In case you’ve been living under a rock, Splatterfest is a nifty little horror film race administered by Kerry Beyer and Kelly Byrns in Houston, Texas. The week long festival takes place at the Alamo Draft House. Finishing a film is not an easy task. These contestants have only one weekend to finish. All these hardworking filmmakers and talent work hard all weekend without any sleep. Blood, sweat, and tears go into their projects as they race to get their film completed in time between Friday, starting at 7 p.m. and Sunday, ending at Midnight. Not every film makes it in time. It could be anywhere between two minutes to 30 minutes late but rules are rules! You can thank 5-Hour Energy, Red Bull, and Monster for getting these tired folks through the weekend. This year, the quote, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry” had to be featured in each film. This is one of the worst quotes I have ever heard because it’s not true! Love means always having to say you’re sorry. Pfft. This line originates from the 1970 film “Love Story.” Some of the filmmakers fit this line in nicely. Some just couldn’t make it work. The best use of this quote, in my opinion, is from the short “The Loving Dead.” Love means never having to say you’re sorry my ass!
As I stated in my previous review for Jacob, I am not in favor of critiquing films my friends are a part of. What if I don’t like your film, post an honest review, and we are no longer friends? It’s just too much pressure. So I will keep my opinions quick and as nice as humanly possible. There were some duds, some bored me to tears, and some had me laughing so hard I almost started crying. I also was unable to watch all of the films because I didn’t have the time. If your film isn’t mentioned, I apologize.
I am starting off with Deflated because it won Best Film and Best Audience Award, among others, and I thought it was one of the most original and hilarious films I had seen this year since Cabin in the Woods and this film is only a short! Three guys and a blow up doll, nothing gay about that. You know, I have to step in here and say that I never thought it was okay for three dudes to take on one girl at once. I mean, especially if you are DPing. It’s like, you’re both touching and rubbing up against each other. Hey, I am not judging! What you do with your own time is your business but you may want to lose the “nothing gay about that” bit. Maybe, they were just secure enough with their masculinity to let each others flopping penises slide but I just don’t see why they couldn’t have taken turns with the Chinese inflatable doll. This doll wants revenge after she is discarded and she manages to find the proper machinery and blow herself up again. I adore the scenes where the blow up doll just strolls on over to the bar and the dude is just like, “Hey what’s up? Want to ride my cock?” Then the blow up doll rings the door bells of the two other fellas and they’re also down to sexy time. The doll shows up in like three different wigs. It’s pretty amusing. Sorry for the spoilers but I must finish! The last guy on the blow up doll’s list stabs her and she deflates. While she is deflating she says, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” I nearly lost it. The man calls 911 and tells them he had just killed an intruder then he notices the blow up doll is gone! Cut to the man in a tent saying something along the lines of, “And the doll was never seen again….” Pan to two disgusted and confused young girls in the tent that this disturbed man was telling the story to. What a closure. Now THIS is how you win. At least, an audience award. It doesn’t have to be comedy but it has to be something so off-the-wall and extreme. The viewers wont know what hit them. I cannot even imagine watching this film while under the influence of alcohol and err other substances. This team did an amazing job and deserved to win!
The Loving Dead:
I was told that this story was the SAME exact story as a film featured in a 48-Hour Film Festival but I cannot make a confirmation on this. Only hearsay. I can say that I am familiar with this subject. It’s not like it hasn’t been done before. You know, sex with dead bodies/zombies. Necrophilia. Any hardcore fan like myself is automatically going to recall several films while watching this short. That being said, the cinematography was significant and I do believe the lead actress did an amazing job. She even won the Best Actress award – Up against Roxy Vandiver who won last year and is one of the better actors in Independent horror in Texas. This new face shined through and delivered in her Betty Homemaker get up. She was quite awkward, which I liked and her finishing line, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry my ass!” Was a nice touch. At least they put this lame line to some good use. I believe one of the reasons why she won Best Actress, other than being one of the better actresses, is due to the fact that she had more screen time. I have no idea why they kept shouting that they were going to Disney Land while accepting all of their awards. Maybe I missed this in the film because I was distracted. But for some reason, they kept shouting Disney Land! You should go to Disney WORLD instead. The Pirates of the Caribbean ride is superior to the one in Land. Just saying.
After the Jew-Fro comment I wondered if the lead actor was actually Jewish or not but I don’t think he was. I should know, we smell our own. He turned out to be a werewolf. His family and lady friend are vampires. This was a silly short that put a smile on my face. It wasn’t hysterical but it did the job. There wasn’t enough splatter either. The opening mirror scene was laughable even though some of the screams seemed a bit forced. The ending where he turns into a dog instead of a werewolf was adorable and comical. Even though Blood Line didn’t walk away with much, it was one of the more memorable shorts for me.
Harvest of Terror 2: Redneck’s Revenge:
Finally, someone shows some love to Grindhouse. This short has mixed feelings amongst the viewers. Mostly good. It’s good all fashioned fun, fucked up, disgusting, sexploitation humor. As it should be. It sounds like a sequel but it’s a sequel to nothing. The story revolves around a bridal shower in the middle of nowhere and all hell breaks loose. Keefer Barlow won Best Scream. This is a new face that I am not familiar with but I can tell you she’s tall and voluptuous. I couldn’t tell if the acting was just plain bad or if they were going with the Grindhouse feel, making it as horrible as possible. However, Barlow can scream like nobodies business. She did have one line that I thought was delivered short but as I said before, I couldn’t tell if they meant to do that on purpose or not. Anyone who follows my articles knows I am an expert with Grindhouse and sleaze but modern day homages to Grindhouse, I just get so confused. Nevertheless, it was a noble effort and fun film. A lot of viewers seemed to have a good time with it, from my understanding. There’s a death by dildo scene that, in my opinion, should have won best kill. I mean, come on! How does an iron beat a dildo? Perhaps the most entertaining scene for me would be the ending credits where we see Keefer Barlow boobies shaking and bouncing in slow motion. This made me laugh. Good job Chuck Norfolk! This film also won Best Special Effects thanks to the always fabulous Kristi Boul. Boul is responsible for the special effects on a few films. You can thank her for Sweatshop. You can also thank her for Princess, which took home seven awards last year. I have to give props to Steven Katz, Norfolk, and Matthew Broussard for the dialogue. One thing I have learned about Chuck is that he has a childish sense of humor (love you Chuck. )he earns extra cool points for his homage to Grindhouse. Now I have to dig deeper in his brain and find out how much of a fan he really is. You underestimate me Chuck.
“How far would you go to be with your daddy?”
“Would you travel to hell?”
Uhm no. This is not “What Dreams May Come.” I don’t understand this quote. Maybe I missed something. Maybe I am not suppose to understand it. Daddy’s Girl is an intriguing mind fuck of a film, pardon my language kids. I think they were going for an art house film but fell short. It just wasn’t done properly in my honest opinion. It’s too saturated. Outside scenes are too exposed. The editing is spastic. Did they put make up on the boy who won best actor? Or is he just naturally pretty with long eye lashes? He’s going to be a lady killer when he’s older. He’s also freakishly tall. These are compliments by the way. I wasn’t a fan of the score but it could have been much worse. When the brother and sister open a box and fall to the floor, it reminded me of Mulholland Drive. Anyone catch that? Why is there a tarp on the ground? It’s a shame the films can only be 7 minutes long. We will never know the back story of this house. The plot basically follows a daddy’s girl and momma’s boy drawn into a home that just might be a gateway to hell. I was surprised by the brutal child death scenes in the film but I also admire the filmmaker for having balls. Both lead child actors won the Best Actor and Best Actress award and they deserved it. Way to go guys!
Stay With Me:
Stay With Me won two awards; Best Costumes and Most Awkward Moment. I was actually surprised that our film won Most Awkward Moment after seeing three men and a blow up doll. Nothing gay about that, right? I am not a fan of reviewing my own films so I am going to skip this one. The film stars Roxy Vandiver and is directed by Jeremy Sumrall.
Unfortunately, Courtney Sandifer’s film did not finish in time so it wasn’t nominated for any awards but they still included the short on the DVD. I have mixed feelings about the project. What I liked about the film was the dialogue and the comedy. This is the only film entered that has an all female cast and crew. This made me happy for Courtney. My favorite part about the short would be when the Bridezilla screams and cries after her wedding dress is ruined, “Club soda will get it out,” but she didn’t seem to be as bothered when her friend was murdered. The dialogue just had me rolling! However, I could have gone without the stuttering from Rusty, the mannish mechanic. If you can get past the acting, this is a fun little short that I think every female horror fan should watch. You might get a kick out of it. I don’t have a huge problem with the acting, this is a film race. I still think the girls did a great job. I am usually a huge fan of Kristi Boul’s special effects. The woman is extremely skilled. The broken arm was a little rushed and could have been better but Boul was working on two films for the competition. Who else had the balls to try and pull that off? NO ONE. I think we can give Kristi a break. Besides, she won Best Special Effects last year for Princess and she won again this year for Chuck Norfolk’s film.
Unfortunately, I haven’t seen Stockholm yet but it walked away with a few awards including Best Actors – Patrick Sane and Best Score. Sane starred in Princess last year. He’s an amazing actor and even though I haven’t seen the film, I have a feeling it was well deserved. Congratulations Patrick!
If only I could have spent more time watching the rest of the films. I feel as if I missed out on so much, including The Good Friend trailer, a film that I am in. Congratulations to all the winners! Everyone did an awesome job this year. There were plenty of familiar faces and plenty of new faces. I hope to see everyone next year!