It's all about the butcher paper.
"I never really thought of it that way," said Molly Deckart, founder and director of the Idaho Horror Film Festival, with a big laugh. "But yeah, that sounds perfectly appropriate."
When Deckart began charting the gory details of the 2015 edition of the Idaho Horror Film Festival, she used up multiple rolls of butcher paper. She didn't need a cleaver to hack away at the schedule, but it's a good bet her first draft of IHFF 2015 programming was a bloody mess. From Hitchcock to Hocus Pocus, nearly everything that goes bump in the night is packed into the four-day slate.
"But if I were to suggest something fun from the festival to someone who wants to get a taste of IHFF and have a great downtown experience at the same time, I would point them to our opening night pub crawl, Thursday, Oct. 15. Twelve of the city's best bars are participating," said Deckart. "Not that you have to crawl, mind you. Some of these events are so much fun, you'll definitely want to linger."
A few examples:
The Mode Lounge will host local makeup artist Lana Williams in an evening-long special effects demonstration, in which she will transform a beautiful young girl into a hellish demon. Guests will be treated to their own flesh wounds. The Amsterdam Lounge will screen Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds. Angell's Bar and Grill Renato presents the Best of IHFF 2014 films on its patio. Humpin' Hannah's will host a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show (virgin kits will be available). The Record Exchange will spin classic horror film soundtracks while pouring free Payette Brewing beer.
"We'll be showing nearly 50 films at The Egyptian Theatre—shorts and feature length—during the run of the festival. That's out of 600 entries," said Deckart, adding this year's H48 competition—local filmmaking teams produce horror short films in 48 hours—will be also be wedged into IHFF 2015.
"And we've got some pretty wonderful celebrity guests this year," she added, including writer/director Russell Friedenberg accompanying the Idaho premiere of his new film, Wind Walkers; horror/sci-fi author Joe R. Lansdale, who will introduce the 2002 film adaptation of his cult novella, Bubba Ho-Tep; horror film actor Bill Oberst Jr., who will present "How I Made 100 Bad Movies Without Trying"; and none other than Leatherface himself, actor Andrew Bryniarski, who portrayed the maniac in the 2003 version of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Bryniarksi's appearance will accompany a screening of the classic.
"The really big deal this year is our filmmaking education component," said Deckart. "If you think of it, the horror genre is stitched throughout the fabric of our greatest filmmakers: Kubrick, Spielberg, Coppola, you name it."
Deckart said the highlight of IHFF will be the "No Budget Film School," with guest instructor Mark Stolaroff, former principal of Next Wave Films, which kickstarted the career of director Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight trilogy, Interstellar).
"It's an intensive, two-day workshop. Boise State will offer credits for the class, so we're really hoping students, and that includes high-school students, will fill the class. But yes, it's open to the public," said Deckart. "Thanks to a generous grant from the Boise City Department of Arts and History, we really knocked down the price to participate [$50, $25 for students]. It's a critically rare opportunity for Idaho writers and directors in-the-making."
From education to programming, IHFF is all about the future. Deckart said she already has even bigger plans for 2016. Time to order some more butcher paper.