When you think of a film festival, you may immediately jump to an image of something like Sundance, where parka-clad celebrities trudge through the snow to premiere their indie movie, or somewhere like Cannes, where tuxedo-clad celebrities walk the red carpet to premiere their not-so-indie movie.
But not all festivals are like that. In fact, most aren’t. Most are casual, low key affairs where movie lovers can gather together to watch a curated batch of films with like-minded people.
That’s what makes something like the Bruce Campbell Horror Film Festival so appealing. You know exactly what you’re going to get as soon as you see the name of the festival. So if you like horror movies and you live anywhere within the vicinity of Chicago, or will be near it from August 20-23, you may want to check out the info below about what movies are playing and what special guests may be there with them.
Body — Chicago Premiere
Three bored young women break into a house for cheap laughs, stumble across someone who shouldn’t be there, and commit a terrible deed.
Cast: Helen Rogers, Lauren Molina, Alexandra Turshen and Larry Fessenden
Dir: Dan Berk Robert Olsen
Bubba Ho-Tep (2002) — followed by a QA with lead actor Bruce Campbell!
Elvis and JFK, both alive and in nursing homes, fight for the souls of their fellow residents as they battle an ancient Egyptian Mummy.
Cast: Bruce Campbell, Ossie Davis, Heidi Marnhout and Bob Ivy
Dir: Don Coscarelli
Bunny the Killer Thing — U.S Premiere
A group of Finnish and British people get stuck in a cabin when a creature — which is a half human half rabbit — attacks them. The creature is Bunny the Killer Thing, and it is after anything that resembles female genitalia. Yes, really. Based on the 2011 short film of the same name.
Cast: Gareth Lawrence, Veera W. Vilo, Roope Olenius and Enni Ojutkangas
Dir: Joonas Makkonen
Cannibal Holocaust (1980) — 35mm screening introduced by Eli Roth!
A New York professor returns from a rescue mission to the Amazon with footage shot by a lost team of filmmakers. And it’s pretty damn gruesome.
Cast: Robert Kerman, Perry Pirkanen, Francesca Ciardi and Luca Barbareschi
Dir: Ruggero Deodato
Contracted: Phase 2 – North American Premiere – Cast Crew in attendance!
Picking up directly where the creepy indie hit Contracted left off, Phase II follows Riley, one of the last people to come in contact with the ill-fated Samantha, as he scrambles to track down those responsible for the outbreak before the highly contagious disease not only consumes his body, but possibly the world as we know it.
Cast: Matt Mercer, Alice Macdonald, Stacy Burcham, Laurel Vail, Anne Lore and Morgan Peter Brown
Dir: Josh Forbes
Dude Bro Party Massacre III — Special Screening with Filmmakers Greg Sestero in attendance!
In the wake of two back-to-back mass murders on Chico’s frat row, loner Brent Chirino must infiltrate the ranks of a popular fraternity to investigate his twin brother’s murder at the hands of the serial killer known as “Motherface.”
Cast: Alec Owen, Michael Rousselet, Jon Salmon, Paul Prado, Brian Firenzi, Tomm Jacobsen, Greg Sestero, Andrew W.K., Nina Hartley, Larry King and Patton Oswalt
Dir: Tomm Jacobsen, Michael Rousselet, Jon Salmon
Fright Night (1985) — followed by a QA with writer / director Tom Holland!
A teenage boy is convinced that his new neighbor is a bloodthirsty vampire, but nobody will believe him — until he enlists the assistance of a fussy old actor who used to kill the creatures all the time. In movies, that is.
Cast: William Ragsdale, Chris Sarandon, Amanda Bearse, Stephen Geoffreys and Roddy McDowall
Dir: Tom Holland
He Never Died — Chicago Premiere – Filmmakers in attendance!
Jack, a social outcast, is thrust out of his comfort zone when the outside world bangs on his door and he can’t contain his violent past. A masterful combination of film noir, crime thriller, character study, and horror story.
Cast: Henry Rollins, Booboo Stewart, Jordan Todosey and Steven Ogg
Dir: Jason Krawczyk
Hellions — Chicago Premiere
A troubled teenager must survive a Halloween night from Hell when malevolent trick-or-treaters come knocking at her door. And refuse to go away. From the director of festival favorite Pontypool.
Cast: Chloe Rose, Rossif Sutherland, Rachel Wilson and Robert Patrick
Dir: Bruce McDonald
Nina Forever — Chicago Premiere
After his girlfriend Nina dies in a car crash, Rob unsuccessfully attempts suicide. As he begins to overcome his grief, he falls in love with a coworker, Holly. Their relationship is complicated when Nina, unable to find rest in the afterlife, comes back to life to sarcastically torment them whenever they have sex.
Cast: Abigail Hardingham, Cian Barry, David Troughton and Fiona O’Shaughnessey
Dir: Ben Blaine Chris Blaine
The Pack – North American Premiere
A farmer and his family must fight for survival after a ferocious pack of wild dogs infiltrates their isolated farmhouse. Through a series of frightening and bloody encounters they are forced into survival mode to make it through the night. An exercise in suspense, in the same vein as OPEN WATER BACKCOUNTRY, this grisly Australian horror/thriller packs a ton of bite.
Cast: Anna Lise Phillips, Jack Campbell, Hamish Phillips and Katie Moore
Dir: Nick Robertson
Some Kind of Hate — Chicago Premiere
A bullied teenager is sent to a reform school where he accidentally summons the spirit of a girl, herself a victim of bullying, who takes vengeance on his tormentors.
Cast: Grace Phipps, Lexi Atkins, Ronen Rubenstein, Spencer Breslin and Noah Segan
Dir: Adam Egypt Mortimer
Sun Choke — Chicago Premiere
Recovering from a violent psychotic break, Janie is just trying to get well under the care of her lifelong nanny and caretaker. She begins to veer off the road to recovery when she develops an obsession with a young woman to whom she feels an inexplicable yet profound connection.
Cast: Sara Malakul Lane, Sarah Hogan, Evan Jones and Barbara Crampton
Dir: Ben Cresciman
Synapse — Wizard World Presents a World Premiere!
Voyeuristic technology has surpassed our wildest nightmares and our most explicit fantasies. Running from SYNAPSE, an agency tasked with memory drug enforcement, a rogue agent fights against the organization that once employed him.
Cast: Henry Simmons, Joshua Alba, Sophina Brown, Adam Simon, Charley Boon and Will Rubio
Dir: Adam Simon
Tales of Halloween — Chicago Premiere – Filmmakers in attendance!
Ten stories are woven together by their shared theme of Halloween night in an American suburb, where ghouls, imps, aliens and axe murderers appear for one night only to terrorize unsuspecting residents.
Cast: James Duval, Greg Grunberg, Pollyanna McIntosh, Keir Gilchrist, Grace Phipps, Barry Bostwick, Lin Shaye, Adrienne Barbeau, Booboo Stewart, Barbara Crampton, Lisa Marie, Sam Witwer, Clare Kramer, John Savage, Ben Woolf, Alex Essoe, Elissa Dowling, Noah Segan, Kristina Klebe, Caroline Williams, Graham Skipper, Robert Rusler, Dana Gould, Marc Senter, Ben Stillwell, Adam Green, Pat Healy and many more!
Dir: Axelle Carolyn, Darren Lynn Bousman, Adam Gierasch, Andrew Kasch, Neil Marshall, Lucky McKee, Mike Mendez, Dave Parker, Ryan Schifrin, John Skipp, Paul Solet