A respected indie filmmaker The New York Times described as the “modern day Roger Corman” is filming a movie inside the 5,000-acre Naugatuck State Forest in the Beacon Falls-Oxford area.
“Beneath,” a horror flick about a man-eating fish terrorizing/hopefully eating a bunch of young people stuck on a boat, started shooting last week.
It will air at some point on Chiller, a television channel owned by NBC Universal devoted to all things creepy.
“Shock Till You Drop,” a horror movie site run by Connecticut native Ryan Turek, reported that the movie also features Mackenzie Rosman.
Rosman is best known for her role as the cute, curly-haired kid Ruthie Camden on “Seventh Heaven,” a family show that ran for a decade on the WB network before going off the air in 2007.
Rosman is now 22 — which will make any viewers of “Seventh Heaven“ feel really damn old.
“Beneath” is directed by Larry Fessenden, who is making his first feature-length film since the critically-acclaimed “Last Winter” opened in 2006.
About The Director
Who is Larry Fessenden, you ask?
Well, The New York Times comparison to legendary director-producer Roger Corman is on the money, save for one important detail — Fessenden tends to make good movies.
Sorry Corman fans, but “Bloody Mamma,” starring Shelley Winters, doesn’t hold up.
Corman is better known as the guy whose production company gave a ton of young talent their first shot in the movies. The list includes everyone from Robert De Niro to Francis Ford Coppola.
Fessenden, a native New Yorker, is also known for mentoring young talent, as the New York Times piece points out.
Glass Eye Pix
Fessenden’s production company, Glass Eye Pix, is based in Brooklyn. The company, through its Scareflix label and partnerships with other companies, has produced a slew of high-quality, low budget horror flicks in recent years.
The writer and directors all tend to be fresh talent, such as Jim Mickle, who directed the well-received vampire road movie “Stake Land;” Ti West, the critical darling who directed “The Innkeepers,” which recently hit DVD; and Glenn McQuaid, the Irishmen behind the Hammer homage “I Sell the Dead,” which recently enjoyed constant airings on Showtime.
They Like Locals
Glass Eye also likes filming in Connecticut, which offers tax credits for movies shot here.
The Yankee Pedlar in Torrington practically steals “The Innkeepers,” a movie about a haunted hotel and two hipsters. The Yankee Pedlar plays itself.
The Valley Indy reached out to Glass Eye last week to talk about “Beneath,” and exchanged messages, but we were unable to hook up for an interview.
We get it — those guys are busy.
Valley intern Liana Teixeira visited the shooting locale Aug. 7 and snapped some photos, which you see in the gallery at the top (and bottom) of this story.
“Beneath” certainly looks like a labor-intensive production. Everything in the mammoth Naugatuck State Forest is happening on the water, which required the crew to build a large, floating dock as home base.
Meanwhile, it was 86 degrees with 100 percent humidity when they started filming last week.
That can’t be easy.
Jerry Schwab, executive director of the Oxford Ambulance Association, said Aug. 3 some of his organization’s members are on standby at the set in case anything goes wrong in the water.
“They’ve got divers in the water, they’ve got this 10-foot fish thing. It’s neat,” Schwab said. “They hired us so when their divers are in the water, we are on standby. We’re just there in case someone gets hurt.”
It is the first time the Oxford Ambulance Association has been on standby for a horror movie about a giant man-eating fish, Schwab confirmed.
The Useless Valley Indy Connection
Amazingly — OK, maybe “amazingly” is a stretch — the Valley Indy has a connection to Glass Eye.
Look, here’s a picture of me and Fessenden at a horror convention. He’s very warm.
A few years back this writer mopped up fake blood in Brooklyn for “The Viewer,” a trippy, experimental assault on the senses short film directed by Glass Eye’s Graham Reznick, who is very, very, very intelligent.
I was there because my childhood friend, Brian Spears, did the special effects make-up for the short film. I was listed as his assistant. Check out my IMDB credit, suckas!
In fact, Spears has worked on a number of Glass Eye projects.
In fact in fact, Spears is on the far left in one of the photos our intern snapped Tuesday.
You’d think the fact we’ve been friends since pre-school would get me, I dunno, a visit to the set? Maybe an interview with freakin’ Ruthie Camden from “Seventh Heaven?”
Spears wouldn’t tell me anything about the flick, other than it was filming “somewhere near Waterbury or Watertown. I don’t know, something with water.”
Here are Liana’s photos again, all gigantic-like.