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Wreak Havoc scares up a festival

Wreak Havoc Productions strikes again. With so many retail outlets already displaying Halloween decorations, the Triad-based independent film consortium is getting into the spooky spirit early with its second Wreak Havoc Horror Film Fest, scheduled for Sept. 30-Oct. 1 at the Carolina Theatre (310 S. Greene St.) in Greensboro.

“It’s our second year doing the festival and we wanted it to be bigger and better and reach a wider audience, which is why we pursued a partnership with the Carolina Theatre,” explains Dan Sellers, president of Wreak Havoc Productions. “There are so many terrible horror films that come out every year, we wanted to weed through all the crap and show our audience the very best of what he had to offer.”

The fright-filled fun begins Friday, Sept. 30 with the opening of the festival, followed by the first block of short horror films: Cauchemar Capitonne (Canada), Gingerbread (USA), Bill’s Landscape and Exorcism Service (Canada), Nasty (UK), Scary Little F**kers (A Christmas Movie) (USA), The Marshalls (UK), Don’t Let the Light In (USA), Grace (Canada), and The Watcher (USA).

After a quick break, during which audiences can regain their composure, comes the feature film Coffin Baby. Once the Coffin closes, it’s time for round two of the short films: Hada (Spain), I Love You So Much It’s Killing Them (Canada), Silently Within Your Shadow (UK), The Tell-Tale Heart Sisters (USA), and Tetras (France).

And that’s a wrap for day one of the Wreak Havoc Horror Film Fest.

The fun resumes Saturday, Oct. 1 at 5 pm, with Chuck Norfolk’s feature, the slasher spoof Getting Schooled kicking off the festivities, followed by a 20-minute break and the third block of shorts: They Will All Die in Space (Spain), Blurred Vision (USA), Lab Rats (UK), Chateau Sauvignon: Terroir (USA), and Knob Goblins (USA).

One more break and it’s back to the theater for the closing feature, Seve Schelenz’ shocker Peelers, which won the Indie Gathering award (Best Feature – Horror) at the Indie Gathering International Film Festival and the International Film award for Best Special Effects at the 2016 Sanford International Film Festival.

The evening, and the festival, will conclude with the awards ceremony following the screening.

“We have a diverse official selection from all over the genre – from goofy horror comedies to dark and disturbing dramas,” says Sellers. “Our films are also international, with shorts from Spain, France, Canada, etc. We had about 120 submissions this year, and between our seven judges we had a very tough time trying to decide which films made the cut.”

Of course, Sellers and Wreak Havoc vicepresident Sammie Cassell are going full steam ahead with their own film projects. Their documentary Sammie the Comic Book Man is currently in post-production, and the feature The Boogeyman of Black Mountain and the documentary Uproot Evil Dead aren’t far behind. Sellers’ horror short Dark Heat has also been absorbed into the upcoming anthology Witching Hour II (more about which you’ll be reading soon). And there’s the Wreak Havoc Film Buffs Podcast, in which Sellers and Cassell talk all things film.

“We’re always using our podcast to plug our own projects and we commonly use that time to support other filmmakers’ projects as well,” Sellers says. “Whether we’re promoting a crowd-sourcing campaign or trying to build excitement about a local production, Triad filmmakers share a fairly small community and we try to show others the support we’d like to have ourselves.” !

WANNA go?

The Wreak Havoc Horror Film Fest will be presented 6 pm-11 pm Friday, Sept. 30 and 5 pm-11 pm Saturday, Oct. 1. Tickets are $15 (one day) and $25 (both days). For advance tickets or more information, check out wreakhavocproductions.com. You can also call the Carolina Theatre: 336.333.2605 or visit the official website: carolinatheatre.com.

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