The 1st annual visit by Bickmo to the 7th Annual Gangrene Comedy Short Film Festival was full of surprises, the chief surprise being what a pain in the patootie this festival was to find. My buddies and I cruised around the darkened serpentine streets of Layton, Utah until we were quite late for the showing. I punched Ben. After driving the wrong way towards the armed U.S. Air Force base gate, a trip to the Maverick service station for directions, and haggling over ticket prices at the door, we finally sat ourselves down for some FUNNY MOVIES.
Except most were not all that funny. The school film spoof “Weird Ribs Are Swell” made for some nice chuckles, but it was soon over. We watched a cartoonish man guiding a team of elf hunters (you read that correctly) in the woeful “Great White Hunter”. An unfortunate blight entitled “The Comedian Next Door” wins the not-so-coveted Bickmo “Geh” Award. The titular character — I forget his name — is an aspiring stand-up comedian desperate for an audience, cracking awful jokes rapidfire to the neighbors and a skeleton sitting at the kitchen table. His unfunniness was the point, of course, but unfunniness needs to be, well, funny to work, and his was not. (The guy reeled off the occassional good one-liner, though, especially one about the Karen Carpenter diet.) The film could have benefitted from one more rewrite. Now, I realize we missed nearly an hour’s worth of entries, so our sampling was limited. With a fifteen minute time limit imposed on each entry, at least four films were shown before we arrived. Maybe some were funnier. I hope so.
Happily, the second session made the night worth our effort. The well done, though over-long, mockumentary “Blood-o-ween” had me busting a gut, with it’s lampooning of a group embroiled in the creative process, plus its dead-on (ha!) parody of the minor conflicts documentaries play up to create compelling storylines. The Neill character stole the show with his understated antagonism and disturbing mustache. The night’s honors, however, go to the wickedly funny “Devon’s Journal”, a disturbing and dark look into the macabre mind of a murderous little boy. The kid was like Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes, except this Calvin plays “operation” on the neighbor’s chihuahua with a butcher knife. Whoa.
So overall, I rate the evening a success, pulled from the fire by two horror comedies. Go figure. Thanks to M for the invitation — keep on dancing, Miss Puffy Vest!
**Line of the Night**
Cowboy Professor: Any questions?
Cowboy Student: Is it okay to sleep with two girls at once if they’re both Biology majors?