April 24-27, 2014 - The "Sundance of horror films" triumphantly returned to the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado for Stanley Film Fest: Chapter II with a jam-packed lineup of top-notch genre film programming, special events, celebrity guests, and good times with great people.
OPENING NIGHT FESTIVITIES
Is there any better way to kick off a weekend of horror than complimentary beer from generous sponsor Stella Artois and a zombie burlesque show inside the Stanley Hotel's legendary MacGregor Ballroom? Tatianna Tata and Lannie's Clocktower Cabaret supplied the evening's entertainment with a unique performance mixing glamor, gore, skin, and sin like no other burlesque ensemble can provide.
FESTIVAL FEATURE FILMS
From the Opening Night presentation of "Doc of the Dead" to "What We Do in the Shadows" on Closing Night, 20 features from around the globe filled four different theaters over the four-day span. Click any image for the full movie review.
Ensuring that the festival truly featured something for everyone, classic movies and even family-friendly fare ranging from a 30th anniversary screening of "Gremlins" presented by director Joe Dante to the 40th anniversary cut of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" showcased all weekend long at Estes Park's Historic Park Theater. Built in 1913, the Historic Park Theater also happens to be the oldest operating movie theater in the United States.
CLOSING NIGHT PARTY
Following a performance by Munly and the Lupercalians, co-recipient of the 2014 SFF Visionary Award Elijah Wood took the stage to spin for partygoers as guest DJ. The Stanley Film Festival is not the kind of event where special guests are out of arm's reach or behind velvet ropes. From Joe Dante holding court at Channel Z's "Gremlins" party to A.J. Bowen, Martin Starr, Larry Fessenden, and many others hanging out at the parties, SFF celebrates a community of like-minded fans, filmmakers, and friends coming together over their shared love of all things horror.
HORROR TRIVIA and IMMERSION GAME
Fangoria's Rebekah McKendry and Shock Till You Drop's Ryan Turek brought their weekly Los Angeles event "Dead Right Horror Trivia" to Estes Park's Wheel Bar for a special edition chock full of DVD's and various prizes for any four-person team savvy enough to win the most points, the most rounds, or even just one single category. Think you have what it takes? Have a go at the challenge from Round 4: Start the timer at three minutes and match the fictional sheriff on the left to the movie on the right.
1.) Sheriff Geller
2.) Sheriff Brackett
3.) Sheriff Landis
4.) Sheriff Burke
5.) Sheriff Barker
6.) Sheriff Pangborn
7.) Sheriff Wydell
8.) Sheriff Harper
a.) JASON GOES TO HELL
b.) THE DARK HALF
c.) THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN
d.) DR. GIGGLES
e.) THE DEVIL'S REJECTS
g.) THE BLOB
Friendly competition not your thing? Attendees could also opt into an interactive immersion game taking place throughout the weekend in the form of news bulletins on the in-room television, sinister occult markings on your hotel room door, and a live seance conclusion all centered around finding little Andrew Tabor. Personally, I was too caught up in other festivities to involve myself in solving the crime. Did anyone ever find that poor kid or what?
SPECIAL EVENTS and MISC. FUN
If the Stanley Film Festival has any single flaw, it is that it is impossible to participate in everything when there is simply too much to choose from.
Above left: Larry Fessenden and Glass Eye Pix perform a live Stanley Hotel-themed edition of their horror radio play series "Tales from Beyond the Pale" with special guests AJ Bowen, Martin Starr, and Jocelyn DeBoer. Above right: Channel Z, Denver's home for the best in Neo-Cult cinema hosted at Alamo Drafthouse Littleton, decks out Estes Park's Wheel Bar to resemble Dorry's Tavern for a Gremlins-themed Xmas party. Below left: Jemaine Clement Skypes in playing his vampire character Vladislav for the "What We Do in the Shadows" post-screening Q&A. Below right: Artist Stan Yan gives "Dead Snow 2" stars Martin Starr and Jocelyn DeBoer the zombie caricature treatment.
Still not enough? How about a Crime Scene Photo Booth, horror-themed Awards Brunch, and a Big Wheel Death Race around the hotel property with grand prize winners earning a complimentary night's stay? Want to know why the two elk below are staring? They're wondering why you haven't already booked your travel plans for the next Stanley Film Festival. Film fans owe it to themselves to enjoy the only festival that not only showcases the best in horror entertainment, but also delivers a fully immersive and truly unrivaled experience.