A CHRONICLE OF CORPSES

 

Andrew Repasky McElhinney’s second feature film is a lushly detailed early nineteenth century period piece concerning the last days of a family of once wealthy aristocrats. The film is an elegiac thriller — a totally unforgettable, sinister and darkly comic cryptogram.

 

“Here’s a real UFO, an extremely low-budget, genuinely independent film by a 22-year-old writer-director from Philadelphia that immediately establishes a distinctive and promising voice…
     “…[McElhinney] projects an amazing degree of stylistic assurance and originality.
     “A Chronicle of Corpses belongs to the small but significant tradition of outsider art in American movies—films like Herk Harvey’s Carnival of Souls or George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead—that reflect powerful personalities formed outside any academic or professional tradition. That most of these are horror films is no coincidence; they are the films that haunt American cinema, pointing to paths that were never taken, to doors that remain firmly closed.”
          —Dave Kehr, The New York Times

 

“* * * * (Four Stars)
What’s most impressive about McElhinney’s highbrow period film is its ability to satisfy snobbish cultural aesthetes while simultaneously fulfilling slasher film conventions. Most of the fourteen-member ensemble cast will have been dispatched by hatchet, knife, rifle, or poison by Chronicle’s end. Some mysteriously disappear along the sidelines Blair Witch style. Others are discovered in a postmortem splatter of blood. Think of it as a caveat to those who secretly wished that Jack Nicholson (in wild-eyed mode from The Shining) had wandered into The Remains of the Day wielding a mallet.
It’s the art film from hell.”
          —Jeremiah Kipp, Filmcritic.com

 

A Chronicle of Corpses is easily the most peculiar American indie to play New York theaters this year … [it’s] alternately flamboyant and minimal.
          —Dennis Lim, The Village Voice

 

“a Bresson-meets-Bergman-meets-Wes Craven suspenser”
          —Steven Rea, The Philadelphia Inquirer

 

“McElhinney demonstrates a shocking degree of masterful control over the medium. Compositions are well chosen, the lighting is shadowy and absolutely stunning, and the film is intriguingly reminiscent of Barry Lyndon, Bergman’s The Silence and, well, Halloween all at once.”
          —Matt Prigge, The Philadelphia Weekly

 

“This is an uncommonly well-photographed film, remarkably lush and opulent in its lighting and shadow play. Try to imagine if some wise guy decided to combine the scripts for Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon with Francis Ford Coppola’s Dementia 13 and you may have an idea what A Chronicle of Corpses is all about. This stately gothic horror drama, filmed in the Philadelphia region by 21-year-old Andrew Repasky McElhinney combines Kubrick’s chilly and icily distinguished period piece with Coppola’s wild tale of an axe-murderer targeting an intensely dysfunctional family.”
          —Phill Hall, Film Threat Magazine

 

 

 

 

THE CAST

Grandmother Elliot . . . MARJ DUSAY

Tyrone . . . HARRY CARNAHAN

Sara Elliot . . . RYAN FOLEY

Mr. Elliot . . . KEVIN MITCHELL MARTIN

Mrs. Elliot . . . SALLY MERCER

Father Jerome . . . JERRY PERNA

The Killer . . . MELISSA REX

Baby Elliot . . . LINDZIE CALABRESE RIVERA

Anna Swales . . . AMANDA SCHEINER

Unlce Grady . . . DAVID SEMONIN

Swales . . . GEORGE SPENCE

The Beggar-Slave . . . DAVID SCOTT TAYLOR

Bridgette . . . MARGOT WHITE

Thomas Elliot . . . OLIVER WYMAN

 

 

THE CREW

Cinematographer — ABE HOLTZ

Picture and sound editor — RON KALISH

Costume designer — RHONDA BLESSING

Gaffer — JOHN DRAUS

Steadicam operator — MIKE O’SHEA

Make-up — DAINA HUNT

Assistant cameraman — SEYMOUR LEVIN

Location sound mixers — DOUG KOCHENBACH, DAVE RAINEY

Re-recording mixer — MICHAEL JORDEN, MAGNO SOUND, NYC

ADR/foley engineer — MARK DiSEMON

Key production assistants
TED KNIGHTON, SARA McELHINNEY, BARBARA NOSKA
CLAUIDA SAYEN, DOROTHY STONE, CARL SPICER

Associate producers GEORGE S. McELHINNEY and SUZANNE REPASKY

Writer/Producer/Director — ANDREW REPASKY McELHINNEY

 

©MM