The „Sundance of Horror“ rides again and kicks off its 11th incarnation on October 14th through October 23rd. As usual, Screamfest L.A. will showcase some of the best in international horror cinema. Taking place at the Chinese 6 and Highland Center in Hollywood, this year’s event features no less than eleven world premieres. Among them are the highly anticipated thriller „Rosewood Lane“ by Victor Salva, Anthony DiBlasi’s first non-Clive-Barker-related project „Cassadaga“ and the fourth entry into the „Wrong Turn“ series. But festival director Rachel Belofsky also made sure that the rest of the program is highlighted by extraordinary examples of creepy filmmaking with an edge. Thus the festival wouldn’t be complete without „Chillerama“ and „Some Guy who Kills People“, two of the most hilarious horror comedies of 2011. In order to stimulate your appetite, find out a little more about some of the titles mentioned.
Rosewood Lane (USA 2011)
Victor Salva’s first directorial feature since the 2006 spiritual drama „Peaceful Warrior“ stars genre-favorite Rose McGowan as a radio talk show psychiatrist who enters a ‘suburban nightmare’ (Salva) when she moves back to her childhood home. Stalked and intimidated by a scary local paperboy, who might be a sociopath, a serial killer or even a supernatural entity, McGowan’s character finds herself confronted with the possibility that pure evil actually exists while she has to fear for her life and her boyfriend. The story itself may sound like a regular entry into the subgenre of evil kids movies, but Salva considers „Rosewood Lane“ as one of his most terrifying films yet. On a sidenote, this is the fourth collaboration between the director and actor Ray Wise, who also happens to be in Adam Rifkin’s episode of „Chillerama“.
Chillerama (USA 2011)
A classic anthology movie celebrating ‘the golden age of drive-in B-horror shlock’ by four filmmakers who already left their mark on the genre. Adam Green, best known for the „Hatchet“ films, opens the black and white „Diary of Anne Frankenstein“ in which a pretty demented Adolf Hitler tries to create the perfect killing machine. Tim Sullivan, writer/director of „2001 Maniacs“, offers a gayish musical take on the werewolf concept. Joe Lynch, having proven his skills by making „Wrong Turn 2“ an enjoyable direct-to-dvd sequel, puts the ‘B’ in ‘ZomBies’, and Adam Rifkin, successful Hollywood author („Mousehunt“, „Small Soldiers“) and mastermind behind the controversial tv show „Look“, creates a giant sperm monster in „Wadzilla“. No limits and dozens of famous cameos make this insane four-segment-show a juicy experience for everyone who finds good fun in bad taste.
Cassadaga (USA 2011)
Anthony DiBlasi is best known for his collaborations with Clive Barker for whom he functioned as an executive producer on four movies since „The Plague“ while making his debut in the director’s chair with the highly acclaimed and deeply disturbing „Dread“ (starring Jackson Rathbone before he gained „Twilight“ fame). „Cassadaga“ is not only DiBlasi’s first feature without any participation of the horror maestro but also the ambitious attempt to establish the next iconic serial killer. Meaningfully called ‘Geppetto’ (after Pinocchio’s whittler dad), the nameless psychopath turns his victims into living puppets as depicted on a pretty bold teaser poster circulating the web in two versions for a while now. The script by Bruce Wood also throws in a deaf heroine, a vengeful ghost, séances and a spiritualist community. Hence there’s reason to expect more than just another more or less sophisticated flick from the realms of torture porn.
Some Guy who kills People (USA 2011)
A serial killer is also the central plot device of this extraordinary genre mash-up that had caught the interest of veteran director John Landis early on and made him decide to function as an executive producer. Written by comedy-author Ryan Levin („Scrubs“, „I’m in the Band“) and directed by Jack Perez of „The Big Empty“, the movie is probably best described as a slasher comedy, but then again, it’s something completely different: Freshly released from a psychiatric hospital, loner Ken decides to take revenge on those he considers responsible for his messed up life. But while the number of unsolved murders in the small town increases daily, the miserable avenger is confronted with his teenage daughter for the first time and everything seems to change. But does it? – Beautifully filmed on a shoestring budget and artfully acted by the likes of Kevin Corrigan („Fringe“), Barry Bostwick and Lucy Davis, this original little movie easily transcends any genre borders and delivers a unique viewing experience including laughter, tears and blood. As a footnote, Levin and Perez are currently hoping to join the upcoming horror anthology „The ABCs of Death“ with their four-minute segment „T is for Tantrum“.
[Images: Voltage Pictures (Rosewood Lane) | ArieScope Pictures (Chillerama) | Poileywood Entertainment (Cassadaga) | Battle of Ireland Films (Some Guy who kills People)]