Saturday, July 12, 2014

IHW: FUTURE SPLATTER - The Rise of the Italian Independent Horror Filmmakers PART I

Each year we like to feature a spotlight and update about some of the best independent horror movie makers out there. Some of these names should be familiar to you if you’ve been following along these past two years. Others are brand new to even me. Note that all of the updates on releases is what we could garner from press releases, social media updates and the web. If anyone wishes to send me updates on their projects, new projects or Italian Horror filmmakers for coverage shoot me an email at We’d love to help promote your product.

Most of the releases that have been coming out of Italy or from Italian Horror filmmakers have been short films, typically in anthology format. This allows for maximum exposure. I urge you to purchase what you can and support these folks when you can.

I also wanted to note that Adam Chaplin, the cult favorite independent horror release from Emanuele De Santi will be covered during IHW by Exploitation Retrospect’s own Dan Taylor. We won’t’ mention it here for that reason. Excited to hear his take on this work as I myself still haven’t had the chance to enjoy it.



One of the greatest friend an American writing about the modern age of Italian Horror could have, Davide Melini has helped me out time and time again. He has introduced me to some great filmmakers, let me in on info about his current productions and has stayed in touch through a rigorous film creation schedule. I thank him every year. I thank him again this year for opening my eyes to Italian film being produced both in Italy and beyond. Davide’s previous efforts in The Puzzle and The Sweet Hand of the White Rose were excellent short film horror that intrigued me. These two movies gave me the idea to explore the current world of Italian Horror on the front lines by the folks creating it.

His latest project is Deep Shock. We teased info about this production last year, and Melini continues to movie forward posting regular news updates including pre-production photos scouting locations and crew member pics on the film’s Facebook page. He’s always dropping us hints about what is to come.

I urge you to like the Deep Shock page, and follow along as one of the most promising Italian filmmakers works his magic on neo-Giallo (even if he isn’t always working in the harsh filmmaking climate in Italy).

From the Deep Shock Facebook page:

Sarah can’t completely overcome the deaths of her grandfather and her older sister. The trauma and lack of sleep cause her to embark on a strange journey of apparitions and murders, apparently caused by her mind...

"Her worst nightmare has become a reality."

Here is the lineup for the cast so far (subject to change as it is in Production): Francesc Pagès, Paco Roma, Estela Fernández, Erica Prior, Francisco Vidal

Deep Shock will be a short film and with a little luck, Italian Giallo will return! We’re ready!


In a previous Italian Horror Week we covered Colour from the Dark, The Shunned House and Nympha by Director Ivan Zuccon. He’s a talented man who has been creating films since the mid-90’s and seems to really have something in his most recent release entitled Wrath of Crows. We covered this film last year as well, but the big news this year is that it has hit DVD and is available on Amazon as we speak. That means you can buy with relative ease a popular new work of Italian Horror released this past June and is now on Netflix!

Synopsis from MTI Home Video:

In a dirty, squalid narrow jail, prisoners are forced to suffer injustices both from their guards and the ruling officer. Feared by all, however, is a man nobody there has ever seen -The Judge. When new prisoner Princess arrives, seemingly out of nowhere and dressed only in a crow's feathers coat, her radiating and sensual appearance begins to cause not only curiosity but also envy, suspicion and a deep sexual agitation. Soon, Princess reveals her dark and supernatural nature, moving objects through the power of her mind and displaying feats of otherworldly strength.

From our review last Italian Horror Week:

What I adore about Wrath of Crows is that it’s a story of people. Characters. A bunch of folks thrown into a prison each with their own horrifying experience. It’s disjointed, but in that way that a prison would be disjointed. Wrath pulls from a variety of different motifs creating a dark, sinister battle with the authority. Magical and supernatural at times. Ghostly. Surreal at others. The whole thing feels like a dark fairy tale for prisoners in need of a hero who find the demon witch destroyer bitch.

Beyond the very original story line which is virgin fresh, the up close and personal camera angles with tight shots of the actors’ faces, the camera swiveling about them in a panicked frenzy at times, still as silence others… these are unique easily close the gap between viewer and character. I was able to empathize with the prisoners and in that I would become as disturbed as them. It’s a ballsy move. An experiment in how uncomfortable you can make your audience while try to wrap them in the faces of performers who are oozing passion.

Zuccon keeps the effects practical. The contrast high, but the lighting dim. The women scantily clad. The prison misty and the crows flying.

Order a copy and take a chance on a filmmaker who is trying to break the barrier who stands a chance at becoming an international name.


We have had the great pleasure of enjoy Francesco Picone’s work over the last couple of years. He recently launched a successful short zombie film called Anger of the Dead. It’s making the rounds and garnering positive feedback.

I happened to stumble across Picone’s work in a whole other capacity recently. As a judge of the Killer Film Festival I get the chance to review and assess movies from around the world. Picone’s Martyn stumbled across my computer screen which I found absolutely fun, sensual and completely debauched. Well done, sir. I am especially a fan of the artwork for this release.

From Martyn’s Facebook page: A loving couple, a text message, a fierce jealousy ...

Follow along with updates on Martyn’s Facebook page and make sure to like the page.

Starring: Crisula Stafida; Michael Segal

You can enjoy the short film here:

I urge you to watch his other short works as well, Anger of the Dead and Io sono morta. You can follow Anger of the Dead on Facebook.

You can enjoy Anger of the Dead on Igor’s Lab (a truly awesome site in and of itself).

Follow Io sono morta on Facebook as well.

and watch the complete movie here:


While I was hoping to have more time to spend reviewing some of Cerchi’s previous efforts for Italian Horror Week I’d prefer to focus on an endeavor that needs to have attention drawn to it. Cerchi has directed Plankton, Holy Terror, The Mummy Theme Park and Carnage Road (monster movie, slasher movie, demonic possession flick and classic monster pic respectively) and is currently fundraising for his newest project, The House of Evil. It’s currently listed in pre-production and will be the flagship production for Dark Mountain Pictures.

The picture will be a “gore combination of Haunted House movie and a Demonic Slasher film”. It will shoot in Columbia in 3-D!

First here’s a link to the Indie Go Go campaign. They are looking for a shooting budget.

Synopsis from the Indie Go Go page.

What do you do when your dream home becomes an absolute nightmare? Behind every window lies a shadow, behind every door lies a secret. Between reality and the paranormal, deep within the foundations of the most seemingly placid facade lies the intermediate gates to Hell.... Meet Brik and Melanie, a couple in love, out to build a bright future for themselves. Their newly bought villa where their affections should bloom.... now becomes... their tomb....

From day one since they entered the house, the doomed sweethearts notice something terribly wrong; within their diabolical domicile, within each other. Seeking desperate aid from a renowned occultist, they hope to free themselves from the damnation evolving and surrounding, seeking to devour them like a ravenous, bloodlusting beast. How do you escape from something you've already become a part of since the day you moved in? Behind every corner lies a shattering truth, down every staircase exists an evil so shocking your blood will run cold as you witness one of the most shocking films ever to grace the screen.... Horror Master Massimiliano Cerchi (Hellinger, Carnage Road, Holy Terror,Hellbilly,etc..), Scream Queen Melantha Blackthorne and Veteran Horror Nemesis Camden Toy (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Chromeskull: Laid To Rest 2, The Vortex) have designed the definitive Gothic horror masterpiece of 2013 and it turns the tables on every haunted house film you have ever witnessed up til now. You will hear floorboards and walls creak around you. You will feel a demonic presence surround you, and rise from within yourself. You will wake up screaming! This film is best not to be watched... in the dark... because you don't just watch this film... this film... watches you. House of Evil 3D... Going to Hell never became so terrifying as going home.


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