This weekend is the annual Spooky Empire convention in Orlando, Florida, and along with it the Freak Show Film Festival! Three days of independent horror flicks! The festival is certainly not gem after gem after gem, but they do pop up (like Resurrection County) and this year’s lineup looks promising!
All of the trailers are at the official site. Here are my thoughts on the trailers to the features…
7:00 PM: TOXIC LULLABY (playing with “Anorexia” and “Endless”): LSD trip meets the zombie apocalypse in this subtitled German film. I’m no snob…”zombie apocalypse” ensures that this will be on my gotta-see list, and since it’s the first movie of the festival my endurance will not yet have been tested.
9:00 PM: BEWARE (playing with “Bull Lake”): A slasher flick. Not a slasher flick that’s going to redefine the genre or omit any cliches, based on the trailer, but see my “I’m no snob” comment above. This one looks fun.
11:00 PM: SKEW (playing with “He Dies At The End” and “Alistair”): The Blair Witch Project on a road trip. So Day #1 of the Freak Show Film Festival does not look to be jam-packed with originality, but I like zombies, slashers, and “found footage” movies, and Skew looks like it’s gonna have lots of in-your-face supernatural mayhem, so I’m psyched!
This is where some difficult decisions come in, because there’s other cool programming at the convention, and occasionally I may want to have a meal. But here are the offerings:
Noon: HAUNTED CHANGI (with “I Rot”): Another found footage movie, this one from Singapore. Unlike Skew, this one seems to be pretty by-the-numbers for this genre, but maybe there’s more to it than the trailer suggests…
2:00 PM: Three shorts: “Spirale,” “Play Dead,” and “An Evening With My Comatose Mother.” I love horror shorts, but I don’t like to watch the trailers beforehand, so I have no opinion on these…YET!
3:30 PM: RATLINE: Nazis and black magic! The preview is loaded with gore and nudity, and it’s a film by Eric Stanze, who did Scrapbook, one of the nastiest (and most effective!) micro-budget horror films I’ve ever seen.
5:30 PM: THE DEAD INSIDE (playing with “Doll Parts”): This truly pains me, because based on the trailers this is the movie I most want to see, but it’s during the Killer Klowns From Outer Space reunion. A horror musical that looks quite wonderfully deranged.
7:30 PM: THE MOLEMAN OF BELMONT AVENUE: A horror/comedy (with Robert Englund) about a monster in an apartment building that’s eating everybody’s pets. Looks genuinely funny. I may be surviving on energy bars and Craisins.
9:30 PM: ABSENTIA (playing with “Incubator”): A friend who programs a different film festival said that this is the best horror movie of the year. It does indeed look pretty cool.
11:30 PM: EATERS (playing with “Roid Rage,” “Cabine of the Dead,” “The Thing Under My Bed,” and a sneak preview of The Walking Dead Season 2): A totally generic looking zombie flick. By 11:30 PM, will my defenses have worn down to the point where I can’t handle a totally generic looking zombie flick? We shall see…
Noon: THE LAST LIGHT (playing with Hungry Hickory): The filmmaker, George Clarke, has had two previous films in the Freak Show Film Festival (BATTLE OF THE BONE and THE KNACKERY) and they were both among my favorites. This one looks to be a drastic change of pace, going for quiet atmosphere over action, but I’m excited about any movie this guy makes.
2:00 PM: More shorts (“Divination” and “The Headless Lover.”)
3:00 PM: THE MILLENNIUM BUG (playing with “Waffle” and “Carny”): A cheesy-looking creature feature that I’m told is very enjoyable and in line with my sensibilities. So I may be sticking around with the Freak Show Film Festival until the very end…