Summer is essentially here.
The fairer masses have recovered from their first sunburns of the year, a big superheroine flick is hitting theaters, and everyone has a vitamin D-fueled pep in their step.
But adapting to these sunny times can be challenging. For those of you feeling too emotionally dark to don an aloha shirt yet, you can head to the Hollywood Theater for the Portland Horror Film Fest this Thursday-Saturday for some creepy independent movies in a cool, dark place.
And if recent real world horror has numbed the effect of fictional monster tales, you're fortunately heading to the epicenter of Sandy Blvd.'s Green Mile of pot shops. Here are a few pre-fright recommendations for a smoother transition into worlds of drag queen vampires, Nordic rituals and a whole lot of cannibalism.
Pure Green, 3738 NE Sandy Blvd.
High-THC Flower to Bring Out the Best in Special Effects
For the biggest shock-factor, you need a stronger smoke. This cross of Kosher Kush and Tangie by Nelson and Co. Organics will mellow you out enough to enjoy the cinematography in Happy Hunting, a Western-styled feature film about an alcoholic drifter who wanders into a gun-toting town that hosts a deadly sporting event.
Lemon Betty #6
Collective Awakenings, 2823 NE Sandy Blvd.
Super-Charged Sativa for Optimum Suspense
I'd normally recommend a buzzy uplifting strain to lengthen attention spans, but you need this Lemon Betty to catch more of the subtle post-feminist themes happening in Lilith's Awakening, a gothic full-length film artfully directed by Monica Demes. The citrus-flavored burst of brain stimuli from Resin Ranchers will complement this nuanced take on a modern female Dracula, which was significantly influenced by Demes' mentor, David Lynch.
Wana Sour Gummies
TreeHouse Collective, 2419 NE Sandy Blvd.
Sweets to Relieve the Tension
Save for three submissions, most of the lineup are short films, with some, like the vampire drag queens in Dickeaters, planting a tongue in cheek more firmly than others. Just be sure to eat 1-2 gummies in time to feel the giggly effects before the twenty-second short called Savor, about a man learning just how scary eating alone can be.
Gorilla Glue #12 Vape Cartridge
Nectar, 3350 NE Sandy Blvd.
Heavy Vape Hits that Last Longer than Everyone's Cell Phone
In a thrilling combination of childhood reunions, off-the-grid camping nightmares, and bloodthirsty Nordic traditions, the feature, Huldra – Lady of the Forest, is a millennial Lord of the Flies that covers all the bases. A few hearty pulls from this 71% THC half gram cartridge by OCO and no worrying about the cannabinoid cushion wearing off when shit hits the fan for this camping trip.
Laurie and MaryJane Cheese Crisps
Panacea, 6714 NE Sandy Blvd.
Two Birds, One Stone: Cannabis-Infused Chips
Any festival including the word "independent" means things are going to get arty sooner or later. In this festival's case, that's a good thing. One song plays the duration of Atlas World, like the uncensored version of a disturbing music video, and the timely short, A Father's Day, shows what happens when zombies get nostalgic. Eat a couple stony cheesey chips for a solid high and appreciate the strangeness of these times.
The Portland Horror Film Festival is June 8-10 at the Hollywood Theater, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd. Thursday 7p-11p; Friday 7p-11p; Saturday 1-5p. $20 per night, or $55 for Thursday-Saturday. portlandhorrorfilmfestival.com.