By PETER WONG
Waiting for the next edition of the Another Hole In The Head Film Festival? Then whet your appetite for genre films this May 14-15 weekend by checking out the 2022 edition of the Warped Dimension Film Festival (hereafter “Warped”). Put on by the producers of Another Hole In The Head, Warped doesn’t require you to travel across town to a brick-and-mortar theater to see its films. All you need is Zoom access and you’re good to go.
Warped will present “odd, eerie, and warped” genre indie films of varying lengths. You can see science fiction, warped comedy, music videos, documentaries, art/experimental pieces, and even a Dolph Lundgren film marathon. Quite a few of the filmmakers will be available to chat via live post-screening Zoom Q&As. Folks fearful of speaking out in public can get their proverbial two cents in via Zoom chat. Sadly, Lundgren won’t be among the guests chatting with Warped attendees.
Best of all for Broke-Ass readers, the cost of a pass to attend this year’s Warped is only $20. That’s the lowest common denominator withdrawal from an ATM. For those who want to get the most out of their film-going dollar, know that the pass gets you into both days of Warped. However, you’re not obligated to watch everything Warped is showing. You can come in any time, you can leave any time.
Here’s a sampling of what you can expect to see at this year’s Warped:
The Marshmallow Mystery Tour
The Marshmallow Mystery Tour–A cameraman’s dream gig at a marshmallow theme park turns into the proverbial nightmare when he uncovers the shocking truth about America’s candyland…and his own childhood. This twisted tale is the brainchild of brothers Jeff and Matthew Beals, whose research involved going undercover at various American candy-themed landmarks.
Possessions–Zeke Farrow directs and stars in this tale of a man’s plan to make a documentary about selling off all his stuff. Events take a hilariously scary turn when he discovers there are some things he can’t easily let go of, even if he wanted to.
Whistle And I Will Come–Vincent-louise Apruzzese’s animated short film loosely adapts the classic M.R. James ghost story “Oh Whistle, And I’ll Come To You My Lad.” In this adaptation, a woman living in isolation on a beach has an unexpected addition to her household thanks to the revelation of a hidden horror.
The Sword That Waits–Oliver Scott’s experimental music video critiques the absurdity of High School and other American public education institutions. Watch out for moldy psychedelia, military propaganda, symbols of obsolescence, and representations of the spiritual bankruptcy of patriarchy.
Lunatic Asylum Blues–What do you get when you mash together vintage black and white footage and the Psychedelic Country song by Johnny Credit? The answer is this experimental short directed by Wood.
Zero Budget Heroes: The Legend Of Chris Seaver & Low Budget Pictures–Western New York happens to be home to the independent film group known as Low Budget Pictures. Its membership has included legendary B-movie actress Debbie Rochon and Hollywood screenwriter Trent Haaga. The movies the group has produced include “Teen Ape Vs. The Monster Nazi Apocalypse” and “Taintlight.” Zach Olivares’ documentary shines a light on the history of the group’s birth, death, and ultimate rebirth. The viewer will have to decide whether Low Budget’s persistence is inspiring or their noticeable lack of technical prowess is an object lesson.
Dolph-A-Thon: An All-Day VHS Marathon–MC Benji and Lazer-Craig present this decidedly warped all day marathon of 6 1980s and 1990s action films starring Dolph Lundgren. See Lundgren as a Houston cop pitted against an alien drug dealer (Dark Angel aka I Come In Peace). Watch the first attempt to bring the adventures of Frank Castle to the big screen (The Punisher). Hong Kong actionmeister John Woo directs Lundgren as a former U.S. Marshal turned bodyguard hired to protect a supermodel from an assassin…but doing his job means overcoming his intense fear of the color white (Blackjack). What times can you see these and other Lundgren films during the marathon? That’s a surprise.
Yes, some of what Warped will be screening will never be mistaken for high art. But it’s safe to say you’ll rarely be bored by the festival’s offerings.
(Order your Warped All-Access Pass here.)