World Premiere
Selection 2024

Black Eyed Susan

Directed by Scooter McCrae

Hosted by Director Scooter McCrae, Producer Maureen Costello (McCrae), Producer Seager Dixon, Cast Scott Fowler and Marc Romeo



Scooter McCrae


Maureen Costello, Seager Dixon, Aimee Kuge, Justin Martell


Scooter McCrae


Yvonne Emilie Thälker, Scott Fowler, Damian Maffei, Marc Romeo


Fabio Frizzi


Moose + Squirrel

USA 2024 85 mins OV English

It’s been 21 years since Scooter McCrae (SHATTER DEAD) released a new feature film, and he’s lost none of his transgressive bite. Diving straight into a brutal, strange, and upsetting scene between a man and a woman, BLACK EYED SUSAN challenges the audience within the first few moments. It’s not long, though, that the curtain is pulled back like some twisted Wizard of the Oz story, and we find out things aren’t quite as they seem. First, Susan (Yvonne Emilie Thälker) isn’t a person but rather a BDSM sex doll programmed to receive and “enjoy” the punishment of her sadistic partners. She’s the hardware of a cutting-edge tech startup aiming to push her artificial intelligence to new heights. The company that manufactures her hires the desperate Derek (Damian Maffei) to test the limits of her technology and his desires in a low-fi sci-fi horror that delves into the dark pool of love and perversion in our new tech age.

Shot on Super 16, BLACK EYED SUSAN smashes together a raw organic image with the sleek impersonality of our increasingly impersonal future relationships. Counterbalancing a dark, violent core with a surprisingly tender vulnerability, BLACK EYED SUSAN imagines a science-fiction landscape infused with a surprising fragility. As Derek, actor Damian Maffei guides us through this strange future world with unbridled anger and restrained curiosity, while the striking Yvonne Emilie Thälker never loses touch with their humanity as they lend an unsettling plasticity to Susan. Their chemistry is palpable and grounds the movie’s themes, while Italian composer Fabio Frizzi (THE BEYOND) lends the film an atmospheric backdrop and strengthening the film’s luscious and distressing eroticism. While not for the faint of heart, BLACK EYED SUSAN delves into themes and questions that will only become more pertinent with the evolution of artificial intelligence. – Justine Smith