Features:

Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein: A classic and with good reason. I laughed aloud in this movie, something modern comedies don’t often get me to do. Seeing this on the big screen with a willing and affable crowd was a genuine treat, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. This is why we have places like the Carolina.

Bonnie & Clyde vs. Dracula: A really interesting idea for a movie with some genuinely great moments and some inspired scenes. It does suffer from some low points and there isn’t nearly enough of the “vs. Dracula” part – and what there is doesn’t really make much sense – but when it hits, it hits. The leads portraying Bonnie & Clyde give really genuinely magnificent performances and the movie strikes a lot of its best notes when it emphasizes that those two characters are psychopaths in their own right. It also features the single best vampire-bites-victim scene I’ve ever seen in any movie. It has problems, make no mistake, but its peaks are some of the highest I’ve ever seen in a vampire movie. I would genuinely love to see the same people make a straight-up Bonnie & Clyde story because all of those parts are seriously fine work.

H.P. Lovecraft’s Re-Animator: For decades this was the single best Lovecraft adaptation on film and even though it takes broad, broad liberties with Lovecraft’s original short story it still focuses on the same themes. Jeffrey Combs delivers what’s probably his finest performance in a Lovecraft adaptation – he’s been in a million of them – and the whole movie is basically non-stop awesome. I hadn’t seen it since, I don’t know, 8th or 9th grade, something like that, and I loved it. I noted afterwards, when talking about it with The Boyf and Mr. Pink Eyes, that I’ve never seen Re-Animator 2. I looked it up online out of curiosity only to find that a third movie, House of Re-Animator, has been announced for production this year and again it stars… Jeffrey Combs. How freaking rad is that?

Shorts program They’re Coming To Get You Barbara!:

Shapes: A nicely thematic little short that was well-made but didn’t necessarily break any new ground.

The Ugly File: Quite frankly, lousy. I liked the idea behind it but the execution lacked energy and resources to the point of distraction. I kept finding myself studying the decorating choices of the houses where it was shot and not the movie itself.

Monstrous Nature: Extremely well-executed and genuinely scary, even though I stayed ahead of it by a couple of minutes at any given point. The effects were particularly startling given that it tries to be more of a psychological story for the first 90% of the film.

Pigeon: Impossible: A very clever and genuinely funny animated short, well worth watching. I don’t really get how it wound up at a horror festival, but I’m glad I saw it.

Hector Corp.: A genuinely funny and slightly freaky short. Imagine the love-child of Office Space and Gremlins and I think you’re probably on the right track. Well made and gleefully delivered.

Snuggle Time: Another animated selection that is genuinely warm and funny in its delivery of a pretty straight-forward story. Any child could watch this and love it.

Dead Walkers: A really ambitious attempt at a wild west zombie story that suffers from never being quite sure what kind of movie it wants to be and a “twist” ending that is so ham fisted, by the book and yet simultaneously out of left field that it soured the whole experience. A box of good ideas that’s been shaken too hard. Great production values, though, and a net-positive experience in terms of pure entertainment.

Dead Creek: Extremely well-shot and with a genuinely compelling question at its core of whether it’s going to be a revenge movie or a monster movie, but one of the leads is so teeth-grindingly bad in her role that she drags the rest of it down with her. When the character finally turned up dead I honestly thought, well, at least something good happens in this movie.