The inaugural Vegas Cine Fest last year was a bit of a disaster, with scheduling problems and poor facilities at the convention space in the Tropicana. This year’s event moved over to the Palms but was once again housed in conference rooms, with makeshift setups for projecting movies.
I showed up Friday night for two of the spotlight screenings, both of which had decent attendance. Magician Teller was on hand to screen Play Dead, which documents the spooky New York stage show he directed and co-wrote with star Todd Robbins. Even if the screening seemed like more of a cast-and-crew get-together than a public event, it was still exactly the kind of thing a Vegas film festival should feature.
The night’s final screening was FDR: American Badass!, a goofy historical spoof positing Franklin Delano Roosevelt as a werewolf-fighting tough guy, the kind of thing that’s funny in a two-minute trailer but fairly exhausting for 90 minutes. But the audience had a blast, and even though star Barry Bostwick did not show up as scheduled, writer/co-star Ross Patterson was there to plug his next movie (Helen Keller vs. Nightwolves). If he brings it to the next festival, maybe he’ll be able to show it in a real theater.