They are known as myths, lore and folktales. Giving logic to mankind's darkest fears, these stories laid the foundation for what we now know as the horror genre.
An evocative and enchanting “folk horror” anthology, THE FIELD GUIDE TO EVIL features eight eerie segments by some of the world’s greatest directors working today in the space between genre and arthouse...and is the follow-up from the creators of the cult classic THE ABCs OF DEATH.
Filmmakers include Peter Strickland (IN FABRIC, THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY), Agnieszka Smoczyńska (THE LURE), Can Evrenol (BASKIN), Veronika Franz & Severin Fiala (GOODNIGHT MOMMY), and Calvin Reeder (THE RAMBLER).
GUEST SPEAKER: Join us on Friday, April 12th at 10p for an introduction by underground filmmaker, journalist and punk rock musician ANDREW SHEARER, co-founder of Gonzoriffic Films, a DIY arts collective which has produced dozens of short and feature-length microcinema films since its founding in 2001.
Here's Andrew's roundup of the individual films in the anthology:
THE SINFUL WOMEN OF HÖLLFALL (Austria, 20 min.): A young woman hiding her relationship from her village is visited nightly by a monstrous-faced elf that sits on her chest when she’s sleeping as a kind of punishment for her immoral ways. It’s gross, weird, scary, and a great way to start things off. Directed by Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala (“Goodnight Mommy”).
HAUNTED BY AL KARISI, THE CHILDBIRTH DJINN (Turkey, 15 min.): A single mom who is also caring for an ailing relative begins to fear for her newborn after she removes a pin from the elderly woman’s chest. The claustrophobic setting and terrifying makeup effects work in this really make it feel like a living nightmare. Directed by Can Evrenol (“Baskin”).
THE KINDLER AND THE VIRGIN (Poland, 10 min.): While pushing a cart in the show, a man is visited by a ghostly spirit that promises him wisdom and victory in battle if he eats the hearts from three recently-deceased human bodies. He complies, but that isn’t nearly the most disgusting incident in this story. Directed by Agnieszka Smoczynska (“The Lure”).
BEWARE THE MELONHEADS (United States, 12 min.): Expecting a relaxing, work-free weekend in a country cottage, the parents of a young boy risk losing their son to the bizarre-looking residents of the nearby woods. It seems odd to say that the most accessible of these tales features cannibals. Directed by Calvin Reeder (“The Oregonian”).
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO PANAGAS THE PAGAN (Greece, 12 min.): The “kallikantzaroi” are goblins that surface around Christmas time and cause trouble, so the villagers in this story make the mistake of capturing and torturing one. Fans of “Mandy” will love the mind-blowing visual effects in the “underworld” scenes. Directed by Yannis Veslemes (“Norway”).
THE PALACE OF HORRORS (India, 10 min.): Set in the summer of 1913, the survivor of a group expedition lead by a thrill-seeking skeptic recounts the unforgettably disturbing end to their journey. Shot in black and white, shades of everything from “Freaks” to “Evil Dead” highlight this super-spooky segment. Directed by Ashim Ahluwalia (“Miss Lovely”).
A NOCTURNAL BREATH (Germany, 11 min.): In the Bavarian mountains, a demonic “drude” takes possession of a young woman by turning into a rat and leaping down her throat. There are a couple instances of farm animal deaths depicted in these films, but this particular one also involves a dog. Directed by Katrin Gebbe (“Nothing Bad Can Happen”).
COBBLER'S LOT (Hungary, 12 min.): A shoemaker in service of the Carpathian King competes with his own brother for the Princess’s affection or, more specifically, her feet. Their quest leads them to a magical pool filled with evil temptation. Heavily influenced by psychedelic Euro-horror from the ’60s and ’70s. Directed by Peter Strickland (“Berberian Sound Studio”).