Shudder Picks Up New Coming-of-Age Horror Feature Hellbender


AMC Networks’ horror streaming service Shudder has picked up Wonder Wheel Productions’ Hellbender.

The occult horror feature was acquired ahead of its world premiere on August 14 at the Fantasia International Film Festival. The streaming service will release the film in North America, the U.K., Ireland, Australia and New Zealand in early 2022.

Hellbender is the sixth feature film from Wonder Wheel Productions, a family-run company founded by Toby Poser, John Adams and their children, Zelda and Lulu. Poser, John and Zelda wrote the script, and the family’s punk band H6LLB6ND6R produced the music.

The film follows teenage Izzy (Zelda), who suffers from a rare illness that has kept her isolated with her mother (Poser) her entire life. When she starts to question everything, she befriends Amber (Lulu), who lives nearby. After eating a live worm as part of a dare, Izzy is overcome by an insatiable, violent hunger. In order to understand it, she must uncover the dark secrets of her family’s past.

“We are thrilled to bring this family-focused folk nightmare to Shudder with such a talented actual family in front of and behind the camera,” said Craig Engler, general manager of Shudder. “With Hellbender, Wonder Wheel Productions has made their most polished feature yet, and we know our audience will delight in the film’s shocking visuals and scares.”

“Teaming up with Shudder was at the top of our bloody bucket list,” Poser, John and Zelda added. “They’re the pinnacle of beautiful horror, and to be a part of that is beyond thrilling for our family.”

Hellbender is an absolute stunner,” said Justin Timms of Yellow Veil Pictures. “I am obsessed with every frame and couldn’t be more excited to partner with Shudder for the release of such an ambitious and unique movie.”