Feature Narrative | 1 hr, 18 min | 2015 | US
SHOWTIME: 1:55PM – (All times are subject to change)
In a dark, secluded wood, the lovely Ilsa gasps for breath. She’s behind a rotting shack, hiding from a murderer…until his shadow passes over her. Ilsa lunges at him, screaming! But the killer dodges, whacks her with the shovel. Ilsa falls to the forest floor, and looks up to see the killer’s face:
ILSA: “You?! But that’s impossible!”
THE KILLER: “No it’s not. I win.”
He brings the shovel down to bash her head in, but just before it makes contact we cut to black, with the caption TWELVE HOURS EARLIER. Let the mystery begin: who is the killer in the woods? Twelve hours before, Ilsa parties her ass of at a friend’s cabin nearby. She, and eight of her friends, are here to celebrate their high school graduation. Although years of tension obviously exist between them, they manage to flirt, philander, and have one final good time. Once the party dies down, they decide to play Dead Body, a hide-and-seek/murder-mystery game. The game is going well until they discover that one player has actually murdered three of their friends. But who? Paranoia breaks loose, accusations fly, secrets come out. They turn against each other, form brittle alliances, all to survive. All the while, the killer is still among them, gruesomely murdering them one by one. A girl is stabbed repeatedly in the head, another is shot through the face with a nail gun. One victim takes a hook through the eye and is dragged through the forest. Another is strangled. Finally, only two players remain for an epic final showdown where the killer is revealed!
Ramon Isao Zombies of Mass Destruction, Junk
Ian Bell The Dinner Table, La Trocha
Cooper Hopkins Zombies of Mass Destruction, Junk
Nathan Pringle Killing June, The Right Place
Leah Pfenning C.B.
Director of Photography
Anthony Rickert-Epstein Compound Fracture, The Night Crew, Falling Upwards (TV series)
Director: Bobbin Ramsey
Bobbin Ramsey, is a freelance director and teaching artists, based in the Seattle area. A recent graduate from the University of Washington, she has been directing locally for the past five years. While in school she directed productions of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice, William Finn’s The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and a site-specific production of Peter Sinn Nachtreib’s boom. which was performed in a biology lab. She also served as the Executive Director of The Undergraduate Theatre Society, a student created and facilitated production company. After graduating, Bobbin has worked with a variety of local theatres, directing, assistant directing and doing freelance administrative work for companies such as Book-It Repertory Theatre, The Intiman, On the Boards, The Market Theatre, Boundless Arts Performance Collective and the Satori Group. In summer 2013, Bobbin directed Arts on the Waterfront’s critically acclaimed production of Waiting for Godot, a free, outdoor production on the Seattle waterfront, which raised over $2,000 in donations for Teen Feed. The production was described as “a stellar intellectual play performed with quick wit, near-perfect timing and smooth physicality,” by City Arts magazine and “Inspired…spectacular” by The Seattle Times. Most recently she directed a new work titled Storme and Durang at On the Boards, with an expanded production planned for Spring 2014. She is also the co-founder and artistic director of The Horse in Motion, a Seattle based theatre company that focuses on found space productions. She will be directing The Horse in Motion’s first production Attempts on her Life which opens in April at the University Heights Center. She holds her BA in Dram: Performance and Creative Writing from the University of Washington.
Our society is fast-paced and unforgiving, and the insane expectations of career and salary can break down even the most solid of people. As artists in an industry that is cut throat and unstable, the need to impress, make money and prove ourselves, we understand this struggle better than anyone. It is serendipitous and thrilling to me that the first feature length film I had the opportunity to direct explored the issues of self-worth and societal expectations.
Ramon Isao’s script beautifully captures the struggles of teenage angst and anxiety in our American society in a way that is ridiculous, extreme and terrifying. We have made a movie that on the surface looks like the most standard horror trope imaginable; a group of high school students go to a remote cabin in the woods and begin being killed. However, what makes this movie (unique/important) is that it intentionally uses the trope to subvert the way we watch horror, and how the genre functions in this industry. Nothing we did with this script was standard, and it never rests on its laurels. Isao created characters that are realistic and dynamic and the actors brought technique and skill to their portrayal. We don’t simply want audiences to cringe at the amount of blood used in each death sequence, we want them to mourn the character that they have come to know and love, someone that reminds them of their girlfriend, best friend, neighbor or child. It’s not just about screaming and playing helpless, this movie shows scheming, manipulation and genuine fight in all of the characters. We entered this process wanting to make a film that redefines how audiences view horror films, but giving them the most typical scenario, and turning it on its head. DEAD BODY rejects the formulaic structure of the horror genre and asks its audiences to lean in.
This movie challenges the way our society treats higher education, expectations and pressure in a way that is surprising, unique and powerful. This movie also challenges the way we make and ingest horror films by demanding a higher quality of characters and relationships. To top it off, not only is this movie is terrifying, suspenseful and complex, it was made by a group of first time film actors and a first time film director, and an incredibly professional crew on a shoestring budget. I am proud to stand behind DEAD BODY as my first film.