Maine-made short horror films screen playing in Rockland Nov. 1

‘Damnationland: The Way Life Should Bleed’

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 8:45am

    ROCKLAND — On the last stop of their month-long tour, the annual film showcase titled Damnationland: The Way Life Should Bleed will be back in Rockland on Saturday, Nov. 1 at The Strand Theatre. Fans of the horror genre as well as Maine indie films will appreciate Damnationland’s current lineup, which features seven short Maine-made films from Maine filmmakers who redefine the classic thriller and horror categories, leaning toward visions that are surreal, comedic, and artful, while still providing scares, shocks and surprises.

    When organizer and co-producer Eddy Bolz used to be a projectionist for Portland’s Nickelodean Theater, he had the idea to start a film showcase around the Maine horror genre and found that it was wildly popular. He invited his two co-producers, filmmakers Allen Baldwin and David Meiklejohn, to start the first Damnationland film project with him and recruit other filmmakers to contribute to the showcase.

    ”The rest is kind of history,” he said.

    Along with another co-producer, Charlotte Warren, this is the fifth year that the group has undertaken this grassroots, out-of-pocket tour all around Maine to be able to show these films to Mainers around Halloween. They don’t operate like a traditional film festival. The producers curate each film by choosing Maine filmmakers based on the strength of their previous work and their connection to Maine, and then commission them to create a new film that will premiere in the program. In exchange, Damnationland  promotes the short films on a statewide tour.

    All of the filmmakers in the 2014 series come from Portland. “The whole point of it is to expose people all around Maine, not just in Portland, to some of these great Maine filmmakers,” Bolz said.

    Each film is around 10-15 minutes with seven one-minute film bumpers between each feature made by Through the Door Productions, tying the entire showcase together in 90 minutes.  “I think horror fans will appreciate the diversity of the films this year,” said Bolz. “There are some interesting horror subgenres. There isn’t your typical horror movie series; although there will be some monster movies, and some fun, quirky films too.”

    As for vampires and zombies? Nope, not this year. Every year is different. But Midcoast film-goers will catch a glimpse of Belfast in one of the short films titled Driver’s Seat (directed by Jason M. Bosch for Red Stallion Media). Here’s the premise:

    In the back country roads of Maine, a woman spots a car accident. She stops to help the victim, but quickly discovers that he was involved in more than a mere fender bender.

    Other films include several psychological thrillers and demented characters, with the backdrop of Maine providing much of the scare factor itself.  In a profile of this fall’s not-to-be-missed events, the Portland Phoenix describes the films as “ranging from spooky to gory, darkly comedic to downright terrifying.” 

    Starting with the world premiere at the State Theatre in Portland, the Damnationland 2014 films have traveled to Brunswick, Bridgton, Ogunquit, Saco, Lewiston and Dover-Foxcroft. Many of the screenings will be followed by a brief talk with the filmmakers and actors, where audiences can ask questions about the film-making process - behind the films.

    Full details of each screening are available on the Damnationland website:

    While these films are not rated, they do contain strong language and depictions of violence, and therefore may not be appropriate for younger children or sensitive viewers.

    The showcase starts at 10:30 p.m. on Nov. 1. Tickets are $8.50/Adults, $7.50/Under 12, Seniors.

    Kay Stephens can be reached at