Texas Frightmare Weekend - The Woman

Texas Frightmare Weekend - The WomanTexas Frightmare Weekend - now in its sixth year - opened last night for what promises to be one bloody hell of a good time. The three day event features horror film screenings, guest filmmaker appearances, autograph sessions, a memorabilia floor, and general horror-themed mayhem and chicanery.

Kicking off the festivities last night was a double-feature at the Lewisville Studio Movie Grill that opened with a screening of the cannibal gore-fest Offspring. The film, directed by Andrew van de Houten, is about a group of survivors of a feral flesh-eating clan chowing their way through the locals. The mayhem of Offspring comes from the pen of Jack Ketchum who Stephen King has dubbed, "the scariest guy in America."

Rounding out the double-feature was the Texas premier of Lucky McKee's The Woman, a film that was launched into the consciousness of we horror hounds earlier this year when, at its Sundance Film Festival premier, one audience member hurt themselves trying to exit the theater, and another audience member accosted McKee as the director attempted to begin a post screening Q&A. Both people had become so completely distressed and upset by the intense content and violence in the film.

The Woman tells the story of a successful country lawyer who unknowingly endangers the lives of his own family when he captures and attempts to "civilize" the last remaining member of a violent clan that has roamed the Northeast coast for decades.

The film opened with an oddly humorous brain-wipe animated trailer called Mi Burro, and a startlingly funny Lucky McKee horror short called Blue Like You that stars Carlee Baker, Angela Bettis and director Lucky McKee.

The nightcap feature presentation was preceded by a brief red carpet entrance outside the theater by Lucky McKee and several of the film's stars and producers, including Carlee Baker, Sean Bridgers, and Dallas native child star Shyla Molhusen, who was discovered at least year's Texas Frightmare Weekend. Mr McKee opened the post-screening Q&A session by pointing out that the incessant sound of bees swarming about the theater and the washed-out colors and muted contrast of the film were a by-product of the Studio Movie Grill's blu-ray projection system and not indicative of his filmmaking skills.

To briefly address the controversy swirling around The Woman of late: if indeed that Sundance freak-out was real and not a fabricated PR stunt, we should shame that ski-jacket wearing a-hole into submission for getting his panties all in a bunch over this. Not only is there more gore and female debasement in any neutered-for-prime-time-consumption episode of The Sopranos, but the guy quite possibly put that poor lady's health in jeopardy by creating a diversion of attention away from where it needed to be. Yes, the movie is bloody, and gory... and features a woman-beater of the worst sort, but let's not forgot that The Woman is a movie, not real life. Accosting a filmmaker does not flatter you, nor does it help get your point across. It just makes you look like a douche-bag and will likely burn you onto YouTube's video servers forever.

On the other hand, if this was just a PR stunt fishing for a little horror buzz at Park City, hats off to the filmmakers. It worked! And by the way, Mr McKee. You didn't need the extra attention. The Woman is a sick and darkly twisted little exploitation gem that hypnotizes with its sounds, fascinates with its visuals, and numbs with a slow-burn into revenge-fueled dementedness. Bravo!

Texas Frightmare Weekend
The Studio Movie Grill crowd clamoring for a seat at the Texas Premier of Lucky McKee's The Woman.


Texas Premier - The Woman Cast and Crew
Director Lucky McKee joins the cast on the red carpet at the Texas premier of The Woman which took place last night at Studio Movie Grill in Lewisville, Texas.


Texas Frightmare Weekend Coverage
Carlee Baker and Sean Bridgers at the Texas premier of The Woman.