Horror fans arrived to take part in this year’s Three Corpse Circus, an international short horror film festival, at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor Saturday, Sept. 29.
Fans from all over the area came dressed as the undead and others dressed in preparation for the zombie apocalypse.
The event kicked off with a special thank you from Christopher Anderson, Eastern Michigan University alumnus and festival coordinator, followed by a zombie march along East Liberty Street. The atmosphere was energized as horror fans and enthusiasts played the part of the walking dead.
“I truly feel like a part of something many others overlook and do not appreciate,” Ann Arborite Stacey Clark said. “Seeing these people out here in support of the horror genre is amazing and gives me comfort as a fan to know others out there like it too.”
The Three Corpse Circus known as “The Gravest Show on Earth” was founded in May 2010 by Jonathan Barkan (festival director), Anderson and Brian Schmieder (operations manager). Their goal was to establish a network and a community of horror enthusiasts in addition to inspiring filmmakers, musicians and artists. Their mission is to provide an avenue for independent filmmakers and artists worldwide to allow their talents to be nourished and seen.
“We want people to get an idea that we’re not separated [but] very supportive,” Anderson said.
Barkan said, “Horror is a very important genre. It’s been around forever … there is something humanity cannot shy away from.”
The selection of movies shown was amazing and featured films made by international independent filmmakers such as “Meat,” directed by Drew Dywalt; “Saw Misgivings,” directed by David Lilley; and “Historia Muerta,” directed by Fran Mateu. The audience laughed, cheered and shrieked at gruesome scenes and often clapped in admiration of the overall quality of the director’s pieces.
“My favorite movie was ‘Zombie Factor’ because I thought it was a really cool idea to have a reality TV show about surviving a zombie apocalypse,” Jenna Spears of Ann Arbor said. “I couldn’t imagine playing such a game for the fight of my life, no way.”
In addition to the films shown, artworks from contest winners of the 2012 Demonic Full Moon Art Show were displayed in the foyer.
If you are interested in these artworks, check out the Demonic Full Moon Art Show opening reception at the Ugly Mug Café and Roastery, located at 317 W. Cross Ave. in Ypsilanti, Friday, Oct. 12 from 7 – 9 p.m.
There were also various venders selling horror paraphernalia including books, T-shirts, stickers and badges.
As a prelude to the second block of films shown, there was a fashion show featuring costume designs presented by Fantasy Island. The models posed in vintage 1920s costumes, pre-Victorian inspired outfits and several others. Following the fashion show, there was a screaming contest to determine who had the best horror scream in Ann Arbor. Of the 10 individuals who participated, Liz Sehmieder from Canton, Mich. claimed first place and Brian Garcia from Charlotte, NC claimed second place.
Overall, the 2012 Three Corpse Circus was a delight. People are encouraged to come out next year to not only support the festival, but to get a glimpse at what the horror genre is all about. This event is a must see for those who appreciate the culture and complexity of the horror genre.
“[For] next year’s festival, I really want to see more films from around the world. I’m always humbled and so moved that we get films from as far [away] as we do, because that speaks to the universal language of horror,” Barkan said.
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