Flesh Farmers at 9th annual Hollywood SHRIEKFEST
Sunday, October 11th 2009
I’m getting ready to embark on hiatus. But before I say farewell for a while, I thought I’d make my way over to the 9th annual Shriekfest Film Festival in Hollywood (one of my favorite film festivals). It’s obviously one of my favorite film festivals. HELLO- I WAS A SPONSOR THIS YEAR! If you paid attention, you would know that already.
My writing buddy (or as he says, “soul-less mate” aka The Tim Reaper) and I fought traffic to make it to the first feature of the weekend on Friday night. “Maneater,” starring the still sexy but a little beefier than I remember Dean Cain, kicked off the festival on a decent note.
So here’s what we’re gonna do from now on: we’ll be like Siskel and Ebert—except Princess and Reaper (Tim will play the part of Siskel since, well, you know, they’re both dead and all). Tim, why don’t you kick off the discussion…
Thanks for that heartwarming intro, Princess Jo. My first Shriekfest was quite heartwarming as well, actually. We arrived on Friday night in time to chat with Denise Gossett, the founder and festival director, who seemed really pumped on the whole night, which in turn helped spurn a fun and exciting atmosphere. After asking around for a good place to get some pasta (to no real avail), we made our way in to see Maneater, directed by Michael Emanuel.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from an independent film festival like this, but I was pleasantly surprised with this movie, mostly because the acting was pretty good and well, there were lots of boobies. The movie was only 90 minutes, but I felt there were some significant parts of the movie that could be chopped down. That said, the Native American premise of a Wendigo was pretty original and there were some good, bloody, tense, (and naked) moments throughout the movie.
That was all we had time for unfortunately on Friday night, but we cleared our calendars for Saturday….
Yeah, it’s true. I’m kinda lame. We had to leave early because I had to get up the next morning for a 10K running race. Excuse me for caring about my health. Anyway, yeah, lots of boobies. Totally required for a horror movie. Way to go Michael Emanuel. Way to go. I agree that the movie could have been chopped down, but, overall, it was a positive way to start out the fest.
Post-race, we dove into four hours of shorts. Holy fucking shit I can’t believe I watched that many movies at once. That’s a first.
Maybe it’s just because I have a short attention span, but I thought the shorts were amazing. I should say though that the first short—“Lock(Ed) In”--was not so short (39 minutes) and not so good. I should also say that it was written and performed by high school students, which is pretty badass, but that doesn’t make it any good. It was like watching a movie made by high school kids, if you know what I mean.
The others were all entertaining but a few of them deserve special mention. They include “Marooned?” (a Twilight Zone-ish slightly disturbing comedy about a geeky role-player who thinks the game is real) by USD’s Ryan Nagata, “Death in Charge” (a female Death finds herself babysitting) by Devi Snively, and “The Horribly Slow Murderer with the Extremely Inefficient Weapon” (spoiler alert: It’s a spoon. And it’s hilarious). These three were my favorites of the shorts, oddly enough because they had humorous tinges to them. But they were also pretty fucking dark. And that, to me, is a tasty recipe.
I actually prefer the shorts. Features are typically too long for me and I just end up wiggling in my seat the whole time. Which I ended up doing during “Lock(Ed) In.” It was a finalist for short screenplay. Hmmmm…must have been better on paper. The festival would have worked a lot better without the production. Sorry kids. I agree with my fellow reviewer in regards to “Marooned?” Too bad it was made by a USC film student. BOOOOOO TROJANS. That deathly mistake aside, the writing and acting were top-notch. “Death In Charge,” won the Pretty Scary and Best Horror Short Film awards this year and rightfully so, it was acted, directed, and written by women. GO ESTROGEN! Reaper is also right in his review of “The Horribly Slow…” I was laughing at him laughing. He giggled like a schoolgirl throughout the entirety of the 8-minute film. Because I love a little werewolf action, “Howling Brat,” by David Pope was a fun little ditty.
Shriekfest is not only a Horrorfest but a Sci-Fi Fest and I need to give a shout out to the sci-fi filmmakers and films. I saw a couple that I liked quite a bit. Anything about time travel makes my veins shake with creepiness. Kudos to Canadian filmmaker Marc Roussel on his short, “Remote.” The idea was great.
We took a break to get some Astro Burger, but headed back to watch another full-length—the Saw-inspired “Shellter.” This bloody mess, directed by Dan Donley, seemed to want to disgust the audience more than horrify them. To the moviemakers’ credit, they certainly did that. There were many “ugh” sounds from the audience, particularly when a crazy doctor in a fallout shelter glued a woman’s mouth shut and proceeded to feed her slimy food via a tube in her nose. Later on he lobotomized a woman and then raped her catatonic body. He also did some vaginal surgery on some women that I would recommend viewers not try at home, if at all possible. All in all, it was an interesting premise (how far would you go to stay alive in an enclosed--read: trapped--living situation), but it didn’t blow me away. This genre of horror movie rakes in the big bucks, but I don’t find it satisfying when EVERY act of violence is to the extreme. Save some shit for the end, you know? You gotta make every slice count I say.
We didn’t make it back on Sunday for the rest of the films, but I highly recommend checking out next year’s festival, or at least looking up some of these movies online and trying to find DVDs of them. I heard “How to Be a Serial Killer” was quite impressive, especially the lead actor’s work. I wonder if Netflix would ever end up carrying something like that…in the meantime, keep your eyes open (and your lights on)…or I’ll getcha.
Reaper gave you all you need to know about that trainwreck known as “Shellter.” The cinematography was fine but the story was lame. If I wanted to see torture I’d check out one of the 50 billion “Saw” movies. No thanks!
Overall, the festival was a success! I love it I love it I love it! Can’t wait for next year. Congrats to Denise and Todd for running a fun show once again.
Now I take a bow and bid thee farewell! Thanks for reading the past few years. I’ll be sure to check in once in a while.
- Princess Jolene and The Tim Reaper
|Princess Jolene Archives:
April 30th, 2009 - FANGORIA 2009
October 22nd, 2008 - Shoot em up, Bleed em out
September 14th, 2008 - The End of Summer and Beginning of Gun Season
June 30th, 2008 - A romantic gesture and a discussion with Ralis Kahn
May 1st, 2008 - Fango 2008
March 28th, 2008 - A Historical Event: My First Female Interview
February 20th, 2008 - A mass of vomited words about artist Ben Templesmith
February 1st, 2008 - Happy S&M, er, Valentine’s Day from artist Bryan Barnes
January 14th, 2008 - Puking, s&m and dumpster babies in one quick swoop?
December 15th, 2007 - Interview with Fellow Workaholic Rolfe Kanefsky
November 20th, 2007 - The Grand Finale
November 5th, 2007 - Jesus really does love me!
October 22nd, 2007 - I'm glad Spike TV loves me!
October 9th, 2007 - Shriekfest Entertained the Princess!
September 29th, 2007 - For the love of gore
September 14th, 2007 - Surviving the basement with Broadstone
August 28th, 2007 - The Coolest Cat I’ve Ever Met
August 9th, 2007 - It’s nearly Halloween but where’s my sugar?
July 15th, 2007 - Give Me Sugar to Make Me Happy
June 23rd, 2007 - My Day at the Erotic Circus
June 8th, 2007 - Why Adam Green is So Cool
May 22nd, 2007 - I Love Me Some Fango…and, Autopsies, of course!
May 9th, 2007 - Fire, Fango, and My Awesomeness
April 26th, 2007 - The Princess Gets Serious with Palumbo
April 10th, 2007 - From the set of Roadside Killer: Episode 2
March 13th, 2007 - The Princess and the Creeper
February 20th, 2007 - Romero Turned Me Into a Ninny
February 5th, 2007 - Sex and Gore are my life
January 18th, 2007 - Meet the Bitchin’ Guys from Unhinged Cinema
December 20th, 2006 - Happy Holidays my Fellow Flesh Farmers!
December 12th, 2006 - Holidays and Corpses
November 22nd, 2006 - Rape, Stinky Rice and a Poodle named Bud
October 27th, 2006 - Metal Singer Sets Princess Jolene Aflame
October 13th, 2006 - Writer Murders Thousands in Amusement Park Massacre
October 5th, 2006 - Nothing Sexier than a Zombie Munching on Intestines