While the three-night, two-day Horror Show may be the most recent addition to Telluride’s thriving festival scene, for fans beholden to the darker side of filmmaking it’s already poised to join the top-shelf traditions set before it by the venerable Telluride Film Festival and Mountainfilm that have sealed the town’s reputation as a moviegoers’ Mecca.
“We’re getting films I never expected we’d get at this point,” said festival founder and director Ted Wilson.
So far there is Bitter Feast – widely touted as “a horror flick for foodies” – that premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June to rave reviews. Written and directed by Joe Maggio, it’s about a celebrity television chef who seeks revenge against the influential food blogger responsible for ruining his career.
Joining Bitter Feast on the confirmed features list are: The Book of Zombie directed by Scott Kragelund, Paul Cranefield and Erik Van Sant; Broken Springs: Shine of the Undead Zombie Bastards, directed by Neeley Lawson; Colin, the now-famous, 2009 Cannes Film Festival selection about zombies as told by a zombie, directed by Marc Price; I Didn’t Come Here to Die, directed by Bradley Scott Sullivan; Satan Hates You, inspired by the creepy Christian “scare” flicks of the 1960s and 1970s and includes a cameo from local funnyman Jeb Berrier, directed by James Felix McKenny; Someone’s Knocking At the Door, directed by Chad Ferrin; and Strigoi directed by Faye Jackson.
Confirmed film shorts include: Attack, directed by Adam White; Cockpit: The Rule of Engagement, directed by Jesse Griffith; Demiurge Emesis, directed by Aurelio Voltaire; Enigma, directed by the Shumway Brothers; Mutantland, directed by Phil Tippett; Recollection, by Federico D’Alessandro; and three films, Scayrecrow, The Hairy Hands and The Screaming Skull, from U.K. director Ashley Thorpe, described by the Horror Show as “Gothic, unquestionably British, and filled with that unsettling fear that creeps under your skin.”
One very special feature comes to the Horror Show straight from the private collection of producer, festival special guest and its designated “Vault Keeper” Jon Davison (of Airplane!, RoboCop and Starship Troopers fame).
Davison is a horror buff who is dipping into his collection of vintage films to screen his personal 35mm print of the original 1978 cult classic he produced, Piranha, and will follow it with a question and answer session.
Horror genre entertainment magazine Fangoria editor-in-chief Chris Alexander will guest host the festival and lead filmmaker question and answer sessions, while special effects make-up artist (think Titanic and icicle-covered corpses) and “The Tales of Bloody Mary” comic book creator Bobbie Weiner (a.k.a. Bloody Mary) will host a Sunday morning “Zombie Brunch” at the Sheridan Opera House.
Saturday morning features a handful of dark, science-fiction shorts during the “Saturday Morning Sci-Fi” program, and the festival kicks off with an opening night reception with filmmakers open only to full pass holders.
To ensure that every festival pass holder gets into one of the two films being screened per timeslot at the Nugget Theatre or the Sheridan Opera House, the festival will not be oversold. Every pass holder is guaranteed a seat in one of the two locations, though not necessarily in one’s first choice of program.
A limited number of early-bird passes are still available for $120, after which they go up to the regular price of $150. For more information or to purchase a pass visit www.telluridehorrorshow.com.