Horror Elite Celebrate Second 'Reaper'13 Oct, 2010 By: Chris Tribbey
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — Steve “Uncle Creepy” Barton, co-founder and editor-in-chief of DreadCentral.com, was a little worried after the inaugural Reaper Awards in 2009, which honored the best horror-themed DVDs and Blu-ray Discs in the industry.
“It was so cool, but with any new endeavor, especially in a tough economy, you never know if you’ll be able to do it again after it’s over,” Barton said Oct. 12. “You hope you can do again, only better.”
No need for concern: The second Reaper Awards was more raucous, standing-room only, and offered hope that the home entertainment horror genre will get its annual due for years to come.
A dozen “Grimmy” statuettes were handed out during the evening, with the top Best of Show award going to Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy, a four-hour retrospective of the original “Nightmare on Elm Street” franchise, from CAV Distributing and 1428 Films.
“We did it as fans,” said Never Sleep Again producer Dan Farrands. “We wanted to pay respect to the franchise, and we latched on to the idea that New Line [Cinema] was the house that Freddy built.
“And the fact that there’s now an entire night for the entire horror genre on DVD makes our work feel really respected.”
“We need this,” echoed actress Brooke Lewis (Miss Vampy, Dahmer vs. Gacy). “There are so many great horror movies that will never get a theatrical release, and tonight showcases the best ones that you’ll find on DVD and Blu-ray.”
Actress Eileen Dietz (Halloween II) compared the Reaper Awards to the first time the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences decided to award an Oscar for Best Makeup (1981), and noted that the Reaper Awards were held in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, host to the first Academy Awards in 1929.
“We’re making history,” said actor David Dorfman (the "Ring" films). “Maybe 70 years from now they’ll say ‘The first Reaper awards were held here!’”
While that might be looking a bit ahead, Dorfman reflected an upbeat and excited attitude among a very close community of horror directors, producers, writers and actors.
“This is such a tight community, and seeing everyone in one place is an amazing experience,” said Mirrors 2 producer Todd Williams. “Today horror movies don’t have to hide in the shadows. Quite the opposite.”
Director Adam Green (Hatchet, Frozen) said the first Reaper Awards were an experiment. The second one was a vindication.
“This year everyone wanted to know how to get in!” he said. “They wouldn’t stop asking.”
Hatchet II failed to earn an ‘R’ rating from the Motion Picture Association of America and was pulled out of AMC theaters at the last minute earlier this month. In a nod to the slight, while presenting the Grimmy for Best Indie or Foreign Title (won by Anchor Bay Entertainment’s Grace), co-presenter Joe Lynch (director, Wrong Turn 2) strapped duct tape over Green’s mouth.
“Horror fans are the type that like to own their horror movies, so they can watch them over and over, unrated,” said Jacqueline Kelly, writer and producer of MTI Home Video’s Sutures, which was nominated for Best Direct-To-Video Title. “You can’t do that in the theaters.”
Sarah Butler, who stars in Anchor Bay Entertainment’s I Spit on Your Grave, said DVD, Blu-ray and electronic delivery bring movies to the masses that they might never have had access to otherwise.
“A night like this is so important for films like ours,” she said.
Albino Farm actor Nick Richey offered up a cliché “it’s just nice to be nominated” (Best Indie or Foreign Title) but like everyone else that night, he meant it.
“Where else do we have a forum to recognize our films like this?” he said. “It’s amazing. It raises awareness.”
Reaper Award nominees were selected by a panel of judges, and the winners were chosen by a consumer vote, conducted in September. DreadCentral’s Barton said consumer participation in the 2010 vote was nearly double that of 2009.
“I hope we have a third one,” he said. “Any good horror franchise needs three.”