Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Remembering Housecore Horror
Film Festival

Musicians sampling horror films isn’t uncommon, with most metal artists identifying the horror genre as playing a significant role in their lyrics or general style.  The bonds between horror and metal are ancient; prompting one to wonder why it wasn’t until recently that an event merging these close cousins of expression was implemented. Phil Anselmo, perhaps best known as front man for ‘Pantera’ or ‘DOWN’, collaborated with Corey Mitchell to create the first annual Housecore Horror Film Festival, a 4-day celebration of the horror/metal community.  Classic Austin venues Emo’s and Antone’s hosted the bulk of the event, but the first day occurred at Dirty Dog Bar, not far downtown.  As the festival kicked off, unsure guests dressed in black could be seen wandering around, looking bored more than anything else, yet by the festival’s final day, a sea of black leather, obscure horror and band shirts, vests and studs surrounded every venue, leaving no doubt in one’s mind that this was one of the most important events of the year for both horror and metal fans alike.


Phil Anselmo is one of those characters either loved or hated, but his contributions to both metal and the horror community are wholly undisputed.  Having become an icon in both genres it’s no surprise that Anselmo would be heading this groundbreaking event.  Putting aside the narcissistic Housecore Horror Film Festival posters, the ones featuring a large drawing of Anselmo before a collage of memorable horror characters and musicians performing at the event, the bulk of the festival was exciting, varied and tasteful, allowing many fans opportunities to both see and even meet their favorite artists and filmmakers.HHFF

Perhaps the largest draw at Housecore Horror Film Festival was a special appearance by the legendary Goblin, best known for their numerous Argento scores, most notably, ‘Suspiria,’ which was performed in its entirety on Sunday evening, closing out the festival.  Goblin also performed on Friday evening, playing many of their famous tracks from ‘Tenebre,’ ‘Phenomena,’ Zombi,’ ‘Profondo Rosso,’ and even delving into some of their more obscure Giallo scores.  Representing the main point where the music and film coalesce, Goblin’s performance was something American fans have been waiting decades to see.  The prog-rock group’s appearance at HHFF also marked the end of their first American tour, a sensational finale to a predominantly sold out nation wide tour.  The band was remarkably precise at the festival, delivering a performance that effortlessly eclipsed their appearance in Baltimore’s Ottobar earlier that month.  After 4 solid days of film and music, Goblin’s live score to Suspiria was packed with drunken, weary fans.  With the festival grounds desolate and empty, everyone knew that Goblin’s closing show was a once in a lifetime experience, something that couldn’t be missed, leveling the gap between performers and fans, all paying homage to the Italian masters.


The classic German surrealist film, ‘The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari,’ was also honored with a live scoring by Mayhem’s Atilla Csihar.  Directly following an insane GWAR performance, Csihar’s score was packed with drunken, soaked and confused fans taking in the silent film.  Anyone familiar with Atilla’s work with Mayhem could guess what his scoring to ‘The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari’ would entail, a stream of guttural chanting and black metal screams.  Despite the abstract quality of Csihar’s score, the film’s eerie, grainy images were perfectly complimented by the dark, murky vocals, giving the picture a refreshing potency.

One of the beautiful aspects of the Housecore Horror Film Festival was the variety of films and performers, with seasoned veterans and cult classics sharing space with unreleased underground efforts, newer musicians and acts leaning towards novelty.  One could watch ‘Birth Of The Living Dead,’ a Romero based documentary about his NOTLD franchise, and immediately after, go see California death metal group, ‘A Band Of Orcs,’ delivering a schlocky and unforgettable set in the vein of GWAR.  Celebrated Fulci classics like ‘The Beyond,’ and ‘Zombie,’ shared screens with newer creative efforts like ‘Cat In The Brain,’ and ‘The Whore Church Vol 1,’ a sensational mixtape, seamlessly blending horror culture, gore porn, and B grade videos with metal music.  With newcomers like this, exhibiting their intimate familiarity with horror and metal culture, it’s evident that the spirit of horror is far from extinguished, basically the mission statement for the Housecore Horror Film Festival as a whole.


The courtyard between Emo’s and Antone’s was filled with vendors, offering horror merchandise ranging from homemade jewelry and clothing, to posters and signed stills.  Ruggero Deodato, esteemed director of ‘Cannibal holocaust,’ and ‘House On The Edge Of The Park,’ could be found sitting quietly behind a table of photographs.  After speaking to Deodato, his severe language barrier became clear, further prompting one to respect Anselmo’s efforts in arranging such a vast international collection of guests.  Although regretfully, José Mojica Marins, better known as ‘Coffin Joe, was unable to attend due to a case of yellow fever, a saddening blow to guests, eager to meet the living legend.  Also present was Geretta Geretta, best known for her performance as Rosemary from Lamberto Bava’s 1985 ‘Demons’.  ‘First Jason,’ Ari Lehman’s musical group dedicated to his role as Jason Vorhees in ‘Friday the 13th’ was yet another example of the convergence of both music and film.  Lehman, wielding a synthesizer attached to a giant machete has created, ‘First Jason,’ a dedication to the spirit of his early performance as Jason, with tracks like ‘Jason Never Dies,’ the experience is both bizarre and entertaining.  Approaching Lehman’s table, one is welcomed to Camp Crystal Lake, which features musical figurines and behind-the-scenes stills of Lehman’s cosmetic transformation from a boy into the mongoloid Jason Vorhees.  Lehman described the process of working with special effects genius Tom Savini at such a young age, when first listening to The Doors record, ‘Strange Days,’ allowed him to remain transfixed and motionless while Savini applied makeup, turning “a young boy into a monster”.  More of a novelty act than the more seriously hailed ‘Goblin,’ ‘First Jason,’ exists as yet another point where metal culture and horror overlap.

Besides Goblin’s first set, Friday’s performances included Little Rock doom metal band, ‘Pallbearer,’ delivering tracks from their 2012 ‘Sorrow and Extinction.’  Also playing on Friday was influential grindcore legends, ‘Repulsion,’ performing parts of their famous album, ‘Horrified.’  Originally called ‘Genocide,’ ‘Repulsion,’ coined their name from Polanski’s film of the same title, a great example of horror’s musical influences.  When speaking with the band, they voiced their concerns, which were shared by numerous other performers, that the festival’s blending of film and live performance, while appearing ideal on paper, posed a problematic translation into reality, especially when concerning the mindset of fans drinking during the musical aspects of the festival and then sitting quietly in a theatre, where paying close attention is imperative.  This riff could potentially force guests to choose between experiencing either the films or live performances throughout the festival.  But it can also be assumed that attendees of the Housecore Horror Film Festival arrived with some semblance of an agenda regarding what they most wanted to see or experience.  If the translation of the written festival into the actuality proved somewhat rough, it was not so much as to inhibit the HHFF’s overall success.


From the film standpoint, Friday closed with Jörg Buttgereit’s ‘Nekromantik,’ a respected cult classic and the supreme example of German Splatter Cinema.  Housecore Horror Film Festival boasted an appearance by Buttgereit, who signed autographs, greeted fans and introduced screenings for a number of his films, including, ‘Nekromantik 2,’ and ‘Schramm.’  Buttgereit also voiced his concerns at the problematic nature of merging both musical performance with film, but was fond of the idea and commended the spirit of the entire festival.  Buttgereit, who hasn’t made a horror film in decades, has been active in Germany creating radio dramas, which he stated were far more monetarily successful than his cult classics, despite the popularity of those infamous films in the United States.  Buttgereit was surprised that his classic works, like ‘Nekromantik,’ which he made so long ago were of so much interest to Americans when in Germany there existed little to no market for such explorations into graphic horror.  When asked about his role in the German Splatter Cinema movement, Buttgereit responded that there was no movement, just a handful of directors creating pictures that were wholly unsuccessful in their native country, with a majority of the efforts being released directly onto video.  Having been approached by various metal groups, most notably ‘Kreator,’ to make music videos, Buttgereit voiced his admiration of heavy metal music, and while unfamiliar with many of the performers playing at HHFF, he supported the enthusiasm.  Buttgereit is currently seeking funding for a new collaborative film, ‘German Angst,’ with fellow filmmakers Michal Kosakowski and Andreas Masrchall.  With the kickstarter goal set so high, Buttgereit is concerned that the production will have difficulty attaining the goal enabling the creation of the picture.  Despite the disturbing nature of Jörg Buttgereit’s films, the seasoned director was very convivial and could be found throughout the event walking around the courtyard or taking in live performances.


Saturday offered performances by ‘The Melvins,’ ‘Goatwhore,’ and ‘Whitechapel,’ but all were eclipsed by a full force ‘GWAR show.  Seasoned trash, comedy metal veterans brought out everything for their set, drenching fans with the blood of Justin Beber and The Pope, among numerous other victims, all to the immense enjoyment of the crowd.  Throughout the remainder of the festival, those who attended the GWAR show could easily be identified; their skin and clothes stained a mélange of red, pink and blue.  Running through classics and stepping into newer material, GWAR’s performance was one of the highlights of Housecore Horror Film Festival and perhaps its most energetic set, an example of a moment when everything came into place.

The final day of Housecore Horror Film Festival offered performances by Baltimore/ Virginia grindcore locals, ‘Pig Destroyer,’ and NOLA sludge group, ‘Eyehategod,’ before Goblin’s climatic live scoring of ‘Suspiria.’  Playing with a new bassist, ‘Pig Destroyer,’ commented upon how pleased they were to be at Anselmo’s festival.  The group played a number of tracks from all of their albums, but when asked, it was mutually agreed that ‘Terrifyer,’ was their favorite record.  ‘Eyehategod,’ appeared later in the evening, with Melvins’ Coady Willis sitting in for the recent passing of drummer Joey LaCaze.  Sitting down with Jörg Buttgereit and Eyehategod members, Jimmy Bower and Mike Williams, it came up that Williams has a tattoo from ‘Der Todesking,’ one of Buttgereit’s earlier films, and an interesting coincidence.  The filmmaker and musicians also mentioned their concerns that the film and musical elements of the festival appear much better on paper than in reality, but were overjoyed that such an event was finally occurring.  During this time, Buttgereit shared an anecdote about esteemed horror director, Lucio Fulci.  At a festival some years before, the ‘Nekromantik’ director encountered Fulci’s daughter, who mentioned her father’s desire to watch Buttgereit’s ‘Nekromantik 2,’ and after sending a copy, received word of the great Italian horror director’s untimely passing.  Buttgereit has since wondered if his film was the last thing to be seen by the great Fulci.


As the Housecore Horror Film Festival came to a close, musicians, filmmakers and fans alike were crowded into Emo’s to watch Goblin perform ‘Suspiria,’ in its entirety.  Despite the absence of Coffin Joe, a devastating blow, fans remained positive, making the festival a success with an atmosphere of enthusiasm and excitement.  Fans and performers were no different, sharing their common love for horror movies and metal music.  With the first annual Housecore Horror Film Festival over, many are eagerly awaiting next year’s lineup.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Danisthebastard

    November 25, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    Was fortunate enough to see Goblin go through songs from their catalog on Friday and they were awesome.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like


via Lazer Horse There’s nothing funny about death really. But there is a lot of certainty to it. There’s not a person who’s ever...

Black Metal

During the first year of CVLT Nation, I was turned on to this unreal band from Wales called GHAST. Their release Terrible Cemetery was...

Black Metal

More Chaos! More Fury! More Rancid Riffs! only begins to tell you how CVLT Nation’s Blackened Everything Vol. IX is going to get you...


By Sascha via Behold The Blessed Wax Trial – Moments Of Collapse LP, 1986 This is not a write up about the Straight Edge...

Copyright © 2020 ZoxPress Theme. Theme by MVP Themes, powered by WordPress.