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12 Kilometers

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12 Kilometers

Written/Directed by Mike Pecci

12 Kilometers is a true edge-of-your-seat film, dragging you down to the darkest depths of the human psyche, while taking you on a beautiful ride through director Mike Pecci’s nightmare. The film serves as a prologue and proof of concept for a feature film that Pecci wrote while in intensive care suffering from a massive head injury. Early last year, when attempting to ice skate for the first time, he slipped and cracked open his skull. A massive blood clot formed around his brain causing hallucinations and nightmares, Pecci dreamed of a creature that could control your inner voice. Two weeks later he wrote the script for a first film in a horror franchise. One month later he was starting production on the prologue…this film. All the FX and visuals for 12KM were shot in-camera, and biologist and micro photographer Linden Gledhill filmed the creature FX on sets no larger than the surface of a dime. The film is in Russian dialect to immerse the audience a reality that is based on the actual events at the Kola Borehole in Russia. Imagine if Spielberg, Carpenter, and Lynch teamed up to direct an episode of X-files and created a fresh new look for horror.

28 minutes

Dragon Con Independent Short Film Festival Announces its 2013 Films

We are proud to announce our 2013 films:

Short Films

  • “_____” (Insert Superhero Name Here)  (dir: Kevin Shah)
  • 113 Degrees  (dir: Sabrina Doyle)
  • Alice Through The Looking Glass  (dir: Denise Plauche)
  • Antoine And The Heroes  (dir: Patrick Bagot)
  • Apartment 15  (dir: Mattia Puleo)
  • Arkham Rising  (dir: Aristides Guillen)
  • Bait  (dir: Raymond Carr, Jared Young)
  • Blue Division  (dir: Sergi Marti)
  • Brand Expanders – Vaderade  (dir: Matt Green)
  • The Brewmaster  (dir: Mark Mulcahy)
  • Christmas Eve Pet Massacre  (dir: Daniel Whidden)
  • Closing Session  (dir: Raymond Calderon)
  • The Cold Heart  (dir: Hannes Rall)
  • Cold Turkey  (dir: Fannar Thor Arnarsson)
  • A Conversation About Cheating With My Time Travelling Future Self  (dir: Pornsak Pichetshote)
  • Create  (dir: Dan Mackenzie)
  • The Dark  (dir: Justin P. Lange)
  • Day Of The Spectre  (dir: Chris Peters)
  • Dead Of Winter  (dir: Dan Delano)
  • Death Of A Shadow  (dir: Tom Van Avermaet)
  • Feral  (dir: Daniel A Sousa Daniel A Sousa)
  • Fists Of Jesus  (dir: David Muñoz, Adrian Cardona)
  • Franky And The Ant  (dir: Billy Hayes)
  • Freebird  (dir: Dustin Leboeuf)
  • Freeze  (dir: Brian Teague)
  • Girls Named Pinky  (dir: Alex Lubliner)
  • The Gold Sparrow  (dir: Daniel Stessen)
  • Hibakusha  (dir: Steve Nguyen, Choz Belen)
  • Hide N Seek  (dir: Hanuk Lee)
  • House Of Monsters  (dir: Dawn Brown)
  • Iris  (dir: Justin S. Lee)
  • Karl Of The Future  (dir: Nick Reinhard)
  • Keye Luke  (dir: Timothy Tau)
  • Kill Switch  (dir: Michael Chrisoulakis)
  • Killer Kart’  (dir: James Feeney)
  • Kundalini  (dir: V. Alex Marquez)
  • La Bear  (dir: BC Thompson)
  • The League Of S.T.E.A.M. – Dead End  (dir: Andrew Fogel)
  • The Legend Of The Black Dragon  (dir: Girard Tecson)
  • Little Man Of Steel  (dir: Larry Ziegelman)
  • Little Red  (dir: Terry Legan, Lee Crowe)
  • Locked Up  (dir: Jane Eakin)
  • Magic The Gathering The Musical  (dir: Molly Coffee)
  • Man Of Steel Song  (dir: Matthew Campagna)
  • The Meeting  (dir: Karen Lam)
  • Miracle On Metal Street  (dir: Carl Bachmann)
  • Objects Of Desire  (dir: Jim Turner)
  • The Plan  (dir: Daniel Fallik)
  • Poison Apple  (dir: Dane Neves)
  • Polterghost  (dir: Zack Ogle)
  • Posthuman  (dir: Cole Drumb)
  • The Quirk And The Dead  (dir: Ken Macgregor, Brian Lillie)
  • Red Sand: A Mass Effect Fan Film  (dir: Caleb Evans)
  • Restitution  (dir: Justin Miller)
  • Revelation  (dir: Joseph Morgan)
  • Riverside  (dir: Chris Garrison)
  • The Road  (dir: Owen Thomas)
  • The Robbery  (dir: Stan Williams)
  • The Root Of The Problem  (dir: Ryan Spindell)
  • The Rose Of Turaida  (dir: Ryan Grobins)
  • Rose, Mary And Time  (dir: Hardeep Giani)
  • The Secret Keeper  (dir: Bears Fonte)
  • Shelf Life  (dir: Steven Calcote)
  • She’s Having A Baby!  (dir: Robert  Smellin, Chris  Smellin)
  • Shotrocity  (dir: Brian Burroughs)
  • Shtarkers: Tough Guys  (dir: Tony Perzow, R.S. Bailey)
  • The Storm  (dir: Andre Leblanc)
  • Supervised  (dir: Rick Glenn, Niles Heckman)
  • Supine: A Dream  (dir: Lyon Hill)
  • Temma  (dir: Anya Meksin)
  • Territorial  (dir: Santiago C. Tapia, Jessica Curtright)
  • There’s An Octopus In Your Head  (dir: Ari Grabb)
  • Til Death  (dir: Jason Tostevin)
  • Titanadon Vs. Mechamantis  (dir: Adam Ruckersfeldt)
  • Torturous  (dir: Angus Swantee)
  • Transmission  (dir: Jared D. Weiss)
  • Unicorn Wizard  (dir: Jim Turner)
  • Voyage Trekkers – Season 2  (dir: Nathan Blackwell)
  • Watercolors  (dir: Robert Kornstein)
  • Witchfinder  (dir: Colin Clarke)
  • Witch’s Reign  (dir: Elizabeth Hatcher)
  • With Paper Hands  (dir: Sarah Plonski)
  • The Zombie Lawyer Commercials  (dir: Matthew Mcgahren)
  • Zombie Socks   (dir: Elizabeth Stacy)

Feature Films

In the coming days, we’ll slip information on each film onto the site. Come back for info and screening times.

Panels & Discussions


10:00 AM
Filmmaking Basics & Beyond: Low-Budget Filmmaking
The basics, and not so basic, of low-budget film making. Our experts will tell you how they did it, and how you can too.
Speakers: Jessica Imoto Harney, Casper Kelly, Kevin Lance Collins, David Bruckner, Victoria K. Warren, Alfeo “BoxVader” Dixon
Rm: Embassy C

11:30 AM
Visual Effects, Analog vs Digital
Digital effects can be incredible, but a home improvement store and crafty camera work can make amazing things happen quickly and cheaply.
Speakers: Hunter Cressall, Jeffrey J. Ello
Rm: Embassy C

1:00 PM
A Zombie Invasion!!!
Matt Green & co discuss the new feature “A Zombie Invasion”, premiering at Dragon*Con Sun night. Zombies are coming: learn how, why, and when.
Speakers: Zeke Flatten, Michael Rome, Esq., Matt Green, James Belyeu, Jason Huck Hinshaw
Rm: Embassy C

1:00 PM
Film Festival Opening
Learn what we’ve got planned (events, guests, shorts/feature screenings). See clips/trailers, plus the announcement of Spirit of Dragon*Con film.
Speakers: Hunter Cressall, Jeffrey J. Ello, Erin Hill & her
Psychedelic Harp
Rm: The Learning Center

2:30 PM
Filmmaking Basics & Beyond: Editing
We’ll be looking at not just the technical side of editing, but the artistic, with some basic and some advanced material.
Speakers: Jessica Imoto Harney, William Kely McClung, Jon Swindall, Thomas Gofton
Rm: Embassy C

4:00 PM
10 Critical Legal Points for Filmmakers
Come learn what you absolutely must know legally to make a film from an entertainment lawyer.
Speakers: Michael Rome, Esq.
Rm: Embassy C

8:30 PM
The Best Cult Films
We’ll talk about the best (and worst) of cult film. The most extreme, the clever, and the just horrific.
Speakers: Chris Gore, Daniel Griffith, Matthew M. Foster
Rm: The Learning Center

10:00 PM
Putting Fan Films on Screen
The creators of fan films related to Star Wars,
Spiderman, Batman, and others discuss how they did it, why they did it, and how you could.
Speakers: John Hudgens, Festival Filmmakers
Rm: Embassy C

11:30 PM
What’s New With Troma
Troma president Lloyd Kaufman reveals the exciting news from Troma.
Speaker: Lloyd Kaufman
Rm: International North



10:00 AM
Filmmaker Meet and Greet
Open discussion for attending filmmakers. Share stories, meet your colleagues, promote your work, and make contacts. Open to all.
Rm: Embassy C

11:30 AM
How to Make a Movie A-Z Part I: Pre-Production
A complete film class in 3 parts. Pre-production: This is the most important, and most ignored part of filmmaking. Find out why it shouldn’t be.
Speakers: Hunter Cressall, Jeffrey J. Ello
Rm: Embassy C

1:00 PM
How to Make a Movie A-Z Part II: Production
The audience participates in creating a short production, demonstrating the principles of film production.
Speakers: Hunter Cressall, Jeffrey J. Ello
Rm: Embassy C

2:30 PM
How to Make a Short Film
Our Festival filmmakers discuss what it takes to create a short film from idea to screen.
Speakers: Festival Filmmakers
Rm: Embassy C

2:30 PM
Juliet Landau’s Take Flight Film
Screening of the documentary on Gary Oldman and Q&A with Landau in her directorial debut.
Speaker: Juliet Landau
Rm: International South

4:00 PM
Filmmaking Basics & Beyond: Directing
Our experienced directors will cover the basics and more advanced elements of directing your own film.
Speakers: William Kely McClung, Kenneth L. Feinberg, Casper
Kelly, David Bruckner, Michael Lucker, Matt Green
Rm: Embassy C

8:30 PM
Social Media for Filmmakers
Independent filmmakers are up against Hollywood budgets. Social Media is a great equalizer, for those who know how to use it.
Speakers: Hunter Cressall, Jeffrey J. Ello, James Belyeu
Rm: Embassy C

10:00 PM
The (near) Future of Filmmaking
The next few years holds a crazy convergence of amazing new technology, uncertain laws and demanding audiences. Find out what’s about to happen here.
Speakers: Hunter Cressall, Lloyd Kaufman, Jeffrey J. Ello, Matt Green
Rm: Embassy C


10:00 AM
Film Distribution
Making a film is hard enough, but then you’ve got to distribute it. How? DIY? Stand on a corner? Pray? Luckily, our experts have some answers.
Speakers: Lloyd Kaufman, Zeke Flatten, Michael Rome, Esq., James Belyeu, Jason Huck Hinshaw
Rm: Embassy C

11:30 AM
Filmmaking Basics & Beyond: Cinematography
Learn from the experts the basics and the tricks of cinematography
Speakers: Jessica Imoto Harney, William Kely McClung, Victoria
K. Warren, Alfeo “BoxVader” Dixon, Jon Swindall
Rm: Embassy C

1:00 PM
How to Make a Movie A-Z Part III: Post-Production
A practical demonstration of editing, composition and audio work using Adobe CS6.
Speakers: Hunter Cressall, Jeffrey J. Ello
Rm: Embassy C

1:00 PM
The Best Short Films of the Last 20 Years
We take a look at some of the best short films of the last twenty films, and leave enough time to argue which are truly the best.
Speakers: Dr. Bob Blackwood, John L. Flynn, Chris Gore, Matthew M Foster
Rm: The Learning Center

2:30 PM
Filmmaking Basics & Beyond: Storytelling
Writing and/or choosing a good script and how the rest of the production process can support telling the story well.
Speakers: Kenneth L. Feinberg, Casper Kelly, Kevin Lance Collins, David Bruckner, Michael Lucker, Jon Swindall
Rm: Embassy C

4:00 PM
The Art of Short Film
Our Festival filmmakers discuss the artistic side of their work, toss in war stories, and cover how its done.
Speakers: Festival Filmmakers
Rm: Embassy C

4:00 PM
Voltaire – Puppet Master of the Macabre
Voltaire discusses his stop-motion animation, his MTV and SyFy Channel commercials, and his short films.
Speakers: Aurelio Voltaire
Rm: The Learning Center

8:30 PM
Putting Horror on the Screen
Our horror film directors/writers/producers will discuss
what it takes to capture terror on film.
Speakers: Matt Green, Festival Filmmakers
Rm: Embassy C

10:00 PM
Making the Sick, Twisted, Disturbed Films We All Love.
The makers of some of our more peculiar film festival films, along with some old friends, discuss making films you can’t talk about with your Grandma.
Speakers: Lloyd Kaufman, Festival Filmmakers
Rm: Embassy C


10:00 AM
Puppets in Film
A look at using puppets in animated films by the filmmakers of Heather Henson’s Handmade Puppet Dreams.
Speakers: Heather Henson, Hannah Miller, Samuel Koji Hale, Kevin McTurk
Rm: Embassy C

10:00 AM
Film Festival: Filmmaker Discussion
Our group discussion of short filmmaking, covering
painful production and festival war stories, and how to get your film into a fest. Open to all.
Rm: Regency V; 2.5 Hours

11:30 AM
Filmmaking Basics & Beyond: Producing
Well cover the basics, and the complexities, of producing a film.
Speakers: Jessica Imoto Harney, William Kely McClung, Kenneth L. Feinberg, Michael Lucker, Jon Swindall
Rm: Embassy C

1:00 PM
Film Festival Awards Ceremony
Voltaire will present the 2012 Dragon*Con Independent Short Film Festival awards
Speakers: Aurelio Voltaire, Erin Hill & her Psychedelic Harp
Rm: Regency V

2:30 PM
Pro Photography for Not-So-Pro Filmmaker
The independent filmmaker is now armed with an exceptional camera (DSLR)… learn to use it!
Speakers: Hunter Cressall, Jeffrey J. Ello
Rm: Embassy C

4:00 PM
Film Festival Closing
A final look at this year’s D*CIS Film Festival. What we did right, wrong, and maybe a final film.
Rm: The Learning Center

Lookout, Science

Posted in , , ,
Lookout Science

Written by Erin Hill; Directed by David Frame & Matt Bockelman; Produced by David Frame

Erin (aka The Sci-Fi Harp Girl) plays the harp, sings, and writes songs with science fiction lyrics; Lookout, Science is a song with a story: like a five-minute Twilight Zone episode set to a pop tune about the relationship between science and religion.
God (or Mom, depending on how you look at it) has a scientist daughter and pastor son. Erin plays an angel (with a harp, of course!) given a mission by God that she must carry out in appropriately mysterious, scientific, and supernatural fashion. The video also pays tribute to the TZ episode ‘Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?’ Stars Marni Nixon and Lisa Roberts Gillan.

Watch the trailer.

5 min.

Giant Mushrooms

Posted in , , ,
giant mushrooms

Written by Erin Hill; Produced by Erin Hill, David Frame, Mike Nolan; Directed by Michael O’Donnell

A music video by Erin Hill and her Psychedelic Harp, it’s like a four-and-a-half minute Twilight Zone episode set to a pop tune. Erin (aka The Sci-Fi Harp Girl) plays the harp, sings, and writes songs with science fiction lyrics. The video is set in the 1950’s, during the Golden Age of Science Fiction, and takes inspiration from Bradbury, Bowie, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Village of the Damned, and the music of the psychedelic era. Erin is also proud to have been inspired by that other great sci-fi harpist: Mr. Spock!

Watch the trailer.

4 min

Beau Bridges at this year’s Dragon*Con!

Beau Bridges is an award-winning actor who has portrayed a myriad of characters during his successful career spanning more than four decades. Part of a preeminent Hollywood acting dynasty, he started at a young age and has worked virtually non-stop in his profession ever since.
read more »

2003 Film Festival Awards

Posted in ,

Best Short Film: Family Tree
Best Animated Film: Dear, Sweet Emma

Screenings & awards for 2003:


1st Place The Erl-King, 8 min, animation by Hannes Rall.  A stark and powerful version of Goethe’s classic tale of a father and his child traveling at night through a haunted forest.

2nd Place Rendezvous with Rama, 4 min, animation by Aaron Ross.  An extraordinarily detailed animation sequence, depicting key scenes from Arthur C. Clarke’s classic story.

Dandelion, 11 min, animation by Hal Forsstrom.  A soldier’s personal battle to survive in the wasteland of a future war, told in pen-and-ink and watercolor.

Destroy Old Things, 9 min, animation by Jeff King, Jim Fairchild, and Lewis D’Aubin.  A rocking anthem from the Consortium of Genius is matched by a vibrant mixture of animation techniques.


1st Place Dear, Sweet Emma, 6 min, 3D-animation by Rebecca Cernak. A sweet, little old lady is puttering around in her lemon-lime kitchen, as the radio announces that the search for her lost husband has been discontinued.  Then we learn more about the twinkle in her eye.

2nd Place Puphedz: The Tattle-Tale Heart, 27 min, puppet animation directed by Jurgen Heimann.  A Guignolesque re-telling of Poe’s classic tale, as told by a bizarre traveling puppet troupe.

A Pizza for Sprinkles, 2 min, animation by Hillary Clark.   Short delight, involving a pizza delivery made at an animal shelter, and the surprising tip given to the reluctant driver.

Project Mars, 15 min, directed and animated by Dug Ward.  A farce about the search for water on Mars, mixing silly live action with sillier animation.

Virtual vs. Real, 10 min, directed and animated by Jamie Pilarski.  A rivalry develops during a casting call when the auditioning actress finds that her competition is a computer construct.


1st Place Bluefish, 25 min, directed by Lucas Howe.  A friendship develops on a remote prison island.  Beautifully shot in black and white, this film combines harsh contemporary realities with mystical, other-worldly elements.

2nd Place Keys of Life, 13 min, directed by Jeremy Rall, produced by Rachel Curl.  During the worst day of his life, a locksmith learns an important truth.  Beautiful images within a harsh, ironic tale.

Anna’s Room, 20 min, directed by Patrick Boyton.  A cautionary tale, wherein a 16-year-old girl, with a controlling father, is lured into the world of a dangerous stranger.

Backfire, 23 min, directed by Ron Etemad.  Disaster results when a teenage boy attempts to win new friends and join a violent gang.

Eternal, 7 min, directed by Freddie Arnold Jr.  Dark, tightly edited images illustrate the tale of a young man trying desperately to help his brother deal with their abusive father.


1st Place Frazetta, Painting with Fire, 60 min, directed by Lance Laspina, produced by Jeremy DiFiore.  A richly detailed look at Frank Frazetta’s amazing life: his battles, his triumphs, and his incredible artwork.

2nd Place  UnWound, 45 min, directed by Jeff Cioletti.  A detailed look at classic toy robots, movie robots, and battling robots.


1st Place String of the Kite, 24 min, directed by Michael Fallavollita.  A grandfather teaches kite-flying and other lessons to his grandson.  An exquisite performance by John Schuck.

2nd Place Professional Courtesy, 27 min, directed by Mark Price.  The codes of conduct affect dealings between medieval thieves.  A delicate battle of wits in a lush forest setting.

Fantasy Comedy

1st Place Tea Time, 6 min, directed by Jay Bogdanowitsch.  A tasty bit of Pythonesque battlefield intrigue, centering on a gooey pastry.

2nd Place Red Wagon, 14 min, directed by Alison Marek.  A delusional woman finds a shipwrecked man on the beach, but will her sister let her keep him?

Time Copy, 11 min, directed by Matt Rosen.  Farce about an office boy who finds that the photocopier has a very special button, one that resets time.

General Comedy

1st Place Spidermen, 8 min, directed by Harry Kellerman.  A young boy adopts the guise of his favorite super-hero as he endeavors to find where his Mom hide his basket of Halloween candy.

2nd Place Getting Out, 21 min, directed by Aaron Fishman.  A California trust-fund dude tries everything he can think of to get rid of a stifling girlfriend.

Sticky Fingers, 19 min, directed by Douglas S. Jones.  Complications ensue when a bride finds her mate’s collection of porn, and calculates that he spent less on her engagement ring.


1st Place The Patchwork Monkey, 10 min, directed by Susan Bell.  A young boy receives a hand-made gift from his babysitter; his sister teases that it’s going to get him.  Little does she know.

2nd Place The Visage, 40 min, directed by Kirk Henderson.  A man is hired to watch the corpse of a spiritualist for three intense nights.

Endings, 12 min, directed by Danishka Esterhazy.  This dark, atmospheric film presents a young man meeting a young woman who can see when and where people are going to die.

Horror Comedy

1st Place No Witness, 10 min, directed by Michael Valverde, story by Steve Antczak. A crafty politician orders the hiring of a contract killer, with the stipulation that there be no witnesses.  Cross-cut storylines and handheld shots reflect the escalating chaos.

2nd Place Fun with Clones, 11 min, directed by Matthew Pristave.  In this heady farce, you can use clones to satisfy your desires to take revenge on teasing classmates, evil bosses, and teens blasting music.

Blood Shot, 22 min, directed by Dietrich Johnston, produced by Jacqueline Johnston.  The CIA’s top agent is a vampire, sent to wipe out terrorists, but he’s being stalked by a police officer.

Run, 5 min, directed by Katharine Leis, edited by Gary DeJidas.  A woman is stalked while jogging at night.  Tautly cut, filmed in low light, with a neat kicker.

Magic Realism

1st Place Family Tree, 36 min, directed by Vicky Jenson.  Inspired by Ovid’s tale of Baucis and Philemon, this film presents a bickering family’s celebration of Thanksgiving.  Harland Williams gives us the outsider’s perspective, as a man struggling to understand the quirky family he has married into.  Talia Shire and Ethan Phillips play the grandparents, in a uniformly excellent ensemble cast, all creating vivid characters who reveal life-long passions, rivalries, and frustrations in scenes laced with humor and warmth.  (Family Tree was Jenson’s first project since co-directing Shrek.)

2nd Place The Mother Tree, 27 min, directed by Shaeri Scholzman Richards, Sedona, Ariz.  Mysticism meets domestic abuse, as an orphaned boy encounters an African drum healer.

The Appointment, 16 min, directed by Earl A. Hibbert.  A businessman, pre-occupied with success, has to wonder, after an auto accident, if he has been sacrificing too much family time.

Science Fiction

1st Place Phoenix , 19 min, directed by Steven Bordelon.  Something is dangerously wrong in a school for telekinetic children—three failures lead to elimination.  Strong cinematic tale, with minimal dialogue.

2nd Place Circle, 13 min, directed by Whitney Hamilton.  An NSA agent discovers that extra-terrestrials are after him.  For once the men in black are not in charge, not by a long shot.

Night Cap, 16 min, directed by Brandon Kahn.  A beautifully filmed, scored, and paced tale of a perfect future, and one young man who discovers a book of poems and dares to think.

Sci-Fi Comedy

1st Place Untitled: 003 Embryo, 28 min, directed by Mike Goedecke.  An agoraphobic man receives a package containing an ultra-hi-tech helmet, that proceeds to capture other people’s dreams and promises to make his own dreams come true.  Ethan Phillips has an outrageous cameo.

2nd Place New Verdiform City, 13 min, directed by Brad Abrahams. In glorious retro black-and-white, this film presents a fantastical alternative version of 1952, where obsolete humans fight a robot takeover.

Stranded, 13 min, directed by Don Waters, produced by Franco Calabrese, Don Waters, Phil Mell, and Joel Austin.  After crashing on a strange planet, two bounty hunters wonder who’s on top of the food chain.

Mon Star, 10 min, directed by Glenn S. Abbott.  An absolutely unique sci-fi monster musical, with a truly bizarre creature and rousing battle songs.

The Mazinga Paradox, 28 min, directed by Joseph Gressis, produced by Michael D. Yates.  This film sends up every time travel story as the hero decides to go back in time and snatch his classic sci-fi toys before he could open them on Christmas morning.


1st Place I’ll Save You!!!, 6 min, directed by Damian Beurer.  When a purse is stolen in New York City , who comes to the rescue?  A veritable plethora of classic, head-knocking, Marvel super-heroes!

2nd Place The Convention, 12 min, directed by Georgia Clark.  It’s her son’s birthday, but a woman has to go to work, waitressing at a Superhero Banquet.

King Blade, 16 min, directed by John Stewart.  Part camp, part horror—the tale of an abused janitor who turns to the ghost of Elvis for advice, help, and inspiration.

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