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Event Report: Screamfest LA 2011: Exclusive Photos from Nights #7 and #8; Coverage of the Premieres of Enter Nowhere, No Rest for the Wicked, The Little Mermaid, Infected, and More

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Coverage of this year’s Screamfest LA Film Festival continues with Dread Central’s event report for Thursday, October 20th, and Friday, October 21st, when we hit the carpet to bring you more photos and caught the premieres of Jack Heller’s feature film Enter Nowhere (Night #7) and of Ryan Schifrin’s No Rest for the Wicked, The Little Mermaid, Infected, and more. (Night #8).

(Editor’s Note: In case you’re wondering what happened to Night #6, the filmmakers of Livid, the major premiere of that evening, were not in attendance so we opted to give SeanD. a night off of coverage as well. Considering that he’s practically been living at the Manns Chinese 6 during Screamfest LA’s 2011 run, we’d say he certainly deserved it!)

Those walking the black carpet on the 20th and in attendance for the seventh evening of the fest included Enter Nowhere director Heller, writers Shawn Christensen and Jason Dolan, producers Dallas Sonnier and Robert Crippen, and lead Scott (son of Clint) Eastwood, as well as Shadow People’s Mariah Bonner (photo below).

Event Report: Screamfest LA 2011: Exclusive Photos from Nights #7 and #8; Coverage of the Premieres of Enter Nowhere, No Rest for the Wicked, The Little Mermaid, Infected, and More

Said director Heller of Enter Nowhere, which revolves around (according to the film’s PR) ‘four strangers from different walks of life (who) find themselves stranded and trapped in a mysterious forest’ and which also stars Sara Paxton (Last House on the Left), Katherine Waterston (The Babysitters) Leigh Lezark, Christopher Denham and Shaun Sipos, “The film has a monster element, in that it’s not only about the monsters within the characters, but also the monster which ultimately shows itself. With Enter Nowhere it’s not your typical thriller horror film.”

Said co-writer and producer Jason Nolan of crafting the screenplay, “I’ve always been a huge fan of “The Twilight Zone” series, and I love mysteries and movies with twists and stories with reveals, where you are watching something and you think you know what you are watching, but then as it goes on, you find out that it’s about something bigger. I like having fun with the audience and to keep them guessing.”

As for the scope of the flick, originally titled Cabin Pressure and then The Greenhouse, “When Jack Heller came on board and said he really loved the script, we dialed it back down and made it more contained, which we could shoot for a price,” said Nolan.

Said Christensen of what audiences can expect (Grindstone Entertainment and Lionsgate have picked up North American distribution rights and a release is imminent) of Enter Nowhere, “I think with this film, it’s a mystery, and that’s kind of a lost genre. I think people will appreciate that.”

Following the screening the evening continued with an after-party thrown at Hollywood & Highland’s Lucky Strike, where the Enter Nowhere team provided a hosted bar and rented bowling lanes.

Event Report: Screamfest LA 2011: Exclusive Photos from Nights #7 and #8; Coverage of the Premieres of Enter Nowhere, No Rest for the Wicked, The Little Mermaid, Infected, and More

Next up is Night #8: Those walking the black carpet and in attendance for the evening included No Rest for the Wicked director Ryan Schifrin and his wife and producing partner, Theresa Schifrin, composer Lalo Schifrin and cast member Jose Pablo Cantillo, along with Infected director Jason Miller and cast member Brian Collins, The Little Mermaid director Nicholas Humphries, Singularity director Shian Storm with actors Mark Sherman and Robert Joy, Y Volvere director Edgar Nito, Final Destination screenwriter Jeffrey Reddick, and more.

Speaking on the carpet with director Schifrin (the man behind the 2006 Rear Window meets sasquatch flick Abominable) regarding his short No Rest for the Wicked (which stars Zachary Levi, Ray Park, Malcolm McDowell and Kane Hodder), “This is something that I’d like to do as a feature,” he said. “I came up with the idea of these two characters that go on these adventures in the world of the supernatural so there’s horror and there’s martial arts and there’s all of the kind of stuff that I love. I also did a comic book based on that world called The Devil’s Handshake to kind of help get the idea out there, and we are doing another comic right now called The Shadow Man, and in the middle of all of that I decided to do a short, live-action piece to sort of just show everyone what it could be to help me get the feature made. I’ve actually put a few years into building the mythology of this world and then building it out.”

In creating No Rest for the Wicked, “I wrote one of the characters for Ray Park and had him specifically in mind, and when he read the script for the feature, he told me that if I cast anyone else, he would kill me. The thing about Ray is that he’s always in these big movies. He’s Darth Maul (from the Star Wars films), he’s Snake-Eyes (of G.I. Joe), but he’s always behind makeup or a mask, and he just wanted to showcase his acting and everything else he can do so I said, ‘Why don’t we just do this short based on the character I created for you?’ And he was all for it.”

As for the casting of Zachary Levi, “I knew him from playing Call of Duty on Xbox Live together,” said Schifrin. “And then Kane (Hodder) came on board, and I’ve been dying to work with him for a while, and then Malcolm McDowell, and so did the monkey from The Hangover 2 so we have this amazing little cast for this thing.”

Shot over the course of five days in Los Angeles this past February, “The last day was very stressful,” said Schifrin of principal photography, “because we only had Malcolm for one day and the monkey on the same day so we had to get all of that stuff done.”

Of that day we jokingly queried Schifrin on who was harder to direct: McDowell or the monkey?

Laughed Schifrin, “Since Malcolm’s not here, I can tell you the truth. The monkey was the easiest actor I’ve ever worked with because she does everything in one take, and then the trainer has this yogurt on her finger which the monkey licks off, and then she’s ready to go for another take. I mean, what other actor can do that?”

As for the visual effects, Jason Miller (who also edited) provided them with practical effects duties handled by Robert Pendergraft (Hatchet) and Christien Tinsely (Abominable), the latter of whom created ‘The Ghoul Brothers’ makeups.

Speaking of Abominable, we chatted with Schifrin regarding the future of that world and whether or not he’s still planning on delivering a hairy sequel.

“We came very close to doing Abominable 2, and then the funding fell through when that whole equity crash happened so I’m sorry that it hasn’t got made yet,” answered Schifrin. “We still want to do that. Jeffrey Combs is supposed to star in it, and I’m dying to get it going again. He had a cool little cameo in the first one, and we found a way that we can bring him back as one of the main characters in the sequel, which is that his character chain-smokes in the first one, and you never actually see him die. All we saw was the bigfoot coming into frame to bite his face so we came up with this idea that he tasted like a dirty ashtray and the creature spat him out and left a tooth stuck in his head! I really want to make this one so bad. The script is done, and it’s all ready to go.”

Chatting with The Little Mermaid director Nicholas Humphries on the black carpet, “It’s actually part of a series of short films called Compendium, which are produced at the Vancouver Film School, and I was lucky enough to have them ask me to direct it,” he said. “It’s supposed to be an adaptation of the Hans Christian Anderson tale, but it’s kind of a complete reimagining, and we set it in this sort of 1930’s carnival-esque freak show, and just made it as scary as possible because I’m a huge horror nut, and I’m just so crazy excited to be at Screamfest with this film.”

As for Humphries’ next project, “I do have a feature coming up that we are shooting in November in Vancouver called Death Do Us Part, and it’s a wedding-themed cabin-in-the-woods slasher whodunit, and it’s gonna’ be badass. We are going to spend eleven days in the rain on the British Columbia coast, and I am so jazzed.”

Infected director Jason Miller told us of his film, “I wanted to do something with a ‘Twilight Zone’ type feel, where it has that twist. It’s about this girl that’s running away from this monster (portrayed by Brian Collins), and he keeps catching up to her, and finally she fights back, and then the twist is that she is the monster because she’s infected, and she sees everyone else as a monster. So it’s short, simple and sweet, and it’s got cameos by AJ Bowen and Adam Green and (Hatchet II’s) David Foy and Alexis Peters. Bear McCreary did the score for it.”

Los Angeleno Shian Storm, director of Singularity, stated of his short, “It’s about two guys trapped in a garage, and there’s some sort of mysterious creature that’s attacking them, and they are cornered, and in their attempt to sort of figure out what’s going on, there are more questions brought up than are being answered, and things take a turn for the worse, and it becomes a whole new level of that ‘Oh Shit!’ moment.”

Filming took place in Burbank, California, and Storm says of his cast, “I was very fortunate to cast Robert Joy and Mark Sherman. I got these two amazing actors to be in my film, and they were willing to take chances. They didn’t care that it was low budget and that they probably weren’t being compensated what they are worth, and they just completely laid it on the line, and as a result their performances are both outstanding and were nominated for Maverick movie awards. I really owe a lot to both of them.”

For more on the fest be sure to visit the official Screamfest LA website.

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Sean Decker