The first wave of frightful programming has just been announced for 2016's sole local horror-film festival survivor, the Telluride Horror Show, which takes place October 14 through 16. And it’s a bloody array of gems just waiting to be mined in the eerie mountain town.
“Our first batch represents the eccentric mix of genre films you can expect to find at the Telluride
Horror Show each year, films that delve into all the nooks and crannies of horror, from the
supernatural to the super-weird, from funny to frightening, art house to outrageous,” says festival director Ted Wilson.
“The movies thus far couldn’t be more unique," Wilsons says. "Spring Break Zombie Massacre [is] a hilarious horror comedy that also embodies a dream come true for two young guys who gathered the support of a community to make their movie; Rats, the new doc from Morgan Spurlock with footage that’ll disturb even the most hardened horror fan; The Eyes of My Mother, a dark, horrifying debut feature from a director who will someday be a household name; Terrifier, the long-awaited feature-length version of the short film that took the 2011 Telluride Horror Show by storm; true indie gems like Man Underground, Another Evil and the Val Lewton-inspired The Girl With Two Faces; the haunting A Dark Song from Ireland; Here Alone, a powerful and refreshing take on the zombie genre; the incredibly dark comedy Trash Fire, from fest alum Richard Bates Jr. (Excision and Suburban Gothic); and We Are the Flesh, a film that comes with a not-to-be-ignored 'Extreme Content' label.”
Along with the longer features, a cornucopia of short films – a record 49 and counting – was also announced. The complete list of those titles can be found at the THS website.
And for the first time THS will be paying tribute to horror’s literary roots, with special guest and acclaimed writer Joe R. Lansdale. “Lansdale’s work needs no introduction, and we’re excited to have a guest author with us for the horror show,” says Wilson. “Mr. Lansdale will graciously participate in a public reading, conversation and book signing over the weekend. For any of you who haven’t read Joe R. Lansdale yet, we’ll give you some homework: We recommend starting with a couple of his short-story collections, By Bizarre Hands and Writer of the Purple Rage, where you’ll find the story Bubba Ho-Tep, adapted into the cult classic movie of the same name. Pick up these books, get to reading, and you’ll quickly discover why we’re such big fans.”
This year the ax fell on two of Colorado’s most popular horror fests, the Stanley Film Festival and Mile High Horror Film Festival, though both are trying to return next year.
That Colorado had three festivals a year is a testament to the Centennial State's love of the genre, says Wilson.
"I think the fact that three horror film festivals were happening here really helped bring attention to Colorado and its love of not only the genre, but film especially,” says Wilson. “We've grown our attendance every year with Stanley and Mile High taking place, and word on the street was that they were growing right along with us, so I never viewed either as 'competition.' If anything, there was strength in numbers, and I hope both fests return in 2017 so we can get back to being known as a state that celebrates all things horror at numerous events. In the meantime, we’ve tracked down the best horror films we can get our hands on so fans from Colorado and beyond can get their fix this October in Telluride."
The Telluride Horror Show takes place October 14 through 16 at the Sheridan Opera House and Nugget Theatre in Telluride. Three-day passes are available now for $125 and include admission to all films and special events. Get your pass and peruse the full schedule at telluridehorrorshow.com.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.