Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Night of Horror International Film Festival Diary, Entry # 1

For the next week, I’ll be publishing a diary of my impressions on the A Night of Horror film festival.

The third A Night of Horror International Film Festival in Sydney started on Thursday, March 26th. You can find details about the festival at their website:

I intended to see as many films as I could during the festival; however, I haven’t had the chance to go to any sessions before yesterday’s (Saturday, 28th) “Shorts Programme # 1: Horror Comedies & Animations” .

Here's a list of the films that were shown:

Em - 8 Min Joshua Long (AU)
Shut Eye Hotel - 7 Min Bill Plympton (USA)
Soul Mates - 19 Min Tom Flynn (USA)
Little Snaps of Horror - 2 Min Graham Rathlin (UK)
Evil Twin - 4 Min Yun Wang (Taiwan / USA)
Aim for the Heart - 6 Min Fernando Huerto (USA)
Bad Reception - 7 Min Kyla Ward (AU)
C/O Flap Jackson - 6 Min John Lustig (USA)
Death in Charge - 15 Min Devi Snively (USA)
Where Nightmares Feed - 3 Min Pete Sleeper (USA)
Treevenge - 16 Min Jason Eisener (Can)

In a time when most feature horror films suffer from a lack of originality, this set of short horrors was like a breathe of fresh air. Of the 11 presented at this session, very few was unable to raise horrorific laughter from the audience.

The best ones among this selection of international films were Soul Mates (Dir: Tom Flynn/19 min/USA), Aim for the Heart (Dir: Fernando Huerto/6 min/USA), and my absolute favourite Treevenge (Dir: Jason Eisener/16 min/Canada).

Soul Mates is about an unsuccessful couples therapist, Barry, who finds himself in a nightmarish scenario when he goes on a blind internet date. His date turns out to be a crazy old woman, who is looking for a body for the ghost of his rockabilly husband. Barry finds, in the face of death, his therapy skills will have to sharpened.

Aim for the Heart presents a short course on how to efficiently kill a vampire, when crosses or garlic don’t work. The narrator, Chris Marino gives valuable tips on which martial arts is best in fighting vampires (kickbox), what kind of weapons to use (wooden stakes, obviously), and the use of one-liners for the finishing touch (“suck on that ass clown!”). The film is available on youtube if anyone is interested.

Treevenge tells the story of Christmas Trees, torn cruelly from their homes by a bunch of vicious humans, and in turn decide to take revenge by a) killing people b) raping them c)crushing their babies’ heads among other things. The film was at the mountains of hilarity with the intentional overacting of the tree cutters, and the dialogues of the trees in their own language, translated in subtitles. This is environmentalist horror at its best! Here’s the trailer:

The session started with a trivia quiz with horror dvd giveaways. Although I knew the answers to two of three questions they asked, I wasn’t quick enough to raise my hand to answer them (Damn!)

The director/actress from one of the films shown, Kyla Ward, was there as well. She did a short introductory speech on her film before the programme. Her film Bad Reception was a vampire story with a twist ending, and gave those of us who have been looking for cheap places to live an idea as to one of the possible places to look.

I left the theatre in a totally satisfied manner, and didn’t forget to get a A Night of Horror t-shirt to support the festival.

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