It took a month, but Halloween is finally over. Those of you who live for all things scary may be feeling let down. Is it because your favorite holiday is over, though, or rather because those horror movies you re-watch every October are starting to wear thin?
It’s not easy finding good new genre fare. The quantity is certainly out there: horror accounts for the bulk of independent productions. But how do you separate the wheat from the chaff? You can’t count on the good ones showing up at the multiplex: Hollywood is so averse to anything vaguely edgy or original that their big offering to you this past October was yet another retread of Halloween, already the most imitated movie in film history.
Give thanks to Gregory Lamberson and Chris Scioli, who have spent the past months going through piles of new horror, sci-fi, fantasy and other genre films to select the 100 or so that will unspool during this year’s Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival, from Friday though Thursday at the Dipson Eastern Hills Mall Cinema. In the years that they have been programming Buffalo Dreams (and before that the more horror-intensive Buffalo Screams festival). Lamberson and Scioli have proven their taste, showcasing dozens of films that otherwise run the risk of disappearing into the undifferentiated morass of cable and streaming. The festival has a high percentage of filmmaker attendance, with most features including a post-screening Q&A.
Tickets are available at the theater box office or online at www.dipsontheatres.com. For $20 you can spend the whole day; $70 gets you into all seven days. For more information, visit http://www.buffalodreamsfantasticfilmfestival.com/.
The complete schedule:
Friday, Nov. 2nd
12:30 pm Block 1 Assorted Shorts (1 hr. 35 mins)
#Selfie (Germany, Thriller, 5 mins)
Hold Your Peace (USA, Musical/Student, 17 mins)
Halim (Austria, Srama, 30 mins)
Nadine (USA, Horror, 3 mins)
A Pair of Horns on a Female Homo (Iran, Drama/Student, 10 mins)
Annabelle Crane (USA, Drama/Thriller/Student, 21 mins)
Backstory (Germany, Drama, 8 mins) time jumps
2:30 pm Block 2 Closer Than You Think (USA. Documentary, 86 mins)
Documentary on the life and work of imagineer Arthur Radebaugh, who visualized the future in the “Closer Than You Think” comic strip.
4:30 pm Block 3 Science Fiction Shorts (1 hr 45 mins)
Andromeda (USA, Science Fiction, 15 mins)
The Shipment (Canada, Science Fiction, 25 mins
Caronte (Spain, Science Fiction, 15 mins)
Through Her Eyes (France, Science Fiction, 23 mins)
Paleonaut (China/Japan/Singapore/USA, Science Fiction, 16 mins)
Prenatal (USA, Science Fiction, 11 mins)
6:45 pm Block 4 I’ll Take Your Dead — NYS Premiere (Canada, 83 mins) Black Fawn Films (Bite) returns with its most accomplished film to date. A man who disposes of dead bodies and his young daughter who communicates with spirits are imperiled when they offer refuge to a woman criminals want buried. Short: Within the Woods (WNY, 13 mins) World Premiere.
9:00 pm Block 5 Post Apocalyptic Commando Shark (WNY Comedy, 83 mins) World Premiere of local filmmaker Sam Qualiana’s camp comedy about a
Russian invasion of the US spearheaded by humanoid sharks. Q&A.
Short Feature: Slimoids (Canada, Cult, 49 mins). World Premiere.
Saturday, Nov. 3rd
12:00 pm Block 6 I Dare You To Open Your Eyes (WNY, 89 mins) Film Festival Premiere of young local filmmaker Hope Muehlbauer’s
nihilistic slasher drama about a high school student dealing with bullies. Q&A with Muehlbauer.
Short: Inked (USA, Comedy/Horror/Student, 7 mins) USA
2:15 pm Block 7 The Next Kill (USA, Action, 81 mins) US Premiere
Bold, hyper-stylized action yarn involving a masked vigilante and a serial
killer. Theis one was shot live action, but processed to resemble animation, freeing the filmmakers to add elaborate stunts and setpieces. Q&A with filmmaker Mike McCutchen. SO COOL!
Short: I Am the Doorway (UK, Horror, 20 mins) First rate adaptation of Stephen King’s classic sci-fi horror tale.
4:30 pm Block 8 Clickbait (USA, Horror/Satire, 80 mins) NYS Premiere — Clever, strikingly directed film about a serial killer and the quest for social
media fame. Q&A with filmmakers Michael J. Epstein and Sophia Cacciola (Blood of the Tribades). New York Premiere.
Short: Melatonin (Canada, Horror, 11 mins) World Premiere.
7:00 pm Block 9 Johnny Gruesome (WNY, Horror, 87 mins) Film festival premiere of local filmmaker’s long awaited adaptation of his award-winning horror novel, about a murdered teenager who returns from the grave as a rotting zombie hell bent on revenge. Starring Anthony De La Torre (Young Jack Sparrow) and Michael DeLorenzo (New York Undercover).
Short: Murder House (USA, horror, 20 mins) Directed by authors Richard Chizmar and Billy Chizmar (Widow’s Point) — very scary.
9:30 pm Block 10 The Child Remains (Canada, Horror, 1 hr 47 mins) The most frightening horror film of the fest, a first rate supernatural chiller about a couple on a romantic getaway in an old country inn
is a haunted maternity home where unwanted infants and mothers were murdered. Inspired by the true story of the infamous “Butterbox Babies.” Starring Cannes Best Actress winner Suzanne Clement (Mommy), Allan Hawco (Frontier), Shelley Thompson (Labyrinth)
Short: Good Bye Old Friend (USA, Horror, 6 mins)
Sunday, Nov. 4th
11:30 pm Block 11 Family Films (60 mins)
The Girl Who Talks to the Moon (Canada, animated, 6 mins)
The Friend (WNY/Young student, 6 mins)
Lily Goes Fishing (USA/Young Student, 18 mins)
The Hood (WNY/Young Student, 15 mins)
12:45 pm Block 12 Murder In High Heels (Canada, Noir, 63 mins) USA Premiere of Brett Kelly’s loving tribute to classic film noirs. Q&A.
Shorts: New York Song Series (18 mins)
2:45 pm Block 13 Batraticus (USA, Comedy/Horror, 80 mins)
Camp comedy about a Bronx community facing a zombie outbreak and a giant, mutated bat-rat hybrid. Q&A with writer-director Jerry Landi.
Short: Pumpkin Bitch (WNY, Horror, 11 mins)
5:00 pm Dreamer Awards Presentation in the WBBZ TV Studio, free to the public. Hosted by Kim Piazza and Constance Mae Caldwell.
5:00 pm Strike, Dear Mistress, and Cure His Heart (USA, Offbeat Comedy/Drama/Thriller, 72 mins) Don’t want to watch the Dreamer Awards? Then check out this unique film from writer-director Mickey Reece, which screens again Thursday afternoon. Newlyweds David and Madeline Middleston have just purchased a historic hotel near the town where Madeline’s estranged mother Dianne resides. When Dianne comes to visit, she brings with her an uninvited guest. This surreal story builds to a shuddering climax.
7:00 pm Block 14 Red Spring (Canada, Action/Horror, 1 hr 45 mins) Action packed supernatural yarn about a small band of survivors battling a horde of vampires that has overrun the planet. Q&A with writer-director
Jeff Sinesac, who also stars. Short: Ernesto (WNY, Science Fiction/Horror, 11 mins) World Premiere of a short film by local filmmaker Rick Masi.
9:30 pm Block 15 WTF: Framed (Spain, Horror, 80 mins) Extremely violent and gory film combining the home invasion and found footage genres, in a story reminiscent of The Purge.
Short: Pappy’s World (CNY, Horror, 8 mins)
Short: The Devil’s Due (Canada, Horror/Comedy, 4 mins)
Monday, Nov. 5th
12:30 pm Block 16 Short Films from Iran & Belgium (1 hr 52 mins)
Limit (Iran, Drama, 7 mins)
Isolated Crows of Solitude (Iran, Drama/Student, 20 mins)
Swimming in Gold (Germany/Iran, Documentary, 13 mins)
Utopia (Iran, Drama, 17 mins)
Salmon (Iran, Horror, 16 mins)
Family for Sale (Belgium, Comedy, 15 mins)
Caducea (Belgium, Horror, 25 mins)
3 pm Block 17 Matty Fresno and the Holoflux Universe (USA, Sci-fi/Comedy/Drama, 92 mins)
5 pm Block 18 Short Films (78 mins)
The Necropath (US, Horror, 51 mins) — violence, gore
Alice (Spain, Thriller, 10 mins)
The Patient — Act One (German, Thriller. 11 mins)
Road Trash (US, Horror, 6 mins)
Hands Free (UK, Comedy, 7 mins)
7 pm Block 19 Will O’ The Wisp (WNY, Experimental/Thriller, 60 mins) World Premiere of Mick O’Keefe’s bizarro, avant garde tale of a man against the norms of his time fighting to save his daughter. A brilliant
first film that will leave people talking long after the festival ends. Q&A with the artist.
Shorts: One Shot (USA, Drama, 12 mins),The Coffeemaker (USA, Crime, 13 mins), How Do You Type a Broken Heart (USA, Drama, 13 mins)
9:30 pm Block 20 Derelicts (USA, Horror, 74 mins) Violent, subversive and outrageous tale of derelicts who turn a family’s Thanksgiving dinner into a nightmare.
Short: What Metal Girls Are Into (USA, Horror/Comedy,16 mins)
Tuesday, Nov. 6th (Be sure to vote first!)
12:30 pm Block 21 Shorts: Spain, Mexico, Brazil (87 mins)
Fortune Teller (Spain, Fantasy, 20 mins)
Reflections Devour You (Spain, Fantasy, 19 mins)
Sol (Brazil, Horror, 14 mins)
The Peephole (Mexico, Horror, 8 mins)
Caronte (Spain, Science Fiction, 15 mins)
2:30 pm Block 22 Ingenium (German, Sci-Fi/Thriller, 88 mins) Inventive and surprise-filled action tale that begins as an international thriller and takes a sharp detour into science fiction.
4:30 pm Block 23 Animation & Musical shorts (87 mins)
BANG! BOOM! POW! (USA, Musical/Student, 21 mins)
Our Wonderful Nature (Germany, animated, 4 mins)
Run Rostam Run (Iran, animated, 12 mins)
Fanman’s Basement (USA, animated, 7 mins)
The Fox (Animated, Iran, 12 mins)
When Counting Flamingos to Sleep (USA, animated, 11 mins)
Aftercare (WNY, animated/student, 5 mins, Mature)
Plus One! (USA, Musical/Student, 23 mins)
6:30 pm Block 24 Tommy Battles the Silver Sea Dragon (USA, Musical, 2 hrs 10 mins) When a man finds himself on trial in a courtroom haunted by his own demons, he must reckon with the guilt of his mother’s death before it destroys him and the one he loves. A dramatic, full blown musical from first-time writer-director-producer Luke Shirock.
9:20 pm Block 25 Local shorts (WNY, 81 mins)
Welcome to Space Force (WNY, Comedy, 8 mins)
Once Around Is Never Enough (WNY, Documentary, 26)
Aftercare (WNY, animated/student, 5 mins, Mature
Unbridled (WNY, Horror/Comedy, 6 mins)
Test of Faith (WNY, Science Fiction, 36 mins
Wednesday, Nov. 7th
1:00 pm Block 26 Shorts: United Kingdom, France, Germany, USA
(1 hr 36 mins)
Songbird (UK, Fantasy, 14 mins)
The Last Drop (Germany, Comedy/Horror, 10 mins)
The Dark Room (France, Fantasy/Student, 19 mins)
Doppelganger (USA, Horror/Student, 3 mins)
Night (USA, Drama/Student, 10 mins)
Dreamwisher (USA, Family/Fantasy, 8 mins)
The Quiet Room (USA, Horror, 28 mins)
Heimlich (USA, Thriller, 14 mins)
3:15 pm Block 27 Strike, Dear Mistress, and Cure His Heart (USA, Offbeat Comedy/Drama/Thriller, 72 mins) Newlyweds David and Madeline Middleston have just purchased a historic hotel near the town where Madeline’s estranged mother Dianne resides. When Dianne comes to visit, she brings with her an uninvited guest. This surreal story builds to a shuddering climax.
5:00 pm Block 28 Jasper (Switzerland, Dark Fantasy, 86 mins, subtitled) In an undetermined time and place, Jasper, a solitary soul, rescues a young woman left for dead in an alley and takes her home to look after her, unaware that this will change his life…
7:00 pm Block 29 Three Fantastic Short Films
Kaya: Taste of Paradise (USA, Musical/Student, 25 mins)
Locke (WNY, Science Fiction, 29 mins)
Sound from the Deep (Finland, Horror, 29 mins)
9:20 pm Block 30 Lieutenant Jangles (Australia, Action/Comedy, 1 hr 44 mins) An over the top, politically incorrect spoof of 80s buddy action films. In the most crime-ridden city of Australia, only one man keep evens the scales of justice: cowboy detective Lieutenant Jangles. After his partner is killed in a blazing shootout, Jangles goes on an explosive and blood soaked mission to avenge his death.
Thursday, Nov. 8th
12:30 pm Block 31 Best of the Fest Encore — To Be Announced!
3:00 pm Block 32 Shorts: US & Canada (76 mins)
Silence Please (USA, Fantasy, 11 mins)
The Dryad Tree (USA, Horror, 18 mins)
Living Nightmare (USA, Horror, 17 mins) Kiss the Devil in the Dark (USA, Horror, 30 mins) Starring Doug Jones
5:00 pm Block 33 Jimmy (USA, Dark Comedy, 78 mins) Gabe wants to marry Jo Lee, but she’s on the fence because he procrastinates. Jo Lee sends her troubled brother Jimmy a casual invitation to visit her, and Jimmy arrives and overstays his visit. A hilarious character portrait with dark undercurrents written and directed by Jason Balas, who stars.
Short: Be My Guest (German, Comedy, 11 mins)
7:00 pm Block 34 Eullenia (2 hrs 9 mins) A stylish, hypnotic, and beautifully filmed thriller from Paul Spurrier, writer-director of the elegant ghost story The Forest which we screened two years ago. A wealthy, philanthropic UK banker (Alec Newman, star of SyFy’s Dune and Children of Dune) who prowls the streets of Bangkok at night in search of young teenage girls to murder becomes the target of a revenge plot.
9:30 pm Block 35 The Fear Footage (72 mins, plus short)
This year’s found footage movie is terrifying! On April 19th, 2016, Deputy Leo Cole vanished. The next morning, his body camera was found…
Short: Trespass (USA, Horror, 6 mins)