by Patrick Bromley
Among the very, very few good things to come out of ALL THIS HAPPENING in the last year is the rise of virtual film festivals, allowing movie fans all over the world to attend fests they might otherwise have no chance to attend. One of the fests I've wanted to attend -- and came close to going last year, held just before the pandemic hit -- is Panic Fest in Kansas City, Missouri. While there will still be an in-person festival this year (with COVID restrictions and guidelines), the good people at Panic Fest have also introduced a virtual component that will allow anyone to check out their impressive slate of features, shorts, and programming, including live podcasts from Screen Drafts, Nightmare on Film Street, and our friends at both Colors of the Dark and Nightmare Junkhead.
I've already seen three of the films playing the fest this year -- Jakob's Wife, The Stylist, and Censor, all of which come highly recommended. Here are some more movies I'm anticipating, in almost no particular order:
1. Prisoners of the Ghostland (dir. Sion Sono)
Here's the plot summary from the Panic Fest site:
A notorious criminal must break an evil curse in order to rescue an abducted girl who has mysteriously disappeared.
2. Red Snow (dir. Sean Nichols Lynch)
A struggling vampire romance novelist must defend herself against real-life vampires during Christmas in Lake Tahoe.
Vampires in the snow? Sign me up.
3. Vicious Fun (dir. Cody Calahan)