"Get ready, constant watchers, to venture to a place where cinema cracks open to reveal its hidden core. A primal place where the fantastic meets the terrifying, where you’ll see things you thought existed only in your wildest dreams and sweetest nightmares. This is The Watching Hour, featuring the best in NEO-Cult Cinema!"
Thus goes the Denver Film Society's official synopsis for their ongoing "Watching Hour" series, unspooling every weekend at the freshly-minted, Sie FilmCenter (formerly the Denver Film Center). This weekend represents a special opportunity for "The Watching Hour" to unveil a true cult classic that remains relatively obscure, despite the passionate protestations of rare cinema aficionados whom are lucky enough to have caught it (albeit likely in some type of shoddy and mysterious goo-encrusted, grindhouse bootleg form).
While this Examiner is excited to see Reflections of Evil (2002) - directed by tenacious underground filmmaker, Damon Packard - for the first time (a rare and special feat in itself), perhaps a little background info is required to flesh out ROE's authentic cult status...
Unleashing his deviant passion for celluloid strangeness, Packard began experimenting with film at the age of 11, working on experimental shorts (including Super 8 films) while barely supporting himself with a variety of odd jobs throughout his teens and twenties. After struggling for years to complete films out-of-pocket while living in cars and tents, Packard received a large inheritance from a relative, which was promptly spent on Reflections of Evil, a "long treatise on contemporary American paranoia," according to Wikipedia.
The film features Packard himself as an obese, overwrought watch salesman. Packard pressed 23,000 DVD copies of the film and made them available for free, even sending thousands of them to celebrities, whose reactions were subsequently recorded on his website. In the January/February 2006 issue of Film Comment, Reflections of Evil made the Editor's List for Best of 2005.
Topping off a healthy filmography, Packard's latest release, Foxfur, follows a girl who gets involved with infamous extraterrestrial contactee, Billy Meier, whom claims to have been in communication with Nordic beings from the Pleidian star system between 1943 and 1952. In testament to Packard's grassroots tenacity and underground cult status, Foxfur unveiled at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood last July.
"Experience what Westword magazine called the BEST FILM PROGRAM in Denver bringing the ultimate in cult classics, genre gems and hard to find film fantasies!" If you decide to see any one film there, might as well make it a true underground cult classic - one that will remind you of no other!