After weeks of tourist hordes, the city of Salem has transformed from Mayor Vaughn in Jaws to the ominous kook in Friday the 13th seemingly overnight. The new message is clear: “The streets are closed. Turn back now.” But that won’t stop Salem Horror Fest from one last picture show at the now defunct CinemaSalem.
Starting Friday, October 30 through Sunday, November 1, festival director K Lynch will sneak into an empty theater to stream over 24 hours of virtual programming with premieres of a new anthology film called Bad Candy and the horror comedy Murder Bury Win.
“Growing up, I lived for the dead and longed for a community of like minds,” said Murder Bury Win director Michael Lovan in a statement. “It feels like I’m finally coming home. Thanks for bringing me into the family.”
Bad Candy, directed by Scott Hansen and Desiree Connel, tells local Halloween stories of both myth and lessons learned in the community of New Salem. With its annual Psychotronic FM Halloween show, re-enactment radio DJs Chilly Billy and Paul weave the tales of the supernatural of years gone by. In this small town it’s a grimy ending for most, but will a few good souls survive?
In Murder Bury Win, three friends have created a board game called MURDER BURY WIN. They think it has what it takes to become a bestseller on the indie charts. When their attempt to crowdfund fails, a mysterious man makes them an offer: he will publish their game on the condition that he takes credit as the sole creator and owner. After a dispute over the gaming rights leaves them with a body on their hands, the young men realize how suspiciously like murder the freak accident appears. Now, with few options remaining, they look to their game for guidance. The premise of their game? How to murder someone… and get rid of the body.
A selection of festival favorites will also broadcast live and be presented on the big screen as tribute to the filmmakers. “This year has been a nightmare. And depending on how the election goes, things could get even scarier,” says festival director K Lynch. “The closing of CinemaSalem has been a devastating loss for the community. This is our way of keeping the flame alive and assuring everyone that cinema is undead.”
In partnership with The Satanic Temple TV, the festival will showcase a collection of presentations such as The Fight Against Witch Hunters and Satanic Feminism. Other programs include silent films with new musical score, trivia game show, drag performances, and an exclusive interview with the directors of the found footage SHUDDER hit, Host. All programs are online-exclusive. The cinema is not open to public.
Weekend access to the Halloween Stream is available for $13. Additional programs are available for rent and purchase. Further details can be found at salemhorror.com.
Salem Horror Fest is a cultural exploration of fear through the lens of horror. Founded as a direct response to the 2016 election, Salem Horror Fest has hosted hundreds of that deconstruct political anxieties and hosted numerous horror celebrities including Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, John Waters, Kane Hodder, John Kassir, Rachel True, Linnea Quigley, and more.