Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Horrorfest 2012 Preview

It has been a long hot summer, and to be honest, it is still far too hot outside going into my favorite month of the year. That’s right. October is about to roll around once again, and that can only mean that another Penny in the Well Horrorfest is about to invade my blog, my viewing habits, my life for the next 31 plus days. And, you my dear readers will only benefit from one of the most intense month long horror festivals on the Internet.

One new feature to this year’s Horrorfest is that I will revisit three classic zombie flicks from Horrorfests past with full-length reviews. My reviews of “Fido”, “Let Sleeping Corpses Lie” and “Shaun of the Dead” were recently featured in the new e-zine Zombie Apocalypse Monthly, a monthly survival guide for those preparing for the impending zombie apocalypse. You can grab your digital or physical copy here. I’ll also be screening the first season of AMC’s zombie television series, “The Walking Dead”. I’ll keep the zombie theme going by catching up with George Romero’s last socio-zombie commentary “Survival of the Dead”. The widely praised zombie flick “Pontypool” follows a shock jock on a Valentine’s Day that is started off when he runs into a crazy woman.

Tim Burton will be bringing the dead back to life in his latest theatrical release, a stop-motion 3D animation remake of his fist live action short “Frankenweenie”. I’ll probably revisit the original as well, which has so many clever and ingenious qualities of its own. And, I’ll look at Burton’s very first film; the stop-motion animated short “Vincent”. Other theatrical entries this year will include the second Adam Sandler/Andy Samberg collaboration of the year, the classic horror monster-themed “Hotel Transylvania”, and “Paranormal Activity 4” will be hitting theaters and probably raising more questions than it answers to prolong the series for next year.

I have no plans to dig too deep into classic horror this year, but I will tackle some less revered cult classics. The original “Toxic Avenger” is sure to disappoint, but it’s about time I checked out this camp classic. I’ve never heard a good thing about “I Spit On Your Grave”, but the cover art for the original tantalized my eyes enough when I was in high school that I can’t believe I never gave into its exploitational aspects. This year I will. The original “Creepshow” was fun camp, but “Creepshow 2” was shut down so quickly by critics, I never got around to seeing it even though it contains one of my favorite Stephen King short stories “The Raft”. I’ll witness its awfulness finally. I was delighted by the remake/reboot of “Piranha 3D” a couple years back, so I though I might revisit the original version and the sequel “Piranha 3DD” this year. I’ll also revisit the surprisingly good reboot of “The Thing” from last year’s theatrical releases, which is really a prequel to John Carpenter’s 1982 remake of the classic sci-fi thriller.

Two similarly themed Hollywood original horror flicks were released last year that had to do with light, or the lack there of. “Vanishing on 7th Street” deals with a Detroit power outage that finds the shadows acting in a murderous nature. While the Moscow-based “The Darkest Hour” finds American tourists trying to survive an alien invasion where the aliens are energy-based and search out electricity to fuel themselves.

Most of this year’s entries, however, are from an eclectic mix of foreign and independent selections that have been alternately praised and dismissed by critics. “The Woman” is a disturbing tale of a sadistic lawyer who locks a feral woman in his shed in an attempt to “civilize” her.  “Dream Home” finds a woman who is willing to do anything to create her perfect home. “The Human Centipede: Full Sequence” is the second installment of the controversial German horror trilogy about mad scientists creating a human centipede. “Cold Fish” is a shocking Japanese entry that sees the proprietor of a tropical fish business getting pulled into the dealings of a serial killer and his psychotic wife. “Red White & Blue” might not sound like a Horrorfest entry, but it is purported to have a shocking twist ending. And, “Daylight” is another cautionary tale about picking up hitchhikers.

There will be even more than all that, including the supernatural thrillers “Red Lights” and “Beyond the Black Rainbow”, the comedic spoof “Tucker and Dale vs. Evil” and even a Christmas horror flick in which Santa Claus is evil in “Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale.” I will also be posting my regular theatrical reviews of such releases as “The Master”, “Looper”, and “Argo”.

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