Nevermore 2017

My friend, Meg, came up from South Carolina to go to Nevermore with me.  I think she had a good time.  I was disappointed.

The computer system crashed Friday so we were unable to buy the ticket package (buy 8, get 2 free).  I asked to for punch cards (their usual deal is buy 4, get 1 free) and was told those aren’t offered for film festivals.  There was a line behind me and I didn’t feel like having a public fit.

We saw 3 shorts collections and 2 feature length films (Gehenna – Where Death Lives and  2307: Winter’s Dream).   They were entertaining by not particularly memorable.

I think the general manager who had been a moving force behind the festival has moved on.  There were no skulls, plastic rats or other creepy decorations.  There were no “what to do in case of zombie attack” signs in the rest rooms. The juried awards were posted before the festival even started. The volunteers were still handing out ballots, though.

I hope they have regrouped next year.

Nevermore Film Festival – 2016

This year Nevermore received 1275 submissions. From those, they ran 5 shorts collections and 11 feature length films. The collections were:

It’s only a Nightmare, Charlie Brown: PG-13 Animation and Dark Fantasy Shorts

Little Brother (USA) No dialogue, very creepy, uneven black and white line drawings,
The Red Thunder (USA) not animated, funny, if I say anything else, it will give away the punch line,
She’s Mine (UK) fairly standard animation, a stalker creeps into the house of the woman he intends to murder and finds competition,
Pipo (Germany) little conehead, stop motion, weird and sad,
House of Monsters: Frank and the Zombie Girl (USA) Stop motion nicely done, sweet story with monsters,
A Brief Encounter (Iran), there is a dragon and a girl. Not a happy ending.
Life Smartphone (China), line drawings, everybody is totally focused on their cell phones, it’s funny in a too familiar kind of way,
Flight of the Soul (USA) stop motion, there are 4 modified clones, one has a birdcage in its middle. The ending is kind of telegraphed, but it’s sweet.
Cristal Junket (Portugal) stop motion, surreal party, the story is vague
Trolled (Singapore) fairly typical anime, cute
The Seed (Greece) live action, good story, a little Blade Runner-esque, title could have been Monsanto World
Millennium: Eternal Sunrise (USA) live action, daughter trying to get the Millennium Man to reset time so her mother can come back, the ending was unexpected,
Jack is Pretty (USA) live action dystopia, Q&A with the writer and the producer afterward they are hoping to do more with this, planning a couple of “origin story” shorts and a feature film,

Not From Around Here: International Shorts

Gnomes (UK), garden gnomes gone bad, not bad, not great.

5 Ways 2 Die (Cyprus) this is funny and well made, The 5 ways are pills, jump off a bridge, carbon monoxide poisoning, bathtub electrocution and car wreck and that isn’t spoiling.
The Black Bear (Belgium) what not to do in the woods where there are bears, a little Python-esque
The Grandson (Netherlands) I liked this until the very end.
dark_net (UK), the acting was good but the story was uneven, jealous ex hires a hit man online.
A Bite to Eat (UK) at the Midnite Diner, this is cute,
Last Night (France) the story was uneven, it’s the last night in an apartment with friends coming to help move tomorrow, and a threesome ends badly.
They Will All Die in Space (Spain) this was creepy and well made, B&W

Can’t Live Without You: Committee’s Mixed Bag Shorts

The Stomach (UK), A medium uses his stomach to contact the dead.
#Help (Hungary), Very well made, and a good story. I would like to see it expanded into a feature length film
Choice Cuts (USA), This started out making me flinch and I laughed out loud at the end.
A Way Out (USA), Hit men. Entertaining,
El Gigante (Canada), This is straight up slasher gore.
25m2 (Sweden) The wall developed an abscess, which was weird. And there was some grossness because …abscess. And, it was really slow. Not a favorite.

They’re Coming to Get You, Barbara!: North American Shorts

Hag, I loved this take on hag-ridden sleep walking.
The Trap, This was short and funny. There is an alien.
Night of the Slasher, The hero is blond and female. This was fun.
The Fear Box (666 Telemarketing), This is why I don’t answer phone calls from numbers I don’t recognize.
Home Sweet Home, This is what I expect from Alzheimer’s.
Bad Guy #2, How to move up in organized crime. A little cheesy, a little gory, pretty funny.
Never Tear Us Apart, There are cannibals. And grandparents.
Shhh, Older sister Helena deserved to meet the monster. What a bitch!
Thresher, an homage to Guillermo del Toro and H. P. Lovecraft. Locks galore.  in Hell.  I would like to see more from Michael Dahlquist and his friends.
Knob Goblins, A monster movie where men have to deal with a sexual predator. Made me laugh. A lot.

This is my friend, Trey, meeting Knobby and Writer/Producer/Director Christopher G. Moore after we saw the film.

This is my friend, Trey, meeting Knobby and Writer/Producer/Director Christopher G. Moore after we saw the film.

How to Survive a Horror Movie Anthology: Long-Form Narrative Shorts

He Was His Friend (Russia) about a wannabe serial killer and his first victim,

Dance of Death (Latvia) a guy sees a HELP sign in the window of a car he passes, does nothing and is haunted by regret. (See what I did there?)

Don’t Fall Asleep, Motherfucker (Puerto Rico) her snoring is worse than you imagine,
The Fisherman (Spain) set in Hong Kong, special effects are very good, story is good. I could see this being expanded into an interesting feature film.

 

Feature length films that I saw:

Reverie of a Solitary Walker This is awful. There are 4 story lines that hop around in time and don’t seem to have any real connection. I was excite about it and very, very disappointed.

13 Cameras. This didn’t go where I thought it was going to and it creeped me right out. There are many cringes, many jumps and several I-can’t-looks. Should get some mainstream play.

I meant to see Clinger, but it was sold out for the time I expected to be there. I’ll see it via Amazon sometime soon. I could have gotten tickets early, but I didn’t.

Fan Favorites were:

BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE – Idila (“Idyll”)

Best North American Feature – 13 CAMERAS

BEST NORTH AMERICAN SHORT – Bad Guy #2

BEST INTERNATIONAL SHORT – The Black Bear

BEST LONG FORM NARRATIVE SHORT – He Was His Friend

The Jury Awards were:

BEST NORTH AMERICAN FEATURE: Everlasting

BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE: Idyll

BEST LONG-FORM NARRATIVE SHORT: The Fisherman

BEST ANIMATION SHORT: Tie She’s Mine and A Brief Encounter

BEST INTERNATIONAL SHORT: A Bite to Eat

BEST NORTH AMERICAN SHORT: Bad Guy #2

Nevermore 2015

This year, the Carolina Theater messed with me.  Last year, they had shows during the week.  So, I didn’t ask for the weekend off for 2015.  But, they didn’t do week day shows this year.  When I asked about it on their FaceBook page, they told me that 2014 was a one-off and it wasn’t likely to happen again.  And one of my co-workers had already made plans for Sunday.  So, I got to cram all my films in to Friday and Saturday.

Then, they took down the film list as soon as the festival was over. So, I didn’t have any references for the shorts and am hard pressed to remember the titles of the feature films I saw.

I can remember that I saw Savageland and Valley of the Sasquatch and they were both excellent.  And, I spotted David Saucedo, who had played Sergio-the-asshole in Sasquatch, in a small part in Savageland.  I was pleased that my brain worked that well.

He was supposed to be at the festival, but got sick at the last minute and was unable to make it.  And I’m sorry about that because I’m a fan, now.

Nevermore 2014

Ch-ch-ch-changes!  I was tripped up this year by my job.  Last Spring, I changed to a 30/week shift that has me working 2 12-hour shifts on the weekend and one 6 hour shift on Tuesday.  I get paid for 40 hours and have enough paid leave that I can usually be off if I have something to do on a weekend.

Unless a co-worker beats me to it.  And one did.

BUT, the Universe conspired to allow me to see independent horror films in spite of that.  For the first time ever, they are running most of the films in one of the 3 available theaters during the weekdays before they take over the entire building.

So, on Tuesday we saw The Human Race, The Returned, and Open Grave.

The Human Race was the least impressive of these 3.  Christopher and I both thought it should have stopped when the last guy stepped onto the grass, even though the final bit had some great special effects.

The Returned is  a love story with incidental zombies.  There are actually very few zombies seen in it, which annoyed some people who left early.  (They complained about that to Melissa, the ticket taker, who told us about it later.  We compared notes with her all week.)

We liked it.  In our discussion afterward, we all were of the opinion that asking your loved one to kill you, if you are contaminated with zombie cooties,  isn’t fair to them.  You should do it yourself and spare them that.

I really liked Open Grave. It had some classic horror cliches, but they weren’t heavy handed.  For instance, the blonde does trip when running from zombies in the woods.  BUT, she trips over a stick, not her own feet,  and that whole scene explains the bodies tied to trees all over the place.  And that makes sense in the context of the rest of the story.  As a matter of fact, when you know the whole story, with the exception of the military action toward the end, it all makes sense in that “reality.”

On Wednesday, my son and I saw The Last Days. The plot line on this one didn’t have any huge surprises, but it was well made.  There is bit where the main characters talk about where the planetwide agoraphobia came from, but it is never actually explained and that’s fine.  You don’t need to know.

On Thursday, Carolyn and I saw Grand Piano.  It was good but there was far too much leaving the stage in the middle of a performance.

And on Friday, Christopher and I saw Revolution of the Foreign Invaders, a collection of shorts, before Carolyn joined us for The Visitant,  a decent ghost story that didn’t have the ending I anticipated.

Christopher saw The Shower afterward, catching a ride home with a friend.  I don’t care for slasher films, so I skipped this one.  My son thought it was the best thing he saw.

These are the shorts in Revolution of the Foreign Invaders:

Would you like to die the same way as your favorite movie star? Would you like to imitate the death of some memorable movie scene? Euthanas Inc. is for those who want to put a legitimately spectacular end to their lives. (I voted for this one as my favorite.  The description isn’t very accurate.  In a world where euthanasia is an acceptable choice (think Vonnegeut’s Ethical Suicide Parlors) an old woman has become inconvenient to her family.  She’s not ready to go.)

Joseph Wood is an astronaut set to go where no man has ever gone before in the Universe in Hibernation. (Thought this was awful. Trying to be 2001 and not succeeding.)

Marta returns to her mom’s house to spend some days with her little sister in Madrid in Don’t Look Here.  (Ending was very weak.)

Maid of Horror is the blood-soaked story of Emma, an overlooked Maid of Honor, who would kill to get her fairytale ending.  (I don’t even remember this one.)

Driving through New York City for Christmas Eve dinner, Steve’s car breaks down and he accidentally stumbles upon a crime scene. Mistaken for the notorious cleaner, Mr. Bear, Steve has to face a difficult choice: dismember and get rid of some bodies or become a corpse himself. (This was hilarious.  Nearly got my vote.  It did win the Audience Choice award.)

Have you ever shared a dream with someone else? A young man’s world changes when the love of his life she comes in to the real world to rescue him in REM.  (This one was trying to be Inception and wasn’t.)

A simple iPhone enables people to look into another dimension where murder and mayhem are commonplace and the evildoers may be themselves in Nexo.  (This was jumbled and didn’t work for me.)

A young man jumps off a roof and inadvertently cheats death in The Revenant.  (The story was entertaining.  Special effects are, clearly, a new thing for the filmmakers.)

Nevermore 2013

I look forward to the Nevermore Film Festival every year.  This year it has fallen on the weekend I am changing shifts from 8hrs/day 5 days /week to 12 hour shifts on the weekend and a 6 hour evening on Wednesday.  So, instead of going on Saturday and Sunday, I have shifted my days.

I don’t go see the retro stuff at the Carolina theater.  If I can get it from Netflix and watch it at home, I’m not paying $9/ticket to see it in a theater.  So, the single old movie on the list is an automatic skip.  After that, it’s a question of figuring out what I can fit into  the time I have.

This year I saw:

Boogeymen From Beyond the Sea, an international long shorts collection (17 minutes or more in length).

  • Boys Village (Germany, 22 minutes) a Sixth Sense style of ghost story with an ending that isn’t telegraphed.
  • Baby-Sitting (France, 20 minutes) badly made, poorly written.
  • I’m Dead (Italy, 17 minutes} Surprising.  It looked liked a straight up slasher story but the last 5 minutes turned everything around and changed very thing you had seen earlier.
  • The Other Side (England, 20 minutes) an English slasher in the Welsh countryside.  Not many surprises by a lot of jumps
  • Vadim (Austria, 17 minutes) Really didn’t have much new, but it did make me jump more than once.
  • John Dies at the End was hilarious and existential and very entertaining.  There is a book available.  I have tweeted to the writer asking if the book or  the script came first.  I am not interested in reading an expansion of the script, but might be interested in an original novel.
ABCs of Death This was a fun anthology film.  For all practical purposes, it was a collection of shorts that was packaged as a single thing because of the overarching theme. Some of the letters were obvious and some were a little bit of a stretch. In particular, 2 Japanese directors whose letters worked in Japanese, but not in the English translation. The shorts DID work, though. Some were surreal, some were stories. Some were funny, some were terrifying. If you like shorts and if you like monsters, this is worth the time.

Wrath of the Foreign Invaders is the Foreign short shorts collection.:

  • The White Lady (Switzerland, 15 minutes)  Everyone over the age of 12 knows this story.
  • Refugio 115 (Spain, 8 minutes) Swallowed by darkness.  Nothing new.
  • She’s Having a Baby (Australia, 14 minutes) Misery wants a baby instead of a book.
  • The Plan (Israel, 13 minutes)  I can’t remember anything about this one, even reading the blurb on the site.
  • Ocho (Spain, 14 minutes) Strange.  I’m not sure what the point was.  Satanic families spoil your birthday?
 
We Will Call Him Bobby (Spain, 13 minutes)  I like it so much I’m embedding the entire thing.

 

They’re Coming to Get You, Barbra is the North American short shorts.  There were 10:

  • Torturous  (Canada, 6 minutes)  This was hilarious.
  • Game (Canada, 8 minutes) Rednecks chase a woman in the woods down to the edge of a lake, then the rules change.  I liked it.
  • Klagger  (USA, 12 minutes)  Slasher.  Well made, nothing new.
  • Sandwich Crazy (Canada, 8 minutes)  Deal with the Devil, OK.
  • Trash (Canada, 4 minutes) Homeless guys helps a girl find true love.  Loved it.
  • Til Death Do Us Part (USA, 13 minutes) Zombies at a wedding.  Not particularly fresh (ha!) but a few laughs.
  • Lot 66 (USA, 15 minutes) Sadly, no surprises
  • The Stolen (Canada, 6 minutes)  Is a very familiar fairy tale with no surprises.
  • Take That (USA, 14 minutes)  Buddy sets his PW friend up with a hooker.  Things do not go as planned.  Fun.
Found in Time was the second actual feature length film we saw this year. I loved it.  It is an existential time loop story.  Anansi is a happiness trigger for me.  Filmmakers that use him usually make stories I’m going to like.  I got to talk to the writer/director/producer and I’m following the FB page so I’ll know when it is available to buy a copy.

Dead Men Tell No Tales is the North American long shorts.   There were 4:

  • Cache Me If You Can (USA, 20 minutes)  Geocaching gone horribly wrong. Loved this one.
  • Rose White (USA, 32 minutes) This was another Kickstarter.  Modern version of  Grimm fairy tale.  Uneven.
  • Foodie (USA, 29 minutes) Guess who’s coming for dinner?  Filmed in Durham; I recognized one of my favorite restaurants.
  • The Hike (USA, 18 minutes)  The blurb refers to Pandora’s Box, but I didn’t get that from the film. Unimpressive.

Nevermore 2012

This year, Nevermore did 3 shorts collections.  They’re Coming to Get You, Barbara was all shorts forms (less than 15 minutes).  Pandora and That Damned Box  was 4 long forms shorts (>20 minutes).  And Wrath of the Foreign Invaders was a collection of foreign shorts of all lengths.

 won the Shorts long form Audience Favorite award.

 The House of the Yaga won the short form award.  This is the same group that did  Cornerboys last year.

We saw Ashes, which annoyed me.  If you are going to make a movie in a hospital, check with someone who works there to be sure you aren’t making gaffes that will tweak the sensibilities of  medical people who come to see it.  Except for that, it was a good Ground Zero zombipocalypse movie.

The Innkeepers is a great ghost story.

Some Guy Who Kills People wasn’t really full of surprises, but the dialogue was good and Barry Bostwick was particularly funny.  Christopher thinks we need to buy it when it’s available.  And it won the Audience Award for a full length film.

The Whisperer in Darkness is a Lovecraft story in black and white.  I liked it.  I haven’t read the story it was based on so I didn’t know every where it would go.  The ending wasn’t a shock, though, since I have read some Lovecraft.

And, after the mildest winter since I’ve been in NC, it snowed on us coming home tonight.

Nevermore 2011

Yesterday I saw 4 of the 5 feature length films I intended to see at Nevermore.  Today, I saw both collections of shorts and one more feature.  And it appears that they are giving an award this year and we got to vote.

Rubber was hilarious.  (I gave it a 7 of 10)

Black Death was surprisingly unimpressive.  (4 of 10)

Vanishing on 7th Street was creepifying. (8 of 10)

Unaware was the Blair UFO Project. (2 of 10)

Rare Exports  Santa’s origins are SCARY.  This got a 10.

They’re Coming to Get You, Barbra:
Night of the Punks:   http://www.nightofthepunks.com  Music really is demonic
Blarghaaarhgarg:   http://www.clonespt.com/blarghaaarhrgarg—english.html  Portuguese exterminator battles a radioactive booger
Bygone Behemoth:   http://bygonebehemoth.wordpress.com/about/  Godzilla’s twilight years
The Cow Who Wanted to be a Hamburger:   http://www.plymptoons.com  Be careful what you wish for
CornerBoys:  http://youtu.be/IOd_Fzck7CM Good art, appropriate music, excellent poem. Reading Rainbow meets The Goblin Market.
Bursters: http://www.burstersmovie.com/ Variation on Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Back to Life:   http://www.projectmeatball.com Frankenstien’s monster bitches about his life
Alice Jacobs is Dead:   http://www.alicejacobsisdead.com Adrienne Barbeau ina zombie love story

When the Stars Begin to Fall:
The Devil’s Toy:   http://www.sprocket.com/thedevilstoy  Don’t bring dangerous stuff back from war, Gramps.  Geez!
See The Dead:  http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x9nr8u_see-the-dead-short-film_shortfilms  Zombies and sorrow.
Davis  (No website available.  It was great.)
As Seen on Delores Street:  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1736018/  A new twist on missing dog posters.
Written By:   http://www.writtenbymovie.com  Variation on Chucky
Scarecrow at Midnight:   http://www.mutantville.com  eh.
Murderobilia:  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1719525/  This was excellently creepy.  I think this was the best of the shorts.

Nevermore 2010

I got the 10-pack of tickets for $60. I used 5; I have given 5 to Christopher. Chuck is totally not into critter movies, but my friend, Trey, thinks this festival is GREAT and he went with me.  We liked all 3 of the feature length films we saw.  Some of the shorts were less impressive, but, as Trey said, they were short, so, over soon and on to the next thing without taking up too much our time.

Friday night, we saw Strigoi and Four Minutes Until Sunrise, a collection of 4 shorts.

Strigoi is Romanian for “vampire” and the film is in moderately accented English.  This thing is funny.  Our hero went to medical school but never passed his boards to actually become a doctor. EVERYONE calls him a pussy.  It becomes a running gag.  He is, however, the only one who persists in trying to understand what is happening in the town where an old man is mysteriously murdered and no one seems to be interested in who did it.  His friend, the cop, looks disconcertingly like Paul Rubens’ character in Buffy, the Vampire Slayer.

Four Minutes Until Sunrise was:

  • Dead Bones bad Western zombies, which may be redundant,
  • Road to Moloch, a demon encounter in Iraq, not bad, good SFX, obvious story,
  • The Familiar, about a modern vampire’s human assistant. Very funny, no real surprises.
  • Crooked Lane, a ghost story, with an unsatisfactory ending (we never understoond WHY the ghosts were doing what they were doing).

    Saturday, we saw They’re Coming to Get You, Barbara(another collection of shorts), Bonnie and Clyde vs Dracula, and Evil Angel.

    They’re Coming to Get You, Barbara was:

  • Dead Walkers, more old West zombies.
  • Shapes, well done monster-in-the-closet. No surprises, but good critter.
  • Pigeon: Impossible, hilarious animation about a pigeon, a bagel and a spy.  I had seen it in the theater beforeUp! and it’s still funny.
  • The Ugly File was well made but the story was very obvious.
  • Hector Corp. was excellent.  Animation about corporate cut backs a la Office Space.
  • Monstrous Nature was OK.  Actors were stiff, but the ending wasn’t telegraphed.  I wasn’t sure exactly what kind of monster he was or who would survive until it happened.
  • Snuggle Time doesn’t have any web presence except listings at film festivals all over the country, which is a shame because it is cute.  The animation is good and the story has a nice twist.
  • Dead Creek was well made, but obvious.

    Bonnie and Clyde vs Dracula was hilarious.  Lots of splatter, interesting characters, vintage cars, a one legged whore and Annabelle.

    Evil Angel, written, directed and produced by Richard Dutcher is about Lilith, body hopping to commit murder and mayhem because of her longstanding hatred of mankind.  Ving Rhames is excellent as the private investigator who is trying to figure out what’s going on.  This one had the most money spent and it shows.  The story and performances are excellent.

    I love this festival.

Nevermore 2008

I didn’t see everything I wanted to, but I did see a good “time loop” film from Spain, a ghost story with serious shades of Reservoir Dogs and a fun collection of shorts.

I got to talk to one of the actors from the second movie, briefly.    The title was 13 Hours in a Warehouse.  His name is Paul Cram.  He is a very nice young man and I think you will see his name and face in the future.

His was the best performance I saw.  He said that he enjoys character parts the most.  He gets to play a greater range that way.

I also saw Timecrimes and Sackcloth and Ashes.

 

Nevermore 2007

First let me say, Wild Child and I have decided that no matter where he lives when he is grown, no matter what holidays we are celebrating, the last weekend in February is the one that he has to come home for.

He and I saw The Anthology of Errata on Saturday at 2.  This was a collection of shorts.  They were Night of the Hell Hamsters, which was very funny, Zombie Hunter, which I found dull, Facility 4, a zombie movie by Bento Productions (That piece of trivia was the best part of it), The Listening Dead, a fairly clever silent ghost story with a “happy ending”, Itsy Bitsy which was quite funny, and Oculus, which creeped the kid out so badly he had to leave.  It has won a bunch of awards but really didn’t do a lot for me, not awful, not phenomenal.  C says he can’t stand mirrors with critters, so he was waiting in the lobby for me when it was over.

Carolyn, and joined us for The Beach Party at the Threshold of Hell.  It is hilarious in a blood-and-guts kind of way.  It’s a post-apocalyptic story with robots, evil overlords, Cannibal Sue and the Anti-Christ.  What’s not to love?  C was a complete fanboy and got his ticket autographed.

Carolyn chose not to stay for DeadAlive.  I had never seen it. It is awful.  I laughed my ass off and Wild Child had a blast.

Sunday, Himself decided to skip the critters because he was not interested in seeing In Memorium, which as nicely paired with the short Of Darkness.  So, I saw those with Marq, who did not ever laugh at me when I jumped.

Apparently, there was a lot of buzz about Of Darkness at the festival.  It was deserved.  They told a chilling story with very little special effects.  They followed the rule that the best monsters are the ones you never see completely.