Saturday, May 4, 2013

Friday at the H. P. Lovecraft Film Fest

Well, after months of waiting, the stars are right once again and it's time for Portland to get a massive dose of cosmic horror. As I waited on line for my wristband, I started looking over the schedule of events and realized I was not going to see everything I wanted. That path would only lead to madness and I have to be at work on Monday.

First up is a special screening of The Stone Tape, a 1972 BBC production written by Nigel Kneale (writer of the Quartermass films). The festival was given permission to screen this film from both the BBC and the estate of Mr. Kneale, and the odds of ever seeing this again was rather slim, so that presentation was a priority.

It's a slow burn and I could hear some members of the audience getting restless during the screening. But I enjoyed it, despite the dated video effects and poor video quality (the audience was warned the copy looked like a poor bootleg DVD). And it's a nice look at how, as science peels away the mysteries of the universe, we might not be able to deal with the answers we discover.

The ending is a bit weak, but it is engaging, well acted and quite creepy at times. It screens again this afternoon at the fest.

I ended the night with a 35mm screwing of John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness and it was great. The budget shows only at a few points and while a few of the characters are a bit underwritten or overplayed at times, this film is atmospheric and creepy as hell. Great locations, nice use of shadows and, as expected, a terrific score made this a big screen treat. Plays again Sunday afternoon.

Well, got to make my way back to The Hollywood, with a quick detour to Things From Another World (it's Free Comic Day, so show your brick and mortar comic shop some love and financial support). Today, it's the Cabal cut of Nightbreed, some dark radio adventure, then a maddening choice. Oh, the horrors!!!