April 11, 2019
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PopHorror: Review Of Larry Fessenden’s Contemporary Frankenstein Tale

From PopHorror: “In Depraved, we get a look at Frankenstein’s monster in the way that Mary Shelley always envisioned… a desolate, confused creation rebuilt out of other people’s parts that only reacted to what he had learned in his short, miserable life…

… On the surface, the film is about a broken doctor named Henry (Call) who gets in over his head after agreeing to try out his friend, Polidori’s (Leonard), reanimation drugs on what is essentially a pieced together cadaver. He has this being before him that he is pressured to teach the most basic bodily functions and how to respond in society, all in the quickest way possible. Imagine being in his situation, one of responsibility and doubt, pressured to do more by his peers but feeling deep sympathy and even love for his subject.

But dig deeper and you find the tale of a paradigm who has no one in the world that he can relate to. Adam (Breaux) has memories of things he never did and people he’s never met. He looks in the mirror and sees a shattered face – both literally and figuratively – that he does not recognize. His body is pieced together, and not one of those pieces are originally his. Adam is a full grown man who has no control of his bodily functions or even the simplest tasks, like a newborn baby in a man’s body. He was never born; he just became. His wretched heart knows no mother or father, no name or identity. If you’re made up of other people’s parts, who are you? Is the brain in your head even yours? Do you even have a soul?

Read Full Review HERE

March 29, 2019
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Weekends with GEP: Frankenden! Fessenstein!

This weekend, in celebration of the March 20th DEPRAVED world premiere at NYC’s WTF at IFC,
Glass Eye invites you to enjoy a mashup edited by Fessenden
Featuring 25 essential Frankenstein movies.
 
And be sure to revisit the other GEP Frankenstein Flicks!
No Telling, Nexus, Frankenstein Cannot Be Stopped.
March 29, 2019
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Comic Con: DEPRAVED “A stunning lo-fi masterpiece.”

DEPRAVED isn’t the first time Larry Fessenden has delved into the Frankenstein mythos. The Godfather of Indie Horror Cinema played with reanimation in one of his first films, the mad science drama NO TELLING. That was 1991 and even though NO TELLING was a memorable and powerful film, Fessenden has perfected his distinct style and delivered a stunning low fi masterpiece in DEPRAVED.

Fessenden brings Mary Shelley’s tale into the modern age, following a PTSD afflicted war medic named Henry (David Call) who pairs up with an opportunistic pharma businessman named Polidori (BLAIR WITCH PROJECT’s Joshua Leonard) to test their new experimental drug on a recent murder victim. Naming the reanimated victim Adam (Alex Breaux), Henry goes about his private rehabilitation in a meticulous and careful manner – teaching Adam basic coordination and memory skills. Of course, this isn’t fast enough results for Polidori. Meanwhile, Adam is having flashes of his previous life and urges to find a mate of his own, much like Henry’s devoted girlfriend Liz (Ana Kayne). You know where this is going…and it’s going to be bad.

Fessenden hits all of the story beats we’ve seen in tons of reinterpretations of the Shelley classic. The difference here is that Fessenden distills the basics from the story and applies it to a modern tale of big pharma, lofty ambition, and the conflict between corporate demand vs. humanitarian treatment. Despite those heady themes, DEPRAVED is drenched with character and heart all around, as Fessenden imbues both Henry and Adam with sympathetic traits. Henry wants what’s best for Adam, looking after him like a child. But this treatment isn’t happening fast enough by Polidori, who is desperate to report results and make money off of all of this. This conflict is one of two in this tale, paralleled with Adam’s struggle to regain his humanity. All elements work marvelously and reflects Shelley’s tale in an intricate way that most Frankenstein tales fail.

Another thing that sets this film apart is Fessenden’s unique cinematography. Fessenden uses quick montages of images, simple overlays of color and light, and other rudimentary (but effective) camera effects that gives even more substance and style. This is a technique Fessenden has used before in films such as WENDIGO and THE LAST WINTER. Though this technique has been used by other directors (Aronofsky’s REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, for example), it feels like Fessenden’s unique stamp on each of his films. I would love to see Fessenden get his hands on a big budget film. He has been behind the scenes for way too long and has been a major trumpeter for many of the best voices in today’s horror game. Maybe he is comfortable with the low budget control and personal take to all of his own films, but I’d love to see what this soulful and passionate filmmaker would do with a couple of mill. That said, DEPRAVED is truly one of the best FRANKENSTEIN adaptations you’re going to find. Be on the lookout for it

Read full article HERE

March 27, 2019
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Danny Peary talks DEPRAVED with Fessenden and cast

Danny Peary Talks to ‘Depraved’ Director Larry Fessenden and His Four Stars

A clever, provocative, terrifically acted and written modern-telling of Frankenstein, it is the cult director-writer-producer-editor-actor’s best film in a long career that includes the prize-winning art-horror trilogy HabitWendigo, and—about another scientist doing diabolical experiments—No Telling)I especially appreciated how Fessenden exhibits respect for Mary Shelley’s source novel and the classic horror films it spawned, yet injects 21st century ideas and issues into the story in startling ways without angering don’t-change-a-thing traditionalists like me.

Read Interview HERE

 

March 25, 2019
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AV CLUB: Larry Fessenden on Frankenstein, art, and Universal’s Dark Universe: “They don’t understand horror”

Larry Fessenden’s name is pretty much inextricable from independent horror cinema at this point. Over the course of the past few decades, he’s become not just an omnipresent indie character actor (turning up in everything from You’re Next to Session 9 to Martin Scorsese’s Bringing Out The Dead), but through his company, Glass Eye Pix, he’s helped to bring countless ambitious low-budget films to to life—mostly horror (and what a resume: The House Of The DevilDarlingStake Land, to name a few), but also some bold drama and oddball fare (Wendy And LucyThe Comedy). He’s also dipped into the world of video games, winning a BAFTA award for writing the hit survival-horror game Until Dawn. And through it all, he’s maintained a fairly consistent pace of writing, editing, and directing his own films at the slow but steady rate of one every five years or so. His latest, Depraved, (which had its world premiere last night at the What The Fest?! film festival in New York) is a modern reworking of Frankenstein set in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn.

When we caught up with Fessenden, what began as a discussion of his latest film turned into a fascinating and freewheeling look at the current state of indie cinema, the durability of horror, and why there’s no justification for being an asshole in the pursuit of great art.

Read Interview HERE

March 22, 2019
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Weekends with GEP: WTF in NYC

GEP thanks What The Fest!? for a fantastic world premiere!
Go see all the other goodies they got cooking this weekend.

March 22, 2019
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ANTHEM MAGAZINE: A one-on-one with David Call and Larry Fessenden

This week, the Second Annual What the Fest!? arrived in New York City. The five-day showcase of genre films kicked off with the world premiere of Larry Fessenden’s Depraved, which was shot on the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. In Fessenden’s contemporary take on the literary classic, the Vienna castle is now a Brooklyn loft and the reanimating lightening bolt a miracle drug that’s not yet FDA approved, while the monster—still very much cobbled together from various body parts—is similarly on a profound quest to learn what it means to be human.

Anthem joined Fessenden and Call at B Bar and Grill in Manhattan this week to eavesdrop on this exclusive 1-on-1 conversation and for our photo shoot before Depraved’s premiere at IFC Center.

See Interview HERE

March 21, 2019
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DEPRAVED review round-up!

“Whilst the Frankenstein story has been told hundreds of times across the world of cinema,
Depraved somehow manages to feel completely fresh.”
HOLLYWOOD NEWS

“a dramatic character piece that will reward those looking
for a thoughtful take on Mary Shelley’s masterpiece.”
HORROR FUEL

“Depraved marks one of Fessenden’s best films to date,
showcasing the director’s ability to craft a memorable,
stylish and creatively astute narrative on a small budget.
His status as a darling of horror and New York indie cinema
has only be reinforced with this feature.”
 FILM PULSE

“A moving drama of post- millennial conflict.”
 PROJECTED FIGURES

 “DEPRAVED is an inspired Gowanus-grungy DIY Frankenstein,
with director Larry Fessenden pushing through to the subtext of parentally irresponsible men.
Grabs you with its ideas (and imaginative production moxie). Somebody buy this.”
Josh Rothkopf/ TimeOut NYC

“DEPRAVED might be Larry Fessenden’s best movie yet.
Certainly his best since “Skin and Bones,”
his fantastic 2008 episode of FEAR ITSELF.”
Simon Abrams (Vulture/ Robert Ebert)

March 21, 2019
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Big Night Out: DEPRAVED premiere at WHAT THE FEST!?

March 19, 2019
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IndieWire: DEPRAVED “fun and febrile tale that takes the moral temperature of our time with an almost invasive degree of accuracy.”

‘Depraved’ Review: Larry Fessenden’s No-Budget Delight Brings Frankenstein into the 21st Century

Indie horror maestro Larry Fessenden refashions Mary Shelley’s immortal novel into a modern story of trauma and self-interest.

Hell-bent upon finding evidence of ancient monsters in the modern world (often by exploring how they continue to be reflected in the raw stuff of human nature), Larry Fessenden launched his filmmaking career with a Frankenstein story, and he’s been working his way back to the subject ever since. Traces of Mary Shelley’s mad science can be found in many of the low-budget horror movies that his Glass Eye Pix has produced since 1985, and they’re even more apparent in the ones that he’s directed: From the ecological hubris of “The Last Winter” to the monster-is-us mythicism of “Wendigo” and the selfishness that percolates beneath all of his narratives and bubbled to the surface in “Beneath,” each of his features has dissected a severed limb from Shelley’s foundational story.

Read Full Review HERE