Panic Film Fest returns! Back again for another year of gory head explosions, gut-bustin’ gags, and blood-curdling scares, Panic Festo 2023 program has officially dropped and it’s jam-packed with horror goodies. If you’ve been cooped up inside all winter long and you’re ready to get weird and party like a maniac, do yourself a favor a grab a badge for the year’s coolest festival.
The festival kicks off April 13 with a screening of the much-anticipated Nicolas Cage vampire comedy Renfield and continues on for 10 straights days of cinematic insanity. More announcements are on there way but guests at the festival this year include Joe Lynch (Mayhem), Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator), Ted Geoghegan (We Are Still Here), as well as Spider One and Krsy Fox (Allegoria).
Above and beyond movies, the festival is also hosting parties in their new VHS Store/Dive Bar Rewind and several live podcast events including Nightmare Junkhead, The Horror Virgin, Screen Drafts, and Nightmare on Film Street. Hey, that’s us!
Sink your teeth into the entire program including 40+ features, 60+ short films, guests and gather space hangouts for online attendees over at PanicFilmFest.com. Join usss….
Directed by Alejandro Brugués, Mike Mendez, Demián Rugna, Gigi Saul Guerrero, Eduardo Sánchez, Demián Rugna
Synopsis: A police raid takes place on a mystery location where a brutal massacre has happened and only one survivor remains. Taken into custody, the mysterious man has some strange tales to tell whilst the clock ticks down to a deadline that man says will be the end of them all.
An anthology film for every type of horror fan, Satanic Hispanics is one of the coolest, funniest, smartest movies you might see all year. Featuring segments directed by The Blair Witch Project co-creator Eduardo Sánchez, Juan of The Dead‘s Alejandro Brugués, and Bingo Hell‘s Gigi Saul Guerrero, Satanic Hispanics is a kickass good time and an absolute must-see.
Read Nightmare on Film Street’s full review of Satanic Hispanics HERE
Hollywood Dreams and Nightmares: The Robert Englund Story
Directed Christopher Griffiths, Gary Smart
Synopsis: Since first donning a tattered fedora and a glove of eviscerating blades in 1984, Robert Englund has become one our generation’s most beloved horror icons. Englund has risen to stand shoulder to shoulder in the pantheon of movie legends alongside such greats as Boris Karloff and Christopher Lee. His portrayal of Freddy Krueger is without doubt a moment as visceral to the horror genre as Chaney’s werewolf or Karloff’s ground-breaking realization of Frankenstein’s monster. This tells his story.
I think it goes without saying that we’re pretty big Robert Englund fans here at Nightmare on Film Street. Naturally, Hollywood Dreams and Nightmare: The Robert Englund Story is a must-see for us. Dare I say, it’s a Primetime pick, bitch!
Bury The Bride
Directed by Spider One
Synopsis: Bride-to-be June’s bachelorette getaway turns deadly when her bloodthirsty fiance and his friends show up to crash the party.
Powerman 5000 front man Spider One unveiled his feature debut Allegoria at last year’s festival and he’s back again with his maybe vampire, maybe demon, but definitely bloody as all hell follow-up Bury The Bride. We don’t know much about this one but based on the juicy details Spieder One and Krsy Fox were able to share on the Nightmare On Film Street Podcast, we are s-s-s-stoked!
Directed by Evan Marlowe
Synopsis: Les Hackel is a guy down on his luck who wakes to find an explosive device has been implanted in his neck. He must carry out heinous crimes in order to stay alive while trying to identify the mastermind manipulating the now twisted and strange world around him. The film is enacted entirely using lifelike puppets.
I don’t know about you, but I was sold after just reading the word “puppets”. Clearly a passion project from directed Evan Marlowe, who has been working on this feature for several years, Abruptio features voice performances from some of horror’s most recognizable names, including Jordan Peele (Nope), Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street), and the late-great Sid Haig (The Devil’s Rejects). I’ve also been told this one is wild & crazy and full of super gory gross-out moments. Yay!
Directed by Laura Moss
Synopsis: A morgue technician successfully reanimates the body of a little girl, but to keep her breathing, she will need to harvest biological materials from pregnant women. When the girl’s mother, a nurse, discovers her baby alive, they enter into a deal that forces them both down a dark path of no return.
More than just a modern Frankenstein story, birth/rebirth is a surprisingly dark exploration of scientific ethics, humanity, and the crossroads where admirable motherly love becomes absolutely evil. There’s also an adorable pot-bellied pig named Muriel who steals every scene she’s in.
Read Nightmare on Film Street’s full review of birth/rebirth HERE
Directed by Thomas Hardiman
Synopsis: Medusa Deluxe is a murder mystery set in a competitive hairdressing competition. Extravagance and excess collide as the death of one of their own sows seeds of division in a community whose passion for hair verges on obsession.
If you love a good murder mystery, you might want to make sure A24’s Medusa Deluxe is at the top of your watchlist for Panic Fest 2023. Obsession! Murder! Hair! This dang movie sounds like a 2023 re-imagining of Mario Bava’s Blood and Black Lace with daggered eyes, shade, and style. (Fingers crossed we see some evil boys turned to stone too)
Directed by Ted Geoghegan
Synopsis: Five military veterans, best friends since childhood, gather together to support their troubled host, and the metaphoric ghosts of their past become all too literal.
You want seances? You got em. Grim, frank discussions about war and human nature? It’s all yours, bud. Ghosts? Heck, have some gore too while you’re at it! Brooklyn 45 is a single-location, character driven story about the ghosts of our pasts and all the terrible things we do in an effort to find peace. Like a 1940s escape room from hell with great performances, Brooklyn 45 has as much to say about post WWII American as it does about pre WWIII America…
Read Nightmare on Film Street’s full review of Brooklyn 45 HERE
The Bigfoot Trap
Directed by Aaron Mirtes
Synopsis: A journalist’s life is changed forever when he’s locked inside of a bigfoot trap by an insane sasquatch hunter.
Did someone say Bigfoot??? That’s the magic word around these parts. Hell, I don’t want to know anything more than that but based on the synopsis above, it looks like this Bigfoot movie is also a ding-dang Found Footage flick! Oh happy days.
Give Me an A
Directed by Hannah Alline, Avital Ash, Bonnie Discepolo, and many more
Synopsis: Expands the importance of bodily autonomy and addresses the issues of a democracy that does not protect the needs of the majority of the population.
It’s been a weird year for any American with a uterus. This anthology film went into production as a response to the overturning of Roe v Wade in 2022, making its way across the film festival circuit and gaining new segments along the way. If you caught this unique piece of Film As Protest last year you’re likely to see a surprisingly different product at Panic Fest, smack dab in the heartland of America’s ban on abortion rights.
Directed by Kyle Butenhoff
Synopsis: On the evening of a record-breaking blizzard, a young wife’s plans to kill her abusive husband begin to unravel. Laced is a modern thriller/drama in the vein of Hitchcockian classics like Dial M for Murder and Rear Window. Set in a single location, the piece explores the claustrophobic nature of young love strung with toxicity and lies, and the cyclical nature of violence.
Uhhhhh hell yeah we’re excited to see a new Hitchcockian thriller! Doomed heroines, dangerous liaisons, claustrophobic single-location terror. Say no more!
F*ck it, Here’s 3 More Picks!
King on Screen
Directed by Daphné Baiwir
Synopsis: 1976, Brian de Palma directs Carrie, the first novel by Stephen King. Since, more than 50 directors have adapted the master of horror’s books, in more than 80 films and series, making him the most adapted author still alive in the world.
Stephen King, the horror writer with that IT factor. He’s been scaring generations the world over but some horror fans only know him from his film adaptations. One of the world’s most prolific writers, and a seemingly untappable well for movies and television, Stephen King has become one of the biggest names in Hollywood Horror. See the legacy unfold (on screen no less) with this new, comprehensive documentary.
The Third Saturday in October & The Third Saturday in October Part V
Directed by Jay Burleson
Intended to be seen as a double-feature (watching Part V first!) The Third Saturday in October movies are a pitch-perfect send-up of horror movie franchises that also recreates the experience of discovering a new series movies at the video store or late night on tv. Part V follows “an implacable killer as he stalks and butchers the occupants of houses across the stretch of one lone country road while the residents prepare to watch a yearly college-football bout”. Part I brings you back to where it all began, where “a psycho goes on a murderous rampage after surviving a botched execution”.
Read Nightmare on Film Street’s full review of The Third Saturday in October I & V HERE
Are you making the trip out to party at Panic Fest 2023??? Let us know what you’re most excited to see at the festival over on Twitter or in the Nightmare on Film Street Discord!