Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Viscera 2010 Film Festival DVD (2011)

This February’s Women in Horror Month has brought a lot of attention to many talented females in the horror industry. However, another amazing woman-centric event is the Viscera Film Festival that features titles directed and/or produced strictly by women. This female-focused film festival was started in 2007 by Shannon Lark and continues to be a wonderful resource for both female filmmakers and fans of horror alike!

I’ve reviewed films from past festivals, so I was excited to check out the selections from 2010’s festival. This year Viscera had selections from filmmakers Ginetta Correlli, Victoria Waghorn, Sophie Lagues, Lis Fies, Brenda Fies, Marichelle Daywalt, Melanie Light, Devi Snively, Mary Katherine Sisco and Maude Michaud.

Let me give you a run down on each film and my reaction.

The DVD begins with a few very short shorts. The first is Mary Jane Go Round by Ginetta Correlli. This is a beautiful black and white experimental film. It features a woman crying in bed and images of a creepy, old amusement park. I really enjoyed the melancholy look and feel of the short.

Next up is Salome’s Picnic by Victoria Waghorn. This had a vintage feel to it with its sepia-toned film stock and had a quite sensual feel to it…that is, until you realize exactly what is going on in this “picnic”!

Sophie Lagues’ Barbie Butcher put a little fun and quirky humor into the proceedings with its stop-motion animation of a green blob monster dismembering a Barbie doll. Quick and simple, I nevertheless enjoyed this creepy cute film!

In Lis Fies’ Consumed, a furry little pup is a girl’s best friend, even after death. This short reminded me a bit of Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie, only with a much darker tone, which is just the way I like it!

Distraught by Brenda Fies features a mom and her little girl who move to Hollywood for a better life. When the mom buys a gun for protection she has no idea the danger she has brought into her home. This was definitely one of the most serious of the shorts, and perhaps that is why I didn’t enjoy it as much as the others.

One of the best shorts is Marichelle Daywalt’s Mockingbird. A man sits at home listening to his wife sing “Mockingbird” to their newborn over the baby monitor…but soon realizes all is not as it seems. This short was extremely well set up and features an ending so shocking and unexpected it’s like a sucker-punch to the gut!  I’m definitely looking forward to what Daywalt does in the future!

Switch by Melanie Light is another amazing short that features a nice twist when a serial killer goes after the wrong woman. I loved the wonderful use of titles at the beginning of the short, not to mention the snowy location and overall look of the film. Just like Daywalt above, I can’t wait to see what Light does next!

Next was I Spit on Eli Roth, a short film by Devi Snively. This short has actually been around for a while and I’ve been dying to see it! Snively is one talented filmmaker and already one of my faves, so I couldn’t wait to check this one out. In the short, Devi plays herself and along with her female friends she kidnaps Eli Roth to teach him a thing or to about the horror genre. Remember, “Friends Don’t Let Friends Denigrate the Horror Genre!” This is a funny spoof, and although I do like Eli Roth I found Snively’s message to be on point!

Another excellent short was Beautiful as You Are, which was produced by Mary Katherine Sisco. I loved the surreal aspect of the short, which features a TV addict that finds the body of a woman and replaces her head with that of a TV. This is a subtly creepy short that has a perfect ending!

The last short on the DVD was Hollywood Skin by Maude Michaud. A woman moves to Los Angeles to pursue her acting dreams but is told again and again she is “too big” to land roles. This leads her to pursue plastic surgery, but inflicted by her own hand. I really loved the social commentary Michaud addresses with this short. Michaud critiques the obsession the entertainment industry, and society as a whole, has with being skinny.

Viscera Film Festival has succeeded again in encouraging female filmmakers to come forward and showcase their works in the horror genre as well as showing the general population that, yes, women CAN direct some damn fine horror films. Now how about someone gives these fine filmmakers some dough so they can bring us the next best thing in the horror genre?

Buy the DVD HERE!

Find out more on the Viscera Film Festival HERE!

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