EXCLUSIVE: SpectreFest 2015, the third horror film festival from SpectreVision, will open with the horror comedy Cooties which stars SpectreVision’s Elijah Wood and close with Avishai Sivan’s Tikkun which won top honors this summer at the Jerusalem Film Festival. In fact, it won Best Actor, Best Israeli Feature, Best Screenplay and Best Cinematography. Attendees to SpectreFest will also see the Los Angeles premiere of Michael Madsen’s The Visit, which is shot documentary-style but tells the fantastical story of how the government deals with mankind’s first contact with aliens. It will also give attendees a sneak preview of Goosebumps — yes the entire movie which doesn’t bow in theaters until 2016.
Those are but a few films and sneak peaks that will be featured from around the world for the genre festival that will take place September 3 and run through October 30. The event is being hosted by the founders and partners of SpectreVision — Daniel Noah, Josh C. Waller and Wood — with Cinefamily. The festival is also presented in association with Shudder, a new premium video streaming service that serves horror fans and backed by AMC Network. In addition to the films, a varied range of special events, rare repertory programs, radio, music, VR and other forms of media are planned.
Events are hosted by the partners of SpectreVision and will have appearances by stars and filmmakers, each followed by a reception. Confirmed guests to date include Wood, Kristen Wiig, and Bushwick Bill as well appearances by stalwart genre filmmakers E. Elias Merhige and Larry Fessenden. For example: An Evening with Fessenden will feature a screening of the writer-director’s seminal Habit (1995), followed by an onstage discussion with Fassenden conducted by SpectreVision’s Noah. Writer-director Merhige will screen his own 16mm print of Begotten (1990), after which he’ll show his short film follow-up, Din Of Celestial Birds (2006).
This year’s films will also include the creepy Goodnight Mommy, Shinya Tsukomoto’s Fires On The Plain, Sion Sono’s Love & Peace, and Final Girls.
“It’s a deeply satisfying experience to put together an annual list of the films we feel push the envelope of what genre cinema can be, and to bring these sometimes under-appreciated films to Los Angeles,” said SpectreVision’s Noah. “We purposely don’t show too many new titles – our goal is to make every year’s line-up have special meaning, both to the filmmakers and audiences.
The weekend of October 2-3 is aimed directly at burgeoning Spectre-fans and will feature a sneak peek of the upcoming feature film Goosebumps. A marathon of Goosebumps episodes will also be screened and original artwork from the book series will be on display. Saturday Morning Cartoons will showcase a selection of our favorite Halloween Hauntings in animation, featuring cartoon favorites including Beetlejuice, The Addams Family, Courage The Cowardly Dog, and classic cartoon mayhem from Silly Symphonies and Looney Tunes, among others.
Other events includes legendary NPR radio artist and storyteller Joe Frank returning to the Cinefamily stage with his new show, Murdered By The Mind, and popular podcasters Here Be Monsters will present their live sound experiment, Terrible Resonance. Both shows are co-presented by KCRW.
On the repertory front, Friday Night Frights will showcase a series of rarely-screened TV horror films of the ’70s and ’80s. The SpectreFest Sleepover will feature an overnight marathon of surprise titles, programmed by cult horror expert Zack Carlson.
And then it gets weird. Audience members will be able to get into a virtual reality event called Catatonic. Bound to a wheelchair, the viewer is taken on a 360-degree, immersive journey through an insane asylum, and undergoes a sensory-shocking horror thrill ride.
Music continues to be an element of SpectreFest and this year there will be a live performance by Cooties composer Kreng (aka Pepijn Caudron), who will provide an original score to accompany a screening of the Ingmar Bergman classic Hour Of The Wolf. Film composer and electronic musician Steve Moore will present an original synth score set to an abstract re-edit of the Superman films of the ‘80s. Hip Hop Halloween is offered as the peculiar and fascinating intersection of hip hop music with a horror theme. Rapper Bushwick Bill will appear to present a screening of his favorite horror classic Child’s Play.
Here’s the schedule:
Sept. 3 Opening night: Cooties (L.A. premiere)
Sept. 10 Goodnight Mommy (L.A. premiere)
Sept. 17 Hour of the Wolf (Live score by Kreng)
Sept. 24 Final Girls
Oct. 1 Deathgasm (with cast and crew in attendence)
Oct. 2-3 Goosebumps Weekend Sneak/Night of Episodes, art show
Oct. 3 Saturday Morning Cartoons – Spectre Edition
Oct. 4 An Evening With Larry Fessenden and screening of Habit
Oct 7 The Visit (West Coast premiere)
Oct. 8 Sun Choke (L.A. premiere with cast and crew in attendance)
Oct. 10 Zack Carlson’s Rare Meat – A Weekend of Surprises
Oct. 11 Steve Moore vs. Superman
Oct. 14 Fires on the Plain (West Coast premiere)
Oct. 15 Love & Peace (L.A. premiere)
Oct. 16-17 Joe Frank: Murdered By the Mind
Oct. 18 Terrible Resonance (Live show by Here Be Monsters)
Oct. 19 Aaaaaaaah! (L.A. premiere)
Oct. 22 Nasty Baby (L.A. premiere)
Oct. 28 Show & Tell with E. Elias Merhige and Begotten & Din of Celestial Birds.
Oct. 29 Closing night Tikkun (L.A. premiere with director Avishai Sivan)
Oct. 30 Hip Hop Horror (screening of Child’s Play hosted by Bushwick Bill)