Local Film Gets Top Honors at Elvira’s Horror Hunt – Mike Leonard, Bloomington Herald Times, 10/21/12

A year ago, the following prediction was made in this column:

“Of all of the independent films shot in and around Bloomington over the past several years, ‘Found’ might have the best chance of going places, at film festivals and within the horror genre, if not at the box office as well.”  We may not be talking Oscars here, but last month, “Found” racked up some pretty impressive credentials and a whole lot of fun for the folks involved.The Scott Schirmer-directed film won Best Director, Best Feature, and actor Ethan Philbeck won Best Actor, at a gala Hollywood film festival titled Elvira’s Horror Hunt. The festival flew “Found’s” principals to the red carpet affair at the Vista Theater, and cast and crew members rubbed elbows and mugged for the photographers with Elvira, the famous queen of late night horror flicks, Peaches Christ, a San Francisco drag queen horror host, performers Sybil Danning, Bill Moseley and the witty and sarcastic film host and critic, Joe Bob Briggs.“It was extraordinarily surreal,” Schirmer said last week. “I, and the director of the Best Short Film, got to ride with Elvira in her Macabre Mobile to the front of the theater and there were paparazzi there! It was just insane.”

The coming-of-age/horror film seems to have hit that sweet spot for horror fans because youthful stars Philbeck and Gavin Brown are genuinely good actors who exhibit a compelling brotherly bond that makes for an emotionally interesting movie outside of the genuinely gruesome action. “I wasn’t expecting people to embrace it like they have. I just thought it was a dark coming of age story that no one would care about, but horror fans are embracing it in a way that surprises me,” Schirmer said. “They find it pretty disturbing, so I guess the movie serves up enough visceral pleasures to satisfy the gore hounds as well.”

For Philbeck, a recent Bloomington High School North graduate, the trip to Hollywood and red carpet scene was more than he ever imagined. “I can hardly even describe it,” the 21-year-old said last week. “I need more emotions to describe it. I still just want to scream.”

Director Scott Schirmer and producers Leya Taylor and Damien Wesner pose with judges Sybil Danning and Bill Moseley at Elvira’s Horror Hunt in Los Angeles, Sept 13, 2012.

Both Philbeck and Jackson Creek Middle School student Gavin Brown got nibbles from acting agents as well.

It made Philbeck really consider acting as a potential profession. “I never really considered it as something I’d actually pursue but people said a lot of nice things and there was a lot of talk about hooking me up with agents and producers and directors,” he said. “If something offers me a real opportunity that could lead to something greater, I’m ready to jump at it. What do I have to lose?”

Philbeck currently is an Ivy Tech student. And he remains involved in various local theaters. At this time last year, he was balancing his horror acting in “Found” while portraying a duck in the children’s musical “Click, Clack, Moo.”

Now he’s basking in accolades for his frighting film and stage managing the Cardinal Stage Company’s latest children’s musical, “Knuffle Bunny.”

“Yeah, it’s kind of strange,” he admitted. “But it’s also kinda normal for me at this point.”

“Found” was screened in this weekend’s Dark Carnival Film Festival and will be shown again locally next Sunday at a Halloween-themed show at the Comedy Attic. Schirmer said he plans to continue to take the film to festivals (including Sundance) in the coming months before deciding whether to try to get it in general release.

More about the film can be found at www.facebook.com/foundmovie.

L-R: Joe Bob Briggs, Bill Moseley, Peaches Christ, Sybil Danning, Elvira, Phyllis Munro, Louie Lawless, Ethan Philbeck, Gavin Brown, Dan DelPurgatorio (director of ‘Other’) and Scott Schirmer. Elvira’s Horror Hunt at the Vista Theatre in Los Angeles, Sept 13, 2012.

“Found” stars Gavin Brown and Ethan Philbeck pose with the Mistress of the Dark at Elvira’s Horror Hunt in Los Angeles, Sept 13, 2012.

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

facebook marketing