A Deadly Diabetic and an Insane Bigfoot Hunter Are Among the Highlights for the 7th Annual MidWest WeirdFest Full Program

Eau Claire, Wisconsin’s MidWest WeirdFest is now mere days away, and the full program and schedule have been revealed. With a tantalizing array of unusual genre-film fare from Sasquatch and serial killer narrative films to thought-provoking documentaries on UFOs and much more, MidWest WeirdFest is set to blow minds once again. Following is the official press announcement.

MidWest WeirdFest announces its full program for 2023 today. The 7th annual film festival — a cinematic celebration of all things fantastic, frightening, paranormal, and just plain weird — takes place March 3-5, 2025 at the Micon Downtown Cinema in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Among the fest’s fantastic line-up of horror, sci-fi, underground and documentary cinema, are several fantastic films that will be premiering at the event. One of these is BRAEK, a genre-bending crime caper-cum-rural horror movie.

“The making of BRAEK was a suicide mission and I couldn’t have pulled it off without my small yet efficient cast/crew. Better to go to war with 15 lions than a 100 sheep as they say.” Says BRAEK director John Fallon.

“We are very proud to have our USA premiere at Midwest WeirdFest, a festival that I’ve always esteemed. BRAEK is more than just another ‘home invasion’ type spiel; it also tackles some heavy themes and shows what happens when ‘one kind of man’ goes head to head with ‘another kind of man’. It’s layered and brutal. We hope the MidWest WeirdFest audience enjoys it!””

BRAEK is one of the amazing feature films that the festival is announcing as part of its 2023 program for the first time today, along with over sixty short films.

This final wave of feature programming includes:

THE BIGFOOT TRAP (dir: Aaron Mirtes) WORLD PREMIERE

A journalist’s life is changed forever when he’s locked inside of a Bigfoot trap by an insane Sasquatch hunter. But is the biggest threat to his survival the hunter, or something big and hairy lurking in the woods? THE BIGFOOT TRAP is a fun and wild ride, and a fantastic addition to the exploitation sub-genre of Bigfoot movies!

BRAEK (dir: John Fallon) US PREMIERE

The McCabe family’s weekend getaway was never meant to be a life-changing experience. Governor William McCabe (Nick Baillie), a respected politician, was looking forward to some rest and relaxation. His beautiful wife Lauren (Melissa Anschutz) and distant stepdaughter Erin (Lane) strain to enjoy their time together, as the facade of the trophy family has worn dangerously thin. Things take a severe turn for the worse when a charismatic stranger (Kevin Interdonato) knocks on their door and triggers an unexpected chain of events.

THE DEBT COLLECTOR (dir: Richard Wolstencroft) INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE

An ex-IRA hitman returns to Australia and finds work as a debt collector. He soon decides to seek revenge on men who abused him as a child in a Catholic orphanage. A young woman he rescues from abuse convinces Vaughn to continue his run of vengeance. That decision has spiraling consequences.

THE DIABETIC (dir: Mitchell Stafiej) MIDWEST PREMIERE

Like a mumblecore for invisible disability, THE DIABETIC follows a lonely and irreverent 30 year old Type 1 Diabetic named Alek who returns to his hometown to relive his teenage ‘glory days’ with an old acquaintance. Throughout the seemingly never-ending night, and as Alek’s blood sugars become erratic, he pushes their adventure to darker and darker places with complete disregard for anyone’s well-being.

FOLLOW HER (dir: Sylvia Caminer) WISCONSIN PREMIERE

Jess Peters, a struggling actress and live streamer, has finally found her hook: secretly filming creepy interactions she encounters via online job listings, and using the kinks of others to fuel her streaming success. For her next episode, she’s been hired to write the ending of a screenplay in a remote, lavish cabin. But this client isn’t what he seems, and even though the money is great… the real payment here could cost her life.

LOGGER (dir: Steffen Geypens) MIDWEST PREMIERE

Based upon the fable ‘Death and the Logger’ by Jean de la Fontaine (1668) and inspired by Akira Kurosawa’s ‘Rashomon’ (1950) we follow a logger into the woods, where he discovers a brutally mutilated body. He falls into a catatonic state and gets the unexpected help of Death herself. From that moment on, the story is told by three different point of views. The surreal truth slowly unravels until the final battle with Death turns everything back to normal.

WELCOME TO KITTYTOWN (dir: Douglas James Luciuk) WISCONSIN PREMIERE

A post-apocalyptic survivor and his unlikely ally journey through a barren, disease-ridden wasteland searching for safe haven. Don’t miss this horror / buddy-comedy / post-apocalyptic gem! Imagine THE ROAD meets SHAUN OF THE DEAD and you might have a vague sense of what’s in store! The future has never looked so bleak… or hilarious.

YOUR LOVE IS MINE (dir: Luke Wijayasinha-Gray & Luke J. S.) INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE

A mesmerizing and haunting love story of Violet (Senie Priti) and Sam (Lester Ellis Jr). When their relationship is threatened by sudden tragedy, one of them goes to unthinkable lengths to preserve their union.

Feature films previously announced as official selections of the 7th annual MidWest WeirdFest include:

ACCIDENTAL TRUTH: UFO REVELATIONS (dir: Ron James) WORLD PREMIERE

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 and 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) WORLD PREMIERE

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 cryptozoological and speaks to the very human.

CODE 12 (dir: Melissa Tittl) WORLD PREMIERE

Some people believe that humanity is trapped in a “matrix”, an invisible hand that puppets our every move on this planet. Melissa Tittl, investigative journalist and filmmaker never really thought about the concept until a personal experience that haunted her. She then began a journey to unravel an ancient code hidden in the tombs of the pharaohs and other sites all over the world. She interviews geneticists, archeologists, biblical scholars, and quantum physicists that have all picked up the same code in their own work.

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) MIDWEST PREMIERE

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 protagonist’s 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) MIDWEST PREMIERE

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.

The full line-up of visiting filmmakers will be announced next week.

MidWest WeirdFest’s full 2023 program and schedule can be viewed here:  https://www.midwestweirdfest.com/program

Tickets to all films, along with discounted festival passes, are available to purchase here: https://www.midwestweirdfest.com/tickets

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.