Fans of underground horror movies were treated to two intriguing events this past weekend, although not that many took advantage of them. Around 20 people showed up at Theatre 7 Downtown on Friday for the beginning of the two-night Viscera Film Festival, a touring festival from LA showcasing short horror movies made by women. As with most shorts programs, the quality was inconsistent, but there was some impressive talent on display in movies like the stop-motion Nursery Crimes and the tense, scary The Many Doors of Albert Whale. Local filmmaker Ginnetta Correli contributed one of her abstract found-footage shorts, which had essentially nothing to do with horror but showcased a refreshingly different kind of Vegas filmmaking talent.
About half as many people were in attendance Saturday night at the Sci Fi Center to see indie horror filmmaker Scott Swan and his self-distributed feature Big Junior (along with the 2005 episode of Showtime’s Masters of Horror that he co-wrote). A shapeless, sometimes almost experimental exploitation film, Big Junior isn’t particularly gory, but it revels in graphic depictions of bodily fluids and streams of emptily offensive language. It’s trying desperately to shock the audience as compensation for its lack of any redeeming filmmaking qualities. Swan’s post-film Q&A was long-winded and a little self-important, but he’s clearly passionate enough about the movie to spend time talking about it, even with the tiniest of audiences. Sometimes supporting independent and underground cinema means sitting through some real crap, but that’s the price to pay for maintaining access to the gems, too.