“You’re one sick puppy,” said football great, actor, and all-around badass Fred Williamson when I told him that I loved his work. The statement is one of his famous lines featured in From Dusk Till Dawn, a long-time favorite of mine. It was nice to talk with him and truly meet a legend, in my opinion. He accomplished so much in his career from being a defensive back for the Oakland Raiders and making the AFL’s All-Star team three years in a row to starring in the original Inglorious Bastards and the aforementioned Quentin Tarantino film, From Dusk Till Dawn.
Meeting Williamson was a great part of the festival, but by no means was it all that this year’s event had to offer. Screenings of some great short films, as well as very well-produced feature films, were the real heart of the festival. One short film, Off Season, struck me as a massive achievement in its 12-minute running time. It centered around an alcoholic man and his dog attempting to live in the arctic during the off season. During their trek, they stumble upon a house, in which lies the frozen body of a child. What they don’t realize is that the body is their as someone’s food. A stoic, yet visceral, film, Off Season was my pick of best short film the fest had to offer. As far as feature films go, I had a couple of picks, because I couldn’t decide what my favorite was. Danger. Zombies. Run. was a comedy about a cast of people creating a zombie film and are attacked by real zombies in the process. Surprisingly enough, I could not stop laughing during this film, even though it was such a low-budget mock-umentary type production. The first scene consists of a woman running while tense music builds. Eventually the camera pans out and you realize she’s a cast member running on a treadmill next to the set. She’s tapped on the shoulder by a guy dressed as a zombie extra, and he proceeds to replace her on the treadmill and jogs on it in a zombie stagger. It’s truly something you have to see, and the film was endless hilarity.
On a more serious note came Cyrus: Mind of a Serial Killer. Directed by Mark Vadik, the film starred among others Brian Krause(Charmed) and Lance Henriksen(Aliens, The Terminator). It centers around a news crew investigating several disappearances and the legend of the “County Line Cannibal”. Played by Krause, the murderous rage of an abused child is brought to life in his blood gluttonous adulthood. After slaying his wife and child for his wife’s infidelity, he turns to a group of visiting females. What set Cyrus apart from its contemporaries was the level to which it pursued a documentary style production. By no means is it a typical documentary where you’re fed information, but it sublets interviews with seasoned detectives and psychologists where they’re questioned about their views on what it means to be a serial killer. The film is also based loosely on true events, which always catches my eye in a film and makes me more intrigued. Cyrus disturbed its audience while equally enlightening them, and that’s why it gets my pick for best film at Eerie Horror Fest. Next year’s festival awaits!