Saturday, May 12, 2012

Jason goes to the HP Lovecraft Film Festival--Day 1

Appropriately I'm a little outside of my normal haunts, up in Portland, in fact, for a weekend of Gothic horror at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival and CthuluCon. I started with an evening full of shorts.

Shorts Program 1
AMBIDEXTROCITY: An amusing demonstration of 2-handed drawing, using a split screen mirror effect to make it look like faked 2-handed drawing.
BEDTIME FOR TIMMY: A cute and funny stop-motion animated piece. Timmy is worried about the monster in his closet, when he should really focus on the monster under his bed.
BLACK PHARAOH: A scene shot and then cut out of THE WHISPERER IN DARKNESS (included as an Easter Egg on the DVD,) re-worked with Swedish metal music.
CULTIST CO. STARTER PACK: A commercial for everything you need to go to hell.
DOCTOR GLAMOUR: Funny, crazy mini rock opera about Miskatonic students in love, a portal to surreal lands, and the Doctor who is your guide there.
MIDNIGHT, THE STARS, AND LOVECRAFT: Beautiful visions of the heavens, hellish rituals, and an observatory, with Lovecraft's face in the sky.
STAY AT HOME DAD: A comedy of gender roles, male lactation, and demons.
THE CURSE OF YIG: A story of an anthropologist studying snake god legends in Native American tribes, who finds more than she bargained for. Based on the story by Lovecraft, but it sort of dragged on too long. Could've been tightened up considerably for the screen, I think they were too faithful to the story and every element in it.
THE EVIL CLERGYMAN: Shot in 1988, this is a segment of the abandoned horror anthology PULSE POUNDERS. It's actually being cleaned up and released on its own, but this was a special sneak preview of  the unfinished footage. It reunites the RE-ANIMATOR cast of Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton (looking very good!) and David Gale.
THE TUNNEL: A Swedish short about dark brooding, a darker tunnel, and an even darker creature.

And after a brief Q&A, I raced upstairs to another theater for Shorts Program 2. Not as much comedy as Shorts Program 1, but still very good. And a fair bit of silent film, which I not only love but is very appropriate for Lovecraft's time.
CELL PHONE PSYCHO: A graphic display of what will happen if you're rude with your cell phone in the theater.
CTHONIC DOODLING: Another live art creation piece from Mike Dubisch (AMBIDEXTROSITY), this one showing all the weird mirrored creatures he creates by pure chance while doodling.
DUMBSHOW: Mimes have strange, brutal powers. At least, some mimes do.
FORTUNA: Second in a trilogy of silent film homages, it's the story of a woman who wants to speak to her recently deceased father, and instead lets a demon into the world.
NIGHTGAUNTS: Terrifying stop-motion dream monsters.
THE EARTH REJECTS HIM: The sad, scary story of a confused little kid who plants a tooth and grows a  man out of the ground.
THE THING IN THE LAKE: The thing is certainly bizarre and twisted. So much so that the professor wants to destroy it. But the student wants to study it...that might not end well.
VADIM: A chest bolted to the floor unleashes a bit of hell on the couple who just moved in.

Then I caught a bit of the after party at Tony Starlight's Supper Club and Lounge just down the street. The Irresistible Manhattan was delicious, and the musical entertainment courtesy of Mike Dalager singing from "Ogham Waite and the Amphibian Jazz Band: Live at Gilman House" (available on CD) was pretty damn amusing.

Total Running Time: 181 minutes
My Total Minutes: 284,001


Dadmaniac said...

Speaking of Silents...I watched Fritz Lang's Metropolis last night. Wow! Visually stunning for 1927.

puppymeat said...

Cool! I love Metropolis. Was is the restored version with 30 minutes of footage that was recently discovered in Argentina?

Dadmaniac said...

Why...yes. Yes it was. I streamed it on Netflix. It was just about to "expire" on their streaming site. The way Lang portrayed the workers as drones and automatons was exceptional. And the music made me think of drones, too.

nob01 said...

Thanks for the hard and fast reviews, wish I had been there! I've been enjoying Mike's doodlings online for a while, I think he has the potential to turn this into a cool live show with music, lights and dancing girls. Hey, Jason, are you the same dude I always used to see sitting in the front row of Cinequest?

nob01 said...

Actually of course you are. We met a couple of times - I showed a few films there over the years including Pasta Point of No Return (meatball of death) and The Cleaning (tiny creature in ear canal fights off wax monster). Now I am stuck in Canada. Happy to see you are still out there in full force!