Wednesday, February 11, 2009

B-Fest Wrap Up No. 2

Mystery Short No. 1

Ever since it's height in 02 when "What is Communism" floated the entire auditorium on a cloud of irony, the mystery shorts have always been a take it or leave it proposition. Then last year, Sonny Bono showed up to give us a court-ordered lecture on drugs and my hope was restored. This year, we got a half-hour long all female Busby Berkly style musical in Chinese.

Well played, B-Fest.

The language barrier wasn't the only thing that made this indecipherable. The all-female cast caused a few heads to be scratched and the musical quality...ouch. Just ouch. You don't think "endurance test" when you hear the words "mystery short" but you also don't expect five minutes of screeching in a foreign tongue to seem like 4 hours in a dentist's chair, either.

Murder in the Air

I figured it would be a good five minutes before the fest crowd made an Alzheimer's joke. Nope. Inside the first minute, before the credits were done if I remember. It also took about a half hour to grasp onto the fact that "murder" wasn't where this plot was taking us, and that the "air" portion of the title was kind of incidental. It would be similar to "LA Confidential" taking place on Kominski Field with long grass that sort of resembled a labyrinth. And starring Jimmy Carter.

The movie was kind of dull, with Ronald Regan finding himself stuck as an undercover officer in a mob style noir. There's a moll, a bit of intrigue and planes, toward the end. No biggie.

Raffle, Wizard, Plan 9

Nothing new here. We were skunked, went to stomp and threw plates, in that order.

Scream Blackula Scream

Some negative buzz was floating around about William Marshall's second go round as the master of the slightly darker dark, as it were. In actuality, I enjoyed the film quite a bit. Yes, Pam Greer had nothing to do (though I did dig the voodoo ceremony toward the end) and yes, the plot moved a little slow and yes, the title character only does the reenacts the title in the final minutes out of the blue, but overall the thing had a great lead, decent atmosphere for a tiny budget and some kind of fun dialogue all the way across. And it was riffable.

My favorite bit involved Blackula crashing an antiquities party and sort of wooing everyone in the room, then going out the garage and turning into a bat for no reason. It fit the movie so well - great charm at the beginning with a bat on a string by the end.

By that point, I'm getting a big hazy. Onto:

Don't Knock the Rock

Pretty basic, really. The country loves rock. Musicians love rock. Old, powerful, sticks in the mud don't like rock. Musicians show up and put on a show to change people's minds. One slut ruins it for everyone. Then rock somehow wins and everyone falls in line. Somewhere in there, the main musician guy nabs the girl. Play us out.

And then Little Richard shows up and things get interesting.

Not really. Little Richard playing on the big screen in all his youthful, not quite flaming glory was a site to behold at 3 in the morning. The dude could play. Probably still can.

Woof. I ate too much junk and decided to sleep off Donovan's Brain and end up missing The Tingler, too. Ack!


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