By: Addison Wylie
My most anticipated movie of 2014 is one I’ve already seen, but has yet to make a widespread appearance in theatres or on DVD/VOD. I want to recommend this excellent indie as soon as it shows its bloody face.
Found screened for horror hounds at last year’s Toronto After Dark. It left the audience – particularly me – shaken and disturbed. The low budget flick about a sibling who discovers his stoic, older brother might be a serial killer after finding decapitated heads in a closet was a no-holds barred dive into secretive depravity and nightmarish imagery. These are compliments towards the filmmaker, Scott Schirmer.
Found was so frightening and visceral, that I was sitting in my seat wishing I have having a bad dream. It presents gruesome details, but also leaves the nitty-gritty off-screen for our imaginations to run away with. It’s relentless with what it shows, but also doesn’t come across as indulgent.
The film has its minor rough edges, but its almost expected from a cast made up of primarily amateur actors. The performances find their footing eventually and the terrified reactions make Found’s results that much more organic.
In Schirmer’s film, naïve Marty (Gavin Brown in a terrific debut) finds a videotape titled Headless in his brother’s room, and curiously pops it in. The film stops to show the audience portions of this movie-within-the-movie, but Found never loses its momentum.
Headless is a proper send-up to straight-to-video horror. It’s the type of schlock that we expected to see when renting VHS’ based on box art alone. However, the scenes that are shown intentionally teeter on snuff, and Shane Beasley’s skull-helmeted performance made my skin crawl. Again, a compliment towards the sick flick.
Headless struck such a chord across Found’s film festival circuit, that it triggered a Kickstarter campaign to get the blood-drenched fake film made into its own feature.
Here’s the skinny from Forbidden Films:
We’re approaching Headless as though it were an actual artifact from the late 1970s — gritty, grainy, retro, excessive, vile, balls-to-the-wall, and POSITIVELY NO CGI. Something so heinous, it was buried in darkness and only recently has seen the light. It’s going to be a nightmarish fever dream of a slasher flick: by horror fans, for horror fans. And not for the faint of heart. We may never get wide distribution for this movie because, folks, we’re not holding back. This one is going there.
Arthur Cullipher, special effects supervisor and associate producer on Found, will be directing this feature-length gore extravaganza. Shane Beasley is reprising his role as the “Headless” Killer, and Leya Taylor will once again be behind the camera, framing the bloodshed as director of photography. Nathan Erdel and Kara Erdel are on board for the mayhem, fresh off a year-long comprehensive film making course under the guidance of Robby Benson at Indiana University. Nathan has penned the screenplay for Headless and Kara is co-producing with Found director Scott Schirmer. And composer Magician Johnson is returning to provide another pulse-pounding soundtrack!
Visit Forbidden Films’ Kickstarter page for more details.
My Two Cents:
I love anything to do with Found, and this is a really interesting project to spin-off of. It’s great to hear the original minds behind Found will be driving this ship, and I have no doubt that they will surely deliver to movie goers looking for naturally effective horror.
My only reservation relates to my original emotions when I first watched the nasty scenes in Found – I was feeling sick. I don’t know if I’ll be able to stay in this sketchy, filthy universe Headless takes place in for the length of a feature film. I may sound like a big baby, but once you see Found, you’ll understand what I mean.
I’m absolutely intrigued and I’m definitely going to watch whatever this company turns out, but I just might bring a barf bag with me.
All italicized statements regarding Headless are provided from their respected crowdfunding sources. Wylie Writes is not responsible for funds attached to these productions and we do not hold any accountability.
This project is that of the filmmakers. Use your own discretion.