GLASS EYE PIX Sizzle Reel The Larry Fessenden Collection The Ranger LIKE ME PSYCHOPATHS MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLAND Stake Land II STRAY BULLETS Darling ABCs of Death 2: N is for NEXUS Until Dawn Until Dawn: Rush of Blood LATE PHASES How Jesus Took America Hostage — “American Jesus” the Movie New Doc BIRTH OF THE LIVING DEAD Explores the Impact of the Ground-Breaking Horror Film NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD BENEATH THE COMEDY THE INNKEEPERS HYPOTHERMIA STAKE LAND BITTER FEAST THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL I CAN SEE YOU WENDY & LUCY Liberty Kid I SELL THE DEAD Tales From Beyond The Pale Glass Eye Pix Comix SUDDEN STORM: A Wendigo Reader, paperbound book curated by Larry Fessenden Satan Hates You Trigger Man Automatons THE ROOST THE LAST WINTER WENDIGO HABIT No Telling / The Frankenstein Complex Impact Addict Videos
February 20, 2018
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Rob Mocker’s LIKE ME starts streaming today!

Interview: Larry Fessenden on Tapping into Loneliness in LIKE ME and His Upcoming FRANKENSTEIN-Inspired Movie DEPRAVED

from Daily Dead  by Heather Wixson

For nearly 40 years now, Larry Fessenden has been a cornerstone of the independent horror scene. He’s directed over 20 projects, produced around 70 shorts and features, and has even performed in almost 100 cinematic endeavors. One of the more recent films that Fessenden has been involved with is Robert Mockler’s Like Me, in which he co-stars alongside Addison Timlin and also serves as a producer.

Written and directed by Mockler (who makes his feature debut here), Like Me follows the social media-obsessed Kiya (Timlin), who sets out to film uncomfortable situations (robberies, kidnappings, you name it) in an effort to gain more fame and notoriety amongst the online community at large. But after she takes things too far, Kiya is faced with the ugly truth that the quest for internet fame can come with a hefty price tag attached.

Daily Dead recently had the chance to speak with Fessenden about Like Me, including what attracted him to the project from a producing standpoint as well as his thoughts on digging into his character, Marshall. Fessenden also discussed the vitalness of a film such as Like Me right now, and how Mockler was able to create something special for his very first time at bat as a director. And because it was recently announced, we also spoke to Larry about his next filmmaking venture, Depraved, which is his own take on the classic Frankenstein story.

Look for Like Me to arrive on VOD platforms on Tuesday, February 20th, courtesy of Kino Lorber.

So great to speak with you again, Larry, and especially for this film. I absolutely loved it when I first saw it at SXSW last year, and, I’m so glad to see it finally getting a chance to connect with audiences now, too. Robert created an incredible film with Like Me, and I’m so excited to see people discover it now.

Larry Fessenden: Yeah, it’s really, really gratifying. I can tell you that it’s so hard to make these movies, because you’re not quite sure what you’ve got, and you have your own beliefs and excitement about it. Then, you wonder if the world will take notice. And at SXSW, we had another film that got a lot of lovely attention, and we were very happy for it, but we wondered if Like Me would get that and here we are, which is great.

Yeah, that’s awesome. Obviously, we’re going to dig into the role of Marshall, but I’d love to hear a little bit about the production side of things first, and what made you decide to get involved with Like Me as a producer.

Larry Fessenden: Well, the project came through Jenn Wexler. She recommended it and wanted to help Glass Eye with putting boots on the ground to actually make the film. It had been workshopped over at James Belfer company called Dogfish. We read the script and it was very, very vital, with the topic of social media and our ongoing struggle with loneliness of the individuals in this society, this culture that is more and more fractured because of cable news, but now we have the internet.

I was so excited to make one of our little genre films tackling this topic, but I never felt it was didactic, I felt Rob was coming at it from an artistic perspective. And, I just felt that we were possibly in the presence of a maniac who could tap into all these things, and he then brought the movie to us. We nurtured the movie for quite a long time. We worked with many, many different budgets. Jenn Wexler was constantly revising the numbers, so we could do it at different levels, and then eventually we landed with the very smallest version, but still with a great team in place.

Even though this movie wasn’t made with a huge budget, on a visual level, the things that Robert is able to pull off in this film are just so incredibly ambitious. For me, that’s one of the reasons Like Me is such a standout, because there could have been a safer way to make this movie and not lean into the visuals as much, but man, it just has such a punch to it, because of what he was able to do by marrying the visuals with his story.

Larry Fessenden: Yeah, that was very much his MO, as I say. He had these tone reels that were very kinetic and that was an essential part of the vision. What I really love about movies, and this goes back to Alfred Hitchcock, is the idea of cinema. There’s a certain amount of dialogue in the film that brings life to the characters, but, in the end, it really is a visual medium and Rob was determined in the edit to create those jagged little edits.

Then, we hooked him up with James Siewert, who’s a maniac with the camera, and makes his own rigs. The two of them really hit it off, and they were able to create something very special, and that’s why the movie has that kinetic vibe. That’s how it got its punch.

Talk about tapping into your character, Marshall. For me, what is really fascinating is that he’s a guy that’s very off-putting at first, because of certain actions. There’s still a humanity to him, and in the character of Kiya too, where Robert really tapped into this idea that human beings are still human beings regardless of their imperfections.

Larry Fessenden: Absolutely. Look, it’s very clear to me that if advertising and marketing creates a standard that we can’t possibly achieve, and it is entirely the design of the capitalist society to make you feel like you have to purchase things in order to get there. And that’s why loneliness is baked into our American cultural society. And I feel that there are so many scenes where you could just feel that kind of anguish from each character.

There’s the scene with the homeless dude and the eating. On the one hand, you have the theme of eating, and that’s something that Rob clearly wanted to explore in this film. But when she says, “What animal would you be?” He says, “I’d like to be a big fish in the water. A big creature.” And there’s so much sadness there, and you just realize people feel so beaten down by this hyperkinetic world. So yes, this is a movie about social media, but it’s really about where this culture has brought us to today, and it literally bakes loneliness into the pie.

As for Marshall, yeah, he’s a little bit of a creep, because he very possibly oversteps the line with a younger girl, but it’s also unclear if she’s telling the truth in the same token. I think the reality is, it’s two people in a room and I don’t think he’s going down a list thinking, “Is this legal or not?” He says, “I don’t know if I could live with myself if I didn’t explore this opportunity.” And then, of course, the movie spirals from there.

One thing I appreciated was that the script gives some explanation as to literally what damaged him, but it’s nice that it saves that for later on for when you’ve already made a judgment about him. That’s an interesting structural thing, not to lead with that, and, of course, you never really get backstory from Kiya. These are the things that make a movie haunting and intriguing. You don’t have all the answers laid out right in front of you.

For me, it’s interesting because she really wants these connections, but almost for a self-serving purpose. It’s a real internal struggle that Kiya has. I also loved the fact that even though these characters come together in a really messed up way, there’s almost a sweetness to the relationship, too. You can tell Marshall is conflicted, because sometimes he’s posturing with Kiya, and sometimes he’s being very genuine.

Larry Fessenden: Right. I love that you say that. It’s almost like he’s defiant. I think that I played it that way, and I actually maybe believe that. I never thought of it until this moment, but nowadays, it’s almost defiant to be vulnerable. Or to be candid. Because everyone is self-protecting and they’re so aware of how they’re coming off. Marshall’s lost everything in his mind, and so the one thing he has left is just to put himself out there. And this girl is somebody who is ready to receive him for who he is.

Before we go, I wanted to congratulate you on Depraved. I saw the announcement the other day, and that’s really awesome to hear you’ve got a new directing project coming up.

Larry Fessenden: Oh, cool. Thanks, I’m very excited. We’re going to see what we can do. It’s funny, when a movie is in your head, and then, all of a sudden, you’re like, “Oh crap, now I’ve got to go and put it on the screen,” [laughs]. A friend of mine said that making a movie is making as few bad decisions as you can, where it ends up being a ratio of good decisions to bad decisions, and I believe that.

Because Depraved is tapping into the world of Frankenstein and Frankenstein’s monster, I’m curious what is it about this character that appealed to you as a storyteller?

Larry Fessenden: Well, in a funny way, I want to make all the classics again. I’ve made a vampire movie. I want to make a werewolf movie, but Frankenstein is one of the greatest creations of pop culture. The original version is a masterpiece, and oddly enough, it’s a story that hasn’t been done that well since. And it’s often attempted. I feel there’s a core theme in that story that I would like to explore and bring it very much back to this idea of loneliness.

It’s about waking up, and you’re someone, and you don’t know who you are or why you are. And then there’s the question of what brought you into this world. In my story, there will be conflict of the parental figures as the scientist who made him and the other people around him. I’m very interested in the subjective lonely experience of being alive in this world and in this culture, and Frankenstein is such a fantastic, iconic way to look at it. And also, there is the physical body horror aspect to this story, of someone being sewn together, and there’s identity horror, too. There’s so much possibility in it that I’m just overflowing with excitement.

February 7, 2018
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THE RANGER to World Premiere at SXSW

Jenn Wexler’s THE RANGER, produced by Glass Eye Pix and Hood River Entertainment, to world premiere in the SXSW Midnighters section!

Teen punks, on the run from the cops and hiding out in the woods, come up against the local authority—an unhinged park ranger with an axe to grind.

Cast: Chloë Levine, Granit Lahu, Jeremy Pope, Bubba Weiler, Amanda Grace Benitez, Jeremy Holm, Larry Fessenden

Directed by Jenn Wexler. Written by Jenn Wexler & Giaco Furino. Produced by Andrew van den Houten, Larry Fessenden, Ashleigh Snead, Heather Buckley, and Jenn Wexler. Co-produced by Chris Skotchdopole. Edited by Jenn Wexler & Abbey Killheffer. Cinematography by James Siewert. 

Check it out at SXSW.com.

January 30, 2018
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IndieWire: Larry Fessenden to Direct ‘Frankenstein’-Inspired Horror Movie ‘Depraved’ — Exclusive

Fessenden’s first feature in four years will be produced by Joe Swanberg’s Forager Films.

by Eric Kohn

Few American filmmakers epitomize the spirit of horror made beyond the clutches of Hollywood better than Larry Fessenden, who has directed and produced socially conscious scary movies for decades. Now, IndieWire has exclusively learned that Fessenden is stepping behind the camera for the first in several years to direct “Depraved” from his own script. Billed as a contemporary reimagining of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” Fessenden’s project focuses on a field surgeon who suffers from PTSD after combat in the Middle East, and creates a living human out of body parts in his Gowanus, Brooklyn lab.

This is not the first time Fessenden has used the backdrop of a creepy laboratory to explore real-world concerns. His 1991 feature “No Telling” focused on a man experimenting on animals and the impact of the work on his personal life. Fessenden is best known for directing the 1999 New York vampire drama “Habit,” the mystical “Wendigo,” and the eco-thriller “The Last Winter.” He last directed the Chiller-produced monster movie “Beneath,” and has produced countless low budget projects through his Glass Eye Pix, including Ti West’s “The Innkeepers” and Jim Mickle’s “Stake Land.” Glass Eye Pix also produces the radio horror series “Tales From Beyond the Pale,” which premiered its latest season on IndieWire in 2017.

For “Depraved,” Fessenden said he was excited to bring the “Frankenstein” narrative into a contemporary context. In a statement, he called his approach to the story “deeply personal and visceral,” adding, “I’ve been moved by the iconic character since childhood and it is a great thrill to try and put my version on the screen.”

The movie begins production in New York in February. It stars David Call, Joshua Leonard, and Alex Breaux (“Bushwick”) as the monster.

The project will be produced by Joe Swanberg’s Forager Films, which recently premiered Josephine Decker’s “Madeline’s Madeline” at Sundance. “Larry Fessenden has consistently made groundbreaking, intelligent, socially relevant films in addition to shepherding some of the most important young voices in genre filmmaking,” Swanberg said. “We could not be more excited to collaborate with him on this project.”

Check out the article at indieWire

Glass Eye Pix press release

January 26, 2018
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FSR sits with LIKE ME director Robert Mockler

From Film School Rejects:

Robert Mockler’s Like Me is an unshakable film. Here is an aggressive, often angry assault on our desperate desire to connect in the age of likes, follows, and retweets. Concerned with the cinema of isolation, Mockler partnered with genre legend Larry Fessenden (HabitWendigo) and actress Addison Timlin (Little Sister) to produce a visually visceral descent into the psyche of the social media obsessed. Not quite Natural Born Killers, the crime spree of Like Me  is a pulsating and painful conversation surrounding our Information Age addiction.

Read full interview HERE

January 26, 2018
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L.A. TONIGHT! LIKE ME Q&A with Ian Nelson and Peter Phok

Special Q&A with Ian Nelson and executive producer Peter Phok.
Following the 6:00PM screening, TONIGHT!

Arena Cinelounge Sunset
6464 Sunset Blvd. Hollywood, Ca. 90028

Buy tickets HERE

January 26, 2018
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LA Times: LIKE ME “has an eccentric bravura to it”

‘Like Me’ peers into dark corners of anti-social media

“Like Me” makes a case for describing one corner of the web as anti-social media, in that the need to connect online can send certain souls toward ever-darker impulses. (Logan Paul, pay attention.)

In this woolly, weird portrait of maladjusted loneliness, Addison Timlin plays Kiya, a pixie-ish, peripatetic, thrill-seeking millennial who turns phone-captured encounters with fringe denizens of the night — a convenience store clerk who thinks he’s being held up, a homeless man she plies with food — into squirrelly online content designed to stoke responses from fans and trolls alike.

Her crime spree takes a turn when she lures a skeevy middle-aged motel owner (indie horror stalwart Larry Fessenden, who also produced) into a costumed sex scenario involving junk food, torture and kidnapping, but that morphs into a perversely emotional connection over their separate statuses as outsiders. Perhaps realizing his setup is intriguing if dramatically thin, writer-director Robert Mockler deploys a healthy skill with Kubrick-torqued visual experimentation — interjected video installations — that keep the tension up and the psychological terrain appealingly destabilized.

Both impish and melancholy, with Timlin and Fessenden handily shifting the molecules in the air each time they share a scene, “Like Me” has an eccentric bravura to it. It’s like an artisanal cocktail of modern-day danger, pain and alienation: whether it wants you to sip or gulp, it finds its way into your head.

Read Full Article HERE

 

January 26, 2018
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TONIGHT 10PM: THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL at the Alamo Drafthouse Yonkers

PRINTS OF DARKNESS: THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL

Presented in 35mm

Hosted by Michael Gingold. Conversation to follow between Gingold and Killer Tapes and
Shattered Screens author Caetlin Benson-Allott. 

Buy Tickets HERE

January 26, 2018
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UPROXX: Fessenden talks LIKE ME and the changing attitude toward horror movies

 

From UPROXX:

Despite a long resumé as a producer, director, and actor, Larry Fessenden isn’t exactly a household name, outside of diehard horror circles. Fessenden, however, always has the larger world in mind. His mostly low-budget movies all incorporate larger themes alongside the scares. Fessenden acts in and produces Like Me, in which a young woman named Kiya (Addison Timlin) causes a firestorm of controversy via line-crossing prank videos. It’s the first feature from writer/director Robert Mockler, and Fessenden took on the project via his company, Glass Eye Pix. We spoke with Fessenden about bringing new filmmakers under his wing, the role social media plays in our lives, and how this year’s Academy Awards is part of a changing perception of horror movies on a whole.

Check out the interview HERE

January 25, 2018
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Catch the Livestream Q&A with LIKE ME Director Robert Mockler and Fessenden!

From Dread Central:

We’re excited to host a livestream Q&A with Like Me director Robert Mockler and genre icon Larry Fessenden that will be moderated by our own Matt Donato. The event will begin at 8:20 pm ET, so make sure to be on our Facebook page to catch the action!

Click here for Dread Central article

January 25, 2018
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NOW buy in store and online! DVD release of Mickey Keating’s PSYCHOPATHS

BUY NOW