“I’m pretty excited, it’s the Australian premiere – its pretty wicked.”

Canadian Director Seve Schelenz is in town for the Australian premiere of his new Festival hit Peelers, which on Thursday opened this year’s A Night of Horror and Fantastic Planet Film Festivals, playing simultaneously at Sydney’s Dendy Newtown.

“My first feature film was in A Night of Horror, it was called Skew and it was actually the world premiere back in 2011 and then Dean (Bertram) replayed it in 2012 for Fantastic Planet,” said Schelenz, who will be conducting a horror masterclass as part of the Festival with five other filmmakers.

“Its been amazing, going from a world premiere to a re-showing to opening night now, it’s been great.”

Peelers, packing in zombies, gore, guts and a nice little twist on the almost obligatory addition of a chainsaw, has played at Festivals all over the world.

“This is probably our 60th Festival, I haven’t done the full math yet but we’ve hit some really strong Festivals we hit Sitges in Spain, we’ve hit Razor Reel in Bruge, we’ve been all across North America and here, the Australian premiere, we’re pretty stoked,” said Schelenz.

“I just hope everyone has fun with it, this is an action horror film specifically just to have fun with, come in, yell at the screen if you want to, just run with it.”


“Peelers is riotous it’s so much fun,” said Festival Director Dean Bertram at the opening night premiere. “It’s one of those horror films that doesn’t try to take itself seriously but doesn’t try to be silly either, it knows the positioning it has, it’s a horror comedy, it plays for some great scares, there’s some great jumps in there but it really is a hilarious movie, Seve’s a real talent I’m delighted we have him here.”

“I’m excited, it’s year 10, I don’t think we ever really planned to get to year 10 and be here with a filmmaker where we world premiered a smaller film of his about 5 years ago, to have his new Festival hit here as our opening night film and to have that filmmaker back… its an incredible honour.”

Schelenz joins a number of local and international guest filmmakers who will premiere a range of genre, shocker and sci-fi flicks, along with some very quirky features at the Festival.

“What I always get most excited about with the Festival is the guests, I think every film I’m very proud of this year but what I get really excited about is the films represented here by the Director or Producer,” said Bertram. “We’ve got Bornless Ones on Sunday night with the producer/star David Goodsell, we’ve got Michael St. Michaels from The Greasy Strangler on closing night.”

“We’re an incredibly social festival, not only do you get to meet the filmmakers and have a Q&A but we go out after the films every night, we always tell the audience that we’re meeting at this bar across the street or this bar down the road and everybody’s always welcome and invited, if you come to the Festival you’re part of the family and its always been that way.”

The A Night of Horror and Fantastic Planet Film Festivals are screening at Dendy Newtown from 24 Novemer – 4 December