PFFF 2011

Best feature: Eaters
Best short: Zombie Team Building
Audience favorite: The Man Who Collected Food
Best experimental animated short narrated by
a former member of Oingo Boingo: DemiUrge Emesis*

Eaters directors Luca Boni and Marco Ristori are thoroughly pleased with their trophy.

Judgment Postponed!

We only thought about it afterward, but we really should have made the T-shirts say, “I survived the Rapture at Phoenix FearCon 4”. Dammit. Maybe we’ll have next year’s one on December 21st, 2012, so we can go 2-0 in apocalypses survived?

As usual, by the end of Saturday night, we did feel like we’d been through Armageddon – but we can’t complain in the slightest, when the festival is such a resounding success. 300-odd people chose to spend The End Of The World at the MADCAP Theaters, enjoying good horror films, great special guests, and $2 Pabst Blue Ribbon. It’s hard to know where to start…

The venue. For the first time, we got to hold the festival at the same place twice in a row! And MADCAP continues to kick ass. This year, the concession area was so full of vendors, we set up a PBR ‘beer garden’ down the side of the corridor leading to the theater, providing patrons with a place to sit and chill between movies. Thanks to Leslie and her staff for their hard work on the day, which provided a perfect location, both inside and out.

Matthew Roth accepts the Audience Favorite award from Tiffany Shepis + Chris,
and immediately attempts to stab Chris with it.

The movies and their makers. It’s always fascinating to see how the movies play to an audience. By the time of the event, we’ve seen them so often, it’s easy to forget the impact they can have, and some exceeded expectations. Hey, we knew they were good – we wouldn’t have picked them otherwise! – but hearing the cheers for the likes of Stay… [which pushed Zombie Team Building really hard for best short] and Audience Favorite winner, The Man Who Collected Food was extremely satisfying.

We were delighted to welcome the directors of both that and Skew, Matthew Roth and Sevé Schelenz,  to the theater, and appreciated their participation in some lively Q+As after the event. It was also great to see John Conway (Panic, Fear) – not mention Saad Nassim, the killer from the film, who made a huge impact on attendees in the get-up worn in the movie! – and Nathan Blackwell (Zombie Team Building) in the house.

Voltaire tries to figure out how to hot-wire a hearse.

Tiffany Shepis and Voltaire. Really, you couldn’t wish for two better guests. Friendly, approachable and a pleasure to work with. Voltaire stepped in to fill a blank in the schedule, giving a talk about his stop-motion work, and giving us a sneak peek at his upcoming new film, which is just amazing. Meanwhile, Tiffany was bringing her glamor to the lobby, with a press of fans around her table every time we looked – she also helped out with the judging of the costume contest and the presentation of awards.

All the other guests. In no particular order: Tom Tuerff, Sharinaz, KAOS Funeral Cars, Brain Damage, Thrill the World (who ‘hijacked’ proceedings, flash-mob style, more than once for their ‘Thriller’ dance!), Beaver Las Vagas, DJ Private (who literally came from his sick-bed!), Gillian Payne and Deep Murder Ink.

And everyone else. Our sponsors, too numerous to mention, and the vendors, inside and out, who helped keep the place bustling (those hot-dogs were among the best Jim has ever tasted!). The volunteers, led by head minion Terri, without whom the event would have collapsed into anarchy and chaos, rapture or not! The participants in the costume contest, like the deserving winner shown below. And last but certainly not least, all the attendees who came out and supported the event, in the same way we put on the event – as fans. Everything we doooooo, we do it for yooooooo… 🙂

“I don’t always drink beer. But when I do – instead of thirsting for human blood –
I prefer Pabst Blue Ribbon, mortals.”

Of course, there were inevitably one or two issues, like the digital projector overheating during one screening, so needing to be fanned with a signed Tiffany Shepis picture, we kid you not [probably not the best way to cool anything down!] . But the one which caused Chris most grief was the MADCAP elevator apparently getting raptured for a chunk of the day. Those stairs are long and steep, especially by the time you’ve gone up and down them ten times carrying stuff…

But there was nothing that couldn’t be overcome, and we have no hesitation in declaring the event a roaring success, the biggest and best event ever, and one that already has us planning for the 2012 version. If you have any feedback, be it good or bad, suggestions for next time, comments, criticism, praise or compromising pictures of Joe Arpaio, please let us know. It all helps us improve for next time, and it might also appear on our feedback page.

We’ll be adding a gallery of the event when we’ve gathered all of the pics, so check back for that in a week or two.

* = No, seriously. We are taking up and running with Voltaire’s joke comment during his show, which will now be turned into an actual trophy, lovingly crafted in the same way as our famous FearCon Awards, a.k.a. the Sharpies. Stay tuned for pictures!

See also

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