So there I was last Friday morning, arriving into Atlanta, Georgia aboard a red eye flight with the filmmakers of Blood Shot. How perfect can you get? Did I mention we were flying into Georgia for an independent horror film festival just a few weeks before Halloween? Pretty damn perfect. Then one of my pieces of luggage got lost at the airport. Alright, nothing’s that perfect.
To tell you the truth, though, I really wasn’t too concerned about it. I was far too tired. This was my first red eye flight and I was feeling the burn…in more places than one. I knew the piece of luggage would turn up at some point and it did – two days later at my hotel, just in time for me to lug it back to L.A. Oh well, these things happen. I was still very excited to be in town for the festival, as were Dietrich and Jacqueline Johnston who were screening Blood Shot at the fest. It was to be a weekend of blood and booze, so I wasn’t about to let anything bum me out.
The first annual Fright-Fest Independent Horror & Sci-Fi Film Festival was being held (October 11-12) in Gainesville, Georgia, just outside of Atlanta. Something like over 50 indie genre films were being shown over the weekend, so there was no way I could pass this up.
The festival actually didn’t start until Saturday the 11th, but a pre-party for the filmmakers and guests was held the evening before at the Coffee Shop of Horrors, a cozy little place serving up a shot of Halloween year round for horror fans to relax, drink coffee, browse through a selection of Jack Ketchum books and marvel at the tons of autographs adorning the walls. What can I say? The place is swank! And it was a perfect partying spot for the impressive turn out of filmmakers who were having their films screened at the festival. Let me see, I ran into cast and crew from The Glove, Ghost of the Needle, Director’s Cut, “Fans and Freaks,” Savage Island and several others.
Also in attendance was Sam Firstenberg, director of classics such as “Ninja III: The Domination,” “American Ninja,” and Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo. Sam was in town to screen his film “The Interplanetary Surplus Male and Amazon Women from Outer Space.” A title that kicks your a*s just as much as I’m sure the film does from the looks of it.
Don Davis from “Stargate SG-1” was attending the fest too promote Savage Island, of which he has a starring role. And of course there were Robyn Griggs and Keith Kline, who I wound up hanging out with the most, probably because of our shared love of being drunken jackasseries. Robyn starred in the soap “One Life to Live” as the fan favorite Stephanie before moving on to something a little meatier…and bloodier. She now stars in horror and b-movies such as “Aberration Boulevard, Zombiegeddon and Amy Lynn Best’s latest film “Severe Injuries.” Also, Robyn and Keith are the kind folks behind Twisted Nightmare Weekend, coming atcha again next September in Akron, Ohio. Look for my drunken a*s there.
So the filmmaker and guest turn out for this festival was so far pretty impressive. And it only got better as the festival got rolling the next morning with Rock ‘N’ Roll Frankenstein opening the festival at 10am. A curious selection for an early morning screening, but whatever. Needless to say, I didn’t roll into the Georgia Mountain Center, Fright-Fest central, until about 12pm, where I found the attendance of filmmakers had at least doubled. Meeting a slew of other filmmakers actually helped dig me out of my rather thick hangover. So with a clearing head, it was time for some films!
Movie time in part two of TEACHING GEORGIA THE FRIGHT>>>