The seventh annual Another Hole In the Head Film Festival is currently running in San Francisco from July 8th through the 29th. It’s a genre fest featuring domestic and international horror, sci-fi, and exploitation films, and it just may be the first and last chance to see some of these on the big-screen. There are thirty-two films at the fest this year, and we’re trying to see and cover as many as possible. (And by we I mean me…)
Jimmy Tupper vs The Goatman Of Bowie – directed by Andrew Bowser, USA; upcoming screenings 7/23 11pm, 7/26 5pm
Synopsis: It’s just another normal weekend in Bowie filled with partying, drinking, and Jimmy Tupper acting like an a-hole. His friends grow tired of his drunken antics one night after he passes out and decide to play a prank. They take him to the woods outside of town and leave him unconscious in the grass, but they’re surprised when he doesn’t show up to work the next day and head back to the woods to find him. Jimmy’s understandably angry when they find him, but he’s also frightened and slightly battered. It seems something attacked him in the middle of the night… something part man and part goat. No one believes him of course, so Jimmy camps out the next three nights with the camcorder in the hopes of catching the creature on film. But Jimmy Tupper’s nights don’t quite go according to plan…
Check out our review after the jump…
Review: Eeesh. It’s been eleven years since The Blair Witch Project and audiences are still paying the price for its success. Found-footage or POV horror films have seemingly become even more popular in the past few years with movies like [Rec] and Paranormal Activity being two of the best (and best known) examples. They both begin from an interesting premise and succeed in turning up the tension and scares throughout until finally reaching a frightening and unforgettable ending. They’re examples of found-footage film-making done right. And now we’ll look at how not to make a found-footage film… or any film for that matter. Welcome to Jimmy Tupper vs The Goatman Of Bowie vs The Overwhelming Urge To Slice Your Wrists.
Aside from the film’s final couple of minutes, which we’ll get to momentarily, there is absolutely nothing memorable or worth watching here. (Well, Jimmy Tupper looks a bit like HorrorSquad’s Peter S Hall, so that’s entertaining for about a minute.) You’d think it’d be difficult to make a seventy-minute movie feel like two hours, but Bowser and friends manage that feat quite handily. The opening thirty minutes or so is little more than friends hanging out together at parties or Starbucks and while they’re talking non-stop they’re saying absolutely nothing of interest or value. We’re told and shown how much of a tool Tupper is many times over, and we just don’t care. Even the slowest or most uneventful film usually has some appeal, something of note, but this is just painful. As found footage the scenes jump around a bit, audio goes in and out, and there’s even a few minutes of someone’s high-school graduation to let us know that this is a real camera being used for real happenings! Around the hour mark you may find yourself wishing you were being ass-raped by an actual goatman because at least then you’d feel something, anything, and real terror (or even tearing) would almost be better than the alternative. And if you can stay focused on the screen while Jimmy is sitting and rambling to his camera in the tent then you are a stronger man than I Gunga Din.
After sixty-five minutes of bland, boring, annoying, frustrating, poorly shot, and poorly written jibber-jabber, something finally happens. Something interesting, something shot with skill and an eye for suspense and tension, something worth watching. It’s literally a few minutes where, if you’re still awake and haven’t bled out from your slit wrists, you’ll actually find yourself interested in what’s about to happen. And then it ends. It just ends with a tease for sequel, and no, that’s not a spoiler because the film’s official site refers to this as part one of a trilogy. It’s insulting to the audience to sit through seventy minutes of garbage that basically serves as an advertisement for a second, unavoidably better film. This should have been a ten to fifteen minute short film and it would have served the same purpose. It’s hard to judge from just a few minutes and tempting to judge based on the preceding sixty-five, but writer/director Andrew Bowser appears to have some talent behind the camera. It’s just a shame he waits so goddamn long before showcasing it.
Check out the complete festival schedule here.
And check out the rest of our festival coverage here.