Second Night of Madness

Started this day at 1PM with a veggie burrito and then continued into four blocks of shorts and a thought provoking talk by Charles Stross, yes, that Charles Stross. But let’s start with the shorts:

“666 sq. ft.”
Directed by Ray Zablocki. To deal with unruly tenants, a landlord makes a deal with infernal powers. Really short but effective.
“The 1000 Colors”
Directed by Filip Biedron. Out of inspiration and a desperate artist takes drugs. Nyarlathotep shows up and bellows at the artist, high jinks ensue. I really like the voice talent and vocal processing they got for Nyarlathotep.
“August Heat”
Directed by Matthew J Thompson. This was based on a WF Harvey short but the story seems to work better in print. In this adaptation there are some mysterious goings on but tension never really builds.
Directed by Bhargav Saikia. Based on a Henry James story it took me a while to guess what was going on here and even now I’m not entirely sure. A woman’s creepy, dead ex-lover possesses the male of two childern the woman is caretaker for? Still not sure.
“Blind Date”
Directed by Rob Rotondo. A young woman blind from birth casts spells from a forbidden book to restore her site–but of course there is a terrible price. How she learned the spells in this book, which is not braille embossed or a book on tape, is a mystery.
“The Call”
Directed by Alban Ravassard. Well acted and skillfully executed but it’s a another creepy mermaid story and I’m getting tired of those.
“The Call of Farqunglu”
Directed by Kris Theorin. Lego, Lovecraft and Laughter. This is a good one!
“The Case of Evil”
Directed by Neal Hallford. A fading musician tries to buy back the diabolic guitar that made him a blues legend but the witch who possesses it is not selling. I liked this one maybe!
“The Case of Patient Paul Edward Kelly”
Directed by Roberto Spinelli. A therapist uses regression therapy to get a patient to confront a nameless terror. Filmed in 2015, the look and feel of this movie is very 70s retro.
Directed by Casey Malone. A “researcher” technobabbles his way to controlling time–confusion,  disappearance and disappointment result. Sometimes people blend the wrong things when attempting to blend Lovecraft tropes and science fiction.
“The Copy Writer”
Directed by Liam Banks. Based on “Rats in the Walls” without the giant catacombs as a payoff. Again not very memorable.
“The Craft”
Directed by Han Waldman. A socialite is married to an eccentric and infamous artist. Inspiration by Lovecraft themes, but not especially Lovecraftian nor memorable.
“From Beyond”
Directed by Darren Way. Stop motion animation Crawford Tillinghast’s bizarre machine. Beautiful but personally I like Michael Granberry’s adaptation better.
“The Statement”
Directed by Marc Shahboz. There were several flicks based on “The Statement of Randolph Carter” I think I liked this one the best as it had the fewest elaborations.
“The Terrible Old Man”
Directed by Ryan Smith. This is a Lovecraft story that rarely gets adapted so I give them points for that. The acting was passable and the choices for incidental music were actually pretty good–aside from the generic and forgettable heavy metal.
“The Mill at Calder’s End”
Directed by Kevin McTurk. Told with incredibly lifelike puppets and more Gothic than strictly Lovecraftian, it’s about the declining Grimshaw family and their demonic pact.
“The Statement of Randolph Carter”
Directed by Dylan Howie. The one is perhaps more historically accurate rendition of the Lovecraft story but not as good, I think, as “The Statement.”
“Escape from Midwich Valley”
Directed by Pierre-Henri Debies. Essentially a music video based very loosely on The Shadow Over Innsmouth. Not especially memorable.
“The Stomach”
Directed by Ben Steiner. A story about mobsters and a medium with a weird way of channeling the dead. Well acted, well shot and fun to watch!
“Fat Rabbit”
Directed by Adam Petke. A frontier couple gives birth to monstrosities in desturbing ways. Funny, gross and tension filled.
“Out of the Basement”
Directed by Benjamin Dewhurst. A brother dies and leaves mysterious and disturbing recording of demonic summoning, with interesting ideas about how possession works. Well acted, well shot and fun to watch!
“Lead Paint”
Directed by Gilbert Cuevas. An examination of jealousy and men’s fear of and control over women’s sexuality–by way of Lovecraft. Funny!
“The Music of Erich Zann”
Directed by Edward Kelly. Sorry, but hand carved electric guitars don’t redeem this one. From the music video school of telling a story with gratuitous nudity that is not tied to the story in any way.
“Fuck Buddies”
Directed by Nate Wilson. It’s starts off as friends with benefits but then a nonexistent child that wants to be born starts forcing things. Funny and gross. Not especially Lovecrafian but still fun to watch.
Directed by Izzy Lee. Detective on a murder investigation finds the trail leads to the fishing town of Innsmouth. Sexy bathtub scene happens, not much in the way of fish men or Deep Ones and not especially memorable either.
Directed by Mike Bliss. Hikers investigate standing stones in the Welsh countryside and awaken an ancient evil. Pretty good but not especially memorable enough to stand out.
“The Trap”
Directed by Dick Grunert. Sorry, but hand carved electric guitars don’t redeem this one. From the music video school of telling a story with gratuitous nudity that is not tied to the story in any way.

[Addition to the draft that I made roughly two weeks after the festival.] Actually I couldn’t finish doing capsule reviews for all the films I saw, mostly because it’s been nearly two weeks and I’m beginning to forget details. However I will say this, if you have a chance to see, Black Mountain Side, see it!

The other thing I wanted to talk about was a lecture at the con that I listened to by Charles Stross. But that’s so detailed, I think it deserves an entry of it’s own.

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