The little convention that could that started in 2006 with a dream and a nightmare. Taking a page from the book of Kentucky raised John Carpenter, the promoters believed in independant horror, and wanted to bring attention to the local talent that would be buried in big-budget Hollywood productions.
By 2012, it had grown to epic proportions, boasting the entire first and second floor of the historic Galt House in Louisville and boasting A-list guests such as Bruce Campbell and Corey Feldman. This year, it’s only gotten better with William Shatner of Star Trek fame and living legend Stan Lee. For one night only, you can even meet Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes at the screening of Kevin Smith’s latest movie.
Starting out at a time when Hollywood horror started cranking out carbon-copies of american made asian horror and remakes by the bucket load, Fright Night Film Fest promoters concentrated on independant film makers in the country, wanting to give them a venue and exposure to horror fans that might not normally see amidst a sea of million-dollar schlock.
Me and Michael Berryman, 2007.
Effectively choosing venues that would allow multiple screenings of films to allow for as many submissions as possible, there was always something to see or do, if you had met all the people and seen all the vendors and exhibits. One particular film, “Dead Moon Rising” starred Tucky Williams. The movie went on to international distribution, a mention in “Fangoria” magazine, and now Ms Tucky Williams writes and stars in her own web series, “Girl/Girl Scene”, working on its third season.
A small short film, costing $300 was actually my favorite submission, about a haunted apartment building. There were NO special effects, hardly any make up, and everything depended on the actors ability to manipulate the audience and change their facial expressions, which was incredibly effective. When one character becomes possessed by the haunted floor, there is no change save for the actors facial expression…But trust me, that’s enough. That filmmaker is still making movies, only now he calls his company Big Biting Pig Productions.
CJ Graham, who played Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13th part IV
Horror actress Tiffany Shepis models a limited edition “Infernal Dreams” t-shirt Fright Night Film Fest 2008
As each year progressed, Fright Night became bigger, needing bigger venues. More fans just kept coming, packing and overloading any hotel or convention center they could book.
Ari Lehman, first actor to play Jason Voorhees on screen, Fright Night Film Fest 2009.
Where I learned to love cosplay 2008
After so many years, I finally got to meet Chris Sarandon. Fright Night Film Fest arranged a 25th year anniversary reunion of the original “Fright Night” movie cast. It has always been one of my favorite vampire movies of all time. I was quite star struck or I would’ve asked for an interview.
“Fright Night” cast Q & A panel. Everyone was a terrific good sport. (2010)
In 2011, Fright Night Film Fest promoters added on “Fandomfest”, including guests and authors of Pop culture phenomenon, including cult film guests from “Revenge of the Nerds”, “Happy Days” and voice actors from “Jem and the Holograms”.
It almost seemed like too much awesome, but it made for a fantastic weekend.
“Fright Night Film Fest/Fandomfest” didn’t lose sight of its original mission.
Here, Big Biting Pig promotes “The Creepy Doll”, starring Kristine Renee Farley and Jessica Dockrey.
Kentucky-raised John Carpenter, who’s own Indie hit, “Halloween” helped redefine horror and set him on the map for future Hollywood success at Fright Night Film Fest/Fandomfest 2011
Yes, children attend Horror Conventions. No, it does not scar them for life.
Steampunk Red Riding Hood cosplay, Fright Night Film Fest/Fandomfest 2012.
Last year, Fright Night Film fest/Fandomfest boasted Norman Reedus, Bruce Campbell, Corey Feldman, Sean Astin and Peter Davison, the Fifth Doctor. The conventions basically took over downtown Louisville Kentucky, and brought in guests in record numbers, gamers and cosplayers with some very original ideas. The list of guests was almost as long as Dragon*Con (Atlanta, GA), but walking in, wasn’t as overwhelming as a big Convention probably should be. It has also inspired other conventions in the Kentucky area, opening up the bluegrass state for Horror enthusiasts all over the country and even as far as Canada. It’s pretty inspirational, if you think about where it started and where it is now, pretty much rivaling Dragon*Con, but still keeping that small-town convention feel.
Now THAT’S talent!