Monday, November 26, 2007

Bring on the Blood: Review of the 2007 New York City Horror Film Festival

(Top: still from Jack Ketchum's The Girl Next Door. Bottom: still from Uwe Boll's Seed.)

This is an excerpt for a review I did on the 2007 NYC Horror Film Festival. You can read the full review on the Indypendent site.

by Frank Reynoso

Cold, sporadic rain didn’t deter ardent fans from making the pilgrimage to NYU for the sixth annual New York City Horror Film Festival. The five-day extravaganza, like a Mexican Day of the Dead celebration in celluloid, brimmed with as many laughs as gasps. Festival directors Michael Hein and Anthony Pepe selected excellent films that showed the breadth of an often pigeonholed genre. A broad range of works from Australia, California, Germany, Indonesia and New York drew as diverse a crowd of supporters.

Despite scholarly attention and critical success, horror is viewed by many as little more than porn: sadistic and voyeuristic schlock for degenerates. This year’s fest presented a thriving genre that’s often thought stagnant and juvenile and rampant with clich├ęs and predictable narratives. I had shared that opinion but this fest showed me that horror is alive and kicking.

Standout films included Richard Gale’s crowd-pleasing Criticized (which won the award for best short), a black comedy about an unhinged filmmaker who abducts and tortures a prominent critic who trashed his film. A period piece set in Texas, Chickenf├╝t is a funny and touching short about the torment of a German exchange student who gets revenge on his bullies; his fate spawns an urban legend. Matthew Byrne directed the eerie and pensive Southern gothic tale The Wake. The mostly pantomimed film follows a middle-aged woman who binds a boy, hangs a cabbage above his face, and starves him. Quiet and revealing, the story plunges into a surreal ending. The Fifth is a tightly written and acted absurd comedy about five suburban men gathering for their regular poker game, which is annoyingly interrupted by one man’s job as a serial killer. The claustrophobic short Of Darkness, by Gary Irwin, is a modern Lovecraftian tale about a group of suburban boys who unlock an incomprehensible evil contained within an ancient book.

[Read full review...]

© Frank Reynosos, Nov. 2007, All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Now that the Young Principles Theater Company's show "Laugh Du Jour" is over - we did two shows that got lots of good feedback - I'm taking a much needed vaca. Thanks again to all who came and especially to the YPT Crew for making it happen. WE DID IT!!

I'll keep you posted on the developments of my stage short "Winning The West," directed by Thomas Slivinski. It should be up before the Christmas Craziness kicks in.

Now I'm going to take a nap on this soft, furry, white bunny...

© Frank Reynoso Nov. 2007, All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Jeff Faerber art at Group Show

My friend Jeff Faerber is having 12ish works in a Coney Island themed Group Show at the Object Image Gallery in Park Slope, Brooklyn. The show also has works by Joanne Pendola.

Coney Island show
Object Image Gallery
in Park Slope Brooklyn
91 Fifth Ave
Brooklyn NY 11217

Gallery Opening

Nov 10, 2-6 pm.
Jeff will be there from 4-6

more details:

Thursday, November 1, 2007

What I read and watched...

What I read and watched...

Desolation Jones
by Warren Ellis and J. H. Williams III
A sordid romp of espionage, government experiments and Nazi porn. J. H. Williams III's crisp and graphic illustrations embedded in experimental layouts sometimes further entangles an already convoluted narrative.

NextWave: Agents of Hate
by Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen
High-velocity action and attitude make this mainstream comic a delight. If only it's price tag would equal it's shelf life...

Fog of War
directed by Errol Morris
An opaque documentary on one of the architects behind the war in Vietnam and one of the most influential figures in world history. Morris masterfully presents a complicated and mysterious man against the backdrop of a brutal political world.

The Thin Blue Line
directed by Errol Morris
Morris' critically acclaimed documentary on a heinous injustice in Texas perpetrated by the legislative authorities and its consequences on an innocent man.

Interviews: Mike Leigh (Conversations with Filmmakers Series) by Howie Movshovitz
An intelligent look at one of the world's most respected filmmakers alive right now and his confounding methods for producing his works. Leigh ultimately appears as complex and layered as his films.

Pride of Baghdad written by Brian K. Vaughn and art by Niko Henrichon
A captivating although simplistic narrative that presents some harsh realities of the war in Iraq. The anthropomorphic characters dull a potentially powerful story. Henrichon's art, although skillfully rendered, at times feels to light for a scene.

Reel Bad Arabs directed Sut Jahlly with Jack Shaheen
A good documentary and educational filmthat explores the various Hollywood stereotypes of Arabs on the silver screen. Unfortunately the narrator Jack Shaheen makes a couple sweeping statements that are simplistic, undermining some of his good intentions.

Wong Kar-wai
by Peter Brunette
A thoroughly researched but often overly complicated and theoretical book on one of the world's greatest filmmakers. The collection of interviews alone, which shed some light on Wong's unconventional production process, makes this book worthwhile.

© Frank Reynoso, Nov. 2007, All Rights Reserved