There you have it, the first ever official look at Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich, the latest entry in the Puppet Master franchise that will have its World Premiere at next month’s Overlook Film Festival in New Orleans, Louisiana!
Directed by Sonny Laguna and Tommy Wiklund, the “uproarious horror comedy” starring Thomas Lennon, Udo Kier, Barbara Crampton, Nelson Franklin, and Charlene Yi pays homage to the Full Moon features
In the film, “During a road trip to a convention for the 30th Anniversary of the infamous Toulon Murders, a comic book nerd, his new girlfriend and his best friend come face to face with a set of sadistic Nazi puppets out for blood. A reimagining of the Charles Band classic.”
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Here’s the full breakdown of what to expect from the festival that opens with Unfriended: Dark Web (United States, 2018), from Blumhouse Productions and Bazelevs Productions, directed by Stephen Susco, and starring Colin Woodell, Betty Gabriel, Rebecca Rittenhouse, Andrew Lees, Connor del Rio, Stephanie Nogueras, and Savira Windyani.
The Overlook Film Festival will screen A24’s highly anticipated Hereditary (United States, 2018) as its closing feature presentation, directed by Ari Aster, and starring Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro, Ann Dowd, and Gabriel Byrne.
The Centerpiece of the 2018 edition of The Overlook Film Festival is St. Agatha, directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, which will hold its world premiere in New Orleans at the festival.
The festival’s Visionary Award will be presented to modern genre favorite Leigh Whannell, best known for writing the first three films in the Saw franchise, as well as Insidious, and Insidious: Chapter 2, and directing Insidious: Chapter 3. Whannell is an Australian screenwriter, producer, director, and actor who will celebrate his latest directorial effort at the festival, Upgrade. The Visionary Award was established to honor a contemporary horror figure or company elevating the genre, while fostering the community by providing opportunities for new talent to thrive.
In addition to the films and special guests, the Overlook Film Festival will be generously packed with live presentations. The festival’s virtual reality program will feature the world premiere of noted experience creator Jon Braver’s Delusion: Lies Within, a fully immersive, 360 degree episodic narrative from Skybound Entertainment.
Other experiences will run the gamut from live podcasts and storytelling shows, to immersive attractions for an audience of one – including the world premiere of a new show from immersive theater troupe BLACKOUT – and The Overlook Immersive Game, a new alternate reality game that will span the entirety of the festival created by this year’s experience designers Scott Gillies and Nick Tierce, whose credits include a range of interactive projects for companies that include Electronic Arts, Disney, Microsoft, Niantic Labs and Google.
Opening, Centerpiece, and Closing Night Presentations
Opening Night Film:
Unfriended: Dark Web
Director: Stephen Susco
Cast: Colin Woodell, Betty Gabriel, Rebecca Rittenhouse, Andrew Lees, Connor del Rio, Stephanie Nogueras, Savira Windyani
United States, 2018
Preparing for his weekly Skype game night with his friends, a cyber café attendant borrows a laptop from the lost and found, only to find that the previous owner will stop at nothing to retrieve it. A sequel in name only, UNFRIENDED: DARK WEB borrows key cinematic elements from the original UNFRIENDED while telling its own edge-of-your-seat sadistic tale full of shocks and surprises that will make you think twice about who’s watching when you log on.
Director: Darren Lynn Bousman
Cast: Sabrina Kern, Carolyn Hennesy, Courtney Halverson
United States, 2018
Horror film impresario Darren Lynn Bousman, director of SAW II, III and IV, modern experiments REPO! A GENETIC OPERA and THE DEVIL’S CARNIVAL, not to mention the groundbreaking ongoing immersive property The Tension Experience, brings to life his latest vision, a period piece concerning a troubled woman running from her past who finds herself kept hostage by a coven of vicious nuns.
Closing Night Film:
Director: Ari Aster
Cast: Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro, Ann Dowd, Gabriel Byrne
United States, 2018
When their reclusive grandmother passes away, the Graham family is slowly taken hold by a cursed terror, one that won’t let go. A cavalcade of gifted performers led by Toni Collete star in filmmaker Ari Aster’s astounding debut feature, which has deservedly become one of the most anticipated horror films of the year since it’s electrifying debut at the Sundance Film Festival.
Feature Film Presentations
Director: Jonathan Watson
Cast: Danny McBride, Rosemarie DeWitt, Luke Wilson, Lolli Sorenson, Elizabeth Gillies, Kaitlin Olson
United States, 2017
This wickedly inventive comedic thriller that sharply utilizes the true life economic turmoil of the housing crisis as its backdrop, casts Danny Mcbride as an unhinged homeowner who attempts to take out his frustrations on a scrupulous relator (Rosemarie Dewitt) with a rampage that grows increasingly murderous.
Director: Michael Pearce
Cast: Jessie Buckley, Johnny Flynn, Trystan Gravelle,Geraldine James
United Kingdom, 2017
In this brutal, sexy, critically acclaimed debut thriller from UK director Michael Pearce, a disturbed woman finds herself caught between her oppressive family’s demands and her animalistic attraction to an alluring stranger who’s arrival in her life is suspiciously timed with a series of vicious murders in their isolated community.
Director: Owen Egerton
Cast: Robbie Kay, Jacob Batalon, Seychelle Gabriel, Tate Donovan, Barbara Dunkelman, Nick Rutherford, Zachary Levi
United States, 2018
When the most exciting horror festival in the country turns the tables on its zealous fan base by trapping them on the grounds and murdering them en masse, a group of teens armed with the knowledge of a thousand horror movies must fight their way through the bloodbath in this hilarious send-up of horror culture.
Blue My Mind
Director: Lisa Brühlmann
Cast: Luna Wedler, Zoë Pastelle Holthuizen
During the process of moving cities with her parents and trying to start over with a new group of friends, 15-year-old Mia begins to discover unexpected changes to her body that she dare not speak about to anyone. In spite of her radical attempts to halt the process, Mia is forced to face the horrifying reality of who she truly is. Equal parts tender, surreal, and grotesque, actor-turned-director Lisa Brühlmann’s first feature is a worth addition to the adolescent body horror canon.
Director: Véréna Paravel & Lucien Castaing-Taylor
Cast: Issei Sagawa, Jun Sagawa
Sensory ethnography documentarians Lucien Castaign-Taylor and Véréna Paravel turn their cameras on notorious Japanese cannibal cum manga author, pornography director, and sushi critic, Issei Sagawa. In an unprecedented and shocking interview, Sagawa reveals gruesome details about his life and crimes, as well as a peak into his fraught relationship with his mysterious brother.
Don’t Leave Home
Director: Michael Tully
Cast: Anna Margaret Hollyman, Lalor Roddy, Helena Bereen, David McSavage, Karrie Cox
An American artist accepts a strange invitation to a secluded Irish manor to construct an original sculpture for a priestly painter whose work has been shrouded in a sinister urban legend involving the disappearance of an 8-year-old girl in this creepy, offbeat cinematic discovery from indie stalwart Michael Tully (SEPTIEN).
Director: Ryuhei Kitamura
Cast: Kelly Connaire, Stephanie Pearson, Alexa Yeames, Jason Tobias
United States, 2017
Macabre mastermind Ryuhei Kitamura (VERSUS, MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN) comes crashing back with a frenetic new film of murder and mayhem. Stranded by the side of the road in the middle of nowhere from a tire blowout, a group of carpoolers become suddenly besieged by flying bullets from an unseen shooter with incredible precision and a savage will.
Director: Hans Stjernswärd
Cast: Nora Yessayan, Alec Gaylord, Ken Volok, Rob Tisdale
United States, 2018
The classic horror tale of a young couple who takes a wrong turn and stumbles into a small town full of people with nefarious intentions is turned on its head in this disturbing manifesto about food production. Seeping with eerie atmosphere, this unnerving first feature from newcomer Hans Stjernswärd finds as much fear in its silences as it does in its sickening, insidious images.
Director: Jeremy Dyson & Andy Nyman
Cast: Martin Freeman, Alex Lawther, Andy Nyman, Paul Whitehouse
United Kingdom, 2017
After stumbling across a long-lost folder of material from his childhood hero, Goodman, a TV investigator known for debumking psychic hoaxes, digs deep into three cases of ghoulish hauntings. Determined to find rational explanations, Goodman quickly realizes he’s in over his head. Featuring Martin Freeman, this spine-tingling anthology, adapted from the hit stage play, tells enough tales to keep you up for nights to come.
Director: Juliana Rojas & Marco Dutra
Cast: Isabél Zuaa, Marjorie Estiano, Miguel Lobo
A surprising, imaginative and engaging twist on classic genre stories told with a sophisticated cinematic technique, GOOD MANNERS begins unassumingly with a near destitute nurse becoming the caretaker for a wealthy, isolated pregnant woman exhibiting strange behavior. But soon her habits turn into a sleeping hunger that changes both of their lives forever.
Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich
Director: Sonny Laguna & Tommy Wiklund
Cast: Thomas Lennon, Michael Paré, Barbara Crampton, Udo Kier
United Kingdom / United States, 2018
During a roadtrip to a convention for the 30th Anniversary of the infamous Toulon Murders, a comic book nerd, his new girlfriend and his best friend come face to face with a set of sadistic nazi puppets out for blood. A reimagining of the Charles Band classic, this uproarious horror comedy starring Thomas Lennon, Udo Kier, Barbara Crampton, Nelson Franklin, and Charlene Yi pays homage to the Full Moon features of the late 80s, early 90s.
Director: Jenn Wexler
Cast: Chloë Levine, Granit Lahu, Jeremy Pope, Bubba Weiler, Amanda Grace Benitez, Jeremy Holm, Larry Fessenden
United States, 2018
A band of punks on the run from trouble with the local law hide out in the woods, only to stumble onto the radar of a deranged park ranger with a malicious approach to justice and a mysterious connection to a member of their group. Longtime indie horror producer Jenn Wexler makes her directorial debut with this manic, punk-rock take on the traditional slasher flick.
Director: Coralie Fargeat
Cast: Matilda Lutz, Kevin Janssens, Vincent Colombe, Guillaume Bouchede, Jean-Louis Tribes
First time filmmaker Coralie Fargeat subverts expectations of the exploitative rape-revenge film tropes from the grind house age for this explosively shocking assault on misogynistic culture that stunned unsuspecting audiences at both the Toronto and Sundance film festivals. Don’t miss one of the most intense debuts of the year.
Director: Joko Anwar
Cast: Tara Basro, Bront Palarae, Dimas Aditya, Endy Arfian, Nasar Annuz, Ayu Laksmi, Egy Fedly
When Mawarni, a famous Indonesian singer, dies of a mysterious illness, her husband and four children are left behind to pick up the pieces, only to discover that they are being haunted by a pack of rabid spirits headed by Mawarni herself. Technically billed as a remake of the 1982 Indonesian remake of Don Coscarelli’s PHANTASM, celebrated director Joko Anwar’s SATAN’S SLAVES is its own chilling throwback to 70s supernatural thrillers, packed to the brim with jump scares and iconic imagery.
Sex Madness Revealed
Director: Tim Kirk
Cast: Patton Oswalt, Rob Zabrecky
United States, 2018
Notorious comedian Patton Oswalt and renowned magician Rob Zabrecky star in Tim Kirk’s (DIRECTOR’S COMMENTARY) latest experiment in how to tell tales of terror. Taking the form of an audio commentary that plays out over the little known 1938 STD propaganda film SEX MADNESS, the voice of a persnickety film blogger interviews the descendant of the original motion picture’s director who harbors a nefarious secret.
Tigers Are Not Afraid
Director: Issa López
Cast: Paola Lara, Juan Ramón López, Ianis Guerrero, Rodrigo Cortés, Hanssel Casillas
In one of the most imaginative (and award winning!) features traveling the genre festival circuit in recent months, a young girl with a missing mother joins a band of street misfits in effort to survive amidst rampant cartel violence in modern-day Mexico City. Populated with fairy tale imagery, TIGERS is at turns harshly real and terrifyingly surreal, reminiscent of films like THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE and CITY OF GOD as it details a tragic and engulfing nightmare.
Director: Leigh Whannell
Cast: Logan Marshall-Green, Betty Gabriel, Harrison Gilbertson, Benedict Hardie
Fan favorite Leigh Whannell, whose work on the SAW and INSIDIOUS franchises have made him a modern genre icon, thrills and delights with this gory and action-packed foray into a science-fiction dystopia. An experimental procedure infuses a sentient computer chip into the body and mind of paralyzed Grey Trace (Logan Marshall-Green), fueling a spiraling mission for vengeance that leads to a terrifying endgame.
Director: Soichi Umezawa
Cast: Kyoka Takeda, Momoka Sugimoto, Ena Fujita, Yuyu Makihara, Asuka Kurosawa
A group of unwitting art school students find themselves in a brutal showdown against a pack of evil of modeling clay in this campy, inventive, practical effects extravaganza from Japanese FX artist turned filmmaker Soichi Umezawa.
What Keeps You Alive
Director: Colin Minihan
Cast: Hannah Emily Anderson, Brittany Allen, Martha Macisaac, Joey Klein, Charlotte Lindsay Marron
For their first wedding anniversary, Jackie and Jules retreat to a cozy cabin near a beautiful lake. The sudden appearance of Jackie’s childhood best friend sets off a chain of unlikely events that turn a quiet vacation into the deadliest game of cat and mouse in Overlook Alum Colin Minihan’s (writer of STILL/BORN) claustrophobic survivalist thriller.
Wolfman’s Got Nards: A Documentary
Director: André Gower
Cast: Fred Dekker, Shane Black, Seth Green, Adam F. Goldberg, Ryan Lambert, Ashley Bank, Adam Green, Joe Lynch, Chuck Russell, Heather Langenkamp
United States, 2018
August 14, 1987 saw the release of what has become one of the strangest, scariest and most iconic kids film to ever grace the silver screen – THE MONSTER SQUAD. In this endearing documentary, director Andre Gower takes us not only behind the scenes on the production, but also into the heart of the fandom surrounding the movie and the magic that made it such a defining cinematic experience for so many in the genre community.
Virtual Reality Presentations
Campfire Creepers: The Skull of Sam
Director: Alexandre Aja
From master of horror Alexandre Aja, the director of films such as The Hills Have Eyes, Piranha, and Horns, comes an original anthology series that brings classic campfire stories to life in stunning Virtual Reality. Produced by Oculus and Future Lighthouse and distributed by Dark Corner, Campfire Creepers invites viewers to join the fire circle at a summer camp called Camp Coyote as a group of kids take turns telling spooky tales. Inspired by cult classics like Creepshow and Tales from the Crypt, every episode of Campfire Creepers is a wild ride that will have you laughing and screaming in equal measure.
Delusion: Lies Within
Director: Jon Braver
Set in the 1940’s American South, beloved author Elena Fitzgerald goes missing before releasing the final novel in her epic dark fantasy that has captivated fans Daniel and Virginia. As many believe her to be dead, Daniel and Virginia must leave their grim reality behind to save Fitzgerald from her own literary nightmare. The VR series from Skybound Entertainment is a fully immersive, 360 degrees episodic story. Delusion is based off Jon Braver’s 2014 immersive theatrical performance in Los Angeles.
Masters Of The Sun
This interactive comic book series from Oculus Studios, born from the mind of will.i.am (Black Eyed Peas), is a retro futuristic B-boy zombie thriller about a hip-hop group from East LA that must battle an ancient god who is turning black drug dealers and gangsters into zombies. This epic journey, spanning 13 episodes, explores gang culture, hip-hop origins, and cloaked conspiracy theories—from ancient Egypt to the streets of LA. Starring Queen Latifah, Rakim, Jamie Foxx, Ice-T, and KRS-One.
Director: Guy Shelmerdine
It’s time to drift off to dreamland…but first your mom is going to read you a short bedtime story. Take a journey into your childhood nightmares with Dark Corner’s sense-stunning immersive experience. Produced by Dark Corner and MPC VR.
Wolves In The Walls (Chapter 1)
Director: Pete Billington
Eight-year-old Lucy suspects that wolves live in the walls of her family’s home. She has no one to believe her … but you. Forging a groundbreaking blend of film, theatre, audience agency, and sleight of hand, this exquisitely crafted animated experience, adapted from material by Neil Gaiman and choreographed by immersive theater company Third Rail Projects, casts you as an active performer in a narrative where you interact, have a relationship with, and go on a quest with the central character in ways that leave your mark on the experience.