In the last few years, independent horror movies have risen in popularity and numbers. VOD and more affordable movie making equipment have given anyone with a vision and motivation the opportunity to make a film. With the increase in interest and numbers, more and more small film festivals are popping up all over the world and for the fourth year in a row the Three Corpse Circus Film Fest made its way to the historic Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor and it did not disappoint.
3CC had three blocks of short films lasting around two hours each, making for a full day of being creeped the hell out by filmmakers from all over the world. That’s right, not only were there films from local filmmakers but also films from all over this country and others. Due to the sheer volume of films shown (nearly twenty) I won’t be able to review them all but here were some of my personal favorites:
Other – Directed by: Daniel DelPurgatorio, Illinois, USA
Patrick is a brilliant doctor in an obsessive race to alter his own grim prognosis. During a series of unconventional experiments, he discovers a scientific loophole unlike anything he had ever imagined. In pursuit of this dark prize, Patrick will risk everything to ensure he sees his experiment to the end…even if it means accepting the sinister results.
This film shows real promise from a very talented director. Every shot was set up to make the most out of a small budget and setting to deliver big creepiness. Focusing on a single subject telling a short story that is really just the beginning of something bigger paid off huge as Other took home the first Impy Award for Cinematic Excellence in Horror, winning the festival. You can learn more about the film here.
Varúð – Directed by: Jeff Ray
This was an experimental music video for the Sigur Ros song Varúð that was also a finalist in an official competition from the band. It has the most beautiful cinematography I have seen come out of a zombie setting and…you know what? Just watch it:
Beautifully haunting and emotionally powerful do not even begin to summarize that amazing short.
Burn – Directed by: Jerry Pyle, California, USA
Roy, a hardened blue-collar father with traditional values, confronts his daughter’s boyfriend, Emory, with some hard choices.
This film sums up the anxiety of meeting a new girlfriend’s father for the first time perfectly, especially if you live in a rural area. Without a doubt Burn will have you squirming uncomfortably in your seat by the time it is finished. You can visit the film’s Facebook page here for more information.
Honorable Mentions: Cold Turkey (Directed by: Thor Arnarsson, Iceland), Hennes Svarta Vingar (Directed by: Martin Ahlin, Sweden), Fist Of Jesus (Directed by: David Munoz and Adrian Cardona, Spain), Deer Head Valley (Directed by: Travis Greene, California, USA)
The festival also had a zombie walk, costume contest, scream contest, and a lobby full of macabre art and merch to enjoy. Indie horror is alive and well in the world, especially in the Great Lakes region, and the Three Corpse Circus Film Festival is highlighting it beautifully. You can learn more about the festival and to get updates on next year’s event you can visit their website. Make sure to like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter and show some love to the local film scene.