I guess an annual event has to happen every year to be annual so for the third year running, we held the Holiday Horror Film Festival with Rish making the long trip back to his native land so that we might watch a lot of movies together. While the number of horror films listed in this year's festival is significantly smaller than previous years, we would like to assure you that we still saw a load of movies. As we know more and more about horror, both of us have become more curious about the rest of the film world as well and while we aren't going to list, mention or even try to talk about the other movies we saw, we just thought you'd want to know we weren't total slackers.
So if there's one festival you are going to try to duplicate, this would be the one you should shoot for. At least this year, we brought things back to reality a bit.
Thanks to a few coupons in my possession, we were able to watch a lot more on DVD this year than in previous years and so you'll notice a shift in focus from masses of cheap VHS-bound horror to a few slicker productions. In our first batch, we picked out a couple newer flicks that we were interested in to kick things off.
Ghosts of Mars (2001) - Both of us are John Carpenter fans and so it was a natural choice for us to start with this recent flick that both of us somehow missed on the big screen. Perhaps missing it was for the best, though. There were worse flicks to come, but we sure didn't start out on the best of notes.
Scary Movie 2 (2001) - I mentioned worse flicks, right? Well, we saved this one for late in the night thinking that it would be easier to stay awake for a lighter fare. Well, it was easier but it also made the first night a complete bust. We could have spent the entire time watching In Living Color reruns and accomplished the same thing.
Fresh off a dismal first night, we went out and rented the next batch. Combine that with a flick I've had sitting in the HFC library for a while and the potential for enjoyment increased exponentially.
The Last Man on Earth (1964) - First up was the HFC library title, the first filmed version of Richard Matheson's masterpiece I Am Legend. Both of us have seen and loved The Omega Man and were hopeful that this one would be every bit the film that the remake was. Well, it wasn't perfect, but it did help us get onto a good leg for the rest of the festival.
Dead and Buried (1981) - After reading the back of the case, we had to see this one. I kept getting flashes of Wickerman and The Fog, but Rish was all in for this one. In retrospect, this was perhaps one of the better films we saw for the festival.
Day three of the festival meant back to the DVDs and a couple newer releases. We had already reviewed the first film we would watch but I managed to get Rish to agree.
Dead Alive (1992) - Rish fell asleep the first time to watch this for review, but having tracked down the now commonly available unrated version in addition to the fact that Peter Jackson has new celebrity with the release of the first film in the Lord of the Rings series, how could we pass this up for a reviewing? One of my early site favourites, this one has it all in the gore department.
Hideaway (1995) - Just after we finished this one, we consulted my bookshelves to find out whether or not I owned all of Dean Koontz's books. Luckily, I at least had a copy of this one even though it had never been read. Still, Jeff Goldblum and Alicia Silverstone, if only I'd seen this when it came out.
Traditionally, people are out partying on New Year's Eve, but not us. In our dedication to you, our readers, we were watching more movies. Well, one at least. This was the first in our last batch of movies.
The Clown at Midnight (1998) - Concensus worst film of the festival. This one had promise with the word clown in the title and the fact that it sounded like a remake of Popcorn to me. Odd that it was Rish who insisted we see it. He hated Popcorn.
We wrapped up the festival with a special session: three movies and an old friend invited over to enoy them with us. He didn't make it until after the first film was over, but in a special send off to some of the best known horror flicks of the '50s, we closed out the Holiday 2001 Horror Film Festival in 2002.
House on Haunted Hill (1958) - Rish's loathing of the remake of this movie couldn't stop us from watching the original, especially since it was in the HFC library and had never been reviewed. Add Vincent Price into the mix and we were well on our way.
The Fly (1958) - The second of the '50s/Vincent Price mini-marathon is perhaps the one that we most anticipated. Filmed with dignity and self-respect, this one came close to being the best film of the the festival.
Return of the Fly (1959) - The last film of the night and of the festival, saw one more '50s/Vincent Price flick. Too bad this one was a sequel and had all the hallmarks thereof. Still, we could have picked worse and watched The Clown at Midnight as the last film.
10 movies in 5 nights. Well under our average, but well worth it. A little less than in year's past, but we enjoyed it and hope that you do too.