The premier East Coast horror film festival kicked off the 2015 season in gloriously wicked style. The Macabre Faire Film Festival expanded into the NY Horror Show to give fans and film lovers a three day all inclusive horror experience offering films, vendors, celebrities, contests, panels, and exclusive events and performances. Starting on Friday night, the Macabre Faire Festival Red Carpet Gala brought sinister glamour and glitz to the genre with a grand banquet celebrating the best independent horror films, filmmakers, and performers of 2014. Several media outlets were in attendance interviewing directors, celebrities, and festival award nominees as horror enthusiasts, dressed to kill, networked and conversed in the lounge. The dinner began with Tribal Dance Long Island, whose perfectly choreographed gyrations mixed Middle Eastern exoticism with a Day of the Dead aesthetic. A soaring operatic singing performance by Nicole Oliva (who also picked up an award for Best Villainess) preceded the welcome by the Queen of New York Horror, LC Macabre. Continuing the festive mood, the undead Godfather Salvatore Rizzo and Dr. Fingers entertained with a parodic late night talk show sketch. The splendid evening ended with a concert by Symphony of Oblivion. Those interested in a night cap could go to a special screening of the director’s cut of Sam Raimi’s Army of Darkness, introduced with a live sketch.
Saturday and Sunday had jammed packed schedules of screenings, panels, celebrity signings, performances, and contests. Several highlights included the Darkside of the Opera, the Horror Pageant, The Woman in Black Fashion Show, a costume contest, and a concert by the Flesh Junkies. Panel discussions focused on a variety of topics such as women in horror, how to get horror writing published, SPFX makeup demonstrations, Canadian horror filmmakers, the West Memphis 3, witchcraft, and the history of horror comics. Celebrities in attendance included Robert Mukes (House of 1,000 Corpses), Eileen Dietz (The Exorcist), Sharon Lentz (Dark Shadows), Stacey Nelkin (Halloween III), Jim Krut (Dawn of the Dead), and Elizabeth Shepard (The Tomb of Ligeia). The vendor room was loaded with incredible products and services addressing any and all horror fans needs.
The real highlights of the weekend were the films, ranging from 5 minute shorts to feature length movies. Just a few of the fantastic films screened were Hannes Rall’s animated Si Lunchai, Bernie Rao’s Teddy, Torin Langen’s Malleus Maleficarum, Mike T. Lyddon’s By the Hair of the Head, Andres Rafael Zabala’s A Dark Rome, Jill Gevargizian’s Call Girl, Chris Ethridge’s Attack of the Morningside Monster, and Anthony Winson’s House of Afflictions. Breakout work that deserve much more attention were Ryan Barri’s Amethyst (a high school fairy tale ingeniously told with Barbie dolls), Christopher White’s I Fall Down (a gritty tale of alienation and what it means to be an outsider), and Darryl Shaw’s Greater Than (an ode to mad love and kinky body modifications). The NY Horror Show culminated in the awards ceremony celebrating the best in independent horror.
The horror film festival/convention season has officially begun and the Macabre Faire Film Festival/NY Horror Show has set an incredibly high bar of achievement.