The NYC Horror Film Festival had a huge day planned on Saturday. The third day of the festival opened at noon and played all through the night with a main event featuring the Candyman, Tony Todd, receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award. The 16th year of the festival originated by the late Michael J. Hein saw packed houses this year since Thursday and already set their festival attendance record. I got to the Cinepolis Chelsea at around 4:00pm, right in time to catch two awesome programs including a feature that is likely to end up in my Top 10 horror films of 2018.
Each year for over a decade and half, the New York City Horror Film Festival has handed out its Lifetime Achievement Award to an icon of horror cinema. The festival was created and organized by the late Michael J. Hein back in 2002 and the first two recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award were George A. Romero and Tom Savini.
Perhaps fittingly this year’s recipient was Tony Todd, who broke into the horror genre in Savini’s 1990 remake of Romero’s classic Night of the Living Dead. Two years later, he became a true horror legend when he played the titular hook-handed Candyman in Bernard Rose’s film based on the Clive Barker story The Forbidden. Since then Todd has used his massive 6’5″ frame, size-16 shoe, and deep voice to leave a lasting impression on the horror industry with appearances in the Final Destination franchise, Hatchet 1 & 2, Masters of Horror, and more. Saturday night at the Cinepolis Chelsea, The Candyman showed up to a sell-out crowd (with probably 50+ others standing in the aisle) to accept his award and partake in a Q&A.
While others are getting ready to light the menorah and decorate the tree, the fine folks at the New York City Horror Film Festival are still in pure Halloween mode. The 16th annual film festival, which started Thursday night, November 29th, was dedicated to its late founder and director Michael J. Hein, and emanated out of the Cinepolis Chelsea. Opening night saw an appearance from acclaimed horror producer/writer/director Mick Garris (The Stand, Masters of Horror), who was there to help kick off the festival with the horror anthology Nightmare Cinema, to which he contributed. Also there was Tony Timpone, longtime editor of Fangoria magazine. I made it in time for night 2 and was treated to an amazing evening of short- and feature-length horror from the cerebral to the emotional to the utterly insane.