May 1, 2017
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Birth. Movies. Death. — TALES “a highlight” of The Overlook Film Festival

“There’s a quaintness to the delivery of these scary stories
that makes their unnerving content stand out in stark contrast.”

The Overlook Film Festival: TALES FROM BEYOND THE PALE
The spooky radio drama got a live read at Timberline Lodge.

by Meredith Borders

If you’re not familiar with Larry Fessenden and Glenn McQuaid’s radio drama Tales From Beyond the Pale, it’s a terrific and haunting storytelling device. I’ve been lucky enough to see two live reads of the show – once at The Stanley Film Festival, and this week at The Overlook Film Festival.

The performers stand at mics with headphones and scripts on podiums, while McQuaid sits in the background at a soundboard, producing the show and playing his original score. Two sound effects artists work at a table to the side, using sound props like a small door in a frame, shoes in a box of gravel, jars full of liquid, a tube they shake to create, as my colleague Katie Rife phrased it, “ambient spookiness.” As riveting as the stories are, and as great as the performances, it’s tempting to just watch the sound artists at work, the little magic they create with bags of sand and aluminum ducts.

Fessenden, in his marvelous voice, opens the show with a Crypt Keeper-type monologue, assuring us that today’s stories are intended to distract us from the “hundred-day horror show” that has been this nation. He also performs a role in each story, along with Shudder’s Sam Zimmerman, The Pumpkin Pie Show’s Clay McLeod Chapman and actress Janet Scanlon.

The first story is titled “Re-Appraisal,” in which a man (Chapman) is trying to sell his house so he can escape the modern insanity of the United States and move back to his homeland of Ireland. A potential buyer (Fessenden) arrives with a very compelling offer, but the seeming bargain comes at a terrible price. “Re-Appraisal,” written by McQuaid, trades on our new, unfortunate revival of nuclear panic, and tells a lesson about the selfishness of our own anxiety.

The second story, written by Fessenden, is called “In the Wind,” and it’s a Fargo meets The Mist-type tale in which Scanlon plays Frannie, a small town police chief in a snowy mountain resort, with Zimmerman playing her sweet-tempered second-in-command. While investigating a homicide, Frannie and her team soon realize that what they’re dealing with is something much worse, a supernatural foe that threatens to overtake the entire town.

Both stories were perfectly creepy and beautifully performed, generating real suspense in that small, warm room. Tales From Beyond the Pale was once more a highlight of this horror festival, a refreshing change from slasher flicks and the like. There’s a quaintness to the delivery of these scary stories that makes their unnerving content stand out in stark contrast. If you ever get a chance to see Tales From Beyond the Pale performed live, you should take it, and in the meantime, check out more tales here.

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May 1, 2017
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GEP pals Evan Katz and Macon Blair premiere SMALL CRIMES on Netflix

SMALL CRIMES was directed by Evan Katz and is available now on Netflix. It stars Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Gary Cole, Pat Healy, Macon Blair, Robert Forster, Molly Parker  and features “an all-knowing strip club owner played by cult-movie legend Larry Fessenden.” 

“…Adapted from a 2008 novel by Needham’s Dave Zeltserman, “Small Crimes” is the cinematic equivalent of an amusing novel that distracts you during a cross-country flight. It’s the perfect movie to premiere on Netflix, not quite distinguished enough to warrant a trip to the multiplex but ideal couch company on a rainy afternoon. Such modest virtues should not be underestimated.”

Full review

Watch the TRAILER

May 1, 2017
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TALES at the Overlook: “One of the coolest events that the fest has to offer”

Tales at the Overlook Film Festival, 29 April 2017:
Clay McLeod Chapman, Larry Fessenden, Beck Underwood, Sam Zimmerman,
Glenn McQuaid, Janet Scanlon, Lee Nussbaum, Devin Febbroriello

From Kalyn Corrigan of Bloody Disgusting

After the movie had ended I ran over to the Barlow room, where I got to see one of the coolest events that the fest has to offer – Tales From Beyond the Pale. Like an old H.G. Wells show, four actors, including Larry Fessenden and Sam Zimmerman, voiced two live readings of creepy Twilight Zone-esque stories that left me feeling like I was in the 1950s huddled up next to family members and a roaring fireplace as we listened to our favorite radio program. I mean, there were even two ladies on the side of the stage putting their hands in shoes and making them walk on a piece of wood to create the illusion that someone was stomping through a house. When a character in a story experienced turbulence on an airplane, they clinked together drinking glasses to make it seem like the actors were really on a plane. “Phonecalls” were voiced through a megaphone to make it sound authentic, and an old wooden chair was swiveled back and forth under a microphone to mimic the creaks of an aging house moaning in the wind. It was truly fascinating to see these stories leap off the page and become alive right before me.

The second story titled “In the Wind” took place in a snowy mountain town, where two sweet little police officers named Frannie and Carl followed up a call about some missing truckers who had left their cars and been found hundreds of feet away without an explanation. Before long, gargoyle-like winged creatures appear and ravage the officers, stealing from them their lives and their sanity. I enjoyed both stories immensely, but the first one was especially cool. In it, a self-absorbed man named Tom hangs up the phone with his wife who pleads with him yet again not to move their family away to Ireland, but to no avail. Just as he ends the call, a knock appears at the door, and it’s a strange gentleman who offers to buy the house they’re trying to sell on the spot, without haggling, above the asking price. Tom jumps at the chance but begins to grow suspicious of this odd character after he begins asking for other things, too, such as Tom’s dog, and then his wife, and his two children. At first, Tom grows angry, but as the soothing spirit coaxes him with his Irish tongue and twisted logic, Tom finds himself adhering to this strange and unusual deal, he comes to see it as a bargain and gladly trades in his old life for a new one. He’ll soon live to regret it.

I simply cannot praise Larry Fessenden enough. From his writing to his acting, and even just his voice all carry a unique sense of the old world. When he shows up for a job, you can just tell that he’s there and doing it because he loves to perform. He loves his job. It’s not about the money, it’s about the craft, and every project he’s a part of becomes that much more special just because of his commanding presence. It was a real joy to witness him live and in person.

rehearsal gets ghostly

April 28, 2017
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STRAY BULLETS in MovieMaker

The Family That Makes Movies
Together Stays Together

…When asked about directing his dad in Stray Bullets, Jack laughs, “I’ve directed my dad since I was a very young child. I’ve always been bossy, but now, I’m considered directorial. My dad’s been in my short films for three or four years now, in front of and behind the camera. What’s funny is that I assume he knows what I want because we talk about it so much beforehand, so on set I may neglect to give him direction when I should, and that can result in him saying, ‘Well, I didn’t know what you wanted.’ But we’re usually on the same page.”

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Watch the film!

April 28, 2017
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Screen Anarchy: LIKE ME “amply succeeds in terms of visual verve and strong performances.”

Screen Anarchy reviews LIKE ME which unspools at the Overlook Film Festival

“a poignant snapshot of the essential disconnect between people.

Persuasive performances across the board help keep our eyes glued to the screen. Genre favorite and indie legend Fessenden surprises by giving an offbeat character unusual emotional depth in a role that is far meatier than his recent string of cameo appearances in films like Darling, Carnage Park and The Transfiguration. Timlin, meanwhile, perfectly balances the tightrope of playing a wounded character at a loss, yearning for affection, yet always dangerously close to plummeting into the depths of full-blown narcissism that becomes a dangerous sociopath. Timlin’s mere presence carries Like Me through narrative lulls.

… Mockler arrives as a talent to watch. Like Me is a disorienting film that manages to pack a quiet punch on its own terms by the time the end credits roll.”

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April 23, 2017
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TALES FROM BEYOND THE PALE at The Overlook Film Fest 4/29/17

Glenn McQuaid and Larry Fessenden are pleased to present a TALES FROM BEYOND THE PALE LIVE event at the Premiere Edition of the newly minted Overlook Film Festival outside Portland Oregon at the famed Overlook Hotel seen in Kubrick’s THE SHINING.

On the bill are two new macabre stories, penned just for the occasion: McQuaid’s Reappraisal and Fessenden’s  In The Wind. Lending their voice talents will be Tales regulars Clay McLeod Chapman and Sam Zimmerman along with special guests and your host, Larry Fessenden. McQuaid will be on hand to trigger music and effects, while Beck Underwood and Devin Febbroriello will provide foley, all live-mixed by audio maestro Lee Nussbaum.

The team promises to deliver thought provoking chills and thrills, and would like to remind you that if things get too scary… covering your eyes won’t help.

Special event poster by Brian Level.

Tales from Beyond the Pale
LIVE in The Barrow Room, Saturday, April 29 at 4pm

McQuaid and Fessenden are having none of it.

Now in its sixth year of operation, TALES FROM BEYOND THE PALE, the brainchild of Larry Fessenden and Glenn McQuaid, has delivered over forty original audio dramas to the eager ears of horror fans the world over. Their most recent batch of Tales, Season 3, “We’re All Ears” won Best Audio Drama Series at the New York Festival Audio Awards, and their forth season, “Wish You Were Hear,” a collection of live shows from the past three years is set to be released this Halloween.

April 22, 2017
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April 21, 2017
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Psychopaths LIVE talk at Tribeca

Tune in LIVE as Ashley Bell, Larry Fessenden, and Mickey Keating tell us about their new horror flick,
Psychopaths, 
premiering at Tribeca 2017.

April 21, 2017
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Rue Morgue reviews PSYCHOPATHS: “a kaleidoscope of bizarre behavior and shocking bloodshed.”

Tribeca ’17 Movie Review: A world gone mad in Mickey Keating’s PSYCHOPATHS

Friday, April 21, 2017
MICHAEL GINGOLD

“Rising horror director Mickey Keating has been exploring insanity for his last few films, and after the monochromatic psychodrama of DARLING and the desert dementia of CARNAGE PARK, he goes full-blown crazy with PSYCHOPATHS, abandoning conventional storytelling to plunge into the avant-garde.”

A world premiere at the current Tribeca Film Festival, PSYCHOPATHS was described by Keating during the post-screening Q&A as “a collage of violence and glamour,” and that’s a pretty accurate and succinct summation. To detail: the movie begins with the rants of serial killer Henry Earl Starkweather (Larry Fessenden), who promises that his impending execution will unleash an explosion of violent mania across the land. And sure enough, the ensemble we meet following his introduction is chock full o’ nuts. There’s Alice (PARK’s Ashley Bell), with a murderous split personality who dwells in a fantasy world modeled on 1950s musicals; the Midnight Strangler (James Landry Hébert), first seen claiming a victim in a seedy motel; and a killer (Shudder curator Samuel D. Zimmerman) who wears a series of plastic masks.

 Then there are those who victimize these victimizers, including Blondie (TRASH FIRE’s Angela Trimbur), a would-be Midnight Stranglee who turns the tables on her attacker and subjects him to even worse treatment than he had in mind for her, and an out-of-control cop (THE BATTERY filmmaker/star Jeremy Gardner) determined to nail the masked man. As we follow this gallery of maniacs, a couple of their exploits intersect, though Keating’s intent is less to create a shared-world narrative and more to present an overall environment of insanity, a kaleidoscope of bizarre behavior and shocking bloodshed.

 To do so, the writer/director applies a very loose approach to narrative that might confound viewers expecting a traditional portrait of some serial killers, and will fascinate others who’ll find themselves caught up in the accumulating, accelerating madness. Keating is after impact via imagery and sound, and both are as varied and off-kilter as the psyches on display, while he once again pays homage to past cinematic favorites. With cinematographer Mac Fisken, he adopts different lighting and color schemes from character to character, ranging from noirish shadow play to giallo-esque primary colors, and editor Valerie Krulfeifer assembles it all with echoes of David Lynch surrealism. That feeling is furthered by the soundtrack, including a mix of hypnotic original compositions by Shayfer James and others and some well-chosen vintage songs.

More than just a technical exercise, PSYCHOPATHS is also a showcase for several different styles of unhinged acting, which is what truly holds the attention. All the leads convincingly convey their variously disturbed states of mind, but Bell commands the most attention as the singing and dancing, slicing and dicing Alice. From THE LAST EXORCISM through the underseen THE DAY and now her one-two punch with Keating, she has proven herself a genre actress with true range and a willingness to play any role to the hilt. It has always been interesting to see which fear stream Keating will head down next, and one hopes he will continue to take Bell with him.

Read full review…

April 20, 2017
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The Ranger: Cast announced!

Jeremy Holm, Chloe Levine, and Amanda Grace Benitez will star in Jenn Wexler’s independent thriller “The Ranger,” Variety has learned exclusively.

Wexler was the lead producer on Ana Asensio’s drama “Most Beautiful Island,” which won the SXSW narrative competition last month.

Larry Fessenden’s Glass Eye Pix and Andrew van den Houten’s Hood River Entertainment are the production companies. Wexler produces along with Larry Fessenden and Heather Buckley for Glass Eye Pix. Andrew van den Houten and Ashleigh Snead produce for Hood River Entertainment.

“The Ranger,” which has started shooting in New York, is written by Wexler and Giaco Furino. It follows a group of teen punks who get in trouble with the cops. The kids escape to the woods to hide out, where they come up against the local authority, an unhinged park ranger with an axe to grind, hell-bent on preserving the serenity of his forest.

 

Holm’s credits include “House of Cards” and “Mr. Robot” while Levine has starred in “The Transfiguration” and “The OA.” Granit Lahu, Jeremy Pope, and Bubba Weiler also star.

“The Ranger” marks Wexler’s feature film directorial debut. She produced Robert Mockler’s “Like Me,” which debuted at SXSW, and Mickey Keating’s “Psychopaths,” which is set to world-premiere this week at the Tribeca Film Festival. She also produced Keating’s “Darling,” which launched at Fantastic Fest and was released in 2016.

Holm is repped by Leading Artists and managed by Lori Kay of Prevail Artist Management. Levine is repped by APA and managed by Carolyn Anthony of Anthony & Associates. Benitez is represented by AEFH Inc. and managed by Bob McGowan of Bob McGowan Management.

Variety has the scoop…