Fight or Flight
A documentary about an Irish man who suffered a violent and unprovoked attack on a Dublin city street. This awakened a primal interest in self-defense and he embarked on a journey to Thailand where he trained as a novice Thai boxer. This challenge is his way of dealing with the trauma and the psychological effects of a personal attack. He spent time at a monastery in discussion with monks, about his experience and the upsurge of violence in modern society. This is a true story of self-discovery and spiritual healing.
I found this to be a very interesting and thought provoking documentary, after initially just wanting to see it because it was about fighting. It explores the issues of fear and violence and how this man deals with the aftermath of a personal attack. In the end it's almost an anti-fighting movie really. But along the way, it does really get into the culture in Thailand and the history and current state of their fighting community. From the small kids training to fight to what fighting means to the country and it's roots. It's a very enlightening film worth a watch whether you care about fighting or not.
A weekend of fun turns into a violent spree as a group of four friends head into the California desert for a rave being held at a remote location. A night of music, dancing and hallucinogens turns sour when they are the last to leave, and they cross paths with a gang of local thugs.
Arkansan Native/Producer David E. Allen brought Dog Soldiers last year to the LRFF. This film was a bit more grounded in reality (no werewolves) but it's got some pretty brutal scenes and a whole lot of tension. Not incredibly original, using the old "fish out of water/group of lost friends in a remote area" set-up that so many thrillers have as a base. But it's still pretty entertaining and involving.
The main characters are pretty likable and they touch on character development, but not too much. It's enough that it made me care about what was happening to them though. The bad guys were bad enough to be fearsome, but still believable. Most of the characters in peril behaved in sensible ways, and all together it made for a fun watch.
Mr. Allen was there for a fun Q & A afterwards and discussed the film, upcoming projects and past projects.
The Town That Dreaded Sundown
A hooded murderer stalks the streets of Texarkana, Arkansas, terrifying the small town's populace. Based on actual events which occurred during a three-month period of 1946. Part of retrospective of the work of legendary cult filmmaker Charles B. Pierce, an Arkansas native.
I actually saw this film way back in the day at a drive-in theater. I remember being scared, but of course watching it now there was more trembling from laughter than fear. One of the things that always had me scratching my head about the movie was the bumbling, goofy, Barney Fife-like character they had playing way too big of a role. I guess I never realized that was Charles B. Pierce himself. Personally, I thought that character kept breaking the somber mood of the film and made it feel like an episode of Andy Griffith too often more than a serious film about people being murdered. I can't imagine any of the victims families found it too comical. Dawn Wells (Mary Ann on Gilligan's Island) has a role in it as a victim. It's a b-movie classic, and a lot of classic horror films took a lot from the anonymous masked killer preying on random victims. To me though, it just can't decide it wants to be serious or silly.
It was fun watching it again with a big crowd on a big screen though. Lots more laughs than screams.