Gore to Go

Roth laid low by mystery illness, the Borderland team fill out today's horror panel.

There was a bit of a shift on today's The Future Of Horror panel. Hostel director Eli Roth, who was supposed to be the guest of honor, had to bail due to illness ("It better be a flesh-eating virus," added mediator and today's nominee for most ubiquitous panelee, Harry Knowles of aintitcoolnews.com.) Fortunately, with a conference full of film makers around, replacements weren't so hard to find. Nobly stepping into the breach was Zev Berman, director of this year's hot-buzz horror Borderland (premiering tonight at the Alamo Downtown at midnight) and the film's lead Rider Strong, aka Paul from Cabin Fever. They joined their producer Lauren Moews, Scott Glosserman (director of last year's SXSW horror hit Behind The Mask ), Alamo Drafthouse horror booker Zach, and Scott Weinberg of efilmcritic network.

Once all the changes were announced, the panel got down to the serious business of scares. The consensus was that the new era of torture-porn ("and I mean that in a nice way," added Knowles) is coming to an end. Glosserman had a theory why they had been so hot - because the world has been gorey. "Saw will be looked back on as a classic movie one day," he explained, "because we're living in a hopeless era, where you can see people getting their head cut off on the news. When you're in a room where you can't get out and there's no hope, that reflects a lot about the social consciousness."

So what's next? Apart from more gore with Hostel Part II (Roth sent star Lauren German along with a clip), it seems studios are still hot to trot on horror, with big budgets being mooted for Mark Romanek's bloody remake of The Wolfman with Bernicio del Toro. However, there's a shift to apocalyptic, eco-horrors coming, with enough positive word on M. Night Shyamalan's R-rateable, world-ending new project, The Happening. Plus the long-yearned-for Guillermo del Toro adaptation of HP Lovecraft's At The Mountains of Madness is looking like a go.

Sadly, even with all this gore know-how, there was still no resolution to the thorny old question - which is better, fast zombies, or slow zombies?

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Film, SXSW, borderland, horror, gore, Eli Roth, South by Southwest, Harry Knowles

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