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Event Report: Eerie Horror Film Festival 2007

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The 2007 Eerie Horror Film FestivalAs the doors closed at the Erie Playhouse late Sunday night, it marked the end of the Eerie Horror Film Festival’s fourth and most successful year to date. Groups of friends, old and new, gathered in huddles exchanging emotional goodbyes and promises of next year’s event. For those of us who were involved in the inner workings of the fest, the locking of the doors behind us was bittersweet. We had invested so much of ourselves into the five-day event, and now it was over. There we stood, torn between farewells and sleep.

From the moment the event kicked off on Wednesday night with Adrienne Barbeau taking the stage to introduce John Carpenter’s The Fog, we knew the week was going to be a success. Attendance was as high as the crowd’s spirits, and things ran as smoothly as anyone could have hoped for. And smooth is a great word to describe the rest of the weekend. The EHFF board, staff members, and crew of volunteers were all at the top of their game from open to close, making this year’s events spectacularly professional and entertaining for all who attended.

Alongside the fantastic line-up of indie horror films from all over the globe being played at the Erie Playhouse throughout the entire happening, there was also The Carnival of Carnage Expo held across the street in the magnificent ballroom of the Avalon Hotel. Here is where attendees had the opportunity to spend time with some of the top names in the genre. The Expo also gave folks the chance to purchase ghoulish goodies from a variety of vendors.

Some of the show’s highlights included, of course, nearly non-stop, superb cinema and daily arrivals of special celebrity guests, and with an emcee like Joe Pilato … how can you not have a good time?

Eerie Horror Film Festival 2007 (click for larger image)On opening night Eerie Horror Film Festival President Gregory Ropp and Adrienne Barbeau met with the Governor of Pennsylvania, Ed Rendell, to discuss Ms. Barbeau’s career and the EHFF’s accomplishments and future at great lengths. Later that night Ms. Barbeau welcomed the guests to the Fest, and the festivities began.

Thursday brought James “Jimmy” Duval to the stage for a Q&A session with Sean Clark to talk about their new film The Black Waters of Echo’s Pond. Sean showed us the rough cut of a new Horror’s Hallowed Grounds and the trailer to his new film.

Eerie Horror Film Festival 2007 (click for larger image)Jerry Only from the Misfits paid a visit to his fans at the Erie Playhouse on Thursday evening just before the Misfits’ performance at The Cell Block. He wanted to show his appreciation to those fans who weren’t able to attend the over 21 show. I for one know a lot of grateful fans who otherwise would have missed the chance to meet their idol were it not for his thoughtful stop.

Friday graced us with the beautiful Dee Wallace-Stone, who introduced Cujo and then followed the film up with an entertaining Q&A about the film and her career.

Eerie Horror Film Festival 2007 (click for larger image)Friday also marked a major first for the EHFF since they moved the event to the Erie Playhouse last year. Local filmmakers Jason McCann’s The Beast in Me and Jason Hull’s Chasing Darkness played to a sold-out Playhouse. The EHFF hasn’t seen a sold-out show since Swamp Zombies played at the Roadhouse Theater in 2005. It was a very successful werewolves and vampires creature double feature.

The Awards Ceremony on Saturday evening was a total blast for the audience. Not only did the celebrity guests who were already there present the winners with their awards, but Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick of the 2006 Omen remake made a special appearance to hand out the award for Best Actor to Adam Pitman for his role in Paper Dolls, which also took the awards for Best Feature and Best Director (Adam Pitman and Brian Blair).

Tom Savini was the recipient of a special award from the City of Erie, and the Mayor recognizing his multiple achievements in special effects and film.

Jason McCann and Jason Hull were both inducted into the Eerie Horror Filmmakers Hall of Fame that was created in support of local and regional filmmakers.

David Bostaph and (yours truly) Melissa Bostaph were given the honor of receiving the Annual Evil Bunny Award (you wouldn’t believe me if I told you) for their/our outstanding management of the Festival.

The full awards list is as follows:

SCREENPLAYS:

Best Feature Screenplay:
Shed by Dennis Widmyer & Kevin Kolsch

Best Short Screenplay:
Fruit Farm by Dennis Widmyer & Kevin Kolsch

VIDEO GAMES:

Best Game Concept:
Crayon Drawn Cthulhu

Best Character Development, Environment Design and Game in Development:
Ritual Incarnation

FILMS:

Best Actress:
Lara Belmont — Lump

Best Actor:
Adam Pitman — Paper Dolls

Best Cinematography on Film (Sponsored by Fuji Film):
Gracie: Diary of a Coma Patient

Best Director:
Adam Pitman & David Blair: Paper Dolls

Best Short:
Happy Birthday to You (Y Que Cumplas Mucho Mas)

Best Feature:
Paper Dolls

BEST OF THE FEST:
Cthulhu

2007 Eerie Filmmakers Hall of Fame Inductees:

Jason McCann (Director — The Beast in Me)
Jason Hull (Director — Chasing Darkness)

Eerie Horror Film Festival 2007 (click for larger image)After the Awards on Saturday the audience was treated not only to a viewing of the exceptionally entertaining vampire comedy Netherbeast Incorporated, but they also had the privilege of seeing Jason Mewes in full “Jay” glory even without Silent Bob. Jason and Netherbeast Inc. came close to having the Festival sell out the seats in the Playhouse for a second time this year.

Sunday may have been the last day of the fest, but it certainly wasn’t the least. Last minute Expo-goers got the chance to visit with the celebrities before they left for home, and the vendors were available for most of the day. Across the way at the Playhouse audiences were treated to films from local filmmakers such as Monster Mark Kosobucki’s Bloody Inheritance and Mark Steensland’s Dead @ 17.

Eerie Horror Film Festival 2007 (click for larger image)The show went out with a bang when the guys from Random Creatureface Films did a Q&A following an encore showing of their film Summer School. The film had shown at last year’s Festival and was liked so much that Festival President Greg Ropp had asked them to come back this year for a special showing. Ben Trandem, Lance Hendrickson (no, not that one … this one is much better looking), and Mike Nelson took the stage to answer questions from the crowd and later signed DVD’s and other Summer Schoolsupplies”.

I personally had the opportunity to speak with several of the celebrities throughout the event about their feelings regarding the Eerie Horror Film Festival, and the reviews were all great ones. Joe “Captain Rhodes” Pilato, who had returned for the second year in a row, said that he loved the town and wished he could stay longer. Michael Berryman, who had been to a previous EHFF event, was pleasantly surprised at how much the Festival had changed and grown in such a short time since his last visit. Dee Wallace-Stone couldn’t get over how wonderful everyone was, and Jason Mewes, along with the Ronalds Brothers, the Netherbeast Incorporated crew, ALL want to return for next year’s Eerie Horror Film Festival.

Eerie Horror Film Festival 2007 (click for larger image)All in all I’d say this year’s Festival was a screaming success with record numbers of attendees, fantastic guests, superb films and an all-around great time had by all. The Festival’s President Gregory Ropp would like to send out his sincerest gratitude to all of this year’s guests, celebrities, and visitors alike who made this the Festival’s grandest year ever. Greg would also like to express his deepest appreciation to his Board members, parents, staff, and all the volunteers who dedicated their time and efforts to making the Festival run so efficiently and flawlessly that he actually got to breathe this year.

Plans for 2008’s Eerie Horror Film Festival and Carnival of Carnage Expo are already under way, so you’d be wise to keep an evil eye on this event. It gets bigger and better ever year, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon! See you next year!

Melissa Bostaph

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Exclusive: Rocky Gray Talks Halloween Horror Anthology 10/31

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The last time we gave you guys word on the upcoming Halloween horror anthology 10/31 was to bring you the knock-out exclusive official poster, which you can peep to your left (click for a higher-res version).

The new horror anthology in the vein of V/H/S and Creepshow joins an ensemble cast together to spin twisted tales of the macabre. The film is executive produced by P.J. Starks, creator of the critically acclaimed Volumes of Blood.

The film’s stories are directed by the likes of Justin M. Seaman (The Barn), Zane Hershberger (Devilution), John William Holt (The Dooms Chapel Horror), Brett DeJager (Bonejangles) and Rocky Gray making his directing debut.

This past weekend we were able to catch up with producer-director Rocky Gray and ask him a few choice questions about the anticipated upcoming anthology film.

You can check out our quick interview below and then make sure to hit us up and let us know how excited you are to check out 10/31 in the comments below!

Dread Central: How is the film coming along?

Rocky Gray: The film is now completed and we are getting the perks out to our Indiegogo backers. The backers and Death By Festival got to see the first cut of the film in October and they loved it so we’re very excited to get the film out to everyone else very soon.

DC: What can expect from this anthology?

RG: Expect to have a lot of Halloween themed fun. Each segment has its own flavor so the pacing and the look change throughout the film. With masked killers, vampires, scarecrows, tricksters and old hags there’s something for everyone.

DC: Will there be a sequel?

RG: If there was a demand for it we would make it happen!

Sounds good to us. Thanks for chatting with us, Rocky!

You can become a fan of the film on Facebook HERE.

SYNOPSIS:
A Halloween treat bag of all the things that go bump in the night. From masked killers to scarecrows, witches, and tricksters. There’s a scare for everyone in this anthology of horror and the macabre from the creators of The Barn and Volumes of Blood.

Red Letter Entertainment, Inc. brings you the directorial debut from Rocky Gray (composer of The Barn, Killing Floor 2), two-time Grammy-winning musician and former drummer for Evanescence. A new horror anthology in the vein of V/H/S/ and Creepshow brings an ensemble cast together to spin twisted tales of the macabre. The film is Executive Produced by P.J. Starks, creator of the critically acclaimed Volumes of Blood.

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The Duffer Brothers Have Begun Working on Stranger Things 3

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I wasn’t the world’s biggest fan of the first season of Netflix and The Duffer Brothers’ “Stranger Things” to tell you the truth. That said, I absolutely loved the second season (read our reviews HERE).

It is with this in mind that we are all looking forward to “Stranger Things 3”.

Recently Deadline reported that at Vulture Festival LA the Duffer Brothers, producer Shawn Levy, Finn Wolfhard, Paul Reiser, and Linnea Berthelsen talked about season two and teased season three.

“We are [in] very early days on season three, and we’re still figuring it out,” Ross Duffer said, before taking a beat, then adding: “I probably wasn’t supposed to say that. That’s not official; that wasn’t an official announcement — we’re just working on it, just for our own amusement… for fun!”

Whatever.

We all know at this point that there is going to be a “Stranger Things 3” and that The Duffer Brothers will one day begin working on it. Don’t worry so much, Ross Duffer.

After all, your brother already let us know that season three will begin after a time jump:

“Even if we wanted to hop into the action faster, we couldn’t,” says Matt Duffer. “Our kids are aging. We can only write and produce the show so fast. They’re going to be almost a year older by the time we start shooting season three. It provides certain challenges. You can’t start right after season two ended. It forces you to do a time jump. It’s a long way of saying that yeah, we’re going to do a time jump.”

What did you think of “Stranger Things 2”? Did you dig it more (or less) than season one? Make sure to hit us up and let us know in the comments below or on social media!

“Stranger Things 2” is currently streaming on Netflix.

Synopsis:
It’s 1984, and the citizens of Hawkins, Indiana, are still reeling from the horrors of the Demogorgon and the secrets of Hawkins Lab. Will Byers has been rescued from the Upside Down, but a bigger, sinister entity still threatens those who survived.

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James Cameron’s Terminator Reboot/Sequel Hires Screenwriter

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The last word we brought you guys on producer James Cameron and Deadpool-director Tim Miller’s new Terminator film was when we let you know that Paramount had set the film’s release date for July 26, 2019.

Today we have news via The Wrap that the studio is bringing in screenwriter Billy Ray (Captain Phillips) to pen the movie’s script based on a story crafted by Cameron.

You may remember that Cameron and Miller created a writers room a while back to plan out an all-new trilogy of films, but while that writer’s room included David Goyer, Charles Eglee, and Josh Friedman, it seems like Ray will be the first film’s sole writer. For now.

Story details are, of course, being kept under wraps, but Cameron and Miller are treating the new movie as a direct sequel to Cameron’s T2: Judgment Day.

“This is a continuation of the story from ‘Terminator 1’ and ‘Terminator 2.’ And we’re pretending the other films were a bad dream,” Cameron told THR. “Or an alternate timeline, which is permissible in our multi-verse.”

We also know that Cameron plans to center the new film/trilogy around a new group of younger characters, who will eventually carry on the baton as it were.

“A lot of this is handing off the baton to a new generation of characters,” Cameron said. “We’re starting a search for an 18-something young woman to essentially be the new centerpiece of these stories. And then a number of other characters around her and characters from the future. We still fold time in the story in intriguing ways. But we have Arnold’s character and Linda’s character to anchor it.”

How excited are you for James Cameron’s new Terminator flick? Make sure to hit us up and let us know in the comments below or on social mdeia!

The new Terminator film is produced by James Cameron and will be directed by Tim Miller (Deadpool). The film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton.

Terminator 2.5 is expected to hit July 26, 2019.

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