Event Report: Screamfest LA Mixer in Hollywood, CA

This scribe co-hosted last night’s Screamfest LA ‘Night of Mayhem’ mixer at the hipster hangout Kung Pao Kitty in Hollywood, CA, and brought back a slew of photos as well as release info and word on a couple of flicks you may be interested in.

In attendance for the industry mixer (which was sponsored by Rachel Belofsky’s horror film festival Screamfest LA, which runs this year October 8 through 17 at Manns 6 at Hollywood and Highland in Hollywood, CA) were horror luminaries Ryan Rotten (managing editor of Shock Till You Drop) and Dominique Lee as well as filmmakers Creep (Brides of Sodom) Creepersin, Trailer Park of Terror director Steven Goldmann, Alluvial director Geza Decsy, producer Armond Sardayani and actor Brent Henry, director Yossi (Dead and Gone) Sasson, filmmaker Sean (Silent Night, Zombie Night) Cain, Finale filmmaker John Michael Elfers and actress Denesa Chan, Wicked Lake alumni Zach Passero, Justin Stone and Luke Thompson, Before The Fall director Javier Guitterrez, Paranormal Activity’s Oren Peli and Mirrors 2 director Victor Garcia, among others.

Creation Entertainment‘s Ted Venemann joined in the festivities (which included projections of classic horror flicks to the sounds of DJ Shock Kantor, while the LA Absinthe Club served up their green elixir), as did Scott Michaels of the infamous Dearly Departed Tours, who donated a few free tickets to the event for his macabre excursions. While complimentary drinks were offered to those who cast a vote for Screamfest in the Pepsi Refresh Project (in effect, a $250,000 grant to assist aspiring horror filmmakers – polls are open now so please vote here) and with schmoozing in full effect, I caught up with a few of those in attendance to chat about the status of their latest projects (and while I’ve gotta’ remain mum on most of them, here’s what I can say).

Director Victor (Return to the House on Haunted Hill) Garcia, fresh off shooting Mirrors 2 (pre-set visit here) in Baton Rouge, LA, let it be known that the flick, which was written by Matt (White Noise 2) Venne and stars Nick Stahl, will be released direct-to-DVD via 20th Century Fox on October 19, 2010. There was no word on a theatrical run although we expects that it may screen at a festival or two around that time.

As for Zach Passero, the director of the 2008 Fever Dreams/Media Blasters release Wicked Lake, he had some interesting news. It seems the filmmaker was given the opportunity to re-cut the entire flick, and he handed me off a copy of the director’s cut, which in the interim I’ve screened. Passero’s take is a completely different animal and realizes great steps in humanizing the film’s characters by eschewing much of the original cut’s exploitative elements for a more artistic and thoughtful approach. This edit is markedly more coherent and grittier than the original release and features improved pacing and a score which is complimentary to the narrative.

There is no word yet, however, on when we’ll see a DVD or Blu-Ray release of what is being titled Wicked, Wicked Lake, and the call I put in to one of the film’s producers this morning only yielded news of shifting release schedules. April is a possibility, I was told, and one can only hope as Passero’s Wicked, Wicked Lake is a welcome thing and suggests his talent for greater work.

Screamfest LA’s next event, the Screamfest Blood Drive, takes place Tuesday, March 23, in front of the Hollywood and Highland Center in Hollywood, CA from 2 to 8 pm. The American Red Cross Bloodmobile will be on hand, and Madame Tussauds will be giving out three pairs of free tickets in a raffle for the donors, with every donor to receive an admission coupon as a ‘thank you’ for giving. For more info visit Screamfest LA online here, and keep up-to-date with the festival and its related events via Twitter @screamfest!

To check out our exclusive image gallery from the event, click on the photo below.

Screamfest LA Mixer in Hollywood, CA

Sean Decker

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