By MICHAEL GINGOLD
A couple of indie-horror stalwarts star in the holiday/religious-themed film.
Arrow Films has announced its acquisition of U.S., Canada, UK and Ireland distribution rights to THE LEECH, which world-premieres at the Chattanooga Film Festival June 23. Written and directed by Eric Pennycoff, it stars Graham Skipper (THE MIND’S EYE, DEMENTIA: PART II, VFW), Jeremy Gardner (pictured, from THE BATTERY, AFTER MIDNIGHT and OFFSEASON), Taylor Gardner and Rigo Garay. A December digital debut and deluxe Arrow Video Blu-ray release are planned in the aforementioned territories.
The synopsis: “Father David [Skipper], a Catholic priest struggling to grow his congregation, encounters a stranger by the name of Terry [Gardner] asleep one morning after Mass. Terry is without a home after a fight with his girlfriend Lexi [Gardner] and with Christmas less than a week away; David offers him a place to stay for the night. What begins as a simple act of kindness quickly turns complicated as Lexi arrives shortly after with news of being evicted from her house. Unable to turn away this helpless young woman, David allows both her and Terry to stay with him through the holidays on the condition that they open themselves to the healing power of God’s love. Yet the harder David tries to reform the lives of these seemingly innocent strangers, the more he himself falls victim to their toxic ways, leading to the belief that their arrival is in fact, a test from God. Will David pass the test and accept his new houseguests as they are? Or will he set aside the ways of Christ and resort to blood-soaked, Old Testament justice?”
“Working with Arrow Films has been a total dream come true,” Pennycoff says. “Having been a fan of theirs since the beginning of my filmmaking career, I cannot think of a better home for THE LEECH to live on in all its holiday madness. Between the deluxe-edition Blu-Ray and its streaming premiere on Arrow, Kevin [Lambert] and his team have truly cemented the film’s place among a long-lasting range of great titles. There’s a reason Quentin Tarantino said Arrow is the only streamer he’s subscribed to.”
“We’re thrilled to be bringing THE LEECH to our territories and platforms,” Lambert says. “We’re big fans of Eric’s work and we’re sure this latest outing will blow audiences’ minds.”