From Rue Morgue: We continue our interview with filmmaker/independent horror mogul Larry Fessenden (which began here), currently enjoying an expansive retrospective at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art. All of his directorial ventures and many more movies he’s produced through his Glass Eye Pix company are screening in this series; go here for the full schedule and details. Fessenden also works frequently as an actor, and he reveals that he recently wrapped a small role for one of the true greats…
Over the past few days there has been a deluge of interviews, reviews, and features on Fessenden.
We’ve assembled snippets of each here, with links to the full pieces.
“I’ve worked pretty hard to get all these movies back under one roof—
I had to sort of rescue Wendigo from total obscurity. So that was a challenge.
I’m a collector-minded person, and none of my movies were on Blu-Ray,
and none of them had been well transferred onto DVD since their VHS days, either.
So I did it as an act of self-preservation.”
“What Scream Factory and IFC have put together makes for
one of my favorite Blu-ray releases of the year.
While I think each film holds up on their own individual merits,
there really is something special about watching them together as a collection.
You get to see a director morph in front of your eyes
and grow as a director while never once straying from his roots.”
Needing Bigger Boats: FFC Interviews Larry Fessenden
“When I was younger, one did buy into the theory of progress.
That we would invest in freedoms. Not George Bush freedoms,
but freedoms to flourish, freedom of sexual expression,
you know: freedoms. That we would take council from scientific discovery.
That we would stop putting DDT into our gardens.
But the way that we’re wired is so much more primitive.”
Fessenden on Festivals:
Indie Horror’s Larry Fessenden Reflects on the Fests that Shaped His Career
“What I found discouraging was that at Sundance
they were not programming thoughtful horror films,
but just schlocky B-movies that played at midnight.
The genre was not being treated seriously,
it seemed to me, and as a result my aspirations
to elevate the horror film was being frustrated.”
“The unique voices of Fessenden and Reznick
come through clearly in the story.
Isolation is a theme both writers have circled
with an almost predatory focus in their previous work.”
GEP pal and UNTIL DAWN co-writer Graham Reznick spoke with Venture Beat about the process of writing UNTIL DAWN with Fessenden. Reznick spoke about everything from the butterfly effect of the game:
“As far as the butterfly effect and the branching narrative, as a filmmaker and a screenwriter, you sit down with a character and a story, and then you immediately think of every possible version of that story at any given moment. You’re trying to find the best path for your screenplay. If a character has to go to the store and buy a loaf of bread, there’s a million ways that can happen. Who’s he gonna run into along the way? Does the store get held up when he gets there?”
To the balance between traditional gaming and surprising storytelling techniques in the game:
“Exactly. There’s a bit of a more traditional gameplay element built in where it’s like, okay, I have to make sure I hurry along this path or else I’m not going to get to someone in time. But then there are a lot of situations where, depending on the conversation you have with someone, it might result in their death almost immediately. You wouldn’t know that going into the conversation.”
To Reznick’s history with video games:
“I grew up on games. I’m 34, so I feel like I literally grew up with games every step of the way, from the earliest consoles on. I played pretty much everything as I grew up as much as I could. I played a lot of computer games, a lot of Sierra games. That was my bread and butter when I was a kid, almost more so than console games at first. Then CD-ROM games with a lot of FMV—We weren’t quite ready yet. Some of those were a lot of fun, but we weren’t ready to interact as deeply as we can with a story now, because of the technology.”
Check out the entirety of awesome interview, originally posted by Dean Takahashi on Venture Beat.
Twitch sat down with WE ARE STILL HERE cast members Barbara Crampton, Fessenden, Lisa Marie, and Andrew Sensenig, and they talked about everything from the gore in the movie to the possibility of sequels!
[Photo above, L-R: Andrew Sensenig, Ted Geoghegan, Barbara Crampton, Larry Fessenden, Travis Stevens, Lisa Marie, Karim Hussain. Set photos by Stacy Buchanan / Wicked Bird Media.]
We Are Still Here has been garnering enthusiastic reviews from its premiere at SXSW and subsequent screenings at Boston Underground Film Festival and the Stanley Film Festival, with other festival screenings to come. The film is currently playing a limited theatre run, and will be available on VOD on June 5th. You can read Peter Martin’s original SXSW review here. If you’ve missed the trailer, you can watch it below.
I was able to visit the set in freezing upstate New York in February 2014 and speak to cast members Barbara Crampton, Larry Fessenden, Lisa Marie, and Andrew Sensenig.
TwitchFilm: Larry, how did you get involved with We Are Still Here?
Larry Fessenden: Ted (Geoghegan, director/writer) just asked me very casually at the bar if I would do it. Of course, I knew the executive producer, Greg Newman. I was excited tha Ted had gotten the green light, because I’ve known him for some time, and I said sure. Scheduling was a little more dicey, so I came in late to the shoot, but as a result, it was fun to see everyone already comfortable with each other and walk onto set get right into mayhem. We shot out of order, so the first stuff we did was the absolute craziest because we shot out of the house.
There’s lots of gore in the story.
Fangoria just posted an awesome interview with Fessenden about Ted Geoghegan’s “neo-fulci fright flick” WE ARE STILL HERE.
For fans of independent horror, the name “Larry Fessenden” should be very familiar. The creator of the NY-based production house Glass Eye Pix, which turns 30 later this year, Fessenden has proven himself as performer, producer and director in the independent horror world, shepherding talents like Ti West, Jim Mickle and Glenn McQuaid while helming fright fare such as WENDIGO, THE LAST WINTER and 2013’s killer fish movie BENEATH. However, Fessenden has been just as busy on-camera as he has been off, appearing in recent projects such as YOU’RE NEXT, HELLBENDERS, LATE PHASES, JUG FACE, I SELL THE DEAD, THE STRAIN and, most recently, Ted Geoghegan’s WE ARE STILL HERE.
Recently, the neo-Fulci chiller played at the incredible Stanley Film Festival, where Fessenden also represented his own TALES FROM BEYOND THE PALE LIVE as well as his appearance in Dan Berk and Robert Olsen’s BODY. FANGORIA caught up with Fessenden shortly after the Festival to talk about his multi-faceted macabre role in Geoghegan’s demonic directorial debut…
FANGORIA: Director Ted Geoghegan has been working in various capacities in the NY film world for a while now. How did Ted first approach you for WE ARE STILL HERE?
LARRY FESSENDEN: Well, I’ve known Ted on-and-off for almost ten years; he’s worked with my friend, Glenn McQuaid, and WE ARE STILL HERE was funded by MPI, whom I’ve worked with long enough to know that it was a real deal. That’s the thing I love about MPI: when they say they’re going to make a movie, they do. So I thought it was cool, and Ted asked me if I wanted the role and I said, “Absolutely, whatever it is. It’s so sweet of you to think of me.”
As it turns out, WE ARE STILL HERE was a period piece that took place in the ‘70s; I think ‘79 was what was decided. I really enjoyed the script and loved the character, and I liked that Ted would trust me to have a slightly more substantial role. Normally, I come on to get killed in a film; in WE ARE STILL HERE, I come on, hang out for a while and then get killed in the film. [laughs]
Bloody-Disgusting’s launching a major interview with GEP pal and director of the upcoming ‘Pod’ Mickey Keating, and today they’ve put out his comments on his new projects ‘Carnage Park’ and GEP-produced ‘Darling’.
While Pod premiere this weekend, Keating is already is post-production on Darling, pictured, which was shot in November with Larry Fessenden’s Glass Eye Pix, starring Lauren Carter, Brian Morvant, and Sean Young.
“I wanted to do something on the complete opposite end of the spectrum from Pod, so this one’s a black-and-white, 1960s style descent into madness,” Keating exclusively tells Bloody Disgusting. “It’s more experimental, like nightmare or a bad drug trip. A surreal nod to The Innocents, Eraserhead, Diabolique, The Haunting, Repulsion, The Tenant, Altman’s That Cold Day In The Park, and to the works of Hollis Frampton.
“Strangely though, it’s definitely my meanest, goriest film yet,” he adds.
In addition, it was announced in February that Keating is set to get behind the camera for the survival horror Carnage Park.
“It’s going to be a very vicious horror film set entirely during the day, in a cruel stretch of California desert,” explains Keating. “It’s my first period piece – set in 1978 – and it’s about a botched bank heist that quickly spirals into a horrific fight for survival. It’ll be a nod to the legendary Sam Peckinpah and his masterpiece The Getaway, the new French Extremism films of the 2000s, and The Most Dangerous Game.
“We’re locking down a pretty cool cast now and I’m very excited to make a cruel, pulpy horror film,” he excitedly adds.
Our favorite Frankenstein blog tributes Fessenden’s music video FRANKENSTEIN CANNOT BE STOPPED for the indie band Life in a Blender. Check out the full post over at Frankensteinia!
“On Friday the 13th, those Masters of Horror, Larry Fessenden and Glenn McQuaid released the second season of their excellent, radio drama series Tales from Beyond the Pale.
Tales… follows in a similar tradition to E.C. Comics Tales from the Crypt, or those wonderful portmanteau horror movies produced by Amicus Productions in 1960s and 1970s, Doctor Terror’s House of Horrors, Torture Garden, The House That Dripped Blood, Asylum and Vault of Horror.
Glenn and Larry were inspired to create Tales… after Continue Reading »
From Independent Film Quarterly:
BENEATH is a satirical horror-thriller directed by established filmmaker Larry Fessenden (The Last Winter, Habit, Wendigo) and produced by Fessenden and Peter Phok for Glass Eye Pix. The film tells the story of a group of six bratty teens who celebrate the end of high school by taking a trip to an isolated lake. Things get perilous with the appearance of a deadly monster piranha like fish lurking in the water. Stuck in their bloodied, oarless, leaking Continue Reading »