Sunday, June 29, 2014

Grisly (2014) First Look

Grisly a throw back to Horror/Sifi of yesteryear.

A short film currently in crowd funding from Graham Cribbin takes us back to the films we grew up on like Creature From The Black Lagoon. Starring Jaimi Paige as Carolyn Bronnicke with Jeison
Azali as Agent Finn, Michael Laurie as Director Smalls, and Marta McGonagle as Kelly/Gill Girl among others. 

GRISLY depicts the story of Carolyn Bronnicke, a young woman who has mysteriously transformed into a mutated Gill Girl and is captured by ACS/M-Division, a secret government black-ops facility led by Director Christopher Smalls.

Assigned to review her case is Agent Milo Finn of the Central Intelligence Agency.
As Agent Finn conducts his review of the case he discovers a secret shop of horrors at ACS where Director Smalls has approved the torture and experimentation of Carolyn/Gill Girl led by his henchmen Prof. Matthew Lamb and Sgt. Alex Stevens.

According to the kickstarter "GRISLY was inspired by The Creature From the Black Lagoon and the sci-fi / horror movies of the 1950s. It can be described as X-Files meets True Blood.  GRISLY captures a portion of a much larger universe of supernatural characters that will be expanded on in the GRISLY TALES web-series expected for release later this year."

Looking at the images and trailer it looks like we will be in for a heck of a ride. 

This is the first in a planed web series and frankly I can't wait, how long have us horror fans been clamoring for a Creature reboot. Now for a little disclaimer the Creature From The Black Lagoon is my all time favorite monster hands down. He is the one Universal Monster that identified with the most. So anything that can come close to
recreating that is a big plus and instant like for me. And by everything I have read and seen this little project will fit the bill. 

In a time filled with sparkly vamps and and other nonsense don't we need a monster that can rise above the norm and give us what we want like bad government agency's and monsters that don't feel the need to feel bad about surviving.

With perks starting at only two dollars everyone can get involved with this check out the links below for more info and as always remember we all know times are tuff and if you can't give please retweet and share with all your friends. 

More Info

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Epic Horror Interview With Thriller! Chiller! Festival Director A.E. Griffin

Epic Horror Interview With Thriller! Chiller! Festival Director A.E. Griffin

Today it's our pleasure to have a few words with my hometown film festival  Thriller! Chiller! Festival director A.E. Griffin was
nice enough to answer some question about the past and future of horror and Michigan's best horror/si-fi festival.

Epic Horror  Could you tell us about the history of the Thriller! Chiller! ?

Thriller! Chiller! Back in 2006, fellow festival director, Chris Randall and I were discussing the state of film festivals in our region and how they seemed to megalomaniacally focus on drama and comedy films, programming content in a way which played it safe and narrow with an audience's expectations. We weren't seeing any kind of significant attention in the programming of the kinds of movies we'd grown up with and admired as kids. Namely the edgier genres of action, horror, sci-fi and suspense oriented independent movies. So we built a film festival we'd want to attend where they recognized the craft and artistry our our favorite kinds of movies! Nowadays, every major film festival in the region includes an 'after dark' block of programming and we're proud that in part we helped to inspire their change of attitude!  It's a step in the right direction anyhow.

Epic Horror  So what really goes on behind the organization of a film festival like Thriller! Chiller! ?

Thriller! Chiller! As with any passion, it takes many, many hours of planning and dedication to make Thriller! Chiller! a reality every year. Our core team is comprised of indie filmmakers and we've been able to work together to create an adventurous and fun event our community deserves every year! I feel our indie film spirit binds our visions together and we approach Thriller! Chiller! with a sense of wonder and humility in our responsibility to each other, the festival and its part in our community.

Epic Horror Since 2006 are you where you thought you would be ?

Thriller! Chiller! In many ways, yes, we've accomplished the main goals we've set for the festival so far. Shirley Clemens of Twain Girl, our marketing director, has developed a system by which we accomplish the task at hand by week, month and year on behalf of the festival. We focus on those tasks and the goals are merely milestones on a longer timeline. She's phenomenal!

Epic Horror Is there a particular part of the program where you think you took a different approach then other festivals

Thriller! Chiller! When we started out we'd heard both directly and through the grapevine that our immediate region was too conservative to handle a "horror festival" and that misconception in part fueled our passion that much more to forge ahead. We're not a horror festival, we're a genre festival. And the fact of the matter is our community is not closed off - or 'afraid' of - a curated event which screens the very best independent action, horror, sci-fi & suspense movies from around the world. 

Epic Horror Will you continue using Grand Rapids historic Wealthy Theater in 2014 ?

Thriller! Chiller! In 2014, Thriller! Chiller! has relocated the festival to downtown Grand Rapids. Our main venue and headquarters will be at the Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts (UICA) on the corner of Fulton & Division, and our partnerships with other venues in the immediate area are currently coming online. Once we have programming secured for those venues we'll make those announcements shortly!  At some point we'd love to reincorporate the Wealthy Theater back into the fabric of our festival's mission on behalf of our community. 

Epic Horror How do you guys pick which movies get to be screened at the festival ?

Thriller! Chiller! We've developed a comprehensive screening process to program the festival with the very best content we receive from submitted movies from around the world. All submissions are watched at least three times - on average up to five times - by at least three different screeners and rated based on the merits of storytelling. We always take into account personal
preferences and are exceptionally careful about any individual's personal bias based on style over substance. We then match up the movies based on the vibe they give off as a collection of work representative of that particular year and discuss at length how we can market each movie as a unique endeavor and then as a whole to our audience. I won't kid you, it's tricky. I'm sure there are easier ways to do it but those ways typically come at the cost of one's integrity. And a festival that skimps on its integrity is doomed to fail. We've seen the results of this happen over and over again with our fellow festivals.

Epic Horror Who is the judging panel made up of  ?

Thriller! Chiller! Our judging panel, the people who decide the awards, are made up of a fluid group of film professionals and film critics in our area. It changes every year based on their ability to offer their time and consideration on behalf of the festival. However, with that all said, we've consistently asked for the assistance of John Serba of Mlive, Tim Doty of Fox17, Stephanie Webb of WZZM and our long time friend and filmmaker, Mark France to lead our panel.

Epic Horror With the rise of Indie Horror success will we see the next Ti West or Eli Roth this year ?

Thriller! Chiller! Most definitely! Check out the work of Mike Flanagan!  His short movie, Oculus, played in our first year of the festival and was recently expanded into a feature and it's fantastic! He's also been recently hired to adapt the Stephen King's novel, Gerald's Game, into a movie!

Epic Horror Merriam-Webster defines Horror as a very strong feeling of fear, dread, and shock. What's your definition of Horror ?

Thriller! Chiller! Loss. Pure and simple. In horror movies, the penultimate of terror is the threat of loss. It's when we realize this that we're probably most alive, and really become aware of what we have which defines us.

Epic Horror Best Indie horror movie of 2013 we haven't seen, and the worst ?

Thriller! Chiller! One of my favorites is Buck Wild! We had the good fortune to screen it at Thriller! Chiller! 2013 and it's now streaming on Netflix. Find it! Love it!  And one movie which didn't do it for me from 2013 was Gravity. Granted, not an outright horror movie, and yet if the context had been set up better the whole story should have been far more terrifying. Ultimately, it was far too self aware as the filmmaker's passion project, and in my opinion, was hung up on needless exposition. I felt like it treated the audience like we were too stupid to relate to what was going on just because the story was set in space.

Epic Horror To you what makes a film an Indie, budget, cast, or distributor ?

Thriller! Chiller! Any movie that takes charge of its fate outside of the mechanism of merely being a 'product' is operating with an independent spirit. If the movie has a release date before it even has a script, or a studio is sifting through its intellectual properties to package nostalgia for just the right demographic, it is not independent. They both have their place however, and I enjoy both kinds of movies at every chance I can get to watch them in the theater.

Epic Horror CGI or old school SPFX? And why ?

Thriller! Chiller! I prefer a blend actually, and when done properly, they make for a better story in a safer work environment. Its actually more creative to come up with an inventive solution which can be resolved digitally versus just throwing someone into a meat grinder to get the shot. No one should risk their life or die making a movie. And dying for something as meaningless as a stunt or special effect for a movie's sake is just plain stupid and foolish. Conversely, CGI has made many a studio and director lazy. That "we'll make it in post" attitude shouldn't be the reason to skip over a moment which could have been reached in the story on a practical level with the actors on a set.

Epic Horror And with the recent release of Godzilla, what's your favorite Tokyo destroying monster, and why ?

Thriller! Chiller! Godzilla. Because its Godzilla, of course!

Epic Horror Fast or slow zombie ?

Thriller! Chiller! Fast! Slow! Either way, I don't want them anywhere near me!

Epic Horror If people want to help how can they get a hold of you ?

Thriller! Chiller! They can reach us via our contact page at 

Epic Horror Thanks for your time whats the one thing you want people to take away from this article ?

Thriller! Chiller! Thriller! Chiller! is adventure two hours at a time! A film festival turned up to eleven! And we'd very much enjoy the chance to meet anyone who loves these kinds of movies as much as we do! 

2014 OCTOBER 22 - 25
Michigan's international film festival celebrating genre movies!

Named one of MovieMaker Magazine's Top 20 Horror/Sci-Fi film festivals of 2013!

Follow Thriller! Chiller!
On Facebook
On Twitter
On google+

Disturbing Assembled Footage Film “Infliction” to be released on DVD, VOD, & Digital HD on Tuesday July 1st

Disturbing Assembled Footage Film “Infliction” to be released on DVD, VOD, & Digital HD on Tuesday July 1st in the U.S. and Canada by Virgil Films & Entertainment 

NEW YORK, NY (June 17, 2014) – Virgil Films & Entertainment
announces the upcoming DVD, VOD, and 
Digital HD release of the controversial film “Infliction” on Tuesday July 1st, 2014 in the U.S. and Canada. Produced and directed by award-winning filmmaker Jack Thomas Smith, whose last feature film “Disorder” was released by Universal/Vivendi and Warner Brothers, “Infliction” is a dark and disturbing assembled 
footage film that documents two brothers’ 2011 murder spree in NC and the horrific truth behind their actions. 

“Working on ‘Infliction’ left me troubled and haunted,” says Jack 
Jack Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith. “It left me thinking about people’s actions or lack 
thereof and the inevitable domino effect. We all walk our own path 
in life, which shapes and defines us. What happens to us today, 
good or bad, will affect generations to come.” 

“Infliction” will be available on Netflix,, iTunes, 
Amazon, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, CD Universe, Google Play, 
Vudu, Cinema Now, Vimeo OnDemand, and other online retailers. 

Earlier this year, “Infliction” opened in select theaters across the 
country. Additional screenings have been scheduled this summer 
and fall due to demand in Washington, NJ; Pittsburgh, PA; NYC; 
Gettysburg, PA; and the Chiller Theatre Expo in Parsippany, NJ. 

Twitter at@InflictionTapes. 

Facebook at 

Follow Jack Thomas Smith on Twitter at @JackTSmith1. 

For more information go to 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Jack Thomas Smith Writer/Director Of Infliction

We had a chance to sit down with writer and director Jack Smith to talk about his up coming feature Infliction and whats next from Fox Trail Productions

Epic Horror-With eight years between films, what have yourself and Fox Trail Productions been doing ?

Jack Thomas Smith - That's a great question. I've been in development HELL!!! I had a verbal commitment for the financing for my action/horror feature "In The Dark", but then it fell through when the market tanked in 2008. From there, I scrambled to find
investors and dealt with two different studios to put together the project. But after endless rewrites and delays, I shifted my focus and efforts to "Infliction."

EHWhat lessons have you taken away from music videos for your films and vica versa.

JTSI always try to keep it true to the movie... And true to the artist's vision. For example, we shot a music video for my last film "Disorder." The artist's name is Purple Pam. She's a rocker from NYC. The song "Take Me Away" is a beautiful ballad and was a change of direction for her. The song dealt with suicide, so I incorporated Pam's vision and meaning behind the song with 
  the same locations that we shot the film. It really came out great and tied both the song and the movie together.

EHWith Fox Trail adding more movies to it's stable, what genre are you most comfortable with?

JTS I love thrillers. I'm a big Brian DePalma guy. I love 
  films that have a tight story and keep you guessing... And then right when you think you have it figured out... There's a twist ending. I love complex characters and actually CARING about characters... That way it makes it so much more impactful when you lose them. With that being said, those are the types of films I like to make... Films that will keep you on the edge of your seat and will have you talking afterwards.

EH - With films like Disorder, Infliction,and your upcoming In The Dark, What do you look for in a horror movie?

JTS I love horror films that have a strong story and suspense. If the movie calls for gore... Awesome.  But if it's not necessary, then it's not necessary. Personally, gore doesn't scare me. Suspense is what scares me. I love when you're on the edge of your seat... You 
  have no idea what's coming next... It's the anticipation of what's to come that I find to be scarier than splatter in your face without that suspenseful buildup.

EHMost overused horror cliches

JTS I hate when tension is building during a scene... And then a cat jumps out of nowhere. Can't stand that. Lol.

EHWas there a particular event or time that you recognized that filmmaking was not just a hobby, but that it would be your life and your living?

JTSIt's something that's always been in me. Writing and filmmaking is part of my DNA. It's all I know. When I was 8, I saw "Star Wars" and that absolutely blew me away. And shortly after that, I read "The Shining" by Stephen King and that knocked me off my feet as well. At a very young age, I wanted to write and make films. And as an adult, it's the only career I've ever pursued.

EHHow did growing up shape you as a filmmaker?

JTS As a teenager, I obsessively 
  watched films by George Romero, John Carpenter, Martin Scorsese, Brian 
  DePalma, and Stanley Kubrick. I'd practically study their films... 
  Why did a particular scene work? How did they build the tension or develop the characters? Their styles of filmmaking were brilliant and helped set the moods of their films... But their styles never got in the way of the stories. It was during that time that my father bought me a super 8 movie camera and I started shooting horror shorts and comedy shorts with my brother and friends in my neighborhood. It was a lot of fun, but I also started to learn 
  the process even on such a small scale of working with actors, shooting coverage, locations, props, wardrobe, etc. We have those
old films on DVD and every once in a while we throw them on for a good laugh.

EHIs it harder to get started or to keep going? What was the particular thing that you had to conquer to do either?

JTSIt's really hard to break into the 
  entertainment business. When I was in my early 20s, I had completed my first screenplay and shopped it around to everyone and anyone -- studios, agents, etc. I was rejected by everyone. At that time, I had been introduced to Ted Bohus, who is an indie feature film director and producer, and we talked about doing our own film for a small budget. So we did just that... I co-wrote the screenplay with Ted and he directed "The Regenerated Man",  which was a sci-fi/horror campy type of film. We made the film for a small amount of money that we were able to pull together ourselves and secured a nationwide video deal for double our investment when it was complete. But then from there, it took another three years to put together the money for the next 

film that I produced for John Russo, who co-wrote and produced the original "Night of the Living Dead." The name of that film was "Santa Claws" and it was about a guy in a Santa Claus costume running around killing people. John directed it and I produced it and we ultimately secured distribution. From there it took six years to pull together the financing for my next film "Disorder", which I wrote, produced, and directed. "Disorder" is a psychological thriller told from the perspective of a paranoid schizophrenic... So you don't know what's real and what isn't... And right when you think you have it figured out... There's a twist ending. "Disorder" was distributed on DVD by Universal/Vivendi and on PPV and VOD by Warner Brothers. After "Disorder", I was in development hell for

years with "In The 
Dark" as I described earlier before I started "Infliction" in 2011. It's a long-winded answer... The bottom line is that it's hard to break into the movie business and it's equally as hard to stay in the movie business. You just have to keep moving forward and pushing your projects.

EHWhat was the most important lesson you had to learn that has had a positive effect on your films? How did that lesson happen?

JTSYou learn something new with every film. I'm a firm believer in a lot of rehearsals with the actors... I storyboard every single shot and I walk through all of the setups with the DP in advance. The most important part of making a film is Pre-Production. You have
to plan and rehearse and prepare obsessively so that when you're on set you don't miss a beat. Things always happen when you shoot that you can't plan for, but if you have a solid plan in place, you can push through it. There's an old saying... "Fix it in post." And that's true to a certain extent... But you don't want to rely on post completely to make your film work. If you put in the work before you start shooting, it will make the entire process so much better and smoother

EHWhat films have been the most inspiring or influential to you and why?

JTSThere's a lot. When I was a kid, it was definitely "Star Wars" and "Dawn of the Dead." For obvious reasons, "Star Wars" changed everything. George Lucas created something so original and unique... I loved the characters... The story... And the effects were amazing. It was a perfect movie. "Dawn of the Dead" is my 
  all-time favorite horror film. It was scary and the effects were off the charts... And you really wanted the characters to survive. As I got older, I realized the shot "Dawn of the Dead" took at American consumerism... We're all mindless zombies going to the malls to buy our name brands. Other films that I love and have influenced me are "Apocalypse Now", "The Crow", "Platoon", "Scarface," and "Goodfellas."

EH“It all starts with the script.” Maybe not, but when do you know a script is ready to shoot, and what is your process of getting it there?

JTSI guess the best way to answer this question is that I just know. When I write a screenplay, I'm conscious of the fact that there are certain plot points that need to be hit in the appropriate places and the story must flow. You're constantly tweaking 
  the script... Even when you rehearse right up to when you're on set... You can tweak and adjust the dialogue as it seems fit... And usually when I complete the script I storyboard my shots so that visually I have the film in front of me and I put together detailed shot lists so that i know the exact order how to shoot everything

EHWhat do audiences want? And is it the filmmaker’s role to worry about that?

JTS I'm as guilty as any other filmmaker in that I want to make movies that I'd like to see and I want to tell stories that mean something to me. However, I also understand that audiences want to be entertained and that they want to see something original and thought provoking. Hopefully, the films that I make satisfy my needs as an artist, but more importantly entertain the audience and leave them discussing it and thinking about what they just watched.

EHIt is said that your upcoming film "In The Dark" was based on where you lived in Michigan, Any plans to shoot there.

JTS I'd LOVE to shoot there. In particular, I'd love to shoot on Grosse Ile, which is where I lived when I was a kid before moving to NJ. It all depends on the financing and Michigan's state tax credits if it makes sense to shoot there.

EHIf I walked up to an audience leaving one of your films, what would you want them to tell me

JTSI'd like for them to tell you that they have very passionate 
  feelings about what they just saw. I want the audience to talk about my films after seeing them. We've had screenings of "Infliction" in different parts of the country followed by Q&A sessions and the discussions have been very lively. "Infliction" seems to be striking a nerve with people... especially with women... because of its disturbing subject matter

EHOne last question what can we look forward to from yourself and Fox Trail? 

JTSI'm hoping to shoot "In The Dark" next year. That project has been a labor of love for years and I'm determined to make it happen. I'm also planning to start writing the drama "Illegals", which will be honest and unbiased in regards to the illegal immigration issue that effects us today. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Forced Break

Just wanted to up date as to why I haven't been updating. We had a fire at our house on the 6th. While the fire itself did damage in our crawl space smoke and water damaged about 1/2 of the house. The Red Cross put us in a hotel for 3 days while I replaced the waterlines that were melted. We still are without eleletric or gas.

Now on to some good news. I have a few interviews ready to go as soon as I can get access to a computer.  The pain involved with trying to do it on the phone is to great.  Talk to you all soon.  Stay scary my friend

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Terrortory First Look

There are many stories in the woods.......

 "Terrortory" the new horror anthology film currently in crowd funding looks to breath new life in to the anthology genre taking us back to the roots of 80's slasher films. The brain child of the folks over at Original Sin FX of Maryland. The film was born out of a
five minute "FX Reel" showcasing Original Sin FX talent in the  practical effects business, grew to include other local Maryland indie film makers. The other local indie film teams would be allowed full creative control and tell their story, as long as it keeps to the mythology of the "Terrortory". It will be nice to have a true anthology instead of 3,4, or even 26 unrelated stories under one title. With the success of the VHS series and the ABC's of death the anthology genre is having a bit of a resurgence we haven't seen since the 80's. what makes this one so special in my book is the nod too our favorite time in slasher haven, the hey day of
the genre the 80's. While "Terrortory" is not a period film set in the 80's, it will give us the gritty feel of those warm summer nights at the drive in. Written and directed by Mark Wenger with the screen play by Matt Cloude. The film has all the makings of another east coast breakout film.

Original Sin FX short is billed as a 80's Schlock-style horror comedy short about an ambiguous killer wreaking havoc on an unwitting
indie film crew in the woods of Western Maryland. And by the looks of the funding video and poster we have the basics to every good slasher pic blood, boobs, and people that should never go into the wood.  Original Sin FX along with folks like Slasher Studios and Jessica Cameron are bringing the fun and gore back into the indie slasher genre. so lets get out there a make those silly campers pay.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Change Of Direction

Dear Fans and Readers,

I will be changing the focus of this blog from all horror movies to just indie films pacifically preproduction films in crowdfunding.

I find the filmmakers much more approachable and easier to work with. I have a great passion to see them succeed. you won't see any bad reviews here I will just not write about a movie I don't believe in. You may see an occasional film from a different genre but we are going to stay true to our horror roots, with a we want to see this movie made twist. I truly appreciate everyone that reads the words I throw down on the screen here and sincerely hope you all will stay with us for the next phase of the journey. That being said  if you hear or see anything drop me a line and we will check it out. Stay scary my friends.

Epic Horror