gabriel?
I started making movies around the age of 8, when I discovered my father’s Super-8mm movie camera. Star Wars came out around the same time, and I remember experimenting with stop-motion animation. Of course, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing at the time, but I just knew it was something I really enjoyed. I started shooting more elaborate “movies” over the next few years and eventually shot award-winning short films.
As I got older, the natural progression of “making movies” led to handling the productions from the ground up, and that meant putting on the producer’s hat.
Do you find producing more interesting than directing?
I find both positions equally exciting and challenging. They each have their own distinct set of nuances and rewards, but as producer you’re more in charge of the production, and there are a lot more responsibilities involved.
I enjoy the creativity involved with directing. Right now I have too many projects I’m dealing with as writer and producer, and not enough peace of mind to take on the responsibilities of a director, but it’s something I will be going back to again soon.
And what about on Death Pool, what were your main responsibilities?
On Death Pool, I had all the responsibilities inherent in any production to contend with. From preparation and pre-production to post-production and delivery of the finished movie to our sales agent and distributors.
Making sure the project stayed within budget and on schedule was always a dominating factor, as well as making sure the director Jared Cohn could get all the shots he needed to bring the screenplay to life.
Safety was also an issue, since we were dealing with a lot of water and drownings. As producer, you always want to make sure nobody gets hurt in any way, so that often means jumping in and saying, “Sorry, we can’t do this.” No shot is worth someone getting hurt.
Luckily, we had a great crew and great actors, and things went very smooth.
What was your toughest day, as a producer, on Death Pool?
I think the first day is always the toughest on any movie. It’s also the most exciting, but the first day is when all the wrinkles are fresh and need to get ironed out. Cast and crew learn to work together, and everyone sort of has to feel each other out and learn each other’s personalities, strengths and weaknesses.
A good producer must possess good diplomacy skills and know how to deal with different character types – and believe me, you see every character trait imaginable on a movie set!
Like I said before, though, we had an amazing cast and crew, and they made the entire production fun and laid back.
In terms of casting or creative choices, were there ever disagreements between you and director Jared Cohn?
Jared and I are best friends, first and foremost. As business partners, we equally respect one another, which is fundamental to the success of any creative and business relationship. For this reason, it’s very rare that we disagree on things. However, if we do, we merely discuss the issue at hand, point out the pros and cons, and either compromise or convince the other to our point of view.
The casting on Death Pool was spot-on perfect. Randy Wayne, Demetreus Stear and Sara Lane are amazing and incredible performers, and they brought life to the fictional characters. So did all the other actors.
Was the film inspired by a real-life case?
There were some stories in the newspapers many years ago about some drownings in the San Fernando Valley that were viewed as suspicious and deliberate, and were never solved by the police. At the same time, there was a guy who was arrested for drowning a victim in the same area, and the question arose: could he be responsible for these other drownings?
Although there was never any formal connection between the events, and a serial killer was never declared by authorities, Jared used these elements as the basis for the screenplay.
The original title of the movie was “The Valley Drowner.” But apparently the title didn’t translate well in other languages, so our distributor strongly recommended we change the name.
Any of those death scenes disturbing to film?
Everything in a movie is make-believe, and there are many people standing around the set, so it’s not as disturbing as seeing the finished project unfold on the screen. However, there was always some form on anxiety while shooting the drownings, because the actors really got into their scenes. For a split second you could suspend disbelief and just say, “Wow,” because you know how real it all looked.
Why was MTI Home Video the right home for this one?
MTI has been around since 1984, so they really know what they’re doing. They have broad experience with genre movies, including horrors and thrillers. They have a vast library of movies, with connections to every outlet imaginable, and a very intelligent staff that runs the operation.
The same goes for Artist View Entertainment, our sales company. Scott Jones, the CEO, is a genuinely nice person and really knows the industry. It was his idea to go to MTI, and I couldn’t be happier.
Can you tell us what’s next for you?
We’re prepping another movie through Traplight Pictures, but I’ve been busy writing a new book tentatively titled Paradigm Shift: The New Hollywood for Independent Filmmakers.
The finance models Hollywood has been using for the past few decades are changing. There are new players in town (i.e., Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc.) that are shaking things up and changing how audiences watch scripted entertainment. This change has affected how money changes hands, and a lot of the money pots that used to help finance companies in the past are no longer viable. My new book discusses all this, and I’m supplementing it with interviews with industry executives and producers, like I did with my last two books.
I’m also working on a project called Damnation Come, which hopefully everyone will hear more about soon.
Death Pool is out now on DVD and you can order it from Amazon at the following link.
Death Pool DVD (Opens in a new window)