Gore and horror wows Sacramento


by Kacie Nicholson

Sac Horror screen and logo

Blood, guts, and gore. Three things that makes chills run down our spine, goosebumps rise on our skin, and fear sink into the pit our stomachs. Most people hate that feeling and would rather feel calm, collected, not thinking about that dark corner or that creak outside. But there are some people who love to be scared, smiling as they watch the sick twisted act on screen of that one guy  being slaughtered with god knows what kind of weapon. Delightful.

People like this come to events like the Sacramento Horror Film Festival to watch uncensored, raw, locally made short films and movies, learn about horror now and how it was in the past.

These film’s content is nothing short of unrated when it comes to professional movie standards. In the theaters, you’d find nothing like these films. They are shown at the Colonial Theater in Sacramento, an old, creepily beautiful theater with rows of seats in front of a huge stage with a screen as the backdrop to play the films. The lights were shut off and the films played brightly on the screen.

Now for the films, even just their names sound scary. Some of my favorites were “EAT”, “Dys-”, “The Body”, “Cold Turkey”,  and “Deep Red Dandilions”.

“EAT” was about a young, pretty actress named Novella McClure struggling to get her career going. things seemed pretty bad since she hadn’t landed a job in three years but what was worse, she has developed a habit of auto cannibalism and, you guessed it; eating one’s own flesh. And if that doesn’t freak you out just a little bit, I don’t know what will.

“Dys-” started with the definition of the prefix meaning bad, ill, evil. Dys is the prefix of dysfuntion and dystopia, two things that are scarily present in this film. The main charecters, Sam and Eva, a married couple who live together in an aparetment, have learned of a recent outbreak of a virus that traps them in their home. With their relationship failing since Eva “lost” her baby (lets just say she wanted it out), Sam had been trying to cheer her up without any sucess. after days of being trapped together, we find out many things including a certain fetus in a jar, a crazy man who had listened to too much gospel radio, and a woman who had a little too much to hide from her (now crazy) husband.

“The Body” was a comical film, one of the many that show up at this festival, about a serial killer trying to hide a body on Halloween. He wraps the body up on plastic and starts dragging it out into the street to bury it, wearing gloves and nice suit. He is skeptical at first, feeling a bit jumpy but he is the found by some others heading to a party and they poke at the body, thinking it’s a prop and expressing how “realistic” it looks. then, the worst happens for him. He is dragged into a halloween party but he stops and has a few drinks, leaving the body in the corner as people take pictures with it and ask him how he made it. in the end, he coaxes his new “freinds” to help him bbury the body as a “scavenger hunt” and he ends up killing them as well.

“Cold Turkey” really was an interesting movie. A cannibal, notices that he has been killing too many people and that the town is starting to notice and most of all, he wants to stop. He pulls out a calender to count down the days saying “Day one”. He starts with a sandwich, but pukes it up. He tries everything but continues to puke it up. soon, he’s suffering from malnutrition and his teacher at his school questions him. when he admits it to his teacher whats going on his teacher mockingly and rudely laughs at6 him. the boy jumps across the table and stands with blood on his mouth. in the end we see his calender and him say, once again “Day one”. At least he’s trying right?

“Deep Red Dandilions” was about albert Fish, a famous child murderer and cannible. the film was from his point of view and sort of romanticized as he kidnapped and killed a young girl. the diologue was from actual letters he sent to the girl’s mother. The accuracy (having read the letters before) and the portrayal of Albert Fish was amazing in my opinion and was one of my favorite Films.

After a few of the films, their directors or actors came on stage to answer questions and talk about their movies for other aspiring film makers, or just the curious.

Films werent the only thing that the festival put on. there was also a panel discussion about horror from the past compared to today’s horror. one of the most interesting participents was Gavin (from The Wake Up Call radio station). He’s been there each year doing something with the Film Festival weather it be judging their zombie Beauty contest that they have each year or being in the panel that they had for the first time this year. The festival also had a makeup artist come to teach about how to do horror makeup for the first time. Many other events include the annual Rocky Horror Picture Show, concert performances, and local burlesque groups dancing.

The crowd was wonderful, but as there always is at any event, there was an overly enthusiastic guy. He was very nice however and he really knew his horror movies.

The two hosts, Sydney Sin and Jamie DeWolf, were very lively and into what they did. They were funny, energetic, and extremely nice as well.

The Sacramento horror Film Festival is always a great time, I’ve been going for 3 years now and I enjoy it every time.