September 30, 2011


Jo's - where I get coffee every morning
This is it, the penultimate day of the Fest. And my first film of the day is the bonafide classic (and never-before-seen by me) An American Werewolf in London. I assume everyone who really wanted to see the film were lucky enough to nab tickets to the earlier screening with the Rick Baker Q&A as the theatre was all but empty for this screening. An American Werewolf was fucking fantastic and I'm psyched I got to see it on the big screen. I was surprised by the streak of humour throughout but seeing as how it was directed by John Landis (the guy behind one of my all-time favourite comedies, The Blues Brothers) I shouldn't have been. The relationship between David and his buddy Jack is quickly and gracefully established; these guys have the easy chemistry of old friends. And then of course they don't keep to the roads and are attacked on the moors. The creature effects by Baker are astonishing work and he and Landis are really working together to build the best effect possible, Landis often cutting away to something mundane but still surprising. Also, Nazi demons! Crazy.

Taking a chance with my next screening I opted for The Devil's Business, a film I knew almost nothing about. An unmitigated bore is what I turned out to be watching. Two English gangster cliches arrive at a house to lie in wait to whack someone. Things start getting a little spooky but the action consisted chiefly of these two blokes nattering away at one another. Despite writer/director Sean Hogan's best efforts there was no tension, horror or surprises to this film. It felt cheap, derivative and talky. It may have been a half-decent idea for a short film, but stretched out to feature length it (and I) suffer for it.

As my preferred option of Summerland was, once again, sold out I took another chance on my selection and chose the late-confirmation Love. This was billed as something of an experimental sci-fi film, part of a larger work by band Angels & Airwaves (from ex-Blink 182 frontman Tom Delonge). It begins in the American Civil War with a young soldier sent off to see and catalogue some strange sight many miles away. It then cuts to the ISS in the near future, staffed by lone astronaut Capt. Lee Miller. The majority of the film is then taken up with Miller isolated and slowly going insane, as all communication is cut off. The last few minutes then go all 2001 on your head. I can definitely see what everyone involved was going for, aiming to tackle some big themes, but it does become tedious and feels a lot longer than it actually is. 2001: A Space Odyssey becomes a transcendent piece of cinema but Love, though it tries, cannot reach these stunning heights. I'm still unsure how the Civil War ties in to it all as well. But they did apparently get a lot of right with regards to the ISS - the spirit of at least, if not the absolute details.

Rounding out my day was the final selection from the Hong Kong genre vault. Unfortunately, I can't really talk about it as the distributor is one of those crazy, kooky types who doesn't actually want the film screened anywhere. I will say this though: it was truly awesome and Grady Hendrix as the host for these events is a firecracker of excitement and knowledge and the Q&A with him afterwards was hilarious and informative. 

There was the second Secret Screening tonight as well, at midnight. Again, it was a sellout and the security surrounding it as intense: all electronic devices had to be turned in and attendees had to pass through a metal detector. What was the film in the end? Paranormal Activity 3. Woop-de-doo. I'm sure the folks enjoyed it but not really my cup of tea. And again, I had to skip a night of drunken revelry at the Highball (with a prom theme) as I was feeling really, really fuckin' sick. 

One day to go.


  1. Being sick in Austin is still a million times better than being stuck in the daily grind back at the power plant. Enjoying the blog updates and hoping that some of these gems make it back to us within the next decade.

  2. Yer darn tootin'! Thanks for enjoying the blog!