NEW YORK CITY HORROR FILM FESTIVAL
(Oct. 05) by Jsyn.
I recently attended the NYC Horror Film Festival, now in
it's forth year. Bottom line? Great vibe, great venue, great flicks! The
Tribeca Film Center rocks (there's a BAR in the theater), the entire event
was very well put together and all around fun. My only complaint was that
the programs overlapped which made it impossible for me to see everything,
unless I had a clone, which I don't...yet! But I digress, lets get right
into, shall we?
/ d: Adam Barnick
Here's one of the two festival entries that won a spot on FANGORIA'S
BLOOD DRIVE 2. Glimpses of HELLRAISER, JACOB'S LADDER and Takashi
Miike-esque imagery thrown into a TOOL video without the music and
high on the cringey meter make this a slick, nasty little piece
of celluloid. People were still talking about this one two days
into the festival. A must-see, superior short film.
KING'S THE ROAD VIRUS HEADS NORTH / d: Dave Brock
I'll admit, I never even heard of the King story before watching
this one. I enjoyed it regardless. Creepy like a Twilight Zone episode,
the ones from the Eighties/Nineties. From what I understand, the
director stuck really close to the source material, which might
explain why I felt the ending was a little flat. I may not be the
biggest Stephen King fan, but I certainly appreciate this one and
the audience really seemed to like it as well. Good stuff!
You know what? I really liked it! It wasn't bad...actually, it was
pretty good. Meaning, "No, this was not his next TCM... but
it was much better than TOOLBOX MURDERS." Now I didn't hate
TOOLBOX , but this was much more fun. The writing was tight and
original (although there are nods to everything post-CHAINSAW Hooper,
from FUNHOUSE to POLTERGEIST). The humor was intentional and pretty
effin funny. Alot of it came from the characters themselves and
the entire cast really worked it well. A widowed mom drags her two
kids to a run-down mortuary in an attempt to make a better life
for her fractured family. This is kind of ironic because A) the
neighborhood is pretty bad, B) the front yard is a cemetery, C)
it's next to some kind of junkyard and busy interstate, and D) its
a freakin mortuary! Besides the place being just plain grody, there
is an even grodier black mold growing everywhere that feeds on blood!
If that wasn't charming enough, there is a weird mongoloid something
living under the cemetery in the front yard. His name is Bobby and
he likes red licorice! That black crap infects people and corpses,
who in turn vomit up more black mold to infect even more people.
Oh, and there is a Lovecraftian Sarlaac Pit thrown in there for
good measure as well. Between TOOLBOX MURDERS and MORTUARY, it seems
like Hoopers got a good thing going. The reality of his situation
is, TCM and POLTERGEIST (cough) were his Citizen Kane and Easy Rider.
It's obviously been tough for him to recapture that lightning he
had once upon a time. But these last two films of his, they feel
like he's heading in a different direction, kind of a "Tobe
Hooper Version 2.0". He's working with some talented new blood
and I think if he keeps swinging, maybe one of his next films could
be the home run. Definitely check this one out when you can.
RENT / d:James L. Frachon
A tight little french movie about a holiday rental infested with
weird killer tarantulas. Very Sam Raimi early Peter Jackson, this
one. Good laughs, good scares, good fun! Viva la France!
/ d:Kevin Shulman
This is a short that desperately needs the feature length treatment.
Broken hearted nice guy widowed doctor (Tony Todd) chats online
with a wonderful woman and they finally agree to meet. He waits
for her and as time passes and he's starting to feel like a fool
when she stands him up. To add insult to injury, he gets hit on
by a transvestite. It turns out things are not as they seem, and
bad things happen to nice people. It's a really great payoff that
left me wanting more. Really good performance by Tony Todd and the
cool, Vangelis-esque score raised the production value alone. If
done correctly, this could be the "DRESSED TO KILL" or
"FATAL ATTRACTION" of our generation. Great work.
DEAD RIOT / d:Derek Wan
I told Mike Gingold, the writer of SHADOW: DEAD RIOT that I loved
this movie the way I love DOLEMITE. He said he wasn't sure how to
respond to that. I think most people felt the same way! See, the
movie starts out all serious, but you are kind of worried that they
are gonna take themselves too seriously. Just when you start to
think, "Ok, this movie sucks."... BLAM! Women's prison!
Titties! Tattoo's! Showers! Cat fights! Tattoo's on titties in the
showers of a women's prison cat fight! Fuck yeah bros! Think THE
STORY OF RICKY with CANDYMAN minus the hook plus zombies in a female
correctional institution. There is like every possible plot device/story
element you could cram into a 92 minute movie. Very cool grindhouse
vibe with modern production values. Sweet score work by rock legend
Vernon Reid of the band Living Color. The fight scenes were fucking
great and the lead actress who played "Solitaire" was
kick fucking ass. That's the best way to describe SHADOW: DEAD RIOT,
with enthusiastic expletives! Fuck yeah see this fucking ridiculous
kick ass movie fuckers!
OF HORROR "Incident On And Off A Mountain Road"
/ d: Don Coscarelli
Loved it. Awesome. I'm sure most of you have already caught this
on Showtime. If you don't have Showtime, there is this new amazing
thing called the internet. In fact, you're on it right now! You'd
be surprised at the things you can find online...
I'm convinced Don Coscarelli has yet to create his best work. Yes,
PHANTASM is going to be around forever, and BUBBA HO-TEP is everyone's
new favorite Bruce Campbell movie, but I feel like the man hasn't
fully realized his potential. He's not like the Carpenters, Cravens
and Hoopers who blew their wads early in their careers. Coscarelli
keeps getting better with age, like fine wine or Twinkies. Someone
please just give this guy a pile of money and let him go crazy with
his awesome self. One thing I must point out besides all the obvious
good stuff is actor Ethan Embry. He was fantastic and definitely
one to keep an eye on. Great work Ethan!
BUSINESS / d: Christopher Garetano
We've already covered this one but it's worth mentioning again.
Chris Garetano's documentary about struggling genre filmmakers is
a funny, eye-opening, and I daresay moving experience. Making movies
is hard as it is, and when you are doing it by yourself with no
money, sometimes without even the most basic tools, it can be downright
gut-wrenching. This movie shows the pure passion of these filmmakers
in the face of any and all obstacles. Brilliant.
ALL FALL DOWN / d: Jake Kennedy
Another Blood Drive Vol.2 winner! Simple story, brilliantly executed.
Obviously influenced by Asian horror, this one actually gets it
right. A group of dickwad teenagers pick on and accidentally kill
a small child. Years later when they have to move the body from
where they hid it, guess what happens? Revenge most satisfying!
This is a good sign as far as where new filmmakers are going to
be taking the genre. Rock!
EXTREMES / d: Takashi Miike, Fruit Chan, Chanwook Park
Awesome, awesome and more awesome! Three amazingly innovative and
exciting genre directors from different parts of Asia make this
a gorgeous, repulsive, unsettling collection of short masterpieces.
I'm hard pressed to pick a favorite, as they all have different
tones and offer something unique. I have to say I really freaked
over Fruit Chan's "Dumplings" because it was...well, fucking
gross! I'm sure it's coming out here soon, or if you cant wait check
your local dvd importer. See it, see it, see it!
ROSE / d: James Tucker
I saw this one when it was called "No One Gets Out", and
quite frankly that's a much better title than "Aunt Rose".
Another brilliant decision made by people who dont make movies.
Anyway, I really liked this one. It had a tight story and good cinematography
for an indie, but what made it really standout were the characters
and performances. All talented actors, simple as that. Writer/Actor
Joshua Nelson is one of those guys who has movie making in his blood,
and you can tell from his performance. This may be totally cliche
but no joke, it's completely appropriate...the guy is like a young
DeNiro. And I don't mean "he looks like a young DeNiro"
or even emulates him, it's that he has the same cold fire in his
eyes as Bobby does. AUNT ROSE has a very cool 70's exploitation
vibe that you are starting to see more and more of these days. The
fact that this movie was being made before this whole "retro"
appreciation in films like HIGH TENSION and THE DEVILS REJECTS,
once again proves that the indie scene is the proverbial crystal
ball for the big studios. This movie satisfies. Check it out.
All in all, a fantastic event I was happy to cover. Honestly, I wish I
could have seen more. Perfect marks for everyone involved! I know where
I'll be next October, so do yourself a big favor and do not miss the next
NYC HORROR FILM FESTIVAL!
A big Thank You to festival coordinator Micheal Hein! Great job dude!