MidWest WeirdFest - the cinematic celebration of all things fantastic, frightening, offbeat, and just plain weird - returns to the Micon Downtown Cinema in Eau Claire from March 8-10. Now in its third year, the festival is expanding to include more special events, more guests, more films, and introduces two additional venue partners: Eau Claire Games and Arcade, and Ivy Creatives.
“MidWest WeirdFest is co-hosting two free events this year that I'm thrilled about,” says festival director Dean Bertram. “Before the fest's double feature screening of the cult classic film THE FP and the brand new sequel FP 2: BEATS OF RAGE – at Micon Downtown Cinema on Saturday March 8 - we are presenting a free 'Dance Off’ around the corner at Eau Claire Games and Arcade. Jason Trost, the films' star and director, will be competing against any challengers on the arcade's 'Pump It Up Fiesta' dance machine, just as he does in his two iconic films. Then, on Sunday March 10 at 2:15pm, the festival is presenting a Filmmaking Master Class with Ivy Creatives at their offices across the street from the Micon Downtown.”
Some of MidWest WeirdFest's feature filmmaker guests, who will be presenting their films at the festival and will be part of the Filmmaking Master Class, include:
Jason Trost, writer/director/star of the cult classic THE FP and FP 2: BEATS OF RAGE, which are screening back-to-back at the fest.
James Renner, writer/director of the fascinating documentary THE SECRET OF BYRON PREISS.
Charles Smith director of the festival's opening night film: The hilarious superhero black comedy ZEROES.
Matt Diebler and Jacob Gillman, whose atmospheric and terrifying supernatural chiller THE INVISIBLE MOTHER world premieres as MidWest WeirdFest's 2019 closing night film.
Ted Michaels, director of the delightfully dark, surprisingly sweet, science-fiction-political-satire-love-story TANGOBORN MENCLENTY.
Filmmakers in attendance to present their short films at the festival include: Benjamin Capps (CIVET), Troy Deutsch (BROWN FISH), Matt Erman (THE LEGEND OF HOLCOMB ROAD), Drew Angle and Katelyn Douglass (TERRIBLE ACCIDENT AT THE BREAD FACTORY), Stewart Koski (SASQUATCHES), and Paul von Stoetzel (THE CONQUEROR WORM).
Tickets to each session as well as discounted festival passes can be booked here:
MidWest WeirdFest's full 2019 feature film line-up follows (you can also browse the full program here)O
27 WEST (Tait Colberg) A solitary man's morning and evening routines appear ordinary enough. But during the hours in between, his chores grow darker each day: with quiet efficiency, he procures an unregistered vehicle, an untraceable weapon, and tools for demolition. What is he planning? Will he succeed? Should he? Don't miss this compelling, brilliant, and unique thriller.
THE FP (director: Jason Trost and Brandon Trost) Two rival gangs feud for control of rural wasteland Frazier Park ('The FP') in the deadly arena of competitive dance-fight video game "Beat-Beat Revelation." After hometown hero BTRO is slain on the dance platform by thug leader L Dubba E, his protégé younger brother JTRO (Jason Trost) goes into isolation, vowing never to duel again. One year later, The FP is in ruins, and JTRO must find the courage to return and restore order in a ruthless battle for revenge that can only leave one man dancing.
FP 2: BEATS OF RAGE (director: Jason Trost) Despite hanging up his boots following the events of the cult classic “THE FP”, JTRO must return to the blood sport of Beat-Beat Revelation one last time. JTRO and KCDC - his mystical hype man - will quest deep into The Wastes, a land decimated by the Beat Wars, to compete in the ancient Beat-Beat tournament, called "Beats of Rage", face AK-47, and, hopefully, save the world. Imagine a MAD MAX style future, where battles to the death are fought via the video game Dance Dance Revolution, and you might have an inkling of the crazy and hilarious post-apocalyptic world of THE FP…..
THE INVISIBLE MOTHER (directors: Matthew Diebler and Jacob Gillman) WORLD PREMIERE at MidWest WeirdFest 2019! When lesbian stoner Marcy returns to her grandparents’ home to help care for her mentally declining grandmother, she discovers they are being terrorized by a malevolent force from a Victorian post-mortem photograph. THE INVISBLE MOTHER is a giallo-styled, terrifying descent into supernatural terror.
LAKE MICHIGAN MONSTER (director: Ryland Tews) The eccentric Captain Seafield hires a crew of specialists to help him plot revenge against the creature that killed his father. After several failed attempts, Seafield is forced to take matters into his own drunken hands. What began as a simple case of man verses beast, soon turns into a rabbit hole of mysterious unknowns and Lovecraftian hijinks. LAKE MICHIGAN MONSTER -- banned in four lakes!
THE LAST OF THE MANSON GIRLS (director: Lonnie Martin) Convinced there's more to the Manson murders than meets the public eye, counterculture journalist Paul Krassner embarks on an LSD tinged investigation of the last of Manson's disciples: Brenda McCann, Sandra Good, and Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme. What he finds could change how the world sees the 60s... if he lives long enough to tell the story. A riveting, speculative, and psychedelic journey into one of the darkest byways of 1960s Americana.
LET'S SCARE JULIE TO DEATH (director: Jud Cremata) WORLD PREMIERE at MidWest WeirdFest 2019! Shot in 85 real-time minutes, this is a bona fide one-shot movie and one of the first of its kind in the United States. The movie is a form of a cinéma vérité. The camera is a fly on the wall witnessing a ghost story unfold as it follows a group of teenage girls - who conduct a doomed Halloween prank - into the rainy, inky night. It will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout.
MILLENNIUM AFTER THE MILLENNIUM (Jason Morris) This new documentary focuses on Chris Carter’s landmark television series MILLENNIUM. Set twenty years after the show ended, we take a look back at what makes the show so enduring to fans and critics alike. Featuring every major crew and cast member: including Chris Carter, Lance Henriksen, Frank Spotnitz, Chip Johannessen and many, many more
ON THE TRAIL OF BIGFOOT (director: Seth Breedlove) From Small Town Monsters, and MidWest WeirdFest alumni filmmaker Seth Breedlove (THE MOTHAN OF POINT PLEASANT, THE BRAY ROAD BEAST), comes this enthralling documentary examining the history of the Bigfoot phenomenon. ON THE TRAIL OF BIGFOOT was filmed coast to coast during 2018 and features witnesses and investigators of the elusive creature. Prepare to go deeper into the Bigfoot subject than you've ever gone before.
REBORN (director: Julian Richards) A stillborn baby girl is brought back to life by a morgue attendant using electrokinetic power. On her sixteenth birthday she escapes her captor and sets out to find her birth mother leaving a trail of destruction behind her. Don’t miss this stunning modern twist on 70s and 80s horror classics like CARRIE, FIRESTARTER, and THE FURY. Stars genre legends Barbara Crampton (RE-ANIMATOR, BEYOND THE GATES) and Michael Parle (STREETS OF FIRE, THE PHILADELPHIA EXPERIMENT).
THE SECRET OF BYRON PREISS (director: James Renner) When journalist James Renner follows the clues from Byron Preiss's enigmatic 1982 book 'The Secret,' his cross-country search for buried treasure uncovers even deeper mysteries. This compelling documentary from a master storyteller, is one of the most fascinating documentaries of the decade.
TANGOBORN MENCLENTY (director: Ted Michaels) An absurdist comedy about an artificially manufactured moron (Tangoborn) who is tasked with saving the Earth from itself. There is your usual cast of Aliens, Bikers, Ninjas and a Refraction Biopter named Marigold. A pimp named Parquet keeps things grounded, as Tangoborn learns the importance of loyalty, true love, and putting on a good live sex show. A delightfully dark, surprisingly sweet, science-fiction-political-satire-love-story!
ZEROES (director: Charles Smith) After leaving a Halloween party dressed as ninjas, Kenneth and Ray - two drunken roommates - thwart a robbery and their heroics go viral. No litterer or public urinator is safe until an actual serial killer begins to ravage the city. Our inept crime-fighting duo, with the help of the enigmatic and insanely wealthy Gary, must catch the killer before Kenneth’s crush Kate becomes the next target. Hilarity abounds in this superhero spoof.