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Reaper Winners Praise Event

14 Oct, 2009 By: Chris Tribbey

When it comes to the importance of recognizing horror DVDs, Ben Rock, director of Alien Raiders, said it best Oct. 13.

“About damn time,” he said before the first annual Reaper Awards, held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, home to the first Academy Awards in 1929.

The Reaper Awards are produced by Home Media Magazine and DreadCentral.com.

Steve “Uncle Creepy” Barton from DreadCentral.com played host for the awards ceremony.

“It’s fantastic that someone’s finally doing this,” said Hatchet director Adam Green. “I see these people all the time with work, but it’s great to have them all here in one spot. And there’s an open bar!”

Horror actors, directors, producers and studio representatives packed the hotel in hopes of seeing their films take home one of the first Grimmys, a dark and disturbing Grim Reaper statuette that only horror people and Death himself could love. Anchor Bay Entertainment and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment each laid claim to four of the awards, with Anchor Bay’s Hellraiser Lament Configuration Box Set taking the best in show prize.

“I’m beyond honored. I thought the show was BS until I heard we were nominated,” said Robert Hall, writer and director of Laid to Rest, which won a Best Slasher award. “Hopefully next we can get an Academy Award for stuntmen. And maybe an Oscar just for horror.”

Producer and director Mick Garris added that the event also was a great way to single out horror titles on Blu-ray Disc, noting that he’s got Blu-ray players in his living room, bedroom and office.

“That’s the beauty of this awards show. It recognizes the unsung heroes of DVD,” said Dan Farrands, producer of The Haunting in Connecticut, which earned Best Ghost Story honors. “And the great thing about Blu-ray is you can do so much more. It used to be that the studios would tell you: ‘You’ve done too much’ for DVD.”

Carla-Rae Holland, actress from MTI Home Video’s Imprint, said the horror genre has become so big, an awards show just for horror DVDs was inevitable.

“At theaters you have that communal experience, but the flipside is in the home surrounding, a good horror film can make that bookcase look scary,” said Robert Burnett, producer of Warner Home Video's The Hills Run Red.

Dressed mostly in black, tattoos and body piercings, the enthusiastic crowd cheered for both the winners and the runners up, often yelling out their support for a Grimmy winner, or voicing their opinions on apparent snubs.

“Interesting crowd,” quipped Declan O'Brien, director of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment’s Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead. “It’s the full cross-section of the horror DVD industry.”

Nick Principe, who played ChromeSkull in Laid to Rest, said he couldn’t believe the film had beaten out fellow Slasher nominee “The Jason Slasher Collection” from Warner Home Video.

A video thank you from Michael Felsher, winner of the Lifetime Achievement Grimmy for his DVD work, earned the biggest laughs of the evening. It included commentary and deleted scenes.

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