The Creepy Christmas Film Festival 2018

Curator BECK UNDERWOOD (2018, 25 Short Films)

The festival is back! Original fest alumni along with some terrifyingly talented newcomers have been given a holiday-themed word as their prompt. Representing a wide variety of styles and approaches, their short films premiere this year from December 1 – 25.


Entertainment Weekly

In 2008, filmmaker Beck Underwood and New York-based production company Glass Eye Pix created a digital advent calendar that offered genre fans a new Christmas-themed horror short every day, from Dec. 1 to Christmas Day. Titled The Creepy Christmas Film Festival, the calendar’s lineup included contributions from directors Mary Harron (American Psycho), Sara Driver (Permanent Vacation), Jim Mickle (Hap and Leonard), and Ti West (House of the Devil).

A decade on, Underwood and Glass Eye Pix are back to distribute more mayhem with a second Creepy Christmas Fest. Contributing directors this time around include Glass Eye Pix CEO Larry Fessenden (Habit), Jenn Wexler (The Ranger), Glenn McQuaid (I Sell the Dead), Graham Reznick (Shudder’s Deadwax), and Mickey Keating (Psychopaths).

“I hadn’t really thought about doing another fest,” Underwood tells EW. “It does seem the landscape of short content is much more cluttered than it was 10 years ago. Then one day I was talking with one of the newer Glass Eye collaborators, filmmaker Ben Duff, who was waxing poetic about how much he loved the original fest. So, almost on a whim, I said, ‘Let’s do it again and would you like to help curate?’ So off we went.

“We invited some of the alumni and a lot of new faces as well. I was quite touched when Mickey Keating replied to the invite with ‘I’ve been waiting to get this email since the first Creepy Christmas.’ When people agreed to participate we reached into our scruffy Santa hat and then pulled a card with a holiday-themed word. These words, like ‘gingerbread,’ ‘mistletoe,’ ‘Santa Claus,’ ‘elf,’ etc. became their prompt. There are not a lot of rules with Creepy Christmas and we don’t really produce or editorialize, we pretty much take them as they come in. I do ask they keep them between 30 seconds and six minutes, but even that rule is violated!

“The spirit of Creepy Christmas seems to shine most in some of the hodgepodge ways people end up making their movies, roping in family members and sometimes even jumping into a medium they always wanted to try, but you know, film business… For instance, Larry Fessenden, known for his dramatic, live-action movies, gets to play with his action figures and dip back into his original love of stop-motion, creating really wacky animated romps.”

The 10th Anniversary Creepy Christmas Fest premieres Dec. 1. Learn more at the official website and exclusively watch the Fest’s trailer, above.

Dread Central

Regular readers of Dread Central know that we’ve been assembling 30/31-Day horror movie challenges for truly dedicated (and slightly depraved) genre aficionados with the stamina to consume a genre flick every single day for the past 6 months. We just recently released “The End is Nigh”, out December challenge, which you can gear-up for by clicking on the link below.

It turns out we aren’t the only ones putting on a month-long horror extravaganza via the internet; our friends at Glass Eye Pix are presenting the Creepy Christmas Film Fest, an online holiday gore-fest that will unfold online, advent calendar-style, from December 1st through December 25th. They’ll be featuring a new short horror movie each day. Here’s the scoop for this week’s press release:

This year’s filmmakers include Glass Eye Pix CEO Larry Fessenden (HABIT, WENDIGO), GEP regulars Jenn Wexler (THE RANGER), Glenn McQuaid (I SELL THE DEAD), Graham Reznick (Shudder’s “Deadwax”), Mickey Keating (PSYCHOPATHS), Joe Maggio (BITTER FEAST), James McKenney (SATAN HATES YOU), JT Petty (THE BURROWERS, HELLBENDERS), and many fresh faces – including animators Joy + Noelle, (HUMAN KINDOF), award-winning puppet theater director Jessica Grindstaff (PHANTOM LIMB COMPANY), Gothic impresario Voltaire (GOTHIC HOMEMAKING SHOW), young filmmakers from The Lower East Side Girls Club, and a host of other unexpected contributors. (See the full list at the website, HERE).

Indie horror icon and CEO of Glass Eye Pix Larry Fessenden says:

“At Glass Eye, we’re always looking for forums to get people to loosen up, forget about budgets, and rekindle their love of filmmaking and mischief-making. [The Creepy Christmas Film Fest] does just that, and it’s a real treat to see what artists of all stripes come up with for the assignment: ‘Creepy’ blended with the absurdly iconic, over-saturated imagery of the Christmas Season. ‘Deck the Halls’ indeed!”

Rue Morgue

The festive fiends at Glass Eye Pix want you to have a scary Christmas all December long, so they’re launching a daily short-film showcase tomorrow, and they gave us some exclusive photos and words on the festival!

The Creepy Christmas Film Festival, which we first reported on here, consists of 25 shorts debuting at the official website one a day from December 1-25, created by numerous members of the Glass Eye stable and other filmmakers and animators. “This is the 10-year anniversary of Creepy Christmas!” Glass Eye’s Larry Fessenden tells RUE MORGUE. “Beck Underwood, my better half, animator and production designer on STAKE LAND and I SELL THE DEAD, put together this festival 10 years ago to be like an advent calendar, where you open a new movie every day for 25 days during December. She has brought back the concept, and it’s an amazing array of artists and artisans: people like Glenn McQuaid [I SELL THE DEAD], Graham Reznick [I CAN SEE YOU], Mickey Keating [PSYCHOPATHS] and also people from Beck’s world of animation and puppetry. There’s no real money involved; it’s just a labor of love, and an invitation to do art for art’s sake. What she did was distribute a word or term associated with the holidays, and each person constructed a movie based on that small inspiration.”

“There were 25 words,” Underwood explains, “one for each filmmaker, like ‘Santa,’ ‘gingerbread,’ ‘candy cane,’ ‘stocking,’ ‘snowflake,’ ‘Mrs. Claus,’ ‘elf,’ ‘wreath,’ ‘toys,’ etc. I’m very excited with the films that have been coming in, and people look to be having a great time making them. It seems a lot of the participants are channeling strange family memories and things that have haunted them about their own holidays. I myself was taken off guard with the term I picked out of the Santa hat, ‘Christmas tree’—but finally an idea came to me, starring a very mischievous critter that now lives in my studio under lock and key! [That’s the little monster in the photo above.] I would like to add that the films are, by and large, very short—three to five minutes—so viewers can watch each daily premiere or binge-view in chunks using the interactive calendar on the website.”

“I like that it’s multimedia, in a sense,” McQuaid adds. “When Beck did the Creepy Christmas Fest 10 years ago, I made a sort of abstract animation, and I’m tackling something similar yet a little different this time, so it’s fun to have that variety.”

“There’s so much texture,” Fessenden concludes, “because there are so many different approaches. It’s a real carnival of insanity.”

Morbidly Beautiful

THIS HOLIDAY SEASON, TUNE IN FOR THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY “CREEPY CHRISTMAS FILM FEST” — AN ONLINE ADVENT CALENDAR FEATURING 25 ORIGINAL SHORT FILMS.

 

In 2008, filmmaker and animator Beck Underwood and NYC-based production company Glass Eye Pix (the fierce independent NYC-based production outfit headed by award-winning art-horror auteur Larry Fessenden with the mission of supporting individual voices in the arts) attempted the unthinkable — creating a digital advent calendar that offered genre fans a new Christmas-themed horror short every day from December 1st through December 25th.

Dubbed “The Creepy Christmas Film Festival”, it was a resounding success, featuring a host of contributors including Mary Harron (AMERICAN PYSCHO), Sara Driver (SLEEPWALK, WHEN PIGS FLY), Jim Mickle (STAKE LAND, WE ARE WHAT WE ARE), and Ti West (THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL, THE INNKEEPERS). Click here to check out the films from the original Creepy Christmas Fest.

Now, ten years later, The Creepy Christmas Fest returns for more yuletide carnage, delivering 25 new holiday films created by some of today’s most exciting genre storytellers, offering up fare from the haunting to the whimsical, both live-action and animation.

Starting on Saturday, December 1st, and running through Christmas morning, The 2018 Creepy Christmas Fest will unveil a startlingly original short every single day via their website and social media pages.

This year’s filmmakers include Glass Eye Pix CEO Larry Fessenden (HABIT, WENDIGO), GEP regulars Jenn Wexler (THE RANGER), Glenn McQuaid (I SELL THE DEAD), Graham Reznick (Shudder’s “Deadwax”), Mickey Keating (PSYCHOPATHS), Joe Maggio (BITTER FEAST), James McKenney (SATAN HATES YOU), JT Petty (THE BURROWERS, HELLBENDERS).

The festival will also feature many fresh faces – including animators Joy + Noelle, (HUMAN KINDOF), award-winning puppet theater director Jessica Grindstaff (PHANTOM LIMB COMPANY), Gothic impresario Voltaire (GOTHIC HOMEMAKING SHOW), young filmmakers from The Lower East Side Girls Club, and a host of other unexpected contributors.

THIS HOLIDAY SEASON, TUNE IN FOR THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY “CREEPY CHRISTMAS FILM FEST” — AN ONLINE ADVENT CALENDAR FEATURING 25 ORIGINAL SHORT FILMS.

 

In 2008, filmmaker and animator Beck Underwood and NYC-based production company Glass Eye Pix (the fierce independent NYC-based production outfit headed by award-winning art-horror auteur Larry Fessenden with the mission of supporting individual voices in the arts) attempted the unthinkable — creating a digital advent calendar that offered genre fans a new Christmas-themed horror short every day from December 1st through December 25th.

Dubbed “The Creepy Christmas Film Festival”, it was a resounding success, featuring a host of contributors including Mary Harron (AMERICAN PYSCHO), Sara Driver (SLEEPWALK, WHEN PIGS FLY), Jim Mickle (STAKE LAND, WE ARE WHAT WE ARE), and Ti West (THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL, THE INNKEEPERS). Click here to check out the films from the original Creepy Christmas Fest.

Now, ten years later, The Creepy Christmas Fest returns for more yuletide carnage, delivering 25 new holiday films created by some of today’s most exciting genre storytellers, offering up fare from the haunting to the whimsical, both live-action and animation.

 

Starting on Saturday, December 1st, and running through Christmas morning, The 2018 Creepy Christmas Fest will unveil a startlingly original short every single day via their website and social media pages.

This year’s filmmakers include Glass Eye Pix CEO Larry Fessenden (HABIT, WENDIGO), GEP regulars Jenn Wexler (THE RANGER), Glenn McQuaid (I SELL THE DEAD), Graham Reznick (Shudder’s “Deadwax”), Mickey Keating (PSYCHOPATHS), Joe Maggio (BITTER FEAST), James McKenney (SATAN HATES YOU), JT Petty (THE BURROWERS, HELLBENDERS).

The festival will also feature many fresh faces – including animators Joy + Noelle, (HUMAN KINDOF), award-winning puppet theater director Jessica Grindstaff (PHANTOM LIMB COMPANY), Gothic impresario Voltaire (GOTHIC HOMEMAKING SHOW), young filmmakers from The Lower East Side Girls Club, and a host of other unexpected contributors.

 

Founder Beck Underwood had this to say about the festival’s origins and its 2018 rebirth:

“In 2008, I made an advent calendar for Glass Eye Pix. After completing the diorama and photos for the original calendar, I felt there were more stories to be had from the little scenarios behind each window. I was lucky enough to find a group of artists who rose to the challenge. They received the objects from the window in the mail and their due date. With no additional direction, they whipped up some wicked visions. After 10 years, speaking with filmmaker Ben Duff, who was still a teenager when the first fest premiered, I decided to send out the random missive again with Ben co-curating, bringing his eye to the mix of contributors.”

“I think of The Creepy Christmas Film Test as being like conceptual art. It explores the trust of community making art in the same spirit we all had as children to put on a show. It’s always nice when I see contributors involving their families, friends, passersby, pets… and the resulting films all have that same charm one hopes blesses the holiday season.”

 

Fessenden added:

“At Glass Eye, we’re always looking for forums to get people to loosen up, forget about budgets, and rekindle their love of filmmaking and mischief making. Beck’s festival does just that, and it’s a real treat to see what artists of all stripes come up with for the assignment: ‘Creepy’ blended with the absurdly iconic, over-saturated imagery of the Christmas Season. ‘Deck the Halls’ indeed!”

We will be bringing you daily coverage of the fest right here on Morbidly Beautiful. For additional details on The 2018 Creepy Christmas Fest, please visit creepychristmasfest.com

Slash Film

Take a deep whiff of that crisp almost-December air. Are you as excited as I am? With good tidings and thoughts of Saint Nick comes my favorite cinematic obsession – CHRISTMAS HORROR MOVIES! All that “Joyeux Noël” spirit just with sharpened candy cane daggers, bomb-rigged presents, and even professional wrestler Bill Goldberg as a stark-raving-mad killer Santa. You can keep your white Christmases; I’ll take mine blood red.

This year, Glass Eye Pix and curator Beck Underwood have reanimated their “Creepy Christmas Film Festival” after a ten-year dormancy. The premise is simple. Underwood gathered a collective of ambitious genre filmmakers and asked them to create their own Christmas Horror themed short films. Every day until Christmas Day – we’re talking December 1st to 25th – a new Christmas horror short will premiere online as part of a digital advent calendar withholding cheery chaos (which you can find here). Bookmark it, check back during lunch or each morning or before bedtime, unwrap a new gift.

Participating in this year’s “Creepy Christmas Film Fest” are Jenn Wexler (The Ranger), Glenn McQuaid (I Sell The Dead), Graham Reznick (Deadwax), Mickey Keating (Psychopaths), Joe Maggio (Bitter Feast), James Felix McKenney (Satan Hates You), JT Petty (The Burrowers), and plenty more including Glass Eye Pix founder Larry Fessenden and Underwood herself. Filmmakers who eat, sleep, and breathe horror cinema, all coming together to get you through sleepy snow days and nights curled up by the fire. Is there more a Christmas horror fan can ask? Bite-sized snacks of peppermint and punishment.

Projects and events such as this shouldn’t be understated. The big picture reality is most important: audiences can expect new Christmas horror content daily, available at viewer convenience, from creators who adore horror cinema as much as those gobbling up each advent square’s surprise. Collaborations like “Creepy Christmas Film Fest” – fueled by passion and sweat – should be just as celebrated as Christmas horror feature films (which get lackluster mainstream play nowadays). Michael Dougherty’s Krampus was something of a 2015 miracle.

Glass Eye Pix and Underwood are filling a spooky seasonal void (straight-to-VOD indies aside) for lunatics like me who force family watches of Gremlins instead of claymation returns to the Island of Misfit Toys.

If you’d like to check out the entire roster for 2018’s “Creepy Christmas Film Fest,” head on over to the festival’s website listing. While you’re there why not read up on how Beck Underwood sparked the premise for this macabre wonderland of deranged December goodies? It all started back in 2008 with a snowy diorama, then came the idea for short films, and now – in 2018 – Underwood’s back for a second helping. Here’s hoping it doesn’t take another decade for a third iteration?

Pop Horror

New York City, 26 November 2018 — In 2008, filmmaker and animator Beck Underwood and NYC-based production company Glass Eye Pix attempted the unthinkable – creating a digital advent calendar that offered genre fans a new Christmas-themed horror short every day from December 1st through December 25th. Dubbed “The Creepy Christmas Film Festival”, it was a resounding success, featuring a host of contributors including Mary Harron, Sara Driver, Jim Mickle, and Ti West.

Now, ten years later, The Creepy Christmas Fest returns for more yuletide carnage, delivering 25 new holiday films created by some of today’s most exciting genre storytellers, offering up fare from the haunting to the whimsical, both live-action and animation.

Starting on December 1st and running through Christmas morning, The 2018 Creepy Christmas Fest will unveil a startlingly original short every single day via their website and social media pages.

This year’s filmmakers include Glass Eye Pix CEO Larry Fessenden (HABIT, WENDIGO), GEP regulars Jenn Wexler (THE RANGER), Glenn McQuaid (I SELL THE DEAD), Graham Reznick (Shudder’s “Deadwax”), Mickey Keating (PSYCHOPATHS), Joe Maggio (BITTER FEAST), James McKenney (SATAN HATES YOU), JT Petty (THE BURROWERS, HELLBENDERS), and many fresh faces – including animators Joy + Noelle, (HUMAN KINDOF), award-winning puppet theater director Jessica Grindstaff (PHANTOM LIMB COMPANY), Gothic impresario Voltaire (GOTHIC HOMEMAKING SHOW), young filmmakers from The Lower East Side Girls Club, and a host of other unexpected contributors. (See the full list at the website)

Says Underwood, “In 2008, I made an advent calendar for Glass Eye Pix. After completing the diorama and photos for the original calendar, I felt there were more stories to be had from the little scenarios behind each window. I was lucky enough to find a group of artists who rose to the challenge. They received the objects from the window in the mail, their due date and with no additional direction, whipped up some wicked visions. After 10 years, speaking with filmmaker Ben Duff, who was still a teenager when the first fest premiered, I decided to send out the random missive again with Ben co-curating, bringing his eye to the mix of contributors.

“I think of The Creepy Christmas Film Test as being like conceptual art. It explores the trust of community making art in the same spirit we all had as children to put on a show. It’s always nice when I see contributors involving their families, friends, passersby, pets… and the resulting films all have that same charm one hopes blesses the holiday season.”

Fessenden says, “At Glass Eye, we’re always looking for forums to get people to loosen up, forget about budgets, and rekindle their love of filmmaking and mischief making. Beck’s festival does just that, and it’s a real treat to see what artists of all stripes come up with for the assignment: ‘Creepy’ blended with the absurdly iconic, over-saturated imagery of the Christmas Season. ‘Deck the Halls’ indeed!”

We’re excited about Creepy Christmas Fest, so stay tuned for a review of each of these shorts as we will be watching all of them!


First came the drama in the diorama. Populated with misfit toys and mischievous critters, a room-sized diorama was created by artist Beck Underwood, photographed and turned into a printed advent calendar.

Haunted by the idea that behind each of the windows was a story waiting to be told, Underwood invited 25 filmmakers to make short films inspired by the inhabitants of the diorama. Each filmmaker was assigned a specific date and given the props that were used in that window to use in their short.

The resulting 2008 Creepy Christmas Online Film Festival premiered Dec 1st, 2008 and was met with much enthusiasm.

Now, ten years later, the festival is back! Original fest alumni along with some terrifyingly talented newcomers have been given a holiday-themed word as their prompt. Representing a wide variety of styles and approaches, their short films premiere this year from December 1 – 25.


December 1st – Ghoul Log by Christine Pfister

“My word for this piece was YULE LOG, for which I was both excited and perplexed. I struggled to choose between a Yule log cake and a background Yule log video loop until I finally decided to combine these themes. I loved the idea of constantly splicing soft violence with an offputtingly relaxing fire to add an additional layer of discomfort to my strange little dinner party.”

 

December 2nd – Secret Santa by Ilya Chaiken

“My grab-bag word SANTA prompted myriad ideas for creepy short films, which I pondered month after month while stranded in my childhood home. But not many things are as creepy, dark, and unsettling as being stranded in your childhood home. So I made the movie here. I gathered up lots of old stuff and bullied my 98 year old Dad to get into a Santa suit. He is the brilliant painter William Chaiken. But I had to pull his artwork off the walls, as well as his African mask collection, because I didn’t think they looked very Christmasy. I managed to pull off set-decorating, lighting, but I really could’ve used a make-up artist. I had to stick a lot of things to the elder Chaiken’s face with eye-lash glue, which didn’t hold very well. In any case, when trapped in my childhood home I get to catch up on my TV-watching and experience the terror of all the things going on outside, while feeling helplessly isolated. I think those things are reflected in this movie. Happy Holy Days!”

 

December 3rd – Cavity by Glenn McQuaid

“When Beck asked me to take part in the first Creepy Christmas Festival (ten years ago!) I used it as an opportunity to sink my teeth into a non-narrative After-Effects-driven animation that ended up being a music video for Nico Muhly’s Mothertongue: 1. Archive. This time around, I thought it’d be fun to approach the one-word brief of CANDYCANE in a similar manner. Having a sweet-tooth and being currently in the middle of several oral-surgery procedures (extraction, bone-graft, sinus lift and implants) I settled on the concept of submission to temptation regardless of consequence. Candy Cane here is the gateway to booze, drugs, sex and death. Thanks to all the boys and girls out there for whispering, screaming and giggling the words for me, and thank you Beck for having me back.”

December 4th – Frozen Up by Melissa G. Shepherd

“My word was TINSELwhich brings to mind images of vintage holiday photos at my grandmother’s house, with metallic fringe draped on the Christmas tree. I wanted to do something in honor of her, but with a Creepy Christmas feel. I started with the song, and then decided on the imagery based on the music. There are hidden things in this piece for my grandmother, and to give it the vintage film feel, I put ink on clear film and scratched black film, and played it through a projector, and then digitized and overlapped the footage. I used tinsel pipe cleaners, felt, metallic confetti, string, a reclaimed wood table, and only used white Christmas lights to light my set. I hope you like it.”

 

December 5th – FALALALALA by Bryan Parcival

“My prompt was the word WREATH which derives from an old Norse word for “writhe,” a fact both interesting and irrelevant. For present consideration, wreaths are disks surrounded by sparkling lights that hover inscrutably over holiday tableaus. What do they want??”

 

December 6th – Mail by Anthony Galante

“Mail is a stop motion animation that was sparked from the prompt word CAROLERS. The main character is sourced second hand and the rest of the set is handmade from chipboard, paint, paper and batting.”

 

December 7th – Presence by Joe Maggio

“My word was PRESENTS. There were three factors that I suspect influenced my treatment of this word. First and foremost, my father is a painter and recently completed a series called “PRESENCE”, so the obvious play on those words was present in my mind from the beginning. Second, my kids have always been a little freaked out by Santa Claus. They have a lot of valid questions. Finally, shortly after receiving my word, I had an odd dream. I was asleep in my bed, but was awakened by some benign presence outside my door. On a subconscious level I internalized these three factors. On a conscious level, started thinking about the tyranny of presents, of finding just the right present to give to those we love. That’s how I came to make this strange, and hopefully creepy, little movie.”

 

December 8th – I Could’ve Been Sweet by The Andujar Twins

“Our topic, GINGERBREAD made us think deeper about the strange tradition of eating cookies shaped like men. We dove into the psyche of a gingerbread cookie: we imagined that their goal was to be perfectly baked, iced, and enjoyed during the holidays, with the ultimate honor being plated as an offering for Santa himself on Christmas Eve.Our gingerbread man is denied a good life when a careless granny burns his batch and throws away his family’s charred bodies, leaving him hellbent on exacting revenge.

The derelict miniatures by Leighton Kelly were the perfect set. During the shoot, Leighton created little details on the fly, like the portrait of Santa with his eyes crossed out above the mantle.

 

December 9th – Crafty by Beck Underwood

“When I first drew my prompt CHRISTMAS TREE from the wicked Santa hat, I was quite stumped. Eventually an idea burrowed into my psyche ~ and a couple of characters took shape. The resulting buddy film is a celebration of all the cuddly ne’er do wells I love: Goonies, Grinches, Gremlins and my own murderous sister cats, Lola & Scout. It also fiddles with the notion that you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet. And sometimes, in the case of extreme crafting, you have to spill a little blood.”

 

December 10th – Eighteen Raindeer by James Felix McKenney

“I was given the word REINDEER. Not an easy one, especially if you don’t have access to the animals themselves. I know, who does, really? I struggled with this one a bit, but ended up doing what I often do. I just went out to the studio and started screwing around with reindeer shapes, then messing with the edit until I ended up with something I didn’t completely hate. It is my hope that the unsuspecting viewer will not completely hate it either.”

 

December 11th – Un Copo de Nieve en Texas by Michael Vincent

“When Beck first gave me the word SNOWFLAKE the phrase “No two are alike” just popped into my head. During the holidays unique memories are created with friends and loved ones that are timeless and one of a kind. Some are a common recurring theme like decorating a tree or putting cookies out for Santa, but then, every once in a while something magical happens, something that cannot be planned for or wrapped in a beautiful ribbon. Those moments are as rare as  “A snowflake in Texas”. I collaborated on this piece with my partner in magic, Summer Frost.”

 

December 12th – Merry Creepy Christmas by Mickey Keating

When the original Creepy Christmas came out, I was immediately hooked and found myself revisiting it often throughout the years. I’d always hoped that one day we’d get to see it’s triumphant return and am so excited that this is the year. To be asked to be a part of this is a dream come true, and so I decided to make a nightmare with CHRISTMAS LIGHTS. For best results, please wear headphones.

Merry Creepy Christmas!

December 13th – A Little Late by Unwanted  Houseguest

This year I decided to host a Christmas party at my haunted manor. I began with a single sprig of MISTLETOE hung from the séance parlor ceiling. Soon, the decorations spread throughout my decrepit dwelling, accompanied by a mouth-watering spread of holiday hors d’oeuvres. By the eerie glow of candlelight, I waited for my guests to arrive…

 

December 14th – Miss Millie by Chris Skotchdopole

“The holidays aren’t easy for anyone, but they’re especially hard on some. I was inspired by the more desperate. My prompt was HOLIDAY FEAST”.

 

December 15th – Wild Ride by Larry Fessenden

“I love the idea of improv animation, a kind of run and gun immersion where you are discovering the shots and story as you go and animating in the moment. I knew I had a play on words with my Creepy Christmas prompt SLEIGH, so I wanted a tone that oscillated between menace and merriment, which I guess is how I experience reality anyway. I conceived of a mischievous elf who was either building a sleigh or plotting a murder. I bought a snap-together Lego Star Wars figure and molded the elf-flesh on top and then I sewed his groovy elf-threads. All the other cast members were plucked off the shelves in my lair. What an opportunity to see all these iconic characters in a movie together. Much appreciation to all the artisans who designed the fabulous creatures that haunt and inspire me. Thanks to Will Bates for the music. Thanks most of all to Beck for giving me this assignment and for offering to help and for letting me say “no I want to do it on my own.”

 

December 16th – Under the Christmas Tree by Jenn Wexler

“My family’s Jewish so I didn’t get to celebrate Christmas as a kid. But I believed in Santa so would try to stay up all night and watch out the window to see if he and his reindeer landed on the house across the street from mine. My prompt JINGLE BELLS reminded me of those nights, as I fought off sleep, hoping to hear his sleigh. I never saw him, but I did build up a lot of resentments towards the guy for not including me in his rounds. This is me trying to work through them!”

 

December 17th – Ms. Claus by Graham Reznick

“Ms. Claus knows.”

 

December 18th – Wrapped by The Lower East Side Girls Club

“As a group, we brainstormed ideas for our prompt, WRAPPING PAPER. We came up with the idea that you can become haunted by something you do that’s wrong, like stealing. We visited a store in our neighborhood called Obscura where they sell lots of old, creepy things. The idea grew from there. We wanted to blend live-action and animation techniques we had used on other projects. We rewrite a classic Christmas carol as the soundtrack for our story. We involved the whole Lower East SIde Girls CLub family, especially when we went around filming jump scares!”

 

December 19th – LOVE, CHERYL by Devin Febbroriello

I find many things about Christmas creepy… so I was more than delighted to adventure back into the darker side of the holiday spirit for round 2 of The Creepy Christmas Festival. The prompt TOYS made me think about tech toys as some of the most coveted holiday gifts, and how that plays into the obligation and expectation of gift giving within social dynamics.  This took me to the dark side of the extravagance of folks thinking they need all this “stuff” in order to experience the holiday.  Then last spring, I watched a step mom hand wash an ugly homemade platter from her step daughter’s early childhood and that instantly brought the whole story together!”

 

December 20th – NIGHT BEFORE by Susan Kae Grant, Richard Klein, Richard Krall

“Night Before portrays the innocence of childhood through storytelling, dreams and nightmares while questioning issues of trust, vulnerability and deception. The film was produced in collaboration with Susan Kae Grant, Richard Klein & Richard Krall using the prompt, ICICLE under the moonlight of 2018.”

Since all three artists live in Texas where there are no icicles, they relied on Grant’s memory of the beautiful illustrations in Clement C. Moore’s 1883 book, The Night Before Christmas to inspire the film. Focusing on the theme, “Creepy Christmas”, they began by re-writing excerpts of the original story into a silent text. The imagery for the film was created in the studio by staging shadows of people and props inspired by the re-written text. As the story evolves the shadow is used to suggest a world of duplicity, trickery, and pretense through the eyes of both child and adult.

 

December 21st: DON’T COME BACK WITHOUT PRESENTS by JT Petty

“My prompt was SNOWMAN, but I live in a desert that offers neither cold nor moisture. I have, however, listened to people tell my children that Christmas is the celebration of a myth with origins in the desert, a virgin birth in Bethlehem. But all of their actual beliefs about the season have so much more to do with Yule and Saturnalia, an overstuffed consumerist salmagundi we’ve Frankensteined together from Norse, Germanic, and Slavic Traditions with a little bit of Dickens, Irving, and Coca-Cola thrown in for good measure. The Snowman we built melted in the sun before we could roll cameras, its moisture lost in cracked sand in moments. All that was left was my children, and Santa, and the gifts we would take back home. Look on my Snowman, ye Mighty, and despair!”

 

December 22nd: THE STOCKING STUFFER by Phantom Limb Company

Only one thing scares the devil…. Prompted by a STOCKING, made on an iPhone.

 

December 23rd: TWO LATE ELVES by Joy & Noelle

“Two Late Elves” is an unsettling film inspired by the prompt ELF as well as our own experience with procrastination in making this short. We are two late elves in danger of missing our deadline, animating two late elves in danger of missing their deadline, and nothing is more frightening than that.

 

December 24th: COOKIES FOR CANDY CLAWS by Aurelio Voltaire

“When the Creepy Christmas film festival folks gave me the word, COOKIES as a theme I instantly knew what my piece had to be about. Christmas traditions on my Gothic Homemaking show include waiting at The Lair of Voltaire for the coming of Candy Claws, a giant gargoyle bat that steals back Halloween candy from bullies and delivers it to good little boys and girls on Christmas. And since we’d just done a Halloween special, it seemed to me that a Christmas episode called, “Cookies for Candy Claws”, was a natural fit.

The Gothic Homemaking show is pretty much what it sounds like. Picture a younger Vincent Price and Crypt Keeper taking over for Martha Stewart and you have a sort of home decorating show for the damned.”

December 25th: HAPPY HORROR DAYS! by Sydney Clara Brafman

“Being asked to whisk up a closing film and Holiday greeting for GEP, using the prompt, ORNAMENT, I was inspired by the annual winter party: every guest is invited to bring an ornament for the ritualistic tree. I decided to turn Glass Eye into a tree itself, with cute and creepy gifts to share, ornaments brought by all, and a darling angel (devil?) overseeing it all. On behalf of Glass Eye Pix, have a happy Horror-day!”



CHRISTINE PFISTER

Ghoul Log

Stop-motion animator, art director and textile artist based in the Hudson Valley. Using methods of fabrication typically deemed ‘woman’s work,’ she strives to create fully hand-made films. Through sewing, knitting and doll fabrication, Christine creates films based around science-fi dreamscapes, womanhood and memory tricks.

Currently in year 3 of a stop-motion animation & live action hybrid feature film project which she is currently animating single handedly.  Working title Mamamoon.

ILYA CHAIKEN

Secret Santa

Award-winning writer and director of the acclaimed feature films “Margarita Happy Hour” and ‘Liberty Kid’. She has directed multiple shorts and episodics, including the dark comedic web series “The Unlovables” and is currently in production on her first documentary feature, “Pretty Ugly- The Story of the Lunachicks’, about NYC’s legendary all-female punk band.

GLENN MCQUAID

Cavity

Irish film director. He is known for his feature film debut I Sell The Dead and as the co-creator of the audio play anthology series Tales From Beyond the Pale. He has also directed a segment of anthology horror film V/H/S and records music as Witchboard, Lunatic Asylum and Criminal History. 

MELISSA GOODWIN SHEPHERD

Frozen Up

Stop motion director and animator based in Los Angeles. You can see some of her animation in Robot Chicken and Tumble Leaf and some of her curious pottery in her mom’s display cabinet. She loves making music and eating tacos.

BRYAN PARCIVAL

FALALALALA

Boston & Detroit-based experimental filmmaker and mixed-media artist, whose work combines animation with live-action film, puppetry, and still photography. He is a founding member ofHandcranked Productions, an independent film/animation company, as well as Handcranked Film Projects, an art and film collaborative that attempts to balance commercial work with personal and eclectic artistic pursuits. Their work has won awards and screened at film festivals worldwide.

In addition, Bryan is a resident artist and directing member of the

Seafoam Palace in Detroit – a “museum” of absurdity that manifests in public performance, installation, and surreal pop-up events.

Bryan also teaches experimental film and animation classes at RISD.

ANTHONY GALANTE 

Mail

Animator based in Brooklyn, NY specializing in stop motion animation. You can find more of Anthony’s work by following him on Instagram at @iamgalante

JOE MAGGIO

Presence

Award-winning writer-director. His work has screened in theaters, festivals and museums around the world. His first film, VIRGIL BLISS (2001), was nominated for two 2002 Independent Spirit Awards – The John Cassavetes Award (Best Feature under $500,000) and Best Debut Performance (for actor Clint Jordan.) His second film, MILK + HONEY (2003), premiered at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival and won a Special Jury Prize for Best Screenplay at the 2003 Atlanta Film Festival. PAPER COVERS ROCK (2008), premiered at the SXSW Film Festival and was purchased by IFC Films and Showtime. BITTER FEAST (2010), premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival and was nominated for two Golden Chainsaw Awards (Best Actor, Best Blood FX) by Fangoria Magazine.THE LAST RITES OF JOE MAY (2011), was produced in conjunction with Steppenwolf Films of Chicago. It premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and was acquired by Tribeca Films.The late Roger Ebert named  THE LAST RITES OF JOE MAY on his best films list of 2011. He has collaborated with Vincent D’Onofrio on three feature-length radio plays, MAN ON THE LEDGE (2012), RAM KING (2013), and CANNIBALS (2016). His most recent film, SUPERMOTO (2017), was shot in Eastern North Dakota.

ANDUJAR TWINS

I Could’ve Been Sweet

Identical twins Courtney & Hillary Andujar co-write, direct, and design surreal horror films. Influenced by giallo films, Westerns, and classic creature features, they live for genre narratives that are subversive, surreal, and show feminist and queer perspectives. They were 2016 AMC Shudder Labs Fellows for their feature script Lovespell, a teen scream about an erotic fantasy that causes a girl to question her sanity.

BECK UNDERWOOD

Crafty

Rarely knows what she is doing, but is always doing something. She credits her family and friends with inspiring and encouraging this questionable work ethic. Beck is very proud of her collaborations in theater, film, software & product design, publishing, and most recently, as a teacher at the LES Girls Club. She has been affiliated with Glass Eye Pix since its inception, working in various capacities on many of their films (Habit, No Telling, I Sell the Dead, Stakeland, Bitter Feast and more.) She lives in the Lower East Side of New York City with Scary Larry, a pair of sister cats and, once in a while, a boy named Jack.

JAMES FELIX MCKENNEY

Eighteen Raindeer

New York based, DIY filmmaker whose odd little feature films includeAutomatons, Satan Hates You and Hypothermia.He’s also been known to make toys, comics, oddly shaped candy, and other nonsense.

MICHAEL VINCENT

Un Copo de Nieve en Texas

An experimental and VR filmmaker working in Austin, Texas. Michael participated in the 2016 IFP Narrative Lab, and the workshopped feature, Only a Switch, went on to premiere at the 2018 Woodstock Film Festival. His short films, Dream Girl, The Grass is Greener, and Zoe have also premiered at the Woodstock Film Fest. Michael has also worked as an editor on a variety of VR projects, including Invisible, produced by Doug Liman. He has worked for Glass Eye Pix on several films, and in a variety of departments – including Most Beautiful Island, I Sell the Dead, and The House of the Devil. Summer Frost and Michael Vincent met in Austin, Texas at the Art Gallery “Cherry Cola Dog” during an event called “Art Will Save Us”.

SUMMER FROST 

An artist from Arkansas and she has a husky named Astro. She primarily paints and writes poetry and is now adventuring into film with those skills as well as a few that her nana taught her.

MICKEY KEATING

Merry Creepy Christmas

Director and writer known for Psychopaths (2017) Carnage Park (2016), Darling (2015) and Pod (2015). He is also is the host of The Core a twisted celebration of the magic of genre filmmaking on Shudder.

UNWANTED HOUSEGUEST

A Little Late

The details of UNWANTED HOUSEGUEST’s past are sketchy. A lonely spirit cursed to wander this Earthly plane, the Houseguest remembers only vague details of the life he once lived. Perhaps he was murdered in a ceremony of ritual human sacrifice… surrounded by cloaked, chanting participants wielding ceremonial daggers. Anyhow – now he croons from behind the dusty keyboards at Aberfoyle manor, a dilapidated Victorian mansion with a grisly history. Often the many different spirits of the house will join him for his ghostly tunes of love long lost. He offered his debut LP, Where Are My Friends?, this past Halloween. Listeners called it the most terrifying album of all time.​

CHRIS SKOTCHDOPOLE

Miss Millie

Writer, director and producer living in New York City. He works with Glass Eye Pix, an independent production outfit led by director Larry Fessenden. A 2010 graduate of SVA, his most recent short, THE EGG AND THE HATCHET is still touring festivals. Chris is currently developing a feature with Larry Fessenden, CRUMB CATCHER. He is the cinematographer for Fessenden’s current project, DEPRAVED.

Skotchdopole recently served as co-producer on Jenn Wexler’s punk thriller, THE RANGER, starring Chloe Levine and Jeremy Holm. Previously, he worked as associate producer on Mickey Keating’s DARLING (SXSW) and Rob Mockler’s film LIKE ME (SXSW), starring Addison Timlin. He has produced several music videos and shorts for Glass Eye, including James Siewert’s THE PAST INSIDE THE PRESENT (Slamdance, Florida Film Festival, Fantastic Fest).

LARRY FESSENDEN

Wild Ride

Directed the art-horror films NO TELLING, HABIT, WENDIGO, THE LAST WINTER, BENEATH and the forthcoming DEPRAVED. He has dabbled in animation, puppet shows, comic books, video games, rock and roll, radio plays, acting and he has produced over 50 movies and acted in just 100. He is CEO of Glass Eye Pix, a NYC production shingle with the mission of supporting individual voices in the arts.

 

JENN WEXLER 

Under The Christmas Tree

The director of THE RANGER, which world premiered in the Midnighter’s section of the 2018 SXSW Film Festival and will be coming to Shudder in 2019.  She is also the producer of MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLAND (SXSW Grand Jury Prize 2017, Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award Nominee 2018), LIKE ME (SXSW 2017), PSYCHOPATHS (Tribeca Film Festival 2017), and DARLING (Fantastic Fest 2015).

GRAHAM REZNICK

Ms. Claus

Filmmaker who lives in Los Angeles.  He has directed 1 (one) feature film (I CAN SEE YOU), 1 (one) television series (DEADWAX) and released 2 (two) electronic music albums (GLASS ANGLES, R0B0PHAS1A).  With Larry Fessenden and Supermassive Games, he has written 4 (four) videogames (UNTIL DAWN, RUSH OF BLOOD, HIDDEN AGENDA, THE INPATIENT).  Only 1 (one) of these things has resulted in a Guinness World Record, but Graham has 17 (seventeen) years left to live, so he’s hopeful he’ll earn at least 1 (one) to 6 (six) more.

The Lower Eastside Girls Club 

Wrapped

A 35,000 sq. ft.state-of-the-art science, technology, arts and humanities lab for teenage girls and their families. Tucked away on the edge of Manhattan Island off Avenue D. is a little slice of urban magic: a Center for Community filled with budding leaders in all fields- scientists, photographers, designers, animators, filmmakers, podcasters, activists, astronomers, dancers, writers, chefs, and future politicians. Watch out World…here they come!

DEVIN FEBBRORIELLO

Love, Cheryl

A writer/director and lead producer behind Serpent Power Productions, a moving image creative studio. With an appreciation for magic realism, mysticism, dark irreverent comedy & relationship drama/psychology – her work reflects her own deep dives into love, grief, and mystery.

SUSAN KAE GRANT, RICHARD KLEIN, RICHARD KRALL

Night Before

SUSAN KAE GRANT’s photographic and book-works are included in numerous collections including, The George Eastman House, The J. Paul Getty Museum, The Minneapolis Art Institute, The Tokyo Museum of Photography, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and The Victoria and Albert Museum National Library.

RICHARD KLEIN is known as a master of lighting with an artist’s understanding of context and material. Shooting extensively in the US and Asia, on the Pacific Rim from Tokyo to Melbourne, Europe and Africa, Klein has logged over 35 years on assignment.

RICHARD KRALL is a fashion photographer and narrative filmmaker working in motion and still. He apprenticed with photographers Guy Bourdin, Helmut Newton, Norman Parkinson and Patrick Demarchelier. His images have appeared in Paris Vogue, Vogue Homme-Paris, Idea Magazine of Japan, Communication Arts, The New York Society of Illustrators’ Annual, Photo Magazine, EFX Art&Design Magazine of Stockholm.

JT PETTY

Don’t Come Back Without Presents

A writer and filmmaker. His work in film includes “THE BURROWERS” and “S&MAN (Sandman).”  He wrote for the video games SPLINTER CELL, Telltale’s WALKING DEAD, and the OUTLAST series. He lives in California with writer Sarah Langan.

PHANTOM LIMB COMPANY

The Stocking Stuffer

New York City-based, is known for its phantasmagorical puppetry work and focus on collaborative, multi-media theatrical production and design. Co-founded in 2007 by artist, director and set designer Jessica Grindstaff and composer and puppet maker Erik Sanko, Phantom Limb has been lauded for particular focus on combining the body, dance and puppetry. PLC has worked with a large rotating cast of collaborators including Tony Taccone, Lemony Snicket, Danny Elfman, Jim Jarmusch, The Kronos Quartet, Gavin Friday, Ryan Heffington, Jeffery Zeigler, Dai Matsuoka and Sophie Hunter.

For the past decade, PLC has dedicated their work almost exclusively to creating a theatrical trilogy that explores the human relationship to nature through several different lenses.  This work has taken them to Antarctica, on an expedition to discover the oldest living tree in the world and finally to Fukushima where the tsunami and subsequent nuclear meltdown of 2011 have devastated a wide swath of Northern Japan and still adversely affect life today.

JOY + NOELLE

Two Late Elves

New York-based animation and design duo Joy Buran and Noelle Melody. They are illustrators, animators, and, as it happens, twins. Joy and Noelle studied Media Art at Pratt Institute; their thesis film was their first collaboration. They specialize in story-driven work, ranging from commercial video, independent short film and book illustration. Joy lives in Queens and Noelle lives in Kingston, NY; they keep rooms in each other’s house and nooks in each other’s brain. Each also keeps an exquisite collection of charming objects and pets, from which they draw inspiration.

 

AURELIO VOLTAIRE

Cookies For Candy Claws

Often described as a modern day renaissance man.  A well-known personality and Youtuber in the Gothic, steampunk and geek circles, he is a singer, performer, filmmaker and creator of comic books and toys. Stop-motion was his first passion as a child and became his first career at the studio that created Pee Wee’s Playhouse, one of main inspirations for Gothic Homemaking.  He went on to direct some of the classic MTV station IDs in the 80s and his short animated film collaborations with Danny Elfman, Deborah Harry, Gerard Way and other musicians have won a combined 35 film festival awards. These days he spends most of his time recording new music, touring and filming his Gothic Homemaking YouTube show.  He hopes to end his days on Earth as a horror host surrounded by silly monsters and terrible puns.

SYDNEY CLARA BRAFMAN

Happy Horror Days!

An award winning writer and filmmaker living in Brooklyn, NY.  Her focus drives her to study the human condition, the irony of circumstance, the tragedy of humor and the environments they inhabit with a wicked sense of humor and style. When she’s not making movies, she’s passionately hating cocoa, removing stage blood stains from her clothing, and enjoying cats on the street.


CREEPYCHRISTMASFEST.COM

 

 

 

Creepy Christmas Archives
View all 25 films from the 2008 festival!

 


Glass Eye Pix invites you to count down 25 Days till Christmas with this creepy Advent Calendar. What better way to celebrate the Holiday season than with a daily peek behind the doors and windows, nooks and crannies of this mysterious doll village assembled by artist and stop-motion animator Beck Underwood? See vintage dolls and Santas, stuffed critters and misfit toys, all to delight and tease in this merry celebration of Christmas mischief.

Only $10.00 USD per calendar plus $3.00 for shipping.