Last year, Houston saw the birth of SplatterFest, a horror film festival with a significant twist. Founded by Kelly Smith and the acclaimed director of Spirit Camp (seriously, get it, watch it, love it) Kerry Beyer, the festival is part showcase, part film school exercise, part mad dash for valuable prizes.
Anticipation is building heavily as SplatterFest receives more and more national recognition. Our own Scream World, currently rated as one of the best haunted attraction in the nation, has come on board as a sponsor, as has Monster Energy Drink. No less an indie entertainment juggernaut than Ain't It Cool News has profiled the festival in an article, and now one of the most illustrious names in the horror industry has confirmed his attendance.
Bruce Campbell is currently starring in Burn Notice on USA, but to horror film buffs he will always be the Deadite-fighting hero of the Evil Dead series. The series itself celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, has spawned a musical and is set to be remade in the grand Hollywood tradition of being unable to conceive an original thought.
"We've been longtime fans of Bruce," Beyer tells Art Attack. "We feel very fortunate to have such an icon of the horror genre at our event."
Campbell will be on hand for photo opportunities and autographs. Art Attack had the opportunity to meet Campbell when he was in Houston many moons ago at the Landmark River Oaks Theatre, where he was promoting his directorial debut The Man With the Screaming Brain and his book How to Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way, two seriously under-appreciated works, in our humble opinion.
In addition to Campbell's appearance, horror fans will also be treated to the world premiere of the latest Odyssey Pictures release, Jacob, the story of a massive, mentally-challenged man on a quest for revenge against the murderer of his beloved sister. Odyssey is previously responsible for Stacy Davidson's masterful, disturbing Sweatshop.
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The festival isn't only about mayhem and murder, though. A portion of the box office proceeds from the event will be donated to AIDS Foundation Houston. Comic Book Divas will debut Dennis Willman's Playzom book, proceeds from which will benefit Breast Cancer Research. They will also unveil two more covers" the Dennis Willman Ginger-Stein Sneak Peek comic and a Goldilocks In Zombie Land issue no. 1 SplatterFest variant cover.
Aspiring participants are given are given one weekend, 54 hours, to complete a short horror film. They are given a character, a weapon and a line of dialogue to use in the short; other than that, it's anything goes. Last year's prize, a Canon Rebel T2i camera, went to the short film Don't Go in the Attic and its director Joe Grisaffi, who's latest full-length slasher flick Dead of Knight we are eagerly waiting to be released. We can honestly say that we have never seen a movie maniac in a full suit of medieval armor going on a kind of perverted quest to eliminate virtue before, and we're willing to bet you the pinky finger from our left hand that you haven't either.
This year's winner can look forward to a Canon Rebel 32i, and much more.
Filmmakers interested in participating in this year's challenge should register on the SplatterFest website. The competition will run September 9 through 11 and the film festival will be hosted by the Alamo Drafthouse West Oaks September 27 through October 1. VIP tickets are still available, and ticket holders will be given precedence in lines and will receive discount admission to Scream World.