Just three movies last night. That was on a Saturday. This festival is too easy. But one other thing that I love about this year's festival is that most of the features are paired with a short film, including the first two movies last night.
The first short was EVERYTHING I NEEDED TO KNOW ABOUT ZOMBIES I LEARNED FROM THE MOVIES. A locally made clever little low budget story of a few survivors cornered by zombies. The know how to survive from watching enough zombie movies. Too bad movies are nothing like reality.
Keeping up with the zombie and zombie-movie theme, the feature was the mockumentary REEL ZOMBIES. David Francis is the hack director of ZOMBIE NIGHT and AWAKENING: ZOMBIE NIGHT 2 (and checking IMDb, those are real movies he directed and they really do suck, so he's got quite a sense of humor about himself to make such a self-mocking movie). Well, his first two movies didn't do so well, and now no one's interested in seeing a zombie movie. Mainly because of the actual real-life zombie apocalypse. But Mike Masters, the produces of the ZOMBIE NIGHT movies gets a brilliant idea. A) after the zombies are defeated, the survivors will want to see zombie movies, and B) they have a perfect opportunity to shoot a zombie movie with perfect realism and no make-up effects--just use real zombies. So they get their old crew together, figure out how to wrangle zombies, and shoot a low-budget, low-competence flick. Of course, the fact that there will be zombie accidents is a foregone conclusion (No professionals here, they wrangle the zombies using loops of straps tied to the end of hockey sticks. Oh yeah, they're Canadian). The real fun is watching how incompetent they are at all other aspects of filmmaking. All of the action is caught by Andrew Fruman, who did the EPK (Electronic Press Kit) for ZOMBIE NIGHT 2. He refuses to call his current effort an EPK, insisting it's a documentary and it's better than anything David is putting on film. And undoubtedly, he's right. He captures a ridiculous comedy of errors, with the no-budget foibles ranging from a DP who only speaks French (and no translator), to inequity in craft service (how come the zombies get meat, but the human actors only get stale rolls and overripe bananas?) Oh yeah, and then of course the zombies get loose and kill everyone. Of course. Hilarious.
REEL ZOMBIES plays again Wednesday, June 10 at 5 pm.
The next show started with the short THE PICK UP. A mysterious sexy blonde is walking along the rode looking for a ride. A man drives up and picks her up. Soon we learn that this was a planned encounter, he had arranged to meet her. Or someone, he was actually expecting a redhead. But still, they go to a motel (of the "hourly rate" variety) where an overly enthusiastic and creepy manager ushers them into their parking spot and ultimately into their room. And then we find out no one is who they seem to be. Looks can be deceiving.
And then a ridiculous celebration of extreme bad taste--BLACK DEVIL DOLL. At the stroke of midnight, militant black power radical Mumia Al-Jabr (or something like that, all those gibberish names sound the same to me) is to be executed at midnight for the rape and murder of a dozen or so white women. Meanwhile, fantastically bit-tittied Heather is alone and bored. Nothing on TV, her slutty best friend is busy at some gang-bang or something. So finally right at the stroke of midnight she starts playing with a Ouija board. And of course, she contacts the spirit of Mumia whose spirit infects a puppet and he becomes the Black Devil Doll. At first despite how he speaks disrespectfully (calling Heather a bitch and worse), Heather still falls for him. After all, it's a perfect match--she's got big ol' white titties and he's got a big ol' black puppet cock. And for a while (at least the length of a montage), it's a beautiful romantic story showing how the power of love can break down any barriers and create a little piece of heaven here on earth. But, of course, he's a man and he can't spend all his time banging the same white ass, so he's gotta get some strange. That's a little hard for a puppet, so he enlists her help. She calls her slutty friends over for a party, gets them all worked up, and then has to leave to "run an errand" (hang out at McDonald's while he does his business. By the way, if they actually got McDonald's to pay for product placement in this movie, that's genius! If they didn't, they should have.) Thing is, she only expected him to have sex with them, not kill them all. But he's got a point, he can't just say, "Hi, I'm a puppet with a big black cock, do me!", killing them seemed to be the easiest way. Hilarious, and I don't think anything can ever count as being offensive ever again.
BLACK DEVIL DOLL plays again next Saturday, June 13 at 5 pm and closes the festival on Thursday, June 18 at 9:30 pm.
And finally, the midnight movie was FRAT HOUSE MASSACRE. This was one of the title's that worried me the most--it sounds like the premise of some trashy stupid bit of exploitation (as opposed to the good, shocking, smart exploitation). So I was surprised to find that this did have some amount of story to it. Not much, but more than I expected. Sean and Bobby are brothers, Sean is a senior in college, Bobby just graduated high school. He's planning to go to the same college, and even pledge Sean's frat (ΔIE, or DIE, get it?) But in the first post-graduation party, he's hit by a drunk driver and put in a coma. Meanwhile, Sean has some problems of his own. Seems the leadership of his frat has gone beyond the normal initiation rituals--straight to murder. Well, right about the time the frat leaders punish (i.e., kill) Sean for his insubordination, Bobby wakens from his coma. That fall, he enrolls, happens to get assigned a dorm room with the frat President's little brother, and decides to pledge ΔIE himself. But shortly after he shows up, frat members start to show up dead. There's a twist or two, and things get really stabby. Sadly, with one exception the murders the frat commits are more interesting than the murders committed against them. Oh yeah, and this is a period piece (1978), which as far as I can tell was either they wanted to have disco music and call cocaine "Disco", or they got their hands on some vintage cars they wanted to show off. And then there's lots of mindless bloodletting, to the point that it gets hard to tell who's who, who's alive, and who's dead. But don't worry, by the end everyone will be dead.
FRAT HOUSE MASSACRE plays again Monday, June 15 at 7:15 pm.