Get ready for “Shock Therapy”
Horror fans, get ready for a weekend of spook and fright down at Vic Theatre. This Friday and Saturday — October 18 and 19 — at the Vic Theatre on Douglas Street (Nootka Court), CineVic will be presenting a series of international horror films.
On Friday, audiences can watch a double-bill of the full length horror B-movies, Wolf Cop and Another Wolf Cop on Friday, starting at 7 p.m. This will be followed the next day by “Shock Therapy! Short, Indie, Creepy, Campy Films From Around The World.” This 2019 selection of 16 films will be presented in two programs, at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
The Martlet caught up with Executive Director of CineVic, David Geiss, to discuss his thoughts on this Horror Fest and the genre of horror itself.
The Martlet: Why did you pick the horror genre for a short film festival?
Geiss: In 2018, our Programming and Outreach Coordinator proposed a new autumn screening idea that would showcase the smart/artistic/comedic sides of horror and other “genre” short films. We received such an enthusiastic response from both audience and filmmakers, we decided to run it again this year.
Who created these films and how were their mind-bending offerings selected to screen?
The filmmakers this year are from all over the world, with a strong contingent of Spanish, Australian, European, and Canadian directors (their bios are posted on our website). We put out an international call for submissions earlier this year, and received 75 films from around the world. As our programming committee is comprised of a majority of female-identifying and LGBT individuals, special attention was made to reject the typical misogynistic and exploitative entries while instead selecting films which empower women and vulnerable characters (such as First Bite, Hot Anger, Lay Them Straight, Blossom, and Noctámbulos).
The Vic Theatre delivers amazing sound; what can thrill-seekers look forward to?
The biggest (and loudest) thrills will be experienced on Friday, October 18 with our double-bill screening of Wolf Cop and its sequel, Another Wolf Cop. We are excited to have Lowell Dean, the director of these two back-to-back B-movies from the Canadian prairies, in attendance. The Vic is also the only [liquor] licensed theatre in town!
The horror genre is experiencing a very creepy surge in popularity. To what would you attribute this disturbing trend?
There always seems to be ebbs and flows of popularity with any genre of film or art or entertainment, whether it’s in commercial/popular culture or underground scenes. Stranger Things and the new It movies may get some credit for the current resurgence, while this year’s attention seems to be focused on the controversial storyline of Joker with Joaquin Phoenix. A political analysis could point to the polarization of society, with some folks taking a concerning interest in violence (both real and [fictional]), while others are looking for darker forms of escapism. For our screening, the title of “Shock Therapy” probably makes the films sound more gruesome than they are — but again this is in reference to our programming goal of challenging dominant themes by highlighting the work of independent filmmakers.
I have an awful sense of dread that some horror film celebrities might appear on this evening, do you?
We do have one or two directors slated to be in attendance, and some of our audience may be inclined to arrive in costume.
What’s the future of horror films and do you think this is good first date material?
It is difficult to predict the future of of any genre or medium, but we hope that it continues to diversify in terms of character archetypes in empowering rather than vulnerable situations. I do think this is good first date material — if two people are even interested in attending “Shock Therapy” in the first place, I’d say that’s the beginning of a beautiful relationship!
This interview has been edited for clarity.