Yul Vazquez’s Horror Film “Books of Blood” to Open This Year’s Drive-In Edition of LA’s Screamfest Horror Film Festival

Yul Vazquez is bringing the Blood to this year’s Screamfest…

The Screamfest Horror Film Festival has revealed the lineup of films that’ll be featured at this year’s drive-in edition, including the 55-year-old Cuban actor’s latest project Books of Blood.

Yul Vazquez Books of Blood

Vazquez’s latest film, directed by Brannon Braga, will kick off the festival, which runs from October 6-15.

The Hulu original film, based on Clive Barker’s horror anthology, is slated to premiere on the streamer on October 7. Starring Vazquez, Britt Robertson, Anna Friel and Rafi Gavron, the film takes a journey into uncharted and forbidden territory through three tales tangled in space and time.

Meanwhile, Jon Huertas and Isabella Gomez’s social media teen slasheInitiation will also be screened at Screamfest.

The film also stars Lindsay LaVanchy, Froy Gutierrez, Gattlin Griffth, Patrick Walker, James Berardo, Bart Johnson, Shireen Lai, Kent Faulcon, Yancy Butler and Lochlyn Munro.

Initiation, from Screamfest alum Berardo, was recently acquired by Saban Films.

Also among the list of screenings are Thirst, the first-ever Icelandic gay splatter vampire flick, and psychological horror film Sweet River (making its North American debut).

“2020 has been challenging for everyone and certainly not how we planned on celebrating Screamfest’s 20th edition, but we’re thrilled to be able to continue to serve the LA community and give our hardworking filmmakers the premieres they wholeheartedly deserve with our lineup of drive-in titles,” says festival founder Rachel Belofsky. “In this unprecedented, uncharted territory of hosting an entirely drive-in festival, we are honored that these wonderfully frightening films have entrusted Screamfest LA to be their festival home, and we’re excited for the opportunity to showcase the horror and sci-fi genre to LA audiences.”

Here’s the 2020 Screamfest Horror Film Festival lineup:

A Ghost Waits (US, 2020) – US Premiere
Directed by Adam Stovall. Written by Adam Stovall, MacLeod Andrews. Produced by Adam Stovall, MacLeod Andrews. Cast: MacLeod Andrews, Natalie Walker.

Jack’s job is to fix up the house. Muriel’s job is to haunt it. They should be enemies, but they become fascinated by one another and eventually smitten, leading them to question everything about their work, lives, and decisions. But as the pressure mounts for them to fulfill their duties, something will have to give for them to have the time together they both so desperately want.

An Ideal Host (Australia, 2020) – US Premiere
Directed by Robert Woods. Written by Tyler Jacob Jones. Produced by Robert Woods, Tyler Jacob Jones. Cast: Nadia Collins, Evan Williams, Naomi Brockwell, St John Cowcher.

Liz just wants to host the perfect dinner party but an unexpected guest sends the evening into chaos, with potentially apocalyptic consequences.

Anonymous Animals (France, 2020) – US Premiere
Directed and written by Baptiste Rouveure. Produced by Anonymous Animals Films. Cast: Thierry Maros, Aurélien Chilarski, Pauline Guilpain, Emilien Lavaut.

The balance of power between man and animal is reversed. In a remote countryside, any encounter with the dominant can become hostile. At the crossroads of fantastic and suspense kind, Anonymous Animals questions the place of animals in our societies.

Books of Blood (US, 2020) – Opening Night
Directed by Brannon Braga. Written by Brannon Braga & Adam Simon, based on the short story by Clive Barker with contributing original material. Cast: Britt Robertson, Rafi Gavron, Anna Friel, Yul Vazquez, and Freda Foh Shen. Executive Producers: Braga, Seth MacFarlane, Erica Huggins, Alana Kleiman, Brian Witten, Jeff Kwatinetz, Josh Barry, Clive Barker and Adam Simon/ Producers: Jason Clark and Joe Micucci.

Based on Clive Barker’s acclaimed and influential horror anthology Books Of Blood, this feature takes audiences on a journey into uncharted and forbidden territory through three uncanny tales tangled in space and time.

The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (US, 2019) – LA Premiere
Directed by Derek Carl. Written by Hank Huffman. Produced by Molly Preston, Derek Carl, Hank Huffman, Daniel Timothy Treacy. Cast: Rachael Perrell Fosket, Patrick D. Green, Jason Reynolds, David Withers, Robert Blanche, Mia Allen

Set in the early sixties, The Brain That Wouldn’t Die follows the misadventures of Dr. Bill Cortner (Patrick Green), a brilliant surgeon, whose unorthodox practices produce fantastic results – the reanimation of dead tissue. Bill’s father and mentor, William, cautions his son against meddling with the forces of nature, but Bill insists that his work will bring an end to human mortality. Bill’s methods are put to the test when his fiancée, Jan Compton (Rachael Perrell Fosket), is decapitated in a car accident. Absconding with her remains to his secret laboratory, Bill successfully revives Jan’s head in a pan. She begs for death but Bill refuses to oblige, promising that he can make her whole again. Putting his assistant, Kurt (Jason Reynolds), in charge of the lab, Bill leaves to find Jan a new body, knowing full well that he will have to murder an innocent woman to do so. Bill’s quest takes him through the seedy underbelly of the city, from smoky cabarets to sleazy swimsuit competitions. Despite his efforts, Bill is foiled at every turn, narrowly avoiding the suspicions of Mancini (Robert Blanche), the hardboiled detective investigating the car accident. However, Bill’s luck changes when he chances upon an old flame, Doris Powell (Mia Allen), a vulnerable model with surgical needs. Meanwhile, Jan, determined to bring an end to the madness, uses her newly discovered psychic abilities to communicate with another of Bill’s hideously deformed experiments. Together, they plot their revenge…

Caveat (UK, 2020) – North American Premiere
Directed and written by Damian Mc Carthy. Produced by Justin Hyne. Cast: Ben Caplan, Jonathan French, Leila Sykes

A lone drifter, Isaac suffering from partial memory loss accepts a job from his old landlord Barrett, to look after his niece Olga, a psychologically troubled woman living in an abandoned house on an isolated island. When Barrett convinces Isaac to confine his movements to the house and leaves the two of them alone, a game of cat and mouse ensues with Isaac fighting to survive amid the terrifying resurgence of his own memory.

Initiation (US, 2020) – US Premiere
Directed by John Berardo. Written by John Berardo, Lindsay LaVanchy, Brian Frager. Produced by Brian Frager, John Berardo, JP Castel, Stephanie Stanziano, Lindsay LaVanchy, Jon Huertas. Cast: Jon Huertas, Isabella Gomez, Lindsay LaVanchy, Froy Gutierrez, Gattlin Griffth, Patrick Walker, James Berardo, Bart Johnson, Shireen Lai, Kent Faulcon, Yancy Butler, Lochlyn Munro

Teen horror is back with a vengeance in this edgy slasher about a cruel social media game that spins out of control. Whiton University unravels the night a star-athlete is murdered in the wake of a hidden assault allegation, kicking off a spree of social media-linked slayings. As a masked killer targets students across campus, a trio of sorority sisters race to uncover the truth behind the school’s hidden secrets – and the horrifying meaning of an exclamation point – before they become the killer’s next victims.

Sanzaru (US, 2019) – LA Premiere
Directed and written by Xia Magnus. Produced by Alyssa Polk, Anthony Pedone, Nathan Hertz. Cast: Ania Dumlao, Justin Arnold, Jayne Taini, Jon Viktor Corpuz.

When a mild Filipina nurse is hired by an elderly woman declining into dementia, the walls between this world and the next crumble as she uncovers her employer’s shocking family secret.

Sweet River (Australia, 2020) – North American Premiere
Directed by Justin McMillan. Written by Eddie Baroo, Marc Furmie. Produced by Ashley McLeod. Cast: Lisa Kay, Martin Sacks, Jack Ellis, Charlotte Stent

Hannah’s search for her son’s body leads her to sleepy Billins, where her investigations uncover more than she expected and threaten to expose the town’s dark secrets….secrets that both the living and the dead will fight to protect.

Thirst (Iceland, 2019) – LA Premiere
Directed by Steinþór Hróar Steinþórsson, Gaukur Úlfarsson. Written by Björn Leó Brynjarsson. Produced by Haraldur Hrafn Thorlacius. Cast: Hjörtur Sævar Steinason, Hulda Lind Kristinsdóttir, Jens Jensson.

Hulda is a drug addict, arrested and accused of murdering her brother. After she is let go because of insufficient evidence, she meets Hjörtur, a thousand-year-old vampire. Together they have to fight a cult while being investigated by a rogue detective.

Ortiz Lands Roles in “Going In Style” and “A Dog’s Purpose”

John Ortiz is ending the year with a bang, landing back-to-back film roles…

The 47-year-old Puerto Rican actor, director and producer will first star in New Line Cinema’s upcoming comedy Going In Style, directed by Zach Braff from a script by Theodore Melfi.

John Ortiz

Ortiz will portray “Jesus,” a Mensa smart criminal who is socially responsible and deplores society’s treatment of the elderly.

He joins Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin, along with Ann-Margret, Peter Serafinowicz, Joey King and Christopher Lloyd, in the remake of the 1979 classic.

Ortiz will then follow up that film with the live action DreamWorks feature A Dog’s Purpose, based on the novel by W. Bruce Cameron.

The film is a series of vignettes directed by Lasse Hallstrom and starring Bradley Cooper (as the voice of the dog), along with Dennis Quaid, Britt Robertson, KJ Apa, Juliet Rylance and Peggy Lipton.

Ortiz stars in his segment as “Carlos”, a stern, all business cop who trains his dog to assist him in solving crime.

Ortiz can next be seen in Disney’s The Finest Hours, starring Chris Pine and Casey Affleck, and directed by Craig Gillespie, as well as Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs.

He recently wrapped the indie A Woman, A Part starring opposite Maggie Siff and directed by Elisabeth Subrin.

Phase 4 Films to Release Sheen’s “Ask Me Anything” in the U.S.

Don’t be afraid to ask Martin Sheen anything the next time you’re at the movies…

Phase 4 Films has acquired the North American rights to writer-director Allison Burnett’s Ask Me Anything, which features the 73-year-old half-Spanish actor.

Martin Sheen

An adaptation of Burnett’s novel Undiscovered Gyrl, the film tells the story of beautiful, wild, funny and lost, Katie Kampenfelt (portrayed by Britt Robertson), who takes a year off before college.

Ambitious in her own way, Katie intends to do more than just smoke weed with her boyfriend Rory. She plans to seduce Dan (Justin Long), a thirty-year-old film professor while resisting her attraction to her married boss (Christian Slater).

Katie chronicles her adventures in an anonymous blog, telling strangers her innermost desires, shames, and thrills. When her compulsions get the best of her, her fearless narrative begins to crack, and dark pieces of her past emerge.

No word on Sheen’s character in the film which also stars Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Katarina Garcia and Max Carver.

Sony Pictures Picks Up Justice’s “The First Time”

The first time could just be a charm for Nickelodeon star Victoria Justice

Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions has picked up all US rights to The First Time, a teen romance starring the 19-year-old half-Puerto Rican actress/singer, as well as Teen Wolf’s Dylan O’Brien and The Secret Circle’s Britt Robertson.

Victoria Justice

Written and directed by Jonathan Kasdan, the film is a high school romance that centers on a senior and junior from different schools who meet at a party. Over the course of one weekend, a fledgling romance develops.

The movie premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and was produced by Martin Shafer and Liz Glotzer.

It’s the latest film project from Justice, who stars as Tori Vega on the Nickelodeon’s popular musical show Victorious. She recently completed another film project Fun Size, which is currently in pre-production.

Release plans for The First Time haven’t been announced yet.