Just for the fun of it, I dragged my hubby to the Saturday night block of horror films at the 2013 Long Island International Film Expo, which was showing at a local theater. After the 3-hour experience, I feel like I’d like to go to a film expo horror night every time I enter a theater.
There was something incredibly old school “midnight movie” about the experience (which is why I came home from the theater and immediately watched then blogged about All About Evil). The feeling in the theater was one of respect for the movie makers and the genre. Enthusiastic applause after each of 4 short films and one feature-length film showed the audience’s enjoyment. And it was thrilling to not know anything about what we were about to see—no beforehand overhyping or trailers that show all the good parts. And after all was said and done, the makers of the films got up on stage for a little Q&A.
The selection of films was perfect. The shorts (all running about 20 minutes or less), could easily be brought together as an anthology film like Creepshow or Tales from the Darkside. And the full-length feature was icing on the cake. Here’s a little breakdown of my experience with each.
Produced in part by horror himbo Joe Zaso, this short film feels like the opening scene of a longer movie—and it should be. Perfectly cast with an adorable kid, his caring babysitter, and a cute dog, this film about their night of pumpkin carving is loaded with genuine interactions, an incredible Halloween spirit, and an awesome and gruesome horror payoff.
Focused completely on a female vampire’s conversation with one of her victims before she’s about to bite him, this short film adds a sadistic little twist to a vampire’s feeding techniques. The female vampire gets completely naked, so during the Q&A, some old bat, not realizing the actress was up on stage with the director, asked him what type of job a woman could have in real life to be so comfortable with getting naked. That’s some insulting shit right there. But actress Christina Wood stepped up to the mike and answered for herself with grace, dignity, and an awesome zinger about her 4.0 GPA. By the way, her male victim was a hot bald daddy.
For Clearer Skies
You know the traditional concept of aliens coming to earth and disguising themselves as humans to wreak havoc (V, The Terminator, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, etc.)? This short film takes a look at how the alien would actually react when he finds out he has to disguise himself as one of us!
This excellently executed and acted short film about a virus outbreak in the 1950s deals with human relations, bigotry, and cannibalistic infected. So when the same judgmental old bat who called out the nude chick asked with some disdain what compelled the director/star to want to make a horror movie, I was really put off when he showed just as much disdain at having his high piece of art about the human condition in the film festival’s horror block. But then I remembered that a few months back, my publisher volunteered me and my book Combustion for a gay mystery writers discussion panel at the Rainbow Book Fair, and I kept saying repeatedly that my book is horror not mystery. So I kind of forgave the director of Town Red.
The Human Race
After the 4th short film, I had a feeling my hubby wasn’t going to want to stick around for a full-length feature, so I told him that if it sucked, we could leave. We were riveted the entire time. Wow. The Human Race needs way bigger distribution. This sci-fi/suspense/horror is like a sadistic take on The Running Man concept, with regular everyday people. They don’t know what’s going on, and neither do we, other than the fact that they are all in a race for their life. The performances are amazing and actor Eddie McGee—who was also the winner of the first season of Big Brother—is a pro on crutches. See, in the movie and in real life, Eddie is missing one leg. He also happens to be fricking hot as hell…..