Before I say anything, I need to go ahead and address any finger wagging that may be coming my way because I didn’t Tweet anything at all last night. Reason being, about 5 movies were shown back to back before the lights would come up, and I didn’t want to be one of those d bags who turns their phone on during a movie and I certainly didn’t want to miss any of the next film! Same deal tonight, probably, though I’ll try to get word out about the results at the awards ceremony.

We showed up at the festival early. Not the first ones to get there, but certainly some of the first. This was a good thing, as we were able to snatch some goodies from the merch table, go through our “barf” (goodie) bag and have any seat we wanted. As it got closer to 7:00 (show time) I was a little worried because not many people were there. It became 7:00 and the place was only about 1/4 full and while I was still mega excited to be there, it was a little bit of a bummer. This all changed. We were a little delayed getting to the first film (15 minutes or so) but by the time the first film was over, a 3 minute short entitled “Sam Hain” directed by Justin Demeere of Knoxville whose film “Breakfast With a Serial Killer” snatched up the grand prize for Best Horror Selection at this year’s Knoxville 24 Hour Film Fest and will be featured tonight, the place was packed.

While I didn’t enjoy any of the goods provided by the bar, it was apparent that several other people did, all knocking back domestic ales and kicking over empty bottles during the quiet, suspenseful moments of the films. Some people can’t handle drinking during a movie, and these people are usually the only ones who do. These guys were also the ones who decided that everything that was written on screen (with the exception of subtitles) needed to be read aloud. Annoying.

Without going into detail about each of the 25 films that were showcased last night, I’ll just point out some of the highlights:

“Death in Charge,” a national release from director Devi Snively was an incredibly interesting short (15 minutes) that told a good story while developing the 3 main characters in the short time and throwing a curve to normalcy as Death was portrayed by a pretty young lady. Attention to detail and story line were fantastic, making this one of my favorites from the festival.

“Deus Irae,” an international release from Argentina from director Pedro Cristiani gets my vote for “damn scariest movie of the night” as it took its short 13 minutes and provided a exorcism scene that freaked me out the way I expected the Exorcist to freak me out when I was younger (but was disappointed). I can’t give this one best of show, but it was terrifying.

“Get Off My Porch,” another USA effort from director Patrick Rea was a breath of fresh air, taking an angle of “aggressive girl scouts” that teased me in the still image on the website and delivered with a super fun (and creepy) tale of the best salesmen on the planet.

“The Horror Of Our Love” got my vote in its category. A 6 minute short director Dave Reda (another national film) took a super cool approach to “music video” as it was inspired by the song of the same name by a band called Ludo. The “terrifying” killer, taking everyone out in his path is in love with a cute blonde, is that so bad? If you’re courting her at the time, it is!

“Nightmare at Bunnyman Bridge” from Petersburg Pennsylvania director’s Robert Elkins was a sweet 19 minute short about a mentally handicapped serial killer who’s…dressed like a rabbit. It sounds goofy and while the character’s back story sounded an awful lot like the back story of the kids on the bus in “Trick’r’Treat” the follow through was brutal and hilarious. Bye bye hippie kids!

“Super Rocket V8,” from director Warren Ray out of Louisville, Kentucky takes you on a 29 minute ride that leaves you disillusioned, disoriented and completely distracted from reality. Aliens, fireworks, the news and multiple cases of spontaneous combustion come together to form something I haven’t seen in a film that was so beautifully bizarre since “Eraserhead.” It was a little lengthy compared to the rest of the films of the night, but I felt that it used its time VERY well.

By the end of the night (2 am) we were tired, but feeling great, as Erin took home a Horrorhound Weekend magazine as a door prize, we both took home another t-shirt to fill our closets with and we had watched 5 hours of incredibly original and entertaining goodness. Tonight brings us non-competition films and the Knoxville premiere of the UK’s “Colin” as well as a concert by Damaged Patients and the awards ceremony. Read about THAT tomorrow :-)

Enjoy today’s haiku:

Today I slept till
Eleven o’clock a.m.
I never do that

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