Eaters – U.S. Premiere
Directors: Luca Boni, Marco Ristori
Starring: Alex Lucchesi, Guglielmo Favilla, Claudio Marmugi, Elisa Ferretti
The world, devastated by the Great Epidemic, is governed by hordes of living dead. Three men – Igor and Alen, two hunters of the dead and a scientist, Gyno – try to find an answer to what has happened to the human race. Alen and Igor leave on a quest to find new “guinea-pigs” for Gyno. Their journey brings them into contact with characters ranging from a crazy painter to neo-Nazis, and the feared Plague Spreader, supposed craftsman of the epidemic…
Smoothly and efficiently setting up the film’s premise, Boni and Ristori then drag us into a world where murderous tendencies have become a necessary survival skill. Igor and Alen are great anti-heroes, switching from exploding dead-heads to singing Wham! songs, without missing a beat, as they roam the blasted landscape in search of beer, women and zombies. While in part a marvelous throwback to the classic Italian zombie films of the 80′s, this is as much influenced by the likes of Zombieland or La Horde, and possesses a distinctly cynical 21st-century edge all its own.
Directors’ statement. “No one in Italy cares about genre movies, especially extreme horror ones so we decided to produce it with our own money, to have the freedom of doing what we wanted. Less money = more freedom: that’s it. And what we wanted was an extreme zombie road movie. So we put together a bunch of professionals – for example, our Special FX Team is the same as Dario Argento’s – and after almost one year of preproduction, we shot the movie in spring 2010. We shot the movie in 28 days between Veneto and Tuscany, and we can certainly say that no one has done stuff like this in Italy before…” Movie website
The Man Who Collected Food – AZ Premiere
Director: Matthew Roth Starring: Mike N. Kelly, Gary Wagner, Lila Miller, Russell Fox Miguel Appet is a serious collector. He must have the color variants, the rarities, the 1950s originals, each in mint condition. His neighbors to the right, dad Horace and son Eustice, don’t notice a thing as they plot their next deer hunt. His neighbor to the left, Kelvin Green, is too busy searching for the alien he’s sure attacked him once. But how does Miguel survive, when eating his precious food is not an option? Taking a satirical swipe at extreme consumerism through the medium of horror, Miguel is close to a unique character in the genre. He’s a “psychopath by circumstance”, whose behavior represents a seemingly-logical response to a problem caused by his obsession – even it’s not exactly what you’d call a long-term solution. In many ways he’s the most normal person in the film, certainly when compared to those around him. Outside of his one tiny little ‘issue’, he fits into society as well as many of us – but it’s an issue that leads, inevitably, to an escalating series of mayhem.
Director’s statement: “What if somebody collected food?” was a question I asked myself on one particular student film shoot that would truly begin my journey as a professional filmmaker. Originally planned to be just a short, I became more and more fascinated with how our cannibal, Miguel (Mig-ool), deals with keeping his food collection in mint condition while having to resort to cannibalism to fulfill his nutritional needs. I wanted to dig as deep as I could into the mind and psychology of this new breed of cannibal. Shot on Super 16 over a 25-day shoot, the cast and crew became fully immersed in an experience that produced something very unique and entertaining for all.
DIRECTOR MATTHEW ROTH WILL BE IN ATTENDANCE, FOR A Q+A AFTER THE SCREENING.
Skew – AZ Premiere
Director: Sevé Schelenz
Starring: Robert Scattergood, Amber Lewis, Richard Olak, Taneal Cutting
When Simon, Rich and Eva head out on an eagerly-anticipated road trip, they bring along a video camera to record their journey. What starts out as a carefree adventure, slowly becomes a descent into the ominous as unexplained events threaten to disrupt the balance between the three close friends. Each one of them must struggle with personal demons and paranoia, as friendship are tested, and gruesome realities are revealed…and recorded.
The ‘found footage’ genre has become one of the staples of the horror genre over the past decade: Blair Witch, Cloverfield and Paranormal Activity being just three examples. Skew proves there is still scope for exploration in the genre, providing a puzzle that will likely require multiple viewings to put together. Five years in the making, and put together for less than $25,000, if there was one word you should use to sum this up, it would be “unsettling”
Director’s statement. “What scares you so bad, you secretly wish someone would turn the lights on? I asked myself this in the summer of 2004 as I tried to think of the films that truly terrified me. After some thought, I realized what it was. Anticipation is the scariest element of all. That’s exactly what I wanted from Skew. During that same summer, I was three days away from going on my own road trip with two friends, when the idea hit me. It took me four days to write the script, and I did so from the passenger seat while driving cross-country. Skew is the perfect title for a film that looks through the eye of a camera and questions the reality of what you see.”
True Nature – AZ Premiere
Director: Patrick Steele Starring: Marianne Porter, Reg Land, Carolyn McCormick, David Darlow The Pascals are a rich, successful family, who’d seem not to have a care in the world. But one night, while out running, daughter Marianna vanishes without a trace. A year later, when hope has almost been given up, the young girl returns – emaciated, filthy, and with no memory of where she has been for the last year. What happened to her? Will her memory ever return, and if it does, what will the truth do to the rest of her family? Anchored by a trio of strong performances, this has a similar atmosphere to a Polanski film like The Tenant, where you’re never quite sure what’s real and what isn’t. The first half is largely concerned with atmosphere, but the success of the payoff in the final reel stands testament to the early work. Right from the opening scene, the film succeeds in the main aspect of cinematic story-telling: you want to see what happens next.
Producers’ statement. “True Nature was shot back in the fall of 2007, entirely in Dayton, Ohio using Red digital cameras – we were one of the first productions, studio or independent, to shoot with the Red. The film stars Carolyn McCormack of TV’s Law & Order franchise, and a whole slew of Midwestern talent. We are very proud of what ‘Team Ohio’ put together; going by the old filmmaking axiom, since we could only “pick two” of “fast-cheap-good”, we chose “cheap” and “good” at the expense of fast. Although we shot in 2007, we finally completed the film last spring. It’s not your typical horror films – it gets under your skin and frays your nerves in a rather unsettling way. We sincerely hope you enjoy the ride.”