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A Bloody Good Time: The Graves Screenings at Chandler Cinemas

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In this week's cover story, "Desert Chills," we reported on local comic book writer and horror enthusiast Brian Pulido's first full-length feature film, The Graves, which was shot on location in Vulture Mine near Wickenburg. Pulido's story of two goth geek sisters and their fateful trip to a freaky Arizona roadside attraction has been garnering praise everywhere as an intense screamer filled with suspense and action. The movie stars Clare Grant (Masters of Horror), Jillian Murray (An American Carol), Bill Moseley (Texas Chainsaw Massacre), and Tony Todd (Candyman).

This weekend, Valley horror fans were treated to a sneak peek of The Graves at Chandler Cinemas. On Saturday, May 2, hundreds of people showed up at the theater for two viewings of the film, at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. The first screening was sold out, and several members of the cast and crew were in attendance, including Pulido himself and his wife Fransisca, Director of Photography Adam Goldfine, producers Brian and Dean Ronalds, Location Manager Mike Tank, and actor Shane Stevens, who plays the strangely apologetic killer Jonah in The Graves.

Before the film, Brian and Fransisca thanked everyone for coming and showing their support for independent horror films. When the movie started rolling, it was obvious the theater was packed with fans of horror. They burst into applause when Tony Todd's name came up on the opening credits, and elicited mass gasps of excitement and horror at some of the gorier scenes. When Bill Moseley appeared on screen as Caleb, audiences knew they were in for some freaky evil. Caleb dons a pig nose and chases his prey while snorting and squealing, which drew uneasy laughter and cheers from the crowded theater.

The second screening of the film was also solidly attended, and Pulido was video taping audience members' reactions to the film after each showing. Everything was positive, as moviegoers described how they loved the creepy characters and rich storyline. There was a lot of identification for locals, too, as they saw some of their favorite haunts on the big screen, including Atomic Comics in Mesa, the Halo body piercing shop on Central, and rock club The Sets in Tempe.

After the screenings, Pulido and the rest of the cast and crew headed to Iguana Mack's in Chandler for the after party. Pulido says he's currently in talks with several distributors and expects The Graves to see a national release in the fall.

For more information on The Graves, visit www.thegravesmovie.com.

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