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Connellsville man writes, directs, stars in local horror film

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Jeff Monahan of Connellsville in a scene fom his latest movie 'Corpsing,' now available On Demand through various services. 08/29/13

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A mix of horror, science fiction and a love story — that's how Connellsville's Jeff Monahan describes a movie he recently wrote, directed and co-starred in.

“Corpsing,” a horror film shot in 2011 is now available for viewing on On Demand.

Monahan said the movie is something of a romantic Frankenstein story. It's about a woman and her relationship with a former lover and a humanoid she created from spare body parts.

“It's really a pretty campy mix of horror, science fiction and love story,” he said. “Kind of a fun popcorn movie on one level, but with some deeper themes threaded in, like feminism and how far we'll all go for love.”

The film was shot in several locations in the Pittsburgh area.

“Any film is challenging, and this one was pretty crazy,” Monahan said. “We shot most of it at the former Iron City Brewery in Pittsburgh, and at the Meter Room in Brentwood. Doors and windows had to be kept shut to keep outside noise down, it was well over 100 degrees on most days, and some of our locations were filled with black mold.”

Monahan said a lot of special-effects make-up were involved and to keep them from melting off, scenes had to be shot fast.

“But everyone was great to work with and we formed a really well-oiled machine very quickly,” he said.

Earlier this year, Monahan's fellow filmmaker and friend, John Gallagher, saw a cut of “Corpsing” and thought it would be perfect for Fangoria, a horror-genre magazine that distributes horror films under “Fangoria Presents.”

Gallagher contacted Fangoria and recommended officials see “Corpsing” before Monahan would begin showing it to other distributors.

“They saw it, loved it and made a very good offer right away,” Monahan said. “I'm thrilled to be working with them, and with their subsidiary, Brainstorm Media, in Los Angeles.”

“We are thrilled that the second volume of Fangoria Presents will launch with the horrific and darkly romantic ‘Corpsing,'” said Meyer Shwarzstein, president of Brainstorm Media, in a press release. “The film is filled with twists and surprises, and fans will love the strange places this movie goes.”

In the same press release, Fangoria President Thomas DeFeo made mention of the Pittsburgh filming locations and horror film icons such as George A. Romero and Tom Savini, both of which Monahan has worked with many times.

“I love the fact that ‘Corpsing' comes from the land of Romero and Tom Savini,” DeFeo said. “'Corpsing' has the gruesome goodies that followers of intelligent and bloody horror have come to savor and enjoy.”

In early August, Fangoria Presents released “Corpsing” for video and On Demand through Comcast, Time Warner, Cox-Bright House, Dish, AT&T, iTunes, Xbox, VUDU, Amazon Instant, Blockbuster App and Playstation with more platforms to be announced this month.

The film is available to view in the United States as well as Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas and some other territories.

“And we just signed a deal with Spartan Bay, who will distribute it worldwide later this year,” Monahan said. The DVD of the film will be released later this year.

“So far, everyone has loved it. I think the best comment I've heard is ‘deliciously weird,' which suits the movie very well,” Monahan said.

Monahan acted in such films as “The Dark Half,” “Lone Star” and “Bruiser.”

He has written and/or directed episodes of “George A. Romero Presents Deadtime Stories” and is working on his next feature production.

Mark Hofmann is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-626-3539.

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