The East Valley will become a haven for horror and sci-fi movie lovers this weekend as 50 macabre films screen continuously at the fourth annual International Horror & Sci-Fi Film Festival Oct. 23-26 at Chandler Cinemas, 2140 N. Arizona Ave.
The opening film will be the official Sundance Film Festival selection Donkey Punch. Here’s a description:
After meeting at a nightclub in a Mediterranean resort, seven young adults decide to continue partying aboard a luxury yacht in the middle of the ocean. But when one of them dies in a freak accident the others argue about what to do, leading to a ruthless fight for survival.
The schedule also includes a 50th anniversary screening of The Blob; Re-Animator, starring Hall of Fame inductee Jeffrey Combs (see below); The Rocky Horror Picture Show; and Hells Ground, which is billed as “the first horror movie ever made in Pakistan.” Look for other films with great titles like Wizard of Gore, Vampire Hookers and Tokyo Gore Police.
The closing film will be Sukiyaki Western Django, the Arizona premier of an alternate reality Western epic full of blood, lust and greed starring Quentin Tarantino and directed by famed Japanese director Takashi Miike.
Sponsored by the Phoenix Film Foundation, the IHSFF Hall of Fame honors individuals who have made a difference in horror and sci-fi film. Last year it recognized Exorcist head-turner Linda Blair. This year, the honor goes to Jeffrey Combs, star of the horror classic Re-Animator. Combs is also well known in the sci-fi fan community for his roles as the scheming Vorta Weyoun (pictured) and the Ferengi Commerce Authority Agent Brunt on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Andorian Commander Shran on Star Trek: Enterprise and scientist Kevin Burkhoff in The 4400.
The festival will also feature bashes (including Moosehead Lager after-parties), a costume contest and “gore girl” competition … oh yeah, and discussions with filmmakers and directors! Special events include a showing of the original Friday the 13th hosted by actress Adrienne King (pictured), who played the camp counselor who ultimately defeats the hockey mask-wearing Jason after he kills most of her co-counselors at Camp Crystal Lake.
Tickets start at $8 for single showings, with passes good for four films at $25 and VIP full-festival passes at $100. There are discounts available for students and seniors. Visit www.horrorscifi.com or call (602) 955-6444.
Chandler Cinemas is on the northwest corner of Arizona Ave. and Warner Road. Here’s a map.