Last weekend The Zombie Rights Campaign journeyed all the way to lovely (but somewhat distant) Columbus, Indiana for the Seventh Annual Dark Carnival Film Festival.
We had a good time, and I think there has been major progress toward The Cause, as we will discuss below.
First, let’s give a hand to the Dark Carnival staff for finding such an excellent new location for their film festival. The Crump Theatre has a long and storied history. The current building has apparently been standing since 1889, and operating as a movie theatre since the 1920s.
It’s a beautiful old movie palace, and remarkably well preserved.
Now, on to the film festival. We arrived on Saturday so the ZRC missed a few films, due to almost biblically terrible weather in Chicago – we literally drove through a dust storm *and* a torrential rainstorm. But we definitely got a good sampling of the current state of the independent horror scene.
You can see the entire list of films here.
The good news? Not a single film we saw this year was Living Supremacist, and there was only ONE Anti-Zombie slur! This is a remarkable change from some previous years, as longtime readers will be aware.
The bad news? Not a single film this year starred or featured Zombies!
This is a decidedly less positive development. Ignoring the Zombie community isn’t the same thing as accepting it, after all.
Still, compared with active cinematic persecution, we’ll mark it down as a step in the right direction. This year.
Next year we hope for better, independent horror community!
Some non-Zombie Rights thoughts on films we saw follows.
Torturous: An interesting short film about the career woes of professional torturers. Pretty funny too.
Silent Agony: Haunting and spooky movie about a nightmarish orphanage and the suffering of the children who live there.
Game: You won’t see the ending to this one coming. At all.
Baby-Sitting: This short film will make you afraid of French children. We’re not the French Child Rights Campaign, so we have no information about how scary they actually are.
The Girl: Moody and atmospheric movie that does feature a girl (the titular girl, in fact) who is a bit… Differently Animated. We won’t say more.
Nursery Crimes: You’ll cheer for the bloody antics of an animated Little Bo Peep and her massacred sheep. We guarantee it.
Root of the Problem: This movie might make you feel a bit more sympathetic to Dentists, so we’d really like to have the filmmakers do some work on Zombies. Our clients need the PR.
All You Can Eat: Very interesting film which plays out in reverse. You’ll chuckle, then perhaps grimace a bit.
Sader Ridge: A story about how you can’t go home again, or more exactly, many times you shouldn’t. Some very nice acting.
Motivational Growth: Jeffrey Combs plays a talking fungal life coach in a movie full of bizarre dialogue that you love to listen to. The ending is a bit confused, however.
Worm: A great movie about addiction in a near future society that has lost the ability to dream, and gets it back through a dubious new drug.
Buy Buy Baby: Again, children are terrifying, and can lead to widespread havoc. The Dark Carnival may be taking a position here on the safety of children. Hmm.
Cataract: A neat experimental movie about the plight of the insomniac. No scary children here.
Well, that’s it for this year at The Dark Carnival! The ZRC will be back next year, as we always are.
Watching. Judging. Agitating.
(See You Next Year)