The Spooky Movie Festival, the D.C. area’s very own horror movie festival, is wrapping up for 2010 with the usual awesome parade of low-budget, no-budget indie horror and supernatural subject short films. I was unable to see everything, as usual, but I did drop by on Sunday for a lot of the short film fare.
There were many standout excellent short films this year. My particular favorite was TUCKER AND DALE VERSUS EVIL, a fantastic role reversal story:
Two bumbling hillbillies, Tucker (FIREFLY’s Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine), are mistaken for crazed backwoods psychos by a group of college kids on spring break. Everything the duo does feeds into the fear and paranoia of the preppie campers, who see no other choice but to confront the hayseeds, leading to a series of grisly accidents that Tucker and Dale interpret as suicide attacks. Sharp, funny and original, TUCKER & DALE VS. EVIL has proven, since its debut at Sundance earlier this year, to be one of the most hysterically entertaining horror/comedy epics to come along in years, receiving South by Southwest’s 2010 Audience Award and the Best First Feature at the 2010 Fantasia Film Festival.
At 86 minutes, Tucker and Dale must be a challenge to find a market for outside of the CHILLER network, but that’s okay, this is a film that will find its spot in the world.
Another outstanding role reversal picture is the POV zombie transformation film COLIN: Colin is bitten by a zombie; he dies and returns as one of the undead. We follow him as he wanders through suburbia during the throes of a cadaverous apocalypse. Through his encounters with objects, places and people, we learn who Colin was and more pertinently, what he has now become. Including a broad daylight zombie versus human street battle, an epic housebound siege and bags of gore. Already a worldwide phenomenon with huge media coverage since its premiere at Cannes, COLIN is the first zombie movie told from the zombie’s perspective.
This is a little heavy on the jump-cutty, stuttering camera approach that directors of zombie flicks are using these days, but I can’t get over the audacity of the central concept. Smart and wonderful!
Other standouts include MONSTRO DEL MAR! which appears to be a retread of FASTER PUSSYCAT! KILL, KILL! combined with THE BEAST FROM 20000 FATHOMS.
and the UH OH SHOW! a new film by the grandfather of gore films, Herschel Gordon Lewis, which looks like a cross between the Gong Show and Bloosucking Freaks:
There’s actually a more conventional, Nickelodeon style show out there called “the Uh Oh Show”, I wonder what they think of it?
Probably the film with the best shot at distribution outside of the film festival circuit was EVERYTHING’S EVENTUAL, based on a Stephen King short story from Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine. Everything’s Eventual is a short story about a high school dropout that finds a use for his special power to kill by email. Eventual was part of the Stephen King DOLLAR BABY program, a scholarship where aspiring filmmakers can acquire permission to film Stephen King stories for a dollar.
A slightly more conventional offering was THE ECHO GAME which reminded me of a very old movie called THE FURY. A mother must protect her foster daughter from a deranged scientist hell bent on recovering her psychic powers. I found it dragged a lot in the middle but reached a very satisfactory conclusion.
That’s about all I managed to cover. EVERY OTHER DAY IS HALLOWEEN had its Virginia Debut, and many other short film pieces were screened.
A big thank you to C.W. Prather for putting this show on every year. He put in a lot of work to make it happen. I am glad it gets a steady crowd but I hope the word spreads far and wide for D.C.’s very own Horror and Supernatural Film Festival.
Don’t Worry… We’ll Hug it Out..