Another Hole In The Head Film Festival 2012: “The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh” and “G-String Horror”

The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh

I so wanted to like this movie more than I did.  From a technical viewpoint, it’s a pretty solid piece of work.  Cinematography, visual effects, score, sound and set design are all quite impressive, even up to par, if not better than, most Hollywood attempts at horror.  Even the fluidity in which the camera moves during its various long-takes appears to be the work of a filmmaker who is clearly confidant in his abilities.  But that’s where the praise must stop.

The awkward unbalanced tonal shifting from jump-scare horror to that of ghostly creepiness denies Rodrigo Gudiño’s (director/writer) latest gothic entry from ever reaching its intended thriller and/or scary status.

Essentially, this is a one-man show of a ghost story about an antique dealer who has just inherited the creepy house of his estranged mother, who recently died.  For the duration of the movie we follow this young bizarro version of Matthew McConaughey – minus the acting chops – as he wanders about his recently acquired estate, making one dumb horror cliché decision after another.  Here’s the thought process of this dodo, “Hmm, the lights just went out in this house I already deem to be creepy, yet it’s probably best if I just grab this here flashlight and wander into the basement, whereupon I’ll probably find a tape recorder which will no doubt come in handy when I foolishly decide to play that audio cassette labeled HOW TO COMMUNICATE WITH THE DEAD.”

Come on!  Due to this sort of predictable genre-written behavior, the moments that were supposed to scare and/or thrill fell way flat, which is unfortunate when you think of all artistry that went into creating this movie’s wonderful technical achievements.

The G-String Horror

During this festival’s press conference I heard one reporter refer to this festival as a showcase for all things repulsive.  She, of course was referring to the explicit amount of gore and violence that so often is depicted on screen during AHITH.  If I weren’t the sensitive soul that I am I probably wouldn’t have thought twice about her usage of the word “repulsive”, nor would I have been slightly offended.  While I do see where she is coming from, I would argue that just because a film deals in gore and violence, it doesn’t mean it has to be repulsive.  Personally, I get more repulsed from movies made by people who can’t come up with an original script, hire strippers to butcher the acting profession, and then have the audacity to have their film shown at a genre festival just because they’re local and the title is a catchy one, hence The G-String Horror.

The G-String Horror is a nightmare.  It pains me to know that San Francisco and Bay Area genre-fans might actually pay to see this.  Sure, it may seem like the perfect fit for AHITH; catchy title, cast of strippers, and local involvement, but trust me, this garbage is best left outside the Roxie.

I wonder how many lap dances the programmers were promised for accepting this video-taped junk.  Seriously, good luck even sitting through the trailer below.

Showtimes for The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh – Friday, Nov. 30th 7:00pm (Roxie Theatre)

Showtimes for The G-String Horror – Wednesday, Dec. 5th 9:00pm (Roxie Theatre)


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