About: Larry Fessenden
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There is almost nothing worse than an unwelcome guest who overstays their welcome. Crumb Catcher manages to take the discomfort of such an occasion and make it a hundred times worse. All writer-director Chris Skotchdopole had to do was take an awkward new marriage, an off-the-rails waiter who wants to be an inventor, and a little sexual blackmail, and blend in the absolute horror of a home invasion to create one of the most uncomfortable and cringe-inducing films to screen this year.
Crumb Catcher opens like a Cooper Raiff film: endearing and a little cynical. Leah (Ella Rae Peck) and Shane (Rigo Garay) pose for their wedding photographer, struggling to conjure up the emotions of a couple about to embark on their happily ever after. The photographer goads them with questions, trying to inspire them to smile and laugh and act like they’re in love for the money shot, and it’s through these stiff, stilted answers that Skotchdopole introduces the first sign of trouble in their whirlwind romance. Leah works for the publishing house that is set to publish Shane’s novel, which is based on his absent-from-the-wedding father, and it’s clearly driven a wedge between them that Leah is oblivious to.
With the first few scenes of the film, it’s nearly impossible to discern what direction Crumb Catcher is headed. There’s tension between the couple, a hint of underlying money troubles, and a taste for liquor, but beyond that, it feels like a slice-of-life drama, not a home invasion thriller. At least, that is right up until the moment John (John Speredakos) steps into the picture. After a wedding cake mix-up during their wedding that neither Leah nor Shane seem entirely bothered about, John makes it his life’s mission to make it right—for his own, psychotic reasons. He tracks them down to the remote house that Leah’s editor has gifted to them for their honeymoon, strong-arms his way inside with his partner-in-crime Rose (Lorraine Ferris), and turns their honeymoon into all-out hell.
What’s worse than a home invasion? A boundary-crossing salesman trying to bully $50,000 out of the homeowner’s bank account to bankroll their useless invention: The Crumb Catcher. John’s sales pitch almost rivals some of the more anxiety-inducing scenes in The Menu, complete with a dinner from hell and a madman with a gun.
Crumb Catcher is an insanely impressive directorial feature debut for Skotchdopole. It’s funny, bizarre, uncomfortable, and an absolute cringe-fest for all the best reasons. Skotchdopole has secured himself as a writer-director to keep an eye on, as he continues to refine his skill and explore the depths of depravity with a clever, humorous voice.
Written on September 25, 2023 at 8:30 pm
by BRIAN ACCARD
With hundreds of films made about vampires, it’s obvious that some are going to fly under the radar. While these films may not have enjoyed mainstream acclaim or box office success, they have left their mark on the genre, tantalizing those with an appetite for the unusual and offering fresh perspectives on ancient mythos.
Just in time for Halloween and the need for something new to watch. From forgotten classics of the past to contemporary hidden treasures, here are 12 obscure vampire movies you’ve probably never heard of but definitely need to check out.
Indie horror maverick Larry Fessenden wrote, directed, and starred in his 1997 vampire horror film Habit, in which he plays Sam, a self-destructive alcoholic who meets the beautiful but mysterious Anna at a Halloween party. The two are immediately drawn to each other and embark on an all-consuming romance. But Sam starts to suffer from a strange illness and soon begins to suspect Anna is actually a vampire, and he’s been turned.
Like Abel Ferrara’s The Addiction, it’s pretty obvious just by the title alone that Fessenden’s Habit is more or less an allegory for alcoholism and the self-destructive lifestyle of addicts. It’s grim, dark, and gritty, with a heavy atmosphere that’s hard to shake.
Jim Mickle’s indie post-apocalyptic vampire film Stake Land has gone underseen and underappreciated since its quiet release in 2010. Set in a dystopian world overrun by vampires following a viral outbreak, the film centers around a young boy named Martin who, after his family is killed by vampires, joins forces with a seasoned vampire hunter named Mister. Together, they embark on a perilous journey through the desolate American landscape, searching for a rumored safe haven known as “New Eden.”
Despite its obvious low budget, Mickle mines the most out of his limited resources via strong characterization and powerful performances from his two leads, Connor Paolo and Nick Damici. The direction is assured, and Mickle’s ability to maintain a brooding atmosphere – thanks in no small part to Jeff Grace’s fantastic score and Ryan Samul’s crisp cinematography – really helps Stake Land stand apart from other low-budget post-apocalyptic monster movies (of which there are many). It’s a unique take on the vampire mythos, with more in common with The Walking Dead than Dracula, and is well worth checking out.
Written on September 25, 2023 at 1:11 pm
Written on September 24, 2023 at 12:25 am
WHAT DOESN’T FLOAT Directed by Luca Balser
Written by Shauna Fitzgerald
Pauline Chalamet, Larry Fessenden, Roger Howarth, Cindy De La Cruz
In theaters on September 22
“In What Doesn’t Float, director Luca Balser and writer Shauna Fitzgerald
set the stage with seven vignettes, each about the mistakes and heartaches
of various New Yorkers who can’t seem to make the right decision,
whether it’s the socially acceptable call or not…”
—Magan Robinson, MOVIEJAWN
“What Doesn’t Float is a wonderfully crafted series of stories
– each finding a different meaning to its place, to its character,
to its exposure of the life of this corner of the city, and what it means to be a part of it.
All the vignettes are strong, but highlights include one in which …
a seemingly insignificant moment between
Marco (Larry Fessenden) and the young girl (Chanel & Dior Umoh)
that turns both violent and compassionate.”
—Shelagh Rowan-Legg, SCREEN ANARCHY
Written on September 22, 2023 at 12:59 pm
Submarine Entertainment Secures Worldwide Sales Rights on ‘Crumb Catcher’ Ahead of Fantastic Fest (EXCLUSIVE)
By Brent Lang
Submarine Entertainment is picking up worldwide sales rights on Chris Skotchdopole’s feature directorial debut “Crumb Catcher.” The move comes just ahead of the darkly comic thriller’s Fantastic Festworld premiere.
Skotchdopole wrote, directed, edited, and produced the movie and Submarine Entertainment, a notable sales and production company, will launch sales out of the festival, which runs from Sept. 21 to Sept. 28 at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar in Austin, Texas. “Crumb Catcher” was described by Fantastic Fest programmer Anna Bogutskaya as a “chamber piece that melds extreme anxiety with the worst salesmanship imaginable.” The film follows a newlywed couple held captive by an entrepreneur desperate to finance his outlandish invention with a blackmail plot.
With ten years of experience working with Glass Eye Pix, the New York independent genre production outfit led by horror auteur Larry Fessenden, Skotchdopole has amassed numerous credits on several films, including working as the cinematographer on Fessenden’s “Depraved,” as co-producer on Jenn Wexler’s “The Ranger,” and associate producer on Robert Mockler’s “Like Me” and Jack Fessenden’s “Stray Bullets.” Prior to his feature debut, Skotchdopole wrote and directed the short “The Egg and the Hatchet,” which screened at the Oldenburg Film Festival and Festival du Nouveau Cinéma, among others.
Fessenden and Garay also share story credits with Skotchdopole, and Adam Carboni shot the film.
Following the world premiere at Fantastic Fest, “Crumb Catcher” will screen at the Woodstock Film Festival and at the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival, with further festival engagements to be announced.
Here’s the teaser trailer:
Written on September 21, 2023 at 1:49 pm
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