State of the Art

Wreak Havoc Horror Film Festival – the title says it all

“Evil Dead II” will be screened at the first Wreak Havoc Horror Film Festival in Wadesboro.
“Evil Dead II” will be screened at the first Wreak Havoc Horror Film Festival in Wadesboro. Courtesy of Lionsgate

When your film festival includes the titles “How I Ate Your Mother,” “400 Ways to Kill a Vampire” and “Dark Corridors,” you’ve defined your territory clearly. But if you’re still in doubt, the name Wreak Havoc Horror Film Festival will set you straight.

The event bills itself on its Film Freeway page as “the first ever horror film festival to be held at the beautiful and historic Ansonia Theatre in Wadesboro” – that seems a safe bet – and runs this Friday and Saturday.

It makes sense for a new film festival to jump into the horror genre, just as it frequently makes sense for a novice filmmaker to start there.

There’s a ready-made audience for the product and an almost infinite supply of movies, short or long. Horror fans generally have lower expectations about technical effects and artistry, so they’re not as likely to complain about unsophisticated filmmaking.

And if you’ve made a horror film yourself, as Wreak Havoc Productions has done, a self-created horror festival seems the logical place to show it. “Hank Vs. Dracula,” the company’s 9-minute sequel to the feature-length “Hank vs. the Undead,” screens Saturday night.

That said, the festival can truly call itself international. “The Mothertown,” the feature-length zombie movie that opens the fest Friday night, comes from the United Kingdom. Other films arrived from Norway, Argentina, Canada, Mexico, Italy, Australia, Indonesia, France and Spain. (The fest says it received 653 submissions and chose 35.)

Tickets cost $7 for one day, $10 for both. You can get them through the festival’s Facebook page or at the Ansonia Theatre, 110-112 S. Rutherford St. You’ll learn more about Wreak Havoc Productions and see the full festival lineup at wreakhavocproductions.com.

By the way, the horror comedy “Evil Dead II” closes the festival Saturday night. This sequel to “Evil Dead” jump-started the career of director Sam Raimi, who went on to three “Spider-Man” movies, and it was shot around Wadesboro 30 years ago. Many folks proclaim “The Color Purple” the most notable cinematic export from Anson County – but not this crowd!

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