Horror Blast in Oklahoma

Posted in Diary of a Directrix, On the Fest Circuit
December 9th, 2010 by Devi Snively (The Directrix)

devi snively chris lamartinaTalk about too much of a good thing!  First, I was asked to be a judge at my beloved Dragon*Con, but alas just couldn’t afford the hefty hotel fees.  We were also to screen at Horrorfind which is a super fun event as well and where I knew friends I haven’t seen in ages would be in attendance.  mae west frogBut  like Mae West, “Between two evils (or 3 and make them horror fests in this case), I always pick the one I never tried before.”  And I’m glad I did.  Because running concurrently was the Oklahoma Horror Fest, where I ultimately opted to go (courtesy of Delta air miles) and had a blast!

The festival is housed at a super convenient venue that houses a discounted hotel with a lovely heated pool and jacuzzi (always fun after multiple cocktails and oysters on the half shell) and numerous bars and restaurants (but no firearms permitted as the above sign indicates, so leave them in your room!)

fantasiatrippincards3One good sign of a filmmaker-friendly fest is a good swag bag which we were immediately handed with our badges – sweet!  We perused the adjoining horror convention and learned we had a table for all things Deviant if we so chose.  I’m not big on selling things or manning a table when I’d much rather mingle and catch films, so we just decorated ours with postcards for Death and trippin’.  Much to my amazement, we couldn’t keep them stocked.  There must have been a lot of foot traffic past our table.  Bring extra cards to this one, Folks!

El-Monstro-Del-Mar-PosterWe sadly had to  juggle our schedule with some writing deadlines and conference calls (there is no such thing as a non-working vacation these days) and missed a lot of great flicks (I’m dying to see Monstro del Mar and would fortunately go on to catch the awesomely brilliant Dark Souls and Up Under the Roof at the Bram Stoker Fest a month later- report on that one coming soon)  but we still managed to catch quite a few films I’d never seen before, which is a treat as I’ve seen so many after 18 months of festivalling.

pd-posterSome standouts were new fest buddy  Chris LaMartina’s “President’s Day” which was a rollicking fun throwback to  80’s  style horror comedy reminiscent of Troma at their best with an unmistakable Rock ‘n Roll High School vibe.  Fest buddy Voltaire’s latest work of dark genius DemiUrge Emesis (online here)  screened in a block of fab shorts that also included U.K. producer  buddy Tess Morris Rise of the Appliances (who won for best horror comedy – congrats, Tess!) and fellow AFI-alum and bud Robert Cosnahan’s Psycho Hillbilly Cabin Massacre.   Pedro Pires’ hauntingly beautiful, most aptly named short Danse Macabre may have been my personal favorite (I’m dying for a copy if anybody knows him.)

100_2532On top of endless fun films, there were a number of interesting panels.  I sat on the screenwriting one and bonded with my fellow panelists.  Harold et Maude (Harold and Maude) (1971)At one point I referenced Harold & Maude as my all-time favorite film and new buddy Chris who sat next to me lit up, “That’s my all-time favorite film, too!” In case there was any doubt,  he held up a Harold & Maude t-shirt he’d just bought next door at the convention.  We instantly began talking collaboration thereafter and I so hope it comes to pass.  He’s definitely a kindred spirit  (and a prolific one at that – he’s in his early 20’s and just wrapped on feature #4 already – damn!)  Keep an eye out for the super talented Joe Randazzo, Chris Keaton, and Anne Rolotante who are also making the rounds with their impressive award-winning work.

outside hooters smEvenings after the screenings were spent partying in adjacent bars and I even whipped out a super-short Lovecraft-inspired script as I’d gotten this insane idea I might try and shoot a short dialogue-free movie while in Whitby the following month for the Bram Stoker fest (ha!  what WAS I thinking? But that’s another story.  We’ve since put that project on the back burner, but MUST do it.  be warned, Deviant Lovecraft is nigh.)

Of course the big surprise was what would wind up in my suitcase for the ride home!  Check it out…

film fest trophy smaward gangI was truly honored to win Best Director of a Short Film, especially when I saw the super-cool trophy.  I’m such a sucker for cool trophies.

Founder Joel Hulett and lovely partner Melanie Sweeney put on a great fest and took wonderful care of us.  Thanks for a fab experience.  it was a great first year fest and it’s clearly headed for even bigger and better things.

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