Film Festivals Gruesome Features Gruesome News

Chattanooga Film Festival’s Second Wave Serves Up Mystery, Mayhem, and Magic

Chattanooga Film Festival has announced its second wave of films and special events, including 20 features for genre-film fans of every stripe, a treasure trove of short films, and special events ranging from live podcasts to super-special guests to a magic show. Following is the official press information. 

As the Chattanooga Film Festival (CFF) dates of June 23rd – 28th draw near, festival organizers are excited to announce the second and final wave of programming, consisting of 20 additional features, six blocks of short films, and a selection of events that can be described as magical because there is magic happening—literally.

Highlighting the second half of CFF’s feature film lineup is a trio of world premieres. Leading the pack is CFF 2022’s Opening Night Film THE LEECH, from filmmaker and CFF alumni Eric Pennycoff. Pennycoff follows up his debut feature SADISTIC INTENTIONS with another wild piece of cinema ready-made for CFF’s audience and starring genre favorites Jeremy Gardner and Graham Skipper

Also making its world premiere debut is filmmaker Alana Purcell’s charming comedy/drama TRUE BELIEVER. In the film, which won over the genre-hardened hearts of the festival’s entire programming team, siblings discover family secrets at a quirky cabin in the desert.

Night Shift

In the festival’s Closing Night slot is the world premiere of Greg Swinson and Ryan Thiessen’s lean and mean thriller NIGHT SHIFT, leaving CFF’s 2022 attendees with their blood pumping and eyeballs ready for whatever the talented duo of directors makes next.

Previously, the festival held multiple secret screenings, but there’s only one—by design—this year. This Secret Screening will allow CFF 2022 VIP Badgeholders to be some of the first to experience one of the year’s sure-fire home runs for genre film fans. So steeped in mystery and majesty is this year’s secret screening that the festival has begun releasing a series of codes and clues surrounding the screening. Film fans can email their guesses to secrets@chattfilmfest.org. The first lucky fan to guess the screening will win a badge to attend CFF 2023.

As usual, CFF’s shorts blocks are a veritable smorgasbord of quality short cinema sure to impress and occasionally bewilder. These shorts blocks are being presided over by fan favorites and CFF alumni Andre Gower and Ryan Lambert of THE MONSTER SQUAD. The shorts lineup for 2022 includes more than 70 short films, comprising six feature-length blocks packed with new work from returning filmmakers Izzy Lee, Chris McInroy, and Beck Kitsis

Rounding out this year’s live events are A MAGICAL ASS EVENING of, well, magic with filmmaker of the previously announced CFF 2022 selection BREATHING HAPPY and world-class magician Shane Brady; Eric Pennycoff, Jeremy Gardner, and Graham Skipper presenting a LIVE COMMENTARY TRACK recording along with other members of the cast and crew of THE LEECH!; Plus CFF will be welcoming filmmaker and film historians Stephen Scarlata (JODOROWSKY’S DUNE) and Josh Miller (SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 1 and 2) for a special live episode of their acclaimed podcast THE BEST MOVIES NEVER MADE.

CFF badge holders can attend nightly watch parties on the festival’s round-the-clock insanity that is the Discord Server. A schedule of events will be released closer to the festival, along with details on certain films that will only be open to badge holders without individual tickets available. Individual tickets for applicable feature films and the shorts blocks will be available 48 hours before the festival starts on June 23rd. VIP badges are available now at chattfilmfest.org. 

FEATURE FILMS

A PURE PLACE

Director: Nikias Chryssos | 2021 | 91 mins | Drama/Folk-Horror | Germany/Greece | German/Greek

Award-winning director Nikias Chryssos (DER BUNKER) follows up on his success with the story of a young and feverish boy named Paul who must challenge the obsessive community that surrounds him in order to free his sister from the nefarious conspirations of the cult leader, Fust.

CRYO

Director: Barrett Burgin | 2022 | 118 mins | Mystery/Sci-Fi/Thriller | United States | English

Trapped in an underground facility, five scientists wake from cryogenic sleep with no memory of who they are or how long they’ve been asleep. They soon make a shocking realization: a killer is hunting them down there, and may even be hiding among them.

GIVING BIRTH TO A BUTTERFLY

Director: Theodore Schaefer | 2021 | 77 mins | Arthouse/Drama | United States | English

After having her identity stolen, a woman, and her son’s pregnant girlfriend, bond together on a surreal journey as they attempt to track down the perpetrators.

MAKE POPULAR MOVIES

Director: Bryan Connolly | 2022 | 74 mins | Comedy | United States | English

A self-important filmmaker aspires to change cinema. An actress and actor languishing in commercial hell gets cast. Through this journey they find fame and emotional destruction. Hooray for Hollywood! A slapstick absurdist film about how people create and view movies in the 21st Century.

MODEL OLIMPIA – North American Premiere

Director: Frédéric Hambalek | 2020 | 89 mins | Arthouse/Drama | Germany | German

A mother has designed an unconventional plan to change her son’s disturbing obsessions.

MOTHER MIDNIGHT

Director: Mike Beech | 2022 | 96 mins | Drama | South Korea | Korean

Twenty-something Jiwon attempts to deal with the loss of her mother and her father’s worsening drinking. Faced with a violent neighbor threatening the family, and complicated love life, she accepts the aid of a local shaman.

MYSTERY SPOT

Director: Mel House | 2020 | 111 mins | Drama/Horror | United States | English

A number of lost souls find refuge in a small motel in the middle of nowhere, its only distinguishing characteristic being the ruins of an old Mystery Spot—a long-dead roadside attraction with strange metaphysical powers. Nathan and Rachel find solace in one another, both attempting to escape dark pasts that seem to be using the Mystery Spot to go from being painful shadows of their lives to very real entities of the present. Everyone at the Mystery Spot will be affected by its unique properties, but only some will survive its reality-shattering implications.

NIGHT SHIFT – World Premiere – Closing Night Film

Directors: Greg Swinson, Ryan Thiessen | 2022 | 98 mins | Thriller | United States | English

After a break-in occurs during her first night on the job, the lone night shift janitor must fight to survive when she becomes the target of the masked intruders.

PHANTOM PROJECT

Director Roberto Doveris | 2022 | 97 mins | Arthouse/LGBT | Chile | Spanish

In filmmaker Roberto Doveris’s heartwarming LGBTQ+ Chilean comedy, we follow Pablo, a young actor who dreams of starring in a movie, but to pay the bills, he has to work as a simulated patient in medical schools and bizarre alternative therapy sessions.

PUSSYCAKE – North American Premiere

Director: Pablo Parés | 2021 | 82 mins | Comedy/Horror | Argentina | Spanish

A struggling all-girl rock band goes on tour and discovers their worst problem is not just being forgotten by their fans.

SECOND SUN – North American Premiere

Director: Rinat Tashimov | 2021 | 90 mins | Arthouse/Comedy/Drama | Russia | Russian

A film about the life of a modern Siberian Tatar village on a forgotten stretch of the Silk Road.

SECRET SCREENING

Director XXXXX | 2022 | ?? min | REDACTED | United States | English | REDACTED.

Though the CFF Secret Screening has long been a sacred tradition of our festival, this year’s truly takes the cake. We’re so excited about this one we’ve decided to shroud it even more in mysterious ass mystery than our past secret screenings. Yeah, we know there was that one time we made y’all join a cult before we started the movie, but it was obviously totally worth it! We’ve already begun dropping cryptic hints and badly rhyming clues for eagled-eyed festival attendees, and we’ve set up the email address secrets@chattfilmfest.org if you’d like to venture a guess as to what this year’s secret screening is. The first person to email us with a correct answer will get a free VIP badge to CFF 2023. This screening is open to VIP Badge Holders only

SELF PORTRAIT

Director: Joële Walinga | 2021 | 68 mins | Experimental | Canada 

A portrait of humanity as captured by its surveillance cameras.

THE ATTACHMENT DIARIES

Director: Valentín Javier Diment | 2021 | 102 mins | Erotic Thriller | Argentina | Spanish

Two troubled women on the edge see their lives intertwined when they embark on a vicious crusade of revenge, fueled by shifting passions and haunting secrets.

THE LEECH – World Premiere – Opening Night Film

Director: Eric Pennycoff | 2022 | 82 mins | Comedy/Horror | United States | English

A devout priest welcomes a struggling couple into his house at Christmas time. What begins as a simple act of kindness quickly becomes the ultimate test of faith once the sanctity of his home is jeopardized

THE UNSETTLING

Director: Harry Owens | 2021 | 93 mins | Drama/Horror/Mystery | United States | English

Abena and Kwame are struggling to recover from a devastating tragedy. They travel to Los Angeles for a vacation that they hope will help them find their way back to one another. Instead, during an awkward dinner with estranged friends, Vivian and Anthony, Abena is increasingly terrorized by an evil possessing the house. As her terror grows, it ultimately engulfs all four with horrifying consequences.

TRUE BELIEVER – World Premiere

Director: Alana Purcell | 2022 | 89 mins | Comedy/Drama | United States | English

Siblings discover family secrets at a quirky cabin in the desert.

WOLKA – North American Premiere

Director: Árni Ólafur Ásgeirsson | 2021 | 100 mins | Drama | Iceland/Poland | Polish

Anna gets paroled from a Polish prison after fifteen years behind bars. Once free, Anna has but one goal – to find a woman whose name is Dorota.

ZERIA

Director: Harry Cleven | 2021 | 61 mins | Animation/Sci-Fi | Belgium | French

Gaspard is the last man on Earth. Zeria, his grandson, is the first human to be born on Mars. Gaspard tells him about his life, his fears, his loves… in the hope Zeria will come to see him before he dies… Zeria would be the first human being to return to Earth without having ever known it…

SHORTS

CFF Salutes Your Shorts Short Film Showcase Vol 9.

54 MILES TO HOME, dir. Claire Haughey (USA); AM I THE TUB?, dir. Laura Shepard (USA); BREAK ANY SPELL, dir. Anton Jøsef (Canada); CRUISE, dir. Sam Rudykoff (Canada); DIRTBAG, dir. Karsten Runquist (USA); REKLAW, dir. Polaris Banks (USA); THE DROWNED, dir. Adam Park (UK); URSULA, dir. Hannah Heller (USA); WILD CARD, dir. Tipper Newton (USA)

Dangerous Visions Vol. 1

Horror and Genre Shorts Showcase

7 MINUTES IN HELL, dir. Shane Spiegel, Justin Reager (USA); BOX, dir. Jonathan Maxwell Shander (USA); COMMUNITY SERVICE,  dir. Grayson Tyler Johnson (USA); LIVIN’ AFTER MIDNIGHT, dir. Tom von Dohlen (USA); MUNKIE, dir. Steven Chow (New Zealand); OFF LIMITS, dir. Megan Gorman (USA); SLEEP, dir. Alexandra Pechman (USA); SMILE, dir. Joanna Tsanis (Canada); STREAMER STALKER, dir. Gaelan Draper (USA); SUCKER, dir. Alix Austin (UK); SWOLE GHOST, dir, Tim Troemner (USA); THE SWEET SPOT, dir. Evan Enderle (USA); TRASH LIFE, dir. Jeffrey Owens, Dillon Vaughn (USA); THE WOODSMAN, dir. Kyle Kuchta (USA); WHAT HAPPENED TO THE OTHERS?, dir. Douglas Wicker (USA)

Dangerous Visions Vol. 2

Horror and Genre Shorts Showcase

BALL LIGHTNING, dir. Gavin M. DuBois (USA); DESTINATION: MOON, dir. Nathaniel JW Hendricks (USA); EXO SAPIEN, dir. James C. Williamson (South Africa); FOUND, dir. Jean Grant (USA); INCH THICK, KNEE DEEP, dir. Anatasha Blakely (USA); LOVE YOU, MAMA, dir. Alexandra Magistro (Canada); RED IS THE COLOR OF BEAUTY, dir. Beck Kitsis (USA); SPECTER OF WEEPING HILL, dir. Matthew Barber, Nathaniel Barber (USA); THE ANGST, dir. L. Gustavo Cooper (USA); THREE WAYS TO DINE WELL, dir. Alison Peirse (UK); VISITORS, dir. Kenichi Ugana (Japan); VOYEUR(S), dir. Arthur Delaire, Edouard de Luze (France); WEEE WOOO, dir. Charlie McWade (USA)

School House Block

Student Film Showcase

BROKEN HEARTS, dir. Alessandra Lichtenfeld (USA); CYCLES, dir. Jakey Lutsko (USA); DARKSIDE, dir. Spencer Zimmerman (Canada); NAHRANI, dir. Simon Pfister (Germany); SKELETONS, dir. Steven Hedrick (USA); SPLIT ENDS, dir. Cookie Estés (USA); THE ROTTING OF CASEY CULPEPPER, dir. Daniel Slottje (USA); UNDERDOGS, dir. Alex Astrella (USA); WHY IS IT SO WARM ON CHRISTMAS, dir. CHOI Woo Gene (Republic of Korea); WISH YOU WERE HERE, dir. John Otteson (UK)

The Tennessee Entertainment Commission Presents the

CFF 2022 Tennessee and Regional Filmmaker Showcase

DAYS COUNTED, dir. Chandler Gibson (USA); IN THE BALANCE, dir. Ryan Gentle, Austin Quarles (USA); ROGER MUST DIE, dir. Allison Shrum (USA); SHAPES – VARIATION III, dir. Matt Eslinger (USA); SOPHIE IN FURBYLAND, dir. Pacey Hansen (USA); THE DEVIL WILL RUN, dir. Noah Glenn (USA); THE MONSTER INSIDE, dir. Ashley Hammelman (USA)

WTF (Watch These Films)

Strange and Magical Short Film Showcase

A NEW DAY (BROUGHT TO YOU BY HORIZON RESEARCH SYSTEMS), dir. Nate Southard (USA); ARGUS, dir. Ethan Barrett (USA); BIRDWATCHING, dir. Samantha Soule (USA); BUDDYMOVIE, dir. Ryan McGlade (USA); COHERENCE, dir. Patrick Scopick (Canada); CUBED ROW, dir. Gonzalo Nosal (USA); EVERY TIME WE MEET FOR ICE CREAM YOUR WHOLE FUCKING FACE EXPLODES, dir. Anthony Cousins (USA); FLOATERS DOT COM, dir. Stephen Girard (USA); GUTS, dir. Chris McInroy (USA); HELL HOLE, dir. Gregory Shultz (USA); HIGH HORSE, dir. Addie Doyle, Lee Hurst (USA); KHARON, dir. Casey T. Malone (USA); MEAT FRIEND, dir. Izzy Lee (USA); PRETTY PICKLE, dir. Jim Vendiola (USA); TAKE HIM DOWN, dir. Joe Raasch (Canada); THE BLOOD OF DINOSAURS, dir. Joseph Badon (USA); WHAT IT FEELS LIKE FOR A GIRL, dir. Megan Duffy (USA)

EVENTS

THE LEECH – Live Commentary Track

Help celebrate CFF 2022’s opening night film as we join THE LEECH’s writer/director/producer Eric Pennycoff along with the film’s stars Jeremy Gardner, Graham Skipper, Taylor Zaudtke, and Rigo Garay for a cocktails (or mocktails!) encouraged live commentary track that will provide fun and fascinating insights into one of our wildest 2022 offerings.

CFF Presents: A Magical Ass Evening with Shane Brady

Not only is Shane Brady a talented actor/writer/director, he’s also one of the most gifted magicians working today. Though his magic skills are on full display in his new film BREATHING HAPPY, making its world premiere at this year’s fest, Shane has a hell of a lot more tricks up his sleeve (sorry, we couldn’t resist). Along with his lovely assistant—acting CFF Mayor David Lawson Jr.—Shane has graciously offered to regale CFF 2022 VIP Badge Holders with some of his signature magical badassery.

The Best Films Never Made Podcast

CFF is pleased to welcome filmmakers and film historians Stephen Scarlata (JODOROWSKY’S DUNE) and Josh Miller (SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 1 and 2) for a special live episode of their acclaimed podcast in which the duo explores the most legendary movies NEVER made. Laugh and learn about the weird and wild world of cinema that almost was!

The Return of the Monster Squad

Our ride-or-die homies for life, Andre Gower and Ryan Lambert, stars of earth’s finest film, THE MONSTER SQUAD, make their triumphant return to CFF. They’ll be acting as hosts for our Dangerous Visions and WTF Shorts blocks and leading Q&A sessions with this year’s attending filmmakers. This year’s CFF shorts RULE so we hope you’re ready to ROCK UNTIL YOU DROP. 

THE THIRD SATURDAY IN OCTOBER, Double Feature w/ Live Cast & Crew Dispatches

We’ve got your Saturday night all planned out for you: Join us on the official CFF 2022 Discord Server for a Double Feature Picture Show of the wildest order; we’ll be watching filmmaker Jay Burleson’s THE THIRD SATURDAY IN OCTOBER PART V! Immediately followed by THE THIRD SATURDAY IN OCTOBER PART I (trust us, this is the order in which you want to experience them). Throughout the watch party we’ll be getting live dispatches and updates from the cast and crew’s private screening, and we honestly can’t wait to share in celebrating this fantastic pair of films with you.

Joseph Perry
Joseph Perry fell in love with horror films as a preschooler when he first saw the Gill-Man swim across the TV screen in "The Creature from The Black Lagoon" and Mothra battle Godzilla in "Godzilla Vs. The Thing.” His education in fright fare continued with TV series such as "The Twilight Zone" and "Outer Limits," along with legendary northern California horror host Bob Wilkins’ "Creature Features." His love for silver age and golden age comic books, including horror titles from Gold Key, Dell, and Marvel started around age 5.

He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Horror Fuel, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right.

A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.
Joseph Perry
Joseph Perry fell in love with horror films as a preschooler when he first saw the Gill-Man swim across the TV screen in "The Creature from The Black Lagoon" and Mothra battle Godzilla in "Godzilla Vs. The Thing.” His education in fright fare continued with TV series such as "The Twilight Zone" and "Outer Limits," along with legendary northern California horror host Bob Wilkins’ "Creature Features." His love for silver age and golden age comic books, including horror titles from Gold Key, Dell, and Marvel started around age 5. He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Horror Fuel, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right. A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.