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There will be “MAYHEM,” a Kane Hodder documentary and much more at the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival

Thursday, August 31, 2017 | News

By MICHAEL GINGOLD

This October, New York City plays host to a hot lineup of fright films as the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival showcases a number of premieres and other screenings. The second announcement of both features and shorts has just come through, including new works by some of the most accomplished current genre filmmakers.

BHFF takes place in its namesake borough October 12-15, and the lineup of movies includes:

THE BOOK OF BIRDIE (Closing Night Film)
UK/2017/90 min/Dir. Elizabeth E. Schuch
NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
First-time director Elizabeth E. Schuch impressively blends psychological horror, whimsical fantasy, and feminist ideals in one-of-a-kind THE BOOK OF BIRDIE. Shy and fragile teenager Birdie’s unusual hallucinations, dark obsessions and fascination with blood are triggered as she’s forced into a remote convent and faced with what her fate will be.

MAYHEM (pictured above)
U.S./2017/86 min/Dir. Joe Lynch
NEW YORK PREMIERE
MAYHEM follows office scapegoat Derek Cho (played by THE WALKING DEAD’s Steven Yeun) as he’s fired from his cozy legal job just as the dreaded rage-inducing “ID7 virus” quarantines the building. The twist? Thanks to Cho, all acts of violence committed while infected are instantly acquitted, making it the perfect battleground for revenge. Director Joe Lynch (WRONG TURN 2, EVERLY) delivers a fast-paced blend of corporate satire, corporeal brutality and heavy metal in this powerful new feature.

COLD HELL (DIE HÖLLE)
Germany/2017/92 min/Dir. Stefan Ruzowitzky
EAST COAST PREMIERE
After witnessing a brutal murder from the window of her apartment, Turkish-born and taking-no-shit Ozge finds herself the next target of a calculated serial killer. Unfortunately for the killer, she has her own brand of viciousness on tap and is anything but a victim. An intelligent and live-wire cross between Italian Giallo and Jason Bourne, Oscar-winning director Stefan Ruzowitzky’s (THE COUNTERFEITERS) COLD HELL is a first-rate, action-packed genre-bender.

THE CRESCENT
Canada/2017/99 min/Dir. Seth A. Smith
EAST COAST PREMIERE
Plagued by painful memories, a young, recently widowed mother relocates to a remote town and does her best to overcome emotional trauma. But the town locals have their own plans for her and before long their strange, dark and ancient traditions turn her life into a waking nightmare. Visually ambitious and tonally hypnotic, Canadian filmmaker Seth A. Smith’s haunting THE CRESCENT casts a sneakily powerful spell.

INHERITANCE
U.S./2017/93 min/Dir. Tyler Savage
EAST COAST PREMIERE
A man learns of the death of his absentee biological father and inherits his $2.5-million home in the aptly named INHERITANCE. While staying there with his pregnant fiancée, he begins to uncover horrible truths about his father that could destroy his life. Fantastic lead performances and a patient, sinister narrative make this one hell of an impressive debut for director Tyler Savage, who will be in attendance.

RIFT (RÖKKUR)
Iceland/2017/111 min/Dir. Erlingur Thoroddson
NEW YORK PREMIERE
Intrigued by an unexpected call, Gunnar heads to a remote outpost to reconnect with his ex-boyfriend Einar. Despite the happy reunion, the two men can’t shake the feeling that someone, or something, is there—and has sinister plans. Elegant and assured, the subtly creepy RIFT is the audacious follow-up feature from Icelandic filmmaker Erlingur Thoroddsen, whose debut feature, CHILD EATER, world-premiered at BHFF 2016 as our closing-night screening. Director Erlingur Thoroddson will be in attendance.

FASHIONISTA
U.S./2016/106 min/Dir. Simon Rumley
NEW YORK PREMIERE
British cinema provocateur Simon Rumley completes his unofficial Texas trilogy (after RED WHITE & BLUE and JOHNNY FRANK GARRETT’S LAST WORD) with a film that proves you can’t spell “distress” without “dress.” RED WHITE & BLUE’s Amanda Fuller is fascinating as April, a clothing-obsessed woman whose suspicions about her husband’s infidelity send her down a rabbit hole of dangerous, self-destructive behavior.

SALVATION (SALVACIÓN)
Spain/2016/80 min/Dir. Denise Castro
NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
Stuck in a hospital waiting to undergo open heart surgery, Cris finds a reason to stay in another patient named Victor who claims to be a vampire. Surrounded by death, Cris must decide between immortality and leaving her future up to fate. Filled with moments of sadness and paralyzing dread, SALVATION is a terrifying new entry in the vampire canon.

GAME OF DEATH
Canada & France/2017/73 min/Dir. Baz Morais & Sebastien Landry
NEW YORK PREMIERE
For a group of party-crazy teens, it’s all about smoking, drinking and sex. But that goes to hell when they play a board game that requires human blood and whose uncontrollable countdowns lead to head explosions. Survival requires killing someone else. Bodies will drop and craniums will burst in this insanely gory and fun-as-hell splatter feature by Canadian co-directors Sebastien Landry and Laurence Baz Morais.

TO HELL AND BACK: THE KANE HODDER STORY
U.S./2017/108 min/Dir. Derek Dennis Herbert
EAST COAST PREMIERE
The man behind two of horror’s greatest slashers, Jason Voorhees and the HATCHET franchise’s Victor Crowley, Kane Hodder has proven himself unbeatable when it comes to offing onscreen victims. But as it turns out he’s even more unbeatable in real life, having persevered through a painful childhood and a nearly fatal accident. Derek Dennis Herbert’s heartfelt documentary TO HELL AND BACK candidly reveals the heart and soul of a horror icon.

I REMEMBER YOU (ÉG MAN BIG)
Iceland/2017/105 min/Dir. Oskar Thór Axelsson
U.S. PREMIERE
While investigating the mysterious suicide of an old woman inside a local church, a psychiatrist learns that she was obsessed his young son’s disappearance. Meanwhile, across the bay, three friends discover that the house they’re restoring is haunted. How these two stories intersect is the ultimate gut punch of Icelandic filmmaker Óskar Thór Axelsson’s I REMEMBER YOU, a haunting and cerebral marriage of the procedural with the supernatural.

GET MY GUN
U.S./2017/90 min/Dir. Brian Darwas
WORLD PREMIERE
BHFF is thrilled to present the World Premiere of Brian Darwas’ homegrown feature GET MY GUN. In line with such films as MS. 45 and INSIDE, GET MY GUN’s Amanda is left pregnant after being raped at work. When a crazed stalker becomes obsessed with her unborn child, she is forced to evolve from prey to predator. Director Brian Darwas and writer/producer Jennifer Carchietta will be in attendance.

The shorts will play in a few different showcases; these are part of the Locals Only section:

A NIGHTMARE WAKES
Dir. Nora Unkel
This proof of concept originally shown at Fantasia‘s Frontiéres Market shares a haunting vision focused on Mary Shelley after a tragic miscarriage.

RAZOR
Dir. James Clay Jenkins
Dark desires and devout religion collide for two sisters and a young priest in early-19th-century New England.

ARE YOU WILD LIKE ME
Dir. Billy Nawrocki
A string of missing person cases plagues a small New England town. Could they be related to the infant girl who disappeared in the woods nine years prior?

FLUFFERNUTTER
Dirs. Adam R. Brown, Kyle I. Kelley
Twins Stephen and Clyde are forced to grow up fast ”for their own good” in this bloody, satirical yarn.

IN HERE
Dir. James Barton
An unknown entity communicates to a girl through refrigerator magnets.

SCORCH
Dir. Robbie Lemieux
Two young lovers think it’s a good idea to mess around with an occult object they’ve recently discovered. It’s a horrible idea.

SLAPFACE
Dir. Jeremiah Kipp
Monsters come in many forms for a boy after the difficult loss of his mother.

A TASTE FOR IT
Dir. Oliver David
An old woman has a strange experience in a parking garage. True WTF material.

BEWARE, THE BEAST I WORSHIP
Dir. Adam Chitayat
A dog with ill intent leads a man through the color-soaked nighttime streets of New York City.

RUBY
Music Video/Dir. Richard Bates
A young woman‘s dreamy stroll through the woods is impeded when a sorcerer is allured by her moon necklace. The sorcerer summons an evil spirit from the land to follow the young woman and claim her soul bounded by the necklace.

Head Trip 2017: Alternative Shorts includes:

A MOTHER OF MONSTERS
Brazil/Dir. Julia Zanin de Paula
Welcome to the Freak Show. Twisted and visually hypnotic, this Guy de Maupassant adaptation features a circus troupe with wicked intentions.

COVER UP
U.S./Dir. Satya Bhabha
She loves makeup to death. He loves her so. Alison Pill and Jason Ritter star.

GREAT CHOICE
U.S./Dir. Robin Comisar
A woman finds herself trapped within a Red Lobster commercial that just…won’t…stop. Carrie Coon stars.

TASTE
U.S./Dir. Adrian Selkowitz
All Claire wants to do is throw a fancy dinner party for her husband’s Hollywood power couple friends, hoping it’ll lead to her own cooking show. She just never expected that naked woman lying in her driveway, or what this woman’s past means for Claire’s big night.

OTHERS LIKE YOU (ALTRE)
Italy/Dir. Eugenio Villani
Determined to become pregnant, Ester, having previously been ruled sterile, finally has success after sleeping around with random men. The news displeases Ester’s family doctor, Greta, who has a ghoulishly sinister plan in mind.

THE SERVANT
Iran/Dir. Farnoosh Abedi
A silent and gorgeously animated tale of a bug servant who grows weary of his servitude.

INK
Canada/Dir. Ashlea Wessel
Traumatized by a scarring pregnancy, an emotionally fragile woman seeks solace in covering her body with tattoos. After an alcohol-fueled bender, her worst fears come to pass.

DON’T OPEN YOUR EYES (ÖPPNA INTE ÖGONEN)
Sweden/Dir. Adrián García Bogliano & Andrea Quiroz
Sisters reunite after a year apart. One is suddenly doing incredibly well for herself and it’s all because of a mysterious hypnotic vinyl record with extraordinary powers.

And the Nightmare Fuel 2017: Scary Horror Shorts are:

AMY
U.S./Dir. L. Gustavo Cooper
During an overwhelming heat wave, a nurse at a home for sick patients warns young resident Amy to stay inside her room. Unfortunately for her, Amy doesn’t listen.

FEEDING TIME
U.S./Dir. Matt Mercer
Filling in for her friend on a babysitting gig, Sasha is weirded out after a strange encounter with the child’s parents. Strange doesn’t even begin to describe the night she’s about to have.

EARWORM
U.S./Dir. Tara Price
Piercingly loud music continually disrupts a man’s sleep. He’ll wish he didn’t figure out the source of the music.

FREDERIK REMEMBERS
U.S./Dirs. Ben Sottak & Steven Russel
Old and senile, Frederik passes the time in solitude. A box of Nazi paraphernalia found inside his apartment is about to disrupt that.

BESTIA
Canada/Dirs. Gigi Saul Guerrero
A man awakes to find himself alone by the frigid woods. Whatever ravaged his people is now stalking him.

THE BABY’S CRYING
UK/Dir. Bob Pipe
It’s every parent’s burden: Answering the cries of a baby late at night. For this mommy and daddy pair, however, it’s more of a nightmare.

FOR A GOOD TIME, CALL…
U.S./Dir. Izzy Lee
Unbeknownst to the woman involved, a man uploads a homemade sex tape. Upon making a pit stop inside a grungy public bathroom, he’ll receive his comeuppance.

BIRTHDAY
Italy/Dir. Alberto Viavattene
Using her job to hawk prescription drugs and steal from patients, a young nurse goes about her delinquent ways inside an old folks’ home. In Room 12, however, three elderly sisters have a surprise waiting for her.

iMEDIUM
Spain/Dir. Alfonso García
This frenetic techno-terror murder mystery imagines the day we have an app for speaking to the dead.

There will also be virtual reality shows, a Brooklyn ghost hunt, an on-stage conversation between authors Peter Straub and Douglas E. Winter presented by The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies and other events. For the complete lineup of movies, to purchase badges (individual tickets go on sale September 7) and other info, head over to BHFF’s official website, Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram.

Michael Gingold
Michael Gingold (RUE MORGUE's Head Writer) has been covering the world of horror cinema for over three decades, and spent 28 years as a writer and editor for FANGORIA magazine and its website. In addition to RUE MORGUE, he currently writes for BIRTH.MOVIES.DEATH, SCREAM, IndieWire.com, TIME OUT, DELIRIUM and others. His book THE FRIGHTFEST GUIDE TO MONSTER MOVIES (FAB Press) is out this fall, and he has contributed liner notes and featurettes to a number of Blu-ray and DVD releases. Among his screenplay credits are SHADOW: DEAD RIOT and LEECHES!, and he is currently working on THE DOLL with director Dante Tomaselli.
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