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Friday, June 25, 2021

Palm Springs Shortfest: Thrills & Chills

What a scary fun evening over at Palm Springs Shortfest. As the sunset we were introduced to six thrilling features. We'll go over our thoughts on each below.
What will no doubt make some lists and had its US Premiere was Night of the Living Dicks. This is a batsh*t WTF horror film that has a female reporter putting on glasses akin to They Live and seeing a world of penis headed men. She tries to figure out their plans. And along the way we have gross-out moments as these penis heads do function. It's also maybe a message on genders...I don't want to go to deep as it might ruin the fun. Catch it online later or other fests if you can.

Middling movies were Forgive Us and Macabre Night. Forgive Us was shot very well, but the story of a gay son coming back for Christmas, not being accepted still and murders happening because of it, didn't really pay off or have a twist. I'm shortening the story, but it doesn't change it as something I've seen before. I was thinking, "Oh no," he's got to face a cult outside now or the family's Christian ethics problem is really aliens or something. Nope, his family just doesn't like him because he's gay and church.
Macabre Night is just trying to be too many things. It's a relationship, political, musical, horror film. And it can't tackle anything that well. It's about criminals escaping and anyone who catches one gets $30k, but it starts out with a couple clearly hearing this on the radio in their car and not immediately going home. Why? They're not teenagers; then they talk about their relationship? The ending is taken from the first Dawn of the Dead. There's one musical number that makes no sense and well, just isn't that great a song.

Abracitos, The Last Marriage and The Moogai all did good jobs entertaining. The Last Marriage depicts possibly the last human marriage ending during a zombie apocalypse. This is a much better effort the Macabre Night's all over the place ideas. We stay with one couple, see how their life is during zombie attacks, when they aren't playing Street Fighter. Just genuine funny moments of a divorce during the end times.

Abracitos and The Moogai got gasps from the audience. These were the real scares. Both seem to make use of urban legends from their home countries. Abracitos has some sort of horror movie rules about a smiling old lady who takes children away when their mother's pass. The other is also about child theft. The Moogai wants babies for some reason and it set its sights on a couple with a newborn. Both short, sweet and with some tension.
A nice night out for horror. Hope to see more from some of the filmmakers in the same genre.