Local Event

Published on October 25th, 2017 | by TLV News


Oxford Film Festival Halloween Double Feature Bash

written by Jaime Adams

Oxford Film Festival will again host the 1975 cult classic, Rocky Horror Picture Show (RHPS), at the Powerhouse on October 31. This year’s show will feature not only the treasured tale of sexual liberation, but also a showing of the newly restored legendary horror film, Halloween. Doors open at 6:30 pm and the first film starts at 7 pm sharp.

Several levels of ticketing are available. A $30 ticket includes entrance to both films, popcorn, and candy. A cash bar with both alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks will also be available. Prop bags with participation goodies for RHPS will be available for $10.

New this year is a VIP ticket option for $50. This includes entrance to the films, appetizers and drinks in the VIP lounge, and the prop bag for Rocky. VIP ticket holders also have reserved seats in the theatre and a private party room. All proceeds from the evening support the 2018 Oxford Film Festival in February.

Only 200 tickets are available for the event. Melanie Addington, executive director of Oxford Film Festival, recommends that movie goers get their tickets ahead of time. “We really encourage people to buy in advance so that the huge lines and sell out don’t happen again like last year. We hated turning people away and want everyone who really wants to be there to have a chance!” Though state funding cuts have meant less money for the film festival, Melanie is hoping to offset those cuts with proceeds from the event. “If we sell out we are half way there on making up for the loss—so I hope people come out and support not just the fun Halloween event but in turn support the actual film fest!”

Organizers hope to make this year’s event even more exciting for fans. “We want to make it more of a party and not just a screening. We are adding more Halloween decorations, more food and drink offerings, and more fun. Fergndan’s Pizza will be set up outside, and folks are encouraged to dress in costume,” said Melanie.

RHPS is all about audience partici . . . pation. If you haven’t experienced the movie live, then you haven’t experienced it. “Whenever I meet anyone who has never seen it with a crowd, I feel I have to drag them to the show. Everyone should try it at least once. It’s not just watching a movie, it is truly an experience,” said Melanie. “Last year, we had an amazing actress leading the screening up front who helped guide the numerous virgins (first-time viewers) through the experience. We plan even more of that this year. Theatre Oxford has generously volunteered a few local actors to encourage the crowd to get involved.” In addition to the return of last year’s mistress of ceremonies, Jaime Adams, local actors Josh Heylin and Casey Dillard will be on hand to share scenes with movie goers and invigorate the crowd. Audience members are highly encouraged to participate in the shouting, dancing, and general debauchery of the evening.

The RHPS experience is so unique that most people never forget their virgin screening. For Melanie, this occurred at the age of 15. “I had just moved to Atlanta and saw Rocky shortly after that in a theatre with a full cast. I quickly got hooked and ended up joining the cast for about three years. I think I have seen Rocky at least 300 times. Being a misfit in my teens, the Rocky crew gave me a place to really explore who I was and a fun safe space to meet lots of unique people.”

Not only does Rocky promise to be a great experience for participants, but film buffs will also enjoy the new upgrades to the Powerhouse for the screenings. The Yoknapatawpha Arts Council (YAC) has recently purchased a new wireless Epson projector. Kayleigh Graham, facilities coordinator for YAC and assistant director of the film festival, is looking forward to showing it off at the bash. “The new projector is bigger, brighter, and better all around. Fans should really enjoy it.”

The newly restored 1978 classic should be better than ever for this showing. “Halloween came out the year I was born, said Melanie. “I saw the original way too young. I feel I have been terrified of Michael Myers my entire life. John Carpenter is one of the horror masters and I think with some new Halloween films coming out the next couple of years, it is good to revisit this classic. I know I haven’t seen it in years! The thing is, it may seem campy now after 30 years of horror films that have become much more about torture and blood. But Carpenter took just a creepy guy in a mask getting out of a mental institution and stalking a babysitter. Even though he showed very little, he scared the crap out of you. Plus—Jamie Lee Curtis. I mean it’s Jamie Lee Curtis! So how could you not see it? Though younger fans may recognize her as the Dean in Scream Queens, she is revisiting her role as Laurie Strode in the new Halloween next year. I really think fans are going to enjoy it.”

The fan experience was a highlight of last year’s event for Kayleigh Graham. “What I enjoyed most was how into the movie the audience was. So many people were shouting along, singing and dancing, and just having a great time. The energy in the room was beautiful.” With it being their first time presenting Rocky, organizers weren’t sure what to expect in Oxford. “We were thrilled to see so many people joining in. They clearly had a range of Rocky backgrounds and it blew me away what a great audience we had.”

Perhaps the only thing about the evening that isn’t exciting is the amount of cleanup required following the shows. Hundreds of rolls of toilet paper wrapped around 200 chairs is no joke. This is especially true when mixed with rice, rubber gloves, glow sticks, confetti, bells, water, and newspapers; all of which are included in the prop bag. Participants are welcome to bring their own props, but items like hotdogs, mustard, prunes, and open flames are discouraged. “YAC and the Powerhouse have been amazing supporters of the festival and screenings such as this. We just have to promise to clean up after!” said Addington.

Melanie adds that there is still a need for up to 25 more volunteers to assist with the evening. Interested parties can visit oxfordfilmfest.com to sign up. Not only do they get to participate in pulling off an evening of frivolity and fun, volunteers earn perks towards the upcoming film fest. Rewards range from a ticket to a screening to hours toward earning a VIP pass to the film fest events in February.

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About the Author

The Local Voice is a bimonthly entertainment guide and newspaper based in Oxford, Mississippi, covering and distributed in North Central Mississippi, including Oxford, Ole Miss, Taylor, Abbeville, Water Valley, Lafayette County, Yalobusha County, and parts of Panola County, Marshall County, and Tupelo . The Local Voice is distributed free to over 255 locations in North Mississippi and also available as a full color PDF download worldwide on the internet.

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