With the advertising tag line proclaiming “The Insanity is Back,” Slaughter in Syracuse returns this year to share the most terrifying, bloody horror films created by underground filmmakers. The main event runs from noon until midnight on Saturday, July 11, at Eastwood’s Palace Theater, 2384 James St. Several films in the lineup will have their world premieres.
Slaughter in Syracuse actually begins on Friday, July 10, with a meet-and-greet with the filmmakers during a buffet at Liverpool’s Maplewood Inn, but that feast has been sold out. Aside from Saturday’s main event at the Palace, Sunday will feature a Collector Con at the Maplewood, 400 Seventh North St., where vendors and fans can buy, sell and trade horror and sci-fi related collectibles and memorabilia.
This is the second year of the event, but it’s already grown considerably. “Last year was a very small crowd of only about 60 people, but this year we’ve already tripled that,“ said event organizer Jason West. “We have people from Florida, driving down from Canada, and even flying in from the United Kingdom. It’s looking like only about 10 percent Syracuse people and 90 percent people from elsewhere.”
Only one film premiered at last year’s inaugural show, compared to this year’s four premieres. The schedule features films from major underground directors that have intense cult followings.
American Guinea Pig: Bloodshock is the second of four planned annual entries in the series, inspired by the original Japanese “Guinea Pig” films, which were famous for their realistic-yet-brutal gore effects. Alas, a full version will not be screened due to filmmaker Marcus Koch’s recent illness; a 40-minute partial cut of the film will be screened, however, accompanied by a trailer.
There is also much anticipation for the screening of Eric Stanze’s Scrapbook, which will premiere its 15th anniversary edition at the event. Also on hand to present their premieres will be director Ryan Logsdon’s Agoni, director Lucifer Valentine’s Vomit Gore 4 and director James Bell and actress Mae Bell presenting Tantrum.
Also on the program will be director Michael magGot’s double feature of His Devil’s Night and Manna, auteur Lucifer Valentine returns with A Perfect Child of Satan, and director Arthur Cullipher and actor Shane Beasley presenting Headless. The fright flick I Am Monster will also be screened, albeit sans co-directors Lori Bowen and Shannon Lark.
West was keen to point out the relaxed, friendly atmosphere of the weekend. “People go to events like this and wait in line, then play $40 or $50 for an autograph,” noted West. “Our event is going to be more personal, with the guests talking and signing for free at the buffet. It’s going to be like a big family atmosphere.”
Tickets to Slaughter in Syracuse’s Saturday screenings are $30. Admission to the Sunday collectors show will be $5. For details, visit slaughterinsyracuse.com.