Skunk Ape!? ^ **** ^ Directed by Matt and Greg Brookenz ^ The legend of the Florida Skunk Ape, otherwise known as “the pussy version of Bigfoot,” grows even larger as we find out that he hates punk rock music. Punk rockers, Screaming Scab and the Herpes, are chased out of the Florida Everglades by the Skunk Ape, only to be followed to their home in Chicago where it hunts the band members down one by one. Fucking hilarious short that gets funnier with repeated viewings.
Death and a Salesman ^ *** ½ ^ Directed by Joe Grisaffi ^ A car salesman croaks and shortly there afterwards finds himself trying to sell one of his lemons out on the lot to Death itself. Saw this one twice and it had the audience rolling with laughter both times. All in all, a great looking, funny short.
Director’s Cut ^ *** ^ Directed by Eric Stacey ^ Who said snuff movies can’t be funny? Eric Stacey’s jab at Hollywood hopefuls and the ridiculous shit they’ll do on reality TV shows provides plenty of humor here. We also get to see a bunch of meatheads bite the big one. That’s good movie watchin’.
Virus ^ **** ^ Directed by Rusty Nelson ^ A computer hacker gets a taste of his own medicine, sort of, after a virus he wrote destroyed a man’s family and life. One of my favorite shorts of the festival as it never strays from its intention to just tell a good, short story with a helluva kicker at the end. There’s no bullshit here – just a good story and great filmmaking.
Savage Island ^ **** ^ Directed by Jeffery Lando ^ What can I say? This was my favorite film of the festival. In the tradition of “The Hills Have Eyes,” two families cross paths, one a little more civilized than the other, and the results are brutal. The events in this film just get darker and dirtier as they proceed, never once compromising for its grim nature. I thought they didn’t make ‘em like this anymore. Apparently Jeffery does.
The Champagne Club ^ **** ^ Directed by Joao Machado ^ Four aristocrats decide to escape to a secluded, exotic villa for an undetermined period of time to break on through to the other side of art. They will do this by indulging to excess in the finest of food, drink, drugs and sex, lowering themselves to the point of filthy beasts and ultimately becoming the mad artists they so desire to be. A perfect mix of “American Psycho” with “Salo,” with its own ideas in the forefront, “The Champagne Club” goes from nasty to nastier to downright gruesome. But as far out of control as this film gets, it never goes too far for its own good. It certainly stands right at the line and threatens to step over it constantly, but by not doing so, Joao Machado doesn’t lose his audience. Check it out with your favorite drink or drug of choice.
The Glove ^ *** ^ Directed by Mark Walling ^ Forged by Satan, a computer gaming power glove turns one man’s dream of perhaps becoming the king of “Quake” into a nightmare as the glove comes to life and kills his buddy, then turns its attention on him. Fun film with killer special effects.
Ghost of the Needle ^ *** ^ Directed by Brian Avenet-Bradley ^ A sick fuck lures women into his subterranean photo studio where he proceeds to drug then shrink wrap them in plastic like a regretted Whitesnake CD. But a whack on the head sends this killer, and the audience, wandering through the dark recesses of his filthy mind, as well as the land of confusion. Refreshingly different than your run-of-the-mill serial killer thrillers.
Sawbones ^ ***1/2 ^ Reminiscent of Ambrose Bierce’s An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, this gory short takes place during the Civil War where a surgeon, otherwise known as “sawbones” in those times, finds that things may not be exactly as they seem. Everyone in the theater was screaming and yelling during this one.
Cannibal Maniac ^ ***1/2 ^ Directed by Annette Martinez and Lou Garcia ^ Just the kind of film you want to see at a horror film festival with a rowdy audience – a loud, violent, gory, rockin’ flesh eating cannibal movie. An ancient relic winds up turning some guy into a bloodthirsty maniac, and so begins his violent, rip shit rampage. Loaded up with guts and loud and raunchy punk rock, “Cannibal Maniac” is a perfect film to get that riot goin’.
Severe Injuries ^ ***1/2 ^ Directed by Amy Lynn Best ^ Saturday night ended with a special screening of the rough cut of Amy Lynn Best’s latest film “Severe Injuries.” After a long day of movie watching, I didn’t think anything could be as entertaining as this, in fact the entire audience reacted enthusiastically. “Severe Injuries” is a loving tribute to 80s slasher flicks, all the while poking fun at all of their clichés. An all-star cast is featured here, which includes Lilith Stabs, Robyn Griggs, Jasi Cotton Lanier and Amy Lynn Best. This film must have been a blast to work on and it certainly shows on the screen. From what I could tell, the film is nearly finished, so look for it heading your way soon.
Crawling over the finish line in part three of TEACHING GEORGIA THE FRIGHT>>>

Posted on October 17, 2003 in Festivals by

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