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    Toronto! Terror for teens unspools at TIFF’s “Next Wave”

    by: Chris Alexander on: 2013-02-15 17:22:58

    One of the biggest celebrations of cinema in the world, TIFF
    (the Toronto International Film Festival) has many appendages to both its
    annual week-long festival and its year-round slate of diverse programming. One
    of these strains is the TIFF Next Wave, a mini-festival (in its second year)
    that spotlights teen-oriented films selected by teens for teens.

    Next Wave begins its run today through Sunday at the gorgeous
    TIFF headquarters, the Bell Lightbox at John and King in Toronto. It’s a
    notable fest for younger FANGORIANS in that a few genre friendly titles are
    getting the deluxe treatment, including the splatterific DEAD BEFORE DAWN 3D, a
    gory horror comedy shot in digital 3D; the first exclusively Canadian film shot
    in this kind of 3D process, in fact.

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    Matilda Davidson is a senior member of the Next Wave committee (and
    she’s 17…feel old yet?). She’s an enthusiastic youth, mad about movies,
    articulate and serious about providing great content for her peers and
    demographic:

    “DEAD BEFORE DAWN 3D is hilarious. It was the best choice for a
    closing night film because it’s just covered in blood and a real crowd pleaser.
    It has a bit of EVIL DEAD in there but goes off in all kinds of unexpected
    directions. These films at Next Wave are designed to appeal to real teenagers,
    not what people think teenagers should watch but what they do watch and enjoy.
    It’s an important component of TIFF.”

    The shot-in-Niagara Falls DEAD BEFORE DAWN 3D does indeed close
    the festival on Sunday in all its goofy, violent dimensional glory, but to get
    a look at all the Next Wave programming (which includes a few key John Hughes
    classics as well) and the more macabre selections like Ireland’s EARTHBOUND and
    Spain’s GHOST GRADUATION, visit TIFF Next Wave.

    Read more »
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    EXCL: “THE LAST EXORCISM PART II” TV Spot

    by: Samuel Zimmerman on: 2013-02-15 17:04:19

    She once was blind, now she sees the Devil’s light. 

    THE LAST EXORCISM PART II is fast approaching, and apparently Nell’s demon tormentor is returning. In the film, Nell Sweetzer (Ashley Bell) is found terrified and alone in rural Louisiana. Back in the relative safety of New Orleans, Nell realizes that she can’t remember entire portions of the previous months only that she is the last surviving member of her family. Just as Nell begins the difficult process of starting a new life, the evil force that once possessed her is back with other, unimaginably horrific plans that mean her last exorcism was just the beginning.

    Fango has the latest of THE LAST EXORCISM PART II’s 30 second spots, one that looks to be the cinematic equivalent of an inverted cross. “After the fall, comes the rise,” a clergyman warns (or comforts!) and from what the filmmakers are talking up, it seems this go ’round, Nell’s a bit more warm to its impulses. Considering Ashley Bell’s standout presence in the original, the sequel will hopefully dig into some strange, exciting places. 

    THE LAST EXORCISM PART II is in theaters March 1, 2013. For more, pick up FANGORIA #321 (on sale this month) for an exclusive talk with Bell and keep an eye on FANGORIA.com for words with director Ed Gass-Donnelly and producer Eli Roth. 

    {flv}TheLastExorcismPartII-AmazingGrace30{/flv}

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    Q&A: Director Michael Gallagher on tech slasher, “SMILEY”

    by: Samuel Zimmerman on: 2013-02-15 15:50:16

    What effect does every nasty thing you post, paste, type, share or even think online actually have? The mass of negative energy that surrounds daily life on the internet can be overwhelming and without a clear portrait of consequence, director Michael Gallagher thinks kids today aren’t learning a damn thing. SMILEY (available now on DVD and digital download), using the tried and true slasher for an era steeped in tech, imagines a new kind of urban legend, one which summons the eponymous murderer to do your impulsive bidding. Fango spoke with Gallagher about underslashing, oversharing and what exactly is wrong here.

    FANGORIA: Why make a slasher? Having gone ahead and tried to
    craft a contemporary one, rooted in tech, do you find the genre still relevant?

    MICHAEL GALLAGHER: I would go so far
    as to say the slashing elements in SMILEY are of the “diet” variety. There’s some
    real intense slashers that can be made. This was from the concept of
    doing something of the internet age, kind of a cautionary tale about sharing
    online and what kind of business they’re getting connected with on stream and
    chat sites and all that. So, it was something we wanted to use the slasher
    framework for and really discuss the implications of that and some of the theories
    that go along with internet culture. As far as the slasher genre goes, I think
    it’s the idea of someone who’s pissed, who wants to have vengeance, revenge, or
    just wants to have fun, and is going around picking people out by hand. I
    think, personally, it’s much scarier than the idea that there’s ghosts in the
    house. That’s sort of a trend right now, either someone’s possessed or there’s
    a ghost in the house. I’d like to see more of a man with a vendetta.

    FANG: Everyone can a be bit cynical about the way technology
    infects our lives, but when did you feel so impacted as to make a film out of
    it?

    GALLAGHER: I think, in my own life, for a long time I was
    really opposed to getting a smart phone. I eventually caved and got one and
    just the way I became attached to it made me really uncomfortable. And the way
    I see people engage with their technology makes me very uncomfortable. A lot of
    the youth, or teens, they just overshare. We’re going to have politicians in
    the future, and  we’re going to be able
    to look at their search history  and see
    what they’ve been up to. I don’t know if we’ll be able to elect anyone
    [laughs], because I feel like we’ve all wanted to see either “2 Girls 1 Cup” or
    some horrible effed up thing that’s out there. We’ve all been curious. This is
    putting it in a genre setting and saying what if you did that and could
    actually summon someone to murder. What would that be like? Personally, I feel
    like it’s more of a problem with the generation that’s grown up strictly with
    the internet and doesn’t understand the consequences of that. So, this film is
    really for them. It’s a cautionary tale to them, because most people who lived
    in the pre-internet , pre-streaming video era, they don’t take it as seriously
    as these kids. They understand the consequences more than the children do.

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    FANG: What’s interesting about SMILEY is that in a lot of
    slashers, the typical grating characters are jocks, but SMILEY is rooted in a
    new age where people  who would be
    perceived as nerds—coding, hacking, staying online—they’re the ones that are
    serious jerks.

    GALLAGHER: I’m always surprised when people who are tech
    savvy in a movie are sort of awkward or shy. Sure, there’s that, but everyone I
    know who really knows their shit with technology is much more like the Jimmy
    Fallon character from SNL. Most people I know who know the internet have a
    pretty good sense of humor, and they don’t really have time for people who don’t
    understand it. THE SOCIAL NETWORK was one of the first times I’ve really seen a
    great character in Mark Zuckerberg. It was someone who knew his shit and didn’t
    have any patience for people who didn’t understand. In this movie, it was the idea
    of having characters that knew their shit and are using that power to maybe
    kind of fuck with someone who’s not up to speed.

    FANG: Your killer, Smiley, essentially has an emoticon
    carved into his face. What’s the line between that being effective and
    massively silly?

    GALLAGHER: I have made a horror movie where the bad guy has
    an emoticon on his face. I think that’s a slight accomplishment in itself
    [laughs]. I think audience will interpret or take away different things. I
    think the older audience, I think the people who are much more ingrained in the
    genre will maybe not see SMILEY in the same way that a fourteen or fifteen
    year-old that’s grown up on the internet and nothing else. I made this film for
    the teen audience, for people who watch the stuff I make online. Having them at
    screenings, and seeing them react to it—they really respond to it in a much
    different way than grown-ups respond to the film. It’s one of those things
    where you talk about so many things that are inside baseball on the internet
    and referencing so many different things, the movie’s really for that audience.
    The people that don’t like it, they’re usually a little older and they’ve seen
    everything you can see in the genre. This is sort of, I would say, this is
    really for the people who getting interested in horror.

    FANG: Are you seeing the film reach that audience? It’s
    interesting seeing an indie, or limited release film or something like
    DETENTION that’s geared, or will speak to a certain age set. Are they finding
    it on VOD?

    GALLAGHER: I think that’s what we’ll start seeing more of.
    We have these great channels and portals to get content out now directly to
    audiences at home. On SMILEY, we were fortunate enough to have a theatrical
    release and to come out and have people from all over to be able to see it. Now
    that the film is coming out on DVD and on iTunes, the real audience it’s
    intended for can see it. I think we were able to, on a microbudget, do the most
    that we could. It’s hard to get a movie out without a huge budget, but we’ve
    been extremely fortunate to have a huge response on our trailer and being able
    to talk about the film in so many outlets. I feel like, for the most part, our
    audience has been able to see it or is now able to see it. The response I’ve
    been getting is incredible. It’s just one of the challenges of the time and the
    changing landscape of distribution.

    FANG: How nihilistic are you yourself about of all this
    versus the film?

    GALLAGHER:  I think
    the film is very nihilistic; almost too nihilistic in a couple of cuts that we
    did. So, I don’t know if that just comes from my own taste, or what. I just
    think that people, we’re in a weird time where you have something like
    Anonymous where they go out and they do things for, more or less, social
    justice or things that they see are not done properly in the world. They’re
    going to go and take that power away from those that have it and show that the
    people can do something and they can do it online. They can hack and create
    their own outcome. There are other people that do things that aren’t for the
    greater good, that are doing things that if most people heard stories of what a
    group of kids online are doing, it would shock them. There’s also things that
    they post and do, that are just like, “why?” The only reason is, is that it’s
    for fun. I think that trend is growing and the idea that we’re all kind of
    interconnected, we’re so desensitized by horrible images and oversharing and
    access to content we’ve never seen before. I think the kids are almost like
    blank slates that to feel something, they have to fuck with people. That’s
    something I wanted to explore in the film. To me, that’s scarier than any
    creature coming at you, or any paranormal concept; the idea that humans really
    just want to watch everyone die for fun, that’s horrifying to me. 

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    “MARK OF THE DEVIL” director returns with “ORPHANAGE”

    by: Chris Alexander on: 2013-02-15 13:42:57

    Eurohorror fiends hold director Michael Armstrong’s 1970
    medieval torture opus MARK OF THE DEVIL in the highest of regards and
    rightfully so. The atmospheric, lush capitalization on Michael Reeve’s
    WITCHFINDER GENERAL not only boasts a magnificent cast in Herbert Lom, Reggie
    Nalder and Udo Kier, but a sweeping score (by Michael Holm, also employed in
    Jason Eisener’s HOBO WITH A  SHOTGUN)
    surprising emotional heft and wincing levels of grim violence. Yes, this is the
    film that was marketed with a patron sensitive vomit bag….

    Since that auspicious picture, Armstrong has dabbled freely
    in the genre, writing MARK OF THE DEVIL II, Pete Walker’s HOUSE OF THE LONG
    SHADOWS, writing and co-directing the undervalued SCREAMTIME and even doctoring
    the script of Tobe Hooper’s LIFEFORCE. Now, forty years after his last stint
    behind the lens Armstrong has finally been lured out of retirement by Paper
    Dragon Productions to direct a new film, a UK creeper called ORPHANAGE.

    “I agreed to be exhumed from retirement because I felt I
    could trust Paper Dragon Productions to offer me the creative freedom I need to
    realize a story I’ve wanted to bring to the screen for more than 30 years,”
    Armstrong said.  “I very much look
    forward to working with them.”

    Described as a sociological suspense shocker, a complete
    veil of secrecy has now been thrown around the project as it heads into
    immediate development. Written and directed by Michael Armstrong, ORPHANAGE will be
    produced by Paul Horsfield and Jonathan Jones, with Neil Jackson and Kevin
    James executive producing for Paper Dragon Productions.

    Stay tuned to FANGORIA for more details as this project
    develops.

    Read more »
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    Teaser poster, first news: Drew Daywalt’s “THE HURTING MAN”

    by: Samuel Zimmerman on: 2013-02-14 15:56:46

    Prolific short horror filmmaker Drew Daywalt has lined up his next feature, the Larry Fessenden-produced supernatural THE HURTING MAN. 

    Set to lens this fall, THE HURTING MAN follows the story of a police officer who tragically finds his family murdered after a failed 911 call and now must work to save their souls from a demonic boogieman haunting his childhood home.

    “I wrote this script and kept it close to my chest, because this one was written from my own worst terrors, both as a
    parent of small children, and also tapping into my own childhood fears of a
    hideously costumed boogieman,” says Daywalt. “This one’s going to scare the hell out of
    everyone. I promise. I can say that because it really scares me, and I’m
    letting my fear guide me on this one.”

    LAST WINTER director Fessenden says, “There’s a certain kind of genuinely
    terrifying old-school-campfire scare that Daywalt gets right in his Fear
    Factory gems and I can’t wait to see him nail those chills in a long form
    film.”

    For more on the film, keep an eye on Fango and head over to its official Facebook.

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    Exclusive photos/comments: Christina Lindberg’s comeback film “CRY FOR REVENGE”

    by: Chris Haberman on: 2013-02-14 15:36:16

    Standing among long-forgotten brick kilns once used to
    actually bake bricks in rural God’s country, on a cold, damp, schizophrenically
    overcast and sunny day, is probably the best way to see the vision walking
    confidently toward me. It doesn’t seem at first like Christina Lindberg, or her
    character Candy in Todd Fischer’s new film CRY FOR REVENGE. It is Frigga,
    a.k.a. Madeleine, the young woman we once ached for and so desperately wanted
    to rescue…at least during the majority of 1972’s THEY CALL HER ONE EYE.

    From this distance, I can’t see the details of her face—no
    laugh lines, or any indication that this grindhouse icon has aged 40 years
    since THEY CALL HER ONE EYE (a.k.a. THRILLER: A CRUEL PICTURE). The trenchcoat,
    the bell-bottoms, the shotgun and the swagger are all there, which would be
    enough to send the mildest of cult film fans reeling. But it’s the eyepatch
    that breaks me out in goosebumps. Speaking of which, what led writer/director
    Fischer to direct such a scene?

    “I was going through a divorce at the time, and a revenge
    movie seemed like a good idea,” Fischer explains. “Instead of sitting around
    depressed over the lengthy divorce process, I sunk myself into drive-in cinema
    and grindhouse movies, and found the inspiration to write [CRY FOR REVENGE]. I
    wanted to not just make a revenge movie, but a Christina Lindberg revenge
    movie. I ended up finding a young actress who looks incredibly like young Christina,
    and we were in business.”

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    That “young Christina” lookalike in CRY FOR REVENGE is
    Stefanie Vuleta, who plays a younger version of Candy. Though he doesn’t reveal
    the plot details of just how Candy comes to be as vicious as she eventually is,
    Fischer is happy to discuss what it’s been like working with the legendary
    Lindberg. “Well, my favorite story is when she accepted the part,” he says.
    “There were two roles offered to her; one was a character who trains Candy to
    become the vigilante. I thought that was a fitting ‘passing of the torch’ for
    her. The other part was basically an older version of Candy. When she accepted
    the latter role, it took several minutes for it to sink in that it meant she
    would return to the eyepatch one more time.

    “On set, she’s been more critical of herself than I am of
    her,” he continues. “She is a perfectionist. I had to keep reminding her that
    we were making a grindhouse [movie]; we didn’t have to be perfect. One thing
    that most people will never know because of the content of her old movies is
    that she is actually an incredible actress. I was literally floored by the
    emotional intensity she can bring.”

    More
    details are coming soon here and in FANGORIA magazine about CRY—which features
    a fight, as seen below, between Candy and over 30 luchadors (!)—and
    Lindberg’s return to acting. Stay tuned! You can check out photographer Laura
    Skinner’s website here

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    Read more »
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    AMC to develop Dan Simmons’ arctic “TERROR”

    by: Samuel Zimmerman on: 2013-02-14 13:29:53

    The network behind THE WALKING DEAD keeps dealing in horror business, taking on a property much colder in climate and monstrous in nature. 

    Deadline is reporting that AMC, alongside Ridley Scott’s Scott Free production banner, will take on THE TERROR, an adaptation of award winning horror/sci-fi/fantasy author Dan Simmons’ fictional account of just what happened to the non-fictional Captain Sir John Franklin and his lost expedition to the uncharted portions of the Arctic Ocean’s Northwest Passage in 1845. 

    His fourth expedition to the arctic, renowned officer and explorer (and governor of Tasmania from 1836-43) Franklin, his team and their two ships, the HMS Erebus and the HMS Terror (of where the novel partly takes its title) were icebound and suffered from pneumonia and starvation, with some eventually resorting to cannibalism. Simmons’ novel, however, reimagines a mythological antagonist in the form of a monster called the Tuunbaq. 

    David Kajganich, who penned BLOOD CREEK and has recently been attached to a host of Stephen King-based screenplays, writing new versions of THE STAND, IT and PET SEMETARY, will script. 

    Read more »
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    Women in Horror 2013: Lindsay Denniberg talks her “VIDEO DIARY OF A LOST GIRL”

    by: Vivienne Vaughn on: 2013-02-13 23:42:52

    Horror film enthusiast and indie filmmaker Lindsay Denniberg
    kicked off her feature career with the surreal, dreamlike VIDEO DIARY OF A LOST
    GIRL (see our review).
    The film centers on Louise (Priscilla McEver), a succubus named after the
    eponymous silver screen legend Louise Brooks, and details the hardships that
    come with being a descendant of the demonic Lilith herself. Fango chatted with
    Denniberg about what occurred behind-the-scenes of the film to create the
    on-screen visual madness.

    FANGORIA: How was the experience of shooting your first
    feature?

    LINDSAY DENNIBERG: It was probably the most fun I’ve ever
    had. Exhausting and overwhelming, but also the greatest opportunity to be
    creative with friends; a lot of fun, but also totally scary. I’ve done so many
    shorts with people I love, but working on something this big over such a long
    period of time is a very different experience. You get closer with the people
    you work with but it also tests your relationships. Luckily, we all survived
    and had fun, watched a lot of horror movies and ate a lot of hummus. At the
    best moments it was like one really long, weird, creatively satisfying
    sleepover, or summer camp.

    Sometimes it’s hard to keep the big picture in mind, you’re
    putting a lot of little pieces together (like Frankenstein’s monster), and with
    this project, there were so many layers, formats, materials, tenses – it wasn’t
    easy. I think we just kept fun, honesty, spontaneity and a real love for what
    we were working on in mind. The film holds together because we kept those ideas
    in mind more than anything. Also, working on something so fragmented, in a
    formal sense, makes it a little easier; you have more liberties when it comes
    to variation from scene to scene. But ideals seemed to help unify it all with a
    healthy dose of and goofing off and nudity. 

    FANG: How did you conceive the idea for VIDEO DIARY?

    DENNIBERG: The film is very autobiographical. Granted, my
    vagina unfortunately doesn’t suck the souls out of rapists or ooze bloody TV
    static by the gallon every month, but the whole “I love you, but I’m afraid to
    touch you” theme is definitely all me. I’ve always had a bunch of intimacy and
    body issues, so I’ve learned to deal with that crap over the years by creating
    personal films about body horror (David Cronenberg is more of a self-help guru
    than a filmmaker for me). I originally got the idea of a girl needing to have
    sex to live when I was a lonely, horny teenager, watching EDWARD SCISSORHANDS
    over and over alone in my dark room (while eating a lot of pizza and Doritos).
    EDWARD SCISSORHANDS has always been my favorite film and the one that inspired
    me to become a filmmaker in the first place. Because of that, I promised myself
    I would someday make a film as personal for me as that film was for Tim
    Burton. 

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    Later on, I learned about Lilith (the Mother of all demons)
    and started daydreaming about my own mythology that I could create as an origin
    tale for this “girl” who needed sex to live. This girl was always me, and my
    obsession for Louise Brooks in G.W. Pabst’s DIARY OF A LOST GIRL naturally drove
    home the need to name my main character after her. This idea was many years in
    the making, so as I grew up and changed, so did Louise’s story. I always knew I
    wanted sex and death to be two sides of the same coin for Louise, as they are
    really the only two subjects I am interested in. All the characters in the film
    are based off of real people (or an amalgamation of many) in my life. If I were
    an immortal succubus who worked at a video store, I would be Louise.

    FANG: Can you talk about your writing process for the
    screenplay?

    DENNIBERG: I first started writing the screenplay in my
    undergrad feature writing class at UCF, taught by Barry Sandler (who wrote Ken
    Russell’s CRIMES OF PASSION). I wasn’t expecting it to go in the direction of a
    comedy, but when it was read out loud, the corny dialog that naturally comes
    out of me just guided it from there. I remember very clearly the first time I
    talked about the idea to my good friend Chris Shields on our porch when we were
    roommates in Florida. Chris has been my main collaborator for years and I
    wouldn’t be the filmmaker I am today without him. He understood the story on a
    level like no one else, and contributed things to this film that are too
    numerous to even list. We would talk about the screenplay a lot, but eventually
    it was put on the backburner when I moved to New York to intern at Troma (where
    I was later hired as Lloyd Kaufman’s assistant). 

    The next year I got into grad school at the School of the
    Art Institute of Chicago, and decided on the plane ride there that I would make
    VIDEO DIARY for my thesis film. So as soon as I landed I called Chris and we
    just picked up where we left off. We collaborated by phone and Skype for the
    next year, both saturating our minds with ‘80s horror movies to get in the
    right mood. Chris and I are both pathetically terrible romantics, and horror
    and bad romance is what really draws us together. We love horror romantic
    comedies in a deep way, but we’re also experimenters and fans of the
    avant-garde. I decided to combine the two because that’s usually how I operate
    as an artist: Collaging and mashing together all the things I love into one pot
    and not holding anything back.

    So as I wrote, Chris would read and tell me his thoughts,
    and things would just evolve from there. He was great at helping me reign it
    all in, because I usually have way too many ideas at once and he would keep me
    focused. There’s so much of us both in the script: Our taste, our humor, our
    friendship, our love of monster romance, and I think that is what makes it
    unique. For those who know Chris, it is obvious that Charlie (Louise’s
    love interest) is based off him, so of course it made the most sense to have
    him play Charlie (I mean, who wouldn’t want to put the dark love child of Adam
    Sandler and Lloyd Dobler in a movie?). So much of it was also written in the
    middle of the night with him on the phone as he worked at Dunkin Donuts. It’s a
    very haunted script.

    FANG: What was the production of your film like? Do any
    moments particularly stand out as being memorable?

    DENNIBERG: The intro with Lilith and Adam was shot months
    before everything else, and it kind of set the aesthetic for the rest of film.
    Everything with Priscilla McEver (Louise) and Chris Shields (Charlie) was shot
    over the course of a month at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I
    flew them in from New York, and then we had maybe a day to rehearse and hang
    out, then immediately started shooting. It was a very intense schedule. We all
    did so much on the film; it’s kind of a blur. We took the bus everyday to
    set, worked all day on the green screen stage, goofed off, and then took the
    bus home, hung out and watched some horror movies, then passed out.

    After two weeks of shooting the green screen and sound stage
    scenes, we filmed the rest at my apartment (where Priscilla and Chris were
    staying too). I had a very small and intimate cast and crew of wonderful
    friends that graciously worked for free out of the kindness of their hearts. We
    were shooting pretty much 24/7 for the whole month of July, so it was hot as
    hell and kind of gross with all the blood and FX stuff (very much a summer camp
    of horror). 

    The most memorable moment of the production would have to be
    a prank my producer, AD and green screen cinematographer played on the rest of
    us. I would often say jokingly that if anyone was uncomfortable with being
    naked in front of the camera that the entire crew would just get naked too. So
    when some of us got back from a smoke break, all three of them were naked
    pretending to shoot a scene without us! There’s nothing more inspiring then
    seeing a naked woman behind the camera or holding a boom. I would say that
    moment is a perfect example of the kind of fun attitude we all brought to the
    set.

    alt

    FANG: Can you talk a bit about creating the visuals of VIDEO
    DIARY? How much was practical, versus done in post-production?

    DENNIBERG: The film is half green screen sets and half
    regular world sets. The choice to have a scene in green screen really just came
    down to trying to take advantage of the fact that we had no budget. I don’t
    believe in having a big budget to make a movie. I think it’s so much more
    exhilarating to make something beautiful out of trash then it is to dump a
    $1,000.00 on a stupid jib shot that no one cares about (let the record show
    that THE PLAYER is excluded from this statement). Sorry for the money
    philosophy rant, but I think budget has so much to do with the integrity of how
    a film is made these days. Anyway, I created miniatures for any scene that was
    green screened, which was usually constructed out of poster board, paint,
    trash, broken CDs, Barbie dolls, animal print, glitter, Christmas lights, TVs
    and duct tape. The sets were usually built around a TV so that whatever I put
    on the screen would show through as the moon in a night backdrop, or window in
    an interior. Honestly, the entire film was a big experiment because it was the
    first time I ever used green screen. I did all the post-production effects
    myself, and would usually spend eight hours a day editing for the next year,
    just trying new things out as I went and keeping what worked. The intense color
    palette was the Dario Argento and Mario Bava color scheme screaming to get out
    of my brain. My cinematographer Casey Puccini (who also plays Michael, Louise’s
    manager and best friend) is really great at capturing that kind of light and
    mood. We talked a lot about how I wanted it to look like an ‘80s new wave giallo
    on VHS. The flashback scenes in the 1920s are shot on VHS, and I wanted to go
    for the look of an Elvira set, or PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE. I pretty much felt
    like I was in an Ed Wood RPG the entire time. 

    FANG:  What prompted
    you to choose to go with the unique aesthetic of the film?

    DENNIBERG: I wanted VIDEO DIARY to look like that horror
    movie I never found (but knew existed) in the haunted video store that’s been
    my life. Since I was a kid I was obsessed with going to the video store just so
    I could look at the VHS covers in the horror section. I wasn’t allowed to watch
    any of the “scary movies,” so ironically my fantasy of what the horror movie might look like inside the box always ended up being scarier and more surreal then
    the movie itself. 

    The German Expressionist/’80s VHS cover aesthetic just feels
    the most welcoming and instinctual to me. I also think certain media I saw as a
    kid had a weird imprint on my aesthetic sensibilities, like PEE WEE’S PLAYHOUSE
    and the BEETLEJUICE cartoons. My lead actress Priscilla McEver is actually one
    of the biggest Pee Wee Herman and Lydia Deetz fans I’ve ever met, so her
    playing Louise was just meant to be. She also was a child of late ‘80s
    imprinting, and because of that our friendship and collaboration has a very
    sci-fi, X FILES twist to it (I know that she knows where the bodies are buried
    in the Winona Ryder wasteland of our youth).

    When Chris first arrived on one of the sets, he said it felt
    like he had just stumbled into my brain. I feel like my set design is my
    primary way of directing a film for the actors and crew. I think I’m good at
    choosing the right, talented people to interpret my characters, and giving them
    a surreal world to exist in. I’m just lucky that these talented people happen
    to be my good friends.

    FANG: Can you talk a bit about the music in the film?

    DENNIBERG: Friends’ bands and some other folks I met through
    Danny Gallegos, the first AD and the main punk in the movie. He introduced me
    to Bestial Mouths, whose music is all over the film. I saw them play and asked
    if I could use their stuff and they said sure. Danny’s band Cemetery contributed
    a great song “Stateward,” and all the songs Chris sings are his originals from
    his one man punk project, Mr. Transylvania.  Other stuff came from people
    and bands Chris and I knew from playing music and performing in Florida, like
    Outmode, Father Finger, and Counters. The song played in the intro ‘Shadow’s
    Connected to the Light’ is actually the only song written specifically for the
    movie by my friend Matthew Donovan, who also goes by Teaadora. Teaadora also
    plays Adam in the Garden of Eden. The film’s aesthetic and music are very much
    one homemade, collage-y, intense, and colorful makeshift. 

    FANG: You’re obviously a genre fan yourself. Can you name
    some of the inspirations for your film?

    DENNIBERG: Oh god, here we go: Chris and I are such
    video-holics, it’s sick. When we lived together we devoured at least three a
    day. Fassbinder and MORGAN STEWART’S COMING HOME, Andrzej Zulawski and Stephen
    Sayadian. It was a constant high brow/low brow roller coaster. I think that’s
    largely where the film comes from. I’m a huge fan of Albert Pyun, and because
    of VIDEO DIARY, I actually have become friends with him since our films showed
    at the Pollygrind Film Festival together. He helped get me out to the festival
    since I’m still poor as ever, and it really is a dream come true when a
    filmmaker you admire actually likes your work! RADIOACTIVE DREAMS is such a big
    inspiration!

    {vimeo}47488668{/vimeo}

    MY DEMON LOVER and ROCKULA were the biggest influences for
    the tone and humor of VIDEO DIARY. My great affection for romantic horror
    comedies of the 80s and 90s is their sleazy innocence that just makes me swoon.
    Chris Shields is manic for MANNEQUIN and MANNEQUIN 2, so that shines through in
    the script as well. People have told me on more than one occasion that VIDEO
    DIARY feels like an experimental John Hughes film, and I can’t deny that THE
    BREAKFAST CLUB and WEIRD SCIENCE had some kind of wonderful effect on forming
    my cinematic identity. To me there is nothing more romantic then making out in
    a graveyard, or watching a horror movie while eating pizza, or just plan
    ‘getting the shit scared out of me’. Now, in one last quick breath: Lloyd
    Kaufman, Woody Allen, Catherine Breillat, Tony Oursler, Clive Barker, Frank
    Henenlotter, Agnes Varda, Derek Jarmen, Jodorowsky, LIQUID SKY, Argento, Bava,
    Maya Deren, John Waters, NADJA, Jean Rollin, Paul Naschy, George Kuchar, George
    Romero, Nick Zedd, Jerry Lewis, ROCKY, Buster Keaton, Roger Corman, Hammer
    Films, David Lynch, Guy Maddin, HEATHERS, CLUELESS and last but certainly not
    least, Tim Burton. 

    FANG: What project(s) are you working on currently? Do you
    foresee doing more horror in the future?

    DENNIBERG: Chris and I are working on another feature! It’s
    a horror anthology very much in the style of VIDEO DIARY, only this time we
    want to push the insanity of the visuals even further. It’s about a haunted
    video store in the middle of a graveyard, which sets the stage for five horror
    tales, all romanticizing the act of watching a horror film in their own unique
    way. I will direct two, Chris will direct two, and the fifth one will be a
    collaboration of both of us. The tales of terror will consist of a cyberpunk
    Medusa, werewolf women, sex cannibal lovers, a Dr. Frankenstein celebrity video
    mortician, and a gender-bending haunted nerd frat house. My main influences for
    this one are HOLY MOUNTAIN, BOXER’S OMEN and Ancient Greek mythology, whereas
    Chris’s are more in the realm of George Romero, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Stephen
    King. There are many different body parts we are using for this next video
    creature we that we like to call making a movie.

    I’ve also developed a new way of experimenting with
    different looks and moods by working with video installation and performance.
    Right now I am a part of a noise performance group called Viral Swan with my
    friends Caleb Yono and Cassandra Jackson (which I sometimes say feels a lot
    like abstract post-apocalyptic LARPing). Many of the psychedelic sequences in
    VIDEO DIARY were remnants from previous projects and performances in the same
    way.

    FANG: Anything else you want to share?

    DENNIBERG: I guess I would just like to share the crazy
    irony in general I’m feeling right now. FANGORIA has always been one of my
    favorite horror magazines since I was a teenager, and the first boy I ever had
    a crush on is the one who introduced to me to it. It’s so bizarre for me to
    experience the horror and romance involved in just doing this interview in the
    first place, it is very surreal for me. My friend Casey yesterday told me that
    he remembers me talking about dreaming about getting interviewed by FANGORIA
    someday when we were in pre-production for VIDEO DIARY. We laughed thinking it
    would be crazy if that ever happened. And yes, this is totally crazy that this
    is happening, and it is awesome! 

    For much more on VIDEO DIARY OF A LOST GIRL, visit the film’s Facebook

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