Saturday, October 23, 2010

Horror Society Film Festival - Day One

Saturday kicked off with TerrorVision (1986), which I had just watched as recently as January. Already love this film but even more of a blast seeing it on the big screen with a bunch of horror fans. Really dig all the nods to W.A.S.P. (O.D. is my favorite character, natch). 6.7/10 After that flick finished my friend Ron showed up and we patiently waited for Clay Westervelt to arrive.

Now it was time for a documentary I've been wanting to see all year: Popatopolis (2009), directed by Westervelt, who flew in to introduce the film and give a Q&A afterwards. I've held off watching this on home video expressly to see it in this environment. I only wish more people were in attendance. The doc is great as it covers Jim Wynorski as he attempts to direct an entire film in 3 days (The Witches of Breastwick 3). It's a fascinating look at not just b-movies but also the decline of b-movies because of how these films are produced so quickly and sold to direct-to-cable. Very enjoyable.

Afterwards I moderated the Q&A, which was also very good for the line of questions asked. Really great to finally meet Clay and spend some time with him this way. Only wish there was more time to hang out! 8.5/10

After a few photos and autographs, it was now time for Wynorski's Chopping Mall (1986)!! I also put off a viewing this for a while in anticipation of this event. Definitely worth that and then some to see it projected (even if it was just the DVD) with a great crowd. Lots of laughing during this one. Still wish it retained its Killbotz title. 6.7/10

Now it was time for local Chicago director Anthony G. Sumner's Slices of Life (2010). Holy shit that was the most people I've ever seen at a Portage Theater event. So many people came out to support the actors and filmmakers of this Chicago-based production. I think nearly all the cast of this horror anthology was there and came onstage at the end. The lot of them stretched the length (width?) of the stage! Pretty cool to see that even if the film was just so-so. 6.4/10

Now it was already past midnight but a fairly decent sized crowd was still around (most of those Slices of Life supporters split as soon as the film was over). Those sticking around were there for the most notorious film of the year, A Serbian Film (2009). Unfortunately one of the projectors fried so they had to call in a technician to repair. This pushed back the start time by almost 2 hours! Fuck all. We stuck around as we've been looking forward to this moment since SxSW. Sadly many people did leave and missed out on seeing this absurdly brutal film play out on the big screen. As a film I was amazed at how well shot and how good it looks. Srdjan Todorovic is excellent in the lead (and all the women are so incredibly attractive). For the violence it is definitely hardcore but somehow didn't resonate with me as I expected it, which is probably a good thing because this isn't an easy film to watch unfold. I could see viewing it again sometime in the distant future. 7.7/10
  • October New: 42
  • October Re-watch: 10
  • October Total: 52
  • 2010 TOTAL: 636

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