Brian Pulido wants nothing more than to share his love of death and dismemberment with the rest of the world. And he’s doing a right fine job of it.
Pulido, creator of Chaos Comics and author of the ubersplattery “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” titles, is touting the movie selections at this year’s International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival, the two-yearold Tempe-based showcase that he co-founded. And though he’s seen — and illustrated — more grisly bloodletting than a Spanish inquisitor, Pulido still manages to affect the nerdy enthusiasm of a pimplyfaced teenage kid.
“Filmwise, the one I’m excited about is called ‘Unrest,’ ” says Pulido, who — along with executive director Chris LaMont and senior director Jason Carney — has assembled an arsenal of 60 short films and features. “It’s about some first-year medical students in an anatomy class who discover that their cadavers might not be at rest. Very moody and eerie. It’s phenomenal.”
Leading off the festival Friday night, Oct. 27, is a screening of “Snoop Dogg’s Hood of Horror,” starring the gangly rapper as a Rod Serlinglike impresario who holds court over three inner-city-themed tales of the macabre. Among the science fiction selections, Pulido speaks highly of “Evil Aliens,” which he describes as a “fun, ridiculous movie. … Three Stooges meets an outerspace splatter epic.”
There will also be a new, Lucasfilm-approved reel of “Star Wars” fan films, which Pulido says was one of last year’s most popular attractions.
Last year, the festival — conceived as a niche-genre cousin to LaMont’s Phoenix International Film Festival — was considered quite a success, drawing 3,000 ticket buyers. Organizers hope to draw more than 5,000 this year.
Celebrity guests will include 1980s scream queens Heather Langenkamp (“A Nightmare on Elm Street”) and P.J. Soles (“Halloween”) — both seminal figures in the slasher genre, and both fetish objects to the Valley’s thirty- and fortysomething movie dork fan base.
“Soles is quite a number,” Pulido says. “And Langenkamp is the prototype ’80s horror queen. Her role in ‘Nightmare’ began the paradigm shift — the victimized woman who becomes the hero. It’s great to have her here, because she was such an important icon. And she’s still hot.”
Langenkamp will appear at a screening of “Nightmare” Saturday night. Also appearing at the festival will be writerdirector Mick Garris, director of several Stephen King adaptations (“Riding the Bullet,” “Desperation”).
All told, at least 30 filmmakers from various nations will represent their films at the festival’s hub, Harkins Centerpoint theaters. That’s a lot of freaky, viscerascrambling inspiration to assemble under one roof, admits Pulido.
“For just one, glorious weekend, it’s our goal to darken the heart of the Valley of the Sun.”
>> The International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival runs Friday, Oct. 27, through Sunday, Oct. 29, at Harkins Centerpoint, 730 S. Mill Ave., Tempe. Single screenings $8; four-film Flexipass $24; All-Access pass $100. (602) 955-6444 or horrorscifi.com.