Daily updates from the first annual AFI DALLAS International Film Festival presented by Target, founding sponsor Victory Park, March 22 to April 1, 2007

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Frightful and Delightful

Billy Connolly as Fido If you are like most people and you find a macabre delight in being frightened, AFI DALLAS will suit your needs with a fiendish group of spine-tingling, teeth-clinching, seat-gripping films.

Director Jesse Baget's EL MASCARADO MASSACRE (WRESTLEMANIAC) is the blood-soaked tale of a low-budget film crew on their way to Cabo San Lucas who become lost and wind up in "La Sangre De Dios," a ghost town home to an insane Mexican wrestler named "El Mascarado" (The Masked Man), who begins picking off the unlucky folks one by one.

Meanwhile, Andrew Currie's FIDO, a comedic horror film (a horrific comedy, maybe?) stars Carrie-Anne Moss, Billy Connolly, Dylan Baker in the story of young Timmy Robinson's best friend, Fido, a six-foot tall rotting zombie who one day eats the next-door neighbor.

In Calvin Reeder's LITTLE FARM, a family relocating to a quaint countryside plantation to start their lives over must confront and overcome an evil presence, while the silent Gothic fable THE LISTENING DEAD, directed by Phil Mucci, has an obsessed composer and his seamstress wife haunted by the spirit of a mysterious young woman.

On a lighter note, Darrell Hammond, Judd Nelson and Robert Wagner put a quirky, corporate American twist on the classic vampire tale in Dean Matthew Ronalds' NETHERBEAST INCORPORATED.

In the aptly named LUMP, directed by Faye Jackson, every time Christine gets a lump removed another appears, causing her to suspect her surgeon of foul play.

And finally, two ghoulish and gruesome films prove true that famous adage that begins "the best laid plans of mice and men."

On one hand, THE LYCANTHROPE, directed by Tony Quinn, follows a group of friends who embark on a weekend getaway that goes terribly wrong (ah, don't they always?) due to the lunar activities of a werewolf creature bent on destroying everything and killing everyone.

And on the other but similar hand, Christopher Smith's Severance follows a team-building weekend in the mountains of Eastern Europe that goes horribly wrong (see, I told you) for the sales division of the multi-national weapons company Palisade Defense when they become the victims of a group of crazed killers who will stop at nothing to see them dead.

For those who cannot handle a full-length horror film - possibly for health reasons - AFI DALLAS will also offer a few horrific shorts.

Director Conor Morrissey's Last Night is a supernatural tale of an Irish couple's marriage that begins to fall apart under the strain of a dark secret.

In director Carles Torren's Coming to Town, a young girl recruits an AK-47-wielding Santa Claus in order to seek revenge on a neighborhood bully.

And in Recently Deceased, directed by Texas filmmaker Chris McInroy, a teenager who suddenly becomes a zombie must finish his chores or else the dead will walk the earth.

By Brittan Dunham, Staff Writer