March 20, 2017
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SXSW Photo Round-Up!

SXSW comes to a close! We’ve gathered pics from throughout the festival, including the MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLAND and LIKE ME premieres and the GEP / Dogfish Pictures / Palomo Films party.

Check out the gallery here.

March 17, 2017
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DIG TWO GRAVES Premiere in NYC 24 March 2017 at Cinema Village


From Dread Central:

Dread Central will be hosting the NYC premiere of director Hunter Adams’ supernatural shocker Dig Two Graves, and you can win a pair of tickets to the star-studded premiere and after party! This special event will take place on Friday, March 24, at 7 pm at the Cinema Village (22 East 12th Street, off University Place), where the movie will begin a week-long run. Dig Two Graves marks the latest genre production from local horrormeister Larry Fessenden (Habit, The Last Winter, Stake Land, Late Phases, I Sell the Dead, The Innkeepers, etc.)

A stylish, haunting thriller…dark, original and chilling…Ted Levine gives one of the most memorable performances of his career.” — Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times

An inky dose of the supernatural.” — New Orleans Film Society

“Part moody Stephen King-style thriller, part brooding family drama.” — Culture Crypt

“A haunting and darkly beautiful tale of revenge.” — Horrornews.net

March 10, 2017
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Fessenden and Reznick in the Guinness Book of World Records!

From the world of alternative facts comes this official stat from The Guinness Book of World Records: “Longest script for a graphic adventure game: Screenwriters Graham Reznick and Larry Fessenden (both USA) wrote 1000 pages of dialogue for Until Dawn (2015), reduced from an initial 10,000-page outline. The script’s epic length was in part owing to the game’s extended development period. It was originally announced as an action title back in 2012.”

Well, sort of true… anyway, was a lot of work, was a fantastic experience and we are honored to be sited!

March 8, 2017
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DIG TWO GRAVES, exec produced by Fessenden

Trailer and poster now available.


From Rue-Morgue:

 Exec producer Larry Fessenden’s DIG TWO GRAVES unearths supernatural thrills this month

New York horror mogul Larry Fessenden was among the executive producers of DIG TWO GRAVES, a supernatural film starring THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS’ Ted Levine. It’s coming later this month; keep reading for the info, trailer and poster.

 Area 23a Movievents releases DIG TWO GRAVES to select theaters and VOD March 24. Directed by Hunter Adams from a script he wrote with Jeremy Phillips, the film also stars Samantha Isler, Troy Ruplash, Danny Goldring and Ann Sonneville. The synopsis: After 13-year-old Jacqueline Mather [Isler] loses her brother in a mysterious drowning accident, she is soon visited by three moonshiners who offer to bring her brother back to life—but at a grim cost. As the dark history of her grandfather, Sheriff Waterhouse [Levine] is unearthed, the true intentions of the moonshiners come to light.”

March 6, 2017
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Fessenden, Thespian, Thanatos

Fessenden will appear in 4 movies at this year’s SXSW Film Festival, including two Glass Eye Pix productions, LIKE ME and MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLAND. He also shows up in THE TRANSFIGURATION by Michael O’Shea, the much anticipated new vampire flick that was a hit at Cannes last year, as well as CHEAP THRILLS director E L Katz’s next flick SMALL CRIMES, starring Game of Thrones’ Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. 

Meanwhile, you can catch Fessenden streaming live in recent releases STRAY BULLETS, STAKE LAND 2, and GIRLFRIEND’S DAY, and look for him at the Tribeca Film Festival premiere of Mickey Keating’s PSYCHOPATHS in April.

The question it seems, is not “what role does Fessenden play?”, but “how does his character die and how quickly?” Inquiring minds would like to know.

Recent portrait of the thespian by longtime pal Robin Holland

March 4, 2017
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Fessenden on sax with the Wharton Tiers Ensemble TONIGHT Sat 3/4/17 at 9:30

February 28, 2017
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R.I.P. ZIP 1962-2017 Fessenden releases blast from the past to honor fallen friend

Portrait of Zippo, AKA T Whitney Blake, longtime comrade and collaborator to Glass Eye Pix’s Fessenden.
Shot in the East Village early 80s on B&W 16mm and Super8. Edited on a flatbed at NYU.

One of Zippo’s iconic images from his stint as set photographer on Fessenden’s HABIT

so long Zip

January 31, 2017
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GEP’s LIKE ME & MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLAND Headed to SXSW

Two Glass Eye Pix pics, Rob Mockler’s LIKE ME and Ana Asensio’s MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLAND, will world premiere in competition at SXSW.

LIKE ME
A reckless loner, desperate for human connection, sets out on a crime spree that she broadcasts on social media. Her reality quickly splinters into a surreal nightmare as her exploits spiral out of control. Cast: Addison Timlin, Ian Nelson, Larry Fessenden, Jeremy Gardner, Stuart Rudin, Nicolette Pierini. Written & Directed by Rob Mockler. Produced by Jenn Wexler. Producers: Jessalyn Abbott, Rob Mockler, James Belfer, Larry Fessenden. Executive Producers: Peter Phok, Leo Joseph, Anya Joseph, Anthony Gentile, John Gentile. A Dogfish Pictures / Glass Eye Pix production.

 

MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLAND
An undocumented young woman struggling to begin a new life in New York City is offered an opportunity she can’t pass up. But as day turns to night she discovers she’s been lured to the center of a dangerous game. Cast: Ana Asensio, Natasha Romanova, David Little, Nicholas Tucci, Larry Fessenden, Caprice Benedetti. Written & Directed by Ana Asensio. Produced by Jenn Wexler, Chadd Harbold, Ana Asensio. Producers: Larry Fessenden, Noah Greenberg. Executive Producers: Peter Phok, Gill Holland.

Fessenden also appears in Evan Katz’s SMALL CRIMES, also world premiering at SXSW.

More on these films coming soon. Check out the full SXSW lineup right here!

December 29, 2016
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Entertainment Weekly exclusive: STRAY BULLETS trailer debuts

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The new crime drama Stray Bullets (out Feb. 10) was written, directed, and edited by Jack Fessenden, who also stars in the film, composed its soundtrack, and is among the movie’s credited chefs. That’s an impressive array of contributions to this tale of two teenagers in upstate New York whose lives intersect with a trio of gun-toting hoodlums. But the amount of hats Fessenden sported on Stray Bullets is doubly noteworthy given he is only 17 years old and was just 15 when he directed the film.

“I’d been making little movies my entire childhood [but] I started taking movie-making more seriously when I was maybe 12 or 13,” says Fessenden. “When I was 13, I made my first real short film, called Riding Shotgun. We showed it at the Woodstock Film Festival and, ever since I’ve known that I wanted to make a movie like Stray Bullets. I always referred to it in my mind as ‘my epic.’ It wasn’t necessarily going to be a feature. It was just something that would incorporate a story [in] my comfort zone — of kids upstate — as I’d done before, and then also the story of these crooks. In the summer before I started high school, I started to write the story and realized that it was very dense for a short film. My mom, one day, said, ‘Well, why don’t you just make a feature?’”

It could be said that Fessenden was born to make films — certainly, he has been involved in their creation virtually since birth. His mother, Beck Underwood, is an animator and production designer while his father, Larry Fessenden, is the director of such influential indie-horror movies as Habit and Wendigo. Fessenden Sr. has also nurtured a long list of filmmakers through his Glass Eye Pix company, including Ti West (House of the Devil), Jim Mickle (Stake Land), Mickey Keating (Darling), and now his son, whose film was overseen by the production outfit in conjunction with Jack’s own Fessypix. Jack himself appeared in Wendigo when he was just a few months old and, down the years, helped out on a number of other GEP movies, including 2008’s Dominic Monaghan-starring I Sell the Dead. “I helped age some old boxes,” he laughs. “I got paid $50. That’s a pretty big payday for a 7-year-old.”

Larry Fessenden recalls that it was the time he spent goofing around with Jack and his friends which really inspired his son to become a director. “Instead of going out and playing with a ball, we’d go out with a video camera,” he says. “Jack would have three friends over, and we’d say, ‘Let’s pretend you’re running from something terrible!’ And I’d have the fun of designing the shots. I used to edit them, put the music in and so on, and [say], ‘Look, that fun thing we did this afternoon, this is the result.’ Eventually, Jack would take the camera and I’d see him off telling the kids what to do, and I think that’s how he became a filmmaker.”

Jack and his friend Asa Spurlock play the lead teenagers in Stray Bullets while the movie’s three criminals are portrayed by John Speredakos (Wendigo, The Mind’s Eye), James Le Gros (Living in Oblivion, Girls), and Larry, who also shot the film and produced it with Jack. Indeed, with Underwood overseeing the movie’s production design, Stray Bullets is very much a family affair, although Jack insists his father was careful not to offer too much input during the shoot. “He was always there to help, whenever I needed it,” he says. “But I mostly think he wanted to give me some space, so that I could feel that it was my project — and he did that very well.”

Stray Bullets premiered last September at Germany’s Oldenberg Film Festival and won a rave review from The Hollywood Reporter which described it as “an enjoyably bloodsoaked thriller with unexpectedly lyrical interludes.” Jack says he has plans to make another film, but has to first deal with some matters which aren’t usually an issue for first-time filmmakers. “I’m in junior year in high school, so I have to crack down a little bit more than I have been,” he says. “I have to keep my grades up!”

Stray Bullets is released Feb. 10.

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October 30, 2016
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JUST IN TIME FOR HALLOWEEN: “I Sell The Dead” gets a Shout-Out!

10 Overlooked Recent Horror Movie Gems

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“I Sell the Dead” (Glass Eye Pix)

When it comes to my Halloween season viewing, I often fall back on the vintage stuff: Hammer favorites, Universal monster classics, the Val Lewton cycle, or any previously unseen golden oldies that catch my eye.

But despite the plague of “found footage” cheapies and an endless streak of inferior remakes and sequels, there have been some very good recent horror movies. It’s just that many of the best have gone virtually unnoticed except by the most insatiable horror fanatics. And I know for that diehard crowd, much of this list might not seem so overlooked. So, while I certainly do want to hear about that grainy $5,000 stalker film from Uruguay you found in a black market video shop, understand my definition of “overlooked” isn’t quite that obscure.

The list was restricted to films released over the last five years or so, just to have some sort of cutoff. There are other movies from the same period (like Trick ‘r TreatHouse of the Devil and Splice) that also should have received a wider release or more media attention, but those films have found a very devoted cult following. The films below have some fans, but continue to fly way too far under the radar for my liking. 

Five of the ten films are debut features, so maybe there’s something to be said for new chefs contributing to the horror stew. The rankings are a bit meaningless considering how different the films are, but the hierarchy is simply those I felt were the most essential viewing. 

Oh … and Happy Halloween!

I Sell the Dead (2009): A fantastic debut feature, Glenn McQuaid’s joyful throwback to genre traditions is horror-comedy of the highest order. Getting convincing period detail on a very low budget, McQuaid also brings filmmaking verve to every scene. And it’s a darn funny film too, with great hammy performances by Larry Fessenden and Ron Perlman and a reactive comic role to treasure from Dominic Monaghan in the lead. If you grew up with Hammer horror films on TV and grisly EC Comics reprints, I Sell the Dead will seem letter-perfect. It never played in a Chicago theater, which is a goddamned shame, as this was made to see with an audience.

READ THE WHOLE LIST