Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Shocktober Revisited: The Shower


 If you followed the Blogorium coverage of the Nevermore Film Festival earlier this year, you already know of my enthusiasm for Alex Drummond's The Shower. I only saw it once, but I'm looking forward to some form of home video release in the future so that I can sit down with friends and let them experience the madness as I did for the first time. But, until that happens, The Shower continues to play on the festival circuit, and since it's Shocktober and there's a chance you might live nearby, here's where you can discover it for yourself:

 10/11 - Sunscreen Film Festival Wes: Hermosa Beach, CA 6:00pm
 10/15 - Spooky Movie Horror Film Fest: Washington, D.C. at 7:10pm
 10/17 - Eerie Horror Film Fest: Eerie, PA at 9pm

 Here's my original review, from February of this year:

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Other than the listing on the festival's website, I knew nothing about The Shower. I knew it involved a baby shower and some sort of outbreak, and a clown. Things always end well when there are clowns, as you may be aware. Call me crazy, but I like to start off a festival with a horror comedy, when possible - it tends to bring the right energy to what is a fun, but admittedly butt-numbing experience over the course of a weekend. It was a blind call, but I chose wisely - The Shower delivers.

 After a brief intro from writer / director Alex Drummond and two cast members / producers (apologies if I get this wrong but I'm pretty sure it was Stephanie Tobey and Andy Hoff), the film began, and off the bat it strikes the right tone between horror and comedy. I'm normally not a huge fan of the "freeze title cards" (at least, not since the first Feast), but in a film set in Los Angeles about struggling actors and writers, the dichotomy between what they wanted to do and what they were doing was a nice way to introduce the main cast quickly while we're settling in. It's much appreciated, because Drummond gives you just enough time to meet Nick (Kurt Ela) and Mary (Rachael Drummond)'s friends before things get violent.

 Nick is a struggling screenwriter and Mary is and actress on downtime before she gives birth to her second child, and they're headed to a baby shower at the home of her agent Joanne (Suzanne Sena) when... strange things begin to happen. For no apparent reason, people are turning violent (possibly slightly cannibalistic) and attacking each other, without any clear pattern as to when or why it happens. Trapped in a house with their friends, children, Joanne's assistant Beth (Tovey), and a party Clown with a taste for flesh and blood (Tony Rago), the expectant couple has to figure out a way to stay alive when supplies and trust are in short order.

 I don't want to say too much more about how The Shower unfolds, because much of the fun of watching the film is not knowing where the story is headed next. By not explaining what the outbreak is, or how it spreads, Drummond keeps the audience uncertain of who is and isn't infected and generates a lot of comedy out of the reactions to the curious behavior when someone does turn. Rather than simply going mindless, the infected remain mostly themselves, but with a sadistic indifference towards their "friends." It's a nice twist on what could have been any other contagion / zombie movie.

 There are a lot of horror comedies out there, and a lot of low budget ones that, frankly, aren't very good. Trust me, I've seen my fair share, so when there's a good one, let alone one as good as The Shower is, I'm going to make a point to mention it. For a movie that's only 78 minutes long, The Shower packs a lot in at a brisk pace, and finds time for character moments with the dozen or so cast members. It came as a genuine surprise how much Drummond and crew were able to do with as low of a budget (and only one camera), so kudos for a job well done. I hope the film gets picked up for distribution so that more of you can see The Shower (on this off chance you're reading this during the weekend of Nevermore, go see the movie on Sunday, but if not I suggest checking the official site to see when and where you can see it). Normally I try not to be too pushy about movies, but The Shower is an independent production and they made the time to bring it across the country so we could see it, so I'll evangelize a little bit. I think most Blogorium readers will really dig The Shower, so it's worth getting the word out in any little way I can.

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 And seriously, do yourselves a favor and check it out. I'll try to update this post as new festival screenings are announced, but it's October, and if you can see The Shower, do so. The horror options in theaters are (if I may say so) paltry, at best. Let's see to it that the buzz keeps spreading, right?

1 comment:

Alex Drummond said...

I just wanted to thank you so much for all the kind things you wrote about our movie! It's been a long journey and we are finally getting distribution under the title KILLER PARTY. It means a lot that you took the time to watch a movie you knew nothing about. That you really championed this movie is incredible. Thank you! Alex