The Black Saint is bloodied & bruise but still kicking ass & taking names here at the end of the 9th annual NYC Horror Film Festival! It’s been a brutal 4 days & 43 (!) films, both features & shorts, that we sat through. In between films we all would run to the bar & imbibe mightily for an hour or so & then go right back to the theatre to watch some more kick ass Horror movies. I will give all of my acolytes the complete story of the festival in a day or so but until then I just wanted you guys to be amongst the first to know who won & for what. So here’s the list:
Best Picture: Andy Mitton & Jesse Holland’s “YellowBrickRoad”. You guys read my review for this one already. I can’t say I agreed with the choice (There was some dissent amongst the judges), but I also said that I couldn’t get it out of my head after I saw it so there was definitely something there…
Best Director: Stevan Mena for “Bereavement”. I told you this one set the new standard for Psycho movies. It must be seen by anyone who loves Horror films at all.
Best Actor: James Nesbitt for “Outcast”. An amazing film from Scotland. “Outcast” deals with ancient celtic societies & their traditions. The film is awash black magic & was the only film I saw with some cool transformation scenes in it as well. It’s truly well made film with awesome performances by all involved & a surprise 3/4 of the way through it that knocked everyone for a loop. My full review will be up soon.
Best Actress: Emelie Dequenne for “The Pack”. Written & directed by Franck Richard, It’s the story of Charlotte, a tough but gorgeous girl who lives life sort of on the edge & what happens to her when she picks up the wrong hitchhiker & takes him to a nearby diner. She is a stunning woman & gives a ferocious performance as well. My review will be up for this one soon as well.
Best Screenplay: Once again, “The Pack” written by Franck Richard. A rough & tumble screenplay that doesn’t compromise although I guessed how it would end, which killed it a bit for me.
Best Cinematography: Marco Cappetta for “Bereavement”. Again, you guys just have to see this movie when it’s released.
Best Special Effects: “Kiss The Abyss”. Directed by Ken Winkler, this is one strange mind f*ck of a movie involving a dead girl resurrected by even stranger means & the consequences it brings to all involved. A cool take on “The Monkey’s Paw” it’s a real roller coaster ride once it gets going. Definitely one to keep your eyes open for. Jenn Rose’ special effects makeup is both unnerving & believable. Review coming shortly….
WizardWorld Audience Choice Award: “Written By”, Karni Baghdikian’s hilarious & bloody take on the perils of screen writing & deadlines. I already told you this was one of my favorites of the whole festival. See it if you have a chance.
NYC Horror Film Festival Audience Choice: Bill Palmer’s “The Living Want Me Dead”. It’s holiday season & Howard Phillips has a little problem with some very angry zombies. He has to figure out a way to get a plan to survive in place before he’s overwhelmed by them. Unfortunately for me & for you, I was out on a food run when this one played (A Saint’s gotta eat too people)! So I can’t say much more other than I’m kicking myself now for missing it!
Best Short: Dennison Ramalho’s “Ninjas”. An amazingly lean & mean 23 minutes of terror. “Ninjas” tells the story of a beat cop in Brazil who accidentally shoots & kills a child while chasing down a drug dealer. The ensuing cover up of his accident only brings him more guilt & he finds himself being tortured with visions of the child he killed. A truly scary film. Ramalho is a f*cking genius & I will be bringing you a full review & an interview with Ramalho in the near future. Once you see this one you won’t look at ghost stories the same way again…I promise.
I just want to give credit where I believe it’s due for some of the films that didn’t win awards but made impressions on me just the same: Yahaira Paulio’s “Bienvenida A Casa”, A really scary short about a girl going home to the Dominican Republic to revisit her late grandmother’s home & the truths that await her.
Federico D’Alessandro’s “Recollection”. A great short about a man waking up in the middle of a nightmare, trapped in a serial killer’s house & his method of escape.
Jon Myers “Compulsion”. A frantic tale of a sadistic serial killer who may have bitten off more than he can chew with his latest victim.
Richard Williamson’s “The Long Night”. A sad story of a vampire’s last night on Earth & his sudden friendship with a child at the bus stop where he’s waiting for the sun to come up….
Louis Paxton’s “Choreomania”. A funny revisionist take on Zombie infestation & the many forms it might take.
Matthew Garrett’s “Beating Hearts”. A truly disturbing tale of a grandfather & his granddaughter and the choices they make due to their disturbing relationship. This was the only short to get screened twice & it really packs a wallop.
Patrick Rea’s “Now That You’re Dead”. A funny tale about a cheating spouse, his very suspicious wife & his not so ordinary mistress. This one fooled me at the end & I loved it.
S. Vollie Osborn’s “Monsters Down The Hall”. A great twist on the perils of doing dope & how it looks through the eyes of a child. Truly disturbing.
Jorge Abreu’s “Let’s Make A Tape”. A young couple alone in their room with a video camera & some time to kill…what could go wrong? 4 minutes of setup..1 minute of terror! I loved it!!
Andre Paim’s “Sadness”. A devoted father, a dead daughter & he lengths he goes through every year to celebrate her birthday. Sudden & shockingly brutal.
Greg Nicotero’s “United Monster Talent Agency”. A fun romp about an agency that provides Hollywood with real monsters for their movies. Eli Roth makes a cameo as a director in this one & it’s (obviously) got great makeup effects in it.
Jonathan Hopkins “One Man & His Dog”. A hilarious tale of an alien visiting Earth to give humanity a great gift, the unfortunate disguise he takes & the even more unfortunate ride he picks up.
Terry Gilliam’s “The Legend Of Hallowdega”. Starring David Arquette as a very odd paranormal expert who teams up with a techno geek to prove that there are ghosts on a racetrack causing wrecks. A really funny short on what we believe to be true & what actually is, it features cameos by real racers such as Dale Earnhardt Jr & Darrell Waltrip.
James Mogart’s “Won Ton Baby”. A truly indescribable feature about a chinese restaurant that was a brothel in the 70’s & the madam who ran/runs both of them. The meat of the story akes place with her daughter & the parasitic twin she’s been carrying around with her all her life & what happens when it gets removed. Starring Debbie Rochon as the proprietor of both venues it’s a crazy amalgam of a love story & a killer baby on the loose tale. With homage to “Alien”, “It’s Alive” & any number of Troma pics from the 70’s, it’s the kind of movie that would’ve played on 42nd street for weeks when the Deuce was the Deuce!
There will be short reviews for these & other films from the festival coming to you shortly so keep alert & keep checking up on all of us here at Horrornews.net, you know you want to!!