The Austin Chronicle

Making Bedfellows of Metal and Bloody Movie Mayhem

Phil Anselmo and Corey Mitchell unleash the Housecore Horror Film Festival in 2013

By Richard Whittaker, December 28, 2012, Screens

Does Austin need another film festival? Legendary metal vocalist Phil Anselmo and writer Corey Mitchell think so. Mitchell says, "Austin's got South by Southwest, AFF, it's got Fantastic Fest. But when you really break them down, there's nothing that caters solely to horror." So next October they'll open the crypt for the first ever Housecore Horror Film Festival, bringing blood by the bucket.

Scheduled for Oct. 25-27, and named after Anselmo's label Housecore Records, the gory gathering will celebrate studio screamers, underground nightmares, and alternative agonies with creepy gusto. When they announced their early plans at SXSW last year, Mitchell says they had a less ambitious concept in mind: "We just thought we'd do it real low-key, maybe get a hundred people in, have Phil go up on stage playing an acoustic guitar at the end of the night, just be really small and intimate." Let's just say that monster grew: The inaugural three-day event will infest Emo's East and Beauty Ballroom, and Mitchell is contemplating additional small screening rooms for more obscure releases. They're also planning drive-in-style repertory screenings, free and open to the public.

But it's not just about the films. At 10pm each night, the projectors at Emo's will come down, and Anselmo's metal buddies will be storming the stage. His NOLA stoner crew, Down, is confirmed for Friday night; although the other bands are being kept under wraps, with Anselmo's deep links in the doom, sludge, speed, and thrash scenes it's safe to anticipate a heavy, heavy vibe. For anyone wondering about getting between venues, Anselmo has invited his old business partners at New Orlean's legendary House of Shock Halloween attraction to build a corridor of terror between the screens. "Their shit is scary," says Mitchell.

He originally got to know Anselmo when they started working on the singer's autobiography, due out in 2013. The pair bonded over the former Pantera vocalist's love of underground and classic horror. Mitchell recalls Anselmo's house filled with fear flicks: "Literally floor to ceiling, wall to wall, closets stuffed. He has about 10,000 mainly VHS films in their original clamshell boxes, and he knows where everything is. 'Dude, you want to see this 1932 silent German horror film? It's right over here.'" In November of 2011, they decided that their shared love of metal and horror needed a bigger platform than Anselmo's TV room.

With ten months to go, Housecore Horror has already assembled a fearsome lineup. Jörg Buttgereit, creator of controversial corpse-loving franchise Nekromantic, will screen the two entries in the series, alongside his surrealist shocker Schramm: Into the Mind of a Serial Killer. He'll be joined by an old friend of Anselmo's: Jim VanBebber, director of true underground cult favorite The Manson Family. (His cinematic assault on California's most infamous cult was a labor of twisted love that took almost two decades to film and was only completed when Anselmo invested some of his own cash.) Expect more lineup announcements, as well as ticket sale info and submission guidelines, when the festival website goes live in January.

Follow @Housecorehorror on Twitter or like for announcements.

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