Film Events

MidWest WeirdFest Sure Brings the Weird With First Wave of Films

slated for March 1-3, the annual film festival will feature UFOs, a female-fronted home invasion, a sequel to nothing, and more

McKenna Scherer |

"CINEMATIC CHAPEL OF WEIRD." Back for its 8th year, MidWest WeirdFest announced its first wave of films on Jan. 11. (Submitted images)

The aptly named MidWest WeirdFest brings cinematic creations diving into the fantastic, frightening, paranormal, and just plain weird for an annual film festival, slated this year for March 1-3 at the Micon Downtown Cinema in Eau Claire.

“Prepare for your first glimpse into the inner sanctum of 2024’s cinematic chapel of weird,” Festival Founder and Programming Director Dean Bertram said in a recent media release. “… From aspirational super villains and blind (and blind drunk) avengers, through UFOs and paranormal experiences, to brutal female home invaders and a modern day gunfighter haunted by bizarre religious visions.”

Discounted festival passes are now on sale right here. Individual tickets to each film will go on sale closer to the festival dates, both on the fest’s website and directly from the Micon Downtown Cinema (315 S Barstow St., Eau Claire).

The first wave of announced films are:

Blind Cop 2 (dir. Alec Bonk)
"A sequel to a film the doesn't exist, this is a riotous homage and parody of 80s action cinema. Blind Cop, the former beacon of justice, is consumed by grief after the mysterious death of his partner in the first movie. (Again there is no first movie.) His once-illustrious career has been reduced to drunken disorderly conduct, putting him at odds with the police force. Fired for his reckless behavior, Blind Cop ventures into the dark underworld of the city to continue his investigation into his partner's death. The truth he seeks may not be what he expects, but he will stop at nothing to avenge his fallen partner and bring the criminals responsible to justice."

The Buildout (dir. Zeshaan Younus)
"The mesmerizing feature debut from MidWest WeirdFest alum and award winning director Zeshaan Younos, and executive producer Greg Newkirk (HELLIER, THE UNBINDING). A friendship is tested as two women experience something strange in the desert. This film is a profound and moving examination of the impact of the paranormal on both human relationships and our very existence."

Everyone Is Going To Die (dir. Craig Tuohy)
"On his daughter's birthday, a wealthy father's reconciliation attempt is hijacked by two female burglars. A shakedown evolves into a lethal cat-and-mouse game as hidden motives emerge, culminating in a life-altering revelation. A brilliant, bloody, shocking, and twist-ladened addition to the home invasion genre."

Gunfighter Paradise (dir. Jethro Waters)
"A hunter returns home to North Carolina with a mysterious green case. Following the death of his mother, he settles back into the family home where his mind begins to disintegrate. Stalked by divine voices and unholy visions, guided by disquiet, his mother’s hand written riddles and strange visitors further complicate an already splintering mind. A cable man, a mummified cat, zealous neighbors, and a killer swirl through this darkly comic southern gumbo."

The Pocket Film of Superstitions (dir. Tom Lee Rutter)
"A spell-binding cinematic experience which evokes both the wonder and terror a child might experience flipping through the pages of an illustrated “pocket book” on the paranormal. It delivers a mesmerizing and creepy merging of folkloric horror, the supernatural, and dadaist humor as it looks at various superstitions through the ages. The film features a wonderful roster of performers, including a stunning array of first ladies of the silver-scream: Caroline Munro (Maniac, Slaughter High, Dracula AD 1972), Lynn Lowry (Shivers, The Crazies, Cat People), Dani Thompson (Serial Kaller, My Bloody Banjo) and Annabella Rich (Eating Miss Campbell), as well as a who's who of the current British indie horror boom. And get ready for pitch-perfect, almost hypnotizing, narration from living cult legend The Shend; of Dadaist punk/post-punk bands The Cravats and The Very Things."

The UFO’s of Soesterberg (dir. Bram Roza)
"In the early morning of February 3, 1979, a mysterious object flew over Soesterberg Air Base. At least twelve soldiers witnessed this. Despite being in the middle of the cold war this event has still remained unexplained. And that is not the only anomalous sighting in that specific part of the Netherlands. A fascinating examination of a stunning series of UFO encounters, this film travels down an ever spiraling mystery of high strangeness and US Military secrets."

Villains Inc. (Dir. Jeremy Warner)
"After the death of their villainous boss, low-level henchpeople Beatrix, Cain, and Harold are left destitute living in an abandoned grocery store. Not content with this situation, Beatrix is determined for them to strike out on their own and take over the world by any means necessary. A refreshing and hilarious take on the superhero genre, told from the perspective of aspirational villainous underlings. With bravura comedic direction and loaded with a stellar cast, including: Mallory Everton (GO WEST, LOVING LYFE), Colin Mochrie (WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?) JASON GRAY (STUDIO C, GO WEST), this film is not to be missed."

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

“The festival’s 2024 program is loaded with weirdness: some of it real, some of it imagined, and much of it from that mysterious twilight territory that lays in between,” Bertram said.

Keep up with MidWest WeirdFest on their website and Facebook.