Heavy Hitting Horrorfest crowns winners 

click to enlarge PHOTO BY JOERN RHODE PHOTOGRAPHY - award winner Conrad Shapansky (centre, holding box) on stage at the Heavy Hitting Horrorfest in 2009. The filmmaker's submission to this year's Horrorfest, called Uncle Daddy, won first place.
  • photo by Joern Rhode photography
  • award winner Conrad Shapansky (centre, holding box) on stage at the Heavy Hitting Horrorfest in 2009. The filmmaker's submission to this year's Horrorfest, called Uncle Daddy, won first place.

There's not a lot happening at the theatres this week, so let's give some space to the local scene. Conrad Schapansky and Brad Chornoby just won the Heavy Hitting HorrorFest with a sneaky little masterpiece called Uncle Daddy.

Angie Nolan stole the picture, winning best actress and all the hearts as an inbred mama firefly for the ages.

The People's Championship belt went to Sharai Rewels for Ramshackle Blues, a road-trip slaughterfest filmed in Pemberton and Lillooet at the height of forest fire season. Joel Aroint took home best actor and Gabe Langlois took top cinematographer honours with a slick colour palette and an eye for deviancy. Sharai deserves special mention for crafting a snappy script and executing a ton of hidden-gem local locations, including a Tarantino-style shootout in the Pem-Ho.

The underdog hero award went to Brian Lonano for Gwilliam, a semen-soaked tale of loneliness and desire. Bonus points if you got his number. And Stu MacKay-Smith won the hearts of all with his who's-the-victim? masterpiece for Dana Friesen Smith and the Dream Team real estate crew.

With HorrorFest co-founder Chili Thom resurrected and present (at least in spirit and cardboard cutout) the entire night was a celebration of local filmmakers, weird stuff, and the ever-deepening Sea to Sky talent pool. There is no reason why any of us aren't making movies on our weekends off, and the HorrorFest proved that Whistler filmmakers can hang with the best in B.C.

At the theatre this week, not much is happening besides Bohemian Rhapsody, a biopic about Queen frontman Freddie Mercury that a lot of people are shitting on for downplaying his homosexuality, but is still worth checking out for the music and the Rami Malek performance.

The Download of the Week is True Romance, arguably the pinnacle of Tony Scott's filmmaking career (and he made Top Gun). Christian Slater (Pump Up the Volume, Heathers) and Patricia Arquette (Boyhood) star as young lovers on the run after they end up with a suitcase full of drugs after hustling a pimp named Drexl (Gary Oldman, in a career-highlight role).

The interesting thing about this one is that it's an early Quentin Tarantino script (it came out just before Reservoir Dogs) and is easily one of the most memorable films of the '90s.

It basically set up everything from Tony Soprano to Brad Pitt and is a true L.A. love story for the ages. With Tarantino and Pitt reteaming for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which is shooting now, this one deserves a second look. It's only available on DVD or shady internet download though, so good luck.

Back at the Whistler Village 8, A Star is Born is still making the biggest waves, with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga both garnering huge award-season hype. If you can handle musicals, this is the first must-see of the season. But from where I sit (musical hater), it doesn't hold a candle to Team America: World Police, the classic Trey Parker and Matt Stone marionette flick that still sums up geopolitics over a decade after it was released.

So keep the singing and dancing alive, and don't forget about the Hoji movie at Maury Young Arts Centre next week. We have a full review coming, but get tix while you can.

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