Ah, if only I'd been able to write all of this while I'd been at Morbido 2016. But when traveling, sometimes the wifi gods won't enable us to get on with our work. Anyway:
I have breakfast with other filmmakers in our hotel: Justin McConnell, Steve Kostanski, Jeremy Gillespie and Dre Boulet and Olivia Saperstein. We discuss filmmaking, politics, movies playing Morbido later, and where to go to start our day. Kostanski and Gillespie (The Void) head off to see Doctor Strange on our recommendation, and Boulet and Saperstein (Recipe) head off to the Frida Kahlo museum (unfortunately, it was so crowded they couldn't get in).
McConell (Do You See What I See?) and I head to the anthropology museum and we get an amazing, overwhelming eyeful of early Mexican culture. We see a staggering array of bones, jewelry, artifacts, an enormous Mayan sun dial and so much more. Afterward, we get street corn and tostadas from the vendors in the park outside. There's a show going on --- several men swing by one foot in a circle from a tall post --- while playing flutes. It's impressive. Having seen a rather old depiction of this in a painting in one of the museums, I know that it's a cultural tradition, but am not sure what it's called. Still, the stamina to do that is simply awesome.
On the walk back to the hotel, McConnell and I encounter an inquisitive squirrel. McConnell offers a peanut to it, and the hungry critter snatched and ate it up immediately. However, the squirrel nicked McConnell's finger badly in the process. Live and learn; at least I had a Band-Aid to offer.
After returning to Colonia Roma, the part of the city where we are all staying, we get some tacos.
And then we head to the drive-in presentation of An American Werewolf in London. It's the 35th anniversary of the film, and a big deal for those of us who've never had the luck to attend a drive-in. Plus, Morbdio was sponsored by Fiat; that meant that Fiat provided brand-new cars for us to watch the film in! It was such a great experience. The burgers sold at the drive-in were pretty good, too.
If you have never been to Morbido, than you have never experienced the showman flair of festival director Pablo Guisa Koestinger. This is an integral part of what makes this festival very special.
To start the film, Pablo shows his own short version of the famous Thriller video Landis directed 33 years ago. You can see his werewolf/werecat getup in the photo I took above. And then, we are treated to the orginal music video --- complete with a choreographed zombie dance.
Afterward, Pabo introduces a "very special zombie" to lead Landis to the stage. It's Mick Garris, dressed up in the zombie outfit and makeup he wore in the video three decades ago. When they're onstage, a flood of zombie children run up and join them. Landis introduces the film.
Later, we head to karaoke downtown and sing and scream our hearts out.
What a night; it's a fantastic experience.
A bunch of us head to the witchcraft market, upon the recommendation of fest guest, filmmaker, and author Mick Garris. I'm aware that we are foolish American and Canadians who may get in over our heads. After all, some horror movies start out this way, when over-eager tourists veer off the path of what's considered safe in a foreign country.
We see lots of potions, animals, spices, herbs, and Santa Muerte figurines. It's interesting.
Next, we head to our respective short film blocks, Postcards From a Crime Scene and Extreme Delights, indulging in street gorditas on the way. The audience is somewhat small, but they are receptive and energized crowds. Everyone is happy.
Not much later, we get dinner (more tacos, yay!!) and board a double-decker bus filled with celebratory drinks. We all have to duck the street light cables as we ride beneath them. We make a few stops, one to dole out the awards, which are really cool skull statues, and the other to listen to live mariachi bands!
Eventually, we are delivered back to our hotel after being told of the history of several more landmarks.
It was hard to leave, and that's when you know you've attended a great festival. We'll be back, Morbido!