Best of Quest: Enchiridion.
Enchiridion is a crazy, otherworldly, acid trip of a movie. It builds a world full of interesting characters and creatures. With its use of stop motion animations it is reminiscent of early Tim Burton. With a sequel on the way, we hope to see a lot more of the strange world the film creates.
Best Director: Michael Okum. (Expressway to your Skull)
While Expressway to you Skull has its flaws, it shows tremendous potential. The Director was able to capture some very convincing and at times terrifying performances. With a film as good as Expressway to your Skull, we can’t wait to see more from Michael Okum in the future.
Audience Choice: Invasion of the Undead.
If Clerks and Evil Dead had a love child, it might be Invasion of the Undead. It’s goofy and fun without ever feeling overly silly. It has a lot of heart and is ultimately a story about loyalty and friendship. With so many other films trying to exist and failing in the “horredy” genre, Invasion of the Undead was a welcome surprise that left the HorrorQuest audience in stitches.
Best Cinematography: Anger of the Dead.
While not without it’s flaws Anger of the Dead is a well crafted zombie thriller. While the film had a modest budget, it is easy to see that they knew where to spend it. Unlike other films in the genre, it never feels “muddy” or “shaky.” Everything is crisp and clear, looking on par with some major studio productions.
Best Kill: "Death by Family". (The Slayers)
The Slayers is an interesting and at times, disturbing film, it’s third act is almost entirely devoted to one long murder scene. This kill is creepy, realistic and a bit nauseating. It is, by far, one of the most unsettling kills we saw this year.
Best FXs: Anger of the Dead.
Anger of the Dead may not have done anything “new” with their effects, but they used them well and effectively. All of the zombies appeared, realistically rotted and decayed. The multiple served limbs looked real and extremely convincing. For fans of practical makeup and effects, it is worth checking out.
Best Actor: Greg Garrison. (Invasion of the Undead)
In Invasion of the Undead, Dismond is a quick-witted, funny and over the top. Not always the easiest of characters to pull off, while still making them feel believable. Not only does, Greg Garrison pull it off, but he looks like he is having fun while he does it. Hopefully Invasion of the Undead is not the last we've seen of Grep Garrison.
Best Supporting Actor: Joel Jeremy Herrera. (Enchiridion)
Possibly one of the best character actors, no one has heard of… Yet! Joel Jeremy Herrera’s portrayal of Count Condu was one of our favorite things about Enchiridion. Condu is funny, scary and played with a subtle sadness. Herrera’s performance alone is enough to give Enchiridion a recommendation.
Best Actress: Marie Baker. (Invasion of the Undead)
With so much crazy stuff going on around her in the film, Marie Baker proves she can hold her own. She is able to carry the film as well as deliver her own comical banter. After a leading role in Invasion of the Undead, we are sure you will see more of Marie Baker, very soon.
Best Supporting Actress: Lindsay Atwood. (Expressway to your Skull)
While she does not have many credit to her name, we are sure Lindsay Atwood has the chops to become a new horror scream queen. Her roll in Expressway to your Skull proves she has what it takes to deliver an intense and believable performance.
Best Short: Tickle.
Have you ever felt vulnerable sticking your feet out of the covers while trying to fall asleep? Tickle uses that vulnerability and creates a perfect horror short around it. From the acting to the effects, Tickle will leave you scared to leave your feet exposed at night.
Best Shortie Short: Kevin.
Kevin proves that you can pack a lot into a small package. An interesting little short that doesn't pull any punches. Unlike other short, it doesn't leave you wanting more. The filmmakers deliver everything they need say in a extremely short runtime.
Best Foreign Short: Judas.
An interesting tale of “child horror”. When you are alone, sometimes an imaginary friend is all the family you have. This film explores how far one child will go to save such a friend. A heartbreaking story, that is crafted perfectly.
Best Short Director: Nathan Ludwig and Chad Farmer.
(PMS: Preteen Monster Syndrome)
Preteen Monster Syndrome is a strange little film, it is full of interesting characters, which makes for an entertaining watch. While some the subject matter may seem, “controversial” it never seems intentionally offensive. While the film makes for a fun short, we could see it easily expanded to a full feature. With the quirky gem under their belts we cannot wait to see what the directors have in store for us next.
Best Cinematography: The Terrible Typewriter.
It might seem hard to make a film that takes place all in one room “cinematic.” Dripping with style and atmosphere, The Terrible Typewriter pulls it off with a mix of film-noir and comedy, creating a masterfully crafted film.
Best FXs: Minning Moon.
Minning Moon may be a little heavy handed with it’s political message. However the filmmakers really swung for the fences when it came to effects. The film uses a mix of both practical and digital effects. Alien and creature designs are unique and interesting. The film is visually impressive for what we assume was a modest budget.
Best of Quest: Berkshire County.
While we have seen films similar to Berkshire County in the past few of them are as well executed. While some elements are not overly original it does incorporate some very serious social issues rarely addressed in horror. Combined with a pretty ballsy ending it becomes incredibly refreshing. Berkshire County has some really great scares and starts to build an underground world we would like to see revisited and expanded.
Best Director: Cory Norman. (The Hanover House)
Cory Norman’s, “The Hanover House” takes a while to find its footing but when it does it reveals a very talented director with an understanding of story structure. While The Hanover House is an enjoyable and entertaining film we can only imagine what the director is capable of if given a few more toys to play with. We can’t want to see what Cory Norman does next.
Audience Choice: Call Girl of Cthulhu.
Call Girl of Cthulhu is a fun, over the top, splatter-punk opus. It is packed to the gills with girls, goo and guts. Revolting, nauseating, disgusting and yet oddly endearing. This enjoyable mixture of Slither and TerrorVision is sure to win over the hearts of any Troma fan.
Best Cinematography: Evanglene.
Evangeline is a dark, visually striking and brutal gothic fairytale. We wouldn’t expect anything less form Director Karen Lam. Again, she blows us away with a film that looks as good as a big Hollywood feature but made on an independent budget.
Best FXs: Call Girl of Cthulhu.
While it may be argued that the effects in Call Girl of Cthulhu are quote, “good” they are effective and entertaining. From tentacled demon gods to man eating tit-monsters, the effects are well done and inventive.
Best Kill: "Death by tentacle". (Call Girl of Cthulhu)
HorrorQuest 2014 award for, “Best Kill” goes to Call Girl of Cthulhu for what we are calling, “Death by Tentacle”. This kill occurs in the final act of the film and we truly didn’t see it coming! A kill that got a very well deserved and audible reaction from the HorrorQuest Audience.
Best Actor: Brian Chamberlain. (The Hanover House)
Like The Hanover House itself, Brian Chamberlain's performance is a slow burn. Starting off a little slow and stiff but then by the end it explodes into full on crazy. With a solid film like The Hanover House under his belt we are sure to see more of Brian Chamberlain in the near future.
Best Actress: Alysa King. (Berkshire County)
Berkshire County works on so many levels. Part of its success rests on Alysa King coming off as a believable, relatable and broken high school girl. Her performance never comes across as fake or forced and feels completely natural. She never comes off as over the top or campy and truly elevates the movie. If not for her performance Berkshire County might have come off as just another slasher flick.
Best Supporting Actor: Bradley Eugene Greer. (They Came From The Either)
Bradley Eugene Greer steals the show with his portrayal of, “Alien Master” in, "They Came from the Either". A strange combination of Hannibal Lecter and Ed Wood makes him incredibly fun to watch. With a ever growing resume we expect him to become a successful character actor.
Best Supporting Actress: Nicolette Le Faye. (Call Girl of Cthulhu)
At the beginning of Call Girl of Cthulhu we could never imagine how much we would have loved Nicolette Le Faye by the end of the film. She portrays A nerdy, cute and badass character, you can’t help but fall in love with. With a number of great indie horror films behind her and a few in productions she is sure to be a future scream queen.
Best Short: Dead Hearts.
Dead Hearts may be the best short HorrorQuest has ever had the honor of receiving.. A blend of horror and comedy in the vein of early Tim Burton. From the voice over, music, acting and the use of animation is absolutely perfect. We cannot express how much we enjoyed this charming little love story and highly anticipate more from the director.
Best, "Shortie" short: Mineral. (Short Under Five Minutes)
Most of the men and more than of a few of the women in the HorrorQuest audience found this little film a bit unnerving to watch. A humorous and quite painful to watch little short that we would love to see expanded.
Best Foreign short: Mr. Dentonn.
A dark fairytale that is extremely creepy, well produced and acted. Mr. Dentonn is another short we would love to see expanded into a full feature. After watching this short with the audience it’s clear the filmmakers know how to make a well-crafted horror film.
Best Animated Short: Eye In Tuna Care.
This strange little animated film builds a very interesting world in a very short amount of time. It is wonderfully animated and balances humor and horror in a way that made us laugh and cringe at the same time.
Best Cinematography: Gasmask.
Gasmask is dark, but never feels or looks muddy. The filmmakers clearly had a look and vision for this film and it works. While it is set in a post apocalypse world it feels visually vibrant. We can't wait to see what the filmmakers behind Gasmask have in store for us next.
Best Fxs: Evil Twin.
Evil Twin is packed with production value. this over the top Sci-fi short looks and feels like a big budget Hollywood feature. The visual effects are well executed and look extremely well-polished making this film one of the most well produced and visually stunning shorts to come across the HorrorQuest Desk.
Best of Quest: Pieces of Talent.
HorrorQuest gets tons of submission from all over the world, Pieces of Talent is not only the best film we reviewed this year, it is one of the best films to ever come across our desk. This is a, “Horror Fan’s”, horror film. Everything about this film works, and while it is a low budget film, you would never know it. Pieces of Talent looks like a film that might be released by a major studio.
Best Director: Mark Ricche, Christian Stavrakis. (Mortal Remains)
Mortal Remains exists in a sub-genre that is a bit overcrowded. Many films in the, “found-footage” or “fo-documentary” genre struggle to find their footing and often fall flat. The directors of Mortal Remains have crafted a film that excels at making the audience ask, “Is this real?”, “How much of this can I believe?”, “Can I believe?” and it works! While it is a bit uneven it is extremely strong and entertaining.
Audience Choice: The WNUF Halloween Special.
This love letter to 80’s UHF stations quickly won over the HorrorQuest audience. More than one person asked if it was actually filmed in the 80’s. It wasn’t, but if you didn’t know that going in, it just might fool you. It is extremely well done and if the HorrorQuest audience is any indication, you will be hearing about this film in the near future.
Best Cinematography: Pieces of Talent.
Pieces of Talent is not only a good film, it is also a beautiful one. While parts of the film are not as polished as other, its use of light makes everything seem vibrant and lush. It’s clear that the filmmakers not only know how to craft an entertaining film but a visually striking one.
Best FXs: Pieces of Talent.
Like everything else in Pieces of Talent, the visual effects are top notch. While Pieces of Talent is not, “effects heavy” when they are used, they are subtle and extremely well done. It’s not about grossing out the audience or being over the top, it’s about being realistic and it succeeds. The effects in Pieces of Talent is just another reason to love what is a tremendous horror film.
Best Foreign Feature: Sonno Profondo.
After watching Sonno Profondo you might feel like you need a shower. This strange little title feels like an 80’s pop video and a 70’s exploitation film had a baby, and we loved it. Hopefully this movie will be made available to the public. Take our advice and seek out this film, you will be glad you did.
Best Kill: Conjoined.
This year’s, “Best Kill” award goes to Conjoined for what we are calling, “Death By Blowjob”. The moment in the film had the woman in the audience snickering and all the men shifting nervously in their seats. If you have a chance to see Conjoined, do so. It is an over the top little film that is really fun to watch.
Best Actor: David Long. (Pieces of Talent)
David Long, if that is his real name, was one of our favorite things about Pieces of Talent. David Long is both creepy and charming at the same time. His character feels like someone we all know. A funny loner, who loves horror films and makes splatter film in his basement on the weekends. The difference here, he’s doing it for real. David Long’s performance alone is reason enough to seek out and watch Pieces of Talent.
Best Supporting Actor: Paul Fahrenkopf. (The WNUF Halloween Special)
Paul Fahrenkopf as reporter Frank Stewart completely steals the show in The WNUF Halloween Special. Every eye roll or glance at the camera lets you know that he is not taking the situation seriously. Some of the funniest moments in the film are the moments when he is ripping those around him. He plays it as if he is in on the gag, even when stuff starts going wrong, he acts as if it’s a big joke. After seeing his performance in The WNUF Halloween Special we hope to see more of Paul Fahrenkopf.
Best Actress: Sasha Ramos. (Quite A Conundrum)
After watching Quite A Conundrum we are sure you will be seeing more from Sasha Ramos in the very near future. She plays, for lack of a better word, bitch. But a fun bitch with a heart of gold, we all know one. It’s clear Sasha has the acting chops for both comedy and drama and she does both perfectly in Quite A Conundrum.
Best Supporting Actress: Erin Cline. (Quite A Conundrum)
Erin Cline in Quite A Conundrum may just be the, “Robin” to Sasha Ramos, “Batman”. They play off of each other wonderfully, you really believe these are people who have been friends for years. Where Erin really shines is in the third act of the film. Erin delivers some of the funniest lines in the movie and also delivers one of the most heartbreaking performances. Like Sasha, we are sure Erin Cline will be a big name very soon.
Best Short: Fist of Jesus.
The HorrorQuest audience was clearly blown away by Fist of Jesus. The over the top gore had the HorrorQuest audience rolling in the floor laughing. It is also the first short that the audience demanded to watch again. You can see Fist of Jesus online and we can’t recommend it enough. At the end of the film there is a teaser for a feature film and we can’t wait!
Best Foreign Short: Bariku Light.
The only thing we can say to describe Bariku Light is, “WTF”. We don’t want to spoil the film, but we will say, be warned! You may not be the same after seeing this film. Watching the audience react to this film was one of this past year’s highlights. Some laugh, some gag, some get up and leave. It is an amazing little film that you shouldn’t pass up seeing.
Best Short Director: Daniel Fallik, Yoytam Motzafi. (The Plan)
The Plan is an interesting, yet strange film that is kind of hard to wrap your head around. It’s hard to define it within a genre. It is an incredibly atmospheric story that is both interesting and bizarre. These is no doubt the filmmakers have talent and we can’t wait to see what they will do next.
Best Short FX: Fist of Jesus.
While the effects in Fist of Jesus are not, “realistic” they are very well done. Impalement, head crushing, dismemberment and gallons of blood are on the menu here. While the effects are silly, it’s clear a lot of time and thought went into delivering them in a fun and over the top way.
Best Short Cinematography: Sleepworking.
Sleepworking is a very stunning film. While it is well acted and directed but what we were truly impressed by is just how sharp this film looks. It is one of the best looking shorts HorrorQuest has ever received. We can only hope the filmmakers will continue this level of excellence in their future projects.
Best of Quest: Fear Eats The Seoul.
Fear Eats The Seoul is a very creepy film to watch. At first glance you might overlook it thinking it is just another zombie film, but there is a lot going on here. The combination of visual style and the dubbed over voices gives the feeling of a nightmarish dream. This is a fun and creepy flick that we hope finds a well deserved home in the hearts of horror fans.
Best Director: Elias. (GUT)
Gut is a very effective film. While it suffers from some of the common problems that plague many indie films it is clear that this film was made by someone with talent. The film builds but never feels slow and while it is not the best looking film it is extremely solid. Watching this with an Audience its clear this director knows how to connect and we very much look forward to seeing what is in store next.
Best Foreign Feature: Cannibal Diner.
Cannibal Diner is a really enjoyable horror flick. While it is not overly original, it fits nicely alongside such films as, "The Hills Have Eyes' or, Wrong Turn. The films knows what it is and delivers on what many horror hounds want, Blood and Boobs!
Best Cinematography: Fear Eats The Seoul.
Fear Eats the Seoul is not a beautiful movie, it is a dark and grimy one. it looks gritty and grainy but you never have to struggle to make out whats going on. While there are some quick cuts and fast camera moves it doesn't make you sick. The look works and leaves you feeling dirty!
Best FXs: One Way Ticket.
One way Ticket works in a lot of ways, but by far what really made it stand out was the special effects. You get a good mix of both piratical and computer generated effects that really sell the sci-fi and horror elements. While they are not perfect you can tell a lot of time and love was put into making this film come to life.
Best Actor: Nicholas Wilder. (GUT)
Nicholas Wilder really stood out in gut as the character dan. He really comes off as a fun but lonely guy with only one wish, to spend a little more time with his best friend. While watching Nicholas you can really tell he has a talent to really go on to bigger things. He really stands apart from the cast and plays Dan with earnest and sadness that feels completely genuine.
Best Supporting Actor: Ryan Thomas. (Witch's Brew)
Ryan Thomas really seemed to be an audience favorite . Spitting out witty zingers and bad ass glances like Bruce Willis he steals the show in Witch's Brew. At first you think his character might just be a bit part, but by the end of the film he becomes a major role in the story, which is a very good thing!
Best Actress: Sarah Schoof. (GUT)
We really enjoyed watching Sarah Schoofs as Tom's Wife, Lily in Gut. She plays a woman who is deeply worried about her husband and just wants to make him happy. unlike some other actresses in indie horror flicks she doesn't come off like she is faking it. She doesn't over act and delivers her lines soulfully.
Best Supporting Actress: Amber Bell. (Degenerates Ink)
Amber Bell comes off as just, "sick 'n' twisted" in Degenerates ink and looks good doing it. She is just over the top and a hell of a lot of fun to watch. We would love to see more of her in the future.
Audience Choice: Witch's Brew.
Sitting in the back of the theater it was clear people really enjoyed witch's Brew. While it is not for everyone, all the blood and bile would make it a great double feature with any Troma film out there. It is so over the top and fun you can't help but chuckle and have a good time!
Best Kill: Degenerates Ink.
Best kill goes to Degenerates Ink for what HorrorQuest is calling, "Death by Tattoo". Anyone who is scared of needles will have a hard time watching the films final scene and we can't help but love it!
Best Short: Familiar.
Familiar is a masterpiece of horror film making. From acting to directing, familiar is perfect. The film is incredibly engaging and intense. The climax had many in the audience covering their faces and we counted more than one audible gasp. HorrorQuest watches hundreds of shorts every year and this could very well be the best one we have ever seen!
Best Foreign Short: St. Christophorus Roadkill.
St. Christophorus Roadkill was by far one of the best shorts that has come across HorrorQuest's Desk and the Audience agreed. The film got claps and a few cheers as the story unfolded. Sometimes shorts seem to be missing something but this film feels complete. It has heart, character and a few laughs. We were truly trilled to screen this short to an audience who ate it right up!
Best, "Shortie" Short: Slay Ride.
Slay ride is so much fun, it just gives you a quick taste and leaves you wanting more. We can only hope the makers of Slay Ride intend to turn it into a feature. The best review I heard of the film came from a young lady who was sitting a few seats away who after Slay Ride screened stated, "That was fucking scarey".
Best Short FXs: Familiar.
One of the things that made Familiar stand out so much was the Effects. They are down right impressive, not just for a short, but period. It's clear a lot of time and effort was put into making the effects in this film look amazing!
Best Short Cinematography. (The Small Assassin)
The Small Assassin is just a beautiful looking film. It is incredibly atmospheric and looks like a lot of time and money went into creating this, gorgeously rendered horror set piece.
Best of Quest: Rage.
The best way to describe Rage is, "Hitchcockian", a mix of horror and thriller. Not only is it one of the best films that was submitted to HorrorQuest, it is one of the best horror films we have seen in the past ten year. The Director, Christopher Witherspoon, crafts a film that seems both original and familiar. It is a true example of not needing a big budget to make a great movie.
Best Director: Jason Christopher. (Down The Road)
Jason Christopher’s, “Down The Road” is not a perfect film but it is a fun one. While it is not overly original it does have fun characters, humor and some pretty brutal kills. Down The Road just seems like an appetizer for what the director has in store and frankly we cannot wait to see what he does next.
Best Cinematography: Baby Shower.
Baby Shower is just beautiful. The whole movie, especially the last half, seems lush and vibrant. The movie seems bright, which in itself makes it scary. While running around in the dark can be terrifying, being in a well-lit environment where you can see what is coming at you can be even more so. Even the Blood in this movie is pretty to look at.
Best FXs: Beware.
Like, “Down The Road”, “Beware” is not overly original in terms of story. But what it might lack in story it makes up for with some gruesome kills and enough blood and gore to satisfy any horror fan! From beheadings to disembowelment the FXs in Beware are not just well done, they are impressive.
Best Actor: BriAn Gallagher. (Down The Road)
Brian Gallagher as Hunter Ish is possibly the most memorable thing about Down The Road. The character is both scary and heart breaking at the same time. And while Hunter Ish may be a man of few words, when he does speak it is delivered with such gravitas you can’t turn away. Watching Brian Gallagher you get the feeling of watching an actor with the chops for greatness, but who is still teetering on the edge of obscurity.
Best Supporting Actor: Dennis Gubbins. (The Horror of Barnes Folly)
Maybe it was the dead fox around his neck, or his claims of having killed a hedgehog with a porcupine, but every time, and I mean every time, Dennis Gubbins as the hunter, ”Cornelius” was on screen the HorrorQuest audience was laughing. While he is not the star of Barnes Folly he defiantly steals the show.
Best Actress: Tinsel Korey. (Stained)
In, “Stained” Tinsel Korey is both sexy and disturbing at the same time. While it’s not overly played up, her character seems kinda boring. However you start to learn it’s really a disguise, the nice girl who likes cats and runs a little book store is really a psychopath trying to force herself to be normal. The only down side is you have to wait until the end to see her become fully unhinged.
Best Supporting Actress: Audrey Walker.(Rage)
Sadly you don’t see much of Aubrey Walker until the third act of Rage, but what you do see is a rare thing, a strong female character that takes charge! Unlike some other horror films, we can see Rage gaining a big fan base among woman. Most of the time females in horror are only there to be killed or saved by the hero at the last moment. It is refreshing to see a believable, female character, step up for a change.
Audience Choice: The Horror of Barnes Folly.
From start to finish, “The Horror of Barnes Folly” had The HorrorQuest audience in stitches. While the movie looks low budget that really only adds to its charm. The whole movie seems like an episode of South Park with over the top characters, funny one-liners and a lot of heart.
Best Kill: Beware.
Best kill goes to, "Beware" for what we are calling, “death by guitar hero”. One of the most fun and over the top kills we have seen in a long time.
Best Short: The Familiar.
The Familiar has a lot of heart, it’s funny yet should satisfy horror fans. The only bad thing is that it feels like an idea that should have been bigger. We can only hope this short will lead to a full feature.
Best Short Director: Karen Lam. (Doll Parts)
The world of horror filmmaking is a bit of a sausage fest. With, “Doll Parts” and her submitted feature, “Stained” Karen Lam proves she has the balls to play with the boys. I for one welcome more women to the horror filmmaking community and can’t wait to see what Karen does in the future.
Best short FXs: An Evening with My Comatose Mother.
From Creepy dolls to the goulash, “Mother” the FXs in, “An Evening with My Comatose Mother” are extremely impressive. Just like, “The Familiar” this short feels bigger and leaves you wanting more!
Best Short Cinematography: Le LAc Noir.
Le Lac Noir looks amazing, from the sets to the lighting, it reeks of atmosphere. It looks like it was shot on 35mm film, probably because it was.
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