The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust (PCT) has announced the return of the Januscary Film Festival at the Harris Theater, January 6-11. Back with six different new and classic horror films, this film festival dares to be scarier than ever.
Januscary features a one-day-only Abbott & Costello double feature hosted by Pittsburgh Magazine’s Sean Collier on January 8. Children 12 and under can enjoy this screening completely for free! The five remaining films include Slash/Back, Kids vs. Aliens, Huesera, Thrust! and Satanic Hispanics.
“When thinking of classic horror icons, one will likely imagine the likes of Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, or the Wolf Man. However, there are two that are severely overlooked,” said Joseph Morrison, programming and venue manager of the Harris Theater. “Bud Abbott and Lou Costello are unconventional, but should be considered horror icons in their own way. The legendary comedy duo left a huge mark on the comedy scene and pioneered many techniques of both stand-up and movie comedy. They also helped save not only their own careers but the longevity of Universal Monsters as well. I am beyond excited to bring this and the other great horror films to the Harris as a part of Januscary.”
Guests can purchase tickets to all Januscary films* by building a five-film festival pass in their cart, which saves $3 per ticket. Each festival pass purchase includes a free exclusive Januscary enamel pin and an introductory partners membership to the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. For tickets, visit the Harris Theater box office, call 412-456-6666, or buy online at TrustArts.org/Film.
*The film Thrust! is excluded from the film pass and requires a separate $15 ticket.
January 6 @ 5:30 p.m. | January 9 @ 7:30 p.m. | January 11 @ 5:30 p.m.
Slash/Back tells the story of Inuit teenagers who go toe-to-bodysnatched-toe with alien invaders who’ve slithered into the skins of local policemen and wildlife. While the odds are stacked against Maika (Tasiana Shirley), Uki (Nalajoss Ellsworth), and Jesse (Alexis Vincent-Wolfe), they know their horror movie tropes, descend from a long line of hunters, and aren’t about to take any nonsense from extraterrestrial invaders. Drawing from both Hollywood classics like The Thing and traditional Inuit stories of the shapeshifting Ijiraq, Nyla Innuksuk’s exuberant debut harnesses genre cinema’s allegorical power to revisit colonial histories and explore contemporary Indigeneity, while also delivering enough suspense and spectacle to put many studio efforts to shame. Bolstered by its gregarious performances and suffused with a sense of community (it employed a largely local crew), Slash/Back possesses a warrior spirit that’s as endearing as it is indomitable.
Kids vs. Aliens
January 6 @ 7:30 p.m. | January 9 @ 5:30 p.m.
Director Jason Eisener exploded onto the genre scene with his brilliant tribute to exploitation cinema with Hobo with a Shotgun and his groundbreaking wrestling documentary Dark Side of The Ring. Eisener returns reminding everyone there’s no-one quite like him when it comes to mixing the ridiculous and the sublime with a good dose of ultra violence thrown in. Kids vs. Aliens follows Gary alongside his sister Samantha and their group of young friends as they find themselves in a showdown with not only against the school bullies but also an alien invasion. What follows is an action epic packed end-to-end with brilliant set pieces and the most foul-mouthed group of children you’re ever likely to encounter.
January 7 @ 5 p.m. | January 10 @ 7:30 p.m.
A terrifying journey into motherhood, Huesera mines the body horror of pregnancy to create a disturbing new folktale. Valeria (Natalia Solián) seems to have it all: a doting husband (Alfonso Dosal), a beautiful apartment and a new baby on the way. But her pregnancy has brought on a paralyzing wave of anxiety, spurred by increasingly disconcerting visions and uncontrollable bone cracking. Unable to shake the growing dread inside, she flees to a free-spirited old flame looking for relief from the demon haunting her every move. Michelle Garza Cervera won the Nora Ephron Award and Best New Narrative Director at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival for her nightmarish examination of modern motherhood and its frightening expectations.
Thrust! ($15 Screening)
January 7 | 7:30 p.m.
Tranzient Pictures brings you their first feature length film, Thrust!, a low budget exploitation film featuring a dystopian world run by girl gangs. The story centers on two lovers, Aloe & Vera, hailing from The Punk Boiz as they embark on a marijuana-fueled revenge journey and weave their way through the colorful apocalypse trying to rid their world of the last male scumbag alive, who is wreaking havoc amongst the female ruled future. Filmed almost entirely in Dayton, Ohio and featuring an ensemble cast of independent actresses, professional wrestlers, underground filmmakers, musicians and punks, Thrust! is an exploitation fantasy like no other. Writer/Director Victor Bonacore will be in attendance for this Pennsylvania premiere.
Abbott & Costello Double Feature
January 8 @ 4:00 p.m.
Join classic movie aficionado Sean Collier as he hosts a double feature of funny and fantastical films from comedy legends Bud Abbott and Lou Costello with screenings of Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein and Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy. Children 12 and under are free.
January 8 @ 7:30 p.m. | January 10 @ 5:00 p.m. | January 11 @ 7:30 p.m.
Bringing together the incredible talents of Alejandro Brugués, Demien Rugna, Ed Sanchez, Mike Mendez, and Gigi Saul Guerrero, Satanic Hispanics sets the stage opening on a police raid on a mystery location where a brutal massacre has happened and only one survivor remains.