Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Twin Cities Horror Festival VIII - Day Two

Frankenstein's monster and friends
On our second day at the Twin Cities Horror Festival, we saw three more shows.

Just to recap: Why We Love TCHF, Day One, our TCHF archives.

Friday. DAY TWO.

AMP: The Electrifying Story of Mary Shelley
The Obscura Factory

AMP featuring Jody Christopherson
Photo by Hunter Canning
AMP is written and performed by Jody Christopherson, a New York-based performer who last year brought St. Kilda to the Horror Festival. Last year's show had minimal staging, with Christopherson creating all of her own sound effects and musical accompaniment live. AMP again has just Christopherson on stage, but as she portrays Mary Shelley, recorded voices fill in as people in her life as if they are coming from her head. Her performance and the show are riveting, and made me want to read more about Shelley, her anarchist parents, and her marriage to Percy Bysshe Shelley. Bonus! Adorable bookstore flirting scene included. Also, a bit of book destruction. You've been warned.

The Feminine Inhuman
Erin Sheppard Presents/Monster Science

Feminine Inhuman - Erin Sheppard Presents & Matt Kessen
Photo by Dan Norman
Two Horror Fest favorites come together beautifully in this new show. Reverend Matt, in his amusingly educational style, introduces a number of mythological monsters identified as female, with plenty of insight into the fears that may have led storytellers to embellish these stories. After he describes a female monster, Erin Sheppard and her dancers perform a short piece illustrating and adding to the story. Sheppard's sometimes aggressive dances always tell a story, but the combination of the background info and the dance works wonderfully well. The dances often take a turn to the unexpected, even though we've just learned about the basic story. It's beautiful and entertaining. One of the vignettes that blends narration and dance perfectly is Kuchisake-Onna. As Reverend Matt narrates, Derek Meyer and Regan K. Saunders dance the chilling story of a malevolent Japanese spirit also known as the "slit-mouthed woman." Two things: Erin Sheppard's work is gorgeous and I wish we could see it more often, and Reverend Matt needs to have a podcast to share his vast monster knowledge and mellifluous voice. That is all.

We love the way Erin Sheppard's dancers run.
Photo by Dan Norman
Horror Show Hot Dog - Night One 
Short Film Festival
Horror Show Hot Dog official logo
Every year, the creators of the Horror Show Hot Dog podcast curate a selection of short horror films for TCHF. This year, they have five shows, each featuring different short films. In past years, they found most of the movies on YouTube, but as their profile has risen, this year's selections are almost all being exclusively shown at film festivals, and come from around the world. Theatergoers receive ballots, and a favorite for each night is chosen and announced on their Facebook page. Also, I just checked out the HSHD page, and the podcast has episodes about eight of the shows in this year's festival, which is an excellent way to learn more about the shows.

I (Jules) am not a big fan of horror movies, but I really enjoy the short films. I think it helps to know that I'm not going to be on the edge of my seat for more than 10 minutes at a time. But Carol, who loves horror films, also enjoys these a lot. We've seen two of this year's editions so far. Three to go!

I really do. -Carol
Night One featured: Service (dir. Theo Watkins) - in which self-service grocery store technology goes terribly wrong; Clicker (dir. Amanda Stoddard) - involves a small boy and the death of his cat; Lili (dir. Yfke van Berckelaer) - a fanfreakingtastic short about an audition that takes a surprising and satisfying turn; Marianne (dir. Matt Losasso) - which I literally do not remember watching; The Game of the Clock (dir. Michele Oliveri) - which involves a teenage girl, an alarm clock and a cat and mouse game; Puzzle (dir. Vincenzo Aiello) - a short, nearly silent film about a woman putting together a puzzle of her house with a surprising end; and Toe (dir. Chad Thurman and Neal O'Bryan) - a weird little short about a starving boy eating a toe, which I loved because it reminded me of Vincent by Tim Burton and those freaky Tool videos. Fun fun! The winner was Lili and rightfully so.

Coming up: Days Three and Four! Oh BOY!