This has been quite the year for us here at Slasher Studios. We started off this year having our first slasher short TEDDY as an official selection of Chicago’s Fear Fest and winning Audience Favorite. After that, we had an awesome screening at Chicago’s Monster Mash Up, we tore up the screen at Horrorfind Film Festival in Gettysburg last month, and now the biggest of the big. Last weekend, we had the pleasure of being the opening selection of Elvira’s Horror Hunt and very first film festival EVER at Horrorhound Weekend in Indianapolis, Indiana. These are some random thoughts regarding the film festival, the convention, the horror celebrities, and the amazing people we met over the weekend. To say this was a weekend we will never forget is the greatest understatement.
As we arrived in Indianapolis last Friday, we (both myself as well as the director of TEDDY, Steve Goltz) were a bundle of nerves. Watching something you’ve poured your heart, soul, blood, and tears with a large audience on the big screen is an overwhelming experience. I really can’t describe the feeling of watching something you’ve made in a room full of strangers. It’s surreal, scary, and exhilarating. Join us for the 5PM screening was J.R. Watkins of Twisted Central (one of the nicest guys you will ever meet and a genuine horror fan at that), Lucas Masson (director of the French slasher “Baby-sitting” which played later that night, who came all the way from France to be at the festival!), Adam Bartlett (co-director of “Dead Weight”, a post-apocalyptic thriller also from Wisconsin and also screening later Friday night), and Juan F. Gonzalez (producer of “The Awakening,” a horror flick to be played Saturday). Along from the ride with these fellow filmmakers included about 40-50 die hard horror fans.
Before TEDDY started, the one and only Cassandra Peterson (A.K.A Elvira) and Joshua Grannell (A.K.A Peaches Christ) kicked off Elvira’s Horror Hunt with an introduction regarding her love for independent horror and how hard it truly is to make a film. With their inspiration words, we kicked off TEDDY with an intro by myself and Steve Goltz. We ran to the back of the room to gauge the reaction from the audience that saw the film. They laughed, they screamed, and they had an awesome time. After the credits ended, we had several people come up to us to tell us how much they enjoyed the film and how slasher flicks really are a dying art form when it comes to making horror movies. Ahh…a sign of relief. They liked the movie! Even J.R., who has seen the movie several times commented how well it played on the big screen with an audience. It felt great and it was nice to have the screening out of the way so our nerves could be cooled…at least until the awards the following night.
After TEDDY screening, we checked out the various rooms filled with horror fans, horror and sci-fi celebrities, and lots and lots of one-of-a-kind horror memorabilia. We were like kids in a candy store. It was awesome! Some of the masks we saw were the best of the best of the best. After we did a little shopping, we stopped by the “Dead Weight” booth to cheer on our friends and fellow filmmakers from Wisconsin, John Pata and Adam Bartlett, who had their own booth at the convention. These guys have a genuine love for horror that transcends their work. They aren’t just horror filmmakers but lovers of the genre who love to help those who are also making independent horror flicks. Seeing their love for our work and our love for their work was a mutual bonding experience that was one of the highlights of the convention. So much love!!!
After chatting with the “Dead Weight” guys, we jumped in line to meet both Heather Langenkamp and Amanda Wyss from “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” Nightmare has always been one of my favorite horror movies and Langenkamp has been my favorite Final Girl for as long as I can remember. Meeting them was a childhood dream come true and they were both so nice and so appreciative, it put a smile on my face for the rest of the night. After meeting the “Nightmare” women, we decided it was time for a few drinks so we headed back to our hotel room to watch “Slugs” and down a few whiskey and cokes before returning to the convention. When we returned to the convention, we meet up with our “Dead Weight” friends and had some more drinks and talked about the “Dead Weight” screening which included 85 people. Wow. These guys know how to sell their film. It doesn’t hurt that “Dead Weight” is one hell of a movie either.
That really concludes day one of the experience. We will be back tomorrow with tales from day 2! Don’t miss our podcast tonight at 10PM central in which we discuss our favorite highlights of the festival.