God of Thunder and Rock'n'Roll (archmage) wrote,
God of Thunder and Rock'n'Roll

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Hangin' With Howard: HPLFF, Day 2

Right, Day 2. As opposed to Friday, Saturday and Sunday are long. Ran a couple quick errands in the morning, got some lunch in me, grabbed more Alice Cooper (Muscle of Love and Welcome To My Nightmare) and I was off.

Passed a few words with Derek and Mike and prepared to settle in. Stopped by Edward's table and read some of the stories he's been writing, which are just fabulous. This was a great thing to have set up, m'man. Settled in for Shorts Block 1:
- The Seventh Shadow: a trailer that was very short and which didn't give me anything to really go on, other than to wonder if they got a bulk discount on light cels. The full film might be interesting, I have no idea.
- Elder Sign: Spoof medical commercial, fuckin' hilarious.
- My Pretty Pony: adaptation of the Stephen King story. Not sure why it was here. Not bad, I guess, but not much there.
- The Prey: modern twist on The Terrible Old Man, and very well done. I definitely enjoyed it.
- Noirville: I'd like another chance to see this one, because I was kinda dozing off. Dark and silent, it looked very pretty.
- The Quiet Darkness: Loved this one. A girl making a video message, in her apparent last hours as something is coming to get her. Fairly low-key, the (mostly) lack of effects kept the story on top. Pace felt a little slow, but it fit the situation, so that's not really against it. Very good stuff.
- Lovecraft Paragraphs: Ugh. OK, I understand what they were going for on this one. The idea is that anyone reading Lovecraft's work out loud will invariably put their own emphasis and style of voice into it, and this was meant to take that off of it, letting his words stand alone. The film had many passages from HPL's work, read out by a computer synthesized voice, with very basic visuals. The idea isn't bad, but GOOD GOD, half an hour of this (I heard someone describe it as 'Lovecraft as read by Steven Hawking') was pretty close to torture.
- The Picture in the House: Now, ANYTHING would have been good after that last thing, but seriously, this was a well-done piece. Nicely filmed, good acting, well done. Maybe a little heavy on the iconic item placement, but we needed a smile after Paragraphs.
- Tinglewood: Australian short about vicious creatures in the woods. Another that was very nicely done, and it was nice to see the annoying jerk kid get what was coming to him. Fun stuff and good creature design.
Out to stretch my legs, and I hear "Hey Frank!" from behind me (this is starting to become a theme this weekend). There stands sandra_e and Nick, so I had people to hang out with for the rest of the day, which always improves my mood. Off we headed for Shorts Block 3:
- Beyond The Wall Of Sleep: I liked this one. The dialogue form the entity was a little hard to hear, but overall, a solid piece of film. The doc was a creepy lech, but hey, I would have been, too. Good stuff.
- Dirt Dauber: An unexpected joy. VERY well done flick, using the legend of Shub-Niggurath in a creative way. Excellent camera work, great story, well acted. Plenty of really odd but well-used visual styles. The sounds were perfect, atmospheric and creepy. All around, this may very well be my favorite film of the festival.
- The Music of Erich Zann: remember how I mentioned that some stories get made way too much? This is another of them, so I kinda sighed seeing it come up. However, it was one of the better adaptations I've seen, and thus, was not a chore to watch. I actually got into it, and that's saying a lot for yet another Zann. The actors were pretty good (Zann's actor was VERY good), the location was amazing. Nice to see that it CAN be done well.
Dinner time. Outside, we met up with some other friends of Nick and Sandra's, and we all headed over to The Moon and Sixpence. The upside is that it's a nice pub. The downside is that they aren't fast on food. Me, I ordered a sandwich right away, so I was fine, but we pushed it right up to the next movie for the group. Still, the fun is the social aspect, so no biggie there. Great fun discussing films and other geekery, and it was back to the theatre for the evening's viewings. Odd moment: someone filming something for HGTV (something on first-time home buyers or some such stuff) came up and asked me to sign a release as I was the only face in the background that was recognizable. I guess, if you watch that kind of thing, you might see my redneck self stuffing a sammich in my face. Hope I don't look too much like a pig. Anyway, back to the theatre, my only snag was that I meant to hit the car before going back to take my medicine, and forgot this until I was in the next show, so I had to run out and back. Didn't miss much, though.
- The Sleeping Deep: A trailer, and one that didn't give much to go on. I really wish people that just send a trailer to a festival would learn to give more than just a brief hint; we're here for the films, not a potential hint of a film to maybe come at some point in the future. Still, looks like good effects work, so we'll just have to wait and see.
- The Tell-Tale Heart: Another over-done one. However, better than most of the versions I've seen. The main actor started pretty wooden and slowly grew into the role. His outburst at the end was a hair over the top, but it wasn't cheesy. All in all, not bad.
- Relic of Cthulhu: I'm gonna bet that this wins a filmmaker award for the festival. Well written, nicely shot, well acted, all around a great film. A young man discovers he is the last of Lovecraft's bloodline and is tasked with protecting an ancient relic from the clutches of a Cthulhu cult that seeks to release their sleeping master. That alone would be pretty cool...but this was a comedy. Luckily (and this is what worked, I think), it was still smart and fun and overly geeky and that made it perfect. If I can track down a copy of this film, I'll buy it, it was that good.
One more viewing to go. Sandra and Nick made an early exit, and I settled in.
- Mite: short stop-motion animated film from Germany about the author's grandmother and the HUGE dust mites that live with her. Just bizarre...and a lot of fun to watch.
- Lazarus Taxon: Strange but incredibly atmospheric short film. A man's daughter dies and he takes her to a building on an island that seems to come up out of the mists, where he is told that strength and faith will bring her to life. In his desperation, he doesn't ask for details, and what he finds is not what he wanted (nor what you'd expect). Another I'd love to have and watch again; very short but you just know there's more there than the first time you see it. Definitely a good one.
- The Haunted Palace: OK, truth: I left before this came on. However, this is an old Vincent Price flick that I've seen a lot, and while I do enjoy it, I figured I'd come home and actually see Di. Still, it's an excellent film (a rough adaptation of The Case of Charles Dexter Ward), and was the first Lovecraft story to make it on the screen. If you like the old AIP stuff, you should see it; this came out right after AIP did it's Poe cycle (Fall of the House of Usher, The Pit and the Pendulum, etc.) which is why it got named after Poe's poem instead of HPL's work.
Remembered to take the exit before the late-night construction and thus bypassed it completely, huzzah. Walked in the door just as Di was about to shut down for bed, so my timing was impeccable. ;)
Tags: h.p. lovecraft

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