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Dead by Dawn - Day Four - The End

DeadbyDawn_2006.jpgDay Four marked the final day for the Dead by Dawn Horror Film Festival, and it was an early start. Having managed to fall into my bed somewhere after midnight, the alarm awoke me at 3:30am for a quick shower and a race into town to catch the first showing of the day, and what a showing it was.

The Changeling is a film from 1980 which succeeded in putting a lot of the other horror films on show this weekend to shame. Starring George C. Scott, it doesn't rely on scares and shocking images, but rather plays to your fears. I was genuinely scared by this film.

Luckily though there was a well deserved break for a bacon and egg roll, behind me in the queue Tony Todd (aka The Candyman) was grabbed by a few people who were awake enough to work their cameras, then he was taken through the queue for an orange juice...yes, it was too early for him too.

After digesting that lovely grub it was time for some vomit inducing scheduling, and by now I was not only struggling with my stomach muscles, but also my flagging eyelids. Zombie Jieitai provided bags of humour and gore, with some amazingly distasteful scenes of a zombie fetus performing the bizarrest acts.

Adele then shoved the boot in by showing us a film that was more disgusting. It still had a humour element to it, but watching the most realistic home operations I've ever seen, vomiting, diarrhoea and wound sex all so soon after breakfast had me struggling to survive. Neighborhood Watch is a disgusting and pretty awful film.

After that I was done for. I knew another film and I'd be either falling asleep or losing concentration, so it was off home for me. I had planned to return to catch another film in the evening, however once I put my head on the pillow I was out for hours and I missed the beginning.

So my lesson is, next year get plenty of sleep beforehand and leave all the writing till after the festival. This weekend, a full week after, I've just recovered...Oh, I'm getting old.

What were the highlights then? Well I'd say the surprise of the festival were the shorts. I found out just how good these were. I'd recommend La Guerra, Los Ojos de Alicia and R.I.P. - Repose en paix for comic value. Notable mentions from the shorts should go to When Nobody is Looking (Cuando nadie nos mira) and Le Bourreau des innocents.

Feature length wise, I'd have to say that The Changeling was the biggest surprise for me, with Hard Candy and John Carpenter's Cigarette Burns coming close behind.

Here's to next year, hope to see you there. In the meantime, get chasing some of these films down.





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