Fright Night: Film festival pays homage to horror cinema

As a boy, Darryl John and his friends would gather in front of the TV on weekends and watch horror movies rented from the video store.

On Sunday, Oct. 28, John hopes a big crowd will join him at the Paramount Theatre to share his love of B-grade horror cinema with the first Fake Flesh Film Fest.

The festival begins at 7 p.m. and tickets are $10 at Mountain High Pizza.

While there are other film festivals in town, including the Kamloops Canadian and International Film Festival and the horror-themed Dark Fest, two things make John's unique, he said.

All 20 films are short - averaging about 10 minutes or so in length - and about half were made in and around Kamloops by local filmmakers.

John wasn't sure how people would respond to the idea or his enthusiasm for bad horror movies. To his surprise, everyone is excited that such a festival is taking place in Kamloops.

"One thing I noticed is that people really like this stuff," he said.

Management at the Paramount Theatre was more than willing to set aside one of the two auditoriums for a night, said John. And local T-shirt company Finch Apparel designed the festival's poster and will have prints available for sale.

"Things just kind of came together for us," said Jakes.

His friend, comedian Dan Jakes, will introduce the films.

What's thrilled John the most is the number of filmmakers in the area with movies ready to show. He said Fake Flesh started with four or five films but, as word spread about the festival, so did the interest.

"I got a hold of a couple of people in Vancouver through the Vancouver Film School and the Heavy Hitting Film Festival (in Whistler) and ended up getting another seven or eight short films submitted," said John.

"Somewhere along the line I went from showing films a couple of buddies and I made to turning it into a legitimate short-film festival."

John made his first short film four years ago into order to gain entry into the Heavy Hitting Festival. A 10-minute slasher film, the project was originally no more than six murders strung together.

"It was terrible," said John, adding he eventually created and filmed a story to tie the deaths together.

"It ended up being really campy and full of low-budget special effects."

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