Wednesday evening kicked off the 2006 Eerie Horror Film Festival’s biggest and baddest celebration yet. That cool October evening treated fans to not only a rare opportunity to see John Carpenter’s classic, Halloween, on the big screen, but also to meet one of the most comprehensive Halloween cast reunions in recent memory. Gathered on stage for the fan based Q&A were P.J. Soles, Tony Moran, Brian Andrews, and Charles Cyphers. Dread Central’s own Sean Clark moderated the Q&A and also provided Halloween fans with a rare opportunity to watch an extended cut of his Horror’s Hallowed Grounds episode which showcases the locations used in the film.
Thursday kicked off the actual Film Festival with a handful of independent features screened. The impeccable thriller All is Normal was accompanied by its creators Todd Bieber and Juliana Brafa. Also that evening, the first Eerie Horror Festival Carnival Of Carnage opened its doors to rabid fans with ghoulish goods, more celebs (as we see Tony Moran signing a fan’s mask), and a second screening room with even more indie features being shown.
Friday welcomed the antichrist himself, Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick. The young star of the recent Omen remake traveled to the fest to meet with fans and sign autographs. Seamus was a wonderful young person who was donating all of the proceeds he raised to charity.
With the unfortunate absence of George Romero, the Friday night celebration took a different turn than planned. A screening of Romero’s underappreciated classic The Crazies was followed by a Q&A with star Lynn Lowry. Unlike most other audience Q&A sessions, this one was highly unique as Land of the Dead star Eugene Clark ran the audience aisles making sure that whomever he stopped at had a question for the pretty lady on the stage. When Big Daddy runs the show, you listen! Even Elvira impersonator Patterson Lindquist was no match for the once zombie turned emcee.
The evening closed with the midnight show heralding the indescribable Attack of the Fisher Cat, the stirring and disturbing Bugcrush and a special presentation of Child’s Play hosted by star Alex Vincent.
The hard working Horrorfest crew had a long day ahead of them with Saturday’s line up. With films beginning at 1:00 p.m. and running all day till nearly 3 to 4 in the morning, the day was primed to be a horror extravaganza!
The 6 o’clock hour heralded the awards ceremony where director Greg Ropp, along with a little help from Seamus, Tony Todd, Patterson “Elvira” Lindquist, and legendary Producer Don Edmunds handed out the EHFF’s awards.
The Eerie Horror Film Fest awards went as follows:
Best of the Fest : All is Normal
Best Feature: The Call of Cthulhu
Best Short: “Bugcrush”
Best Student Film: Spooked
Best Director: Damon Vignale for The Entrance
Best Actor: Michael Eklund for The Entrance
Best Actress: Juliana Brafa for All is Normal
Best Special Effects/Make Up: The Slaughter
Best Feature Screenplay: The Drifter by Jennifer Shindledecker
Best Short Screenplay: “Blood Sucking Leeches and Flesh Eating Maggots” by Adam Balsam
Don Edmunds took a second to congratulate all of the winners and give a rather rousing speech on the importance of film making, He noted that venues such as the Eerie Horror Fest are important in getting these wonderful and impressive films seen. Powerful and moving words from a man who is himself a living legend.
One of the late additions to the Horror Fest line up, Tom Atkins, was on hand to enjoy the festivities and take place in a Romero-themed Q&A that followed a rare screening of Day of the Dead. The Q&A lineup included the multi talented Eugene Clark, Lynn Lowry, Tom Atkins, Romero manager Chris Roe and the ever popular Captain Rhodes himself, the one and only Joe Pilato.
The Romero themed Q&A was moderated by Mark Steensland, who lived under the ever present danger of a Big Daddy attack as Eugene Clark was chomping at the bit, eager to revisit his emcee duties from earlier in the fest.
The perfect closer to the evening was a late night assult on the senses brought to you by one of the creepiest cats around, Tony Todd. The candy this man was selling this time was a new short film entitled “I.O.U.” The director of the film was also on hand for the screening, which was immediately followed by the fan favorite, Candyman.
The last day of the fest showcased films from regional and student filmmakers. Along with Chad Cooper’s superb student effort, “Apperception”, there was a wide array of films including Monster Mark’s Edinboro Meets the Spider and Mark Steensland’s “Sucker” and “Lovecraft’s Pillow”. One of my favorites from this grouping was an amazing retelling of the Tell Tale heart. A beautiful film that was jaw-droppingly good for a student film.
Don Edmunds was so amazed with the raw talent expressed in the student block that he took the stage and offered words of advice and encouragement to all the young film making minds. It was a rare and impressive opportunity for all who were present.
Once again the hometown crowd came out to support local favorite film maker Len Kabasinski. His film, Curse of the Wolf, wrapped up the fest. Another rousing speech by Don Edmunds was all the introduction needed for the film, which was accompanied by its director and much of the cast. The Blue Meanie had been on had the night before to meet with fans and sign DVD’s which were available to the public for the first time at the EHFF.
I don’t think anybody expected the Eerie Horror Film Festival to be this big in only its third year, but with no signs of slowing down, the EHFF promises only to get bigger and better as the years go by. Something that this writer can scarcely imagine, as this year’s fest was just far too much fun to begin with.
Special thanks to all of the Eerie Horror Fest Crew and Director Greg Ropp for their allowing Dread Central all the access we needed and all the hospitality we could never even dream of asking for. And a special thanks to the Red Bull Truck crew for providing the EHFF crew that boost they needed.
Good show guys. Now get some sleep. Next year is a coming fast!
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