"This '70s era-inspired psychological thriller feels like a fever dream...
Other Madnesses is a film that effectively gets under your skin."
Frank Scheck, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
"Other Madnesses would be worth a look for either its lead performance or its nigh-apocalyptic view of New York alone, but together – and coupled with evocative choices in everything from supporting cast to sound design – these elements bring it pretty close to the level of a must-see."
Nick Rocco Scalia, FILM THREAT
“Other Madnesses is an atmospheric and sometimes surreal meander through the nightmarish neon glow of the streets of New York. It's been too long since a film depicted New York as a city of nightmares rather than a city of dreams."
Chris McKittrick, MOVIE BUZZERS
"A Genuine American Indie."
Greg Kwik, INDIEWIRE
“The standout feature of the festival is a fascinating piece of psychological terror called “Other Madnesses”…It is easily the best movie I’ve seen so far in 2016 and deserving of finding an audience.”
“Make sure to catch Jeremy Carr’s Other Madnesses for a thriller centered around a man losing his grip while descending into bloody vigilantism.”
"Overall, Other Madnesses is a simply fantastic film to watch."
"Jeremy Carr’s directorial debut keeps you at the edge of your seat and wanting more..."
Mike McCarthy, WINGMAN MAGAZINE
"STUNNING! Filmmaker Jeremy Carr Gives A New Character to New York City With Other Madnesses."
Ken Artuz, DECAY MAG
"Operating in the bowels of New York City, Carr’s crazed protoganist is Scorsese’s Travis Bickle reading too much Dostoevsky and exploding/imploding like a scourge of God in a bloodbath of ghoulish revenge.”
Gerald Peary, film critic, THE ARTS FUSE
Inside Look: Jeremy Carr's, "Other Madnesses" showcased at First Time Fest
Chicago International Film Festival Programmers Focus On Directors
Other Madnesses: Finding The Madness Within
Horror Highlights - Other Madnesses
Jeremy Carr discusses Other Madnesses on iTalk Movies!
WINNER - Best Feature Film - Cape Fear Independent Film Festival
WINNER - Best Produced Screenplay - Cape Fear Independent Film Festival
WINNER - Best Director - WestSide Film Festival
WINNER - Outstanding Cinematography - Arizona International Film Festival
WINNER - Outstanding Achievement in Acting - First Time Fest
WINNER - The Director's Award - North Carolina Film Awards
WINNER - Best Performance - Orlando Film Festival
WINNER - Best Actress in a Feature - Studio City International Film Festival
WINNER - Silver Laurel Award - L.A. Neo-Noir Film Festival
NOMINATED - Best Picture - Orlando Film Festival
NOMINATED - Best Director - Orlando Film Festival
RUNNER-UP - Best Feature Film - Soo Film Festival
FINALIST - San Diego International Film Festival
OFFICIAL SELECTION - Chicago International Film Festival
OFFICIAL SELECTION - Palm Beach International Film Festival
OFFICIAL SELECTION - Tacoma Film Festival
OFFICIAL SELECTION - Snowdance Independent Film Festival
Other Madnesses evolved organically out of my experience of living in New York City for sixteen years, which may explain why the lead character, Ed Zimmer, has always felt very real to me. Ed is a modern day Raskolnikov, Bernhard Goetz, and Travis Bickle all rolled into one. In many ways he resembles me and a lot of the people I know – suffering from what I call an American Identity Crisis. Over educated, under-skilled transplants from small towns, living in an unforgiving metropolis that eats away at your sanity and sense of purpose every moment of every day. The story is told from Ed’s point of view, but Other Madnesses is more than just a character study. I see it as a realistic horror story, an allegory for anyone who is burdened with a singular purpose; a calling or a vision that they think no one else could possibly understand. As a filmmaker, I'm interested in challenging the common perceptions about civilized life, and my hope is to inspire viewers to do the same.
In one of his more lucid moments, Ed says: “People never stop and step back and take a look around at what's really going on. People just go about their jobs and their lives and they don't see what I see: The ugly truth.” That sounds bleak, but it doesn't have to be. The stories I'm interested in telling involve people who are on a journey of becoming critical thinkers; who choose self-actualization over social conditioning. What intrigues me is seeing how that journey plays out for different, unique individuals and where it ultimately leads them. For Ed Zimmer, a New York City tour guide who embarks on a dark path of vigilantism, the final destination is an unexpected place that...well, you'll just have to wait and see for yourself.
Ed Zimmer is a lonely, New York City tour guide who leads a double life. By day, he points out famous landmarks to wide eyed tourists. But when Ed returns home at night, he is plagued by nightmares; disturbing visions of a child abduction which seem too real to be a figment of his imagination. Tortured by these thoughts, Ed ventures out into the gritty underbelly of New York City to investigate. After a dangerous encounter with a real life killer, Ed becomes obsessed with avenging the innocent and begins hunting down the murderers who haunt him in his sleep. Meanwhile, Ed attempts to maintain a romantic relationship with a Russian tourist named Lucya, who doesn't know about his dark secret. As the vigilante killings escalate, Ed's unhinged behavior makes Lucya fear that he is descending into madness.When a mysterious stranger begins stalking him, Ed's two worlds collide and he is ultimately forced to make a choice – either to flee town with the girl of his dreams or embrace the beautiful nightmare that his life has become.
Other Madnesses is a mind-bending feature film that combines the creepy vibe of '70s psychological thrillers with the dramatic, DIY aesthetic of the French New Wave. The film was shot on location in New York City, and was made with support from the IFP.
Q&A with WRITER/DIRECTOR JEREMY CARR
What does the title refer to?
The title is taken from a quote by the author Henry Miller, who was born in Brooklyn and had a very unique take on The Big Apple. In 1941 he wrote: “In New York I have always felt lonely, the loneliness of the caged animal which brings on crime, sex, alcohol and other madnesses.” This quote has always stuck with me, and since I first read it, I felt that it perfectly summed up what the characters are experiencing in the film. The villains of the story are the criminals, the ones who give in to awful temptations and addictions. But our hero, Ed Zimmer, suffers from something altogether different. In Ed's case, the thing that overpowers him and causes him to take action is some other madness - an affliction that cannot easily be defined, but which he is attempting to understand.
Why did you shoot the film in New York City?
The main character in the film is a tour guide, who spends his days riding on top of those big double decker tour buses. What fascinates me about this profession is the inherent irony in it – the idea that someone could spend all day talking to strangers, telling them about the wonderful sights and attractions of the city that never sleeps – and then at the end of the day, this same person has to return home to an over-priced apartment in a potentially dangerous neighborhood, and probably never gets a chance to experience any of the awe-inspiring attractions himself. I was interested in exploring these two different worlds, from the POV of a character who is stuck in the middle, and New York City has this duality in spades. In addition, New York is a very film friendly place to shoot. Even with our small budget, we were able to work with the NY Mayor's office to obtain permits for shooting in prime locations like Times Square and Central Park, plus we were very fortunate to have received support early on from The New York IFP.
Would you say that New York City is more than just a location, it's practically a character in the film?
I see New York City as being more a reflection of Ed's state of mind. I lived there for many years, and in my opinion it's a roller coaster ride through the phantasmagoric. It can be beautiful or nightmarish, depending on your point of view. Or both simultaneously. I've often heard people describe having a love/hate relationship with the city and I wanted to capture that essence on film.
How long did it take you to make the film?
We shot over the course of six years, as our schedules and budget would allow. Other Madnesses is truly an independent film, in every sense of the word. The lead actors were extremely dedicated, and went out of their way to maintain continuity, keeping their hair cut a certain length for example, or maintaining flexible schedules that would allow us to work on nights, weekends, or whenever time permitted. The great thing about working this way is that it allows plenty of time for preparation and rehearsal. We set up a production studio in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn, which allowed us to build our own interior sets. Most scenes would be blocked out long before shooting, and we'd even do lighting tests of major scenes which we'd then edit together before making our final alterations. I guess our timing was just right, since one week after we wrapped Principal Photography, Hurricane Sandy pounded the east coast and flooded our studio with five feet of sea water. Fortunately the footage was backed up, although we did lose most of our sets, costumes and production equipment.
There's one scene that takes place in a blizzard – was that real?
Absolutely! We had planned to shoot the finale of the movie in the snow, which of course meant it was a waiting game. There was no way to know when a storm would hit, but we lucked out when a blizzard hit NYC the day after Christmas. Of course, this made it hard to assemble a crew – we just grabbed who we could and got out there with a camera and lead actor, James Moles. On our way to the location in Prospect Park, we saw tons of cars, including taxis, and buses, get stuck in the snow and abandoned by their owners. All I can say is thank god for four wheel drive!
The novel Crime and Punishment plays a part in the story – is Other Madnesses a retelling of this classic story?
No, Other Madness is not an updated version of Crime and Punishment, however the book does appear in the film and is relevant to the story. Without giving too much away, I will say that the idea was to offer a different take on the concept of criminal behavior. In some ways, Ed Zimmer is a modern day Raskolnikov, or perhaps he just fancies himself as such. The big difference is that, although he is extremely self aware and analytical of his actions (much like Dostoyevsky's central character) Ed doesn't feel any of the guilt that plagues the Russian murderer. One of the things I am fascinated by are modern concepts of good and evil, questions of morality, and this curiosity is manifested through Ed. I wanted to explore, in a dramatic way, how life and death decisions would affect a person under the unique circumstances that Ed finds himself in. How does it change him and how does it affect the people who are closest to him?
The film is hard to define stylistically. It seems to walk a line between drama and thriller, and even has elements of horror, without ever feeling like a genre film. Was this intentional?
Yes, from the beginning, I had a certain tone in mind for the film that we consistently stayed true to. I wanted to make a realistic horror movie, one that wouldn't give in to audience expectations. The main character is haunted by recurring nightmares that he believes are premonitions of actual murders taking place in the city. I constantly asked myself during the writing process, what would that feel like? If I was in those shoes, what would I do? How far would I be willing to go? To this end, it became imperative to show the story from Ed's perspective. We're trapped inside his mind for the duration of the story, which does indeed put us in his shoes. Of course, this also makes it difficult to think objectively about the situation he's in, and I love creating that gray area for an audience. Blurring that line between reality, extreme circumstances and possible insanity. The real saving grace was our lead actor James Moles, who manages to walk this high wire act extremely convincingly. He's the kind of actor that you want to watch, regardless of the situation, just to see what he's going to do next.
The movie seems to ask a lot of questions about dreams and reality. Why's that important to you?
Well, early on in the film, the main character, Ed Zimmer, begins suffering from recurring nightmares. And he's the type of person who researches everything. (Ed's a tour guide, so this skill set has been honed over many years.) Naturally, he begins researching dreams, looking for answers to his problem, and by doing so, he learns about different phenomenons. The most interesting philosophy he discovers comes from the Tibetan Buddhists, who believe that all of our experiences are dreams, and that we should strive to live in both the dream state and the waking state simultaneously, and harmoniously. Ed's journey throughout the film is essentially his struggle to do just that. He's trying to find peace by merging two very different worlds, and by reconciling the two very different lives he finds himself leading: That of a friendly tour guide by day, and a ruthless vigilante by night.
How did Jill Tracy get involved with the music?
I had the good fortune to meet Jill Tracy while attending the Slamdance Film Festival back in 2004, and Other Madnesses is our third major collaboration together. Jill had a lead role and provided music for my surreal thriller
Ice Cream Ants (a short film that also stars Marcus Ashley and Tom Noonan). More recently, I directed the official music video for her song Pulling Your Insides Out, from her acclaimed album Diabolical Streak. While filming Other Madnesses, I approached Jill about doing a cover of a haunting 1904 melody called All Aboard For Dreamland. She delivered a beautiful and sad version of the melancholy song, as well as an instrumental version which, along with the original version, is weaved throughout the film. It's a layer that I am very proud of, and it really compliments the brilliant score which was created by composer Stephen Light, who also collaborated with me on Ice Cream Ants.
What's up with the t-shirt that Ed wears throughout the film?
The t-shirt Ed wears throughout the film has a logo that says “I'm Crazy About NY.” It was inspired by the iconic “I Heart NY” design, and it serves many purposes in the film. Ostensibly, it's part of the uniform that Ed is required to wear for his job as a tour guide. However, I see it as resembling an emblem on his chest, similar to what a super hero would wear. Early on, we learn that Ed is obsessed with comic books and I liked playing with the idea that, in a very subtle way, he becomes a realistic superhero, fighting crime in the dead of night. The other reason for it, to be quite honest, is that I want the audience to question (just as I do) whether Ed is having actual premonitions, or if he is simply losing his mind. Ed walks around with a constant reminder that “I'm Crazy,” and yet he often seems to be the most sane person in the entire city. I love this duality.
Other Madnesses - Credits
Written & Directed by
Jeremy Carr & Dawn Fidrick
Director of Photography
Production Manager (Tour Bus)
St. John Frizell
Makeup Special FX
John Henry Malone
Ramon del Prado
Visual FX & Compositor
Sound FX Editor
Post Sound Services Provided by
Tab Sound Design
Composed and Performed by Jill Tracy
Elissa Rose Carr
St. John Frizell
Hiroko Tanaka McHenry
Tara Ann Stridh
Morgan E. Hutcheson
Patricia Freeman Boutilier
Brittany Taylor Visser
Tara Ann Stridh
Kelley Robertson Gorden
Sarah K. Howard
Patricia Freeman Boutilier
Morgan E. Hutcheson
Allan H. France
Tara Ann Stridh
Matthew Isaiah Jackson
Sabrina Fara Tosti
John Henry Malone
Other Madnesses, Copyright Crutch Films, LLC 2015