So, the Housecore Horror Fest has come and gone, and there was more cool stuff happening than I’m capable of coherently talking about, and that’s just the official festival stuff. If I were to make a list of all the spoopy shenanigans from the week, that would be a completely different and much more shameful list. So I thought I’d talk about a few of my favorite moments from the weekend, and four seems like an appropriately arbitrary number, so here we are. Johnny Zontal’s top four list of awesome stuff that you guys should be pissed that you weren’t here to see.
1. Brian Posehn
I’ve been a fan of this guy since Mr Show back in the late 90’s, so getting to see him perform was pretty damn amazing. His set was hilarious, covering such family friendly topics as tit sweat & getting tea bagged by his five year old son. You could tell that he was excited to be there. It’s cool to see people here for more than just a paycheck, and given the number of times I saw him just hanging around and checking things out all weekend definitely shows that he’s here as a fan just as much as a performer. There may or may not be more Posehn related content coming on the site, so keep your eyes open for that.
2. The VHS Vomitorium.
I’m gonna be honest here… I’m actually pissed that I missed out on this, too. It’s such a great concept. Set up a comfy lounge area with couches and bean bag chairs, and hang out while cracking up at ridiculous shitty movies. My biggest regret of the whole weekend was not spending more time checking this out, as some of you might have picked up on, ridiculously shitty movies are pretty much up there with sandwiches and finding $50 bills as my favorite things in the world. I did catch Spookies there, which was great. However, I missed the Linnea Quigley workout video (which I hear had a hilariously awkward screening full of nothing but sketchy dudes), and Elves due to just the overwhelming amount of cool stuff going on. But what I saw of the concept, I loved.
3. The films of Phil Mucci
This was an event I was NOT prepared for. If you’re unfamiliar with the work of Phil Mucci, he is a maker of short films, and some of the best music videos you’re ever going to see. The event started off by playing his early shorts, “The Listening Dead” & “Far Out”. From there, we were shown a selection of his more recent videos that showed the development of his signature style, culminating with Monster Magnet’s The Duke. It’s easy to dismiss music videos as purely promotional tools, but that’s not what Mucci is about. in fact, only one of the half dozen videos shown even featured members of the performers at all. He takes themes from the song, and creates a short film that exists as a piece of art in its own right. My favorite video that was shown was “All Those Delicate Cuts” from Das Muerte, but every video shown left me staring at the screen with my jaw dropped. Mucci was there himself to give a bit of insight into his career and his process, as well as to answer audience questions after the presentation. He seemed like a man who was confident in his abilities and successes, but not full of himself about it. That’s something I can definitely appreciate.
I don’t see how it’s possible to hate this band. They mix metal with performance art with just random goofy violent shit. The new line up works as more of a singer-by-committee than I expected them to, and while it’s obviously not the same as it was with Oderus fronting the band, it still works. The multiple singer line up was integrated into the plot of their stage show in a way that not only made sense in a narrative sense, it also managed to sound pretty damn good as well. Along the way, there were a few hilariously in poor taste tributes to Oderus, including trying to coax him from another time with various hard drugs, and ending the show with a cover of The Pet Shop Boys’ “West End Girls”, mashed up with The Jim Carroll Band’s “People Who Died”, while amending the lyrics to say “Oderus died, died” in the chorus. I’m sure that’s the way he would have wanted it.
Those were my favorite moments of the weekend, but there was so much more. I even stumbled on to a prop from Retro Puppet Master at the Austin Museum of the Weird, which while not festival related, is pretty much the most important thing that has ever happened to me. Needless to say, the whole weekend was a blast. Even if you aren’t a fan of all the performers or movies being screened, chances are that there will STILL be more amazing stuff going on than you’ll be physically able to take in. My personal recounting of my experience hanging out in Texas with a few greasy Canadian weirdos does not end here, though. Keep your eyes peeled for looks at a few films you probably haven’t seen, and should definitely look out for, and maybe a few other things as well. .