Sara Swanson

Cosplay showing of the The Carrier this Halloween

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A cosplay event featuring a free showing of The Carrier (1988) and a pub crawl is being organized for October 28 here in Manchester.

“Is it cats or is it death!!”

The Carrier is a low-budget 1988 horror movie filmed entirely in Manchester. Set in the fictional town of Sleepy Rock, main character and social outcast Jake contracts and serves as a carrier for a mysterious disease that causes others who contract it to dissolve and can be transmitted by touching infected inanimate objects, referred to as “red objects.” Villagers come to use cats as test subjects–making cats a sought after commodity and wrapping themselves in garbage bags to protect themselves. This movie, which some identify as an AIDS allegory, is hard to classify today because of its very original take on the 80s horror genre. Its uniqueness and unintentional humor have led to local Stephanie Celkis and metro-Detroit resident Sam Gurwin to take on the mission of turning it into the cult classic for which they feel it should be recognized.

Recognize Manchester’s downtown buildings? Shot from the pedestrian walkway now sporting the mural, you can see the building that now houses the Dandy Lion as well as parts of the buildings housing Exhale Yoga and LaRock’s Dental. This movie was wholly filmed on location in Manchester.

On Saturday, October 28th, the Manchester District Library, located at 912 City Road, will be hosting a cosplay showing of The Carrier at 8 pm. Cosplay is a popular pastime of dressing up as a character from a movie, show or comic. Come dressed up as your favorite character from the movie. Costumes are not required but highly encouraged. (Garbage bags and string will be provided at the event for those who run out of time to make costumes beforehand.) There will be refreshments, light ribbing of the movie, and possible appearances by some of the cast at this free showing. After the showing of the R-rated movie, Manchester’s two bars, The Village Tap and Over the Edge, are sponsoring an after-event pub crawl beginning at 10:30 pm. Costumes are optional for the pub crawl.

The origins of this event are actually to be found in the Manchester District Library’s showing of The Carrier during the Sesquicentennial celebration last month. One of the organizers, Stephanie Celkis credits library director, Kathy Dimond, with enabling this endeavor. Celkis stated, “That’s how we got all of this started. When we went to one of the showings of The Carrier at the library. She met us and she thought we were hilarious the way we were laughing she said we made it more fun to watch. Then we came up with this idea of showing it again around Halloween and making it about dressing up and participating.”

Celkis and Gurwin have been in contact with The Carrier’s writer and director, Nathan White. White, a former Detroit resident, now splits his time between California and Las Vegas. He is very supportive of the event and has offered to try to dig original posters out of storage, autograph them and ship them to Manchester in time for the showing!

Organizers hope it will lead to more cosplay events in the future including movies for youth and seniors, and to get them excited about doing silly things just for fun. They are already planning a holiday movie event around Christmas of the Village. Celkis states, “It’ll be really hilarious.”

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