You thought that with all the love we've been throwing at Austin's Fantastic Fest we'd probably forget all about good ol' L.A. Screamfest. Not with me on horror watch! The event runs from October 12 to 20, and if you happen to be located anywhere near the legendary Mann's Chinese Theater -- you just might want to duck inside to see what sort of murderous mayhem is going on.

And the Screamfest looks to be starting off on the right foot this year: Last night's opening night film was George A. Romero's Diary of the Dead! After much praise from the audiences at Toronto and Fantastic Fest, the master's latest zombie opus will hit the west coast with much excitement and gore. And the fun doesn't stop there. The festival will also offer Robert Rodriguez's director's cut of Planet Terror (which is awesome) and a 25th Anniversary screening (and cast reunion) of Friday the 13th Part 3. Yes, in 3-D!

Attendees will also get to check out the long-awaited DVDquel Return to House on Haunted Hill, a screening of the great-looking 30 Days of Night (and the video prequels Blood Trails), David Arquette's festival fave The Tripper, and a variety of genre titles of various shapes, sizes and nationalities. Of the Screamfest flicks we've seen, we've already given a strong seal of approval on the quiet but creepy Alone, the robust zest of Wrong Turn 2, the Pakistani lunacy known as Hell's Ground, , the freakishly ferocious Inside, and the apocalyptic awesomeness that is The Signal. Plus I keep hearing that Shrooms is pretty amusing, Buried Alive is gruesome, and Storm Warning is really solid.

Additional titles include the Austrian Dead in 3 Days, the Danish Room 205, the Dutch Dead End, a documentary called Paranormal Activity, a zombie indie called Days of Darkness, the post-apocalyptic ensemble Tooth & Nail, one called Wasting Away (which aims to tell a zombie tale from the undead perspective), a dark-looking road thriller called Sympathy, an old-school stalker named Frayed, an occult chiller called Hallowed Ground, a mutated vulture epic that goes by The Rage, something from Fangoria's Tony Ferrante called Headless Horseman, and a survival horror known as Timber Falls.

And for the kiddies: The world premiere of Boogeyman 2! (Seriously!) If you pick through the Screamfest website, you'll find a bunch of other flicks (including shorts), in addition to ticketing options and other assorted what-not. Overall, I'd like to offer a compliment to the Screamfest programming staff. Based only on the movies I've already seen (and a few I've heard good buzz on), this looks to be the festival's finest line-up yet. One of these years I'll actually get out there and enjoy the flicks in person!