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Another Hole in the Head 2013: Day 5 – “Found.” and “The Shining: Forwards and Backwards”

Room-237-superimpositionThough officially Day 14, this was only my fifth day at AHITH. Hey, when a festival runs as long as this one (21 days) I’m allowed to miss a few days here and there. After catching up with some like-minded festival friends it appears that I didn’t miss that much. Everybody’s favorite movies of the fest thus far happen to be ones that I saw in my first four days. So continuing with my apparent quality over quantity screening habits I settled in for a double dose of dysfunctional family films. Read More…

Another Hole in the Head 2013: “Septic Man”

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three-stars15Omitting a documentary credit, Tony BurgessSeptic Man is a solid follow-up to his debut novel and screenplay Pontypool. Those who have seen Pontypool and liked it (I have yet to meet someone who hasn’t) can rest assured that Burgess is no one hit wonder.

Septic Man is a rather straight forward dish du jour one might find in an underground fusion eatery. It’s a plateful of mashed-up genres, gleefully gross makeups, and other odd sides, all served within the confines of a gorgeous gag-inducing grimy practical setting. It’s doubtful any fan of the horror genre will be sending this one back to the kitchen. Read More…

Another Hole in the Head 2013: Day 4 – “All Cheerleaders Die”

dynamic_resizeMy fourth day was also the festival’s official seventh day. It also marked the last day of this year’s AHITH being shown at The Balboa theatre. Though I love the little area around the theatre, and even discovered the city’s best lentil soup spot, I can’t say I’m sad to see the festival’s remaining films at another venue – one closer to a BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) station. Now I can actually stay for the second screenings and know I won’t miss my train home.

Even though I didn’t stick around for last night’s 9pm screening of Stanley Kubrick‘s The Shining (on 35mm) I still was able to end my Balboa sprint on a high note with Lucky McKee and Chris Sivertson‘s All Cheerleaders Die, a film disguised as atypical teen fodder, but once the costumes come off what were actually looking at is a horromedy with the cult classic potential to be the next Evil Dead.  Yeah, I went there. Read More…

Another Hole in the Head 2013: Day 3 – “On Air”

422OnAir_Still_14035Officially this was day six of the festival, but it was my day three. And were The Balboa Theatre not practically situated in the middle of the Pacific ocean I would have only showed up for the 9:00pm feature, a movie about a killer shark that was being presented on 35mm film by the same guy who made that movie about killer Dinosaurs. However, in not wanting to get home at 1:00am I only stayed for the first movie, a German import called On Air. Read More…

Another Hole in the Head 2013: Day 2 – “Blood Tokoloshe”

maxresdefaultHaving skipped Saturday’s screenings, what should have been my day three was actually my day two, and from what little I saw (once again, only one film today) it looks like I picked the wrong sunny day to be in a theatre. Man, what I wouldn’t have given to have this film encounter the same unplayable glitch that my fellow Bay Area cinephile Jason reported to have happen the day before. Granted, I only saw one out of the day’s four scheduled films, but the movie I picked to see was so bad that had there been more than a dozen people in attendance the entire South African region would have run the risk of being branded as a region incapable of making watchable films. Thankfully, most of the roughly twelve people watching this happen to be a lot of the same familiar faces that attend this and almost every San Francisco based film festival, which means that the small crowd on hand to see this pile of junk knows better than to write off an entire country after seeing something as terrible as Blood Tokoloshe. Why so bad you ask? And if you didn’t ask, I’m going to tell you anyway. Read More…

Another Hole in the Head 2013: Day 1 – “The Battery”

thebattery2Day one of the Another Hole in the Head Film Festival. There were three movies, yet I only made it to one, not that I’m complaining. It was well worth the trip across town to The Balboa Theatre, AHITH’s new home in the Richmond district (next week the festival moves to Japantown’s New People Cinema). Though not as convenient to get to as the more centralized Roxie Theatre of previous years, the atmosphere in this significantly chillier part of the city (heavy mist and fog) is pitch perfect for the mostly horror and sci-fi themed festival. Now on to the review.

four-stars4Best horror movie of the year – easily.

Best zombie movie of the 21st Century – you bet ya. (Pontypool (2008) and REC (2007) a close second and third).

Best baseball movie in where baseball is actually never seen being played? Unless I dozed off during the scene in Moneyball where Brad Pitt masturbates to a drooling zombie, I’d say Hell yeah! Read More…

Another Hole in the Head 2013: “Found”, “Demon’s Rook”, and “Grave Bandits”

Found

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  12-year-old Marty has lots of problems. He’s mercilessly bullied at school and his parents don’t understand him. Oh yeah, and his brother is a serial killer with a closet full of human heads.

A razor-sharp hybrid of coming-of-age drama and gross-out splatter horror, “Stand By Me meets Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer” doesn’t even begin to do it justice. What begins as a gleefully gruesome horror tale matures into a harrowing examination of the cyclical effects of abuse as the violence begins to hit closer and closer to home. This microbudget slasher epic makes mainstream horror look pretty toothless by comparison. Read More…

Another Hole in the Head 2013: “Stalled”, “Evil Feed” and “Bath Salt Zombies”

Stalled

pooptutubigthree-stars15Looking for the Die Hard of zombie comedies? No? Well, too bad. You found it anyway.

By now the zombie genre has been done to death, as has that pun, but that doesn’t mean it’s off limits for independent filmmakers to have themselves a hack at it. (No more puns, I promise.)

Fans of the 2004 horromedy Freak Out will be pleased to find director Christian James and writer/lead actor Dan Palmer at the helm of yet another sub-genre parody. This time out instead of poking fun at slasher movies they’re aiming for laughs with zombies – and they’re getting them. Read More…

Another Hole in the Head 2013: “Motivational Growth”, “Discopath” and “Hunger Unholy”

Motivational Growth

motivational_growth_600three-stars15This film has a lot of strong assets going for it. For starters, the story is quite original. After hitting his head on the bathtub, Ian, an agoraphobic TV loving couch potato, begins to form a rapport with a hideous fungus living in his bathroom known only as The Mold. Can’t say I’ve heard that story ad nauseam before, if ever.

Strong asset number 2: This is a single setting film; a story device that when executed strongly never fails to leave a lasting impression. And while not on the same level as Alfred Hitchcock‘s Lifeboat (1944)Rope (1948), and Rear Window (1954), I have no doubt that an impression of some kind has been left, even if it’s one of Re-Animator star Jeffrey Combs voicing a disgusting and abnormally large fungi growth via some sweet practical effects. Which brings me to… Read More…

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