Portland Horror Film Festival™ is the first dedicated all Horror genre film festival in Portland, OR. Festival directors Gwen and Brian Callahan are also the directors of the popular H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival®, (originally founded by Andrew Migliore, the HPLFF has been a Portland institution for over 20 years!), and also organized Zompire: The Undead Film Festival from 2012-2014. After noting an increase in high quality film submissions that didn’t quite fit the narrow Lovecraftian or Weird Tale format, they created PHFF out of a desire to showcase independent horror films from all sub-genres. With annual screenings featuring regional and world premieres, visiting Filmmaker Q&A sessions, and the best audience in the world, Portland Horror Film Festival is a vibrant outpost of independent horror in the Pacific Northwest.

The 2024 Film Jury

As a film festival organized by horror fans for horror fans, it is important to us that our panel of judges are also, first and foremost, fans of the genre. Indeed, several of our judges were originally ticket-buying Portland Horror Film Festival audience members! This helps us keep the festival selections balanced, ensuring that there are films that appeal to a wide range of horror-lovers, from the bloody to the thoughtful (and sometimes the thoughtfully bloody).

  • Rebekah McKendry – Bloody Judge 2024

    Rebekah McKendry is an award-winning director, writer, and podcaster. Her most recent horror feature, GLORIOUS (starring JK Simmons), premiered at Fantasia Film Festival and after receiving top honors from critics was certified as “fresh” on Rotten Tomato. Rebekah began her film and writing career working for Fangoria Entertainment and went on to become Editor-in-Chief for Blumhouse Productions, as well as writing for media companies like Shudder, Universal, AMP, AMC and more. Additionally, Rebekah has written multiple books including PRETTY EVIL, coming soon from Simon and Schuster, and several volumes of the HELLRAISER comic book series. She is an award-winning podcaster currently hosting Fangoria’s Colors of the Dark Podcast. She also has a PhD focused on the Horror genre and is currently a professor in the Cinematic Arts Department at the University of Southern California.
  • Your Hosts – Gwen and Brian

    Gwen and Brian Callahan are the organizers of Portland Horror Film Festival™. Since 2011, they've also been the directors of the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival®, which has been a Portland institution for over 20 years. Like Donny and Marie Osmond, they're a little bit Country (in this case, Science Fiction) and a little bit Rock and Roll (Horror), but unlike the Osmonds, they're not related to each other.
  • Bobby Bermea

    Bobby Bermea is the co-artistic director of The Beirut Wedding World Theatre Project, a member of Sojourn Theatre, and a long-standing member of Actors Equity Association. Bermea is a writer, director and award-winning actor and has appeared in theatres literally from New York, NY to Honolulu, HI. As a director, Bermea has recently helmed productions of My Soul Grown Deep and The Green Book with BaseRoots Theatre, Hollow Roots with BoomArts, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and The Sexual Neuroses of Our Parents with Theatre Vertigo, Wait Until Dark at Northwest Classical Theatre, Fires in the Mirror and Blue Door at Profile Theatre and he co-directed Top Dog/Underdog at Street Scenes. Bermea has also done extensive work with youth and especially at-risk populations, having worked through the Actors-to-Go at Artists Repertory Theatre, Higher Stages with Tears of Joy, the Haven Project, Playwrite, Inc., Young Audiences, Portland Youth Builders, the Cordero House.
  • Catherine Holland

    Co-host of Horror Brew podcast and creator and former Quiz Master of Portland's only consistent horror trivia night since 2016, Horror Brew Pub Quiz. In 2018 Cat moved to the frozen tundra of Buffalo, NY where she plies people with high quality spirits (the drinkable kind). Convinced that she could kick Michael Myers in the nuts and run away fast enough, Catherine loves the intangible horror - ghost and demon flicks are where it's at!  

  • Gretchen Brooks

    Gretchen has volunteered at Portland Horror Film Festival and the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival since 2016, and helps judge films for both. As a lifelong fan of horror movies, she specifically loves Japanese Horror and exorcism films and has been discussing them on various Conventions panels and podcasts. She co-hosts the People’s Guide to the Cthulhu Mythos, The Kaijucast, and is an occasional guest of Collect All Monsters. Recently she was the voice of Mary Rose in the short film “The Haunted Baby Carriage”.
  • John Penney

    Award winning writer/director John Penney attended UCLA where he studied film and received a degree in English. In addition to his numerous screenplays, John has written short stories that have won him an award from the Adelphi Academy in New York, and have been published in the "Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction." In 2011 John wrote and directed the supernatural thriller “Hellgate” starring William Hurt and Cary Elwes. The film was awarded Best Film at the Bram Stoker International Film Festival as well as the Best Horror Film from the Fantasy Horror Awards in Italy. John is currently prepping to direct his next feature film, “Truck Stop,” based on his novel as well as co-writing “Re-Animator Unbound” with Brian Yuzna. John currently teaches writing and directing at the Los Angeles Film School as well as the Directing Certificate Course and Pitching Certificate Course at Raindance, Los Angeles.

  • Joseph Perry

    Joseph Perry’s formative years were spent watching classic monster movies (starting with The Creature from the Black Lagoon and Godzilla Vs. the Thing), TV series (starting with The Twilight Zone and Outer Limits), and northern California horror host legend Bob Wilkins’ Creature Features; reading spooky Silver Age and Bronze Age Gold Key, Dell, Charlton, Marvel, and DC comics; and writing mimeographed newsletters about the original Planet of the Apes film and TV series. He is a regular contributing writer to VideoScope magazine, The Scariest Things, Gruesome Magazine, Diabolique magazine, B&S About Movies, When It Was Cool, the Drive-In Asylum zine, Uphill Both Ways, and The Good, the Bad, and the Verdict. He is also the Film Festival Editor for Horror Fuel.
  • Jefferson Powers

    As a teenager Jefferson was introduced to the work of H. P. Lovecraft and Clive Barker, which has led to a lifelong love of horror in all its forms. He has a special affection for 1980s horror movies in all their over-the-top glory, and his two favorite horror films are Stuart Gordon's Re-Animator and the original Hellraiser, which he saw for the first time during its theatrical release in 1987. 

  • Jon Condit

    In the dark and shadowed realms of the horror genre, where nightmares dwell and fear reigns supreme, there emerges a figure shrouded in mystery and expertise. Jon Condit, the co-founder and President of DreadCentral.com has served as a harbinger of terror, tirelessly dedicated to celebrating the macabre and embracing the chilling essence that permeates our souls for going on 17 years. As one of the eerie orchestrators behind Dread Central, he has helped conjure an online sanctuary where horror enthusiasts find solace, seeking refuge within the deepest abysses of their darkest fears. This lair, born of his unwavering dedication, has become an arcane haven, where the flickering light of terror is forever kindled. But his influence stretches beyond the ethereal realm of the internet. As a board member and programmer for the Horrible Imaginings Film Festival, Condit has woven himself into the enigmatic depths of shadow and celluloid, where he helps to curate a symphony of terror, showcasing the most spine-tingling visions that send shivers cascading down the spines of all who bear witness.
  • Mad Martian

    Mad Martian is a SAG actor who curated 12.5 years of the Faux Film Festival in Portland Oregon. He has volunteered many times for the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival and has been in several films shown at the festival. He is also known for his escapades as “Broccoli Man” - featured on America’s Got Talent, The Gong Show reboot, and The Next Food Network Star. Sort of. More or less.
  • Matt Holland

    Matt Holland is a life long horror fan. What began with his dad and the classic Universal monster movies, has evolved into an insatiable appetite for all things that give us a scare. Co-host of Horror Brew podcast and quiz master of the Horror Brew Pub Quiz, Matt's a fan of pulp horror and the cosmically scary!

  • Micole Joyner-Cottle

    Video Alchemist by trade, Micole has always had an interest in the horrifying, the crazed, the wacky, and the weird. After graduating from Portland State with a BS in Film, she leans towards the all-encompassing genre that is Horror and tries to keep an eye on its ever changing perimeters as it evolves throughout the years. She enjoys a good psychological thriller like Pearl (2022) or Swallow (2019), however, she approaches each horror film with curiosity and a spring in her step. When she isn't watching horror films, she enjoys video editing, creating mixed media collages, and dance classes.
  • Mike Imboden

    Mike Imboden has been a fan of horror and sci-fi since the early 70s when he watched Sir Graves Ghastly (at just the right age) and The Ghoul (at too young an age). on Detroit TV. Mike spends too much on comic books, loves Godzilla, retro slasher flicks, and the pulp book series The Destroyer. He's been married for 34 years, has two grown kids, and a wiener dog named Remo. Mike co-hosted the popular Uphill Both Ways podcast for seven years with fellow judge Joseph Perry and, along with Joseph, co-founded the almost equally-popular review website, The Good, The Bad, and The Verdict. ...and maybe it's the mask, but Mike also suffers from "imposter syndrome" and probably shouldn't even be here.
  • Mishelle Apalategui

    Mishelle Apalategui is an actor, playwright and horror lover who spends her time dissecting and discussing cinematic and theatrical art with anyone who loves the same (but mostly with her equally horror obsessed husband, Owen). She is a fan of the history of horror and how it has been used to tell stories of the “others” in society and explores the unexplained, unexpected and unresolved happenings in human nature and the natural world. She is raising her very own ghoul, Iñigo, who at 7, very firmly states his favorite monster is Dracula. Mishelle feels honored to be a part of the jury in any way she can, and is the most interested in horror shorts because she believes restrictions when used wisely, can be a portal to creating something clever and scary without allowing for indulgence.
  • Shawn Marier

    Shawn Marier has been running Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror events for 35 years.  He currently runs the Speculative Film Fest held each year in Seattle.
  • Tony DiBern

    Tony DiBern is a filmmaker in the Portland, Oregon area, specializing in the horror genre. He is currently a guest programmer at CineMagic, running the monthly event Paracinema. He can also occasionally be found guest hosting events at Clinton Street Theater.
  • Mick Garris – (Bloody Judge 2022)

    Mick Garris is an Award-winning filmmaker, beloved by horror fans and known for his screenwriting and directing on projects like NIGHTMARE CINEMA, RIDING THE BULLET, *BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED, THE FLY II, HOCUS POCUS, CRITTERS 2, SYCHO IV: THE BEGINNING, TALES FROM THE CRYPT, MASTERS OF HORROR, PRETTY LITTLE LIARS, and many many more! His first movie business job was as a receptionist for George Lucas’s Star Wars Corporation, where he worked his way up to running the remote-controlled R2-D2 robot at personal appearances, including that year’s Academy Awards ceremony. Garris hosted and produced “The Fantasy Film Festival” for nearly three years on Los Angeles television, and later began work in film publicity at Avco Embassy and Universal Pictures. It was there that he created “Making of…” documentaries for various feature films. He is Creator and Executive Producer of Showtime’s MASTERS OF HORROR series, as well as creator of the NBC series, FEAR ITSELF, and you can listen to his insightful interviews with horror filmmakers on his podcast POST MORTEM with Mick Garris.
  • Kelli Maroney (Bloody Judge 2021)

    Kelli Maroney is a beloved actor among Horror Film fans, particularly for her roles in NIGHT OF THE COMET and CHOPPING MALL. Kelli got her first big break in Daytime TV, both as the evil adolescent Kimberly in RYAN’S HOPE and then as vengeful Tina in ONE LIFE TO LIVE. Her film debut as the ‘Spirit Bunny’ Cindy Carr in FAST TMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH caught a lot of attention, but Kelli achieved her greatest enduring cult popularity with her delightful turn as the endearingly spunky Samantha in the science-fiction end-of-the-world NIGHT OF THE COMET. She’s especially memorable as the sweet, killer-robot slayer Alison Parks in the entertaining romp, Cult Classic CHOPPING MALL, Jamie, a strong female survivor in THE ZERO BOYS, as well as many other films.

    On a more serious note, Kelli delivered a very strong and impressive portrayal of schizophrenic femme fatale Meredith (Merre) Lake in the superior Showtime mystery Noir thriller FACE DOWN. Maroney acted in and co-produced the award-winning festival short SAM AND MIKE. She has made numerous TV guest star appearances.

    Recently Kelli has been seen as  a crazed TV evangelist in HBO’s TRUE BLOOD, a tipsy stage mom-from-hell in POP STAR, the brave ‘cougar,’ Sheriff Wilma in GILA! THE GIANT MONSTER, Psychic Ezmerelda in the web’s HELL’S KITTY, and other web productions. She can often be seen on-stage throughout the Los Angeles area. Currently, Kelli is the host of SMTCL-TV, co-host of the podcast RICK’S MARTINI BAR, and has several Film and Television projects in various stages of development and production.

  • Brian Trenchard-Smith (Bloody Judge 2020)

    Brian Trenchard-Smith is an Anglo Australian film and television director, producer, and writer, with a reputation for large scale movies on small scale budgets. Quentin Tarantino referred to him in Entertainment Weekly as one of his favorite directors. His early work is featured in Not Quite Hollywood, an award-winning documentary released by Magnolia in August 2009. Born in England, where his Australian father was in the RAF, Trenchard-Smith attended UK's prestigious Wellington College, where he neglected studies in favor of acting and making short films, before migrating to Australia. Among Trenchard-Smith's recent films are Long Lost Son, starring Gabrielle Anwar and Chace Crawford for Lifetime, and the family drama disaster movie Arctic Blast, starring Michael Shanks and Bruce Davison. His body of work has been honored at the Paris Cinema, Karlovy Vary, Melbourne, Brisbane and Toronto Film Festivals. In 2016 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Fantaspoa International Fantastic Film Festival. The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia recently hosted a three city retrospective of his films. He is a member of the Masters of Horror Circle, and is a contributing guru to Trailers From Hell.com. He is married to Byzantine historian Dr. Margaret Trenchard-Smith, and lives in Portland, Oregon. His debut novel Alice Through The Multiverse was recently published on Amazon and Kindle, and he is currently putting the finishing touches on his next book Adventures in the B Movie Trade.
  • Heather Langenkamp (Bloody Judge 2019)

    Our 2019 Bloody Judge is Heather Langenkamp Anderson!  Actress, producer, and prosthetic makeup artist, she began her career as an extra in the Francis Ford Coppola films The Outsiders (1983) and Rumble Fish (1983) but most horror fans recognize her from her breakout role as Nancy Thompson in Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). She also starred in Chuck Russell's A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987), followed by appearances in two of Craven's cult films: Shocker (1989) and a fictionalized version of herself in Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994). In 2010, she served as executive producer and narrator to the documentary Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street LegacyLangenkamp is the co-owner of the make-up FX firm AFX Studio which has designed and manufactured award-winning make-up effects for film and television. She has worked as the special makeup effects coordinator for a variety of films including Dawn of the Dead (2004), Cinderella Man (2005), Evan Almighty (2007), and The Cabin in the Woods (2012).  
  • Brian Yuzna (Bloody Judge 2018)

    Presenting our 2018 BLOODY JUDGE! Brian Yuzna is a producer, director, and writer, known for Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Bride of Re-Animator, and Beyond Re-Animator, who has been active within the independent horror genre for over thirty years. He is widely known as the producer behind Re-Animator, as well as being the first American filmmaker to adapt a manga into a live-action feature. He has helmed several adaptations of the work of H. P. Lovecraft, and has assisted many first time directors, including Stuart Gordon, Christophe Gans, and Luis De La Madrid, in getting their projects made.
  • Richard Stanley (Bloody Judge 2017)

    Richard Stanley made his feature film directing debut with 1990's acclaimed Hardware, starring Dylan McDermott and Fields of the Nephilim's frontman, Carl McCoy. His second feature, Dust Devil, was an unconventional story of an otherworldly serial killer in South Africa, and has a rabid cult following due to its striking visuals and beautiful landscape photography, plus its decidedly Weird taint. He also has created a number of independent, award-winning documentaries, an adaptation of Clarke Ashton-Smith's "Mother of Toads," and wrote and directed H. P. Lovecraft's Color Out of Space feature, produced by Spectrevision, starring Nicolas Cage, Joely Richardson, and Q'orianka Kilcher.