Tuesday, November 13, 2007


I had to try Horrorfest
because I like the genre, and I can't recall another time in my life that a group of indie films were so Easy to get to. I mean, they are playing in All the little towns nearby - Dothan, Columbus and even right here in Albany. Now only that, but they are playing here in the Big theatre, one of 3 of the 16 rooms always reserved for new/popular films. The other theatres are much smaller (so of course I like going to new films when they first come out, for the big theatre experience). That's why even though my enjoyment of this film festival has been mixed, I'm going back a couple more times.

On Friday I did a double feature of Unearthed and The Deaths of Ian Stone. Unearthed was interesting, filled with what we've come to love in our modern films: gore, and attractive young women being terrorized. I didn't care for the cartoon creatures, and there was a vague flatness to the look of the film that tells you you're not watching a major Hollywood film, but then so what?

I'm just glad I stayed for the 2nd film, The Deaths of Ian Stone, which wasn't so much a horror movie as a thriller/fantasy. In fact, the high school or jr. college students talking a lot in the back row (the only other people in the theatre) were at once disappointed when the film began because they could tell it was a British film - as if the nationality means anything. As it turns out, it was the most interesting of the 3 films I've seen so far. One reviewer called it Groundhog Day for horror films. Well, after seeing Doom, I learned not to bother paying attention to film critics' opinions. I thought Doom was Very fun - and that's the Best thing a film can be, isn't it? - but it got lots of D and F reviews. I disagree. And I digress.

Ian Stone was more like one of the latter Hellraisers, in which someone is trapped in the same day all the time - however, rather than waking up in the same place all the time, Ian wakes in a different life every time. So it's more like Quantum Leap than Anything else. Hey, we've got a QL book coming out next month! :)

Well, the loud kids left about a half hour before the film was over, and I finished it alone. Good movie.

Then last night I saw the 10 o'clock show of Nightmare Man. Well, sir, I know how difficult the indie film biz is. Because you never have the budget you want. So many of the movies, including Nightmare Man, end up looking like student films. This one had gore and plenty of sexiness, and some interesting bits along the way. It's just difficult getting away from the Look of the film - was it shot on video? I hate judging books by their covers, because people do it to our stuff all the time, but there is a reason for it, I realize. To me, the most important way to get Into a film is have good cinematography and enough variety of camera angles. Editing will only take you so far. A picture needs to be viewed from many angles to appreciate it fully, I think, and the same goes for a movie. Well, Nightmare Man was a good try, but, well, again, there were only 4 people in the theatre for this movie, and the young man/woman couple walked out of This film about 20 minutes before it was over. I don't blame them. But I was fascinated, to be honest, to see something like This on the big screen. This is usually the kind of film you'll find bundled in one of those dvd sets - 13 films on 3 dvds for $7.99. So paying $8 for a ticket to it - well, I wasn't about to walk out on it. Besides, there were some Good things about it. Mia, the true lead of the movie, was fun to watch, and some of her dialogue during the terror moments was super.

Yes, I'll be going back before the Fest ends on Sunday. Indie needs our support. It REALLY does. There are jewels to be found.

I would love to publish a few volumes of indie film scripts - one of award-winners, one of horror/terror. There are a lot of blooming, brilliant minds out there. But without rewarding them in Some way - like going to see their films - how are they going to make it? They will wait tables, work at Walmart, and we'll All lose the next Saw, Star Wars and Casablancas.

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