Cemetery Tales: A Tale of Two Sisters, which will be honored as the Best Short Thriller at the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival, may have sinister shadings on the screen but off screen it has a sentimental legacy that traces back to the late George A. Romero.
Cemetery Tales: A Tale of Two Sisters, which premiered last fall at Spain’s Sitges Film Festival, is the directorial debut of Chris Roe, well-known in industry circles for his namesake company Chris Roe Management, and for his clients, which include Malcolm McDowell, Bruce Davison and the late Romero, the revered horror filmmaker who single-handedly created the modern-era zombie genre with his 1968 indie classic Night of the Living Dead.
Roe’s film is dedicated to Romero, who died in Toronto in 2017 at age 77. Roe has said that the Cemetery Tales project represents a fulfillment of Romero’s influence — both through advice and by example — about the importance of finding the finish line on passion projects and elevating ambitions.
The short also has a connection to another signature name from horror cinema history: Cemetery Tales: A Tale of Two Sisters was filmed in the onetime home of James Whale, director of Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein and The Invisible Man and the subject of the 1994 biopic Gods and Monster.
Roe’s film is set in 1949 and stars Traci Lords as an aging Hollywood star who is mourning her beloved sister on the first anniversary of her death. When the truth about her murder is revealed, a visitor adds new layers to the dark mystery. Cemetery Tales: A Tale of Two Sisters, a Tea Time Production, also stars Davison, Ros Gentle, Michael Broderick and Monte Markham.
The Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival is Feb. 12-22 at the Regal Stadium Cinemas at LA Live in downtown Los Angeles.