Luu passed away June 10, 2005, from cancer. Meyer, with alittle help from his friends, continued to stage the fest to keep Luu’smemory alive and to raise awareness—and funds—for a good cause. Allproceeds from the event are donated to the American Cancer Society andthe Golisano Children’s Hospital.
“Last year, we raised about $4,500 and the year before weraised just over $400,” noted Meyer. “It’s really taken off from oneyear to the next and some people who aren’t into these types of moviesstill came because of the reason behind it.”
The morning run/walk is new this year.Registration begins at 8 a.m. at the St. Matthew/St. Daniel School, 214Kinne St., East Syracuse, with runners and skateboarders charged a $15entry fee. Registration for zombies begins at 8:30 a.m. for a $10 levy.The run starts at 9 a.m., the boarders let loose at 9:15 a.m., and bothstart and finish at the school.
Zombie zoo: Beware the ghouls (fromleft) Thomas “Dead” Duffy, Andy Bielak, Jenocide and Joe Mangipano thatwill invade the Palace during Saturday’s Shaun Luu Horror Fest. Thanksto Collin Major of CR Major FX for the gruesome makeup. Michael Davis photo.
Come 9:30 a.m., however, it’s “Morningof the Living Dead.” Anyone wanting to reanimate themselves isencouraged to find inspiration from the wardrobe in any George A.Romero flick and cake on decomposed makeup while dressing in yourbloody best. Or, if you’re lacking the supplies to disguise yourself inzombie vanity, three effects artists will be on hand to applyliving-dead makeup beforehand for a small donation. The zombie walkstarts at the school and finishes at the East Syracuse Village Hall,204 N. Center St.
Because of the horror-show nature of the walk, organizerJeff Meyer, who doubles as the IMAX projectionist at the Museum ofScience and Technology, didn’t want senior citizens that live on theroute getting frightened by the procession to the point where theyunintentionally join it. “I met with the mayor of East Syracuse andwith the fire and police departments,” said Meyer. “We decided that thebest thing to do is to drop fliers off at all the houses on the routeto let them know what’s going on so they’re not caught off-guard.”
Prizes will be handed out forbest-looking zombie, makeup and most original shamble, while the toprunners receive a $25 gift certificate to Fleet Feet; the top skatersreceive gift certificates to Black Mamba Skateboards in Mattydale. Theruns and walks are scheduled to wrap at noon, whereupon festivitieswill move to Eastwood’s Palace Theatre, 2384 James St., for livehardcore rock’n’roll with four bands starting at 1 p.m.
Local acts Cicada and Architect, the latter featuringmembers of Luu’s old band, will perform. So will A Storm of Light fromNew York City and The Red Chord out of Boston, who played the firstShaun Luu Fest in 2005. All groups will have cult cinema (including thezombie cartoon City of Rott) projected on the Palace’s screen while jamming, which Meyer promised to be a “trippy experience.”
The musical mayhem will finish around 5 p.m. and theall-night blowout of five macabre motion pictures commences at 7 p.m.(See Bill DeLapp’s preview on page 22.) “There’s never been an eventthat’s involved music and movies on top of a zombie walk, plus a runand skateboards in the Northeast,” said Meyer. “Shaun loved zombies andwe wanted to make this the biggest event of its kind in honor of him.
“Last year there was a reunion show of Shaun’s old band,Word is a Virus,” Meyer continued. “But it was an instrumentalperformance because Shaun was the lead singer of the band and they leftthe microphone open out of respect for him.”
Admission is $10 for the music, $10 for an all-inclusivemovie pass, or, $15 for the whole shebang. Meyer estimated the festwon’t end until well past 3 a.m.
“With bands coming in from Boston and New York City, andfilms you will hardly see anywhere else on 35mm film in this country,the magnitude of this event is pretty far-reaching,” Meyer said.“People from Ohio, Iowa, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and even Florida aretraveling in for the event.”
Last year, 450 people attended and Meyer said if they canmaintain or exceed those numbers, the main priorities of this fest willbe within reach. An official Shaun Luu Cancer Research Account wasestablished at the hospital, under construction atop UniversityHospital. “If we can raise $10,000, we’ll get a nurses’ stationdedicated with a plaque in memory of Shaun at the hospital,” saidMeyer. “We plan on giving the American Cancer Society the first $1,000we make, and the rest will go to Golisano.”
Cult-film collectibles will be raffled off, includingautographed pictures and books of filmmakers, actors and actresses, aswell as games, toys and DVD box sets. One of the raffle highlights,Meyer noted, is an 8-by-10-inch signed snapshot of Dyanne Thorne,curvaceous star of the infamous 1975 exploitation yarn Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS.
As a lead-in to the Horror Fest, a 1980s-era “slasher party” will be held Friday, June 13, also at the Palace. Lonely Joe,a psychodrama filmed entirely on location in Central New York, willscreen at 7 p.m.; separate admission is $5. Then the original Friday the 13th screens at 10 p.m., followed by Silent Night, Deadly Nightat 11:50 p.m. Admission is $8; come dressed as your favorite 1980sslasher or victim and they’ll cut you a deal for $5. Awards for bestcostume will also be handed out that night as well.
Because of the graphic nature of the movies beingscreened, children under 17 will not be allowed into any flick. Theycan watch the bands, but will need to be accompanied by an adult. Thatrestriction was a major factor in devising the zombie walk this year.“With the walk, we’re trying to crossover to get kids involved,” notedMeyer. “And we’re going to try and stick with the all-inclusive naturefor the future.”
If you can’t make it to the fest but would still like tomake a donation, checks can be made out to “Shaun Luu Horror FestCancer Research Account” and mailed to: Golisano Children’s Hospital,750 E. Adams St., Syracuse 13210