Thursday, September 06, 2007

FRIGHTFEST DAY 4 & 5

Hey all,



Sorry for the delay, as my body is FINALLY getting back to the Western world. I don't know why but it was much harder to aclimate back to this time zone than it was in the UK. Maybe it's because from the moment I set foot on that royal British soil, I was going 100 mph. Ah, memories...speaking of which, here is my wrap up on the final days of FrightFest, sorry it took so long to post.

DAY 4:



Ah, the pressure is off.

The film is screened, we came we saw and I hope we kicked ass. You never know with people; sometimes they are being polite in saying "I liked it!" to then hear them turn and say "What a piece of Poop" but the general feeling I got was people had a great time. Sweet, then I did my job. But it's over, and a part of me is a little sad to see it go, that singular experience I've waited so long for, but now i get to kick back with Green and the gang and watch some muthafuckin' movies!

I was still buzzing from an hour of sleep, but felt the need to see Adam and Amanda's reaction to JACK KETCHUM's THE GIRL NEXT DOOR (which you can read my reactions to in an earlier blog post). It's pretty harrowing stuff, and I wanted to see a big crowd react to the many scenes of frank, almost casual violence that stemmed from it. I think it played well, wish that Andrew or Greg the director was there to talk about it, but i think it really affected people, the way it was supposed to. Pretty hard cinema, to be sure.



Unfortunately, I missed BOTCHED to go out and talk to some fans outside, but heard it was pretty rad. Well, one i can catch later. But there was a buzzing in the air, and suddenly...POOF! Uwe Boll was in the house! We exchanged pleasentries (see above for the meeting of the "masters", Uwe, Neil and Axelle), he seemed pretty relaxed but ready for anything as people piled into the theater for a double dose of Dr. Boll....



POSTAL: I think I've had my say on this, but I really liked it. Loved the brashness of the humor, felt it totally worked with the crowd, and Zach Ward is a revelation. Sure, some of the jokes dont work, and some people might NOT enjoy seeing Dave Foley's lil "kid in the hall" hanging out for an extended time, but then if you dont like to laugh at little old ladies getting hit by cars, then this might not be your movie. This really is Uwe's masterwork, considering his other films, and I really think he should do more intentional comedies.



SEED: Wow, how far we've come...or gone. While I really enjoyed POSTAL, SEED did NOT go over well for me, or seemingly most of the audience. An attempt at blending SEVEN with HOSTEL, the film tracks a cop (Michael Pare) trying to find, kill, then kill again the serial killer "Seed". Long story short, this is a mean, mean film, clearly looking to simply push your buttons with PETA footage of animals dying and a somewhat clever concept of a "one-take" kill that unfortunately gets marred by ineffective CG manipulation and the viewer saying "who is this woman in corralation to the rest of the movie?" It was a random moment of squeamishness that could have been more effective, but just comes off as exploitive. Afterwards, as I raced out to avoid wet trousers, I heard people vehemently booing the film, calling it "Shite!" and there was more outside. Supposedly Uwe defended himself and his film, while telling people if they didnt like his films, go see NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM. Love that Uwe...

After the Double Boll Bill we grabbed some lunch (Subway, nice and American), then hit Paul's awesome movie memorbillia shop (got Adam a present for hooking me up with these guys, and I got Ebola Syndrome!!!) and then went out to take some shots of the "American Werewolf" galavanting around Piccadilly Circus. Its so cool to see the location now and re-visualize the climax of A.W.I.L., Landis you genius.



Then, to quell my sweating dilemma, we slipped into a huge sports department store, packed to the gills, so I could get a headband to sop up the Lynch gravy. Yes, I wore a headband, fuck off. Of course, Im outside the Odeon and no longer than 2 minutes and I hear "Oh Im so blessed to see Jane Fonda has graced us with her presence at FrightFest". Oh Alan Jones, you right bastard. But I guess I get what I deserve...sweaty Yank I was.



Back to the Fest, we met up with Neil and Axelle as he showed the new DOOMSDAY trailer he cut personally....and lo and behold, it had music by Bear!!!! It was from GALACTICA, but it worked so well (Bear would have been proud) and let me tell you, no lie.

DOOMSDAY WILL FUCKING ROCK YOUR SOCKS OFF.

You can tell Neil was like a kid in a candy store here, blending elements of ROAD WARRIOR, RAIDERS, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK and other 80's apocalypto adventures into one huge stew of steaming awesomeness. And it's got beheadings! Seriously, this was a big one for me, and all biases aside now that Ive become friendly with Sir Marshall, i cannot WAIT to see the final product. The crowd seemed to feel the same way too.



WAZ-A serial killer film akin to SE7EN, yet with an even grittier style (courtesy of the DP from the cult hit PUSHER, a personal fav). I love Stellan Saarsgard, and here he plays a hard boiled cop with a past tied to mysterious murders that have a ritualistic bent, all the while dealing with a new female partner thrust into the case. Pretty compelling stuff, and the twists had me glued to my seat. Good, challenging thriller.

Having endured SKINWALKERS already (sorry Stan) we ended up talking our asses off at the Cinema bar till late with the fans and the filmmakers, then continued back to the hotel for a LITTLE sleep for tomorrow's big Zombie Walk. Fucking psyched for that one, but more excited to see SPIRAL again with an audience. I'm sure Green is nervous a little since the weekend's been nothing but blood and guts, but I think its gonna go fantastic. This is a very accepting crowd...so glad Ailsa, who was the PR rep for HATCHET, was so cool in hanging out with us too, even though I didnt mention her before here, she was so much fun to chill out with and I totally owe her a beer when Im back. I promise A!



DAY 5:

Man it was tough getting up for the Zombie Walk. Guess it's fitting Im lurching towards the Odeon in back alleys, I feel like one of the undead dancers in the title sequence for SHAUN OF THE DEAD. Funny, literally on random play, "London Calling" pops on my ipod on my way over. It shot a burst of adrenaline into me and instantly Im hopping over there. One more day, Lynch, make it count!!! At first, the streets were, save the pun, "dead" because of a holiday, but as I got closer....



The Zombie walk was CRAZY. Im sure you heard about it or read elsewhere, but they wereEVERYWHERE in the park...big ones, small ones, baby undead. A Zombified Spiderman an even a chick in an Evel Kenivel [sic] suit all undead like.They were even pumping Goblin and the DAWN soundtrack while the living dead did photo ops and generally just stumbled around, big smiles on everyones faces. I swear, could you imagine if you had no clue about this and just walked down the street and see this cavalcade of Zombies coming towards you? Fucking genius.





After the press part, we all shuffled in to see THE ZOMBIE DIARIES, which was a mix of BLAIR WITCH & (insert Undead flick here) and while I thought there were scenes of real inspriado using the concept of a Documentary crew getting stuck in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, i felt like it didnt go far enough. But, for the amount of money spent on it, its pretty fucking cool, hats off to the guys for effectively using the digital media to create a "real world" feel to it. If you like zombie flicks and a little something different, check it out.

After a short trip back to the hotel, I got to FINALLY sit down with Axelle, Neil's lovely and very horror-astute girlfriend for a one-on-one interview, which I honestly thought went great. No offense to the other guys, but maybe it was that she was asking questions I didnt hear before, mainly because she's probably heard me gabbagabba away before on the usual cache of questions. There's nothing better than being surprised and not rolling off the same answer over and over. Not that I dont mind, but its nice to spark the mind a bit on stuff Im not expecting. I can't wait to read that interview, although we might have to finish it up online as we were going to be late for...



SPIRAL: Well again, I might have already mentioned how much I loved this movie, and sure, Im a "F.O.G" (Friend of Green) but it really is a small masterpiece, and Im so glad that the audience, who we thought would be jaded and not into a psychological piece like this, would warm to it. But quite the contrary...they LOVED it! This is why I love FrightFest. The audience can clearly embrace films like BLACK SHEEP, THE SIGNAL, ALLTHE BOYS and even WRONG TURN 2, but also be respectful to more moderated, subtle films like SPIRAL, JOSHUA & THE ORPHANAGE. Everyone knows to have an open mindset, and it just made me want to move to London and hang out with these great groups some more. They clearly GET IT.



After the film played well, Adam got up and worked his magic on the crowd, first answering questions about the production, then kicking in the audience's teeth with his famous "Dee Snider" story, which to him must be old hat, but you'd never know it. It's clear how Dee touched Adam (um....) in so many ways (double um....) but the inspiration from this story clearly hit home with so many in the crowd.



IN THE WALL: After SPIRAL, we got to enjoy a short film by one of the F.C. members, Mike Williamson, who I saw at the airport with his lovely wife and a film cannister (god I miss seeing those). The short was called IN THE WALL and I, like the rest of the crowd, was VERY impressed with Mike's work here in the short time he had. I'll save you the details because the twists come fast and furious from the get-go, but let's just say that Edgar Allen Poe would be proud. Although I wasnt a fan of the lead actor per se, Erin Brown (THE LOST) gave a stellar performance of a Pregnant woman in peril, and Williamson's lighting and camerawork are su-fucking-perb, and the makeup is killer too. The whole film had the kind of pro polish on it while still being EXTREMELY creepy and effective that this guy wll be kicking our asses on a feature in no time. Great work Mike!

I then actually missed a film I was excited to see, DAY WATCH, to go back to the hotel, pack my things and put on a dry shirt (still sweating!) for the last film of the night, which would lead into the final soiree at The Winches-er, The Phoenix.



THE ORPHANAGE - Man, did they save the best for last. This was one powerful and haunting film, very much Del Toro's POLTERGEIST, in that it was produced by the Mexican Master (directed by J.A. Bayona, his first film), had similar elements like POL (haunted house, scientists, missing kids in the house, etc) and felt like a natural "extension" of THE DEVILS BACKBONE...and that is a compliment. It was absolutely riveting cinema, and a must see when it's released.



Then, Alan, Paul, Greg & and Ian said their goodbyes....and that was is. Over. Finis. Kaput.



People filed out, jazzed from the movie, a little sad to see it over....but I couldnt MOVE. It took Amanda to actually pick me up by my arm to get me out of my seat, T23, the one I sat in pretty much the whole festival, to finally leave. Now it was over. I can't help being sad, it was truly a magical moment in my life, being here, being with new and wonderful friends, showing my first labor of love to a willing audience in a foreign land that I loved before I came and love even more now. But I had to sit there one more time, and promise myself that unless I'm shooting my next film or something HUGE in my life comes up, I will be back to re-experience FRIGHTFEST again. (I can think of one way to miss it: Death...oooh how cryptic would THAT be if you are reading this a year later after my tragic death from Dysentery prevented my return...creepsville!)





Adam, Amanda, Jen, Suzi, Sian (did I spell that right? Bollocks) and some others walked to The Phoenix for the last beers and goodbyes, and it was really hard to say farewell to so many newly familiar faces. Fatigue was also kicking in, as I could barely stay awake, let alone gab with people, and I felt really bad not being as hyper as I was the previous days. I guess if I did coke, that would be a natural time for a "recharge"; thank god I'm not into that shit. But then it was getting late, and we headed back to the hotel after saying final goodbyes to the DEVIL DARED ME TO guys and Neil and Axelle, who were so sweet to us the whole trip. I hope we get to hang out again with them, and if all goes well, it might just happen sooner than they think!



Back at the hotel, saying goodbye to Adam and Amanda too was extremely difficult; Green had to stay for another screening of the film and of course, Amanda had her life back in London, but we all said that we hope we can do it again next year. So the Three Amigos departed...for now...

Back at the room, I stared at my bag, not wanting to leave here.

To quote Henry Hill..."It was a glorious time."



My final goodbye to Frightfest next...and this might be the coolest shop in the UK...

Staying Scary,
joe

3 Comments:

Blogger AilsaS1 said...

OK, so you're back in my good books. Bet that's a relief huh? Lol :)

2:50 PM  
Blogger Joe Lynch said...

Whew! Good now I dont have to pay for an expensive Beer. Score!
kidding...

11:21 AM  
Blogger James Moran said...

Fantastic stuff, I just relived the whole FF through your bloggy goodness. Great writeup, and I'm so glad you got to experience your own movie on stage with the best damn audience in the world. Rock. You're the dog's bollocks (that's good), and you better come back soon or we'll have your guts for garters (that's bad).

12:06 PM  

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