Blood and gore. Check.
A red-carpet premiere. Check and done.
Horror fans will get it all when the locally made film, “Within” premieres on Halloween night in the North Park Theatre.
Directed by Niagara Falls native Ken Cosentino, “Within” is about five strangers – each with their own demons – hiding out in a farmhouse during a zombie apocalypse. Written by Jon Ferrari, it stars Western New York actors Tyler Austin, Cynthia Laforest Gerber, Joseph Giambra, Madison Ranne and Noah Wisniewski, 9.
“It’s your average zombie film – a lot of comedy and a lot of gore,” said Costentino, 25, who made sure to put extra bits in the film as a nod to zombie fans. “We tipped the hat a few times to different famous directors. Our zombies have similarities to movies from ’60s like George Romero films to modern zombies in ‘Walking Dead’ and ‘28 Days Later.’ ”
He even took a famous scene from Lucio Falci’s 1979 cult classic “Zombie” involving an eye and a sharp object and remade it.
And although “Within” was made in 2013, it is timely in that it states the cause of the zombies is a mutated form of Ebola.
There is one thing not seen in zombie films that Cosentino said he is especially proud to have in his movie: a gay protagonist in the lead role.
“I want people to know this film is goofy zombie romp, but at the same time it has some political issues that are definitely discussed,” Cosentino said about the character played by Tyler Austin. “It’s not that the whole movie centers around his sexual preference. But it was really important for us to show the transformation he goes through from the beginning of the film where his father – a bigot – is disrespectful to this son for being gay – to the end, where he’s our hero. So it shows how strong he really is. I’m proud to be the one to have directed this film.”
Cosentino said zombies have always been popular, but are especially so now because of the ever-changing market in film and TV.
“Vampires were popular with ‘Twilight’ and ‘True Blood’; pirates with ‘Pirates of the Caribbean.’ And now it’s zombies. They allow people to disconnect from reality a bit,” Cosentino said. “Romero’s ‘Dawn of the Dead’ has a lot of undertones about commercialization where he shows the zombies in a mall. And there are a lot of people, especially in today’s world, who just want to show their individuality and they don’t want to be a puppet for corporate America, so the zombie represents people who are doing what they think they should do. Then you have the survivors in any zombie story who strive toward being unique. When people watch that, they can relate to that.”
“Within” premieres at 10 p.m. Friday in the North Park. The film will be followed by a Q&A with the cast and crew. Tickets are $12 advance and $15 at the door – come to theater dressed “head to toe” and costume, and you get in for $12. An after-party is planned at 12:30 a.m. in Fat Bob’s Smokehouse, where ticket holders will get to “party with the cast and crew.” The film also will screen as part of the Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival, Nov. 7-13 in the Dipson Amherst Theatre.
When: 10 p.m. Friday
Where: North Park Theatre, 1428 Hertel Ave.
Tickets: $12 advance, $15 at the door