This Saturday and Sunday Texas Theatre will be home to all manner of low-budget shocks and splatters. The DOA Bloodbath Film Festival is back for its fifth year, celebrating the Halloween season with independent horror films from around the world.
At a glance one would assume that DOA stands for "dead on arrival" but it's actually "Dione or Andy," referring to the Roses, the couple behind the the horror-bath blood-fest.
"We got tired of seeing the same crap from Hollywood," says Dione Rose. "They're remaking the same stuff over and over."
It was that nugget of consternation, and the observation that independent horror films showed a willingness to be more creative, that spawned the first Bloodbath Film Festival. It's not that different from other film festivals when you consider that the markers of quality in horror flicks are the same as in other genres.
"We look for decent acting, actually good filming, and a decent story line. We don't look for just the guts and gore. It's nice to see that every once in a while but not all the time. It's good if it comes with a decent storyline."
But don't think the gore isn't important. This year the Bloodbath Film Festival is adding a "Best Gore (Special Effects)" award, along with its standard Best Feature, Best Short and Audience Favorite. Rose has made the awards herself each year, from a wooden cutout of the state of Texas propped in a bathtub and covered in fake blood (Texas bloodbath -- get it?) to an Oscar statuette ripping open its own chest. The 2013 awards will be unveiled this weekend.
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Among this year's offerings is a remake of last year's Best Short, Velvet Vengeance, directed by Jeremy Campbell. Velvet Vengeance did so well last year that Campbell decided to extend it into a feature film that will premiere this weekend.
Also of note is Final Five, directed by Radek Michalik. At 45 minutes it's one of the longer short film submissions. "It's the final five people left in the world," Rose says, "kind of like the trials and tribulations that they go through."
Degenerates by Carlos Suarez will get you your zombie fix before the next episode of The Walking Dead. As in the bigger-than-Breaking-Bad show, the zombies are more background in Degenerates than they are the main focus. Instead it's about a gang of murderers and how they're all getting on after the zombie apocalypse.
Passes to see all the flicks are $10, with half the proceeds going to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The reels start rolling at 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, with a special red carpet event Saturday at 11 a.m. We're hoping the carpet's red because it's soaked in blood.