Leif Jonker’s passion for horror is so strong it’s scary.
Known for directing the made-in-Wichita vampire film “Darkness” in 1988 (the film went on to a be a cult hit), Jonker has taken it upon himself to organize a horror film festival in Wichita — again.
For the second year, October at the Old Town Horror Festival will present four classic horror movies curated by Jonker throughout the month of October. Here they are, all at the Warren Old Town:
• Monday and Tuesday: “The Thing” (1982) — John Carpenter’s film follows scientists in the Antarctic who are confronted by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of the people it kills. Kurt Russell stars. Showtimes are 7 and 10 p.m.
• Oct. 15-16: “An American Werewolf in London” (1981) — John Landis directed this horror/comedy about two American tourists (David Naughton and Griffin Dunne) in Britain who are attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists.
• Oct. 22-23: “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (1974) — The one that started it all. Tobe Hooper’s grisly screamfest follows five friends visiting their grandpa’s old house who are hunted down and terrorized by a chainsaw-wielding killer and his family of cannibals.
• Oct. 29-30: “Dawn of the Dead” (1978) — George A. Romero’s sequel to “Night of the Living Dead” is arguably the best of the series, following a group of survivors who outrun zombies and seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall. Filmgoers are encouraged to come to the screening dressed as zombies. Just don’t get any fake blood on your popcorn.
Tickets for all shows are $5.
The festival, which is sponsored by the Warren Old Town, Clear Neon, 104.5 the Fox and We Know Motion, is a fundraising benefit for Mosaic Homeless Outreach, which helps and feeds area homeless people.
Upcoming indies — I’m told these independent films are slated to open at the Warren Theatre (east) in the near future (dates are subject to change):
• Friday (tentative): “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” — An introverted freshman (Logan Lerman) is taken under the wings of two seniors (Ezra Miller and Emma Watson), who welcome him to the adult world. Based on the popular novel.
• Oct. 19: “Samsara” — Filmed over five years in 25 countries on five continents, and shot on 70mm film, this documentary explores the varied worlds of sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial complexes and natural wonders.
• November: “The Sessions” — This Sundance Film Festival favorite follows a man in an iron lung who wishes to lose his virginity and contacts a professional sex surrogate with the help of his therapist and priest. John Hawkes, Helen Hunt and William H. Macy star.
Tallgrass countdown — The Tallgrass Film Festival has announced its full lineup, and it looks like we have some great films headed our way for the festival, Oct. 18-21 in downtown Wichita. Go to www.tallgrassfilmfest.com to see the lineup.
And look for the festival program guide that will run in Friday’s Eagle.