The Portland Horror Film Festival (Portland, Oregon) expands to a 4-day run for its third annual outing, 13–16 June at the city’s historic Hollywood Theatre. This year’s lineup of films serves up selections for horror fans of all stripes, with ghosts, serial killers, vampires, supernatural entities, creepy toys, spooky kids, and monsters galore on offer.
On Wednesday, 13 June, the festival kicks off with the world premiere of director Justin Lee’s Bigfoot creature feature Big Legend. Kevin Makely stars as an ex-soldier who ventures into the Pacific Northwest to uncover the truth behind his fiancée’s disappearance and finds more than bargained for after teaming up with a local hunter. The powerhouse cast includes Todd A. Robinson and Summer Spiro, as well as horror icons Amanda Wyss (A Nightmare on Elm Street), Adrienne Barbeau (The Fog), and Lance Henriksen (Aliens). Lee and actors Makely, Robinson, and Wyss, will join Executive Producer Shawn Nightingale and Producer Drew Garrettson for the screening and participate in a Q&A session afterward.
“All of us at Papa Octopus Productions are proud and excited to be premiering Big Legend at the Portland Horror Film Festival,” said Makely. “Members of our cast and crew live in Portland. Director Justin Lee wrote the film specifically for the Pacific Northwest where he grew up.”
“We shot the film just outside of Portland around the base of Mount St. Helens — right in the heart of Bigfoot country,” Makely continued. “The Portland Horror Film Festival is the perfect venue to premier this film! We have partnered with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and Vega Baby Releasing, so if you miss the screening or want to see the film again, Big Legend will be released on all major VOD platforms as well as available to buy on DVD on July 3.”
Portland Horror Film Festival will also feature Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich with Barbara Crampton in attendance. With outstanding performances by Crampton, Thomas Lennon, Jenny Pellicer, Nelson Franklin, Michael Paré, and Udo Kier, audiences are in for a satisfying, bloody thrill ride!
The synopsis from the festival press release reads: “Recently divorced and reeling, Edgar (Lennon) returns to his childhood home to regroup his life. When Edgar finds a nefarious looking puppet in his deceased brother’s room, he decides to sell the doll for some quick cash at a small-town convention celebrating the 30th anniversary of the infamous Toulon Murders. Girl-next-door Ashley (Pellicer) and his comic book shop boss Markowitz (Franklin) join Edgar for the doomed road trip. All hell breaks loose when a strange force animates the puppets at the convention, setting them on a bloody killing spree that’s motivated by an evil as old as time.”
Crampton has won the hearts of horror movie audiences over and over again with captivating performances in films like Re-Animator, From Beyond, and more recently You’re Next, We Are Still Here, and Beyond the Gates. “It is a great honor to have her with us for the screening,” said Festival Director Gwen Callahan. “Not only is she an outspoken advocate for women in the film industry, it’s just a lot of fun to watch her playing a deadpan cop in Puppet Master. I think the audience is going to flip when they see this.”
The other three features set for the Portland Horror Film Festival are neon postpunk slasher adventure The Ranger; gory, bloody, funny-as-hell Spanish home invasion/slasher Framed; and Italian Hitchcockian science thriller The Laplace’s Demon. The festival also features nearly 40 short films from countries including France, Spain, Brazil, Australia, Russia, Iran, Taiwan, the United States, and Canada.
Standouts from the short film program include Brian Sepanzyk’s chilling portrait of a serial killer Compulsion; Simon Ross’s Dead Cool; disturbing look at motherhood Childer; bullies comeuppance tale Brace Face; and horrifying twists on faires in Feast on the Young and Latched.
Horror comedies include Izzy Lee’s My Monster and Chris McInroy’s We Summoned a Demon, along with Heavy Flow and The Bloody Ballad of Squirt Reynolds.
Awards include the “Goule D’or” Director’s Award, the “Main de Gloire” Jury Award, the “Abby Normal” award for innovation, the “Horde Award” for audience choice, and “Funny Bone” for funniest short. The coveted “Bloody Judge” Award will be decided by acclaimed genre producer, director, and guest judge Brian Yuzna (Society, Necronomicon: Book of the Dead, Re-Animator).
Portland Horror Film Festival was launched in 2016 by Gwen and Brian Callahan, who are also the directors of the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival®.
Most of the films showing at Portland Horror Film Festival are making their big screen debuts there. Attending filmmakers will do Q&A sessions after each programming block. The full list and showtimes are at http://portlandhorrorfilmfestival.com, where advance ticket information is also available.