The Knoxville Horror Film Fest will present its twelfth annual weekend of horror film fueled fun Friday, October 23rd through Sunday, October 25th. The festival will be split between Maryville, Tennessee’s Parkway Drive-In, the nearby The Bird & The Book, and the festival’s home base of Central Cinema in Knoxville.
The festival’s move to the Parkway Drive-In is a combination of safety, due to the ongoing pandemic, and fulfillment of a long-term goal, resulting in a killer lineup of drive-in horror. Friday night’s features include Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead 2 (1987) and J.P. Simon’s Pieces (1982), and Saturday night includes a 35th anniversary double feature of Dan O’Bannon’s Return of the Living Dead (1985) and Lamberto Bava’s Demons (1985).
Friday night’s exciting triple feature will include the Southeastern US Premiere of The Stylist, the debut feature film from KHFF alum and collaborator Jill Gevargizian. The Stylist tells the story of a disturbed hairdresser named Claire, played by Najarra Townsend, who starred in the award-winning 2016 short film. As Claire attempts to hide her gruesome secret life from a client, played by Brea Grant (After Midnight), there are chilling, bloody glimpses inside her tortured psyche. Writer/Director Jill Gevargizian will be in attendance.
Abandoned in 1983 and previously only available as a VHS workprint, Saturday night’s closing film is the newly restored and completed Grizzly II: Revenge. The film follows the carnage at an outdoor rock concert as a mother bear seeks revenge for her slaughtered cubs. A sequel to William Girdler’s 1976 movie Grizzly, which screened at last year’s KHFF “Girdlerthon,” the film stars John Rhys-Davies (Raiders of the Lost Ark) and Louise Fletcher (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) and features Charlie Sheen, Laura Dern, and George Clooney.
In addition to Friday and Saturday’s drive-in programming, full passholders will have exclusive access to hours of touring and local short films as well as a live kickoff episode from local podcast Nerdy Laser. These events will be hosted at The Bird & The Book, a pub and eatery attached to Maryville’s Southland Books and video store The Dungeon, and at Central Cinema, a single-screen moviehouse just north of downtown Knoxville. To limit venue capacity and keep things safe, the bulk of this programming will screen twice over the course of the weekend; guests will also be required to wear masks during indoor events and should expect further safety measures as appropriate.
A limited number of Weekend Passes are available at Film Freeway and KnoxHorrorFest.com, along with a handful of deluxe R.I.P. Passes. Standalone two-night drive-in passes and single-night advance tickets are also available.
Founded in 2009, Knoxville Horror Fest is the longest running film festival in Knoxville, and it is recognized as one of the southeast’s premier genre movie destinations. The 2020 Knoxville Horror Film Fest is sponsored by Cherokee Distributing, Nerdy Laser Podcast and Southland Books & Cafe.