Screamfest 2017: First Programing Wave Includes ‘Tragedy Girls’, ‘Leatherface’

It’s almost Halloween season, which means it’s almost the best time of year to be a horror movie fan. On top of the countless old horror films that will playing on countless TV channels, every October brings a bounty of new releases via the genre film festivals that pop up nationwide.

Screamfest, the longest-running horror film festival in America, returns for its 17th annual film festival this year and the first wave of programming is in. Screamfest 2017 will featue the world premiere Ron Carlson‘s Dead Ant, starring Tom Arnold, Sean Astin and Leisha Hailey and the North American premiere of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre prequel Leatherface, along with the Los Angeles premiere of festival hits Tragedy Girls and Ruin Me.

Image via Screamfest

Film festival badges are currently on sale at the official Screamfest LA website and individual film tickets will be available end of September 2017. All screenings are open to the general public. Winners will receive a 24 karat gold dipped skull trophy designed by the legendary, Academy award-winning special make-up effects creator, Stan Winston, who partnered with the festival until his passing.

“I am extremely honored to serve as this year’s Sreamfest ambassador,” said this year’s Screamfest ambassador, actor Dominic Monaghan.  “I applaud Screamfest and its Founder and Festival Director Rachel Belofsky for embracing the work of filmmakers and actors in the horror genre.  I’m a big fan of this space, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of a fest that truly acknowledges unique and creative work.”

Check out all the details on the Screamfest 2017’s first programming wave below:

DEAD ANT (USA) 2017 

Directed by Ron Carlson 

Written by Ron Carlson  

Produced by Ron Carlson and Stephanie Hodos 

Cast: Tom Arnold, Sean Astin, Jake Busey, Ryhs Coiro, Leisha Hailey, Cameron Richardson and Danny Woodburn 

World Premiere 

When the “one-hit-wonder” glam-metal band “Sonic Grave” embark on a trip to coachella in hopes of a comeback, their peyote trip pit stop in Joshua Tree incites an “unworldly” viscous attack, and they must “rock” themselves out of harms way.


Directed by Julien Maury, Alexandre Bustillo 

Written by Seth M. Sherwood 

Produced by Carl Mazzocone, Christa Campbell, Lati Grobman, Les Weldon 

Cast: Stephen Dorff, Lili Taylor, Sam Strike, Sam Coleman, Vanessa Grasse 

North American Premiere 

In Texas, years before the events of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, in the early days of the infamous Sawyer family, the youngest child is sentenced to a mental hospital after a suspicious incident leaves the sheriff’s daughter dead. Ten years later, the Sawyer teen kidnaps a young nurse and escapes with three other inmates. Pursued by authorities including the deranged sheriff out to avenge his daughter’s death, Sawyer goes on a violent road trip from hell, molding him into the monster now known as Leatherface.

Image via Screamfest

RUIN ME (USA) 2017 

Directed by Preston DeFrancis 

Written by Trysta A. Bissett, Preston DeFrancis 

Produced by Rebecca G. Stone 

Cast: Marcienne Dwyer, Matt Dellapina, Chris Hill, Eva Hamilton, John Odom, Cameron Gordon, Sam Ashdown 

LA Premiere 

Alexandra reluctantly tags along for Slasher Sleepout, an extreme event that is part camping trip, part haunted house, and part escape room. But when the fun turns deadly, Alex has to play the game if she wants to make it out alive.


Directed by Issa López 

Written by Issa López 

Produced by Marco Polo Constandse 

Cast: Paola Lara, Hanssel Casillas, Rodrigo Cortes, Ianis Guerrero, Juan Ramón López 

LA Premiere 

We are in a Mexican City turned into a ghost town by the drug-war. Estrella is 11, and when her mother vanishes, she makes a wish: she wants her mother to come back. And mom does return—from the dead. Terrified, Estrella escapes and joins a rag-tag gang of other children orphaned by the violence, all escaping their own past. But she learns that in a city ruled by death, you can’t simply leave the ghosts behind; they walk with you wherever you go.


Directed by Craig David Wallace and Rich Duhaney 

Written by Charles Picco, Craig David Wallace 

Produced by Andrew Rosen, Sarah Timmins, Jonas Diamond 

Cast: Alex House, Maggie Castle, Bill Turnbull, Melanie Leishman, Jason Mewes, Chris Leavins 

U.S. Premiere 

Continuing where the cult TV series left off, Todd & The Book of Pure Evil: The End of The End: The Animated Feature Film returns to Crowley Heights to find Todd, Jenny and Curtis grieving the loss of their dear friend Hannah. The three must reunite to fight evil when the Book of Pure Evil returns to Crowley High, bringing with it some familiar faces as well as some new foes. But these enemies are merely warm-ups to the final battle with their greatest nemesis yet: The New Pure Evil One.


Image via Gunpowder & Sky

Directed by Tyler MacIntyre 

Written by Chris Lee Hill, Tyler MacIntyre  

Produced by Armen Aghaeian, Tara Ansley, Anthony Holt, Edward Mokhtarian, Craig Robinson, Cameron Van Hoy 

Cast: Brianna Hildebrand, Alexandra Shipp, Kevin Durand, Jack Quaid, Craig Robinson 

LA Premiere 

Best friends Sadie and McKayla are on a mission to boost their social media fandom as amateur crime reporters hot on the trail of a deranged local serial killer. After they manage to capture the killer and secretly hold him hostage, they realize the best way to up get scoops on future victims would be to, you know, murder people themselves. As the @TragedyGirls become an overnight sensation and panic grips their small town, can their friendship survive the strain of national stardom? Will they get caught? Will their accounts get verified?

TRENCH 11 (CANADA) 2017 

Directed by Leo Scherman 

Written by Matthew Booi, Leo Scherman 

Produced by Tyler Levine 

Cast: Rossif Sutherland, Robert Stadlober, Charlie Carrick, Shaun Benson, Karine Vanasse 

U.S. Premiere 

In the final days of WWI a shell-shocked tunneller must lead an Allied team into a hidden German base…100 hundred feet below the trenches. The Germans have lost control of a highly contagious biological weapon that turns its victims into deranged killers. The Allies find themselves trapped underground with hordes of the infected, a rapidly spreading disease and a team of German Stormtroopers dispatched to clean up the mess. The only thing more terrifying than the Western Front… is what lies beneath it.

Image via Lionsgate

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