The Radio From Hell Film Festival was held at the “too cool for school” Tower Theater. It was jam packed, and the audience seemed excited to be there. Excitement turned into enthusiasm as the films started and each film, good or bad (most of them were really good) received warm applause from the audience every time. I admired the classiness of it.
Someone (I don’t know who) put together the films together on a continuous reel so they went right in succession. The theme was “Save the Soil,” and every movie had to have those words either spoken or displayed onscreen as part of the story. A ceiling fan also had to be shown onscreen. It was amusing to see what the film makers came up with to incorporate those into the story.
As they began, an early favorite seemed to be a film called “Dream Plot,” that followed two men’s struggle to find a story that incorporated “Save the Soil” and a ceiling fan. One of the men is so stressed out about it he starts to dream about finding a plot, and it goes from there. Eventually, it won the Audience Choice award.
A later film was called “Everybody (Verb)s” and the child actors from a later film called “The Curse” had to be taken outside by their mother during this one. Basically, the movie was about a man, currently having intimacy problems with his wife, taking his daughter to the library, where he finds an enlightening book in the childrens section, titled “Everybody F***s.” Slightly memorable.
The child actors from “The Curse,” collectively won the Best Actress award at the end of the night, when award winners received a cool snowboard. The plot was about a teenage girl successfully casting a spell on her obnoxious little sister. If the movie taught us anything, it was let the oldest sister have the snowboard. You don’t want to cross her.
My favorite and the eventual Best Picture winner was a film called “One-Man Novelty.” It’s going to be difficult to describe the plot for this one, but here goes: A guy walks into an empty novelty shop and orders a novelty item. The store owner proceeds to make it on the spot, appearing to be miming and using invisible materials. His arm gets “caught” in an invisible machine and starts to “lose blood” quickly. He almost dies, but the customer gets caught up in the whole thing and uses invisible electroshock paddles to jolt him back to life. Feeling fulfilled at having saved a man’s life, the customer pays 20 real dollars for the invisible mug and leaves.
It was cool because they didn’t use any props, visual effects or trick editing to tell an amusing little story. The one-man novelty shop store owner won an award for Best Actor, and the crew won tickets to the Coachella music festival. Pretty cool, and well deserved in my opinion.
Those were the highlights for me. A really solid lineup of films, and an excellent way to spend my Leap Day evening. Maybe next year, Richie should make it a little easier on the poor guys. I mean, “Save the Soil?” Pretty difficult to put that into the story organically (no pun intended).