One of the awesome things that happens during the month of October is Portland's H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival! This weekend was my second time attending the fest. My friends and I had the intention of seeing all the features this year as last year we did all the shorts. We did see quite a few, but our experience was sadly cut short due to one of my friends slipping in the theater and hurting herself. Ouch! I told her she should stop wrestling shogoths in the bathroom. ;)
As for the fest itself, I will give you a description of what I did get to experience:
One of the things about the festival that I love is all the vendors. They are all really weird and interesting, with a lot of strange oddities about. You can find everything from H.P. Lovecraft inspired comix, monster jewelry and oddities, make up, leather and metal work, and of course, tentacled wonders. There is everything a good cultist could ever want to spend money on.
I watched a few features, one being the Q & A with Stuart Gordon, director of the classic From Beyond! We even got to see a cut of the film that hasn't been seen before! I loved being in a crowd of fellow nerds laughing at From Beyond and all the over-the-top cheese! There is something rewarding about watching a movie on the big screen. It's more of a group experience then a personal one. "Every time I come to this festival I learn a little more about Lovecraft." Stuart Gordon said during the Q & A, "I think Lovecraft is inherently funny. Hence my little call backs like 666 on the door and Benevolent St. The 1980's was a good time for horror movies. Horror films thrive when you have a Republican president."
Listening to him speak was a treat. I love listening to filmmakers talk. And I think Stuart Gordon was a kind, funny man who was very down to earth. check out his work and you'll find a legend underappreciated.
One of the other films I saw and liked was The Creature Below. It was a cool take on Lovecraft, with a lady who goes deep sea diving and comes back with something from the depths. It was a very entertaining film, and the main character was really creepy near the end.
Another film I saw was Downhill. I almost liked this one, but they had some annoying shaky cam bits, and I think they left us with too many unanswered questions. A little more fleshing out of the script might have helped made this story more solid. There is a fine line between mystery building and just being too vague.
I have a whole list of films I wanted to see, like Badass Monster Killer (doesn't the name alone tell you how cool a exploitation Lovecraft film could be?), and animated film called Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom, and lastly, The Unkindness of Ravens. I'm sad I missed these films!
There were other event's too! I didn't get to any of them due to time constraints and the accident, but there were fun things like game demo's, meet and greet's with the filmmakers, author signings, audio drama's, costuming Lovecraft, and so much more! I would have loved to go to more things. Maybe next year I will.
Once again the festival won my heart and made me feel like I was not just a film goer, but a part of a weird little family of fellow Lovecraft nerds! Even while standing in line I made friends, talking to people who share a passion. Portland tends to have some of the greatest and kindest horror nerds you'll ever meet. I'm hoping Seattle will grow more of their horror community so I can feel more at home here. It's likely I just know more about the Portland scene.
UNTIL NEXT YEAR CULTISTS! Check out the site and see what cool stuff we were up to this year: http://hplfilmfestival.com/hplfilmfestival-portland-or