Podcast Episode 126: Horrible Imaginings And 'Uncharted Regions'
Horror film fest showcases women, self-aware zombies and a radio drama
Horrible Imaginings Film Festival wrapped up earlier this month and it was another great year embracing the darkness. Here's a reflection on the event and a look at the radio drama created specifically to debut at the festival.
Women both in front of the camera and behind had a very strong showing at this year's Horrible Imaginings Film Festival (HIFF). What’s even more impressive is that women were showcased in a greater diversity of roles and stories. Women even got to poke fun at the horror film tropes about them as in "Girl #2" and "Flow."
The festival also highlighted the fact that the Brits seems best suited to mixing comedy with horror in a gallery of shorts that were hilarious and often darkly twisted. Key among these films were "dark_net" and "Transmission."
And in the spirit of you can’t keep a good zombie down, the festival showcased a handful of films about the undead that all took the zombie’s point of view in some form.
Zombies usually reflect our fear of the other and of loss of identity, and for the most part films about the undead rising take the perspective of the humans trying to survive. But ever since Bub in “Day of the Dead” in 1985 the self-aware zombie has been on the rise. And at a time when our political climate is clouded by hate and prejudice, films that take the point of view of the outsider resonate with special force.
Kudos to Prano Bailey-Bond's "Nasty," Ryan Schaddelee's "Excarnate," Phil Bucci's "Paul’s Bad Day," Mat Johns' "A Father’s Day," and Henry Kaplan's "We Together" for reanimating the zombie formula with a sense of humanity and poignance.
In this podcast, HIFF founder and festival director Miguel Rodriguez talks about these trends and also about the festival’s decision to open with a radio drama by Neal and Jana Hallford. I will also speak with the Hallfords and then let you listen to the first episode, "Someday, Over You," of their planned 13-part radio drama anthology, "Uncharted Regions."
There’s something wonderfully audacious about opening a film festival with a radio drama that uses only sound and no images to tell its story. People sat in the darkened theater at the Museum of Photographic Arts with only the twinkle lights above flickering in the darkness. It was a magical experience that started the festival with a challenge to put your imagination to work.
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2017 Horrible Imaginings Film Festival Award Winners
Best Student Film: “Caecilia”
Best San Diego Film: “Hush”
Best Score in a Short Film: Fabio Frizzi for “Saint Frankenstein”
Best Score in a Feature Film: Simon Birch and Dan Jones for “B&B”
Best Effects in a Short Film: “The Call of Charlie”
Best Effects in a Feature Film: “Happy Hunting”
Best Cinematography in a Short Film: “A Nearly Perfect Blue Sky”
Best Cinematography in a Feature Film: “Happy Hunting”
Best Actor in a Short Film: Niko Verona for “Downunder”
Best Actor in a Feature Film: Paul McGann for “B&B”
Best Actress in a Short Film: Melanie Gaydos for “A Nearly Perfect Blue Sky”
Best Actress in a Feature Film: Alex Essoe for “Midnighters”
Best Director of a Short Film: Quarxx for “A Nearly Perfect Blue Sky”
Best Director of a Feature Film: Joe Ahearne for “B&B”
Funniest Horror Comedy: “dark_net”
Best Animated Film: “The Servant”
Best Short Film Screenplay: “A Nearly Perfect Blue Sky”
Best Feature Film Screenplay: “Midnighters”
Best "Monster Show" Short Film: “Nightlight”
Best Dramatic Short Film: “A Nearly Perfect Blue Sky”
Best Feature Film: “Midnighters”
In Recognition of Lifetime Achievement: Dee Wallace ("E.T.," "The Howling," "Red Christmas")