Sci-fi Mixtape ‘Starfish’ Acquired By The Orchard

The sci-fi horror feature Starfish, which stars Halloween and “Runaways” actor Virginia Gardner has been picked up by The Orchard for a raft of territories including the U.S. and UK, Deadline reports out of the American Film Market.

The film, which is directed by A.T. White, follows Gardner as a young woman who struggles with the death of her best friend, while trying to assemble a series of clues left on mixtapes in order to stop a monstrous end to the world as we know it.

Meagan reviewed the film and wrote that it “plays like an eclectic mixtape of cosmic horror.”

Blending drama, high-concept sci-fi and horror with an upbeat indie music score, The Orchard has picked by White’s debut feature for the U.S., Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand. It is planning a theatrical release in the spring ahead of a digital release.

‘Nightmare Cinema’ Anthology Acquired by Cranked Up Films

After premiering at Fantasia, Cranked Up Films has acquired Nightmare Cinema, which features shorts from five genre directors: Mick Garris (Critters 2, Sleepwalkers, “The Shining” miniseries), Joe Dante (Gremlins, The Howling, Piranha, The Hole), David Slade (30 Days of Night), Ryuhei Kitamura (Downrange, Versus) and Alejandro Brugues (Juan of the Dead). Cranked Up Films will release in March 2019 through Synergetic, while Shudder will release on their streaming service thereafter.

Meagan reviewed the film out of the World Premiere and explained that it attempts to revive “Masters of Horror”, only with mixed results.

In the 5-segment anthology horror film…

A series of down-on-their-luck individuals enter the decrepit and spine-chilling Rialto theater, only to have their deepest and darkest fears brought to life on the silver screen by The Projectionist – a mysterious, ghostly figure who holds the nightmarish futures of all who attend his screenings. By the time our patrons realize the truth, escape is no longer an option. For once the ticket is torn, their fate is sealed at Nightmare Cinema.”

Mickey Rourke stars as the ghost-like projectionist who serves as the common link for each of the five 20-minute shorts. Garis directed “Dead” from his own script; Brugues directed and wrote “The Thing in the Woods”; Dante directed “Mirai,” written by Richard Christian Matheson; Kitamura directs “Mashit,” written by Mexican author and filmmaker Sandra Becerril; and Slade directed “The Way to Egress,” based on the short story “Traumatic Descent” by Lawrence C. Connelly, who co-wrote the short film with Slade.

Variety first reported this news.

Alternate ‘Rabid’ Art Gets Fleshed Out with Neon

Bloody Disgusting scored a first look at the grotesque sales art for the remake of David Cronenberg’s 1977 film Rabid, being directed by sisters Jen and Sylvia Soska. Now, an alternate piece of art adds some neon flare and tones down of the nastiness.

Laura Vandervoort (Jigsaw) stars as Rose, a demure seamstress who goes through a radical transformation after electing for plastic surgery following a disfiguring accident.

Ben Hollingsworth also stars as “Brad”, a fashion photographer with Hanneke Talbot (“Playing Dead”) portraying Rose’s best friend Chelsea; and Mackenzie Gray (“Legion”, “Riverdale”) is arrogant fashion designer “Gunter”. Rabid will also feature WWE superstars CM Punk as “Billy” and his wife, New York Times best-selling author AJ Mendez as “Kira”.

ALSO READ: The Master of Body Horror: A David Cronenberg Horror Retrospective

‘Blood From Stone’ Curses Society with Vampires

Indie Rights, a U.S.-based sales agent specializing in VOD rights, has expanded into production. Its first effort is genre-defying vampire film Blood From Stone, written and directed by Geoff Ryan, says Variety.

The film stars Vanja Kapetanovic, a powerhouse Serbian actor and former MMA fighter, and Hungarian actress and model Gabriella Toth.

Toth stars as a woman trying to escape the vampire’s grip, and struggling to cope with the vampire curse in a society where old ways refuse to die.

Indie Rights’ Linda Nelson and Michael Madison are executive producers. Blood From Stone was shot over two months in Nevada and California and wrapped production last month. Indie Rights announced the project at the American Film Market, and plans to debut the completed film at the Cannes Film Market in May next year.

The Deceased Passengers of the ‘Aurora’ Float Ashore In Atmospheric Final Trailer!

Filipino director Yam Laranas (The Echo, The Road, Patient X) is back with his next horrific tale, Aurora, which stars Anne Curtis.

In the supernatural thriller, “The passenger ship Aurora collides into a rocky shore, destroying the livelihood of an entire island – forcing Leana, the owner of a rundown inn, to work for the victim’s families by finding the missing bodies for a bounty; risking her sister’s life and her own from the dead that will come to shore and find shelter in their home.

While we’re unsure when we’ll be able to see the film here in the States, it’s getting a Christmas Day release in Manila.

Here’s an exclusive look at the film’s final trailer.

‘Final Destination 5’ Director Pitting a Killer Whale Against School of Sharks In ‘Alphas’!

The headline may read like a joke, but Voltage Pictures is fully backing a new genre film in which a killer whale will battle a school of sharks. Here’s the kicker, the director is very, very, very good.

Steven Quale, James Cameron’s protégée and second unit director on Avatar and Titanic and whose directing credits include the thrilling Final Destination 5 (pictured below) and Into The Storm, will direct Alphas from a screenplay by Frank Hannah (The Cooler).

ScreenDaily reports that the underwater thriller is an effects-heavy tentpole that takes place in a coastal community terrorized by a school of sharks.

The townspeople decide the only way to deal with the man-eating threat is to unleash a damaged killer whale held for years in solitary confinement after it killed its trainer.

While this sounds like some weird Sharknado spinoff, Quale is a very serious and extremely talented director. This is going to be one to keep our eyes on.

A Masked Killer Slashes Porn Stars In ‘Deep Murder’

Screen Media has acquired North American rights to Deep Murder, the comedy horror directorial debut of Nick Corirossi, Bloody Disgusting learned out of AFM.

We also scored the first image from the film that is set in the alternate reality of a tacky soft-core porn film, where a group of increasingly self-aware stock characters are up against a mysterious killer offing them one by one.

Deep Murder follows a group of porn stars and filmmakers who start getting picked off by a masked killer.

The cast is massive, starring Jerry O’Connell, Christopher McDonald, Chris Redd, Katie Aselton, Quinn Beswick, Josh Margolin, Jessica Parker Kennedy and Stephanie Drake.

The film was written by Quinn Beswick, Josh Margolin, Benjamin Smolen and Nikolai Von Keller and premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival this past September.

Screen Media is planning to release the film theatrically and on demand in the first half of 2019.

Saban Films Acquires ‘The Haunting of Sharon Tate’

Last week, Bloody Disgusting shared a first look at Hilary Duff as the title character in Skyline’s The Haunting of Sharon Tate,  which “reimagines” the last days of Sharon Tate’s life before she was tragically murdered at the age of 26 by Charles Manson’s family of followers. Now, we can report that Saban Films has acquired U.S. distribution rights to the psychological horror film that also stars Jonathan Bennett and Lydia Hearst.

“The film takes a look at the last days leading up to Tate’s murder from her point of view. The plot is inspired by an actual quote from Tate, from an interview published a year before her death, wherein she reveals having dreams about ghosts haunting her house and foreseeing her own death at the hands of a satanic cult.”

Daniel Farrands (The Amityville Murders) writes and directs the film. Lucas Jarach and Eric Brenner produce, with Jim Jacobsen and Jorge Garcia Castro executive producing.

Third Film ‘Skylines’ Goes ‘Beyond Skyline’ and ‘Skyline’!

While I wasn’t a fan of Greg and Colin Strause‘s Skyline, the Liam O’Donnell-directed Beyond Skyline was an absolute blast from start to finish, while also giving heavy homage to classics like Alien and Predator. I became an immediate fan of O’Donnell and the franchise showed some serious potential.

Now, huge news out of the ongoing American Film Market as Bloody Disgusting can report that O’Donnell is returning to write and produce Skylines, the third film in the growing sci-fi franchise. The Strause brothers are also producing with Matthew Chausse.

Beyond Skyline‘s Lindsey Morgan returns as Captain Rose Corley, a human with extraterrestrial superpowers that mean she is the only person powerful enough to vanquish the marauders. When a virus threatens to turn earth-dwelling friendly alien hybrids against humans, Corley assembles an elite team of mercenaries on a mission to the alien world to save humanity.

Beyond Skyline starred Frank Grillo as a tough-as-nails detective who embarks on a relentless pursuit to free his son from a nightmarish alien warship.

Highland Film Group and XYZ are selling the film at AFM.

A Lonely Lin Shaye Offers a ‘Room for Rent’

Te new suspense thriller Room for Rent, starring veteran actress Lin Shaye (the Insidious franchise, Grudge), will be released by genre distributor Uncork’d Entertainment, Bloody Disgusting learned out of AFM.

Shaye stars as a lonely widow who rents out a room in her house and becomes dangerously obsessed with one of her guests.

Room for Rent is directed by Tommy Stovall.

Uncork’d Entertainment’s upcoming releases include Chad Archibald’s The Heretics, released in November, festival favorite Lifechanger in January 2019, and Darren Lynn Bousman’s spooky-thriller St. Agatha in Q1 2019.