Episode 45 – Maria Bissell – Writer/Director

Writer/Director Maria Bissell shares her experience debuting her first feature film – How To Deter A Robber at Fantastic Fest 2020! I loved this hilarious instant holiday classic and talking with Maria was a blast! Stay tuned for more interviews from Fantastic Fest.

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How to Deter A Robber via Fantastic Fest:

Two teens are settling in for an uneventful holiday at the family cabin in the woods, when they notice a light on in the adjacent, vacant cabin. Taking it upon themselves to investigate, they find nothing amiss, and engage in a little harmless fun…at least that’s what they think. During their revelries, they break a ceramic hodag figurine…a little known cryptid native to Wisconsin. Under this harbinger of bad luck, they pass out in the cabin, awakening to find the place trashed, and themselves under suspicion for a crime committed while they were fast asleep.   

With the help of their Uncle Andy (Chris Mulkey of TWIN PEAKS fame), and some humorous booby traps straight out of HOME ALONE, they eventually come face to face with the criminals, and it’s going to take more than some well-placed paint cans and party poppers to stop them.   

Maria Bissell deftly handles the wide variety of tones in this film, crafting a straight comedy that morphs to a tense home invasion thriller, in an impressive first feature. The film makes the most of its beautifully snowed-in, desolate location in Northern Wisconsin, and consistently upends your expectations in every act.  Anchored by excellent performances from the charming leads Vanessa Marano and Benjamin Papac and an extremely catchy soundtrack, this fun, fresh crowd-pleaser is destined to become essential holiday viewing. (LISA DREYER)

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