It's all about the ladies in the heart of Hollywood today, at the beautiful and historic Egyptian Theater. Sprinkled across the courtyard is beauty of all ilk — from the horror burlesque performers decked out in mummy-wrap, scarab wings and cool corsetry, to the gorgeous guests and the fab filmmakers themselves. Most prominent in the passel of pulchritude are the movers and shakers behind the Viscera Film Festival, Shannon Lark (in prom queen chic), Heidi Honeycutt (in glowing gold sequins), and Stacy Hammon (in tantalizing tattoos).
Viscera's hopscotched all over Hollywood: I've been covering it from Downtown L.A., to the Fairfax District, to Tinsel Town… and I must say, the hits just keep on coming as the venues keep getting bigger and better. The Egyptian is one of the world's most famous movie houses. Opened in 1922, and still going strong, it was the venue for the first-ever Hollywood premiere.
The piece du resistance today was the opening feature film, Among Friends. It's a murder mystery to dine for, when a group of longtime friends gather… with knives. It's the directorial debut of Danielle Harris (best-known as an actor, from the Halloween films and several bloody indies), is produced by Jennifer Blanc-Beihn, and written by Alyssa Lobit (who also stars).
Following the film there was a gala and bloody red carpet stroll, not to mention plenty of celebrity sightings (Michael Berryman of The Hills Have Eyes fame garnered oohs and ahhs; as did AJ Bowen, star of Among Friends; and Mary Lambert, the director of Pet Sematary I and II, as well as many of Madonna's early videos). After food, fun and cocktails were consumed and conversations spent, it was time to head back into the fabled movie theater to watch 13 horror shorts.
These were in competition and judged by, among others, Buffy's Amber Benson and The Walking Dead producer Gale Anne Hurd. The award for best film went to French director Vinciane Millereau's horror comedy, Barbie Girls. Best director went to another comedic lass, Rebekah McKendry for The Dump, a story of two hillbilly serial killers fighting over the best body-disposal site.
For more information, and plenty of pics, go to the Official Viscera Film Festival website, and be sure to "like" their Facebook page.
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Staci Layne Wilson reporting