The Georgia heat is surprisingly bearable as I belly up to the bar on the roof of Grindhouse Killer Burgers in Decatur. The humidity is still thick, sticky despite fans and a light breeze but a cold drink and some light conversation soon take my mind off of it. On a television mounted to the far wall Evil Dead IIis playing. From the patio style roof above the bar, a banner announcing the Women in Horror Film Festival flaps in the breeze.
Vanessa Wright, one of the founders of the festival, unloads a crate of merchandise and literature about the festival on a table below the banner.
“Teaming up with Grindhouse felt natural.” she says. “They've got this great sci-fi horror, grindhouse atmosphere.” She's not wrong, either. Between a plethora of retro robots, B movie monsters, and noir detective dames covering the walls and even their sign, it was an excellent setting for a night of music, movies, and so much more. And, with 10% of drink sales going to support the festival in its second year, it was more of a pleasure than normal to have a little drink. The bartender for the night was the talented and lovely Ellie Church, star of several indie grindhouse and horror films including Harvest Lake, Space Babes from Outer Space, and the upcoming Amazon Hotbox. I was treated to a Reagent Shot, a Reanimator inspired vodka and apple cocktail that went down dangerously smooth. I stuck to water and soda the rest of the night.
As fans and supporters of the event began pouring in, familiar faces and newcomers gathered to celebrate and support the event. Lynne Hansen (Chomp) filmmaker, WiHFF alum, and supporter was a vibrant and positive voice through the night. Filmmakers James Bickert (Frankenstein Created Bikers) and Brian Williams (Space Babes from Outer Space) debuted their trailer for Amazon Hotbox. I even got to meet Candy Rachor who plays Sister Helen in the upcoming Darren Lynn Bousman film St. Agatha.
The fundraiser exemplified the absolute best of Women in Horror Film Festival and what it's all about: community. People from all aspects of the horror and indie film communities came together to raise money and awareness for a truly one of a kind event that fosters a deeper respect and appreciation for the various creative roles women play in the industry.
To end the night, a raffle was drawn for VIP passes to this years festival as well as a host of other prizes. The winner? Amanda Baker who said she just came out “to support women in horror.”