Theaters to showcase sci-fi, horror films

Elizabeth Taggart

Chandler Cinemas will be invaded by hordes of horror lovers and swarms of sci-fi fans just in time for Halloween. The fourth annual International Horror and Sci-fi Film Festival will be showcasing new and classic genre films October 23-26.

The festival, which is sponsored by the Phoenix Film Foundation, will be screening 40 shorts, four of which are student films, 12 Arizona theatrical premieres, one is a super secret closing night movie, and six cult classics.

Special events include The Blob 50 anniversary screening, the original Friday the thirteenth and the Arizona premieres of Tokyo Gore Police and Hells Ground, the first horror movie ever made in Pakistan.

This year, the IHSFF has a new festival director, Andrea Beesley-Brown, aka the Midnite Movie Mamacita.

Beesly-Brown won the 2007 New Times Phoenix Best of award for “Best Way to Catch a B-Movie,” and is the operations and programming director for Chandler Cinemas.

In a festival press release, co-founder and executive-director of IHSFF Chris LaMont said, “We’re thrilled that Arizona’s best film promoter has joined our Festival team. The Midnite Movie Mamacita guarantees fans that the annual Horror-Sci-Fi Film Festival will be eclectic and mind-blowing!”

Beesley-Brown said this film festival is different from others in the area because,

“This is the only Genre Film Festival in Arizona that caters specifically to these two growing genres.

“It is a comprehensive event with Films, Merchants, Competitions and a lot of interactive events that let the viewer be more of a participant than other Film Festivals.”

Among events to entertain festival goers are a Gore Girl contest, a costume competition and an awards ceremony.

On Friday night, girls 18 and older can compete in the Gore Girl contest, sponsored by

The first place finisher will be the face of the 2009 festival in promotional materials and online and will be the final Gore Girl of 2008, Miss December.

The winner and the runner-up will both receive complimentary photo shoots, with the runner-up winning the title of November Gore Girl.

Contestants should arrive in costume and will choose between a Thanksgiving or Christmas Evil theme for the mock photo shoot competition.

Saturday night is the annual costume competition, presented by Moosehead Lager. First prize is $100 and runner-up prizes will also be awarded.

During the Moosehead closing night party on Sunday, awards will be given for best horror and sci-fi features and shorts, best director and best acting.

Other awards include best splatter, goriest film, coolest effects, best slasher, and creature features.

Last year’s festival attracted 4000 attendees and tickets are still available for this year’s festivities.

There are two package deals for tickets as well as student discounts.

The VIP pass is all access for the entire festival and costs $100, student discount price $80, and a flex pass which allows pass-holders to see any four films of their choosing for $25, student discount price $20.

Individual screenings cost $8 and are good for viewers who only want to see one or two films.

All of the events, except for the Gore Girl contest, are open to people of all ages.

For a full schedule of movie times, more information about the festival or to purchase tickets online, visit

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These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.

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