Greetings from Salem, my spooky sweethearts!
I’m still thoroughly enjoying my New England adventure, though I fear that I may go through Hallowe’en withdrawal once my time here comes to an end. But enough about me, let’s talk about Salem Horror Fest!
Their thoughtful programming contains a healthy mix of new and classic programming (I’m still shocked that this is only their first year), and Saturday’s screening of Tragedy Girls (2017) was followed by not only a screening of Friday the 13th VII: The New Blood (1988), but guest appearances by both Lar Park Lincoln and Jason Voorhees himself, the intimidatingly-ripped Kane Hodder!
The two shared some endearing banter on-stage before the film and, after the film, Lar joined Tara Ansley (producer of Tragedy Girls) and The Faculty of Horror’s Andrea Subissati and Alexandra West for an entertaining Women With Guts Q&A discussion. More events like this, please! I cannot get enough of hearing from women in horror — future festivals, learn from Salem Horror Fest!
After a restful sleep in my waterfront Airbnb, I braved the rain in order to visit The Witch House, the former home of 17th century Witch Trials judge Jonathan Corwin. The home is meticulously maintained and full of fascinating objects and information about corpse medicine, herbal medicines, cooking and midwifery practices, and details about Puritan life. With an admission price of under $10, it is well worth a visit.
(Plus it is practically next door to Witch City Wicks, an incredible candle and fragrance shop that sells some of the most gorgeous soaps I have ever seen.)
After entirely too much mac’n’cheese + buffalo chicken pizza (I see you, Flying Saucer Pizza Company!) and a nap, it was time to head back to CinemaSalem for a live podcast recording of The Faculty of Horror, discussing American Psycho (2000).
Alex and Andrea hit the perfect note for their first-ever live podcast performance, ably balancing their academic and extremely accessible analysis with just the right amount of hilarious crowd interaction. Check out the (hopefully only very lightly edited) episode when it becomes available! The podcast portion of the evening was followed by a crowd-pleasing double-bill of American Psycho and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974).
I spent much of Sunday writing, exploring, and spending too much money on witchy gifts for my fellow AOAS Final Girls, but I did manage to attend the evening’s screening of The Mist (2007), which came complete with real mist (ooh, spooky!) and a rousing performance from Planet of the Apes themed metal band Reign of Zaius. If you haven’t seen a metal band do the robot dance to the Dr. Zaius song from The Simpsons, then you simply have not lived.
A few tips for next year’s Salem adventures, should you be so lucky to attend the festival in 2018:
- Avoid the breakfast options close to the tourist area — for an excellent classic diner breakfast that costs under $6, venture north to Dotty & Ray’s, instead. If you’re free for lunch, they also have a very well-reviewed lobster roll meal for only $15!
- Red Line Cafe and Gulu-Gulu Cafe both offer wifi for horror bloggers looking to soak up the local Boston accents while writing their pieces. Red Line’s internet is slightly more reliable, but Gulu-Gulu has a dope crème brûlée latte, so choose your poison.
- If you want to do a walking tour, BOOK EARLY. Like, now. I’ve learned my lesson.
- CinemaSalem offers frozen Junior Mints, which are clearly the superior Junior Mints. Order wisely.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go return some video tapes.