Terror time

This year's Reel Terror Film Fest scares up short films, scream queens and more.

Be afraid, Bay area film fans, as the Reel Terror Film Festival is back for a second year of horror flicks, screaming chicks and blood — oh, the blood. A one-day film festival celebrating the local horror scene and the many brave souls who risk life and financial ruin in pursuit of their dreams, Reel Terror 2011 will include panel discussions with area filmmakers, celebrity appearances, screenings of scary movies shot all over the Bay area and the state, an awards ceremony and much more.

Kicking things off at noon will be the short film Demonic Activity (a product of the Tampa Theatre's youth summer camp) and a short discussion with the teenage filmmakers, followed at 12:45 p.m. by a panel covering the best horror films ever made hosted by CL's Matt Schiel and featuring a crew of CL film regulars (including yours truly). Post-panels, we drop our first block of short films at 1:45 p.m., including the restaurant chiller Taphouse and the Brits-on-a-date splatterfest Bloody English.

At 3 p.m. it will be my treat to host our scream queen panel, featuring five performers who know their way around a horror set. Slated to appear are the lovely and talented Julie Anne (2:22, No Strings 2: Playtime in Hell), Trish Dempsey and Krista Grotti of Reel Terror closing film The Uh-Oh Show, and Lorena King and Cecilia Huete of the death-in-the-woods slasher flick Beware, which will be screening directly following the panel at 4 p.m.

Vampires are the hottest thing going in the world of creature features, and Reel Terror's evening festivities start at 5:45 p.m. with a panel on Hollywood vampires featuring Dimitri Coats of the cult hit Suck and Brooke McCarter of The Lost Boys. Moderated by CL's Joran Oppelt, the Hollywood vampire panel will cover everything from life as a bloodsucker to the actors' other careers as musicians. Following the vamps, we have another block of shorts at 6:45 p.m., which will lead directly into our second feature, The Uh-Oh Show, screening at 7:45 p.m.

A wild ride about a game show where the wrong answer can cost you a limb, The Uh-Oh Show is the latest directorial effort of horror legend Herschel Gordon Lewis (Blood Feast, 2000 Maniacs) and was created by many of the same people who worked on last year's festival-closer Brainjacked. There's more Uh-Oh to follow, as members of the cast and crew will take the stage at 9:30 p.m. to talk about the production. Slated to appear are Andrew Allan and Andy Lalino (both credited as producer, casting and second unit director), Wes Pratt (Cinematographer), Chris Woods (editor), and CL favorite Joel Wynkoop (actor).

Closing things out will be the final block of shorts at 10:20 p.m. (you have to see Pure Evil!), followed by an awards ceremony highlighting some of our favorites from the fest. A limited number of tickets are now available at cltampa.com/reelterror. Get yours, and we'll see you on Oct. 22 — if you've got the guts.

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