Saturday, August 21

2021 PFF & IHSFF Festival Recap – Friday, August 20th

 Coda’s ongoing coverage of the 2021 Phoenix Film Festival & International Horror Sci-Fi Film Festival. I'll be using these posts to recap the films I've experienced as part of these festivals.



By Emery Snyder - @leeroy711

A COMEDY OF HORRORS: VOLUME I – Directed by Ken Arnold, Dan De Luca, Jamie Nash & Matt Servitto


 An anthology of horror/comedy films told by a substitute kindergarten teacher. She regales them with tales of a town of clowns, a murderous puppet, an off-the-rails bachelorette party and an actor’s visit to a special effects studio.

This is simply a real fun way to spend 90 minutes in a movie theater. Each segment of this anthology has its own unique mood, blending the silly with violence and gore into a special cocktail that easily makes you forget about the time flying by.

I personally enjoyed the final film, starring “Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell” stars Matt Servitto and Henry Zebrowski. It actually seemed like it could have been an episode adjacent to the show itself.

Look, I can’t really wax poetic about anything here. This is just pure escapism as far as I can tell. It was great to be in a theater laughing and cringing with the audience. This movie is just fun.



KEEPING COMPANY – Directed by Josh Wallace


 A pair of door to door insurance salesmen are kidnapped and locked in the basement of a house occupied by an old woman and her grandson.

I liked this one quite a bit more than I originally thought I would. I think you would probably file it under horror/comedy however, there are a lot of times here that are quite light on the comedic aspect. The first two acts set the characters up nicely and there is a lot of well written and funny dialogue. But I did feel that there are several long periods in which we were meant to take more seriously than had been previously supported. I didn’t really have a problem with this. This tonal shift was far less drastic than in other films, but it was noticeable.

The acting here sells the film very well. Specifically, in the case of Jacob Grodnik’s Lucas. You can tell that his character’s depth and sensitivity behind his menacing and threatening demeanor. This leads way for a great arc for the only one in this film that gets one.

The main reason I dug this film though was for how well it works as an analogy for the cutthroat nature of ‘dog-eat-dog’ capitalism. It shows just how even those who are most likely to be used grease the death wheels of the system with their own blood, are more than willing to slit the throats of their peers, just for a seat at the table. This film turned out to be a great illustration of this phenomenon, inherent in capitalism and I appreciated it.


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