Sacramento Horror Film Festival
For the past six years the Sacramento Horror Film Festival (SHFF) has brought hundreds of short and full-length films to the big screen. This past weekend, films, live music and performances by Amber’s Sweets created a great event for horror film fans at the Colonial Theater.
Mr. Lobo welcomed guests, and as always, made audience participation part of the show. A bowl of candy accompanied him most of the time he was not on stage, making him a popular guest.
The 6th Annual Zom-Bee Beauty Pageant, which has been part of SHFF, was also introduced.
The Zom-Bee Channel and Cinema Insomnia presented the pageant and fans loudly cheered for their favorite contestant in an effort to influence the judging.
Contestant costumes were very detailed and the judges had a hard choice to make. Nonetheless, a winner was chosen and was given a cleverly created crown made of fingers to go along with a photo shoot for Horror Host Magazine. The winner will also serve as spokesmodel for Zom-Bee TV.
Tim Meunier, producer and founder of SHFF, selected the films shown at the Colonial from those submitted during the 2012 submission period. The selections made by Meunier were truly amazing.
Mr. Lobo introduced the film for Friday evening, the 1988 film, “Night of the Demons.” Tenney, one of the judges, was also the film’s director. Tenney talked about the film when it ended and fans were given the opportunity to be involved in a Q&A session.
Tenney also talked about the type of budget needed to bring a film like “Night of the Demons” to the screen, revealing that he was not the initial director chosen for the movie and had been in negotiations with another film at the time. As he waited for a written contract, negotiations went back and forth and he eventually signed with “Night of the Demons” two days before the other film brought forth a written offer.
- Fans were also treated to a revelation by Tenney indicating that a “Night of the Demons” remake was in the works.
The evening was topped off with a screening of the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” with Amber’s Sweets performing live on stage.
Did you know that the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” was released in 1975? Most audience members were not born when the movie was released; nonetheless, most fans in attendance knew the lines from the movie. Audience participation started even before the film began and comments from the audience did not stop.
The Amber’s Sweets performance of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” was very entertaining and well performed. The audience was amazing as they followed the dialogue with dialogue of their own and participated in several dance scenes. It was the perfect ending to the first evening of SHFF.
As I walked to my car, off in the distance I could hear voices in the night sky.
“It’s just a jump to the left. And then a step to the right. With your hand on your hips. You bring your knees in tight…”
Saturday began with a series of short horror films. Horror, life, end of life, love, special effects, music and comedy were mixed in to, in a manner of speaking, give life to the macabre flicks that were shown.
Cheryl Goodman shared some thoughts on the event. The Davis resident made her way to Sacramento to see the film festival with several friends.
“This will be my third year at the festival and when I heard a production of the Rocky Horror Show was going to take place I was very excited. My friends know how much I love Rocky and they bought me a weekend ticket for my birthday. The show last night was great. It’s one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had.”
“Profesor Brofman,” a short from Spain, kicked off Saturday’s shorts. International short films were part of SHFF and were well-received. Period pieces, love stories, gore, suspense and other topics were covered as several dozen short films by international and local filmmakers were shown.
The titles of several films gave the plot away, but the way the films materialized on the big screen, they were actually wonderfully delivered.
Reigle’s “Damn Love” was followed by a discussion with the director. Reigle shared background on his short film as well as how long it took to film, who the actors were, and the use of the words “damn, love, I love you,” which comprise most of the film’s dialogue.
Reigle also shared tools that help him put his films together. He also spoke on music licensing and how some filmmakers use free sounds and music when finance is an issue.
Anthony Aguiar, director of “Posthumous,” was also on hand to talk about his film. Aguiar shared his use of cameras, angles, sound and location. He also wrote the script and indicated that multiple endings had been shot for the film. This particular film took two days to shoot.
Other writers, directors and actors also shared their experiences, allowing a behind-the-scenes view of what they have to do to create a film. They talked about how important film festivals are in promoting their work and hopefully securing funds for a full-length film.
Independent international and local filmmakers depend on festivals like SHFF for promotion and showcasing their work. This type of venue can expose hidden talent to the film industry.
After the last short film on Saturday a live musical performance by Creature Feature ended the second day of the festival. Sunday’s films and activities capped the horror-fun-filled weekend. Fans who attended the weekend showed great support. Audience participation made this a very entertaining event for both filmmakers and fans.
SHFF was sponsored by Metropolis Comix, Phono Select, Hot Italian and Callson Manor. SHFF will soon be soliciting films for next year’s event. All information is available on their website as well as a listing of several Best in Festival awards given at the festival.
More photos can be found here.