Tag Archives: Indie

Trapped “Within These Walls” with James Tucker and Kelsey Zukowski!

Of all the monsters, creatures, Demons, serial killers, Zombies, and Vampires etc. Nothing has ever been quit so terrifying as spirits, in my opinion. Why is that you might ask? Well why not? Most of us easily forget that death is the final path all must take. And once that step is taken it’s done, there’s no going back… But the thought that one could come back is both thrilling and terrifying. Could you imagine all the killers, rapists, psychos, and maniacs continuing their work from beyond the grave? Worst yet, how do you stop, let alone hurt something that isn’t even alive?

Now try to imagine being a prisoner in your own home being tormented and repeatedly assaulted by such a force… The thought alone sends chills down my spine. Scream Queen and Writer Kelsey Zukowski (What They Say, Words Like Knives) and Director James Tucker (Aunt Rose, Skinned Alive) join forces to terrify use with WITHIN THESE WALLS. A gripping horror about a young woman trapped within her own home and tormented by unknown forces she is only beginning to understand.

Official Synopsis: A prisoner in her own home, a captive in her own body. Assaulted and trapped with no one to hear her cries for help…and knowing no one will believe her if they do.

This is the terrifying reality Alaina finds herself in when she moves in to the house her mother died in. At first she thinks it’s this loss that is haunting her, but she is soon shown it is something far more malicious and unrelenting. The spirit taunts her as it invades her body, mind, and soul, completely trapping her. Alaina fights for answers on what really happened to her mother if she has any hopes of survival. She must find a way to endure this monster which lives and breathes to rob her of her sanity as it demands a savage hold on her.

Within These Walls comes from the team of Kelsey Zukowski (What They Say, Words Like Knives) and James Tucker (Aunt Rose, Skinned Alive). They set out to dive deeper into a minimalist (practical effects and very little, if any, CGI) but compelling ghost/haunted house story that is far grittier and intense than you typically get from the sub-genre. Zukowski and Tucker were both eager to tackle this taboo and unnerving subject matter, making the circumstances of the main character (played by Zukowski) even more difficult to endure.

Zukowski comments on the collaboration process of the film thus far with filmmaker, James Tucker, “We immediately clicked on this project. We’re totally on the same page of what we want to create artistically through the film and to bring out within the vast capabilities of horror. Even better, we work off one another’s ideas to come up with something that neither one of us would have been able to realize on our own; a true collaborative project, which can be rare to come by. This is only the beginning for the film and world of Within These Walls as well as our future working relationship.”

Everything in the film is centered around a total entrapment through isolation and fear and one’s control being viciously ripped away in nearly every way. Some of these ways are hard to even wrap your mind around, but she is reminded how real and horrible they are, making it impossible to deny the torment that is escalating. Through this haunting, Alaina, the main character, is pushed as we explore the limits of what the human mind and body can endure. It takes place almost entirely in the single location of a haunted house. The only escape seems to be the surreal dream world that is often even more terrifying than the grim reality our character now lives in– thanks to an unknown malicious and demanding force, which slowly suffocates our protagonist.

“I was first interested in the project simply by the subject matter. I’m very drawn to intense horror, taking brutality and struggle and coupling it with rich story and powerful themes, making my main characters go through complete hell and examining how that changes them. The theory of struggle actually showing power as it means you’re still fighting is a major theme in the film and seems to allow Alaina to keep pushing forward in this hopeless battle that is demanding her defeat. There are some very disturbing elements in Within These Walls that push it that much further that I think will really stick with people.” says Zukowski.

“What I like most about this script and our collaboration, is that we were both truly interested in this type of character driven horror.” “We both wanted to and were willing to look closely at how some people deal with this extreme physical and psychological violence.” “Unfortunately, in the news these days, real life stories of captivity and prolonged torment continue to appear, it’s just not the stuff of fiction” says Tucker. “These personal struggles are many times glossed over, but we wanted our main character to have the chance to truly tell her story and include all the uncomfortable details.”

Within These Walls is currently raising funds on Indiegogo, where the teaser trailer can be seen. The film is moving forward with a prospective shoot date to begin around late August or early September in Pasadena, California. Zukowski will be starring in the character-based film, as she struggles to uncover the truth and her inner strength among the suffering she has to endure or find a way to beat. Cory Graham and director, James Tucker will also have featured roles in the film. The rest of supporting roles are currently being cast.

Teaser Trailer
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/withinthesewallsmovie
Indiegogo Link: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/within-these-walls/x/323841?c=home

Bublenutz Productions Presents: Welcome To Dreadville!

The indie genre has always proven to be a true enervator of film, and going places mainstream often cannot. The indie underground manages to capture a side of film that the mainstream industry is unable to capture, sometimes because it’s “Taboo,” or pushing the limits of what’s acceptable for viewers, all while doing this on a limited, and sometimes ultra-low budget. Bublenutz Productions, a Chicago based company, and writer/director Jason Patfield brings forth the indie series WELCOME TO DREADVILLE. An award winning series unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Produced on a ultra-Low budget that showcases crime, drugs, and abuse in the streets of Dreadville Illinois. Some from within the indie underground have compared the series to “Tales from the Darkside meets Twilight Zone” with the episodes ranging from the horror genre to thriller, to a touch of comedy.

The show is a compilation of “surreal stories from the dark suburban streets of Dreadville Illinois where gangs, organized crime, murderers and drugs dealers are above the law.”

The episodes are standalone segments with its own unique story to tell and with its own setting, each episode runs roughly at 30 to 45 minutes a piece. Currently the series has released 8 episode all available right now for purchase on DVD or Streaming vie Amazon.com:

DISTRAUGHT (THE PAYBACK):
Directed By: Jason Patfield
Written By: Jason Patfield and Jay Kranson.
Starring: Kevin Bliss, Kelli Clevenger, Tom Fernandez, Jack Guasta, Tom Lodewyck, Jason Patfield.
Plot: A missing person, a detective on the case, and a killer on the loose. When does the torture stop? When you’re dead.
IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1200863/

ADDICT
Directed By: Jason Patfield
Written By: Jason Patfield
Starring: John Bienasz, Matt Boisacy, Alex Gonzalez, Jack Guasta, Tom Lodewyck, Ivy Patfield, Jason Patfield, Dillion Sanchez.
Plot: As The Sydicated Mafia pump’s the newest, highly addictive drug Jak into the small town of Dreadvile, Eric Chasta realize he has one more problem to deal with. This includes dealing with his ex-girlfriend Jenny Walker, Dodging his arch rival Carmen Aurello and worst feeding his addictive habits. Will Eric’s future depend on his decisions or has his future already been written?
IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0952692/

ARE YOU REI?
Directed By: Jason Patfield
Written By: Jason Patfield
Starring: John Bienasz, Lauren Bienasz, Anthony Brawner, Colleen Elizabeth Miller and Jason Patfield.
Plot: Sam is left mentally ill and handicap after a tragic accident occurs involving her young daughter Rei. This misfortune leads to troubles adjusting to her new life style but when a Social Worker arrives to help her face her demons, strange apparitions start to appear. Sam suddenly realizes she has more then just her disabilities to conquer.
IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1200863/

RED IN DREADVILLE:
Directed By: Michael Schmid, John Bienasz and Jason Patfield.
Written By: Jason Patfield
Starring: Bryant Dailey, Tom Fernandez, Chad Foor, Steven H. Hansen, Will Jones, Laura Locascio, Colleen Elizabeth Miller, Talli Nemo, Darren Smith, Scott Treinen, Anthony Whitaker and Ruan Woolfolk.
Plot: As the Syndicated Mafia seeks to gain control, the local gang and drug lords have one option, either join or die. Meanwhile Hez Wolfen, last of the drug lords and his psychic side kick Locash stand tall as they watch their enemies crumble around them. While making a trip to visit her dear grandpa, poor little unsuspecting Red Ruben stumbles upon Hez’s territory. The big bad Wolfen watches from afar as she moves into his grasp.
IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1200863/

DARK OF NIGHT
Directed By: John Bienasz, Jason Patfield and Alex Gonzalez.
Written By: Jason Patfield
Starring: Reggie Baker, Anthony Brawner, Kelli Clevenger, Chad Foor, Elliott Fredland, Steven H. Hansen, Colleen Elizabeth Miller, Charles Ramsey, Mandy Hambel Ramsey and Erik Uppling.
Plot: When Geo Francisco, a cannibalistic killer escapes from the Tin Park mental institution the town of Dreadville is on edge and to make things worse Dreadville has lost power leaving the town in utter darkness. As Daisy Clark waits alone for her husband to get home she begins to hear noises and when she approximates that danger is near, she become frantic. Is the killer in her presence? Or is the dark of night just playing tricks on her?
IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1297311/

THE LOTTERY
Directed By: Jason Patfield and J.D. Scruggs.
Written By: Jason Patfield, J.D. Scruggs and Kevin Kruzel.
Starring: Steven Rohlf, Bryant Dailey, Sharon Dalla Costa, Claudia Di Biccari, Tom Fernandez, Alex Gonzalez, Barb Boisacy, Melissa Boisacy, Robert Boisacy, Ivy Patfiel, Jason Patfield and Charles Ramsey.
Plot: Josh has a gambling problem and is about to lose his apartment but worst of all he owes the Syndicated Mafia money. When his lifelong friend Rhett shows up at his door with his own problems both devise a plan to get out of town, can they escape the town of Dreadville or has their luck run out.
IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1417593/

LOVE, DEATH AND BLUEBERRY PANCAKES
Directed By: Jose Carlos Gomez.
Written By: Jose Carlos Gomez and Jason Patfield.
Starring: North Roberts, Jason Patfield, Carla Westlund, Artemio Gonzalez, Anthony Brawner, Laura Locascio, Elizabeth Antonucci, Derrick Ballantine, John Bienasz, Jennifer D’Adamo, Laura Francesconi, Elliott Fredland, David M. Gomez, DC McAuliffe and Frank Anthony Meo.
Plot: Blood is thicker than syrup.
IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1469298/

SOULS OF MISCHIEF
Directed By: Jason Patfield, J.D. Scruggs and Tony Wash.
Written By: Jason Patfield and Johnny 5.
Starring: James Barbee, Will Cummings III, Raquel Garcia, Kendyl Lynch, Timon Morales and Steven James Price.
Plot: Timon and James decide to visit their old catholic school before its demolished but when a familiar face shows up, it instantly brings back haunting memories.
IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1814941/

The WELCOME TO DREADVILLE series is available now by Bublenutz Productions on Amazon.com. where the series can be purchased on DVD or streamed via amazon streaming.

Short Film Review: Familiar

Starring: Robert Nolan, Astrida Auza, Cathryn Hostick

Written & Directed By: Richard Powell
Reviewed by: Kelsey Zukowski (The Scream Queen)
Grade: B+

Familiar is a dark short film that immediately shows us the twisted fate at hand. It comes full circle, showing how we got to this point and reveals the uncompromising gritty reality behind it. Of course, this is really just setting the tone for what is to follow. At first glance, we really have no real understanding of what’s going on or the weight it holds.

John Dodd’s only escape from his family life misery is the hope o f being essentially free from fatherhood when his daughter goes away to college. He’s done his time and he’s nearly out now, needing freedom behind his residential prison more than ever. Life seems to have other plans though. John’s wife tells him that she is pregnant. It may be a miracle to her, but to John it’s a fate worse than death. He can’t just sit back and allow himself to be stuck again for another 20 years.  He still has some control and he’s not willing to go out without a fight. John resorts to abortion methods and drugs his wife. Things don’t stop there. John’s boundaries are clearly ripping off the seams. A darkness in him getting stronger until it completely takes over piece by piece.

Familiar is a beautifully shot film with excellent production levels, something I rarely see in low-budget  indie horror screeners like this. The acting is spot on and simply incredible. It is the glue that holds the film together. Robert Nolan as John as is clearly the stand out performance. He shows an outstanding range and real understanding of a character who is so teetering. He nails it all from the subdued, hollow, and distantly numb to the scared, out of his element individual who loses his grip on reality and is determined to go out with a fight no matter how viciously suffocating it might be. Astrida Auza gives a much more subtle performance as his wife, but it’s the little touches that really make it notable. She doesn’t seem like an actor, she seems like a real person who is somewhat content in life, but still struggles and aches for something more.

Familiar is constantly interesting and engaging. Each act of the film is significantly different from the previous, almost seeming like a different being altogether. Still, it all works as a progression. It just has you intrigued and not really sure what is going on. It weaves quite an intricate web and ends up revealing a nightmarish reality far beyond fears of fatherhood. Yet it is that fear of the loss of freedom that takes an entirely different horrifying physical manifestation. Or is it the physicality that brings light to the true terrors of parenting, and tragic domestic  living that are merely brought light to by more jarring visuals? That is up to you to decide.

Casting Call for New Indie Horror “The Hazed”

One of the worst things about joining a fraternity or sorority is the hazing that comes with the territory of pledging. Yeah it’s commonly known that hazing is highly unethical then alone illegal in today’s age, but just because something is deemed wrong doesn’t mean it stopped. But what if some took hazing to a whole new level of humiliation? What if some elevated it to a whole new level of horrors? From the creators of Echo Lake and Sick Flick Productions comes “The Hazed” a psychological thriller that explores the unforgiving and vindictive nature of sorority life. Once you’re in you’re in for life, and the only way to leave this sorority is through death!

The Hazed is set to begin filmming summer 2012 in the Chicago area. The film is written and produced and will also star Jonathan Moody and Kelsey Zukowski. The Hazed will also be Kelsey Zukowski’s directorial debut! Currently they doing a full casting call for both male and female actors and of various age brackets that range from age groups of 20’s, 30’s and 40’s. scroll down to read the synopsis and to get a full detail of the roles up for casting. And when you’re done be sure to drop by the official Hazed Facebook Page and click “Like” to keep up to date on all things regarding the project.

Synopsis: When Kate tries to pledge a sorority, she learns that a mistake from years ago is still haunting her. The sorority sisters are completely unforgiving, deciding to have their fun with Kate by torturing her and the other girls to no ends. Kate is determined not to let her win. She has her friends, Tyler and Hailey by her side to help her stay strong. The deeper Kate gets in though the more she realizes that these are not your typical hazing pranks. There is something much darker that lies within these girls, setting up a brutal cycle of jealousy, revenge, and a very twisted perception of reality.

The Hazed Character Breakdown

Kate: Female (18-25). Independent, determined, and spunky. Kate has always been an outsider, but isn’t going to let that get in the way of what she wants. She made a mistake years ago that Melissa isn’t willing to let her forget. Kate refuses to be a weak person though and is ready to take everything she throws her way. Role requires nudity, limited or implied is negotiable.

Melissa: Female (18-25). The head sorority sister. She loves being in charge and is used to everything going her way, blaming her problems on others when they do arise. She’s unforgiving and has a very dark nature, far beyond the bitchy façade that lies on the outside. Role requires nudity, limited or implied is negotiable.

Courtney: Female (18-25). One of Melissa’s best friend’s, runs the sorority house under her. She sticks by Melissa no matter how merciless the hazing becomes.

Kelly: Female (18-25). Melissa and Courtney’s other best friend. She is loyal to her sisters and is determined to get vengeance on Kate for Melissa’s sake.

Jenna: Female (18-25). The only reasonable sorority sister. She isn’t out to humiliate and torment the pledges and isn’t interested in getting revenge on Kate. She goes along with it to an extent, but she wants to just get through this year more than anything. She’s far more concerned with school and her long distance boyfriend who she hopes to be with when she goes to graduate school next year.

Brittany: Female (18-25). As she gets deeper in to the sorority and sees the consequence of Melissa’s jealousy her enthusiasm for the sorority quickly falls. She has a lot to deal with, but refuses to let Melissa and the other sisters run all over her. Limited clothing is required.

Lexy: Female (18-25). Almost connected at the hip to Anna. Both of the girls put all of their energy and hopes in to getting in to the sorority. They have more shallow reasons than the other girls. No matter how twisted things get the price is never too high to get what they want. Limited clothing is required.

Anna: Female (18-25). Lexy’s best friend. It quickly becomes them against the other girls. They intend to do whatever they can to get in to the sorority even when things turn morbid. It’s shocking to them at first, but they put their better judgment aside when their own desires blind them. Limited clothing is required.

Brad: Male (18-25). Head of one of the school’s fraternity’s. He treats woman horribly, especially his girlfriend, Melissa. He has been cheating on her for years and really has no qualms or guilt about it. He comes from a wealthy family in the same social circle as Melissa’s; part of the reason their parents want them to be together. Nudity is required.

Chase: Male (18-25). Sexist and objectifies woman. He’s Brad’s best friend and one of the brothers, but cannot stand Melissa. He’s a good friend to him regardless. Chase is one of the only people to really reject Melissa and show his interest elsewhere.

Chris: Male (18-25). School football star and one of Chase and Brad’s brothers. He’s crude and violent towards others.

Jennifer: Female (22-35) Jack’s wife. She loves her husband, but is going through a very hard time in her life. She hasn’t really been happy in a long time and acts on this unhappiness. She desperately wants to put that all behind them and learn to be happy with Jack again.

Jack: Male (25-40) Jennifer’s husband. She’s broken his heart and he can never be the same again. We begin to see him breaking before us, unable to hold on any longer.

Bryan: Male (20-30) Jenna’s long distance boyfriend. He is very caring and sincere, doing everything he can to try to be there for her. He tries to keep her rational and focused amongst all of the mayhem that ensues in the house.

Dr. Lucas: Male or Female (Min. age 25, but could preferably middle aged). The psychiatrist who tries to piece everything together in the aftermath. (S)he is desperate to reach his/her patient so they can accept what they’ve done and have hope for recovery so nothing like this ever happens again.

Lauren: Female (20-30). Kate’s Resident Advisor. Once she realizes Kate is going through something serious she steps in.

Delivery Man: Male. (Min. age 20, but preferably middle aged) Once he’s in the house he lets his curiosity and imagination get the best of him. He never would have expected what lies within this house.

Waitress: (Min. 18, but can be any age). Waitress at a steak/seafood restaurant that serves Hailey and Tyler.

Please email the character or characters you are interested in auditioning for to kels_z3@sbcglobal.net they are accepting video auditions for desired roles. Filming is set for summer 2012.

Review: What They Say (2011)

Reviewed By: Clifford Kiyabu
Directed by: Justin R. Romine
Written by: Kelsey Zukowski, Heather Dorff (original story)
Genre: Short / Thriller
MPAA: Not Rated
Released: 25th September. 2011
Starring: Heather Dorff, Kelsey Zukowski, Tina Renée Grace, Kitsie Duncan, Kitsie Duncan, Dave Juehring, Tyler Klunick, Jolene M. Aldus.

Plot: They thought she had the perfect life; wealthy and privileged, an honor student with her whole life mapped out. What they didn’t know was what lied inside of her; pain and anguish; tearing at her until there was nothing left. Lost and alone, the young women (Heather Dorff), finds solace in the form of a glistening blade, splitting her skin deeply. Her self-indulgent mother and obnoxious sister (Kelsey Zukowski) are completely oblivious to her inner-turmoil. She has long since become numb to the world around her, getting that sensual release, as the razor cuts deeper, watching the blood drip, is all that matters. As soon as the last drop falls, the calm is stripped away from her with it. How far will she go to silence the hunger that now consumes her? Will she be able to regain control of her life, body, and sanity?

Review: 9/10

My Thoughts: Over the course of 2011, I’ve covered the Fathead Films project “What They Say” in multiple articles throughout the spring and summer, though much of the plot has always remained vague to you, the reader and I, there was always a sense of what’s to be expected from a film such as this. From the eerie tone the movie stills displayed, to the darkly themed synapses, everything regarding this project including the gory details shown in its teaser trailer called out a darkness that was equally compelling as was seriously disturbing. But to speak completely frank here, there was no way of preparing me for what was to come next when I actually screened WTS. To try and describe what I had seen during the screening without giving away any specific details or spoilers for that matter, would be calling it twistedly delighted. Its gory visuals are bloodstained yet oddly beautiful, setting an atmospheric narrative that captivates you in a cloud of physical and emotional pain. The film’s plot is indeed astonishingly unsettling and yet weirdly enough calming with beauty.

Within the first few minutes of viewing the film it becomes perfectly clear that WTS’s plot is deeply personal from the heart and mind of the writer, the story carried such a level of remarkable storytelling that it felt rich with raw emotion, that its essence was captured from a dark place in their life. Or at least that’s what I got out of the experience itself. That’s another thing I found so compelling and deeply fascinating with “What They Say”, is that it’s hardly something that one can summed up in words. Like an emotion, it must be felt and experienced firsthand to get a full detailed understanding of the experience itself and to fully comprehend its message. Some will argue that WTS is a horror with dramatic themes, while others will say it’s a dark drama themed with horror elements. I however, would classify it as neither. The way I saw WTS play out, or at least in my opinion, was more in line of a character study into the human soul and the darkness that dwells within. A dark passenger if you will, that lurks within us all. For many that darkness is always kept at bay never seeing the light of day, but for some that darkness is always just beneath the suffice trying to scratch and claw its way out. The question this film left me thinking with by the time it was over was; what happens when that darkness suffices?

As for the acting: the acting here is quite impressive. Heather Dorff delivered an outstanding performance in the lead. Her delivery is so well done and on mark that it felt less like a role and more like the character was living through her; the way she handled herself was dignifying and graceful to say the least. Her performance expands beyond the role itself, but rather on a deeper level that brings a certain aspect to the role that one could argue was as intimately personal to a role that any actor playing a character could get. Kelsey Zukowski gave a stellar performance as a co-star alongside MS. Dorff, showing a remarkable performance for someone still fairly new to the acting scene. Aside from her astonishing writing as a screen writer and columnist, Kelsey displayed another talent to add to her résumé with acting, making her the ultimate scream queen to look out for in the near future. Tina Renée Grace also did a fine job in her performance. Though my first encounter with her work as an actress was just earlier this year with the indie short “Love is Not Enough” I ‘m very impressed with her thus far and would even consider her as one to watch!

Final Say: What They Say managed to live up the hype and so much more, in my opinion. If there’s anything I take away from watching this film, it’s that it will take you on a personal journey to the edge of insanity and show you that it’s only through the darkness that we see truth. If there’s any indie short to see this year, What They Say is it! I highly recommend it!