the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.*
*sometimes it means we (male and female feminists) need to fuck some shit up. Artistically - that's where the Viscera Film Festival comes in.
"Viscera: A collective of soft internal organs in the body, particularly those within the abdominal cavity.
The Viscera Project was created by women to facilitate the advancement of females reaching for more powerful roles within the horror genre. Now, more than ever, women are running their own horror production companies and directing, producing, writing, branching out into cinematography and even creating special FX.
The mission of the VISCERA Film Festival is to give recognition through participating sponsors, awards, and distribution for today's female horror filmmakers making a difference in the genre."
We, Jen, CJ, and myself, had the incredible honor of being invited as guests to the festival by festival heads and mistresses of horror, Heidi Martinuzzi and Shannon Lark. Hell, they even asked us to bring our trailer for 'Dead Hooker in a Trunk' to screen at the festival. The following day, the feature length Hooker would be screened at Viscera's sister festival, Bleedfest - we were invited by the incredibly talented and darkly humored Elisabeth Fies (but we will give her her proper props in a following Bleedfest post).
There were many talented gentlemen and ladies at the event, some fab celebrities (OMFG Amber Benson was a presenter and Hooker followed the trailer for her new film, 'Drones'). There were a lot of hip, edgy, and creative projects shown and lots of wicked folks - but here are some that really stood out that we would like to share:
'Mockingbird', a Viscera Film Fest Winner, directed by Marichelle Daywalt. We met Marichelle at the 'Mistresses of Horror Gathering' the night before the festival. She knows horror. She knows it well. She's one of those rare personalities that never makes you feel dumb despite the fact she knows her shit inside and out. As you may have guessed, she's also a completely wonderful human being. Her husband and sometimes collaborator, Drew Daywalt, is fucking awesome too. They're that cool couple you just want to hang with for hours. In related news, we (not being from LA) could not find our car and she kindly drove around in circles for at least half an hour while we muttered helpful things like: "I think that is was on 3rd or was it 4th." "It definitely had a sign near the parking lot entrance."
'Side Effect' directed by Liz Adams. This gem won the Audience Award at Viscera and it was well deserved. You know how sometimes you watch something and you think of something utterly disgusting and horrific that could happen but probably won't because the film maker isn't ballsy enough? Liz doesn't have that problem. The groan from the audience during the big reveal of her film said it all.
'Legend of the Red Reaper' starring Tara Cardinal. You know what I love other than badass actresses who do their own stunts and kick major ass? Beautiful and talented redhead actresses who do their own stunts and kick major ass. Too often you have stunt performers doing even the running for lazy-ass actors, so when you see the lead of a film getting bruised and bloodied to make something memorable, you tend to be impressed. With her passion and skill for stuntwork, I think we found ourselves a new shitkicker.
'Song of the Shattered' starring Devanny Pinn. Do you like horror? What about ladies covered in blood driven to the edge of sanity? Then have I got something fun for you. We were fortunate enough to catch the extended trailer for this flick and it was awesome - intercut between a very sweet scene, drinking what I assume was cocoa and completely gruesome, bloody insanity. Looks like a very good one.
When 'Women in Horror' month had its blood drive, Tara and her scream queen partner in crime, Devanny Pinn, took it upon themselves to collect blood from the citizens of sunny California. And, boys and girls, they collected gallons. They are also two of nicest, most hard working, and completely fun to hang out with chicks on the planet. But their trailers are dead giveaways for that.
'We Will Bury You' is a comic about a zombie outbreak in the 1920s written by Brea Grant (Heroes, Battle Planet, Rob Zombie's Halloween 2) and her brother Zane Grant. It's awesome. If you like comics like Preacher, you'll love it. Very graphic but done in a dark humor kind of way. Very dark or maybe I just laugh at things that no one else does. She did a great introduction to the 'scary' portion of films at the festival and the killed it with her comic. Also, she came out to Bleedfest to check out Hooker. After she watched it, she came over and told us that she dug it. We really dig her, too! And in total six degrees of Kevin Bacon, Rikki Gagne (who plays Junkie in Hooker) has been Brea's stunt double before. I know that has nothing to do with Kevin Bacon.
Speaking of bacon, 'Dead Hooker in a Trunk' brought home some bacon -- in the form of a Viscera Award! It was a huge honor. They were also filming a documentary on the festival as we were there, so I believe there will be more videos and pictures in the future. It was really cool to hang out with so many horror folks and get our 'girl power' on. It was also cool to see so many guys at the event getting their feminism on. It was one of our first big festivals of that sort and it was sensationally orchestrated. Heidi and Shannon are hard working ladies.
Their shorts - 'Wretched' and 'Lipstick' were beyond hardcore. These ladies go places in their art that most film makers would shy away from because of the extreme content. It is so refreshing to see how fucked up and haunting their projects are. When you can see the audience squirm in their seats, you know a good job has been done. Thank you so humbly and kindly for having us at your event. It will always be a very special memory and we hope to be invited again.
Thank you for all the ladies and gents who came out to support 'Dead Hooker in a Trunk' and indie film making. It was sweet getting to meet y'all and chat y'all up! If you have now heard about Hooker, but still haven't had the chance to check it out - hit us up (use the 'contact' option on the webpage). We are still diligently working to have it screened everywhere and anywhere. News just in today that we will be having an upcoming screening in Brazil - details to be posted soon.
~Jen and Sylv