Well, folks, we just wrapped day five of eighteen, and I’m still feeling pretty strong despite the liquor beating rained down on my liver, the gobs of greasy food, and hey, here’s a new one, the pack and a half nicotine hangover! It was great to have Johnny and his delightful wife Michelle down for the weekend; not only did they save Paul and me from a few days of coverage, but it was a heckuva lot of fun to be able to talk after movie shit with Butane over a few beers, rather than via the internerd. And hey, they didn’t kill me and my lady in our sleep…thanks, guys.
Even though Johnny’s already covered it, I need to throw my two cents in about Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon. This movie is exactly what horror needs today. It’s clever and self aware, wears its love of the genre on its sleeve, doesn’t pander to the uncritical gorehound, looks great, and has charismatic, well acted performances (in short, it’s a real movie).
Christmas came early this year for whoever is distributing Behind the Mask. This flick is the bastard son of Scream and The Blair Witch Project and could pack megaplexes coast to coast, but without the negative fallout associated with those films. Behind the Mask shows that a little post modern deconstruction of genre films doesn’t have to be sweetened with pretty teens, and that a faux documentary style and a limited budget don’t have to result in a visually flat, cheap looking movie. I really couldn’t like this movie any more, and from what I can tell by briefly chatting with Scott Glosserman, it couldn’t happen to a nicer, more humble guy. I hope he can stay that way when his career blows up after everyone sees how good Behind the Mask really is.
Switching gears and moving on to today’s coverage … Tonight was the Canadian premiere of Chris Sivertson’s The Lost. Unfortunately, the screening wasn’t as well attended as it should have been. The Lost was battling a thunderstorm, a Monday audience burned out from the weekend, and some incredibly hot, muggy weather. Those that did get off their asses were well rewarded. This is the first of a wave of upcoming Jack Ketchum adaptations (Lucky McKee is slated to work on Red next), and boy was it a doozy. In fact, Hazel shed tears during it. I’ve been watching horror movies with her for a long time; she’s no pansy, and I’ve never seen this particular reaction. You need to understand that the finale is a gore soaked freakout, not some tearjerker “Why can’t I quit you Ray Pye” moment. She was crying simply because she found it so intense.
Like Behind the Mask, The Lost feels like one of those movies we’re all going to look back on in a few years once the directors of these films become household names to horror fans worldwide. Chris took to the stage after the screening to answer some questions, during which he informed the audience that his next project is going to be Hippy, a psychedelic horror film that he described as an “acid trip gone wrong.” Hey, as long as a bunch of dirty hippies get theirs, I’m all for it.
Erin (don’t call me Misty) Brown, who plays a small, but important role in The Lost, was also in attendance. It’s nice to see her making a real mainstream go for it (that is, if you consider The Lost and “Sick Girl” mainstream!) Her role was definitely not completely out of the Misty Mundae mold (she shows up stark naked after all), but the consensus was that she did a good job and if you’re going to put cute young things in your movie, better Erin Brown than some vacuous WB starlet.
We bailed as quickly as we could post screening, lest we get sucked into another booze fueled romp on the town. As I left I could hear Adele Hartley (who runs the Dead by Dawn festival) talking about going to see strippers twitching like Deadite crackwhores… ahhh, these are definitely my kind of people…
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