“Damnationland” is kind of a big deal.

The horror anthology film is a first in Maine movie history with seven professional local filmmakers and seven new original short films combined to create one very scary-looking, completely original horror flick. Don’t believe me? Check out the (NSFW) trailer at www.damnationland.com. I’ll wait.

See what I mean? Yikes.

“Damnationland” premieres at the Nickelodeon on Oct. 28, and shows at the Movies at the Museum on Oct. 29, and the Railroad Square Cinema in Waterville and the Colonial Theater in Belfast on Oct. 30. Check www.damnationland.com for details and additional showings.

For the skinny, let’s ask “Damnationland” co-founder and contributor Allen Baldwin: 

How was “Damnationland” born?

Eddy Bolz (founder of last month’s “Rated Local” short-film fest) pitched me the idea. He handled the theater end, and I handled the filmmaking end. 

Why horror?

I had wanted to do a horror feature already, and working within a genre is really fun. For a project like this, it helps to have parameters; people are intrigued by them. 

And the local filmmakers you contacted were enthusiastic?

There were more people than we had room for. We didn’t give anyone specific directions, and the results (are that) each have their own flavor. Some are funny, some are more like dramas, and some are genuinely, uncomfortably disturbing. 

What can you tell us about your contribution, “Humoresque?”

Hmm I don’t want to give anything away. I’d say it’s got a “Twilight Zone” feel, although it’s definitely a horror movie along the lines of a funny “Twilight” episode, but with blood. How’s that? 

How does “Damnationland” differ from the 48 Hour Film Festival?

The 48 Hour fest is fun, but after a couple of times, you always wish you had more time to show what you can really do. Most of us have made a feature film already; it (“Damnationland”) is a showcase for people who know what they’re doing. It’s like asking a composer to compose an original piece for an event. 

What about continuing “Damnationland” in the future?

Maine’s full of talented people, and a big part of what I (and others) want to do with this is to put the creative community in the same room, so to speak. While this year’s is still sort of a southern Maine thing, we’d love to spread out; maybe a cool horror movie from Bucksport for the next one. I’d give up my space for new people. 

Dennis Perkins is a freelance writer who lives in Portland.


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