11 October 2012

October 11th

H.H. Holmes: America's First Serial Killer (2004) directed by John Borowski
A brief documentary on a psychopath and scam artist who lived and died in the late 19th century.  I'd never heard of this "Monster of 63rd Street" before, but his story was interesting.  Narrated by Tony Jay, the man who had the best horror voice since Vincent Price, this documentary presents all of its reenactment footage in a faux silent film style set to a particularly spooky violin score.  It's all quite effective and gives the whole affair a very grim feeling.  Talking head interviews are kept to a minimum and most of the information presented apparently comes from Holmes' own account of his crimes written while he was in prison.  While I'm not sure this makes for the most factually accurate crime documentary of all time, I can't fault the presentation.

Most fascinating to me is that I've been walking by this man's photograph nearly every day of my life for more than a decade and didn't know it.  Here he is, #38:

Watched: stream on Hulu.

It Came From The Local - Presented by the Flint Horror Con
Later in the day, it was time for a drive up to Flint to catch some cool shorts on the big screen.  Sort of an appetizer before the main event of the Flint Horror Con next week, It Came From The Local was an intimate gathering at a local club around the corner from were the Con will be held.  In addition to the shorts, there were horror trivia questions (with prizes!), a huge box of homemade cookies, and even a for-real concession stand with snacks.  Though not nearly the amount of people showed up that clicked "Going" on the Facebook posting, there was good group in attendance who seemed to get a kick out of things.  There, we watched:

Living Deadhead
Flesh-Eating Fog
Zombie Apocalypse: Chronicles - Raider Recon
Love Bug
Decapoda Shock
Refugio 115
"Hey---you ever heard of Rob Zombie?"---a true story

Easily the best of the list was Decapoda Shock, which, unfortunately, doesn't seem to be up at Youtube or Vimeo.  There's a trailer here that will give you the flavor of the piece, though.  Shot in Spain, it tells the tale of an astronaut who, after being clawed by a space-crab, turns into a crab-man.  Except, he's a crab-man who requires revenge, never takes off his astronaut suit, and is an expert horseman.  Very funny and very stylish, in a kind of 2001 meets '60s James Bond meets Johnny Quest sort of way.

I also enjoyed cathARTic (brutal, beautiful), Living Deadhead (zombie/stoner fun), Oracle (well-drawn characters), Love Bug (rage virus meets a blind date) and Rob Zombie (just a guy telling a story to the camera, but purely entertaining) quite a bit.  I have to admit, I was surprised at the quality of the shorts they'd gathered.  Usually at these things, you expect to suffer through loads of amateur-hour efforts, all filled with crappy shooting and even worse acting.  Of this lot, Flesh-Eating Fog was really the only one landing in that territory, and even that one I can't complain about too much given the 110% they put into the fun gore effects (giant arm-stumps for the win!).

A damn fine way to spend a Thursday evening.  I hope there are more of these in the future.

1 comment:

  1. Bummer, I thought Decapoda Shock was on Vimeo. I shall have to see about getting a copy from Chris.