Phoenix FearCon, also known as Phoenix Fear Film Fest, is an annual one day horror film festival and growing convention in Arizona run by Jim & Chris McLennan from Trash City, which is consistently strong on international and independent film.
2011 was the first year under the FearCon name and the second at MADCAP Cinemas in Tempe. It was coincidentally scheduled on the very day that Harold Camping very publicly predicted the Rapture would occur, so the whole day was enjoyed with that very much in mind. Hilariously, after Jim and Chris joked about scheduling the 2012 event on the next rapture date to make it two consecutive apocalypses survived, another lesser event leapt on that idea and started up as the Rapture Horror Expo. They clearly didn't realise that scheduling on a supposed rapture date provided most of the fun.
The out of town special guest was musician and stop motion animator Voltaire, who wasn't only present for the screening of his award winning short film, DemiUrge Emesis; he also presented a class on stop motion animation and performed a concert for those of us who were still there to the very end. The other special guest was scream queen Tiffany Shepis, who remains popular enough with local fans to be asked back for FearCon V. She always brightens up any convention she attends.
As always, a number of filmmakers were present to introduce their films, provide Q&As and possibly accept awards if they won.
Matthew Roth, writer/director of The Man Who Collected Food, was able to accept his award, for the Audience Favourite, in person, as was Nathan Blackwell, the director and co-writer of the winning short film, Zombie Team Building. The Best Feature award went to Eaters, an Italian zombie film, so the memorably sharp trophy had to be posted over to directors Luca Boni and Marco Ristori.
Sevé Schelenz, writer/director of Skew, was also there to present his film, as was John Francis Conway III for Panic, Fear. Conway also brought the killer from his film, Saad Nassim, who was a notable presence throughout the festival in full costume.
You can relive all the fun at the Phoenix FearCon website.
Here are all the films that were shown at Phoenix FearCon IV, with film titles linking to my reviews and the IMDb pages added for reference, where possible.
1 - Abysmal | 2 - Bad | 3 - Poor | 4 - OK | 5 - Good | 6 - Excellent | 7 - Classic
|Eaters||2011||Lucas Boni & Marco Ristori||IMDb|
|The Man Who Collected Food||2010||Matthew Roth||IMDb|
|True Nature||2010||Patrick Steele||IMDb|
|Because There are Things You Never Forget||2008||6||6||Lucas Figueroa||IMDb|
|Ma'am's Copy Shop||2009||6||6||ZiZak||n/a|
|Fearful John||2010||5||5||Daniel Romero||IMDb|
|Stay||2010||5||5||Álvaro López León & H R Paternain||IMDb|
|DemiUrge Emesis||2010||5||5||Aurelio Voltaire||IMDb|
|Her Special Day||2009||6||5||Casey Moore||IMDb|
|Panic, Fear||2011||4||4||John Francis Conway||IMDb|
|Zombie Team Building||2010||5||5||Nathan Blackwell||IMDb|
|Cabine of the Dead||2010||5||5||Vincent Templement||IMDb|