The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Early Screenings

The final installment of The Hobbit, The Battle of the Five Armies, is coming up. The last (most likely) Peter Jackson Middle Earth film will be landing in theaters throughout next week, and there’s several opportunities to see the movie early.

On Monday, December 15th, two theaters will be holding Hobbit Marathons, and you’ll have the opportunity to see the third film as part of that at the following theaters:

  • Essex Cinemas, Essex. 8:00pm (Marathon)
  • Springfield Cinemas 3, Springfield. 8:00pm.

Across the state, the film will open at a number of theaters early on Tuesday, December 16th:

  • Welden Theatre, St. Albans. 7:00pm
  • Merrill Roxy Theatre, Burlington. 6:00pm
  • Majestic 10, Williston. 7:00pm (HFR/3D), 9:00pm
  • Palace 9, South Burlington. 7:00pm (HFR/3D)
  • Stowe Cinema 3plex, Stowe, 7:00pm
  • Big Picture Theater, Waitsfield. 7:00pm
  • Paramount Theatre, Barre. 7:00pm
  • Star Theater, St. Johnsbury. 7:00pm (3D)
  • Bennington Cinemas, Bennington. 7:00pm (3D), 8:00pm (2D), 9:45pm (3D)
  • Bijou Cineplex 4, Morrisville. 7:00pm.

Finally, the movie will be opening regularly on Wednesday, December 17th at the following theaters:

  • Playhouse Theater, Randolph. 7:00pm
  • Village Picture Shows, Manchester Center.
  • Middlebury Marquis, Middlebury.

Seven Days Interview with Producer Jon Kilik

Jon Kilik on the set of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 - COURTESY OF JON KILIK

Jon Kilik is a UVM alum who’s gone on to produce a number of films that you might have heard of: Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Miracle at St. Anna, Babel, and others. Seven Days has sat down with him for a short interview before a presentation he gave yesterday for his latest film, Foxcatcher:

SEVEN DAYS: You have two seemingly very different films in theaters right now. What do they have in common, and how do they reflect the evolution of your career?

JON KILIK: I guess to most people, Foxcatcher and The Hunger Games are as different as night and day. To me they are both night and share a common thread that runs through every film I’ve chosen to make.

I’ve been working on the same movie for the last 25 years. They all examine citizens of a country divided by class and race and power and greed. [The] disenfranchised living in isolation on the edge of society and the entitled living in isolation from within. The haves and the have nots. Katniss Everdeen and President Snow. Mark Schultz and John du Pont. In each case they inhabit worlds so different from one another that perhaps they should never meet. But they do.

Foxcatcher and The Hunger Games are my two sibling tragedies. Brother protecting brother. Sister protecting sister. Not wanting the dangers that find them. Thrown into an “arena” with little chance to survive, they become fierce warriors and reluctant heroes.

Read the entire interview here.

Randall Drive In to Step Back in Time

This is some unfortunate news: the operators of the Randall Drive-In have been given their marching orders, and are not returning for the 2015 season. This comes after several years of intensive work to upgrade the theater with new equipment through a number of crowdfunding campaigns. In their place, the theater will take a step back, a move that will likely doom the tiny theater.

Here’s their statement from the theater’s Facebook page:

With a heavy heart, we are sad to announce that the current two operators of the Randall Drive-In Theatre will not be returning in 2015. Those of you that have followed the drive-in know that we leased it for the last two seasons and ambitiously set upon restoring the drive-in to its former glory.

We have put ourselves into the restoration of this drive-in, including countless hours of upgrading equipment, improving the customer experience, and a broad marketing campaign to spread the word about our little drive-in. Despite our work rallying the community behind the digital conversion of the Randall and the two fantastic renaissance seasons the Randall has had, our landlord has informed us that we will not be returning to run the drive-in for a third season.

Going forward, the drive-in is to be converted back to 35mm film at the owner’s insistence. With 35mm film quickly fading and the need for movie theatres to convert to digital, this decision is not one we agree with nor can we determine the logic behind it. We understand that this will likely not be a popular decision, but our hands are tied as the property is leased and the owner has expressed no interest in the digital projector we secured and used this season. While unconfirmed, it is our understanding the owner might be running the theatre next season as he previously did in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.

As many know, our company obtained the digital projector through a lease to own program, and we worked tirelessly to raise the money for the down payment and installation of this projector. Unfortunately the only option our company has is to either return the projector to the manufacturer or find another location to run a movie theatre at for all our drive-in fans.

We have left the door open with the owner for a return to the Randall Drive-In, but in the meantime we are looking for other viable options to move forward as we want to continue showing movies under the stars. The door will remain open until we have found a location to build a new drive-in or find an existing one to operate.

For all that have supported us over the last two years, we truly thank you for your part in keeping the drive-in experience alive. We treasure the experiences we have had while running the drive-in and the friends we have made along the way. We hope that our time at the Randall Drive-In has allowed our faithful customers to make a few more memories under the stars.

If things change, we will post updates as they occur.

Thank you,
Adam & Regina

We can’t see the logic in this: over the last couple of years, we’ve seen a number of movie theaters work to upgrade their theaters as Hollywood increasingly moves to digital film. With rare holdouts such as Christopher Nolan, the days of 35mm film seem to be numbered (in and of itself an unfortunate move). Regardless of the intentions to stick with a physical medium, the move on the part of the Randall Drive-In (if confirmed), isolates the theater and will ultimately limit the films available to them. Consumers, in the meantime, will go to theaters where they have more options. It’ll be interesting to see how this will play out in the next couple of years.


Horror Found Footage Film: Dead Static

Just in time for Halloween, DeadFi productions has released their found-footage horror anthology film, Dead Static!

The film is actually three films featuring found footage from Vermont’s most haunted places including Emily’s Bridge, Green Mount Cemetery, and The Pittsford Haunted House. The movie was written & directed by Owen Mulligan.

Watch it here:

VTIFF After Dark: Horror Films @ Artsriot

The Vermont International Film Festival has started up and will run for the rest of the week. Over the course of the week, they’re screening three new horror films (one screened on Sunday. Coming up,

Tuesday, October 28th: Honeymoon

Writer/Director Leigh Janiak’s first feature Honeymoon is a doozy. Two young newlyweds head to a secluded cabin in the woods to escape the city. On their second night Paul (Harry Treadaway) rises early to go fishing and discovers Bea (Rose Leslie of Game of Thrones) out of bed and possibly missing in the pitch-black woods. He finds her standing nude in a state of shock. Following this she seems somehow wholly different, clearly concealing a terrible fate, and the days following descend into terror and madness. Honeymoon deftly capitalizes on our fears – not only the fear of the unknown or the boogeyman in the woods, but the fear of love lost and anxieties that can be found in a new relationship – “How well do I really know this person I married?” This taut and smoldering horror’s strength comes from two incredible performances – that will leave you gutted.

Thursday, October 30th: Life After Beth

Is there life (or death) left in the Rom/Com/Zom genre? Yes! Zach (Dane DeHann) is crushed by the accidental death of his girlfriend, Beth (Aubrey Plaza) by snakebite. When she miraculously comes back to life, Zach jumps at a second chance with Beth and promises not to take their relationship for granted. Problem is – Beth is acting really strange. It isn’t long before Zach’s world (and relationship) spins totally out of control. Life is tough when you’re dating a dead girl. Writer/Director Jeff Baena (I Heart Huckabees) unearths a fresh and hilarious take on zombies, bringing together an all star comedy cast including Aubrey Plaza (Parks & Recreation), John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon and Anna Kendrick. Get ready for a fun and gory ride!

The festival ends on Saturday, November 1st. A full schedule can be found here.

New Local Horror Short Inspired by Vermont’s ‘Haunted’ Places

Seven Days ran a great article last week on DeadFi’s upcoming anthology film, Dead Static:

One of Vermont’s most enduring legends is the haunting of a 19th-century covered bridge in Stowe. It’s said that a young woman named Emily, distraught after her lover failed to meet her for their elopement, hanged herself from the bridge’s rafters. Her vengeful spirit, it’s said, has haunted “Emily’s Bridge” ever since, moaning eerily and leaving clawlike scratches on the cars of anyone foolish enough to pass through the bridge late at night.

While the Gold Brook Covered Bridge has made it onto the National Register of Historic Places on its own merits, Vermonters still know it best as the putative home of Emily’s ill-tempered ghost. Folklorist Joseph A. Citro popularized the tale in his 1997 book Passing Strange: True Tales of New England Hauntings and Horrors, making it a favorite subject for local filmmakers seeking to generate Halloweeny chills.

Read the entire article here!

Stay tuned tonight to DeadFi’s website: the film will debut tonight at 7:

Only a few more days until the DEAD STATIC haunted footage will finally be released. Mark your calendar for Monday, October 27, 2014 at 7PM EST if you want to be one of the first to witness the horror this Halloween season. We will be embedding the movie here on our website and also posting the links to watch it on our facebook and twitter pages. You can also go directly to our YouTube channel as well. Dead Static runs 23 minutes and contains footage from Emily’s Bridge in Stowe VT, Green Mount Cemetery in Montpelier, VT and for the grand finale, The Pittsford Haunted House.


Northwest Nightmares Film Festival Seeks Submissions

Northwest Nightmares Film Festival. A blood-spattered man grins disarmingly at the viewer. Screening October 27th at the Welden Theater in St. Albans, VT.Northwest Nightmares, the horror film festival hosted by Northwest Access TV in St. Albans, rises from the grave for a new program of terrifying selections. Registration to join the festival is open until October 13th, and final films must be submitted by October 20th. The big night is October 27th at the Welden Theater in St. Albans.

Categories of distinction include: Best Editing, Best Effects, Best Acting, Best Story, Best Sound Design, Best Cinematography, and, of course, the Sleeping With the Lights On Award. Additionally, winner of Best Picture receives a BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera, which is a very spiffy piece of filmmaking hardware. That alone should send anticipatory chills up and down your spine.


Tonight: Alien at the Main Street Landing

The Main Street Landing movie series continues. Tonight, they will be screening Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic, Alien!

Plot: Many have tried and failed to repeat its success, but nothing can beat the masterpiece that is Alien. Unleashed at cinemas in 1979, the film is a flat-out classic sci-fi horror flick, using extreme moments of suspense to build up the scary scenes. Directed by Ridley Scott, the film is a ground-breaking classic that still holds up amazingly well today, and made an international superstar if Sigourney Weaver.

The movie is free, and starts at 7pm at the Main Street Landing Film House.


Snowpiercer: Coming to Vermont


Snowpiercer is one of those SF films that’s been getting a lot of press in recent months: studios and distributors have wanted to aggressively cut it down and edit it, critics have really loved it, and it’s not going anywhere near a mainstream theater. Fortunately, we’re plesantly surprised (somewhat) to see Montpelier’s Savoy Theater pick up the film.

Here’s the blurb:

Set in the near future, after an attempt to counteract global warming has backfired, the entire movie takes place on a hurtling art-deco locomotive that circumnavigates the globe at a rate of one revolution per year and holds all that remains of our population. Survivors are ruthlessly subdivided into warring classes in segregated compartments. The soot-covered 99 percent are penned in like steerage refugees in the tail of the train, where they subsist on gross, gelatinous protein blocks and are powerless when armed thugs confiscate their children. Closer to the front are the fat cats living in decadent comfort. They worship an Oz-like figure named Wilford who resides at the very head of the train and sets the Darwinian rules.

Snowpiercer starts Friday, July 11th, the film will be screened in Montpelier. No word on times just yet, or for how long.

Hopefully, this signals that the Savoy will be picking up more and more of these indie SF films that don’t get a lot of screen time in places like the Majestic 10 or Essex Cinemas.