As part of Horrible Imaginings Film Festival’s Saturday offerings, a smattering and a half of shorts were available for viewings split into a few blocks and attached to the features playing that day. Here are a few highlights from these.
In 1953, “War of the Worlds” brought American audiences an alien foe that crash landed on Earth, and destroyed every inch of the world before it, before finally being defeated by irony. Don Siegel’s 1956 “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” has managed to garner as much influence, and some argue even more influence, mainly for creating an alien invader that’s so much more personal, private, and perverse. Not to mention so much cleverer than any human can outwit in the long run.
Written by Max Groah and Tim Mayo with Groah directing, Bong of the Living Dead is a fun and funny take on the zombie apocalypse and on friends with odd skills managing to do better than most. Their take on the sub-genre is one that doesn’t bring a ton of new things to the table but their vision uses things that are familiar in great ways. On a smaller scale, it reminds of Shaun of the Dead in that the filmmakers and cast have a clear love of zombies and zombie films and they bring it to the screen here in a manner that is entertaining and respectful of the films they clearly adore. The writing is clever and the direction keeps everything tight.
“Creepshow” isn’t just a horror movie, but it’s also the gold standard for what most anthology horror movies strive to be. While there have been anthology horror films before it, “Creepshow” popularized the genre for a new decade and helped redefine the idea of the sub-genre. Not just that, but “Creepshow” is also a rebuttal to the golden age of horror comic from EC. Once upon a time the comics label that produced violent horror based comics were shut down due to their controversial nature. “Creepshow” is a movie that combines immense talents from folks like George Romero, Stephen King, and Tom Savini to provide something of a rebellious middle finger and show a new audience that these tales were as fun as they were violent.
As is now traditional, Horrible Imaginings Film Festival played a boatload of short films as part of their programing this years, all highly curated and of great quality. As those shorts are many and all were good, it was hard to make a selection of some of them. Here are mini-reviews for a selection of those shorts from day 1, Friday.
J. Larose and Ashley Smith appear in the recently released horror film “Extremity” (perfect for Halloween and available on demand!). The pair of stars took a few minutes to answer our questions about production, and their careers.
It’s been a very long time since Michael Myers was such an imposing or scary horror figure. After many years where he became a reality star getting his ass handed to him by a hip hop star, and being turned in to a hillbilly, it’s good to see Michael Myers once again return to the form he arrived in as “The Shape.” Directed by David Gordon Green, “Halloween” (or “H40,” if you want to get very technical) won’t be for everyone, as it is a mixed bag that makes a controversial decision with its narrative and the mythos. In the end, though, I had a great time, and would recommend it, especially for the horror base looking for a good return to the universe Carpenter specifically established.
The first “Goosebumps” movie was a big surprise for me. While I was against it being a fluid narrative and not an anthology or adaptation of one of the books, it ended up being a great, heartfelt, and genuinely fun horror comedy. And Jack Black as RL Stine was such a nice little addition that helped what was essentially a love letter to RL Stine’s imagination. It pains me to say that, like a lot of others, I just did not like “Goosebumps 2.” It’s not only the fact that it tosses out a lot of what made the original film so much fun, but it also completely recycles the premise from the first film with a monster apocalypse… except, you know, on Halloween.