Jennifer S., Here…
Texas Frightmare Weekend is billed as the Premier Southwest Horror Convention. This year they celebrated their 10th anniversary and I was able to attend for the whole weekend for the first time. Of course, I’ll be “penning” another article about the overall experience after I’m finished writing up everything else, but I must get this one out first. The reason? Because I LOVE movies. A little known fact about the event is that they offer screening opportunities. It is difficult to choose what to watch between the two rooms, but over the weekend I got to see enough to speculate on a few of them. Oh, and there will be spoilers.
First I’d like to say that there are a few movies that I would have liked to view and am definitely going to keep my eyes open for them in the future. The first being “Despite the Gods” and “Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau”. There are a couple of reasons I wanted to see these, the first and most important is because I find movie making to be a fascinating concept. It’s not one that I am very familiar with but I have a certain appreciation for what goes on behind the scenes I so gleefully devour, every so often, for a few hours. I am totally down for the concept behind the film that Jennifer Lynch was trying to make. I want it to be made, I watched a trailer and it was a hard fight to make it… so I want to see how difficult it was and why it was worth it for her to do it despite the obstacles. The second one; is mainly my own curiosity. I loved the story of the island and to be honest, I actually like the movie… that’s right, I said it. Why do they consider it to be a disaster? What happened to make it such a poorly received offering? Who knows? They do, and watching that film would let me know all the answers to questions I didn’t even know I should ask.
Next up, I got to screen a film I didn’t know was going to be a film but a vendor clued us into something going down at a specific time in a specific room that included free beer… so you know what? I totally went there. It didn’t hurt that I got a bit of a hint that it might have something to do with stoners which definitely piques my curiosity, for sure. What we found at the time at the place was what was billed as the “Charles Band Show”. I really had no idea what to expect, but once it got to rolling… I realized what I was watching and despite anyone’s feeling on the subject, I did a big’ol happy dance in my head and wished like hell I had a transporter devise that would take all interested parties to a state wherein certain substances would be accepted as legal. The Evil Bong series is considered to be bizarre, and on SO many levels, it truly is bizarre but I laughed and I wished I could go to B*World for just a little while or wished for someone to invent a real w*blower machine. I want you to go to his page and remind yourself of some of the truly magically frighteningly bizarre moments you’ve enjoyed, you’d be surprised… I know I was. I really wish that I could remember everything; who does what, and how and where and when but… if I did, I don’t think I’d been brave enough to shake his hand. A nice guy, a “what in the hell did I just watch?” kind of movie, and a new appreciation for screening films.
Now I’m going to talk about “Gutterballs 2: Balls Deep”. I will be honest and say, no, I did not watch the whole thing… I missed part of the beginning but not enough for me to not know what’s going on (um, well… synopsis is pretty self-explanatory). I figured between this one and “Killing Mr. Right” I’d rather watch a bloodbath than a single person torture fest. Either way I was quite sure I wouldn’t be disappointed, and to an extent I was right. I think that Mr. Right has a bit of potential as a premise and maybe another night I would have felt like watching it but I guess I wasn’t quite in the mood to delve that deep into a shattered psyche. Instead… I decided to view part of a different kind of shattering… When one reads the initials B.B.K. one kind of think of B.T.K. or maybe that’s just me; well, if you do get where I’m going with that then you’d be pretty close to the content. This movie would not disappoint on grossness or gore. When they say that it is depraved and the creator sadistic, I think I would believe it. I walked in right as the chef was “preparing” his “special sauce” for the dip and I almost walked right back out again… I’m still not sure why I didn’t but I decided to take a seat. I managed to get through the grossness to figure out what was supposed to be the premise but I guess it’s just their presence there that incite the Bowling Ball Killer to strike again. I can handle gore, and horror and the one killing that I witnessed was terrible to put oneself into the place of the victim; truly awful and it makes me think twice about going into a public bathroom stall every single time since I watched it. The costume is simplistic but the gore is messy and the helplessness apparent. I walked out when it went back to the “chef”. I don’t know who inspired that character or thought it up but it truly grossed me out enough to send me from the room. He’s one of those guys you really want to get his dick chopped off through the glory hole, but I didn’t stick around to find out if that’s what happened… If you want something like that then Gutterballs 2 really does go “Balls Deep” and would be worth your time. Ironically, not long after the event I received a flyer from my local bowling alley reminding me to sign up for a team.
Next up is “Sacrament”. I have a thing for cannibal movies, and thought this one sounded promising but, like Gutterballs, I didn’t watch all of it. I watched the good meaty bits, a good majority of it. For a small budget flick, I thought the story was good, the gore is good… really too good… and it was the only thing about the movie that I really had to think about twice. In my mind it would have been far scarier for the body to be consumed with the limits of the human stomach in mind; how much scarier would it have been if they had ripped the body apart, consumed their fill, and crawled back into their enclosures to sleep it off? This could have been accomplished in the amount of time I wish I had a vomit bag from the sound of the extended feast, but I digress (In hindsight, they really shouldn’t leave those things out like that). I think that the retribution dealt was deserved and the fear that the town still operates is a very real fear but I am unfortunately with the victims thinking, golly that’s a horrible way to go or to be treated. The flock, is a flock that can be consumed? I think the homosexual angle in such a religiously dedicated setting was a very good one to emphasize. I was wondering when the townspeople would get it, and it really didn’t matter because they were already preparing them for dinner long before the pair came out; though, to me it is pretty obvious… I think the friendships and bond between some of the characters was more believable than the dialog but I found myself really getting into the scene in which they are trying to decide whether to enslave the couple or kill them. In order to live they must renounce their sexuality and love for each other, and I have to say… the acting in this scene was the most believable and most appreciated by me. Don’t take this the wrong way, I do like that it’s in Texas for a few reasons and not just because it makes me feel like I’m visiting near extended family.
My favorite part of the WHOLE festival was getting to screen and enjoy and laugh my ever lovin’ ASS off at the movie “Bloodsucking Bastards”. Out of all of the listed flicks I could have seen, this one did catch my attention pretty quickly, and it might have something to do with the fact that my last name and the main character’s last name are the same and I can TOTALLY identify with his situation…well, to an extent. I’ve never had to worry about trying to rescue my lover from vampires in an office setting but I have fantasized about something kind of similar, maybe? When they say that it’s Shaun of the Dead meets Office Space, they aren’t kidding. It is a very apt description. I jumped a few times and laughed so hard I was afraid I was disturbing the people who were sitting next to me. Besides the Charles Band Show, this is the only other movie of the weekend that I actually watched from beginning to end and I loved every second of it. I immediately noticed the music and jotte4d down the name, Anton Sanko, so that I could look it up later. I am most pleased by the idea that this is a locally produced film (DFW). When it comes down to it, you really should watch this when you get the chance; t;2he characters are lovable and it almost makes you think it could really happen, and if it does you sure as hell want friends like that around. My only question is how the fantastically hilarious, not on purpose but on purpose, security guard managed to take out that platoon of vamps without blowing up the entire building or avoiding being changed himself? Hmmm, I smell a sequel… oh man, I hope there is a sequel.
Other films listed at the event are just as interesting to me but alas I can only watch one movie at a time, perhaps someday I’ll figure out a way to screen two films in two rooms at once but until then I’ll just have to settle for what I can get and hope that some of you will give these films a chance. The artists and every person who fills up the bucket of pig guts is grateful for your patronage, and for one, am totally grateful that people keep making movies. As long as Texas Frightmare Weekend intends to operate I shall intend to attend and watch as many movies as I possibly can.
– Jennifer Sanders
While you’re checking out the films above, be sure to take a moment and check these out as well.
Killing Mr. Right