You canâ€™t go to a film festival without checking out a bunch of films right?! The New Jersey Horror Con and Film Festival took over the Showboat Hotel on the Atlantic City Boardwalk last week and unleashed a three-day film festival combining shorts and feature-length films from up and coming genre filmmakers. While I was bouncing around from the show floor to Q&A panels and more, I managed to take in a few excellent short films and a crazy feature that horror fans should look out for.
The Confined by Christopher Picone was a small cast version of a haunted warehouse movie with some spooky imagery and sound. The film remind me of Session 9 in both its simple set up and in central themes and setting. Check it out here:
The Hunt was written and directed by Ian Baker and features a nice twist on both gender roles in horror and creature motivations. A all-female cast and good makeup effects to this one which you can watch here:
A tremendous horror short was The Eyes That See in the Dark, written and directed by S.J. Doss. Imagine if The Exorcist was not just an unseen demon, but rather a giant horned demon called the Ripper of Souls. The film earned NJ Horrorâ€™s Best Special Effects award. Check it out here:
The Killer Clown Meets the Candyman is a candidate for most depraved and yet borderline hilarious and altogether ridiculous film I ever saw. From the mind of Pete Jacelone, this the â€œbased on a true storyâ€ (never have those words been used more loosely) account of when serial killers Dean Corll aka The Candyman met John Wayne â€œThe Killer Clownâ€ Gacy during their respective crime sprees. The two leads do a good job, but this is for acquired tastes! Check out the trailer here:
In a great coincidence considering that a) Joe Bob Briggs was AT New Jersey Horror Con and b) The Last Drive-In returned to Shudder the first night of the convention, Hansi Oppenheimerâ€™s Squee Fu: Fans Celebrate the Return of Joe Bob Briggs screened Friday night. The 20-minute mini-documentary was basically interwoven reactions with horror community veterans, hosts, and writers giving their feelings about Joe Bobâ€™s triumphant return to TV with The Last Drive-In on Shudder. It features commentary from Svengoolie, Mick Garris, Susan Leighton of 1428Elm.com, The Crow writer David Schow, Phil Nobile Jr. and Tony Timpone of Fangoria, and a special short piece by Joe R. Lansdale at the end entitled “Joe Bob Briggs, The Siren of the Drive-In.” If you are a horror fan, happy about Joe Bobâ€™s return to prominence in mainstream culture, itâ€™s absolutely great to see how the horror community and horror journalists feel about him and the impact heâ€™s had on their lives. Check out Hansiâ€™s film here:
Hansi Oppenheimer also has another documentary in the works about the work of Joe R. Lansdale entitled All Hail the Popcorn King. Hereâ€™s a sneak peak of her interview with Mick Garris for the project:
The New Jersey Horror Con and Film Festival delivered three days of entertaining and engrossing short and feature length films. NJ Horror Con returns to the Showboat in Atlantic City this October 11th – 13th. Check out all the news about guests, films, and more on their official site.