NEPA Scene Staff

NEPA Horror Fest returns to Circle Drive-In with 13 short films, music, and punk flea market on Oct. 15

NEPA Horror Fest returns to Circle Drive-In with 13 short films, music, and punk flea market on Oct. 15
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From a press release:

A screening of 13 independent short horror films from all over the world will cap off a full day of creative activities at the NEPA Horror Fest on Saturday, Oct. 15 at the Circle Drive-In Theatre in Dickson City.

The event begins at noon with the Scranton Punk Rock Flea Market & Zinefest hosting over 60 different artists, makers, collectors, and zinesters alongside live music by local and regional bands Major Pie, Christ Chopper, Panic Problem, Kali Ma and the Garland of Arms, Das Black Milk, and RA!D. Shopping and musical performances will run until 8 p.m. that evening.

Starting at 9 p.m., a variety of short horror movies with a duration of 12 minutes or less each will be presented on the drive-in screen for “13 Short Films VIII.” Films are submitted over the months prior and hand-selected through a curation process. This year’s films include “The Shed” directed by The Mooncats Film Collective, “Mickey Dogface” directed by Zach Fleming, “Part Forever” directed by Alan Chung-An Ou, “The Witching Hour” directed by Abigail Brenker, “Paracosm” directed by Adam Van Dyke, “Poppet” directed by Dan Raymond, “Intinction” directed by Bobby Canipe, Jr., “Slayer” directed by Eileen McQueen, “Ring” directed by Jackson Stofka, “The Statue” directed by Mohsen Salehi Fard, “Fake Plastic Blood” directed by Nathan Gallagher, “Slash-O-Lantern Part II” directed by Taylor McManus, and “Okhotsk of the Living Dead” directed by Sean Kurosawa.

Tickets, which are $20, can be purchased online via Eventbrite or at the drive-in (1911 Scranton/Carbondale Hwy., Dickson City).

The NEPA Horror Fest began as the NEPA Horror Film Festival in October of 2015 with an event called “13 Short Films” at the River Street Jazz Cafe in Plains. The free event organized by Bobby Keller screened horror films from all around the world, including three locally-made films, and successfully drew over 100 attendees. Since then, the festival has hosted a handful of screenings at Ale Mary’s in Scranton and specialized in showing shot-on-video low budget cult classics from the 1980s and 1990s.

Some of the feature-length films that were screened include Theodore Gershuny’s “Silent Night, Bloody Night” (1972), John Wintergate’s “Boardinghouse” (1982), Kevin Tenney’s “Night of the Demons” (1988), Todd Sheets’ “Zombie Bloodbath” series (1993, 1995, 2000), Todd Jason Cook’s “Death Metal Zombies” (1995), John and Mark Polonia’s “Feeder’s 2: Slay Bells” (1998), Austin Bosley’s “Dismembering Christmas” (2015), Ryan Logsdon’s “Agoni” (2015), and Anna Biller’s “The Love Witch” (2016). In 2016, “13 Short Films 2” added an expanded event schedule comprised of film screenings, vendor tables, stand-up comedy, Q&A panels, and even celebrity guests. The following year, the third annual “13 Short Films” came to Iron Horse Movie Bistro in Scranton and quickly sold out, turning away patrons at the door.

Eventually, the NEPA Horror Film Festival found its permanent home at the Circle Drive-In and joined forces with the Scranton Punk Rock Flea Market & Zinefest to bring about a greater appreciation of independent filmmakers, visual artists, and musicians.

Cultivated in the coal mining lands of Northeastern Pennsylvania, the Scranton Punk Collective brings local DIY subculture to the forefront. Two hours from New York City and Philadelphia in either direction, Scranton is a town of artistic miscreants, urban makers, music collectors, metalheads, hippies, and punks of all breeds. Artists, makers, zinesters, and collectors showcase their handmade works and wares at events like the Scranton Punk Rock Flea & Zinefest.

This is a showcase for audiophile specimens like vinyl, cassettes, and VHS tapes and a social space for zines, underground comix, radical publications, and other printed matter, as well as original handcrafted works. They celebrate original art, patches, pins, stickers, vintage clothing, ethically-sourced taxidermy, bone jewelry, retro toys, video games, horror memorabilia, and other odds and ends. They see the DIY world as a fusion of music, writers, artists, and makers, thinking of this as the ultimate confection of indie subculture – a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

The Scranton Punk Collective began originally as the Scranton Zinefest in 2011. Organizer Jess Meoni started making zines in high school, mainly reflecting on punk culture and local music. After attending the Philly Zine Fest in 2010, she was inspired to establish her own festival in Scranton. The event grew each year with new zinesters exploring social commentary, personal issues, and more.

In 2018, after several smaller community events, she decided to organize an alternative market – namely, The Not Another Punk Rock Flea Market and the Weird & Wired Punk Bazaar & Zine Expo. Curating a range of artists, makers, and collectors, the event escalated in curiosity and attendance. After a decade of coordination, the event continues showcasing the best of the local punk scene, indie maker circles, and zine publishers.

Photo by Jess Meoni