JEFFERSON - This past Saturday night, Fox Trail Productions and Horror Happens Productions presented the Horror Happens Showcase at Camp Jefferson.
The showcase featured a viewing of three horror films: “Blood Slaughter Massacre,” a slasher film, “Infliction,” the assembled footage horror film which made its first appearance at Camp Jefferson this past summer, and the 1968 classic “Night of the Living Dead.”
In attendance at this event were Manny and Lindsay Serrano, producers of “Blood Slaughter Massacre,” Jack Thomas Smith, director of “Infliction,” Jay K, the host of the Horror Happens Radio show and MC of the event, and legendary filmmaker John Russo, who co-created the original “Night of the Living Dead” in 1968 with George A. Romero.
The filmmakers were eager to talk about their projects. Manny Serrano, who also directed “Blood Slaughter Massacre” said he intended for the film to be much more than a homage to slasher films of the 80s.
“We wanted to go farther than an homage. We wanted it to feel like a horror film from the 80s.”
Lindsay Serrano added, “We added in everything from Bogo jeans, to latex and mortician’s wax, and to using analogue synths.”
Both commented on how fantastic Camp Jefferson was as a venue.
“Out of all the screenings we had so far, this is probably the best sounding one we have had yet,” said Manny.
Jay K mentioned that he loves the venue but wishes the turnout would have been bigger.
“The event has been very well run, but rather slow. I wish there was more support from the community. Art [Bonito] is such a tremendous man to do what he does.”
Jay K also mentioned how these events need time to grow and that it is great to have people who frequent these events.
“You have people who stick with you, but you do hope that more show up to the event. You have to grow and cultivate events like this.”
The crowd that did come really enjoyed the venue as well as the films shown. Anthony and Deann Muzikar, of Lake Hopatcong, were both happy that this event was right in their backyard.
“It’s great. We are both horror fans and I found this while searching for horror conventions. I was mainly excited for John Russo and “Night of the Living Dead,” says Anthony.
Many seemed to be very excited to meet the legendary Russo. Jack Thomas Smith, promoting Infliction, noted that it had been quite some time since he last saw one of the men that had helped his career.
“It’s been about 10 years since I saw John Russo last. It’s been great to see him.”
Solon Tsangaras, who journeyed from Afton, NY, credits meeting the filmmaker as a dream come true.
“I blame John Russo for who I am today, and I mean that in the best possible way. Getting to meet him has been a dream come true for me. It’s absolutely fabulous.”
Russo, who has been working in the filmmaking business for many years, said that when he was making the original “Night” with Romero, he knew it would be good, but never a hit.
“We were absolutely sure that we were making a great movie. We did not know that it would be a huge hit. I am not surprised it’s still this popular after almost 50 years. It was a huge hit when we showed it at drive in theaters in Pittsburgh.”
The Horror Happens Radio Show airs every Tuesday Night at 4 pm on HGRNJ. For more info, go to http://horrorhappens6.wix.com/show