Guillermo Díaz, star of TV shows like Scandal, Weeds, Law & Order: Organized Crime, and movies like Party Girl, Stonewall (1995), and Billy Eichner’s upcoming BROS, will take the lead in Todd Verow’s 90s New York set queer horror thriller You Can’t Stay Here. The project, which recently launched an Indiegogo campaign, is loosely inspired by real events and follows Rick (Díaz), a photographer who witnesses the brutal murder of a gay man in Central Park. With the cops taking little interest in the crime, “a dangerous and sexy game of cat and mouse ensues” between Rick and the killer, Adam (Justin Ivan Brown, Goodbye Seventies). The cast also features Becca Blackwell (BROS, Marriage Story) , Karina Arroyave (Orange Is The New Black, 24), Jordan Hall aka Boy Radio (F***ed In The Head), Sophia Lamar (Veneno, Anonymous), J.J. Bozeman (History), James Kleinmann (This Side of Heaven, Goodbye Seventies), and Krys Fox (Exposure).
Todd Verow has directed over thirty features, making his debut in 1995 with Frisk, which elicited strong reactions when it world premiered at San Francisco’s Castro Theater, before going on to screen at Sundance, Berlin and Toronto. Based on Dennis Cooper’s infamous gay serial killer novel, Verow’s adaptation featured an outstanding indie cast including Craig Chester, Parker Posey, Alexis Arquette, and actor-turned-editor James Lyons, with a score by British experimental band Coil. The confrontational tale of murder and sadism, which used a mix of 16mm, Super8, PXL vision and video formats, secured him a spot alongside filmmakers such as Todd Haynes, Derek Jarman, Tom Kalin and Gregg Araki in the unapologetic, often subversive New Queer Cinema movement. Among Verow’s many subsequent feature films are Little Shots of Happiness, Once & Future Queen, Vacationland, Anonymous, Bad Boy Street, and Goodbye Seventies.
“I am one of the original New Queer Cinema filmmakers and have stayed true to that movement by continuing to make films that challenge and push the envelope. I have proudly made films like a true auteur: writing, producing, directing, shooting and editing them myself”, comments Verow, “But my next film, You Can’t Stay Here, will be much larger in scale and I need your help to make it. The movie deals with homophobia, rejection and abandonment from one’s biological family and finding ones chosen family; internalized homophobia and the trials and tribulations of coming out or staying in the closet; AIDSphobia and hysteria, cruising and finding love and real human connections in the most unlikely places”, adds Verow.
Díaz, who also serves as one of the film’s producers alongside James Kleinmann (Age of Consent, This Side of Heaven, Goodbye Seventies), describes Verow as a “super edgy” filmmaker who always “thinks outside the Hollywood box with all of his movies”. He continues, “Frisk was the first time that I experienced his art and I fell in love with it and I’ve always wanted to work with Todd. I told him that I’ve been wanting to do a horror thriller supernatural film, and he came up with this awesome script. We’re humbling asking for your help to get it made.” The screenplay is co-written with James Derek Dwyer (Frisk, Little Shots of Happiness, Once & Future Queen, Vacationland).
Production on You Can’t Stay Here is slated to commence in New York City in June 2022. For more details and to contribute, head to the project’s Indiegogo campaign page.