Before heading out on your Memorial Day weekend camping trip,
give TRIGGER MAN and BENEATH a watch.
Hopefully your trip goes better than theirs.
Before heading out on your Memorial Day weekend camping trip,
Historically low gas prices. A boy band for every block. Philips CD-i. POGS. Maybe we just had it too good during the ’90s because audiences weren’t flocking much to horror movies this decade. As a result, there are less entries here than on our ’70s and ’80s lists. Nevertheless, if you feel like getting grungy and/or jiggy with it (in whichever order, we’re fair) then check out Rotten Tomatoes’ list of the 40 Best ’90s Horror Movies!
Larry Fessenden’s bonkers, microbudget raft movie has it all, from a killer fish, to scorned lovers, to sacrifice. It’s all held together by the sheer strength of Fessenden’s vision, and, as ever, bursts with his trademark heart, humour, and horror. We don’t appreciate the man enough.
This weekend, come to the world premiere of Michael Vincent’s
ONLY A SWITCH at the Woodstock Film Festival! Tickets available now!
But if you’re stuck at home for the weekend, then revisit Fessenden’s creature-feature BENEATH,
available for digital download on iTunes.
Music by Fall On Your Sword from
APRIL 8, 2015
AMERICAN HORROR STORY: THE FILMS OF LARRY FESSENDEN
As a film director, Larry Fessenden has crafted several of the most indelible and idiosyncratic horror movies of the last 25 years, from the urban vampire tale Habit to the visionary and environmental apocalypse of The Last Winter. But he’s also had a major impact on the independent filmmaking landscape as a producer of genre films, including the work of Ti West, as well as via his collaboration with the acclaimed writer-director Kelly Reichardt, who cast Fessenden as the uneasy-riding star of her breakthrough road movie River of Grass. As Fessenden’s Glass eye Pix production company celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2015, the time seems right to survey the career of a brilliantly expressive filmmaker whose clever, palpably handcrafted films honor the noble B-movie tradition of tackling social issues without sacrificing scares. This lecture, specially created for The Black Museum, will weave together critical commentary with clips from Fessenden’s films, including his recent killer-catfish film Beneath.
April 8, 2015 at 9:15pm
The Royal Cinema, 608 College St, Toronto
Cost: $12 advance / $15 at the door
LECTURER: ADAM NAYMAN
Adam Nayman is a film critic in Toronto and a contributing editor to Cinema Scope. His writing has appeared in The Walrus, the Globe and Mail, the National Post, Reverse Shot and the Village Voice, and he teaches Cinema Studies at the University of Toronto. His first book, It Doesn’ Suck: Showgirls, was published in 2014 by ECW Press
Check it! The Montana Mancave Massacre’s got a blog post up all about Fessenden and the films he’s directed, produced and acted in.
Some snippets from the post…
“When I was making my list of films to include…films either directed by or starring Larry Fessenden were taking up a lot of real estate. It was damned nigh impossible to choose between them, so I decided to lump them all together. So here’s you’re gift for the 6th day of Christmas: the majesty that is Larry Fessenden.”
“As the founder of Glass Eye Pix, his philosophy of filmmaking is that you don’t need a massive budget or big star to make a great film. Since 1985, Glass Eye Pix has been producing great indie flicks by auteur directors, especially young horror directors. In short, Larry Fessenden is doing God’s Work.”
“This man is essential to modern horror.”
“Wendigo is a micro-budget masterpiece…This is a labor of love, and it shows.”
“The Last Winter is, as far as I know, the first environmental horror movie. It tackles the question (as does Wendigo, to a lesser extent) how does nature fight back when humans violate its balance?”
“And on one last note, if you’re still unconvinced of Larry Fessenden’s awesomeness, he also produces a web-based horror-themed radio drama series named Tales From Beyond the Pale. If any of you are into Arch Oboler’s Lights Out or the old Rod Serling radio plays, Fessenden is the man bring that stuff back. Each episode boasts a celebrity cast and a name author. Sir Lawrence, you just put everyone else to shame.”
“One of the busiest dudes working in the horror genre, Larry Fessenden is an actor, writer, director & producer. On this special episode of The Horror Movie Show, hosts Jerry & Mark wax rhapsodic about several of Larry’s movies.
Three movies in which Larry acts — Jug Face, You’re Next & We Are What We Are — madeHMPod‘s Top 10 list for 2013. A brief review of each movie begins this retrospective.
As producer & director, Larry’s new flick Beneath is a good, old-fashioned creature feature about a gigantic hungry fish in a very small pond, feasting upon the disloyal bodies of naughty teenagers. Larry’s production studio, Glass Eye Pix, has made at least one movie that is not horror, but will make some viewers squirm regardless. The Comedy is the sort of movie that divides an audience into those who love it & those who loathe it.
I Sell the Dead, starring Larry & loveable Dominic Monaghan (The Lord of the Rings, Lost), is a blackly comic tale of body-snatching ghouls who are in way over their heads, so to speak.
Two more movies directed & written by Larry wrap up this episode. The Last Winter (2006) is a tale of nature’s revenge on shortsighted humanity, with Ron Perlman playing the sort of swine he plays so well. Wendigo (2001) stars Jake Weber & Patricia Clarkson as nice people caught up in a small-town cretin’s anger.
Expect to see HMPod‘s interview with Larry, exclusive to this site & Eli Roth‘s The Crypt, coming soon.”
Listen to the podcast here!
From Derek Anderson at Daily Dead:
They thought they were friends. A man-eating fish proved them wrong. In director Larry Fessenden’sBeneath, six recently graduated high school friends cross paths with a massive, sharp-toothed fish on the secluded Black Lake. Confronted with a life-or-death situation, the teens discover how weak their bond really is as tempers rise, panic sets in, and the fish opens its jaws for the next meal.
Warned not to go out on Black Lake by family friend Mr. Parks (Mark Margolis), Johnny (Daniel Zovatto) leads his pack of pals out on the water one morning, anyway, figuring they’ll just cross to the other side in their rowboat. Besides, this is his big chance to reconnect with ex-girlfriend Kitty (Bonnie Dennison), even though her alpha male current boyfriend Matt (Chris Conroy) is along for the ride. Matt’s academic scholarship-receiving brother Simon (Jonny Orsini) also pines for Kitty, while sporty Deb (Mackenzie Rosman) just wants to make some final lasting memories with the gang. Aspiring filmmaker Zeke (Griffin Newman) seeks to capture these good times on the GoPro camera attached to his wrist. But when the lake’s freakishly large fish appears during a mid-lake swim, the group’s carefree day takes a hellish turn.