TerrorThon ’16: Boston Reel’s Q&A with programmer and filmmaker Izzy Lee

Catch the horror festival at Somerville Theatre from Thu 10.13 thru Sun 10.16

There’s no better place to get your creepy kicks this October than at Boston’s renowned independent and repertory theaters. Every year, our cinemas pull out all the stops to bring you the best in horror with marathons, rare prints of the greatest genre films, special guests, and more.

Kicking the season into high gear is TerrorThon ’16, a celebration of spooky cinema in all its forms, from camp (Rocky Horror Picture Show, Fri 10.14 midnight) to classic (Vincent Price double feature: House of Usher & Tales of Terror, Sun 10.16 2pm) and everything in between. We caught up with programmer and local filmmaker Izzy Lee about this year’s festival.

BOSTON REEL: This year’s program is quite diverse. How would you describe the unifying theme of TerrorThon?

IZZY LEE: TerrorThon is a celebration of the scarier side of cinema from the beloved (Ghostbusters 1984 on 70mm, Sat 10.15 1pm) to the brand new (The Master Cleanse Thu 10.13 7pm Found Footage 3D Thu 10.13 9:30pm, Egomaniac Fri 10.14 7:15pm, Blood Hunters Sat 10.15 7:30pm) to live scores with silent films (The Unknown with music by Jeff Rapsis, Sun 10.16 8pm) and more.

No matter where your tastes land on the spectrum of horror, you’ll find something awesome in the festival. We’ve have several films made by women in the festival as well. As a female filmmaker, it was very important to me that we represent our points of view at TerrorThon.

BR: Shorts are often overlooked gems at film festivals. What can festivalgoers expect from this year’s shorts block?

IL: I adore short films, and that’s not just because I make them. You can tell a great story in a small amount of time and leave people wanting more. It’s a way to tantalize with storytelling.

The block I’ve curated (Sat 10.15 5:15pm) consists of some of the best shorts I’ve seen in the last six months. Within the program, you have gothic horror, horror comedy, John Carpenter, a one-take, Oscar-eligible horror comedy that has played 160 festivals, and more. Two local filmmakers will be attending with their films and will participate in a Q&A (Andrea Mark Wolanin with Cleaning House, Corey Norman with White Drift).

BR: You’ve collaborated with Somerville Theatre in the past on festivals (Boston Underground Film Festival), live events (Jeffrey Combs in Nevermore: An Evening With Edgar Allan Poe), and more. What is it like working with the Somerville, both as a venue and as a collaborative partner?

IL: I have been involved with the Somerville Theatre on and off for a long time. Back in 2005, when what I like to call “BUFF 2.0” was launched, they were our home … I’ve also been marginally involved with one-off screening nights helping out with or programming Etheria (women’s horror, sci-fi, and fantasy films) as well as the now-defunct All Things Horror screening nights. I was also the shorts programmer for the Boston Sci-Fi Fest in 2010.

The Somerville Theatre is a fantastic partner for independent cinema. I love working with them. [General Manager] Ian Judge is a great guy and he really cares about local artists and events. We’re spoiled here with a few great art houses and repertory cinemas, but the Somerville is really special due to the independent spirit of the people that run it.

TERRORTHON ’16. Thu 10.13 thru Sun 10.16. Tix $15 unless otherwise posted. Full Festival pass for $125 available at box office only. Click here for full lineup and ticket information.

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