The Horror Honeys: BoneBat Comedy of Horrors Film Festival!

BoneBat Comedy of Horrors Film Festival!

Since this is my first year in the Seattle area, I've been trying to experience all of the awesome horror-related experiences that the city has to offer. And my first film festival was the BoneBat Comedy of Horrors Film Festival, hosted by Steve and Gord of The Bonebat Show! The all-day-long film fest featured two full-length films, along with thirty-four shorts, and two musical sets performed by Lester T. Raww's Graveside Quartet and The Pine Box Boys. It was an amazing day, and what follows are my mini-reviews of every film, along with some videos of the The Pinebox Boys!

Please check out the films, and show them some love. And if you're in town next May, join me for BoneBat! Because I'll definitely be there...

Mini-Reviews of Every Film at BoneBat Film Festival!
(In order of appearance, reviewed from notes meticulously scribbled in the dark)

1. Annum Triple Feature ~ Three fake trailers for grindhouse-style films directed by Brandon Bassham, of varying success. Startled was a brilliant "fuck you" to jump scares. Black Maniac was funny, but if you've seen Black Dynamite, it will feel familiar. The Erotic Diary of Anne Frank was... well, I'm the wrong audience, let's just leave it at that. Rating: B+. Find out more about Annum Films on their Facebook page!

Annum Triple Feature ~ Brandon Bassham
2. Torment ~ A short A-horror film by Hyunsoo Lee. I don't love A-horror, and this all felt pretty standard for the genre. Still, some decent scares for only five minutes. Rating: B. You can watch Torment on YouTube!

3. Pets ~ Directed by James Mahoney, a zombie film that did nothing to convince me to like zombie films. An effective closing shot didn't make up for the lack of originality that proceeded it, and mostly I was just waiting for it to end. Rating: C-. You can find out more about Gloomy Sunday Productions on Facebook!

4. Knob Goblins ~ Christopher G. Moore's short is a fun twist on the monster movie, with some solid creature effects, and a hell of a wrap-up. May have to be added to my Penis Maiming List! Rating: B+. Follow Knob Goblins on Twitter to see if it's screening near you soon!

5. Sweet Tooth ~ Michael Muchnij's shocking (and shockingly gorgeous) short was one of the day's highlights for me. I couldn't stop thinking about it for days after, partially because it made me want to devour a shit-load of cupcakes. I don't want to think that through too much. Rating: A. You can watch Sweet Tooth on YouTube!

Sweet Tooth by Michael Muchnij
6. The Fly ~ This extremely British short from director Olly Williams was another highlight of the fest. Shot entirely inside a car, it's almost sad how hilarious it is to watch someone completely lose their mind over something totally inconsequential. Rating: A. You can ALSO watch The Fly on YouTube, so watch it!

7. Heir ~ Starring Bill Oberst Jr. and directed Richard Powell, under different circumstances, I might have had a very different reaction to Heir. But sticking a sci-fi allegory for pedophilia in the middle of a horror comedy festival was nerve-wracking, and I found myself put off by the film entirely. It was well-acted and well-directed, but it made me want to shoot myself in the head. Rating: C. Watch a teaser for Heir on YouTube and see if it's for you.

8. It's Cold and It's Dark ~ Adam Rosenberg's less-than-two minute film about a dream was a good palette cleanser after Heir, mostly because it featured a guy with a toothbrush up his ass. Funny, to the point, and didn't overstay its welcome. Rating: B. If you need a quick chuckle, It's Cold and It's Dark is on YouTube, in all its "toothbrush up the butt" glory.

9. HADA ~ THE TOOTHFAIRY IS JUST WRONG, GUYS! In any culture. And this fabulous Spanish short from Tony Morales proves my point. In nine minutes, HADA utilizes jump scares better than Blumhouse has in the whole of their existence. I thought my heart was going to stop. Rating: A

10. Pillow Fright ~ I started off annoyed with Patrick Rea's "sorority girls pillow fighting" movie. But it didn't take long for me to get on board, especially when the pillows fought back. Pillow Fright is low budget, and an amusing diversion, but I'll be honest. I forgot about it until I sat down to write these reviews. Rating: B. You can watch Pillow Fright via Fun Size Horror on YouTube!

11. Party Animals ~ Will Morris' Party Animals was one of the movies at BoneBat that everyone couldn't stop talking about, with good reason. For a film that is totally wordless, Party Animals crams more allegory into seven minutes than most of the films that came out last year. Additionally, while I was previously of the mind that the "animal mask" trend was played out, this short convinced me otherwise. Rating: A. Watch Party Animals on YouTube, then let me know how badly it messed with your head. Because it messed with mine.

Party Animals by Will Morris
12. Sunnyville Security ~ I'm sure there is an audience for Shelby Wilson's Sunnyville Security, but it's not me. It felt like a short version of a Seth Rogan/Jonah Hill horror movie that was produced by Kevin Smith during his Canucksploitation phase (aka now). People in the audience were laughing. I was not one of those people. Rating: C-. You can watch the trailer for Sunnyville Security here.

13. No Touching ~ This film, directed by Will Corona Pilgrim and Adam Davis, was one of the biggest surprises of the fest for a number of reasons. First of all being that it was a Kickstarted project starring stunt women Zoë Bell and Heidi Moneymaker, and also starred Jake Busey, Tracie Thoms, and Doug Jones. It also raised over $30k, which is a fuck-ton of money for a short. It was hilarious, and I loved the twist at the mid-point, but because it was stacked with both celebrities and money, I didn't feel comfortable voting for it over all of the other truly small films. Rating: B+. You can find information on No Touching on Facebook!

14. What's Eating Dad? ~ Michael Goldburg's zombie comedy was the first zombie movie to make me laugh in ever, guys. In ever. The only thing more stressful than meeting your boyfriend's parents for the first time is finding out that your future father-in-law has a bit of a... quirk... and the entire family is ignoring it. Rating: A. Find out more about What's Eating Dad? on their website!

15. Northern Starfish ~ This gorgeously animated Estonian sci-fi film from Mattias Mälk isn't exactly funny, but what it lacks in humor it more than makes up for in memorable and beautiful imagery. Part thriller, part romance, part alternate theory of creation, Northern Starfish is exceptionally creative and totally unforgettable. Rating: A. Watch the trailer for Northern Starfish on Vimeo!

Northern Starfish by Mattias Mälik
16. The Invisible Curie-osity ~ This retro sci-fi trailer from Lowcarb Comedy is equal parts hilarious and depressing. Hilarious because it's so brilliantly clever and depressing because so little has changed since its 50s-set action. Rating: B+. Watching The Invisible Curie-osity on YouTube!

17. Sweetheart ~ Miguel Angelo Pate's film was another not-funny entry in this horror comedy festival, but in this case, I was enthralled. Set post-apocalypse in a world where only adults suffer the undefined consequences at the hands of invading aliens, we follow a little girl as she struggles to survive with her baby brother in tow. Sweetheart was beautiful, moving, and absolutely something I could see being adapted into a feature. Rating: A. Watch the trailer for Sweetheart here!

First Feature-Length FilmAva's Possessions ~ The Honeys had the pleasure of seeing Ava's Possessions last year when it screened at SXSW, but I have to say, I enjoyed it a lot more the second time watching it in a theater setting. While, like most horror comedies, it struggles in the third act, the first 2/3s more than make up for any faltering at the end. Rating: B+. You can read Head Honey Kat's full review here, and watch Ava's Possessions, which is currently available on Netflix!

18. The Door ~ I'm sorry to say, after Ava's Possessions, we snuck out for lunch, and didn't make it back in time for this film, which isn't available anywhere online. So I have no opinion on it.

19. Running the Gammatar ~ Joe Kramer's Running the Gammatar is a fun mashup of your standard hipster naval-gazing romcom, paired with a kaiju movie. While I found the main characters exasperating (as was probably the point, coupled with my disdain for hipster naval-gazing romcoms), Kramer's short is well-made and Gammatar is a trip. Rating: B. You can watch Running the Gammatar, along with Kramer's other films, on Vimeo.

20. Deathly Presents ~ Episode 9 in Bloody Cuts Films short horror series, Deathly Presents is a short spin on your standard Christmas horror film. It accomplished a lot with very little, and the final shot is effective. But I can't say it brought anything new to the holiday-horror genre. Rating: B-. You can watch Deathly Presents, as well as all the other Bloody Cuts films, on their website!

Dick Proof 2 by Sam McGlynn
21. Dick Proof 2 ~ Here we have another entry where there is obviously an audience that finds it funny, but I am not that audience. Meant to be a parody of Death Proof, Sam McGlynn's Dick Proof 2 is loaded with meta-horror dude humor, which are two of my least favorite things ever. The audience at BoneBat seemed to love it, but I spent the running time doodling in my notebook. Rating: D. You can watch the trailer for Dick Proof 2 on YouTube.

22. Escargore ~ Oliver Holbert's Kiwi animated film Escargore is essentially what a Pixar film would look like if everyone at Pixar hated children. It's horrifying and twisted and in the end, painfully adorable. Rating: A. Watching Escargore on YouTube!

Escargore by Oliver Holbert
23. Innsmouth ~ I really wanted to like Izzy Lee's Innsmouth, because good Lovecraft homages are hard to come by. But this just didn't do it for me. While I appreciated casting the short solely with women in the lead roles (including Tristan Risk), it makes the mistake of assuming that tentacles, genitals, and an Innsmouth setting automatically equal Lovecraft. I get it, I just didn't love it. Rating: C. Watch the trailer for Innsmouth here.

24. The Barber's Cut ~ Every one in the theater really seemed to enjoy Mark Brocking's film, which lead me to believe no one else in the theater had seen The Voices. That being said, the short, about two re-animated heads chatting it up in a Frankenstein Barber's freezer, was cute. But as I had seen The Voices, and didn't love the end, the whole thing fell a little short for me. Rating: B-. Watch the trailer for The Barber's Cut here.

25. Dinosaur ~ At thirty-two seconds long, Ning Cheng's Dinosaur was the shortest movie to screen all day. And it is, without question, one of the cutest damn things I have ever seen in my life. I'm putting it in this post to make sure you watch it. Rating: A.

26. The Monster ~ Bob Pipe's The Monster was another of my favorites from the festival. Deftly combining the nostalgia of the old Universal monster with the tropes of the modern slasher, this throwback film was lovely, gory, and starred a main character I would love to see headlining his own feature someday. Rating: A. Watch the trailer for The Monster on Vimeo!

27. The Stork ~ This short from Circus of the Dead director Billy Pon was brutal, bloody, and really funny, all of the things a super-short horror film should be. Plus, since I will never watch Circus of the Dead, it was nice to finally see some of Pon's work. The Stork seems to be REALLY new, so I can't find any video evidence of it. In the meantime, check out Pon's other work on YouTube. Rating: B+.

28. The Black Bear ~ And here we have my personal pick for Best Short of the Day! Meryl Fortunat Rossi and Xavier Seron's amazing short starts off a little odd, then quickly devolves into a parody of a nature show, with the best hook I have ever seen in my life. If there were an award for Asthma-Inducing Hilarity, The Black Bear would win. This is the first short film I have paid money for in about ten years, if that tells you anything. Rating: A+. Watch the trailer for The Black Bear on Vimeo, then consider buying it to watch the whole thing! It's worth it. I promise.

The Black Bear by Meryl Fortunat Rossi and Xavier Seron
29. The Last Halloween ~ Following in the footsteps of our beloved Sam, a group of children are going door-to-door, ensuring that even after the apocalypse, people are celebrating Halloween. Marc Roussel's dark, and not terribly humorous short, is alternatively tense, well-designed, with a hell of a punch at the end. If Sam had kids, they would be the trick-or-treaters of The Last Halloween. Rating: A-. Watch the trailer for The Last Halloween on YouTube!

30. Milk! ~ If you are disgusted by watching people eat, then this movie is sure to be the one to send you running for a barf bag. What are two layabouts to do when they run out of milk? Why find a way to make their own, of course! Written by and starring Toby Williams and Paul F Taylor, and directed by Ben Mallaby, Milk! is the perfect gross-out body horror for people who have a weird relationship with food. Rating: A-. Watch the trailer for Milk! here

31. Liebe (Love) ~ Cameron Macgowan's Liebe starts off as a saccharine, mildly-obnoxious story of love at first sight, which quickly turns into a hilarious, horrifying, cringe-worthy story of love at first sight. I won't give away anymore, because you should just watch it. But let's just say the audience went from silent, to absolute hysterical laughter/horror. Rating: A. Watch Liebe on Cameron Macgowan's website!

32. Gwilliam ~ And here we have the film that, without even a trace of hyperbole, made me throw up in my mouth. I am not exaggerating. I have never puked in a theater before when it wasn't due to motion sickness, and Brian Lonano's Gwilliam now holds that very auspicious distinction. I don't even know how to describe this movie, other than to say, just watch the trailer. And I'm giving it an A. But only because I don't want Gwilliam to come to my house.

Gwilliam by Brian Lonano
33. Cthupid ~ Now this animated short by Giovanni Braggio understands Lovecraft, without overdoing it. It's super-cute, to the point, and the perfect love story for fans of horror. Rating: A. And I'm putting it here so you can just watch it!

34. Die Sitter Die: Rupert ~ I'm actually bummed to say that the blocks of short films ended on an epic low note for me. Meant to be part of an eventual trilogy, not only was there nothing funny about this short, but I found it so disgusting, so misogynistic, and so fucking offensive, that it gave me a panic attack and I had to leave the theater to re-group in the bathroom. The plot involved a babysitter who arrives to find her charge is an enormous grown man/serial killer with a baby fetish, which in and of itself isn't funny. But the things he did to the babysitter... made HER to do to HIM... well, if you removed the "baby fetish" element and just had a man forcing a woman to wipe up his shit, no one would have been laughing. Directed by The Boxleitner Brothers, I don't know what their game is, but if this DOES turn in to a trilogy, count me the fuck out. Rating: F. The trailer for Rupert is here. I won't be watching it ever again.

Final Feature-Length Film: Patchwork ~ Thank baby Cthulhu that my fears about the final film at BoneBat proved unfounded, because Tyler McIntyre's Patchwork ended up being a front-runner for one of my favorite films of 2016. This modern-Frankenstein story focuses on three completely different women who are sewn together into one body, but with all of their consciousnesses left intact. Tory Stolper is delightful and hilarious as the Patchwork Girl, and while it took me a minute to identify him alone, (and brunette), James Phelps (Fred Weasley) is a sweet romantic lead. Patchwork is funny, adorable, and one of the best female-lead horror comedies I've ever seen. Rating: A. Watch the trailer for Patchwork on YouTube!

On top of the awesome films, attendees had the pleasure of TWO concerts via Lester T Raww's Graveside Quartet and The Pine Box Boys (who may or may not be the same band). Check out some of their performances below!

Overall, the BoneBat Comedy of Horror Film Festival gets a big old A!
Almost exclusively great films, great fun, and I can't
wait until next year!