First up, the cosplay documentary MY OTHER ME. It gives a look at the world of cosplayers in the pacific northwest, particularly around Vancouver. Cosplay = costume play, cosplayers dress up usually as their favorite comic or video game characters. While we get a glimpse of a lot of costumes, the movie focuses on three. There's the veteran who is trying to parlay her cosplay fame into work as a costume designer in movies (actually, she has already done that, but movie work is notoriously spotty, so she goes through some lean times where she's not getting any work.) There's the transgender man with his fiancee. In a weird move for the film, he drops out and refuses to participate halfway through. I found him fascinating, particularly his thoughts on cosplaying a woman now that he's a man. And his story does get a resolution in the end, but the movie feels like it's missing a huge chunk when they abruptly announce he dropped out. It might have been better to leave him out and follow a different person. Then there's the 14 year old girl just getting into the hobby with the help of her grandmother (featuring a reunion with her totally irresponsible mother--the type who want to be a "best friend" but aren't that interested in being a parent or guardian.) It was kind of startling how much cosplayers talked about feeling more secure in their costumes at conventions and how they could just walk up and talk to anyone. I know there's this stereotype about cosplayers--and nerds in general--being socially awkward outcasts with emotional issues. And...this movie seems to support that stereotype. Which is weird, because I know some people who like to dress up (not sure I would quite call them cosplayers) and out-of-costume they're still fun, sociable people. I really don't buy into the stereotype of cosplayers, so I was hoping to see someone who said "I'm a normal happy person who makes friends easily! I don't have to put on a costume and pretend I'm someone else to have a good time, but I like doing it anyway!" Alas...no. But it was still a pretty fun movie, and the costumes were very cool (even the ones I didn't recognize.)
Next up was JUDAS GHOST, a play on the term Judas goat, which is apparently something that exists but I just never heard of. The movie is chock-full of references to horror films and literature, starting with the researchers from the Carnacki Institute. They're investigating a haunting in a seemingly normal abandoned English schoolhouse. It's supposed to be routine, and so they're filming it for training purposes. And things go wrong pretty quickly. The psychic can't feel anything, even though a schoolhouse should be full of "trace memories." There are sudden cold spots, doors disappear, reappear, lead to nowhere (or are full of blood.) Then the Judas Ghost appears, the link between the Beast that haunts the building and the world of the living. The team members are all experienced--including one who is coming out of retirement after a stint in the nuthouse after his last mission went awry. But all their expertise might not be enough. The movie is a lot of fun, inventive while building on a vast library of horror references. The single-room setting is sometimes conspicuous (maybe that's just because I know producers love having just one location as this cuts down the costs and location scouting efforts enormously) but they do a lot with it. And the production values, acting, and special effects are all high-quality enough that this doesn't scream "low budget." In fact, this is a very polished movie, and a pretty scary story.
Then we saw another single-location movie, the hilarious horror-comedy MOTIVATIONAL GROWTH. Ian Foliver is a loser. He lives in filth. He only opens the door for food deliveries. His beard is scraggly and unkempt, his clothes are filthy, he has sores on his face. When his only friend--his old cabinet-style TV he calls Kent--conks out, he finally decides to end it all. But he fails at that, too. And he wakes up with a pile of bathroom fungus talking to him (in the voice of RE-ANIMATOR'S Jeffrey Combs.) And the mold gives him great life advice. Or so it seems, maybe "The Mold" (as he refers to himself) is really in it all for himself. Or maybe this is all a horrible hallucination Ian is having as he dies. In any case, he shaves, cleans up his place (hard to tell where all the trash goes since he's still afraid to leave the apartment) and even meets a girl. Or rather, watches her through his door's peephole every day when she walks by. Bizarre and hilarious, with some wacky characters and surprising shock moments. I.e., the best kind of Holehead film, I loved it!
And then we ended the night with BLOODMARSH KRACKOON. A couple of years ago Holehead screened KRACKOON and...it pretty much sucked. But George insisted this one is better. The little green mutated baby krackoons were cool, but...no. It might technically be better, but it's still not good. Here are the jokes that need to be in part 3:
- Crack was invented by the CIA to destroy the coons.
- "Release the Krackoon!" (That can be the title of part 3)
And I'll probably see it, because I'm kind of a glutton for punishment like that. And in fairness, while I was bored and annoyed, there was a lot of hooting and hollering in the audience. They seemed to like it, and unlike last time they seemed to actually be into the movie rather than into being drunk and annoying.
Total Running Time: 405 minutes
My Total Minutes: 345,138