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Tag: HIFF2014


2014 Horrible Imaginings Award Winners!

Which Films Did Audiences Vote For?

hiff2014 trophy


(Design and sculpt by Tyler Ham; photo by Dante Moran)

I am in the middle of my reflection about this year's festival, but who am I kidding? You all want to hear about the awards, right? So let's do this! First a word about how the categories were chosen:

The awards categories has been a difficult piece of the festival for me philosophically because I dislike putting the films I have chosen in competition with one another. I think of myself as an art curator, and the competition feels crass, like doing the same for a gallery of paintings or sculpture. Finding a way to reconcile my feelings with the reality of filmmakers’ expectations has taken some soul searching, but I think I have found two ways.

The first is to make the audience my jury. Ultimately, having the general audience member see a list of films in a category after a festival of almost 50 films, have to remember the films, and then having to make a choice of one says something about how much that particular film must have stood out. This is about how memorable a film was, but also about how effective it was holistically.

The second way is to base my awards categories on that holistic approach to a film’s effectiveness. Our whole philosophy of horror is that it is the most sincere and honest of storytelling genres. Its tendency towards baseness simultaneously tends to address the core of who we are: our fears, or worries, our insecurities, and more.

That is why I decided to cut the bullshit of awards categories and focus on exactly what a film was attempting to accomplish. Did it want to scare you? Did it want to make you laugh at the darkness? Were you supposed to be repulsed? Invited to think? The categories are largely based elements such as these in order for you to decide how successfully a film set out to do what it intended. Of course, some films will fit multiple categories. For films to qualify, they had to be completed in either 2013 or 2014. 

I got told by most of the audience again and again how painful and difficult these decisions were to make. One person went as far as to say, and I quote: 

"Curse you Miguel Rodriguez! Only a monster would make us pick favorites amongst such an awesome selection of films. It's like having to pick a favorite child!"

We had one of the best programs of films we've ever had this year, and every single film we played should feel huge loads of pride in their work. I sincerely believe that. 

By the way, did you get left out of the SOLD OUT Horrible Imaginings Film Festival this year? Fear not! You will be able to see the local shorts, as well as the 3rd, 2nd, and 1st place short film WINNERS at the San Diego Film Consortium's Halloween Costume Party on Friday, October 24th at BANG ZOOM POW! downtown! See the winning films, get delicious food and craft beer, and don't forget your costumes! For more info and to RSVP, click on the pick below or here for the Facebook Event!

fc halloween

That's about it! So let's get started with the feature film categories. 

Best Overall Feature Film

Third Place: Hi-8: Horror Independent 8

Second Place: Call Girl of Cthulhu

1st Place: Dead Snow 2: Red Vs. Dead

dead_snow_2_poster2 (Duplicate) (Duplicate) (Duplicate)


Best Feature Film to Use Extremely Limited Resources

I decided to add this category because extreme low budgets can lead to some interesting ideas. In order to qualify, the film budget had to be below 2 million dollars.

Third Place: Another World

Second Place: Hi-8: Horror Independent 8

1st Place: Call Girl of Cthulhu

Films So Far! (Duplicate) (Duplicate)




And now for our short film categories!

Short Film: Paranormal and Sci-Fi

Both the paranormal and science fiction try to consider the unknown or our place in the universe. Which film addresses those feelings best?

Third Place: The Tour

Second Place: Insane

1st Place: The Stomach



Short Film: Zombie & Creature Feature

Zombie and other monsters are a classic staple of the genre. Which one left the greatest mark on you?

Third Place: Dead Hearts

Second Place: Tales of a 5th Grade Zombie Slayer

1st Place: Naked Zombie Girl



Short Film: Finger Mask Films

Which film really made you squirm? This could be because of disturbing content, or because it was just plain gross. Which was most effective and making you want to cover your eyes? 

Third Place: I Am Monster

Second Place: La Carne Cruda

1st Place: Silk

Silk  Final Poster med


Short Film: Go Ahead. . .Make Me Laugh!

Which films were best at communicating dark material through comedy?

Third Place: Waterborne

Second Place: Bad Company

1st Place: The Working Dead



Short Film: The Slasher or Human Killer

Which films showed how vicious a human being can be, or focused on a killer who was a regular human being?

Third Place: Bad Company

Second Place: Kira

1st Place: The Wyatt



Short Film: Surrealism or Experimentalism

Third Place: Sinnside

Second Place: Lady and the Tooth

1st Place: Black Lullaby

black lullaby

Best Overall Short Film

Did one stand out as your absolute favorite--the best in every category? Which short film will remain in your memory for a while to come?

Third Place: Alexia

Second Place: Black Lullaby

1st Place: Dead Hearts

The Kiss _Dead Hearts_


Well, there you have the winners of the 2014 Horrible Imaginings Film Festival! All winners were selected by votes from the audience members! If you are near San Diego and you missed these excellent films,  you can have the chance to see them at the San Diego Film Consortium's Halloween Costume Party on Friday, October 24th at BANG ZOOM POW! downtown

fc halloween



Horrible Imaginings Founder Miguel Rodriguez to Appear On TCM in November!


How amazing that this happened on the week that Horrible Imaginings 2014 starts! Now that the latest issue of "Now Playing," the monthly magazine from Turner Classic Movies, has hit the stands, the cat can officially take leave of his bag. The fine folks over at TCM have decided to try a brand new segment of film programming they are calling "Fan Favorites" in which fans are selected to program a film and introduce it with Ben Mankiewicz over the magic of Skype. Horrible Imaginings founder Miguel Rodriguez was one of a select group of four people to kickoff the maiden voyage of this "Fan Favorites" enterprise!

Now Playing Mention

The segments and films will air on Saturday, November 29th on Turner Classic Movies--the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Because of the time of year, we were asked to choose "holiday films" to program. Of course, what better holiday film than "The Thing from Another World"? You will have to watch Miguel's intro on TCM to learn more about why he picked that film. Joining Miguel in heralding the new Fan Favorites segment are his fellow TCM Party friends Paula Guthat, Joel Williams, and Aurora Bugallo. Ben Mankiewicz wrote a short article announcing Fan Favorites in the latest "Now Playing," and he alludes to a certain San Diego film festival dedicated to the macabre!


Be sure to tune and and check this new segment out. For those of you who have Twitter handles, you can join the TCM Party on Twitter anytime by watching movies on TCM and tweeting along with them to the hashtag #TCMParty. It is a great way to feed your addiction to quality cinema!


2014 Horrible Imaginings: Beth's KILLER KONFECTIONS!!

Killer Konfections2

Anyone who has been to a Horrible Imaginings Event has known the culinary creativity of Beth Accomando.








Every year she pulls out the stops to satisfy the horror junkie and the sugar addict in all of us! This year will be NO exception! See what devilish desserts she has planned for you this year!

Brain Jello


Stuffed Brains

Jello Brain

Zombie Chocolates

Zombie Cupcakes

 Zombie Brain Cookies

Zombie Lollipops

Brain Cookies



Cthulu Shortbread Cookies

Cthulu Pies

Cthulu Sugar Cookies

Cthulhu Cookiees


Witch’s Black Brew

Witch’s Cauldron

Graveyard cake with skeletons

Skull Cake






2014 Horrible Imaginings Presentations!

Were you too late to get a ticket to see the movies? We'll still have some things in the lobby of the Digital Gym Cinema for you to see! Drop by to see the following terrifying presentations from horror-inspired artists and thinkers!

The Carnivorous Plants of Allyson Long!

Carniverous Plants
Allyson Long will have her terrarium of carnivorous plants on display throughout the festival! See what fascinating species of flora sustain themselves on the bodies of smaller life forms! 
“Typically we are not afraid of plants, but humans love to project their own fears onto other life-forms. That we can do with plants, seemingly the most passive and unfrightening of life-forms on earth is obvious by just examining some of our more popular horror movies."  -The Savage Garden by Peter D'Amato

The Zombie-Proof Architecture of Wilson Le!


Wilson Le, a student of architecture, decided to base his project around architecture plans that are specifically designed to thwart a zombie apocalypse. See what kinds of planning he has in mind! This is a perfect display for Friday Zombie Night, but it will be available to see all weekend long! 


The Otherworldly Sculpture of Jason Hite (Sunday Only!)hite sculpture

Artist Jason Hite, whose wonderful stop-motion short film Stasis will be screening on Sunday, will be displaying his work on Sunday ONLY! Please stop by to see his incredible creations! Even if the theater sells out for Sunday, his work will be available to see for the general public.  

From his website: 

"There are so many things I see, feel, and think about that push me to make the odd, strange things that I make. A major theme I subsist from is technology and machines. We live in a world full of so much potential for great technological success, as well as, disastrous failure. Our reliance on machines for everyday life is delicate and flawed. Most of us don’t even realize this until something is broken or down. Ever lose the Internet for a day or two at home? I feel a strange void where it used to be whenever that happens, like a part of me is missing. Blast my addiction! I constantly ask myself, what technology will be like 20-50 years from now? These thoughts and questions usually bring my attention to sculpture."



2014 Horrible Imaginings Trophy Sculptor: Tyler Ham!

Tyler Ham Once Again Sculpts Our Award Trophies!

TYLER HAM is an award-winning artist who spent over 13 years working in Visual Effects for Disney, Industrial Light & Magic, Tippett Studio and PDI/Dreamworks.

Tyler Statue

While at ILM, he was a member of the visual effects team which was presented with an Academy Award for its work on Pirates of the Caribbean 2. Following his time in visual effects, Ham transitioned to the role of Lead Digital Sculptor and Art Director for Factory Entertainment, a toy and collectibles company working with high-profile brands including SEGA, DC Comics, Game of Thrones, The Beatles, Archer and Universal Monsters. Currently, Tyler is the Licensing Creative Lead at SEGA. See his work at
Ham is also a filmmaker whose animated short ...Or Treat has played at Horrible Imaginings Film Festival in the past. You can see that awesome short film online here!
Tyler Ham

2014 Horrible Imaginings Spotlight: The Music Videos of Robert Sexton!

Robert Sexton-Directed Music Videos will be played at various points throughout the festival!

Emmy Award-Winning Producer. Award-Winning Director. 

Reluctant Writer. Perceived Megalomaniac.

Photo left to right: An old business partner and Robert Sexton.
Photo by Zane W. Levitt

Robert Sexton is road tested, trial by fire, Emmy Award winning producer and critically acclaimed director.
Robert's experiences as a director recently landed him a guest panelist spot at San Diego Comic-Con International 2014, where he discussed his recent transition into film and TV/WEB Content.
Robert directs music videos for acts such as Soulfly, the Sepultura brothers' reunion project Cavalera ConspiracyThe Dwarves (featuring The Suicide Girls), Hell Yeah (Members of Pantera and Mudvayne), The Devil Wears PradaDeath AngelThe HangmenPigmy Love Circus (featuring Danny Carey of TOOL) and lives shoots for MONDO GENERATOR (featuring members of QOTSA, Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters and Twiggy of Marilyn Manson,) AMENand GENÖCIDE.
Favorite color: Noire. 
Favorite movies: Touch of Evil and A Clockwork Orange
Favorite book: The Secret Teachings of All Ages
Astrological sign: Cancer on cusp of Leo.
Note: Often mistaken for a super-villain, minus the monocle, or professional wrestler, “The Undertaker.”