It is a dark, bone-chilling night and a madman is on the loose. The guts of a thousand tormented and dismembered souls line the hallways as mutilated bodies are stacked 10 high, blocking any possible escape. The air is choked with a sinister silence, broken only by the shallow, halting breaths signaling a coming dread.
You are about to die. And you love every minute of it.
At least that is the hope of Plainview filmmaker Frank Sabatella, a horror fanatic and maven of the macabre who is the founder of Sideshow Pictures, a ferociously independent production company designed to produce high-quality, fiercely entertaining and highly marketable content for horror audiences worldwide. The projects range from monster movies to splatter flicks to nail-biting chillers, all with the collective mission of reanimating the horror genre for a new generation of blood-starved, gore junkies.
This Halloween season, Sabatella invites those fans to www.boneyardtales.com, which will soon be a home for short horror films on the web. Sabatella and his team are producing their own original films and acquiring pieces from filmmakers from around the world.
“Boneyard Tales is set to establish itself as the darkest corner of the web loaded with buckets of original, highly produced short horror cinema for todays online audience,” he said. “Working with talented filmmakers both in-house and abroad, The Boneyard is scaring up a variety of styles and sub-genres all designed to keep audiences dying for more.”
Several of the films set to roll out on The Boneyard were shot on Long Island, including “Demented,” which was shot in Levittown and “#Selfie,” shot in East Meadow.
“The first film I have personally written and directed for the boneyard is called ‘Home Sweet Home,” said Sabatella, adding it was written with Marc Schoenbach, another Long Islander. “It was shot in Lindenhurst. It is the film I just wrapped up and am currently in post production on to have it ready for release before Halloween.”
For an overview of Sabatella’s work, check out www.sideshowpics.com. Horror is a life-long passion for Sabatella, who remembers exercising his knack for creeping people out at a very young age.
“Apparently I’ve loved scaring people since I was very young,” he said, recalling how his mother found papers he wrote in elementary school declaring his devotion to deviousness. “But people want to be scared. You get to go through those terrifying emotions without actually dying. It’s a catharsis of the mind. You feel that terror, but you are ultimately safe.”
However, the actors in Sabatella’s films are not safe for long. Aside from “Children of the Witch,” Sabatella has raised society’s body count in the short films “Night of the Pumpkin,” “The House That Cried Blood,” and the feature length movie, “Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet.”
“Blood Night” was a true labor of love for Sabatella, albeit a twisted sort of love, to be sure. The film stems from the real life Long Island legend of Mary Mattock; a young girl who in 1978 gruesomely murdered her family with a hatchet and was locked away for life in the island’s notorious Kings Park Psychiatric Center.
The movie follows a group of teenagers as they come face to face with the legend, facing her blood-soaked hatchet one-by-one. The splatter-fest, dripping with gore, guts and sex, features an array of doomed actors, including legends of the genre, horror-character actor extraordinaire Bill Mosely and scream queen Danielle Harris.
Sabatella said great horror actors must convey the proper emotions — a sense of fear, vulnerability and of course, a good scream.
“Actors and actresses love getting killed,” he said, adding that the actresses in “Children of the Witch” could not wait to be covered in blood. “They’re like, ‘when do I get to die?’ It makes for a lot of fun on the set.”
Sabatella recently finished writing two film screenplays and is currently seeking financing for both. One is called “The Shed,” which is about a derelict teen that traps a blood thirsty vampire inside the tool shed in his yard.
“When the vampire escapes, the teen must face his personal demon head on or die trying,” said Sabatella.
“The other film is called “Donna,” and is about a young man in a tragic car crash that shatters his memory and kills his girlfriend.
“When her ghost returns from the grave he is forced to recollect his lost memories from the accident and discovers evidence of his own fathers involvement,” he said. “He must confront his dad and the vengeful spirit of his girlfriend to unravel the conspiracy behind this murderous plot.”
Sabatella is also developing a feature film from one of his short films, “The House That Cried Blood.”
Unique, decapitated and awash in blood, Sabatella’s brand of horror was developed while growing up in Plainview and attending Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School.
“There is always a suburban flair to my films,” he said. “Plainview informs the person I am and naturally, my experiences influence what I create.”
For more information on Frank Sabatella and his work, check out www.sideshowpics.com.