Pittsburgh has a strong connection to horror films. From being featured in George A. Romero’s Living Dead movies to Silence of the Lambs, we love a good scare. It makes sense that many indie filmmakers in the city have gravitated toward the horror genre, and Massacre Academy makes one more to add to the list.
Massacre Academy will have its red carpet premiere on Sat., July 31 at the Lamp Theatre in Irwin, Pa. In an email, the film’s writer/director Mark Cantu describes it as an ’80s slasher comedy. Cantu, who produces films under his Pittsburgh-based independent film production Cineworx, says the film was shot locally during the pandemic. Besides using a local cast and crew, Massacre Academy also features horror heavyweights like Felissa Rose, noted for playing the lead character in the 1983 cult horror film Sleepaway Camp.
Massacre Academy follows Kris McNeil (played by Jess Uhler), one of few survivors of a brutal series of murders by a slasher known as Carnie (Dave Sheridan). The film is set in 1987, two years after the massacre when Carnie is presumed dead. The trailer features a soundbite that says Carnie “sank to the bottom of a lake and drowned” but, as happens in horror films, a new series of killings begins and all signs point to him.
Tickets for the premiere are still available but limited, so get them while they last.
Massacre Academy premiere. 7 p.m. Lamp Theatre. 222 Main St., Irwin. $30. lamptheatre.org