Like an unknown horror from an H.P. Lovecraft tale straight out of the dense and dreary fog, the dark carnival known only as Shockfest took place at Hotel Paranormal in Las Vegas this past weekend November 22nd through the 24th. The destination made its unholy manifestation, hosting a variety of film premieres, performances, panels and celebrity lineups on the blood-red carpet. Here is what you have missed during this weekend of terror, as a warning of what you may miss out on by not submitting for this coming year, 2020 (which you should definitely do at the following link: https://filmfreeway.com/ShockfestFilmFestival).
The legendary Clive Barker made his first public appearance at any film festival in the past decade to meet the entities sculpted by his imagination over the past several decades. Folks from all around emerged to shake hands, take pictures and have autographs signed by the icon himself at the old hotel, bringing life to the haunted halls of the mysterious and ancient building.
Accompanying Clive was actor Nicholas Vince, who debuted his one-man performance, I Am Monsters! for the first time in the United States for this exclusive audience of Shockfest attendees. His performance centered around the human condition and how the monsters within his head had served as his inner guardians throughout his life.
Opening the festival was Joshua P. Warren and Nick Weird of Creepy Vegas, who shared their insight on the horrifying and bizarre occurrences that have taken place not only in Vegas, but across the state of Nevada. The Esoteric Order of Geekdom followed shortly after, hosting a 3-hour session of Horror Trivia presented by the demonic duo of Allison and Ian Lovecraft.
Filmmakers and UNLV film students were surprised by the presence of Hollywood director and writer Shane Black (Monster Squad, Lethal Weapon, Predator), who spoke with the up and coming artists about the industry, the writing process and shared his critique of their short film submissions to the Mockfest Film Fight, a competition where students team up to create a film within 6 days, 6 hours and 6 minutes for the grand prize of $666. His presence during this devilish competition proved valuable to all in attendance, as the intimate setting of Hotel Paranormal provided the students with a private and personal audience with a Hollywood great.
The Saturday Evening Spirit Summoning Ritual was performed by the practicing occultists of Burbank’s own The Crooked Path Occult Apothecary. Their ceremony was intricate and elaborate, as they conjured the spirits of the hotel, providing entrance to only the most professional and serious of paranormal investigators to test their equipment and work hand in hand to actually summon a being from the other side. As much of a performance as this ritual may seem in writing, the Magickal practitioners of The Crooked Path and the Shockest crew wish to emphasize this work was a legitimate act of ritualistic communication with the supernatural and was not to be taken lightly. As such, only the most dedicated and serious paranormal explorers took part in the event to end off the weekend with a bang!
Awards were presented to filmmakers, including a variety of traditional festival feats such as Best Feature, Best Director and Best Cinematographer. But following the event, the winners of each category raced amongst each other at Vegas’ own Pole Position Raceway for a special secret prize, a NIGHTMARE GLOVE constructed by artist Anders Eriksen. These hellish hand accessories are the only Freddy Krueger Replica Gloves endorsed by the Springwood Slasher himself, Robert England. In fact, you can see one in action on the set of the 2018 Halloween special of The Goldbergs, where Robert makes a cameo appearance as the famous boogeyman himself sporting a Nightmare Glove on his murderous left hand. The winner of this award was none other than Nicholas George from the award-winning feature film, Art of the Dead.
Though much merriment was had by all, the long-lasting effects of the event itself have been haunting, to say the least. The Shockfest website (www.shockfilmfest.com) and Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/shockfesthorrorfactory/) leave clues that this event is only the beginning. An ominous message has been left for those who dare to take part in the festivities for this upcoming year to submit your film now on the film freeway page: https://filmfreeway.com/ShockfestFilmFestival.
Will you present your work to Shockfest alongside award-winning films such as Rabid (The Soska Sisters), The Dawn (Brandon Slagle), Satanic Panic (Chelsea Stardust) and The Assent (Paerry Teo)? Though Hotel Paranormal has seemingly vanished out of thin air, Shockfest Horror Factory seems to have a new set of surprises to reveal, which we will have to wait with abiding anticipation to hear. But one thing is for certain, whatever does come next will be sure to top anything seen thus far, so keep your eyes peeled for the dark carnival that is Shockfest to return from the insidious and frightening fog of the unknown with even more nightmares to conjure up.
Did you attend Shockfest 2019 in Vegas in November? Are you looking forward to the 2020 festivities? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! You can also carry on the convo with me personally on Twitter @josh_millican.