I love film, in fact I would call myself a movie connoisseur, but there is a gap, a chasm if you will. That chasm is the need for more women filmmakers. Women, as any man can tell you, are emotionally complex, a little crazy, a tad bit scary, and oh so talented. I am so blessed to have some amazing women in my life, family, friends, and some Mike The Fanboy Writers! But seriously, I have seen first hand some of the phenominal projects that women have created, so when Mikethefanboy.com was invited to check out the Viscera Film Festival, I was very excited.
The Viscera Film Festival honors the very best women filmmakers in the horror genre, and let me tell you, this is a part of the film community that needs supporting. Women have such a unique voice and I think the horror/thriller field perfectly lends itself to that. There is just something, I suppose… freeing about a genre where it’s perfectly normal to chop someone’s head off and put their body in the dryer for no discernable reason. It’s almost like animation in a way, where one can pretty much do or say anything without the constraints a traditional drama or comedy can put on you. You want to include a scene where someone cuts open their neighbor’s scalp, rips out a piece of their brain and makes them eat it? Okay! That’s the beauty of horror! It’s a genre free of limitations!
Now, I for one always get nervous when asked to attend an independent film festival. I was a judge for a couple and let me tell you… the submissions are rough. This is why I’m so pleased to report that out of all the films screened at Viscera I can’t think of one that is a clunker. In fact there were so many standouts, I was shocked.
The great thing that the organizers did was divided the films into two parts, trailers and shorts.
Of the trailers the standouts were
Adventure Girls by Dara Mosts and Jon Dietcher – This trailer was about two pseudo anime girls who are really blood suckers of death. The visuals were great, the colors superb and it was extremely inventive.
The Blood Shop by Annette Ashlie Slomka – This was a great campy horror trailer about a machine shop and a crazy welder with a giant mask ALA Jason or Michael Myers. It was so much fun to watch and the voice over was great! In fact all the way home I kept saying to myself in a deep husky voice… “The Blood Shop!” lol… So fun and a great mix of classic horror with a comedic edge!
The shorts were incredibly strong and it really was difficult to pick any of my favorites. I will say however, that there were a few that were inches above the rest:
12-15-1996 by Mae Catt – This wonderful short is about two serial killers getting pulled over by a cop on a deserted roadside. It was a fantastic script and wonderful direction. Also both lead actors were really outstanding! I would have liked this piece to be a bit longer which is something I never say! But it was that interesting!
Blood Bunny by Molly Madis – Done in a great retro style, this visual feast for the senses was about the Easter Bunny who got pissed that Jesus took over his holiday. The effects were stunning, and hilarious! “Bunnies! Bunnies! It Must Be Bunnies!” See, I can fit a Buffy the Vampire Slayer reference in anywhere!
Short Lease by Jennifer Eiss and Prano Bailey – Bond – An old fashioned ghost tale from the UK, about a woman who is a realtor trying to rent out a haunted house. It’s very engrossing, even though the whole time I kept saying to myself, “Baby, just stay outside! If a guy hung himself in the foyer, just wait the 15 minutes before filling up your water bottle!”
Overall the entire line up was fantastic and I highly recommend checking out the festivals website at http://www.viscerafilmfestival.com While not all of the shorts were for the squeamish, (no more wire hangers!) they were all stunning pieces of work, and knock on a cadaver these female filmmakers will have a long long career ahead of them!