Unnamed Footage Festival 2021 – Encapsulated Movie Reviews

What a difference 24hrs. makes!   The cinematic curtain has closed on a recent online fest that focused on a genre that has gotten a bit of a bad rap over the years – found footage.   The Unnamed Footage Festival, which started on March 26th, 2021 and ran a full 24hrs. long, highlighted not only found footage but also faux-documentaries, screenlife film and POV cinema all in an attempt to entertain and fundraise helping local movie theaters.  And for those who came, saw and witnessed UFF 2021 it was exactly as promised – a chaotic mix of everything first person including features, shorts, some Q&A material and block intros with goofball host Vernon Herman Salinger.  (Think William Castle meets SCTV!)

Not sure how many of the fest goers made it through the eight massive blocks of programming as 24hrs. is a long time to be glued to the tube for a single sitting, but I myself tried my best to check out some of this year’s crop.  So below are both encapsulated short and feature film reviews exclusively from UFF 2021 for those who may have missed out and want to know the skinny – read on!


“1974: La posesión de Altair” – A cross between The Amityville Horror and Honeymoon, this Mexican import reminded me of seeing the original Evil Dead back in the day – unrelenting.  Shot on grainy and utterly effective 8mm, this tale of a newlywed couple who go through hell and back involving everything from possession to strange environmental occurrences is a wild ride, including a shocking conclusion that is the icing on the cake.  A tale that earns its unease, 1974 is one year to remember.

“I Blame Society” – Some interesting topical ideas within involving the evolution of a budding female serial killer that does get a tad bogged down with its found footage surroundings. Meaning there are some great bits of blood and gore (a little skateboard to the skull never hurt anyone!) and poetic justice (a “medical should not be free” fanatic gets some candid sexual payback!), but there’s also a heavy lean on self filming and chaotic camera movements that takes its toll and lessens the menace in lead Gillian Wallace Horvat’s performance.  At it’s best when at a standstill, sometimes a creepy character is more than enough.

“REEL 2” – Ever see a film that made you feel ill from beginning to end?  For me it was House of a 1000 Corpses with its snuff like slasher vibe, but Rob Zombie did have a flair for filmmaking (The Devil’s Rejects was a five-star about-face!) and at least his characters seemed to be enjoying their dirty deeds.  REEL 2 takes all the grisly bits of Corpses, the less poignant moments of The Poughkeepsie Tapes and wraps them into 104 minutes of abhorrent and unfun shaky cam cinema that has no story purpose except to shock.  Never saw REEL 1 (gonna be a hard pass now!), but this time out the disguised voice filming killer decides he wants a female assistant and goes about grooming a local broken film student to fit the bill.  I’m giving this one star for some effective blood and gore (the face wearing thing made me sick!) but there’s little else to crow about here.  REEL 2 is pure unenjoyable exploitation made as such to simply to stand out – two reels too many.

“Space Clown” – Was excited to see this one was helmed by Graham Skipper, the actor who has created memorable work in such genre outings as Almost Human, The Mind’s Eye and Beyond The Gates – and then I saw the film.  In what can only be described as a truly unpleasant movie experience about a clown from space hell, there’s a distinctive “filmed it over the weekend vibe” to Skipper’s work here that isn’t helped by his unlikeable jester lead.  Plus matched with gross out gags (missing two balls for juggling – guess where he gets them?!), bad visuals (the lighting looks like something out of performance art!) and the absence of any kind of engaging story, Space Clown needs to be blasted into a stratosphere far, far away.  (DON’T stay for the end credits!)




“Teaching Jake” – An effective little short that’s like Paranormal Activity for the Be Kind 80’s rewind crowd – quirky and creepy.

“Paloma’s Pit” – Shocking short doc with creepy fictitious animations inserted about confronting a woman who takes no responsibility for her two pit-bull dogs killing of a neighbors cat – just plain awful.  (The situation not the short!)

“Possessions” – What begins as a clever comedic vlog about a guy looking to get rid of all his useless possessions for a dollar turns unsettling when he accidentally passes on a Nazi demon.

“Valerio’s Day Out” – Odd short about caged animal on the loose made stranger by a slowed down vocal narrator who sounds like Buffalo Bill.

“Tofino 2018” – Less a scary story and more a lush look at the sleepy town on Vancouver Island, this one is recommended more for those planning a vacation.


I'm a passionate and opinionated film critic/movie journalist with over 20 years of experience in writing about film - now exclusively for WhySoBlu.com. Previous sites include nine years at Starpulse.com where I created Forgotten Friday Flick back in 2011, before that as Senior Entertainment Editor for The213.net and 213 Magazine, as well as a staff writer for JoBlo.com. My other love is doing cool events for the regular guy with my company Flicks For Fans alongside my friend, partner and Joblo.com writer James "Jimmy O" Oster. Check us out at www.Facebook.com/FlicksForFans.

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