Jim Carl and the crew at the Carolina Theatre in Durham, North Carolina have been the home for some of the best up and coming horror films in the genre for two decades strong. On March 8 through March 10, The Nevermore Film Festival celebrates its 20th Anniversary with yet another incredible selection of horror, sci-fi, and fantasy features and short, each and everyone worth your attention. Since the beginning of Horror News Radio, Nevermore has been a favorite haunt of the Grue-Crew with Doc Rotten and Paul Cardillo attending and reporting on the films and the events.
Last year, they honored the late great Santos Ellin, Jr. (The Black Saint) with a showing of The Manitou. We also met the crew behind Bong of the Living Dead and many other talented film-makers. HNR co-host and Decades of Horror 1980s host Christopher G. Moore has had a number of his horror shorts included in the festival’s line up over the years.
As always, especially for the 20th Anniversary, the Grue-Crew are excited to attend, report, and review about the Nevermore Film Festival and the films presented. Here is the incredible line up in store for horror and genre fans this year. See you there, March 8 – 10, 2019, the Carolina Theatre, Durham, NC.
From Rob Grant, director of Fake Blood (Nevermore 2018), comes this terrifying entry into the mad-doctors-gone-mad horror sub-genre, and stars Thomas Cocquerel (In Like Flynn), Camille Stopps (TV’s Guilt Free Zone), and Angus Macfadyen (Saw III). Alive follows two characters who find themselves the captives of a demented doctor. Tied to their beds in an abandoned hospital, the man and woman have no memories of where they are, what happened to them, or even their own names. Quick flashes of their past appear as time goes on but they have no memories outside of this hospital of horrors. The Doctor, known only as The Man, is highly intelligent; and although his practices are unorthodox (and insane), he does seem invested in keeping his captors alive. Sure, he may be forced to sew someone’s mouth shut or remove a leg to stop them from escaping, but the good doctor puts his patient’s health above all else.
40th Anniversary Presentation!
David Cronenberg’s THE BROOD
(R, 1979, 92 min)
The Brood was David Cronenberg’s first great film, the point where he can be identified as someone who is not merely an interestingly perverse B-movie director but someone whose movies bristle with a dazzling intelligence. Doctor Raglan is a psychologist who practices his own radical form of therapy called Psychoplasmics. His prize patient is the troubled Nola, a woman with a young child and a husband. At the same time, a group of deformed child-like beings come out of nowhere and begin to terrorize Nola’s acquaintances. When Nola’s daughter turns up missing, the husband races to discover an answer to the strange beings and their relation to Nola and the enigmatic Raglan, who may be giving birth to Nola’s fury in a very real and dangerous way.
Friday the 13th meets Bridesmaids in this clever horror comedy (and first-feature) by Greg Emetaz, director of Spell Claire (Nevermore 2018). Back in the 80s, Camp Pocumtuck was one of the strictest and most-religious summer camps ever known. It was forced to shut its doors when a young girl was struck by lightning. Before that, it was the site of a Native American massacre. And before that, several women were burned at the stake for being witches. Nowadays, Mia’s friends are not too keen on transforming this dilapidated summer camp into the wedding venue of her dreams. Mia’s wound a bit too tight and somewhat of a control freak. Her gay BFF has the hots for all the groomsmen and her maid of honor just wants good cellphone reception. Even worse, she accidentally sent an email invite to her annoying high school friend whom she hasn’t seen in years. But nothing will stop Mia from having a perfect wedding, not even when people begin disappearing in the night, and especially not when a spirit-possessed Teddy Ruxpin starts telling her to hide the bodies.
CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT YOU
Committee’s Mixed Bag Shorts
(Various Countries, 93 min)
France: Ed is an introverted young man who’s fallen in love with his former babysitter, now the girlfriend of the neighborhood motorcycle gang leader, and the favorite victim of Ed. When a member of the motorcycle gang is found horribly mutilated, Ed has no choice but to take matters in his own hands and become Atomic Ed.
Spain: Four criminals meet in an airport bathroom to make a simple briefcase exchange, but none of them knows that the briefcase contains a 1000 year-old curse in Lobisome. It’s Friday night and openly-gay (and sexually active) Alex is unknowingly opening the door to his worst fears in Stigma.
Czech Republic: In Psychopompos, a tragedy strikes the family of Svetlana and her two sons. The villagers believe that the much-hated nobles, Madam and Sir De Blois, are responsible for it.
United Kingdom: After finding out that she is a clone, a woman’s life spirals out of control as she competes with her original self for the life she thought was hers in Proxy. Teenager Emma suffers horrendous cyber-bullying and her worse fears come true as the body shaming abuse she receives online begins to transform her appearance. She decides to take drastic action, which has disastrous consequences for herself and her family in Off Fleek.
United States: An unwitting woman learns that she should have known the dangers of a Bath Bomb. In Heavy Flow, a modern-day vampire must confess a hilariously dark secret to his new (and mortal) girlfriend. In Conductor, an aspiring musician wins the drum machine of his dreams at a competition in a mall. However, his win triggers a chain reaction that reveals the competition was something much more gory and sinister than anyone could have imagined.
ECHOES OF FEAR
From Brian and Laurence Avenet-Bradley, co-directors of Ghost of the Needle (Nevermore 2003) and Dark Remains (Nevermore 2006), comes this terrifying haunted house chiller in the tradition of What Lies Beneath and Stir of Echoes. After inheriting her grandfather’s home due to his sudden death, Alysa returns to her childhood house to make the necessary repairs in order to sell it. But as she begins packing her grandfather’s belongings, something inside the house starts spooking her. Even her pet mouse senses a presence. And now, within the secret rooms and hidden crawlspaces beneath the estate, Alysa realizes that she must confront the mystery of her grandfather’s past and the evil that hides inside his house.
FIVE MINUTES BEFORE MIDNIGHT
Long-Form Narrative Shorts
(Various Countries, 104 minutes)
Canada: A skeptical blogger for the LA Times sits down in a coffee shop and listens to a serial killer reveal his horrifying stories of murder experiments. But who is the prey? And who will become The 100th Victim?
United States: A young woman working as an office assistant at a culture website comes down with a mysterious illness in Thread.
Spain: A best-selling writer is locked up by a man who will not reveal his identity. Hands and feet tied, and without water or food, she will try to escape her terrible captivity while trying to find out the reason for her confinement in Mask of Sanity.
Italy: In Sulla Soglia, a woman discovers that her husband and her young daughter are being held hostage by a gun-armed boy. France: In the beautiful Just After Midnight, Suzanne is a young blind school teacher who’s living in a community of other blind people. She loves to study art history devoted to witches and to Satan’s erotology. Transformed, Suzanne tries to steal a man’s eyes to recover her own eyesight. But after her first attempt is a failure, she chooses a more approachable prey: her handsome and unsuspecting lover.
(Spain, 80 min)
Shot in Barcelona, Framed is the amazing debut feature film of director Marc MartÃnez JordÃ¡n. It’s a graphic horror film about an app that allows anyone to stream online from any mobile device with an internet connection. But since there’s no control or censorship, many of its users are willing to do anything to reach as wide of an audience as possible: beatings, torture, even murder. There are no limits. Now, Alex is meeting his friends on his farewell night party before leaving for Berlin. Everything is going well when three horrifying attackers force them to play ruthless and mortal games, streaming everything on “Framed” with only one goal: making this insane torture show go viral. In Spanish with English subtitles
IT’S ONLY A NIGHTMARE, CHARLIE BROWN
PG-13 Dark Fantasy, Animation, and Horror Shorts
(Various Countries, 94 min)
United Kingdom: The Book of Blood is a cute animated tale about a grizzled traveler who seeks a deep dark secret below the shelves of a tired old bookstore. In Once Bitten, Martha needs the toilet fixed in her hotel bathroom but there’s one problem: her plumber may be a vampire.
Korea: When a terrifying monster makes a sudden lunge at a businessman on a crowded street, a pink-haired girl appears to help him…but their future is determined by whether he can remember her in Pinki.
Germany: In The Last Drop, a support group meets weekly to talk about their addiction, but their efforts to stay on the straight and narrow path are comically-challenged when Dennis accidentally joins their group.
Finland: On a desolate arctic shore, a lonely bearded fisherman discovers his prehistoric counterpart frozen in the ice and thaws him out as his newfound soul brother in Cold Storage.
United States: In The Music Lesson, a jaded music teacher turns the tables on a soul-sucking student. In Pipe, a girl finds a dead body
When Seth receives a mysterious letter inviting him to spend the weekend at a secluded mansion in the country, he soon realizes the people inside the house may know him better than he knows himself. Long Lost, without giving away its secrets, proves a riveting and often disturbing chamber mystery inspired by films such as Ex Machina, Get Out, and the works of Alfred Hitchcock. The movie is about the reunion of half-brothers, two men separated by 14 years, who shared a father but never have met. This event takes place over a single weekend on the grounds and inside an isolated, dazzling
From Neil Meschino, the director of Mold (Nevermore 2012), comes this campy action-horror thrill ride about giant, mutant maggots that terrorize a group of college kids who are trying to uncover evidence of mutations caused by pollution from a nearby fracking site in the mountains of upstate New York. Very much in the low-budget tradition of 80s creature features such as The Deadly Spawn and Night of the Creeps, Maggots is an affectionate homage to the sci-fi horror thrillers of yesteryear.
After a terrible car crash in which his son dies, brilliant surgeon John Clarke (Adam Huss), tormented by guilt, becomes prey to unbearable physical pain. While his marriage starts disintegrating, John soon finds out that the only thing that can ease his pain is the taste of human blood. When he encounters Herb Morris (Grant Bowler), a man who claims he can help him get his life back, John embarks upon a nightmarish journey through which he will either have to come to terms with his pain… or become a monster. Also starring Mischa Barton.
SHADOWS OF THE FOREIGN INVADERS
(Various Countries, 100 min)
United Kingdom: In Baghead, Kevin is haunted by grief and has questions that only the recently- deceased can answer. His search takes him to a gritty storage room at the back of a rundown pub. In Oscar’s Bell, Duncan (Paul Bullion, Peaky Blinders) and his dog have gone on a camping trip into the wilderness together. However, when Duncan looks out into the woods, something else looks back.
Israel: It’s My First Time and tonight Maggie is “doing it”. She meets Kobi, a guy cute for her purposes and intends to have a night she’ll never forget…until Kobi’s girlfriend unexpectedly drops by.
France: In the future, suicidals and psychopaths are matched by a dating app called Slick. Tired of living? We’ve got the partner for you! But tonight, things are about to go hilariously wrong for a so-called perfect match.
Australia: After three long years away, a crippled World War II soldier returns home to his wife, only to discover her life now revolves around a sinister cat in Stray.
Spain: Marta is a teenager whose parents died two years ago. One night, while alone at home, she will discover the truth about the pain that is tormenting her in Gotas (Drops). In Piggy, Sara is an overweight teen that lives in the shadow of a clique of cool girls. After she’s bullied at the local pool in front of an unknown man, her clothes are stolen. Now, Sara must get home wearing nothing but her bikini. The long walk home will mark the rest of her life.
Soundwave is a sci-fi/action feature film written and directed by Dylan K. Narang about a teenage inventor’s life which spirals into chaos when a nefarious group discovers he’s invented a device that can hear into the past. Ben Boyles is an orphaned radio technician that lives with one of his father’s childhood friends. But, when Ben finds out Antonio’s repair shop isn’t doing well, he moonlights as a crime solver with a dubious cop, Detective Macy. A genius inventor, Ben has created a device that can pick up old sound waves, allowing him to hear any conversation from the past. And while Macy is grateful for Ben’s help, he thinks there’s real money to be made with Ben’s device. Unfortunately, Macy’s potential partners agree, but…why share? Starring Hunter Doohan, Katie Owsley, Vince Nappo
THEY’RE COMING TO GET YOU, BARBARA!
North American Shorts
(US/Canada, 102 min)
United States: A mysterious encounter transforms an ordinary dog into a naked dude who goes on a hilarious night of adventure and possibility in Bitten.
A bickering couple goes on a getaway to work on their relationship but the accommodations aren’t what they expected in Cabin Killer.
A blind date takes a monstrous turn when a young man goes back to “her place” for a one-night stand he’ll never forget in Foxwood.
Filmed in Raleigh, Meet Me in the Parking Lot is about two best friends who perform a pagan ritual to conjure their future selves, but when the future arrives, they may not last through the night.
In Sick, Desiree must hide a contagious disease that is punishable by death. In an act of desperation, she does whatever it takes to ensure her son’s survival.
Zack and Jakki are you typical “odd couple” roommates in We Got a Monkey’s Paw! Jakki likes staying in and reading a good book while Zack likes waking the dead. Things go off-kilter when Zack convinces Jakki to spend the day making wishes on a Monkey’s Paw. Soon they find themselves doing backflips trying to undo the cataclysmic series of hilarious events they’ve set off.
Canada: In O.I., Chris revisits the Tiki bar where he made his first-ever deal. It is early morning and there is only one other customer, Barry, who is drinking to forget and is in no mood to celebrate anything. Only Chris’ offer of free drinks if he can’t solve Barry’s problems makes Barry change his mind.
In Tick, a vampire in hiding is forced to make a stand when confronted with the oppressive regime that kidnapped and enslaved her family.