Cryptids, Creeps, and Comedy Highlight the First Programming Wave of MidWest WeirdFest’s 2023 Edition

MidWest WeirdFest delivers another flurry of the mystical and the mind-boggling this year with its first-wave announcement for its seventh edition. Taking place March 3–5, 2023 at the Micon Downtown Cinema in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, the fest presents thought-provoking documentaries and cutting-edge narrative films. Have a look at this first wave and stay tuned to Gruesome Magazine for the second announcement!

MidWest WeirdFest announces its first programming wave for 2023 today. The cinematic celebration of all things fantastic, frightening, paranormal, and just plain weird, is now in its 7th year. The festival takes place March 3-5, 2023 at the Micon Downtown Cinema in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

“The weirdest festival of the season is less than two months away, and I’m delighted to announce some of the genre, underground and esoteric gems we’re offering audiences this year,” says MidWest WeirdFest founder and programming director Dean Bertram. “From brand new UFO and Bigfoot documentaries, through offbeat and ultra-violent comedies, to nightmare inducing films featuring an assortment of witches, cyber terrors, and gore-splattered serial killers . . . and that’s just in the fest’s first programming wave!”

Discounted festival passes are now on sale here:

Individual tickets to each film will go on sale closer to the festival; both on the fest’s website, and directly from the Micon Downtown Cinema in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Full program details and filmmaker guests will be revealed in the coming weeks.

The first seven feature films announced follow:


What if there was a film that could bring a mainstream audience up to speed on the modern UFO topic? Now there is. Narrated by Matthew Modine, this eye-opening documentary presents revelations on UFOs / UAPs from government insiders that have never been previously shared with the public. Colonel John Alexander, Lue Elizondo, Christopher Mellon, Nick Pope, Dr. Garry Nolan, Congressman Tim Burchett, Donald Schmitt, Dr. Michio Kaku and others help to “accidentally” weave a story that leaves no doubt that another intelligence is somehow operating around us, above us in our atmosphere, beneath our seas and in outer space. 

AGATHA (dir: Roland Becerra, Kelly Bigelow Becerra) 

This visually stunning and deeply unsettling film follows “The Professor”, a man suffering from a terminal disease, who by a twist of fate, witnesses an incredible event involving his mysterious neighbor Agatha. Hoping to find a cure to his sickness, he agrees to follow her on a strange and risky journey into a forgotten but not entirely deserted urban wasteland, one which is haunted by conspiracies and witchcraft.

BIGFOOT AND MARTY (dir: Ronnie Ferguson)

A peek into the work and world of two-time U.P. Poet Laureate and “Bigfoot poet,” Marty Achatz. The film features poetry readings by Achatz, as well as candid interviews with Bigfoot experts and other mystery hunters at the 2021 U.P. Bigfoot Conference. A Bigfoot documentary like no-other, one which transcends the crytozoological and speaks to the very human.

HUNDREDS OF BEAVERS (dir: Mike Cheslik)

In this 19th century, supernatural winter epic, a drunken applejack salesman must go from zero to hero and become North America’s greatest fur trapper by defeating hundreds of beavers. From the filmmakers who brought us past fest favorite LAKE MICHIGAN MONSTER (Ryland Brickson Cole Tews and Mike Cheslik), HUNDREDS OF BEAVERS is one of the hottest (and weirdest) films on the current festival circuit!

KICK ME (dir: Gary Huggins)

Fresh from its rave reviewed World Premiere at Another Hole in the Head Film Festival, KICK ME is a nightmare comedy about a school counselor whose compassion, generosity and dedication destroy the lives of everyone around him.  Its frenetic and relentless pace, which tracks the protagonists ordeal over one crazed night, evokes Martin Scorsese’s AFTER HOURS in the style of an early Robert Rodriguez action flick. It’s easy to see why director Huggins was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film”.

MURMUR (dir. Mark Polish) 

From acclaimed writer/director Mark Polish (TWIN FALLS IDAHO, NORTHFORK, THE ASTRONAUT FARMER) comes this edge-of-your seat techno-chiller. When five Bay Area friends venture into the Redwood National Forest to play the augmented (mixed) reality (AR) game MURMUR, their own reality becomes dangerously distorted. Polish’s visionary filmmaking, combined with a fantastic young cast (including Mark’s daughter Logan Polish), results in a mesmerizing cinematic experience that you don’t want to miss.

PIG KILLER (dir. Chad Ferrin)

The latest nightmarish thrill ride from multi-time fest alum Chad Ferrin (THE CHAIR, THE DEEP ONES, NIGHT CALLER). Based on the terrifying true story of Robert ‘Willy’ Pickton, the farmer-cum-ladykiller whose horrific crimes shocked the world. PIG KILLER graphically depicts Pickton’s felonious farmhouse of rape, torture, slaughter and dismemberment of almost fifty women. With his herculean hog, Balthazar, by his side, Willy (portrayed here by Jake Busey in a bravura performance) terrorized Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside for almost two decades.

Joseph Perry
Joseph Perry fell in love with horror films as a preschooler when he first saw the Gill-Man swim across the TV screen in "The Creature from The Black Lagoon" and Mothra battle Godzilla in "Godzilla Vs. The Thing.” His education in fright fare continued with TV series such as "The Twilight Zone" and "Outer Limits," along with legendary northern California horror host Bob Wilkins’ "Creature Features." His love for silver age and golden age comic books, including horror titles from Gold Key, Dell, and Marvel started around age 5.

He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Horror Fuel, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right.

A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.