Popcorn Frights Film Fest Announces World Premieres Of 'Itsy Bitsy', 'Artik', And 'The Gravedigger'

July 2, 2019

Popcorn Frights Film Festival returns bigger, bolder, bloodier with its second wave of programming that promises more thrills than ever before. In its fifth year, Popcorn Frights will premiere 73 films (including 10 world premieres), embracing 16 countries, and bringing together established filmmakers and emerging new voices to its annual celebration of all thing’s horror from August 8th-16th.

 

From the press release:

 

"As the Southeast United States largest gathering of genre films and fans, Popcorn Frights is bringing the latest and greatest in genre cinema from around the globe to the Sunshine State. First up is the world premiere of the crazy creature feature Itsy Bitsy about a terrifying killer spider born of ancient darkness and pure instinct. Popcorn Frights will also be presenting the world premiere of Tom Botchii’s Artik, a gut-twisting thriller centering on a comic book obsessed serial killer.

 

Setting an unprecedented record at this year’s Festival, more than a dozen films directed by women will be championed at Popcorn Frights. Featured as part of this spotlight is the world premiere of South Florida-based filmmaker Erynn Dalton’s directorial debut The Gravedigger. This beautifully wrought adaptation of the acclaimed play uses a classic horror story's legacy as the thread for an absorbingly original tale about a tragic “Monster.”

 

The horror genre is the perfect delivery system for monstrous tales that illuminate and explore real-life social, economic, and political horrors. Making powerful observations about the world we live in through the metaphors of monsters is the US Premiere of the jaw-dropping zombie thriller Infeccion, a ferocious new nightmare that turns the zombie canon into a broad streak of social satire that captures the turbulent air befalling Venezuela today.

 

Other Festival highlights include the East Coast Premieres of Keola Racela’s take-no-prisoners horror sex comedy Porno and Brandon Christensen’s haunting and extremely atmospheric Z; the Southeast US Premieres of the edge-of-seater doomsday epic The Unthinkable and Travis Stevens’ skin-crawling and utterly warped haunted-house opus Girl on the Third Floor starring C.M. Punk; the North American Premiere of the tingly and creepy ghost story Queen of Spades:The Looking Glass; and Blumhouse Production’s new serial killer saga Bloodline starring Seann William Scott.

 

Popcorn Frights prides itself on providing a fertile ground for new and emerging filmmakers, and this year will present 50 short films from 11 countries. New this year, Popcorn Frights has partnered with the horror brand ALTER, which will provide selected short films premiering at the Festival eligibility for review for distribution on the platform.

 

Continuing Popcorn Frights’ vital commitment to celebrating the cream of the homegrown crop, it presents its “Homegrown: 100% Pure Fresh Squeezed Florida Horror” program that is dedicated to renewing and reinvigorating the audience's engagement with Florida’s local filmmakers and homegrown talent. This platform is designed to be a springboard for new filmmakers from Florida and a space that helps forge a new direction for Florida’s genre scene by further cultivating and nurturing its growing film community. Films featured in the “Homegrown” program include the world premieres of A Doll for EdgarAlways ListeningThe Final Girl Returns, and the Road Warrior-inspired The Limits; as well as the US Premiere of Jon Rhoads & Michael Marrero’s (Popcorn Frights 2017 Best Short award-winners) new horror-thriller Call for A Good Time.

 

Rounding out the program are FeverTerror Road, and the Miami based Borscht Corp productions Spirit No. 1 and Valerio's Day Out."

FESTIVAL LINEUP (SECOND WAVE)

ALIVE (U.S.)

Directed by Rob Grant

A severely injured man and woman awake in an abandoned sanitarium only to discover that a sadistic caretaker holds the keys to their freedom and the horrific answers as to their real identity. Cast: Thomas Cocquerel, Camille Stopps, Angus Macfadyen (Florida Premiere)

 

ARTIK (U.S.)

Directed by Tom Botchii

A comic book obsessed serial killer teaches his son how to get away with a series of brutal murders until the boy befriends a mysterious man who threatens to expose the families horrifying secret. Cast: Chase Williamson, Jerry G. Angelo, Lauren Ashley Carter (World Premiere)

 

BLOODLINE (U.S.)

Directed by Henry Jacobson

Evan (Seann William Scott) values family above all else, and anyone who gets between him, his wife, and newborn son learns that the hard way. Cast: Seann William Scott, Mariela Garriga, Dale Dickey (South Florida Premiere)

 

GIRL ON THE THIRD FLOOR (U.S.)

Directed by Travis Stevens

A father tries to renovate a rundown mansion with a sordid history for his growing family, only to learn that the house has other plans. Cast: C.M. Punk, Trieste Kelly Dunn, Sarah Brooks (Southeast US Premiere)

 

THE GRAVEDIGGER (U.S.)

Directed by Erynn Dalton

Set in the late 1700s, in one of Bavaria’s forgotten cemeteries, a lone gravedigger discovers a hideously scarred man hiding in a fresh grave. What the gravedigger doesn’t know is that the man is none other than the monster created by a mad doctor. Cast: Paul Homza, Gisbert Heuer, Arlette Del Toro, Tyler Charles Kane (World Premiere)

 

INFECCIÓN (Venezuela, Mexico)

Directed by Flavio Pedota

A father races against time to protect his son from a deadly zombie epidemic in Venezuela that has toppled the government and put society on the brink of total collapse. Cast: Rubén Guevara, Leonidas Urbina, Magdiel González (US Premiere)

 

ITSY BITSY (U.S.)

Directed by Micah Gallo

Based on the centuries old poem, a family moves into a secluded mansion where they soon find themselves being targeted by an entity taking the form of a giant spider. Cast: Bruce Davison, Denise Crosby, Elizabeth Roberts (World Premiere)

 

QUEEN OF SPADES: THE LOOKING GLASS (Russia)

Directed by Aleksandr Domogarov

The sinister ghost of the Queen of Spades is again thirsty for blood, and this time its victims are the pupils of the boarding school, located in an old mansion, shrouded in gloomy rumors. Cast: Angelina Strechina, Daniil Izotov, Yan Alabushev (North American Premiere)

 

PORNO (U.S.)

Directed by Keola Racela

When five teen employees at the local movie theater in a small Christian town discover a mysterious old film hidden in its basement, they unleash an alluring succubus who gives them a sex education...written in blood. Cast: Evan Daves, Jillian Mueller, Katelyn Pearce (East Coast Premiere)

 

THE UNTHINKABLE (Sweden)

Directed by Crazy Pictures

Sweden is under attack by an unknown force, and in the midst of the chaos, a young man tries to reunite with his girlfriend and family. Cast: Christoffer Nordenrot, Lisa Henni, Jesper Barkselius (Southeast US Premiere)

 

Z (U.S.)
Director: Brandon Christensen

A family find themselves terrorized by their eight-year-old son's imaginary friend. Cast: Keegan Connor Tracy, Jett Klyne, Sean Rogerson (East Coast Premiere)

HOMEGROWN: 100% PURE FRESH SQUEEZED FLORIDA HORROR

A DOLL FOR EDGAR (U.S.)
Directed by Anthony Dones

Reeling from the recent death of his mother, a young boy's fate is left in the hands of an abusive stepfather. Both will soon learn that a mother's love is stronger than the grave. (World Premiere)

 

ALWAYS LISTENING (U.S.)
Directed by Randy Gonzalez
Our devices are constantly listening to us. What if something even worse could do the same? (World Premiere)

 

CALL FOR A GOOD TIME (U.S.)
Directed by Jon Rhoads & Michael Marrero
One man learns the hard way why you never call a phone number written on the bathroom wall. (US Premiere)

 

FEVER (U.S.)
Directed by Brian Rosenthal
A dark supernatural presence stalks a sick little girl and her skeptical mother. (South Florida Premiere)

 

THE FINAL GIRL RETURNS (U.S.)
Directed by Alexandria Perez
A driver emerges from a massacre unscathed and finds himself trapped in an endless cycle of saving the final girls. Soon he learns that one mustn’t fight the rules of horror as the past he’s been driving from catches up to him. (World Premiere)

 

THE LIMITS (U.S.)
Directed by Ulbrecht Tomas
In the aftermath of an intergalactic war, a lone road warrior must transcend time, death, and memory in order to reach a mysterious woman named Cybil. (World Premiere)

 

SPIRIT NO. 1 (U.S.)
Directed by Brett Potter
There’s a ghost in this hallway. Can you see him? (Florida Premiere)

 

TERROR ROAD (U.S.)
Directed by Brian Shephard
On a dark, eerie night, a young woman makes a wrong turn through a long stretch of deserted woods. But as the night goes on, she’ll soon learn you’re never truly alone on Terror Road. (East Coast Premiere)

 

VALERIO’S DAY OUT (U.S.)
Directed by Michael Arcos
A young jaguar goes on a killing spree when he escapes from his enclosure at a zoo. After he’s caught, sedated, and relocated he makes a video diary for his significant other. Their name is Lula. (Florida Premiere)

 

Festival All-Access Badges are on sale for a limited time for $99 per person and $169 for couples, and single screening tickets are available for $12. To purchase badges or tickets and view the Festival schedule, visit www.popcornfrights.com.

 

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