Fessenden joins long-time collaborator David “The Impact Addict” Leslie and friends as they kick off the Tom Murrin Festival. Check out the schedule here and come help celebrate the beloved Alien Comic with a multitude of wacky performances by luminaries and acolytes of the downtown scene.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
STANLEY FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES JOE DANTE TO RECEIVE “MASTER OF HORROR” AWARD PRESENTED BY MICK GARRIS, FULL CAST FOR TALES FROM BEYOND THE PALE: THE STANLEY EDITION, PANELS, AND ADDED SCREENINGS
April 14, 2014 (Denver, CO) - The Stanley Film Festival (SFF), presented by Chiller and produced by the Denver Film Society, announced their full lineup of panels, added screenings, Dean’s Cup short films, and the full cast of TALES FROM BEYOND THE PALE: The Stanley Edition (presented by Glass Eye Pix). Celebrating the best in independent horror cinema, SFF will showcase a full slate of features, shorts, panels and fully immersive experiences – set at the Stanley Hotel. The haunted landmark opened in 1909 and was the inspiration for Stephen King’s Overlook Hotel in The Shining.
Adding to the 4-day celebration of horror, TALES FROM BEYOND THE PALE: The Stanley Edition has been created specifically for SFF 2014. TALES FROM BEYOND THE PALE is an ongoing series of audio dramas penned by luminaries from the world of contemporary horror. The Stanley Edition will proudly feature SFF attendees Martin Starr (Dead Snow: Red vs. Dead), Jocelyn DeBoer (Dead Snow: Red vs. Dead), AJ Bowen (The Sacrament), Ana Asensio and noted director and writer Larry Fessenden and additional special guests. The performance will be held at the Historic Park Theatre in downtown Estes Park on Saturday, April 26 at 4:45pm.
Rounding out the weekend is a series of panels. SpectreVision cofounders Elijah Wood, Daniel Noah and Josh Waller will present a panel about their film production and music management company and their future plans. Additional panels include Who Watches This Stuff?: Buying, Selling, Distributing and Exhibiting Horror Films Today as well as a panel focusing on the New Wave of horror featuring Ti West, Travis Stevens, Glenn McQuaid and Larry Fessenden.
Check out the full press release here.
“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!
“What films have inspired you?
There are four movies that inspired “Summer of Blood.” Robert Bierman’s “Vampire’s Kiss,” Mary Harron’s “American Psycho,” Larry Fessenden’s “Habit,” and Rick Alverson’s “The Comedy.” For the record, my favorite horror comedy of all time is “American Werewolf in London.: I loved watching horror films as a teenager in the 80s. In the 90s, during college, I discovered and loved the films of Woody Allen.”
Director Onur Tukel’s new movie “Summer of Blood” is showing at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival.
Check out the full interview at indiewire.com
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.
Glass Eye Pix is returning to the Stanley Film Festival with the Stanley Edition of TALES FROM BEYOND THE PALE LIVE. Other events include FANGORIA and Shock Till You Drop’s Dead Right Horror Trivia Night, a Horror Immersion Game, Murder Mystery Dinner and Big Wheel Death Race.
Check out the full press release below and stay tuned for the full film lineup!
Get tix and more info on the festival at StanleyFilmFest.com
“The Stanley Film Festival (SFF) produced by the Denver Film Society and presented by NBC Universal’s Chiller, announced today its Opening Night film and several special event highlights and experiences taking place at the four-day event (April 24-27). The Stanley Film Festival celebrates the best in independent horror cinema at the hotel that inspired The Shining. The Festival will host a full slate of films, panels, competitions, and special events – all at the beautiful and historically haunted Stanley Hotel.
The Stanley Film Festival will open Thursday, April 24 with a Gala Presentation of an original documentary from EPiX, Doc of the Dead. Directed by Colorado filmmaker, Alexandre O. Philippe (The People Vs. George Lucas), the film explores the evolution of the zombie genre in film, television and literature, as well as its impact and influence on pop culture. The film features footage taken at the 35thStarz Denver Film Festival’s “George Romero’s Zombie Town Hall Meeting.”
“We are thrilled to open this year’s Festival with a locally-produced film. The Denver Film Society is excited by the strength of the work we are seeing come out of our home state and we cannot think of a better way to celebrate the iconic status of the Stanley Hotel than with a film produced right here in Colorado,” says Denver Film Society Festival Director, Britta Erickson.
In addition to the Opening Night film, SFF announced it will host a series of events, sure to satisfy even the most dedicated horror fans. Throughout the Festival, “players” of the Horror Immersion Game will use multiple media platforms and game elements to delve deep into a mystery/horror narrative that uses the Stanley Hotel and the Festival as a vehicle to engage its participants in a story that seamlessly exists concurrently with everyday life. On Friday evening, Fangoria Entertainment and ShockTilYouDrop.com will bring their Dead Right Horror Trivia from Los Angeles to Estes Park. Saturday evening, Glass Eye Pix will present The Stanley Edition of TALES FROM BEYOND THE PALE with hosts, Larry Fessenden and Glenn McQuaid, featuring two brand new tales performed at the Historic Park Theater in town by special guests with films at the Festival. Additional events include a Murder Mystery Dinner Friday evening, Zombie Crawl Saturday afternoon, and a Big Wheel Death Race on Sunday morning, all at the Stanley Hotel.
“While we are incredibly excited to announce our full film line-up next week, we are just as ecstatic to unveil some of the atmospheric and interactive special events that will immerse our guests completely in the horror experience” says Landon Zakheim, Stanley Film Festival Program Director. “The entire weekend is designed to work as one big dark carnival.”
The Stanley Film Festival will celebrate their programming announcement this evening with an advance screening of the film Oculus at the Reel Mountain Theater in Estes Park. The film will be followed by a post screening Q&A with Director Mike Flanagan, producer and SFF alum Jason Blum and Producer Trevor Macy and an after-party at the Stanley Hotel.
● Doc of the Dead – USA (Director: Alexandre O. Phillipe, Featuring George Romero, Simon Pegg, Bruce Campbell, Max Brooks, Tom Savini, Greg Nicotero, Robert Kirkman) – Could there be a real zombie outbreak? If so, Doc of the Dead can help you prepare. This definitive guide to all things undead delves deep into the evolution of the zombie genre in film and literature, as well as its impact and influence on pop culture, to deliver a comprehensive, fast-paced, highly entertaining look at a contemporary social pandemic of global proportions.
● HORROR IMMERSION GAME Bleeding seamlessly into the atmosphere of fear and suspense we are excited to announce the Stanley Film Festival’s Inaugural Immersive Horror Game, a real horror/mystery narrative using the Festival itself as its medium. Those who follow the clues opt in to the game, becoming the protagonists of an engaging and creepy interactive thriller culminating in an irreproducible climax you can never unsee.
● Glass Eye Pix Presents TALES FROM BEYOND THE PALE: The Stanley Edition An ongoing series of audio dramas penned by luminaries from the world of contemporary horror from JT Petty (HELLBENDERS) to Simon Barrett (YOU’RE NEXT), and Kim Newman (ANO DRACULA), featuring players from Ron Perlman (HELLBOY), to Angus Scrimm (PHANTASM), and Mark Margolis (AMERICAN HORROR STORY). The Stanley edition will feature performers culled from the film lineup. Join horror impresarios Glenn McQuaid and Larry Fessenden as they invite you to close your eyes and… listen. Learn more at talesfrombeyondthepale.com
● DEAD RIGHT HORROR TRIVIA HOSTED BY FANGORIA ENTERTAINMENT AND SHOCKTILYOUDROP.COM Do you consume horror as voraciously as zombies eat flesh? The hit Los Angeles horror event comes to the Stanley Film Festival! Join Fangoria’s Rebekah McKendry and ShockTillYouDrop.com’s Ryan Turek and test your horror knowledge in eight rounds of terrifyingly titillating trivia. Scare yourself with how much you actually know about horror. Trivia will be held early Friday evening at the Wheel Bar in Estes Park. Come with a team or join one there. All are welcome.
● MURDER MYSTERY DINNER Murder is afoot at the old Stanley Hotel. Guests of the festival are welcome to register for a night of intrigue and deception unraveling over a wonderful three-course meal as they become their very own detectives.
● BIG WHEEL DEATH RACE Guests will racethrough the expansive grounds of the Stanley Hotel on their very own adult sized big wheel, just like Danny Torrance. Festival pass holders will have an opportunity to race using adult sized big wheels on a course that runs the grounds of the Stanley Hotel. Registration will take place at the guest relations table for teams of four for a relay style race between 32 teams to determine one winner who will walk away with a complimentary stay at the Stanley Hotel.
● EYE HEART BRAINS ZOMBIE CRAWL When there’s no more room in hell, the dead will walk the Earth. And, now you can too. Converge upon the Stanley Film Festival in style by participating in a good ol’fashioned Zombie Crawl hosted by Eye Heart Brains, purveyors of the world’s largest zombie gatherings. The death march will move along The Stanley Hotel grounds and through the neighboring streets of Estes Park in search of brains. BRAAAAIIIIIIIIINNNNNS!!”
From Sean Axmaker at Indiewire:
“Beneath” was one of the best horror film of 2013. But most people never heard about it.
Produced by Chiller, a horror-themed sibling to the SyFy cable network still struggling for name recognition and access to cable systems, “Beneath” is the first feature in almost a decade directed by Larry Fessenden. It played a few film festivals and received a limited (very limited) release in July before hitting cable on a channel that few viewers know exists. Which means that hardly anyone has had an opportunity to see the film. With the movie coming out on DVD and Blu-ray this week, that should change.
The limited coverage it has received so far, at least on the horror-centric sites, seems to have missed the point, or at least became so complacent in their own superiority to the conventions of the genre that they never noticed how cleverly Fessenden, who has been turning classic horror genres inside out for over twenty years, and the screenwriters transformed the conventions of this genre—notably the idiotic behavior of potential teenage victims—into defining elements of story and character.
“Beneath” is both a tribute to monster-in-the-woods and the creature-under-the-water horror (the opening dream sequence turns the “Jaws” prologue into a teenage wet dream) and a genuine indie drama in the guise of a horror film. It springs from Fessenden’s love of reimagining classic genres in modern terms and real-world situations, and for using the conventions to tell character stories. And it was accomplished on a commercial cable movie budget.
The opening act unfolds like a classic “teens under attack” horror film: six friends drive out to the woods to celebrate high school graduation with beer and fireworks on an island in the middle of an isolated lake. You can check off the tropes as they roll out: the competitive jock brothers, the nerdy video guy who won’t stop filming his friends (and provokes them in the name of drama), the bubbly and sweet-natured blonde babe that all the guys desire, the other girl (who just may also desire the blonde), and the brooding guy who guides them all to this hidden lake.
Johnny (Daniel Zovatto), the brooding one, knows of the legend a lake monster but neglects to tell his friends. Maybe he really doesn’t believe it, but he brings along a rustic charm just in case and he tries to give one to Kitty (Bonnie Dennison), the blonde. There’s even an old guy on the property (played by “Breaking Bad” drug kingpin Mark Margolis) with the usual warnings. Johnny assures him that he’ll keep the kids out of the water … because that’s gonna work out great. Sure enough, a monster of a catfish the size of a Buick comes prowling as soon as the kids jump in the water.
For the next half hour the kids do all the dumb, reckless, aggressive things guaranteed to strand them in the middle of the lake without a paddle. The jocks, pumped up on testosterone and their own egos, poke it with a stick, or in this case an oar. Old Man Catfish renders it to splinters with a mighty chomp. When they run out of paddles (because they aren’t bright enough to learn from their mistakes) they starts tossing one another overboard, voting members off the boat like a real-world “Survivor,” only here the losers become fish bait, sacrifices to distract an indifference fish god. And the aspiring director, Zeke, is there to record it all in his own reality horror.
Then something interesting happens. What first appears to be a lazy set-up to stake out its victims for the movie menace turns out to be an insidious insight to the true nature of its characters and the basis for the real conflict of the film. The crisis dredges up the envy, resentment, spite, and animosity these kids have been burying all this time under snarky remarks and dirty looks. Get past the genre and this is David Mamet in a boat, a savage portrait of survivalism at all costs. The so-called best friends turn on one other with a venomous vengeance.
“Beneath” turns into a smart, savage film that plays with the familiar conventions and then twists a knife in them, and it’s all done with a small cast, a confined space, and a script that reveals the worst in humanity. It looks less like a TV movie than a theatrical indie. Apart from the opening, it all takes place in the boat on the midst of a wooded lake, shot in the harsh light of day rather than the shadows of night, out in the open with a clean, sharp visual style. Not your usual visual strategy for a low-budget monster movie.
Special Features include
Audio Commentary by Larry Fessenden and Graham Reznick
A Look Behind BENEATH: Making the “Fish Movie”
Fessenden on JAWS
From the Web: WHAT THE ZEKE?
From The Web: WHAT’S IN BLACK LAKE?
Digital Copy of the film
USA TODAY has an exclusive clip from the behind-the-scenes feature on the new BENEATH Blu-ray, coming out tomorrow from Scream Factory!
Fessenden gives basically the same interview all over again in Sean Alexander’s article for Cinephiled:
Watching with Larry Fessenden, director of ‘Beneath’
Larry Fessenden loves horror movies. As a director he has brought his own unique approach to the classic horror stories and conventions in such films as Habit, Wendigo, and his animist ghost story / environmental thriller The Last Winter. Through his production company Glass Eye Pix his has produced or co-produced dozens of films, including Kelly Reichert’s Wendy and Lucy andNight Moves, Ti West’s The House of the Devil and The Innkeepers, Jim Mickle’s Stake Land, and the recent documentary Birth of the Living Dead, a tribute to one of the holy grails of modern horror.
Apart from an episode of the horror TV series Fear Itself, Fessenden hasn’t directed a film since the 2004The Last Winter, an eco-twist on the ghost story in the culture of big oil, so the arrival of Beneath, about a group of teenagers, a rowboat in the middle of a lake, and a giant, hungry, man-eating catfish looking for its next meal, is reason to celebrate. It begins as a classic tale of teens behaving badly, and more importantly stupidly, but what first appears to be a lazy set-up to stake out its victims for the movie menace turns out to be an insidious insight to the true nature of its characters and the basis for the real conflict of the film. It’s a smart, savage film that plays with the familiar conventions and then twists a knife in them, and it’s all done with a small cast, a confined space, and a script that reveals the worst in humanity.