[News] SPOOKTACULAR! Doc World Premieres at Fantastic Fest

Spookywood Productions is honored to announce that Fantastic Fest will host the World Premiere of SPOOKTACULAR!, director Quinn Monahan’s gripping documentary that unravels the secrets behind SpookyWorld, America’s iconic Halloween extravaganza, which set the template for the multi-billion-dollar industry of terror.

Presented by executive producer Tom Savini, SPOOKTACULAR! will bow in Austin at the largest genre film festival in the US, specializing in horror, fantasy, sci-fi, and action movies from all around the world. After Fantastic Fest, Spooktacular! will make its West Coast Premiere at BeyondFest and its International Premiere at Sitges.

At the heart of it all stands David Bertolino, the mastermind behind SpookyWorld, the first-ever multi-attraction Halloween theme park that redefined the haunted house experience. From humble beginnings as a whoopee cushion salesman, Bertolino’s journey culminated in a terrifying hayride trail through the woods that captured the imaginations of thousands, and soon became a sensation.

As the crowds swelled, so did SpookyWorld’s reputation, attracting A-list horror celebrities like Tom Savini, Linda Blair, and Kane Hodder. The documentary delves into David’s audacious advertising campaigns, electrifying sponsorships, and unforgettable charity events that drew attention from national media outlets, turning SpookyWorld into a global phenomenon.

Ahead of the world premiere, Monahan shared: “I was inspired to embark on this filmmaking journey by my friendship with David Bertolino and the story of his extraordinary quest to create the world’s first Halloween theme park. His incredible stories of those heady days resonated with me on a personal level, drawing parallels to my own upbringing in a theater family.

My hope is to transport our audience to the unique time and place that was SpookyWorld. I want them to experience the pre-digital era, where immersive experiences were constructed with plywood, duct tape, and raw talent, rather than virtual reality goggles and computer code. This is an opportunity to relive a bygone era when fun was tangible, vivid, and real, before the indelible impact of 9/11 and the subsequent technological and political changes which now permeate American life. I hope we have honored the memory of this Camelot of Halloween attractions in the most genuine and faithful way possible.”

Spooktacular! at Fantastic Fest:

Festival & Screening Details
Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar
Sat, Sep 23rd, 2:00 PM CDT Theater 3
Wed, Sep 27th, 11:10 AM CDT Theater 7
Wed, Sep 27th, 11:10 AM CDT Theater 9

SPOOKTACULAR! trailer-001 from Quinn Monahan on Vimeo.

Sarah Musnicky
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