Coming Attractions / Nightscaring
Thursday Night Terrors brings Buffalo’s horror fans together
Peter Vullo, feeling the terror. Photo styling and makeup by Nicole June Wurstner.
Photos by Stephen Gabris
Through December 12
Thursday Night Terrors
At Dipson Amherst Theatre
“Buffalo has a wonderful horror community,” says Peter Vullo, creator of horror screening series Thursday Night Terrors. “It just needed a home.” Terrors provides that home—a monthly opportunity for horror fans to congregate, laugh, scream, and celebrate the artistry and joy of an oft-derided genre.
While many screening series have fizzled out since Terrors began in 2016, Vullo’s creation has grown in popularity. Now in its seventh season, the series has reached genuine event status. Held at the Dipson Amherst Theatre, Terrors features celebrity guests, killer themes, surprises, and, of course, the films themselves in all their big-screen gory. I mean glory.
As Terrors embarks on one of its biggest months to date, Dipson Theatre’s assistant manager Vullo spoke with Spree about the current season, the feel of a Terrors screening, and what the future may hold. (Visit facebook.com/thursdaynightterrors for more info.)
Let’s start with this month’s high-profile selections—1992’s Candyman is a special screening on October 17, while 1987’s The Lost Boys screens on October 31.
Candyman is one of the finest horror films of the nineties. It has such a unique atmosphere, an interesting and tragic mythology, and the score by Philip Glass is just amazing. The iconography stands out as well—Candyman’s hook, his coat, the bees. Meeting star Tony Todd at Nickel City Con back in May expedited my desire to screen it.
Halloween falls on a Thursday this year, so I wanted to do something special. The Lost Boys feels like Halloween to me. It has vampires. It has laughs. It has a cool soundtrack. It has the Shirtless Sax Man. It is a quintessential eighties horror movie.
Anything Halloween-specific planned for The Lost Boys?
My longtime friend Nelson Rivera will be DJing in the lobby. My girlfriend, Nicole June Wurstner, and I will be decorating the theater. We’ll be encouraging people to come dressed up in their Halloween costumes, and we’ll have plenty of treats to share, too.
Season seven winds up with 1990’s Demon Wind (November 21) and 1974’s Black Christmas (December 12).
Demon Wind is probably the least-known movie of the group—it feels like a bootleg Evil Dead directed by Lucio Fulci. It’s the type of cheesy, strange movie best experienced with a crowd. Black Christmas marks the first time we’ve played a Christmas horror movie at Terrors, and it’s an important one in the canon of slasher films.
What does a Terrors screening feel like for an audience member?
There’s an electricity in the air—a palpable excitement. It doesn’t feel like just a movie screening; it’s an event. Terrors is an opportunity to be together, to unwind from daily life for a couple hours while enjoying a horror movie. A Terrors screening can feel like sitting in a very large living room with friends and just hanging out, having a good time.
What have you still not done with Terrors that you hope is part of the future?
I’d like to do more large-scale events like what we did with Nickel City Con this year—three nights of screenings with special guests for each movie. It’d be cool to do an all-day Terrors-fest at the theater. I’ve thought of trying to put together a Terrors book club, and perhaps a Terrors field trip where we rent a bus and visit some spooky, haunted places and film locations.
Could you ever have guessed the series would take off to this degree?
Never. I’ve been completely shocked by Terrors and all the wonderful things that have come from it. All I had hoped for at the start of this was that people would show up for the first screening. Terrors is what it is because of Buffalo’s horror fans. They made it, and it’s taken off because of them. I’m just grateful to be a part of it.