Telluride’s Newest Film Fest Is A World Class Horror Show

By Caitlin Switzer

REGIONAL—No really—you don’t have to be the least bit brave to attend the Telluride Horror Show film festival (Oct. 12-14, 2012). Just ask festival director Ted Wilson.

“I am actually a wimp, and scare easily!” Wilson said. “If something truly scary comes along it gives me nightmares.

“Personally, I like the horror comedies.”

Wilson can probably expect a few nightmares before all is said and done, however—the Telluride Horror Show, which he launched in 2010, has received more than 300 submissions this year—and Wilson and his crew watch every one.

“We’re still rounding up our last films,” Wilson said, “We’re about three-quarters of the way there. I am really excited about our short films—we have 30 this year, from all over. So much money, effort, time and talent goes into these films; it is incredible to see them in the theater.”

In addition to seeing as-yet-to-bereleased-in-the-U.S. movies before anyone else, the Telluride Horror Show is a great excuse to hang out in Telluride for three days, said Wilson, who will begin work on next year’s Horror Show as soon as this one is finished. A 16-year local himself, Wilson found that after years of working for the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival for many years, he had nothing but festival experience on his resume.

He founded the Telluride Horror Show as a complement to the town’s prestigious Telluride Film Festival and Mountain Film.

“They have the documentaries, and the high-brow films,” Wilson said. “So I just thought this would be fun—kind of in the spirit of the season-a way to celebrate the B side of life.

“What I really like about the genre is that yes, some films are heavy hitters—but a lot of ‘em are fun,” he said. “It’s a much more interactive experience.” Besides, the Telluride Horror Show may be a chance to see work by the filmmaking stars of tomorrow. Respected documentary director Allen Hill, whose works have shown at Mountainfilm, said that he actually began his career with a zombie film, “Skin Care for the Living Dead.”

Horror Show Films are shown in the Silver Nugget and Sheridan Opera House, and Wilson works with a crew of about 15. Fans come from across the United States, and filmmakers come from all over the world, Wilson said.

“Since year one, everyone who has come has come back,” Wilson said. “And we see people from all walks of life—it’s not just young guys.”

One young guy who does hope to attend the Telluride Horror Show is Chuck Turner, 18, of Montrose.

“I haven’t been to it, but I have heard about it and would love to go sometime,” Turner said. “I have to say I love zombie movies, because they’re just showing us what’s gonna happen in the not so distant future!”

The 2012 Telluride Horror Show will include features such as “Devoured,” “Inbred,” “Portrait of a Zombie” and “ParaNorman.” Short films include such titles as “Rotting Hill,” “Zombie Chic,” and “Tumult.” For more information about the Telluride Horror Show, visit www.telluridehorrorshow.com.