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New photos/comments/trailer: horror anthology “CREEPERS,” “THE MINIONS,” “PAINKILLER” and more

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New York genre filmmaker Jeremiah Kipp is having a busy year: In addition to contributing to the omnibus fright film CREEPERS, he has more short-form horror on the way, including one featuring genre icon Chris Sarandon (pictured). Read on for the details, some exclusive pics and the trailer for one of ’em.

CREEPERS, which we first told you about here, features segments based on stories by noted authors Joe R. Lansdale, Lafcadio Hearn, Jeff Strand and, in Kipp’s case, Edgar Allan Poe. “I’m wrapping up my adaptation of Poe’s deeply disturbing short story ‘Berenice,’ ” Kipp tells us. “It’s about a man drawn into an unhealthy attraction to his cousin. Their childhood was a kind of psychodrama version of GREAT EXPECTATIONS, and now all the birds have come home to roost. This being Poe, you can expect that not all of the characters will walk out alive, but true to form, some of them come back as avenging ghosts or an infection of madness. The cast includes Thomas Mendolia, Cheryl Koski, Susan Adriensen and Bob Socci.” You can find CREEPERS’ official website here.

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“The project that’s closest to me, which we successfully crowd-funded based on our previous movie THE DAYS GOD SLEPT finding a small audience, is THE MINIONS,” he continues. “It’s a short film about a man on his way home who chooses to test his mettle by walking down the Witch’s Path. He encounters two drunk girls—or are they? As they lure him back to their home, the tension increases. It’s a tale of possession, madness and terror that builds to a Poe-style fright climax, written by Joe Fiorillo, produced by Lauren Rayner and starring Lukas Hassel—all DAYS GOD SLEPT colleagues.”

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While “Berenice” and THE MINIONS are dark, brooding creep-outs, another Kipp project, PAINKILLER, is described by the filmmaker as “an aggressive biological version of FIGHT CLUB. It’s about two scientists [Kelly Rae LeGault from IN FEAR OF and Mendolia] who try to create an organism that deprives the host of pain,” says the filmmaker (pictured below, in black). “Sounds like a boon to humanity, right? But it soon devolves into David Cronenberg-style body horror, where the characters are beating each other into pulp and hungry for more. How far will they go? It was produced by Jerry Janda—one of the producers of BAGGAGE, a psychological thriller I made with Rob Dimension last year—and the special effects were created by my old friend Daniel J. Mazikowski, who did THE ROOST, TRIGGER MAN and SATAN HATES YOU.”

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Further on the science-fiction tip, Kipp recently shot a music video called “Mastermind” for “a fantastic artist named Aaron David Gleason. He wanted to go for a cyberpunk theme in a movie populated by unusual characters. Among the actors playing them are Tony Award winners Alice Ripley and Joanna Gleason—the mother from BOOGIE NIGHTS—as well as the amazing Chris Sarandon from FRIGHT NIGHT and CHILD’S PLAY. Chris was terrific on set; once he had a lock on the character—a crazed, lost-soul scientist desperate for help—he promptly started covering himself in dirt and chalk. ‘I’m a character actor; just getting into character,’ he said cheerfully! He’s been acting longer than I’ve been alive, and you got an amazing sense of history seeing him through the lens.

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“At the same time, he utterly transformed when we called for action; you could no longer see Chris there at all. It was a privilege to work with him. The next shooting day, he just hung around set essentially as a PA, driving into town to pick up props and cooking astonishing pasta for the cast and crew. That was more humbling than anything else—that he and his wife Joanna were not only so fantastic on camera, but also so generous and kind.

“And then there’s the IN FEAR OF episode I directed that’s coming to Vimeo VOD at the end of the month,” Kipp concludes; go here for more on that project. “I’m turning into the Steven Soderbergh of short-film horror. I need a vacation—or a drink!”

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About the author
Michael Gingold
Michael Gingold has been a member of the FANGORIA team for the past three decades. After starting as a writer for the magazine in 1988, he came aboard as associate editor in 1990 and two years later moved up to managing editor, the position he holds to this day while continuing to contribute numerous articles and reviews.
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