Creepshow-represents Romero working with some star power, also features the writing and acting of Stephen King, so we've covered two icons with one film. Film strikes a festive note to begin the festival. A theme of paternity runs through the film, beginning with the most obvious and working down the line to the least obvious, cheapest but no less effective conclusion.
Basket Case-cheap, with some scenes that are done, well, on a shoestring, but oh-so effective. A pure work of genius as it pertains to low budget deals. And family is emphasized. So there is a positive message behind the shouting and killing.
Critters-our festivals arguably biggest foray into the work of indie companies. Idiosynchracy marks this one. Yes!
Nightmare On Elm Street(1-3)-The first film is classical Wes Craven, working to his own formula, his own secret sauce. The second film is a teen thing, with all those youthful anxieties rampant. The third is lose-able in the festival, but a good film, perhaps with too much of an independent mindset without being independent at all, just using the trappings, the paraphenalia of the underground.
April Fool's-Pure teen stuff. Muffy. Buffy. Film is weak but has a hook at the end that redeems it.
Toxic Avenger-indie comic book stuff. Gore, violence, John Ford-like scenes in front of audiences. If I made a film, I would want it to look like this.
CHUD 2-Just the right emotional note to hit after the teen stuff then toxic avenger. a send-up!
The First Power-Just a straight horror film with a good idea.
Shocker-Wes Craven straying again from formula(also strayed with Serpent and the Rainbow), but not that far, because our main character is a teen. Good idea executed really well, foreshadowing some of the quick scares of the later film, Scream, which everyone ga-ga-ed over.
The capstone of the festival is the film that is as good as any, but just doesn't fit:
The People Under The Stairs(1991)-Just as Apocalypse Now ended the 1970's era of film, so to does this later work end the beguiled 1980's. Craven makes a more intimate work, yet broader in theme, with many pitch perfect moments. This is the closest I get to praising Spike Lee(just kidding).