Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Jason goes to Holehead--day 6

A couple more movies last night.

First was a really interesting flick, "The Wild Man of the Navidad", which was unfortunately spoiled by a few frustrating technical glitches. They played the first few minutes without sound before they stopped it, ran to get the backup copy, and started it again. What unfolded looked like part home movie and part monster movie (which makes sense, it takes place in a small Texas town). This is allegedly based on true stories and the journals of Dale Rogers, and many locals allegedly played themselves in the movie. I assume they were the ones who couldn't act, but even that was kind of fun. Dale Rogers had a secret--on his family land, there was a mysterious beast. Every night at 9:00 he leaves a skinned rabbit on the porch, this keeps the beast from attacking. But he just got fired from his welding job, his wife is very sick, his Latino assistant is a total pervert (that was kind of out of left field), and he needs money. It's hunting season, and most folks around those parts open up their land to hunters for a fee. It's a dangerous proposition, but he's pretty desperate. Besides, he's never actually seen the beast, maybe it's just a big animal--a wolf or bear--something to be wary of, but nothing out of the ordinary. Well, hunting on his land does not go well. People die, the Beast gets angrier and angrier, eventually attacking Dale's home. Then the town gets a real hunting party together, to take the Beast out for good. And unfortunately, that's just the time the print started to skip, so I could barely see the ending pay-off shot of what the beast actually is. But maybe that's for the better, since locals (allegedly) still debate what it was. I could tell that it had a human looking nose and very non-human tusks.

Then before the next feature, they played "The Adventure" again, because it's just an awesome, fun short.

And then I saw the coolest, craziest thing ever. "Exte: Hair Extensions" is a Japenese flick (the Japanese are totally dominating this festival) about, of all things, haunted hair. It opens with a bad-smelling shipping container. Inspectors open it, and discover it's full of hair. Odd, but they've seen shipments of human hair used for fashionable hair extensions--nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is that there's a dead body in it.

You'd think a movie about haunted hair would have to be pretty silly. And that silliness is provided by a scene stealing crazy morgue worker with a hair fetish. When he steals the body because of its beautiful hair, that's a little weird. When the hair continues to grow--at an alarming rate that soon fills his apartment--that's weirder. When he's in ecstasy over that, we've hit just the right apex of weirdness.

You'd also think a movie about haunted hair couldn't be that scary or gruesome. There you'd be wrong. That hair makes it into hair extensions used at a local beauty salon. And customers who get those extensions are in for a pretty brutal ride. Pulling a loooong strand out from under an eyeball, that's pretty gruesome (and looked real), but that's just the beginning (gives a new meaning to the term "hairy eyeball"). No, this hair is fuckin' angry, and fuckin' mean! Yuko is a young hairdresser taking care of her niece Mami, and they're the main protagonists/victims in the plot, which involves kidnappers/organ harvesters. But really, it's the amazing effects of the hair attacks that make the movie (all the more amazing in that the rest of the movie looks fairly low-budget). Each individual strand is animated very well, and the effect is really scary as hell. And, of course, I have an affinity for hair so this movie really spoke to me. Sing along, "Hair, hair, my hair, hair. Hair, hair, my hair hair!"

No comments: