Ok, I had literally been living in Upstate New York for maybe a week when I went to the Syracuse Sci-fi and Horror Garage Sale for the first time, almost four years ago. The first table I approach belonged to an artist with a bunch of sweet ass prints. One, in particular, I had to buy; an alternate film poster of Adam Wingard’s The Guest. It was a black and white image on a black field with a hot pink title. Loved it. The artist was Andrew Peters aka Goon Reviews on Instagram and @totally_terror on Twitter. Since then I’ve followed his illustration work and the launching of his own art banner, Totally Terror Design. Great stuff!
For some time he was posting stills and then a teaser trailer for a short film he wrote and directed called Knifemare. I know what you’re thinking; ‘That’s a great title, how has no one used that before now?’ As a big Argento fan, the heavy use of unnatural blues and reds in the lighting had me very interested, but what I had missed was Knifemare becoming available in its full 25+ minute glory on Youtube!
The film is about four friends going to stay at a haunted bed and breakfast. On the way, they nearly hit a shadowy man who steps out into the road from the darkness. The driver, Carlo, manages to swerve around the man and they arrive at the house, where they are greeted by the innkeeper, a weird old coot who recounts the tragic events of the previous owners and their bloody ends. The innkeeper isn’t the only resident at this bed and breakfast though. There’s also a gypsy lady/fortune teller, who drags the four friends into a seance which triggers visions of doom and evil that has followed the friends to the house. From there it’s sex and violence, knife action and guts, possession and glowing eyes.
Peters does a lot with a little. He crams in several tropes from Italian horror films, like City of the Living Dead for example, and gives the film a very low budget 80s shocker vibe. As I mentioned above, the lighting is a nod to Dario Argento (and Mario Bava), but it’s cranked up to 11, creating a weird comic-book-come-to-life quality to the majority of the run time. I don’t know how this will play with a younger crowd that wouldn’t get the references (like the kill that pays homage to one of House By the Cemetery’s most iconic deaths), but if you grew up in the 80s and 90s burning through every scary movie in your local shop’s horror section, sampling a wild mix bag of regional/shot-on-video madness, Knifemare is going to take you back!
Knifemare stars Jessica Fredell, Steve Handzel, Leanne Seda, Matt Sampere, L Thomas Minion, Greta Volkova, and David Royal. The film also features a killer synth score by Skelazr, with two other film titles on their resume; Anna and We Are Familiar, both short films from last year. Check out Kinfemare below…