Wow, October and November flew by in what seemed like the blink of an eye. We’re going to try to get new interviews and movie spotlights up as we head into the new year.

A couple months ago we had the pleasure of connecting with Mara Lesemann, the writer and producer of the independent film Detours. She shares with us details on how the film came together, the awesome cast, and the real road trip that they needed to take to bring the movie together.

Who?
I wrote and produced the road trip comedy Detours, which is my 2nd feature. Robert McCaskill directed, and Christopher Eadicicco was our director of photography. I knew from the beginning that I wanted Tara Westwood (The Grudge, Triggered) to play the daughter who’s moving to Florida and convinces her depressed, widowed dad (Carlo Fiorletta, Available) to drive south from NJ with her. Tara had a major supporting role in my first feature, Surviving Family, and I loved working with her. She traveled with me on several festival road trips for that movie, and after brainstorming with her for days, I asked her to also come on board as a producer. That turned out to be the smartest thing I could have done. Tara and our casting director, Caroline Sinclair, put together an amazing cast for a low-budget indie movie. It includes the amazing Richard Kind; the late great Paul Sorvino; multiple TONY award winner Michael Cerveris; Deirdre O’Connell, who won the 2022 TONY for Best Actress; NY stage and indie film standout Debargo Sanyal; and Vanessa Aspilla (Only Murders in the Building). We worked with indie musicians to create a fantastic soundtrack, including the closing credits song “Down the Road” by country music singer/songwriter Lane Turner.

What?
Detours travels from New York City to Saint Petersburg, Florida with Jennifer Giraldi, a NY-based actress whose marriage has just ended and who has vowed to build a new life and a new career in Florida. It’s been two years since her mom- a successful writer- died suddenly and her dad is struggling with depression. Dan still has his late wife’s ashes in a coffee can in his kitchen because he can’t decide what to do with them. The father and daughter re-discover their shared joys while they examine their very different perspectives on the late mom (played in flashbacks by Kim Director). They both also dip their toes back into the dating pool, with humorous but sometimes contentious results.

Where?
We shot all the indoor scenes in New York City and New Jersey. Then we hit the road with a skeleton crew and shot the actual drive that Jennifer and Dan take in the movie. We went south on Route 95, cut east over to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, then continued south to Saint Petersburg, Florida. Our camera team did an amazing job. Most of the movie was shot on an Arri Alexa, but the road trip incorporates some scenes shot with a Go Pro from a moving car.

When?
Detours takes place in the present, except for a few flashbacks to Jennifer’s childhood. We shot the movie in late summer and early fall of 2014, and it premiered at the 2016 Sunscreen Film Festival in Saint Petersburg, Florida. Introducing our movie in the city where the action hits a climax- a scene shot on a boat on Tampa Bay with help from Eckerd College’s student Search & Rescue Team- was great. I’ve worked with FilmHub to get the movie out to a range of streaming services, and that’s been a very good experience.

Why?
I love telling stories about families- the good, the bad, and the lies. My first feature was about alcoholism, mental illness, and suicide, so I wanted to look at the lighter but still very imperfect things that we all go through. Having full control of my projects is a joy, even though that comes with a (very!) tight budget.

How?
Detours is currently streaming on Tubi, The Roku Channel, Plex, and Freevee.

Watch Online for Free:

Learn more about the movie on its official website!

Every year we celebrate Halloween by watching non stop horror movies! It is the perfect time of the year to give indie horror flicks & thrillers a chance! Here are 8 indie flicks to check out this season!

The Lost
Director: Alex Klaus
Starring: Hollie Lewis, Rorie Stockton, and Rob Carr.
Description: In this urban ghost story, a young mother meets an insecure man and a struggling artist, searching for answers after the accidental death of her son. (Source: Tubi)
Click here to watch on Tubi TV

M.O.M. (Mothers Of Monsters)
Director: Tucia Lyman
Starring: Melinda Page Hamilton, Bailey Edwards, and Ed Asner.
Description: A distraught mother suspects her teenage son is a psychopath who may shoot up his high school, but when he outsmarts the system, she is forced to take matters into her own hands. (Source: Amazon)
Click here to watch on Amazon Prime

As The Village Sleeps
Director: Terry Spears
Starring: Shiah Luna, Victoria Strange, and Eleonora Saravalle.
Description: A young woman hosts a birthday weekend at her family home, but an unusual card game quickly escalates into a vicious battle for survival. (Source: Tubi)
Click here to watch on Tubi TV

Bugs: A Trilogy
Director: Simone Kisiel
Starring: Alexandra Grunberg, Marissa Carpio, and Kobi Frumer.
Description: Three women, three stories; endless real-life reasons to scream. These bugs, while mostly metaphorical things of nightmares, are sometimes under the bed… and already inside you. (Source: Tubi)
Click here to watch on Tubi TV

Chicago Rot
Director: Dorian Weinzimmer
Starring: Shira Barber, David Cartwright, and Brant McCrea.
Description: After a wrongfully imprisoned man is released, he madly searches Chicago’s back alleys for the man who murdered his mother and robbed him of his soul. (Source: Tubi)
Click here to watch on The Roku Channel

Introspectum Motel
Director: Marcel Dorian
Starring: Laura Wilson, Michelle Jane Wright, and Joseph Steyne.
Description: Two strangers head down a dark and twisted path inside themselves and confront their choices as they begin to uncover the connection between them. (Source: Tubi)
Click here to watch on Tubi TV

Guilt
Director: William Chaffin
Starring: Anna Hoots, Jared Noble, and Liz Fletcher.
Description: A struggling schizophrenic must figure out how her loved ones are dying. Is it her battle with mental illness or is she haunted by something more? (Source: Tubi)
Click here to watch on Tubi TV

Extramundane
Director: Joshua Sowden
Starring: Brant Rotnem, Craig Gells, and Brock Jones.
Description: Trevor, a new property manager, tries to find his way when he takes over an apartment building with a dark past during a pandemic. (Source: Tubi)
Click here to watch on Tubi TV

What indie films are on your Halloween watch list? Let us know in the comments!

Posted on October 27th, 2022 by ThePit | Leave a Comment
Filed Under Entertainment, Featured

Hello everyone! We are back from our summer break with a look at a fantastic indie drama, Six Years Gone, by writer/director Warren Dudley. Dudley previously directed the indie sports comedy Prankz, and horror flicks Cage and The Cutting Room.

Who?
I am a filmmaker and screenwriter from Brighton in the UK. Six Years Gone is the fourth low budget movie I have written and directed. Another project, The Bromley Boys (with a more sensible budget!), I was very proud to have written the screenplay for. I have produced this movie with my wonderful executive producer David Fearn.

The cast and crew, led by the amazing Veronica Jean Trickettt, were largely found within a few miles of my home town. Six Years Gone has a truly low budget ethos. It’s been amazing to see the film, and Vee in particular, garnering some very kind reviews and continued festival success. The cast and crew worked so hard and I hope seeing all the love makes it feel worth it.

The film is being distributed by Indie Rights.

What?
Six Years Gone follows single mum Carrie Dawson who is living a very comfortable life with her eleven-year-old daughter Lolly… until the worst happens and Lolly does not return from school.

We then join Carrie six years later to find that her life has fallen apart. She has been left to look after her mum and now works as a cleaner at a local social club – her past life a distant memory. However as some clues come to light about the abduction, a desperate search for answers, and eventually her daughter, begins.

We aimed for Six Years Gone to be a gritty and powerful look at tragedy, love, and desperation, that will touch a nerve with all parents. Now it’s up to audiences to decide if we succeeded!

Where?
We made the film in and around Brighton, on the UK’s south coast. The film is set in the same area. We were very fortunate to find four or five amazing (and importantly, free!) locations.

We shot the movie in eleven days – not something I would recommend! This was largely made possible by the fact we used long single takes on many scenes. This means we only had to do one camera, sound and lighting set up on location for what could often end up being 4 minutes of screen time.

Saying all that, my amazing DOP Richard Osborne would, I’m sure, have liked a few more days.

When?
The film was written, produced, cast, crewed, shot and edited during 2021. I started with a blank word doc on January 1st and we’d finished by Christmas.

We then set about submitting the film to festivals, and have done better than we could have imagined. We have had wins in London (where we World Premiered), New York, Paris and many more. It’s been an incredible ride. After the festival run ended we released the film in May 2022.

Why?
I’ve spent the last ten years flitting between football-based comedy and the horror/thriller genres. It’s been a privilege to work on these projects with some brilliant, talented people. However, it’s been gnawing away at me that I have yet to make anything ‘real’. Something gritty and heartfelt that packs an emotional punch.

The idea for Six Years Gone had been floating around my head for a while. As the parent of a now thirteen-year-old daughter, news reports about missing children have always left me with chills, and I felt those feelings could be mined for a script. About two years ago I saw a Belgian film called The Unknown Girl, and it immediately made me think that a similar way of shooting could bring my new idea to life. I loved the ultra-real performances and greyness of the film. I aimed to get close to this with Six Years Gone.

How?
Six Years Gone can be seen on the streaming platforms Tubi TV, Amazon Prime, YouTube Movies and Google Play.

Watch Online for Free:

Purchase Online:

Stay up to date with all of the ways to watch on the official website.

Yesterday I asked indie filmmakers on Twitter to share their movies that are currently available to watch on Tubi TV for free! As I hoped for, we got a really diverse mix of independent films that really showcases that there is something available for everyone. Here are 5 indie flicks that you can watch tonight…

The Inevitable Death of the Crab
Director: Ahcitz Azcona
Starring: Costanza Andrade, Ahcitz Azcona, Ricardo Niño, Jesus Hernandez, and Yuriria Munguia. 
Description: An anonymous death threat to entrepreneur Carlos against his family in Mexico leads to the discovery of a high-level political corruption racket. (Source: Tubi)
Click here to watch on Tubi TV

Wheat Soup
Directors: Gerald Saul & Brian Stockton
Starring: Shaf Hussein, Sandi Happy, Gord Wilson, Leonard Cyrman, Mike Benny, and Bob Campbell.

Description: In a post-apocalyptic future, a wheat farmer embarks upon a journey and encounters a variety of unusual characters, while traveling across the land.
 (Source: Tubi)
Click here to watch on Tubi TV

Noah’s Shark
Director: Mark Polonia
Starring: Jeff Kirkendall, Tim Hatch, Jamie Morgan, Samantha Coolidge, and Ryan Dalton.
Description: A televangelist and his team set out to find the fabled Noah’s Ark, but discover it is guarded by an ancient curse and a deadly great white shark. (Source: Tubi)
Click here to watch on Tubi TV

The Mix
Director: Chris Mollica & Greg Townsend
Starring: Chris Mollica, Brian Silliman, and Cyrina Fiallo.
Description: Would you kidnap a man for stealing your cookies? Sal, the hapless owner of a home grown cookie company places his hopes for financial and personal success in the hands of the enigmatic Joshua Vandersteem. After the deal goes bad, Sal is forced into desperate action. Relationships are tested, feelings are hurt and ultimately blood is drawn. Can Sal redeem his misdeeds or will this be the way the cookie crumbles? (Source: Tubi)
Click here to watch on Tubi TV

My Best Friend’s Famous
Directors: Kevin Ignatius
Starring: Nick Psinakis, Mindy Sterling, Ryan O’Neal, Anne Akhila, and Darryl Gudmundson.
Description: An insecure New Yorker moves to Los Angeles and grapples with jealousy when his less-talented best friend becomes a star on a hit television show. (Source: Tubi)
Click here to watch on Tubi TV

What recent indies have you watched on Tubi TV? What is your favorite platform to watch indies on?

We recently connected with indie film producer Mark Stolaroff, who also happens to be the founder of No Budget Film School. He chatted with us about his latest flick, The Last Days of Capitalism.

Who?
The Last Days of Capitalism was written and directed by Adam Mervis, the screenwriter of 21 Bridges (which was produced by the Russo Brothers and starred Chadwick Boseman), and National Champions (starring J.K. Simmons, Uzo Aduba, Timothy Olyphant, and many others). Unlike those studio films, Last Days was made on a micro-budget ($40k) and produced by long-time indie producer Mark Stolaroff (the founder of No Budget Film School) and Kenny Harrison, who was a classmate of Adam’s at Florida State University. The cast of two is comprised of veteran actor Mike Faiola (Awkward) and newcomer Sarah Harper. It was shot by AFI grad Bethany Michalski and edited by filmmaker David Au. The music was scored and collected by Alexander Burke, co-founder of the band Magnolia Memoir. This was Adam’s feature directorial debut. It was released by Indie Rights Movies. 

What?
Last Days is about a wealthy man who has been holed up high above Las Vegas in a penthouse hotel room for nearly a month, clearly suffering from some unnamed trauma. His night with a mysterious young woman turns into several nights, as he discovers that she is more than a match for him intellectually. She, too, is intrigued and while she initially stays because he is paying her, the two begin a complex relationship that could turn into something more than just lustful desire. But both have secrets, and getting to the bottom of those—without the inevitability of money getting in the way—will be a challenge. Despite the title, Last Days is NOT a political film. 

Where?
Last Days was shot in 10 days in Las Vegas, entirely in a penthouse hotel room high above the city. We had no permits to shoot in the room, and somehow managed to sneak all our equipment up the elevator without anyone asking any questions. I mean, it’s Vegas, and a lot of crazy stuff happens there, so I don’t think anyone cared. The cast and crew drove up from Los Angeles, where everyone is based. We loaded Adam’s brother’s Suburban up with gear and caravanned to Vegas. 

When?
The film is set in the present and was shot in September 2019. It was completed in March 2020 and premiered at the Cinequest Film Festival, right before COVID shut everything down. It ended up playing a number of film festivals—virtually—winning several awards. It was released by Indie Rights Movies in November 2021. It is currently 100% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. 

Why?
Director Adam Mervis got what he likes to call “The Typical Hollywood Screenwriter Treatment” on 21 Bridges, where the writer (and original creator) of the film has no control over the project. He wanted to make something that was entirely his own, so he adapted a play he’d written for the screen, something that could be made on a small enough budget that he wouldn’t get stopped from making it. 

How?
The Last Days of Capitalism can currently be seen on Amazon Prime, Google Play, and YouTube.  

Watch Online:

Purchase Links:

Official Sites:

In the past couple months there has been an extraordinary boom of independent films available to watch on YouTube for free. These flicks are AVOD (ad supported video on demand), so the filmmakers are still getting paid- please do not watch or support bootlegs! Here are 5 indie films that are available to watch right now on YouTube.

Evil at the Door
Director: Kipp Tribble
Starring: Andrea Sweeney Blanco, Bruce Davison, Sunny Doench, Robert Felsted Jr, Scot Hamm, and John James.
Description: One night every year, there is a drastic rise in violent home invasions. This is no coincidence. (Source: Terror Films)
Click here to watch on YouTube

Killer Concept
Director: Glenn Payne
Starring: Cody Bishop, Coley Bryant, Casey Dillard, Caleb Hall, and Maddie Ludt.
Description: Three creatives team up to write a screenplay chronicling a string of murders in their town, but one of the three may be closer to the story than the others realize. (Source: V Movies)
Click here to watch on YouTube

The Misguided
Director: Shannon Alexander
Starring: Katherine Langford, Caleb Galati, Steven J. Mihaljevich, and Jasmine Nibali.
Description: After planning to leave the city with his girlfriend, a young man must first betray her in order to save his brother from a deadly situation. (Source: Indie Rights Movies)
Click here to watch on YouTube

The Eve
Director: Ritchie Filippi
Starring: María DiDomenico, Al Thompson, Evan Bass, Miranda Noelle Wilson, and Rick Estabrook.
Description: Friends head off to the remote island of Martha’s Vineyard to celebrate New Year’s Eve and reconnect. As tensions rise, an unforeseen presence halts celebrations and instead turns their holiday into a fight to live through to the new year. (Source: MYT Horror)
Click here to watch on YouTube

Trap
Director: J Horton
Starring: Allen Perada, Alonzo F Jones, and Ashton Blanchard.
Description: A brutal abduction goes from bad to worse when one of the kidnappers falls in love with the victim. (Source: J Horton)
Click here to watch on YouTube

What movies are you watching on YouTube? Leave us a comment to let us know!

We recently connected with genre actor/producer Jeff Kirkendall on Twitter and were lucky to be able to chat with him about Return to Splatter Farm, an indie horror flick that he wrote and co-directed.

Who?
Return to Splatter Farm is a sequel to the 1987 movie Splatter Farm. That original film was produced by brothers John and Mark Polonia, along with their friend Todd Smith. I wrote the first draft of Return to Splatter Farm, and Mark Polonia added additional material which was included in the final shooting script. The two of us co-directed, while Mark handled the bulk of the camera work, as well as the editing chores. Prior to this production, I had appeared in numerous feature films Mark had directed for his company Polonia Brothers Entertainment (PBE).

The Return to Splatter Farm main cast was made up of many PBE regulars, including Danielle Donahue, Marie DeLorenzo, Nico Bryant, Tim Hatch, James Kelly, James Carolus, Ken Van Sant, Jennie Russo, Jamie Morgan, Drew Patrick, and popular model/scream queen Mel Heflin. I starred as (an older version of) the character Jeremy, who was the killer in the original 1987 film. The DVD and streaming distribution was handled by Wild Eye Releasing, a company that has released many past PBE movies.

What?
The original 1987 film was about twin brothers who spend a summer with their eccentric aunt on a rural Pennsylvania farm, unaware that her handyman Jeremy is a serial killer who stores the body parts of his victims in the barn. In Return to Splatter Farm a distant relative named Bobbi inherits the farm and travels there with some friends to determine what to do with the place. On the way they stop at a general store where some locals discourage them from visiting the place, calling it the “Death Farm”, referring to the unsolved murders which occurred there over 30 years ago. But the group doesn’t heed the warnings and continue on their way. Little do they know that a now grown-up Jeremy still resides at the old farmhouse, and that he has dispatched countless unlucky folks over the years. And keeping with his murderous tendencies, he now hunts down Bobbi and her friends one by one. Can the local sheriff save them? And will anyone survive?

Where?
As mentioned, the story takes place at a rural Pennsylvania farmhouse. Our goal was to find a place that resembled the location used in the original film as closely as possible. And fortunately, Mark was able to locate such a farm not too far from where he lives in Wellsboro, PA. The outside of the building was very similar looking to the one in the original movie, and also the owner hadn’t lived there in awhile, which suited our needs perfectly. And we had many other buildings (barns, storage sheds, etc.) and open fields to work with as well. For all but one afternoon (when we filmed the store scene) the cast and crew were at that farm location.

When?
Return to Splatter Farm takes place approximately 33 years after the events of the first movie. We filmed the sequel over a week during Summer 2019, and it was released in the United States on DVD and various pay streaming platforms in November 2020. Following this, it went on to play on the free streaming channel Tubi. There is even a VHS version available for collectors of that format.

Why?
I had previously directed several of my own short films and features, and as mentioned acted in many PBE movies. Mark Polonia and I were on a break during the filming of his feature Amityville Exorcism, and I asked him if he would ever consider producing a sequel to Splatter Farm. He said he would and shared some ideas. It turned out his ideas were similar to my own, so when I returned home from Pennsylvania I began working on a script. I surprised him with the finished draft a few months later and he really liked it. And a couple of years later we went into production together on it.

I was motivated to write Return to Splatter Farm because of my admiration for the first film. It has become an indie horror cult classic over the years, and I thought it was amazing that three teenagers with minimal resources could not only produce a feature back in the 1980’s, but also get it distributed nationally on VHS as well. Splatter Farm is a quintessential home-made, shot-on-video (SOV) example of what can be done with sheer determination and lots of imagination. And as for story, it is a compelling tale mixed with potent shock value that keeps one watching from beginning to end.

I wanted this sequel to be an entertaining standalone slasher movie, as well as a plausible continuation of the story. This was achieved by bringing a fun group of characters to the old farmhouse for a legitimate reason, where Jeremy is alive and well. For viewers new to the franchise it will be something of a mystery who the killer is, whereas fans will know his identity and have an idea what he’s up to. And speaking of kill scenes, I intentionally wrote each one to be as unique and different as I could in order to make the movie fresh and memorable. My personal favorite moments include one where Jeremy makes use of a flare gun, and a scene involving an 80’s boombox. And I would also mention there are several nods to famous 1980’s slasher films sprinkled throughout the movie. This was done because I’m a big fan of the genre and the films of that decade in particular, and I’m hoping other fans will enjoy these moments as well.

How?
Our film Return to Splatter Farm can be seen on the streaming platforms Tubi TV, Amazon Prime, Vimeo and Google Play, among other places. It is also available on DVD and VHS from various major retailers.

Watch Online for free:

Purchase/Rent Online:

Purchase Physical Media:

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