APP produces genre-defying works of fiction with an independent slant.
Founded by independent filmmaker Mark Byrne, Absurd Productions Pictures began with a feature length screenplay, Small Fish Small Pond, and a short screenplay, The Worker Bees. After shopping the feature screenplay and finding no takers, Byrne began work on filming The Worker Bees. Despite having produced several short fiction pieces and even a serial, The Worker Bees became APP’s first film separately packaged for release, as a limited release VHS.
Next for APP was a massive undertaking: a feature length film noir. Byrne wrote a new screenplay and Taste of Desperation was casted, shot, and edited over the next six years. Veteran Ed Wood regular Conrad Brooks plays a lead role as the Landlord, and well known pop artist Clark Fox plays a Thug. The film won 1st Place at the 2010 The Indie Gathering in the Feature Film Drama Crime Category, and screened at the 2014 Mid Atlantic Nostalgia Fest and the 2015 Amazicon. While an unforgettable joy to create and perform, Taste of Desperation left APP to consider shorter pieces for the immediate future.
A short vehicle led much more naturally to mystery and horror, an abrupt turn from the film noir and dark comedy previously produced. Instead Out There had no interior shots, quick cuts, a small cast, lots of motion, and pacing that keeps the film moving quickly. Out There returned Donna Byrne and other players from Taste of Desperation, but most of the cast was new to APP, including B-Horror movie veteran Marvin Kennedy. Out There won Honorable Mention at the 2011 The Indie Gathering and was screened as an Official Selection at the Horrorfind Film Festival, Horror Hotel Film Festival, Amazicon, and the Scares That Care Weekend Film Festival. As a short feature, the Out There DVD allowed a slew of deleted scenes and additional footage to be packaged as Taste of Desperation Volume 2 and added as a bonus feature.
APP continued producing shorts, this time a mystery about guests and a ominous room. The original idea of a secret room hiding a body was to be a part of a series of stories, but was never scripted out. This idea grew to become Forbidden Room, featuring Mary Egan and winning Honorable Mention at the 2012 The Indie Gathering and screening as an Official Selection at the 2012 Horrorfind Film Festival and 2015 Scares That Care Film Festival.
During the time when Forbidden Room filming was wrapping, opportunity came knocking. With Forbidden Room only a couple scenes from wrapping shooting, the next cast was waiting. APP had long wanted to produce Byrne’s first feature length script, Small Fish Small Pond, which had been sitting on the shelf for a decade. Now the reworked SFSP shot with Out There stars Brian Dean and Peggy Kearns, and veteran film and stage actor Barry McEvoy. Also featured are Sam Goodrich and Forbidden Room’s Julia Morrissey. Later the rest of the cast would join at a second bar for four more major shoots, plus another shoot at a third bar. Small Fish Small Pond won 2nd Prize in the Feature Drama category at the 2013 Indie Gathering. Small Fish Small Pond aired as the first new-release film at the initial Amazicon, a south Philadelphia Pop Culture Festival, and screened at the 2015 Mid Atlantic Nostalgia Convention.
Our final short, Two Many, was released in 2014 and featured Nello DeBlasio. With a cast of six and a running time of 18 minutes, it would be APP’s shortest release, concerning a man who finds trouble when spotting his exact twin. Two Many debuted at the inaugural Scares That Care Weekend Film Festival, and also screened as Official Selection at The Indie Gathering and Amazicon.
Subconscious Reality, an apocalyptic sci-fi about a post-Orwellian society trying to stop the final insurgence, would become APP’s third feature film. The film features Bond girl Lana Wood from Diamonds are Forever and Conrad Brooks from Taste of Desperation and Plan 9 from Outer Space, along with indy film and TV actors Jim Toepper, JP Andrews, and Bill Olt. Our biggest film to date, covering 9 locations across 5 states, graduated us to mid-atlantic regional film production rather than just DC-based. Subconscious Reality won 2nd Prize in the Feature Sci-Fi category at the 2016 Indie Gathering Film Fest, 3rd Place in the 2017 Horror Hotel, and screened as an official selection at the 2017 Scares that Care Weekend Film Festival and 2018 Four State Punk Rock Flea Market.
Mismatch, a comedy about a small independent production company creating a test tape for a potential reality show pilot that does not follow the traditional script, instead pairing contestants against type for confrontation rather than attraction. Cause with mismatch, opposites detract! The 11 contestants are goth, workaholic, sorority girl, conspiratist, knowit all, player, gossip, tweener sports guy, compulsive liar, cheapskate, and hippy chick. Mismatch won Honorable Mention in Comedy at the 2018 Indie Gathering Film Fest. As a special thank you to all our customers, supporters, and friends out there, Mismatch is streaming for free.
Bigfoot!, a horror-comedy, divides into two comedy and one horror acts. Bigfoots show their human tendencies in the comedy, but leave the niceties at home for the horror. Horror aficionados often complain that horror comedies are too light on the horror. And many times the comedy is light too. By breaking into acts, Bigfoot! pleases all- balancing laughs with shrieks! Bigfoot! A true horror-comedy. Featuring many regional and national horror actors and scream queens including Genoveva Rossi, Jenny Jannetty, Jim Krut, Mel Heflin, Matt Burns, Marvin Kennedy, Sonya Thompson, and Richie Acevedo. Bigfoot screened and was awarded 2nd Place in the Horror Comedy Category at the 2019 Indie Gathering, and also screened as part of the 2019 ECBRO Virginia Bigfoot Convention, the inaugural Carolina Fear Fest, the inaugural Charlie’s House of Horrors, and premiered the final week of operation at MDL Holiday Cinemas in Frederick, MD.
Remnants, a horror feature, and APP’s 10th overall film, completed in March of 2020. The film features many national and regional horror names including Jim Krut, George Stover, Monique DuPree, Mel Heflin, Gus Zucco, Hillary Styer, Jeremy Ogre Amos, Jess Conley, and Mathew Amos. See the home page for info. Many screenings occurred including Winchester and Luray VA, Keyser WV, Raleigh NC, and Waynesboro and Pittsburgh PA!
In 2021, Brazen Impact shooting completed and the three terror related short films were fit into an anthology film, 3 on a Match; APP’s 6th feature. Brazen Impact, APP’s 11th film and 7th feature will release in 2022 starring Christopher Inlow, Lisa Hoffmann, Sharon Smyth Lentz, George Stover, Matt Burns, Yasmin Qudah, Clark Fox, and Helene Udy.
APP will continue to press into new territory with each feature. By tackling formats as diverse as film noir, drinking drama, sci-fi, and dark comedy; we can visit more familiar themes like comedy, horror, and horror comedy without branding to that genre.
We have shot on location or screened films across the mid-atlantic, including DC, NY, PA, OH, VA, MD, DE, NC, and WV. Support independent filmmaking and stream or pick up a few DVD releases from our site today! Best regards.
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