Goblin, Romero, Hocus Pocus Highlight Eerie Horror Fest
Film festival grows with live music and family-friendly events, back at the Warner
BEGINNING THURSDAY, OCT. 4
Get to know the reason for the spooky season, as the Eerie Horror Fest returns with a vengeance. Back at the historic Warner Theatre, the four-day festival is filled with live music, film screenings, guest appearances, vendors, panels, and more special events. First debuting in 2004, the Eerie Horror Fest has come to be nationally known and well-loved by area cinephiles. This year marks a further evolution for it, with musical performances and family-geared programming. A few of the headliners even manage to keep things firmly tied to the Rust Belt.
Kicking things off will be a special Wednesday screening of Night of the Living Dead. The iconic 1968 film by George A. Romero essentially invented zombies as we know them, and was primarily shot less than two hours away, in Evans City, Pennsylvania. Experience the film like never before, with live accompaniment by the band Morricone Youth. The New York City-based group has been active since 1999, composing their unique brand of music as a memorable cinematic backdrop. Prior to the screening, there will be a party for Living Dead VIP ticket holders and All-Access Premium ticket holders hosted by Tina Romero, daughter of George Romero, New York City DJ, and vice president of the George A. Romero Foundation.
For some regional flair, let's head down the Ohio River to Point Pleasant, West Virginia, for The Mothman Prophecies. The 2002 film centers around the titular cryptid, as Richard Gere is lured in by its legend. There will be a special screening on Friday, with its director, Mark Pellington on hand for a Q&A session hosted by Dr. Rhonda Matthews immediately following. Pellington will also serve on an industry panel on Saturday.
Saturday morning will feature the first Horror Fest event specifically geared towards families, with a screening of the 1993 classic Hocus Pocus. "This is absolutely the first time we've ever done anything family-oriented. And it's definitely not going to be the last," explained Erika Berlin, executive director of the Film Society of Northwestern Pennsylvania. "We really want the horror fest to be accessible to the entire community."
Prior to the 11 a.m. showing, families are invited to a safe trick-or-treating session with the Hamot Health Foundation at 10 a.m.
Romero will return on Saturday with the 1973 film The Crazies. The George A. Romero Foundation will provide a live commentary. Limited edition screen-printed posters of both Night of the Living Dead and The Crazies, designed with art by "Monster" Mark Kosobucki, will be available at the festival.
Capping off the weekend will be a special performance by Claudio Simonetti's Goblin. The Italian progressive rock band has had numerous iterations since forming in 1972, with Simonetti famously writing the score for Dario Argento's Profondo Rosso and Suspiria, along with Romero's Dawn of the Dead.
Vendors at the fest are so far set to include: The Art of Eerie Eric / Krampusnacht Erie, 1331 Studios, A Paranormal Group, Alchemy of Spirits, Amy Gone Art & Curiosities, Cast Collective, Erie Roller Derby, Rock & Roll Medium, Severin, Sleep In Fear, Steens Wicked Daycare, Sugar T's Smell Goods, Made By A Weirdo, Chronicles of Yarnia, The Art of Georgia Buchner, Candy Bones Creative, Ghost Lake, Little Panda Acts of Kindness, and Shan Pie Designs.
The first wave of film selections includes: Demon Box, English Tutor, Match, Mother Nocturna, Sætnere, Treeline, and We Forgot About the Zombies. A full schedule, along with additional films will be available soon.
Be sure to stay tuned for more news in the weeks leading up to the fest, as there are more high-profile guests and events yet to be announced.
Oct. 4 to Oct. 7 // Warner Theatre, 811 State St. // Night of the Living Dead and VIP Party $50, All Access Premium VIP $167, All Access VIP $130, Day Passes $25, $30, Hocus Pocus $15, Claudio Simonetti's Goblin $40 // For tickets and more information: eeriehorrorfest.com