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The Horror & Hotties Film Festival  by Chris Woods
MOVIE REVIEW
"300"  by Mike Smith
ODDSERVATIONS
Horrors & Hotties Film Festival: Aftershocks....MegaCon '07  by Andy Lalino
MATT'S RAIL
Rondo Countdown....Scooter Me This, Batman....Bitchin' Cold  by Matt Drinnenberg
MIKE'S RANT
Scooter....Smooth Criminal....Passing On....Sounds Like?...Whatever Happened To...? Chapter 10: Scatman Crothers  by Mike Smith
LETTERS
Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our eighth calendar year!
Number 363  (Vol. 8, No. 10). This edition is for the week of March 5--11, 2007.

Horrors and Hotties Film Fest by Chris Woods

Click on images to enlarge. A new browser window will open.
Left to right, Eddie Sturgeon, Krista Grotte, Chris Woods, and Andy Lalino.
Center of picture, Chris Passinault, left, confers with Rodrick Colbert.
"Filthy" D.P. Dave Barrett, center, with friends at Cooper Hall.
Unearthed Films' Stephen Biro, left, talks with Scream@TheWall's John Casimiro.
Krista Grotte, left, and Shade Burnett.
"Uncle Creepy" Steve Barton takes the stage for the Scream Queen contest.
Event meister Andy Lalino addresses his audience.
Chris Woods, left, is taken hostage by Steve "Uncle Creepy" Barton.
Uncle Creepy once again takes the stage for the Bloody T-Shirt contest.
It was a cold and rainy night. A good night to catch a movie. An even greater night to catch a horror movie. How about a whole festival of horror movies? On Saturday night, March 3rd, The Horror and Hotties Film Festival happened and it was awesome. An excellent film event for a crazed fanboy. The event took place at the USF campus in Tampa at Cooper Hall, the same place that once hosted The Halloween Horror Picture Show 2004 and was the location that Simon Lynx and myself shot our film “To Live Is To Die”. So, the place has some Tampa film scene history.

I started my journey in St. Pete. The rain was terrible, especially over The Howard Franklin Bridge. I-275 is always a nightmare right before the exit to I-4. Once after you pass that, 275 isn’t that bad. I got off at my exit and drove to USF. It was about 6:30pm when I got there, so I just missed a half hour of the fest. When I walked towards Cooper Hall I was wondering if there was a good turnout already. I know that having an event at USF is tough: Too many buildings and it’s hard to find the right location around campus. But the good thing, they did have signs to tell you where to park for the fest.

When I walked in there, there were already about ten people in the hallway. At the end of the hall is where the theater was. There were a few tables set up by the door. First person I saw that I knew was the beautiful actress Krista Grotte. It was good to see her again. She was manning the door at the fest. We talked for a bit when I saw friend and filmmaker, Andy Lalino, who came out from the theater. Andy and filmmaker Andrew Allan were the ones that came up with this event. Andy greeted me and we talked for a bit. I think a few minutes after that I saw Andrew Allan and Andy’s wife, Sandy. I talked to a few people before I entered the theater. Then from out of the cold appeared Chris Passinault with his trusty camera in hand. We talked for a bit with Andy, then finally got into the theater.

We were just in time to catch one of the main features, “Devil’s Den” starring Ken Foree and Kelly Hu. The films that I missed were some vintage trailers from the 70’s and a few short films that played in the first hour. “Devil’s Den” was a pretty good little horror flick. It starts off with two college kids driving back from Mexico and stop at a deserted strip club. Already in the place is Ken Foree’s character whose soaking up the entertainment. Followed by Kelly Hu who enters the place. Both Hu and Foree looked to be on a mission. One of the college kids goes with one of the dancers to the back and then suddenly she turns into a ghoul. Hu saves the guy, but then right after that all the dancers become ghouls. Foree busts out a samurai sword and starts chopping them up. Hu, Foree and the remaining few lock themselves in a room and the film turns into “Night of The Living Dead”. We find out that Foree is haunting these ghouls and he’s trying to find their Queen. Some real good make-up effects and descent acting. Ken Foree was excellent as always. Some cheesy one-liners and comic relief through out it though, but all and all it was a good horror film for what it was.

After the film was done I met up with friend and filmmaker Shelby V. McIntyre. Also, I saw USF’s Rodrick Colbert in the audience. There was a brief intermission before the next film. I have to say there were tons of people in the theater. It had a very good turn out. They made the location work for the event and people were able to locate it within the mini-city of USF. Now, even in the hallway they were a number of people mingling and wandering around. The host of the event, Steve "Uncle Creepy" Barton, who also hosted Saint and Sinners IV back in 2003, was a great host for this type of event. I talked to Creepy for a little bit. Haven’t seen him in awhile and it was good to see him. There were tons of familiar faces: Sound god Eddie Strugeon, Master DP Dave Barrett and company, Scream @ The Wall’s John Casimiro and crew were there doing interviews and catching some films. Also I ran into Unearthed Films Stephen Biro, it was good to see him too. Filmmaker Chris Giuffre was there as well. Actually it was a Filthy and POP reunion of sorts. Giuffre, Barrett, Strugeon both worked on Filthy and my two scenes for POP. I saw actress Shade Burnett who was at attendance. She was also in the Scream Queen contest of the night and I believe she won.

Once intermission was over they had a tribute video of Dr. Paul Bearer, which showed some classic clips of his show Creature Feature from the 70’s and 80’s. I didn’t live in the area back when his show was on the air, so I only got to see a few old clips here and there, but for the people that grew up with him it was a real treat. This was one part that Nolan would've loved. Lots of people wish he could have been there at the event, he would have enjoyed it.

After that they showed Andy Lalino’s “Filthy”. I’ve always said this is a balls out horror film that I seen many times and I also own a copy. After that there was another short intermission. Shelby and myself did an interview for an online news network that talks about horror and sci-fi films. It was a pretty cool interview. Right before we started we saw film legend Joel D. Wynkoop and his wife Cathy. We told the guy he had to interview Joel. After we did ours, Joel jumped in and cut an awesome interview. That was a must see. I also did an interview for Scream @ The Wall and talked about “The Quiet Place”, which John came out and shot behind the scene footage of the film.

Soon after that we were back in the theater for the bloody T-shirt contest. This was fun to watch. They sprayed girls with a super soaker filled with red liquid. A great bit for this event. Cool thing about this whole fest was not only it had cool films but cool contests that were very entertaining.

The last feature to play was “Pervert”, this film was hilarious. Russ Meyer and Troma like and in the vein of the midnight movies. Loaded with T & A and sick humor. “Pervert” is about a recovering pervert who goes home for the summer from college to work on his father’s desert farm. But his father has a hot young girlfriend played by porn star Mary Carey and his son is turned on by her of course. The two start to hit it off pretty good but his father finds out they’re fooling’ around and Mary winds up dead, but who killed her? Did the dad do it or did the son, or maybe someone else? This is a movie you have to see to believe. Very funny, good characters, well acted, and great cinematography. A must see movie.

Horror and Hotties Film Festival had a lot to offer. Great films, fun entertainment, good people there. An excellent film fest for an ultimate fanboy. I hope they have another one. I know that Andy said he wanted to put on another one and maybe even take it to different college campuses as a traveling horror film fest. But, hats off to Andy, Andrew, Krista, and Creepy for putting on an excellent event.



"The Horror & Hotties Film Festival" is ©2007 by Chris Woods. All photos used this article are by Chris Woods and used with his kind permission.


All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova.


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