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Preview: Horrible Imaginings Film Festival

Two-Day Film Festival Dedicated to Horror and the Macabre

Above: Big G! On the big screen at Horrible Imaginings. (Godzilla ®, Gojira and the character design are trademarks of Toho Co., Ltd. © 1954 Toho Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved)

If you love horror like I do then there is nothing better to satisfy your cravings then Horrible Imaginings Film Festival (running November 4-5 at the Tenth Avenue Theater), a combination macabre art show and film festival.

This is the second year for Horrible Imaginings and the fourth horror event put on by festival director Miguel Rodriguez. Rodriguez moved to San Diego from Baltimore and noticed a void here in the Finest City when it came to horror. So he launched Horrible Imaginings, a festival and art show with a taste for all things creepy. His selection of films reveals a love for classic horror (he showed "The Bride of Frankenstein" for Valentine's Day) as well as the newest indie films without distribution (last year he showcased "Dead Hooker in a Trunk" from Canada's twisted twins Jen and Sylvia Soska). He also shows shorts from around the country and from filmmakers based here in San Diego. And he does all this out of a sincere passion for a sometimes maligned and misunderstood genre. He invests his own time and money (this year he benefited from a successful IndieGoGo fundraiser) just to bring a diverse array of horror to San Diego audiences.

Georges Franju's "Eyes Without a Face" is the second revival film showing at the 2011 Horrible Imaginings.

Rialto Pictures

Above: Georges Franju's "Eyes Without a Face" is the second revival film showing at the 2011 Horrible Imaginings.

This year his revival classics are the original Japanese version of "Gojira" (1954) and France's elegant thriller "Eyes Without a Face" (1960). "Gojira" is especially relevant in light of the recent tragedy in Japan. The film reveals Japan's conflicted feelings about nuclear power/weapons and about man's ability to use science for beneficial purposes. Georges Franju's "Eyes Without a Face" is an atmospheric thriller that mixes the cruel with the tender. It's a film of astonishing beauty as well as supremely macabre imagery.

Drew Bolduc stars, writes, and directs "The Taint."

Drew Bolduc

Above: Drew Bolduc stars, writes, and directs "The Taint."

From the new makers of horror come "The Taint" and "Long Pigs." "The Taint" is an ultra low budget horror comedy that may leave some viewers scarred and others deeply offended. Some will call it misogynistic yet it's so over-the-top in its violence to women and so blithely insensitive to its ridiculous excesses that it somehow manages to charm. Okay. I know some people will not be charmed but it charmed me with its audacious excess. Twentysomething filmmaker Drew Bolduc is something of a stoner John Waters, and by that I mean that he serves up gross and offensive material but with such joyous extremism that he somehow manages to diffuse its potential to offend. But he's not as sophisticated as Waters. Plus I have never seen so many exploding cocks on-screen ever.

"Long Pigs"

R-Squared

Above: "Long Pigs"

I have not had a chance to preview "Long Pigs" but fair warning it is a film about cannibalism. But festival director Rodriguez says "it's a surprisingly real-feeling mockumentary that is disturbing in its sincerity and has really proficient practical special effects. Especially since it was made quite cheaply."

There are also a diverse selection of shorts, including my zombie debut where I get shot in the head, "Billy Bob's Zombie Emporium." There's also an after party on Friday on the rooftop of the Tenth Avenue Theater, which, appropriately enough, is supposed to have ghosts lurking in its stairwell. The art show is in the gallery at the Tenth Avenue Theater with works from local artists and well as from a few from out of town. Films begin tonight at 6pm with doors opening at 5:30pm.

Check out the Horrible Imaginings website for trailers and for profiles of all the filmmakers. I hope you will support this wonderful event because horror fans like myself want to see this kind of diverse and challenging sampling of the genre.

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