Athens Horror Festival at the Gagarin Club

When Bobby «Boris» Pickett, backed by the Crypt-Kickers on vocals, performed «Monster Mash,» a dance hit about zombies, werewolves and vampires, he could not have imagined that the song, which topped the charts in October 1962, would one day become part of a tradition. Horror B-movies, from 1950s classics to contemporary films, have become synonymous with music styles such as rockabilly, punk, hard metal, and gothic rock. Picket’s old twist number was revived by the 1975 musical «The Rocky Horror Picture Show» and, in 1982, the widely seen video clip «Thriller» by Michael Jackson – featuring the pop star as a zombie before he actually turned into one – was influenced by Pickett’s antics. The «Monster Mash» world will be revived at the first Screamin’ Athens Horror Festival, a shock music-and-film event, tonight to Sunday, at the Gagarin (205 Liosion St). The three-day festival will include 13 feature-length films, a documentary and eight shorts from various countries including Australia, Brazil, Hungary, Pakistan, Thailand, Turkey and the US. As for the live music, Liverpool act Zombina & the Skeletones play tonight. Tomorrow’s performer, the punk-horror band In The Nursery, a significant experimental-electronic act, will present a show inspired by the 1919 silent classic «The Cabinet of Dr Caligari.» On Sunday, the festival will end with atmospheric melodies by Dirty Granny Tales and an after-midnight screening of a film that is being kept a secret.