Saturday, November 1, 2014

Crowd Funding Starts For Horror Film “Deep Shock”

Deep ShockThe crowd funding campaign has started for Italian horror film “Deep Shock”. The short film is a tribute to much praised Italian giallo and comes from award-winning director Davide Melini. “Deep Shock” is inspired by the most famous horror movies of two of the most important Italian directors: Dario Argento (Deep Red) and Mario Bava (Shock). The Campaign is taking place over on with some pretty cool perks so check it out. Also check out the first teaser for the short film below.

Sarah can’t completely overcome the deaths of her grandfather and her older sister. The trauma and lack of sleep cause her to embark on a strange journey of apparitions and murders, apparently caused by her mind. The plot offers the audience the chance to feel identified and be brought to different challenges: rational vs. irrational, thriller vs. horror, life vs. death, good vs. evil… All of this taking into account characteristic elements of the “giallo”.

My Review Of “The Butchers”

The ButchersStephen Judd’s serial killer showdown, “The Butchers” takes a lighthearted, tongue-in-cheek approach to bringing some of the world’s most notorious killers together on screen. The film stars Semi Anthony, Damien Puckler, Randall Bosley, Cameron Bowen, Braxton Davis, Mara Hall, Jacob Hobbs, Tonya Kay, Christy Keller, Charito Mertz, Milly Sanders, Ire Wardlaw. Also in the film are Rick Williamson, Hawk Walts, Mary LeGault, Marion Kopf, Gary Kasper, and John C. Epperson as the six serial killers [ Ed Gein, Albert Fish, John Wayne Gacy, Jack The Ripper, The Zodiac Killer, Jeffrey Dahmer]. The plot has the six killers coming to blows with a group of travelers whose bus breaks down outside of a ghost town turned tourist trap focusing on the life and crimes of these vicious serial killers. The crap goes down when Semi’s character, JB, sets out conjure the killers, whom he shares a kindred spirit with, then is interrupted by the arrival of the stranded group.

“The Butchers” has a creative concept going for it, bringing together these infamous killers. All of whom are just as likely to go for each other as the collection of victims thrown in their path. Judd plays up the fun side of horror with overdrawn characters that have no real dimension, acting only as meat for the grinder. The acting is as low budget as it gets in this sort of shtick, but there is no real attempt to pass the characters off as anything more so isn’t too annoying. There are a few actors that give decent performances and the direction Stephen Judd takes telling the story make it understood that this is cheap, sensationalized, slaughterfest fun.

The special effects are a blend of CGI and practical effects. The CGI is within reason and keeps focus on the occult aspects displayed. The majority of the kill scenes and gore are practical methods that, although on the cheaper side, work well to create some gruesome moments. The blood and guts of the horror elements are the real treat in this film. Some of the scenes actually come off better than other moments, even for a low budget film there is some pretty sweet moments in “The Butchers”. Just keep in mind this is a fun romp where carnage is king. Thankfully the dialog stays short and in context to the situation so I was able to enjoy the film more than I would if the writing required the actors to get theological, or wordy. The sound effects and overall atmosphere does good to keep the energy level up on “The Butchers” so I didn’t really feel any lag.

“The Butchers” is not a deep, witty, horror story. The film stays pretty straight horror, leaning toward a comedy edge. The real sell is the blood and gore which for a low budget film gives good gore. The highlight of this one is the killers themselves. On screen, as they clash with one another and the victims, the story becomes really entertaining. “The Butcher” may not appeal to all horror fans, mostly because of the simple story, cheap thrills and gimmicks, plus some of the effects fall short of when it comes to being effective. However, for what it is, this is a fun, entertaining indie horror worthy of a once over. There is a lot things that are disappointing, but there are also some moments that really shine.

My Review Of “The Upper Footage”

The Upper Footage posterFirst I have to say that I find the whole “found footage” subgenre really tiresome. Most forget the golden rules that the film must abide by, no over produced, creativity or effects cluttering the footage; none of that bulky explanatory dialog justifying the scene or set-up; and no camera shots that step out of the found footage concept-these things destroy authenticity of the film. Also a lot of directors and writers forget that the story has to be somewhat realistic to established human behavior in said situations so most of the stuff coming out is sh*t. Of course this just my personal assessment of the subgenre. If I see a film step out or ignore these guidelines I usually turn of the movie. That being said, on to my thoughts toward “The Upper Footage”.

Writer/Director Justin Cole obviously understands the rules of found footage styled film-making because he successfully creates a believable, terrifying event that manages to feel real, look like something that should not have been caught on camera, and is entertaining as h*ll. The acting and scene shots are disturbing pieces that come together to make one horrifying account. From the debauched folderol of spoiled, rich kid escapades that start this story I felt an unsettling feeling come over me that lasted to the bitter end. The emotional connection I felt for the victim was at times sickening and intense.

The cinematography used for “The Upper Footage” stays within the confines of what would be plausible for this situation. It never goes beyond the poorly produced, camcorder footage-of course it is footage caught with the best equipment rich kid money could buy so every moment is watchable, gritty and powerful. There isn’t a bunch of post-editing effects that distort the footage beyond what works for authenticity and the added use of social media and tabloid TV footage is perfect. If I wasn’t such a gossip blog whore I would have believed these to be real Hollywood elitist brats. The material presented to us by Cole is just that spot-on.

There is a small lull in the stories momentum about midway, but every movie has that problem. With this film the lull happens during all the panicked screaming at each other the characters get wrapped up in. It is acceptable because in this context it has to be there. Otherwise the high octane, chilling climb upward would start to feel too sensational and contrived. Luckily it doesn’t last long and the second half of this horrendous tale pushes you right back into that uncomfortable, sickening feeling. “The Upper Footage” is truly a great piece of found footage horror that proves the subgenre still has plenty to offer to all horror fans. Even though this isn’t “real” footage of some poor girls demise, I had to remind myself of that fact constantly. Definitely check “The Upper Footage” out, it is a disturbing nightmare that stays with you well after watching the film.

Friday, October 31, 2014

New Poster And Details For “The Sleeping Room”

The Sleeping RoomHitting the American Film Market is upcoming horror film “The Sleeping Room”, and it gives us a terrifying new masked killer for our nightmares. “The Sleeping Room” is directed by John Shackleton and stars Julie Graham, Leila Mimmack, Joseph Beattie, Christopher Adamson, Chris Waller.

When feisty teenage call girl Blue is dispatched to a run-down Regency town house in the seaside resort of Brighton, she is surprised to discover her new client is a good looking young man, Bill, who is renovating the abandoned Victorian brothel.

Among the artifacts left behind is an antique penny arcade Mutoscope. Dropping an old penny in the slot, Blue is intrigued to see a Victorian sex scene played out for the camera between a sinister masked man and two young girls.

After Bill fails to perform in the bedroom, Blue discovers a two-way mirror and a hidden room that she and Bill pry open. Entering the Sleeping Room, where the girls rested between clients, Blue finds herself drawn to the faces in one particular faded photograph and a disturbing presence unnerves them both. Blue’s violent pimp Freddie and partner Cynthia know full well about the old brothel and perverted Frisky Fiskin who’s extreme sexual tastes included family members and sadistic acts. Many girls disappeared and there were rumors Fiskin held moving picture parties for Victorian society depicting their murders.

Delving into the archives to find out more about Frisky Fiskin and the disappeared girls, Blue learns of a disturbing connection between Fiskin and her own mother who had inexplicably murdered her elderly parents before killing herself when Blue was a child. Determined to reveal its secrets, Blue returns to the brothel and Bill only to discover herself trapped with the past returning to life and Frisky Fiskin once again on the hunt for a young prey to satisfy his depraved needs.

Official Trailer Released For “Zombie Massacre 2: Reich Of The Dead”

zombie massacre 2The official trailer has been released for “Zombie Massacre 2: Reich Of The Dead”. The film is directed by Luca Boni and stars Andrew Harwood Mills, Aaron Stielstra, Ally McClelland, Dan van Husen, Lucy Drive. “ZM2” is produced by Uwe Boll.

Set in WWII, this is the story of a bunch of American soldiers fighting against a horde of zombies created by the Nazis using the prisoners of the camps… They have only one night to save their own lives, but the enemy is stronger and stronger.

International Trailer And Poster For Horror Film “Clown”

Clown-Italian-PosterAn international trailer and poster have been released for Eli Roth produced horror film “Clown”. The film stars Peter Stormare, Eli Roth, Laura Allen, Elizabeth Whitmere and is directed by Jon Watts. “Clowns” will hit Italian theatres on November 13th, 2014.

A loving father finds a clown suit for his son’s birthday party, only to realize the suit is part of an evil curse that turns its wearer into a killer.

Teaser Trailer Released For “Summer Camp”

summer campCheck out the teaser trailer for “Summer Camp”. The film comes from the guys behind “REC” and offers a new twist on the kids lost in the woods story. “Summer Camp” is directed by Alberto Marini and stars Diego Boneta, Maiara Walsh, Jocelin Donahue, AndrĂ©s Velencoso.

First Look At The Ladies Of “Pride And Prejudice And Zombies”

We finally have our first look at “Pride And Prejudice And Zombies”. The film has been in development for some time now and the image doesn’t offer much. We do at least get our first glimpse at the ladies of the upcoming mash-up, historical period/zombie flick, “PPZ” is directed by Burr Steers and stars Lily James, Ellie Bamber, Millie Brady, Bella Heathcote, Suki Waterhouse. The film is the Frankenstein-ish creation of Seth Grahame-Smith, the guy that gave us “Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter”.


Details For Horror Anthology “Tales Of Halloween”

The first details and promo poster have come out for upcoming horror anthology “Tales Of Halloween”. Epic Pictures Group will produce the new horror anthology from the creative mind of Axelle Carolyn. “Tales Of Halloween” will feature ten nightmare tales and from eleven different directors. Neil Marshall (“The Descent”), Darren Bousman (“Saw 2-4″), Mike Mendez (“Big Ass Spider!”), Joe Begos (“Almost Human”), Andrew Kasch (“Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy”), Adam Gierasch (“Night of the Demons”), Paul Solet (“Grace”), John Skipp, Ryan Schifrin (“Abominable”), Axelle Carolyn (“Soulmate”), and Dave Parker (“The Hills Run Red”) have all signed on to participate in the project.

“Tales Of Halloween” will center around a suburban community besieged by ghouls, aliens, and killers on Halloween night. All the stories will have a connecting factor that frames the twisted tales together. Check out the promo poster below. “Tales Of Halloween” will be released next Halloween season.

Tales Of Halloween

“Lake Runs Red” Website Goes Live With First Teaser

lakerunsrednowliveThe upcoming horror film “Lake Runs Red” has now gone live with their official website, revealing the first teaser video. “Lake Runs Red” is directed by Jason Riesgraf who I interviewed this past week leading up to the website launch. You can read that interview at the following link: Home Is Where The Horror Is. will offer new key art, a social media hub, never-before-seen production stills and behind-the-scenes photos, a press release archive, press kit, and cast/crew biographies. Jeff Fuller had this to say about what fans can expect from the website, as a social media hub for the film, “Our intention is for the official website to be another key component to that digital marketing mix. At launch, the official website will offer some new never before seen content and a portal for press and fan inquiries.” You can read my interview with Fuller at the following link, Producing Graphic Depictions Of Grisly Death.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

World Premiere Of “Blood Creek Woodsman” Set For November

World Theatrical Premiere of NW Indie Horror Flick BLOOD CREEK WOODSMAN Set for November 16, 4 p.m. at Clinton Street Theater.

bcw-small_cover_for_webDirector Joe Sherlock’s body count movie BLOOD CREEK WOODSMAN is set make a bloody splash onto the screen at the Clinton Street Theater on Sunday, November 16 at 4 p.m. Admission is just $5 cash at the door and a cast Q&A and prize drawings will follow the flick.

Fans of b-horror are sure to be pleased with the exploits of a hooded killer on the loose in a small rural town as the sheriff and a nosy reporter try and find out what’s going on before it’s too late. BCW was shot mostly in Marquam and Silverton, Oregon with a few scenes shot in Portland, Keizer, Corvallis, Peoria, Ankeny Hill and Mt. Angel. The film was written by John Bowker and features a number of northwest actors including Bob Olin (James vs. Reality , C.O.G., Gabby’s Wish, The Circle), Bryn Kristi (Cupid, Throng, Drifter), Jeremiah Benjamin (James vs. Reality, Little Blue Pill, The Free Box), Marin McGuire (Cell Count, Stripperland, I Am Virgin) and William Bivens (Downcast, To Err).

The small Oregon town of Oak Creek was shaken to the core when logger Bud Kindrick lost his mind and went a killing spree after discovering a terrible secret. Now, nearly a year later, the killings have begun again and echo those committed by Kindrick, who had been dubbed the Blood Creek Woodsman. The town Sheriff, his estranged wife, his deputy and a pushy reporter must get to the bottom of what's going on while the bodies pile up around them!

Clinton Street Theater Event Listing:

Happy Halloween From “Chastity Bites”!

CBJust in time for our favorite holiday, CHASTITY BITES is now available for subscribers of Hulu Plus, and back in rotation on Showtime Networks & The Movie Channel! (And as before, available for rental or purchase via iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, YouTube, and select cable carriers on-demand.)
If you're overseas, stay tuned... We'll be announcing details soon for our UK release in February 2015, and in Germany, Netherlands and more soon after!

This week Dread Central named us one of 10 Amazing Indie Horror Films You May Have Missed -- and Best Horror Movies called us one of The Best Horror Movies of 2014! Please DON'T miss us, and if you liked us then please tell a friend!

In the early 1600's, Countess Elizabeth Bathory slaughtered more than 600 young women, believing if she bathed in the blood of virgins that she would stay young and beautiful forever. Still alive today, she's found a perfect hunting ground for her 'botox' as an abstinence educator in conservative America, and the young ladies of San Griento High are poised to be her next victims. But will her unholy ritual finally be stopped by Leah Ratliff, a feminist blogger and ambitious reporter for the school paper?

Directed by John V. Knowles (SHADOW.NET).
Written & Produced by Lotti Pharriss Knowles (VITO, I AM DIVINE).
Starring: Allison Scagliotti (SyFy's WAREHOUSE 13), Francia Raisa (ABC Family's THE SECRET LIFE OF THE AMERICAN TEENAGER), Louise Griffiths (THE REVENANT), Eddy Rioseco (ABC's PARENTHOOD), Greer Grammer (MTV's AWKWARD), Amy Okuda (THE GUILD), and Stuart Gordon (RE-ANIMATOR).

Chastity Bites is Knowles’ directorial debut and my only thought is “why in the hell did it take this long?!”. The style, feel, and look of the film is that of a seasoned director whose work is effortlessly executed.” –A Southern Life In Scandalous Times ( Full article.)

"A fun, campy horror/comedy that’s both genuinely funny and genuinely scary."
--Fanboy Comics

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Image Entertainment Picks Up “Digging Up The Marrow”

Image Entertainment has announced its acquisition of  “Digging Up The Marrow”, for U.S. distribution. The monster movie is from from director Adam Green and artist Alex Pardee. The film stars Adam Green, Rileah Vanderbilt, Will Barratt, Alex Pardee, and William Dekker.

A documentary exploring genre based monster art takes an odd turn when the filmmakers are contacted by a man who claims he can prove that monsters are indeed real.

Digging Up The Marrow

Dark Sky Acquires Apocalyptic Thriller “The Well”

the well imageMPI Media Group/Dark Sky Films has announced the acquisition of apocalyptic thriller “The Well”. The film is directed by Thomas Hammock and stars Haley Lu Richardson, BooBoo Stewart, Jon Gries, Michael Welch, Barbara Crampton, Max Charles, Nicole Fox, Michael Massee, Jacqueline Emerson. “The Well” is slated for a world premiere at L.A. Film Fest with a theatrical/VOD release set for early next year. Check out the trailer below.

The bastard child of MAD MAX and A FISTFULL OF DOLLARS, THE WELL is a post-apocalyptic thriller set in the very near future. Fresh water, our most valuable commodity, has run out and society has collapsed. In a drought-stricken, Oregon valley, a greedy water baron, like so many railroad & cattle barons of yesteryear, is determined to clear out every survivor -- even by the most violent means. Only our heroine Kendal, a brave 17 year-old grown far beyond her years, stands in the way of this villain and the evil water company that supports him. This harrowing story is built of action, suspense and compassion for one girl’s gritty determination to fight for what’s right, no matter the cost.

Trailer And Poster For “Vampyres” Remake

Vampyres-posterCheck out the poster and teaser trailer for Victor Matellano’s remake of “Vampyres”. The film stars Marta Flich, Almudena Leon, Christian Stamm, Veronica Bacorn, and Caroline Munro. The update will revisit the original 1974 film 40 years later. Not much else is known about the plot details of Matellano’s film at this moment.

Home Is Where The Horror Is: My Interview With “Lake Runs Red” Director Jason Riesgraf

Jason RiesgrafJason Riesgraf is an American film and television producer, cinematographer and filmmaker who is making his feature directorial debut with “Lake Runs Red”. Since seeing his first horror movie ( “A Nightmare On Elm Street” ) at age 9, Jason has gone on to get his degree at Minnesota School Of Business. He now has a a formidable reputation as a visionary in the Independent horror community within the Twin Cities. Jason Riesgraf is best known for his camera work on 2012’s “Monday Morning” and 2014’s “Emma’s Revenge”.

Now Jason Riesgraf is about to take his place among today’s burgeoning crop of new horror talent with his feature film debut. “Lake Runs Red” draws from the intense, visceral terrors that permeate modern horror stories-the home invasion nightmare. The film blends crime-noir with more experimental areas of horror like torture-porn and ultra-violence. Here is what Jason Riesgraf had to say about his feature directorial debut in our recent interview.

A Southern Life: You are currently filming your horror feature "Lake Runs Red", how is production going so far?
Jason Riesgraf: I’ve worked on film and television sets previously in various camera and post production roles, but this is my directorial debut where I’m responsible for the entire story and production. It’s been a humbling, but amazing experience. I’m very fortunate to have such a talented and passionate cast and crew. Production has gone remarkably well. We’ve developed a real close knit family on this production. We are currently about to conclude principal photography, where we are one crucial scene away from wrap. The cast and crew could not be more excited to see the finished product as we begin the extremely long grind into post-production and phase two marketing.

A Southern Life: The film is a home invasion horror about two college friends who go to a cabin to study for finals, where did you get the idea for the story?
Jason Riesgraf:  The weekend cabin culture is prevalent up here in Minnesota. It’s a relatable pastime that many Minnesotans, Wisconsinites, and Midwesterners in flyover country can relate to. There’s something inherently spooky about the seclusion of northern Minnesota, which makes it a perfect setting for a horror film. As for the characters, dialogue and relationships, those are actually semi-autobiographical. There are key elements to the plot and characterization that apply directly to my personal life, which I unfortunately can’t reveal because I don’t want to spoil the movie for the fans. But let’s just say, there were quite a few members of our cast and crew that could relate to my original story. And that means a lot to me. It’s not just your standard run of the mill horror plot.
Lake Runs Red actually has an emotional gravitas to it. I think the audience will be pleasantly surprised, that while the violence may be shocking, the story isn’t necessarily gratuitous. At its core, the film is about rejection and vulnerability, as it relates to family, friendship, and choices. It’s no surprise to my friends and family that I chose horror as the genre for my first film. I love the giddy thrills and chills you get when you watch horror, in particular extreme horror and practical effects. Personally, home invasion films scare me the most. Home is where you should feel the safest. Having someone invade your place of safety is an incredibly frightening concept to me.

A Southern Life: The film is described as ultraviolent with torture-porn influence, what can fans expect?
Jason Riesgraf: The film will be visceral, with a clear influence of noir cinema. It will make you feel excited, with a tinge of disgust. Visually, it will be gritty, dirty, and gross but with a contemporary, bleached out aesthetic. The photography and production value will be exceptional. As a director, I want the audience to sit on the edge of their seats in anticipation, but also feel uncomfortable as the story unfolds. When the film ends, I want the audience to leave speechless and slightly disturbed. If the audience exits the movie and asks themselves how someone could even think about creating such filth, then I’ve done my job. But as I mentioned before, while the violence and torture depicted in the film is over the top and extreme, it’s not necessarily gratuitous. There’s a reason for its existence and it all correlates back to the the core story we’re telling about rejection as it relates to the cut off seclusion of a rural existence.

A Southern Life: Torture-porn still holds a bit of old taboo in the horror community, do you think it is a misunderstood subgenre?
Jason Riesgraf: I do think it’s a misunderstood subgenre. While there’s certainly the philosophical argument against providing more and more disgusting perversions for the sake of shock value, it’s important to remember that the core tenets of torture porn films still hold true to the horror genre as a whole. The instinctual feelings that run through your body when you watch torture-pornography, like “Human Centipede” (2009), “Saw” (2004), or “Hostel” (2008) are authentic. Really, it’s an evolution of the horror genre more than it is a deviation. I feel that it is still possible to provide that extreme, hardcore torture porn experience, and yet stay true to the genre through appropriate suspense and careful direction.

JR 2A Southern Life: What films influenced you or sparked your interest in horror that fans may recognize in the film? Any particular films that get a nod in "Lake Runs Red"?
Jason Riesgraf: Well, my love affair with horror began when I was 9 years old with the film “A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984). I’ve also really enjoyed other classics like “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (1974) and the original “Halloween” (1978).

In terms of biggest influence for “Lake Runs Red, Bryan Bertino’s “The Strangers” (2008) and Alexandre Aja’s “High Tension” (2003) were the two films that truly inspired me to become a horror filmmaker. “Lake Runs Red” is also influenced by the new wave of extreme horror directors like Rob Zombie, James Wan, and Eli Roth. “The Devil’s Rejects” (2005) is actually my favorite horror film.

A Southern Life: Have you always been a fan of horror? And has it always been your choice to make horror films?
Jason Riesgraf: I love the rush of not knowing what’s going to happen, when your body tenses up before having the best scare ever. But the first film that actually inspired me to explore a film and television career was actually Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator” (2000). Watching the behind the scenes documentaries for that film really inspired me. As for making my own films… there was never a choice. It has always been and always will be, horror. Horror is where my heart is. As a fan, I know that there is a special relationship that we have with the genre. As a horror filmmaker, I understand the high expectations that come along with the territory. I won’t let the fans down. My filmmaking approach to modern horror is very contemporary, fresh, and perfunctory.

A Southern Life: When can fans expect “Lake Runs Red” to be released?
Jason Riesgraf: Lake Runs Red is targeting an October 2015 release, which is very appropriate due to the spooky horror related content of the film.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Producing Graphic Depictions Of Grisly Death: My Interview With "Lake Runs Red" Producer Jeff Fuller

On Friday, October 31st-Halloween, Indie horror “Lake Runs Red” will launch the film’s official website. The home-invasion horror is a blend of contemporary crime-noir and extreme shock horror focusing on two coeds, who seek seclusion at a family cabin in the woods to study for finals, visited upon by a stranger who is there for something more sinister. “Lake Runs Red” will finish filming in the early weeks of November with an October 2015 release date set.

In my continuing coverage of the film’s production, I caught up with one of “Lake Runs Red” producers, Jeff Fuller, who also handles the film’s creative marketing and web design. Fuller is an award-winning senior level marketer, creative director, media specialist, and digital content expert with a diverse, fifteen years of experience. Other producers on “Lake Runs Red” are J. Dan Moores, Mike Ascher, Stephanie Riesgraf, and Tiffany Shaw. Here is what Fuller had to say about “Lake Runs Red” and the creative team behind the project.

A Southern Life: You're co-producing Jason Riesgraf's indie horror "Lake Runs Red", tell me how you became involved with the film, did you know Jason before hand?
Jeff Fuller: Jason and I have been close friends for over twelve years. I have actually known his wife, our other EP Stephanie Riesgraf, since the third grade. I got involved with “Lake Runs Red” somewhat by accident. In my day job, I’m professionally employed as a director of marketing and communications. Initially, I only provided informal consultations to Jason, in regard to marketing strategy and social media. As things progressed, our casual consultations morphed into an active and formal production role with the film.

To Jason’s credit, he’s surrounded himself with a really talented production team. I’m executing the marketing, key art, social media and publicity. His wife Stephanie is handling the film’s budget, events planning, and legal affairs. J. Dan Moores is helping him with casting, performance direction, production management, and sales representation. And rounding out the team is Mike Ascher,who is running cinematography, production design, props, and locations. Jason is at the center of it all, providing the creative vision, narrative, and production framework to make this all possible. There’s no doubt about it: we have something special here. The chemistry between the production team, cast, and crew is electric.

A Southern Life: "Lake Runs Red" is a home invasion horror film, what can fans expect from the movie, any classic influences that helped to shape the story?
Jeff Fuller: The audience can expect an engaging and universal story told through the format of a crime thriller, and the lens of a horror film. Even people who are not fans of horror, can enjoy the film from an existential and character perspective. And of course, horror fans will be satiated with practical special effects, over-the-top violence, and a new brand of hardcore horror eye candy.

In terms of influences, Jason is an ideal and passionate steward for the horror genre. Growing up, he was personally influenced by classic horror films like “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” (1984) and “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (1974). “Lake Runs Red” however, takes the majority of its influences from the newer formats of extreme horror, torture porn, and ultra violent spectacles. There’s definitely an influence of Rob Zombie, James Wan, and Eli Roth in the overall arc of the film’s set pieces.

A Southern Life: Zombie, Wan, and Roth are some pretty bitchin’ influences to have setting the scene, so we can expect some pretty graphic, intense sets with “Lake Runs Red”?
Jeff Fuller: Yes, definitely. The scenes are intense. The team has focused on creating grisly deaths that are hopefully done in a way you haven't seen before, but most certainly they are graphic depictions. That being said, while the violence is extreme; it is purposeful to story. It was important for Jason and the special effects team to show as much on camera as possible, through the use of practical effects. From the footage so far, we're pretty excited how things turned out. So far, so good. But obviously, we won't know for sure if we nailed it or not, until the editing is completed. The burden is really on Jason (the director and editor) to put the film together in a meaningful and inventive way to really "sell" those scenes. I have faith in him. Jason comes from a successful post-production background, so that's where he's really going to shine. It's a gargantuan task, but one I think he's up for.

BTS Lake Runs RedA Southern Life: Tell me why you are choosing to utilize crowd funding over traditional methods, and when can we expect the campaign to launch? What are some of the rewards that supporters can expect from the campaign?
Jeff Fuller: Crowd funding is a terrific tool for independent filmmakers if used properly. It was important to the team that we retain creative and financial control over the project. Collectively, this is our baby and we want to make sure it grows up right, so to speak. Financing through traditional methods, doesn’t necessarily afford us the control we desired. Back in February, the team launched an initial crowd funding campaign on Indiegogo to get the process started. As we trudge into the inherent challenges of bringing the film to market, Jason and I are considering a second round of crowd funding to raise funds for post-production expenses to finish the film with an extra spit of polish.

Horror films live and die by their score, sound effects, and visual effects, and those line items no doubt get expensive. We haven’t made any final decisions yet, but the team is carefully weighing its options at this time. So in terms of rewards, we aren’t at liberty to discuss just yet. But rest assured, we’ll be announcing some big news over the coming winter months, that fans and investors will be pleased with.

A Southern Life: How has the buzz been thus far from the horror community both online and in Minnesota?
Jeff Fuller: The marketing and awareness for “Lake Runs Red” has been remarkable so far. The positive and immediate response has surprised even me. Since this is Jason’s first feature film, we’re building the film’s brand from scratch. There are a lot of challenging factors that accompany a lack of brand awareness, but so far we’re conquering them one by one. The horror community has embraced us online and we’re committed to not letting them down. Twitter has been our most effective tool for reaching out to horror fans and independent film enthusiasts. Sparking that ongoing conversation with horror fans has been a really rewarding experience. We’re actually launching our official website,, on October 31st, Halloween. The production team expects to see a very positive response when we launch and we hope that the website will help build that initial buzz even further.

As for the buzz in Minnesota, independent film is alive and well here in the Twin Cities. October is actually the month when the majority of local film festivals are held. We’ve been networking like crazy this past month. Even though our film doesn’t release for another year, we’re building word of mouth and momentum for Lake Runs Red today. As we get out and speak with people, we’re finding that there’s already an outside awareness for the film locally, which is really flattering. It’s encouraging to learn that our publicity and marketing efforts are working. We look forward to the day when we can show everyone our hard work.

lakerunsrunA Southern Life: How has your experience been so far with the project?
Jeff Fuller: The experience has been a blast! We’ve actually almost completed principal photography. I’m looking forward to jump-starting phase 2 of our marketing strategy, as we head into the long Minnesota winter. We’ll begin to carefully reveal some of the cool things we’ve been working on as we foray into post-production. Of course, the hub for all of this activity will be our official website,, launching on October 31st. Also I’d be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity, on behalf of our entire production team (J. Dan, Steph, Mike, Jason, and myself), to extend a warm thank you and acknowledgment to the entire cast and crew. We couldn’t have done it without them. Everyone’s contributions have been so crucial to making a terrific film.

Check back with A Southern Life In Scandalous Times tomorrow for my interview with “Lake Runs Red” director, Jason Riesgraf.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Release Date Announced For “The Fifth Voyage Of Sinbad”

sinbadSet sail for the adventure of the year when Sinbad : The Fifth Voyage washes up on shore December 2.
Written, directed, executive produced, and starring Shahin Sean Solimon, Sinbad - narrated by the inimitable Patrick Stewart (X-Men : Days of Future Past) - is a crowd-pleasing throwback to the classic adventure yarns of yesteryear!

Sinbad : The Fifth Voyage will be available on VOD on December 2, with the DVD to follow on February 3, 2015. Check out the movie stills for this epic fantasy flick below.

When the Sultan's first born daughter, Princess Parisa, is abducted by an evil sorcerer, Sinbad is tasked with traveling through a desert of magic and mythical creatures to save her. He must defeat the Cyclops, the Goliath Crab, and the legendary Rok Bird to escape with their lives. Starring Shahin Sean Solimon, Patrick Stewart (X-Men, Star Trek : The Next Generation), Lorna Raver (Drag Me to Hell), Isaac C. Singleton Jr (Pirates of the Caribbean : Curse of the Black Pearl), Sadie Alexandru (TVs Mad Men), and Said Faraj (TVs 24).

sinbad still 2

sinbad still 3

sinbad still

Trailer Released For “Losing Your Flames”

losing your flamesLosing Your Flames” is a dramatic short film from Twisted L Films that focuses on Chris Steadman, a young man who is battling an inner war between love and being seen as normal. The southern town he calls home lives, eats, and breathes traditional values, leaving no room for those who don’t fit the mold. When Chris receives a text from his boyfriend, Greg, word spreads faster than lightning, resulting in his expulsion from the popular crowd, and worse his family. All Chris wants is to fit in. Acceptance is the only thing holding him together, but in bending to the wishes of others, he is losing his flames.

“Losing Your Flames” is directed by Mikel Ledesma and stars Dalton Edward Phillips, Mikel Ledesma, Jori Gill, Elvis Clark. The film is set to premiere in November. Check out the official trailer for the film below.

Losing Your Flames Trailer from TwistedLFilms on Vimeo.

Indie Horror “Lake Runs Red” Announces Launch Date For Official Website

Indie horror film “Lake Runs Red” has announced the upcoming launch of their official website to debut on Halloween, October 31st.

lakerunsrunThe producers of “Lake Runs Red”, a highly anticipated, independent home-invasion film currently in production, has announced the upcoming world premiere, of their official website for the film, will go live on Halloween October, 31st, 2014. At launch will offer new key art, a social media hub, never-before-seen production stills and behind-the-scenes photos, a press release archive, press kit, and cast/crew biographies.

“We were holding back the official website until timing was right”, said the film’s director and producer Jason Riesgraf. “Since the film is an intense horror film, the timing with Halloween and Day of the Dead couldn’t be more perfect.”

“Our strategic social media and content marketing has been working well for us thus far. Our intention is for the official website to be another key component to that digital marketing mix,” said Jeff Fuller, executive producer and director of marketing and publicity. “At launch, the official website will offer some new never before seen content and a portal for press and fan inquiries.”

Added Stephanie Riesgraf, producer, “This is a landmark milestone for our team. We’re all super excited will act as a centralized hub for the film and hopefully emerge as a growth driver for film’s social media content.”

Principle photography on “Lake Runs Red” is set to conclude at the beginning of November 2014. Stay tuned here at Southern Life In Scandalous Times for interviews with the film’s director, Jason Riesgraf and producer Jeff Fuller. Plus there will be some pretty cool promo stills for the film to come all week long.

“Lake Runs Red” is a proudly independent feature film, produced exclusively in Minnesota. This highly anticipated  horror experience is scheduled for an October 2015 release. Examining the themes of rejection, family, friendship, and choices, “Lake Runs Red” triumphantly presents a new brand of hardcore horror entertainment for the home-invasion thriller genre, uniquely blending contemporary noir, practical horror effects, blood thirsty ultraviolent and torture-porn influences.

Directed by Jason Riesgraf, written by J, Dan Moores and Jason Riesgraf, and produced by Mike Ascher, Jeff Fuller, J. Dan Moores, Jason Riesgraf and Stephanie Riesgraf, “Lake Runs Red” stars Kaci Wegleitner, Lauren Morris, CJ DeVaan, Michael Hertenstein, and Helene Donohue. “Lake Runs Red” follows two gorgeous female college coeds who go to their parents secluded northern Minnesota lake cabin to study for finals. An unexpected visitor stops by, he isn’t there to study.


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