I’ve never seen anything quite like it. There’s so much visual noise in these dark shots that you have to squint just to make out the outline of objects in the frame. Camera placement is often very low or very high, capturing fragments of doorways and hallways. A child hits his head, we’re told, but he won’t require stitches. 15 minutes go by before we see a room in this house fully illuminated. The light at the top of the steps clicks off. Darkness. The boy calls out for his father. No answer. Continue reading Review: Skinamarink — Fantasia Festival 2022
Director Renaud Gauthier came into my radar with the 2019 film Aquaslash, a bare-bones slasher film taking place in a water park where a serial killer has inserted large blades inside of a water slide. It appeared to me that Aquaslash was the sort of movie that hearkened back lovingly to the B-movie slashers of the day. The problem was that the film was not well-made in its own right, so instead of coming off as a B-movie homage it came off as a purposeful attempt at the “so bad it’s good” variety (emphasis on the bad). At the very least, Aquaslash was good for a few cheap laughs.
Gauthier’s newest feature, Punta Sinistra, is an ultra low-budget crime film set in Mexico. From its protagonist’s half-baked voiceover, it feels like Gauthier is going for a neo-noir vibe. This hero, a journalist from Canada, travels to the island of “Punta Sinistra” to investigate a Continue reading Review: Punta Sinistra — Fantasia Festival 2022
The Girl From the Other Side, Sissy, and Deadstream are screening as part of the 2022 Fantasia International Film Festival, which runs from July 14 – August 3.
The Girl From the Other Side
The Girl From the Other Side is a ruminative fairy tale about isolation and family. In a place divided by “inner” and “outer” lands, humans fear the curse given when touched by Continue reading 2022 Fantasia Festival Movie Reviews — Sissy, Deadstream, The Girl From the Other Side
Shin Ultraman, Country Gold, and Give Me Pity! are screening as part of the 2022 Fantasia International Film Festival, which runs from July 14 – August 3.
Shin Ultraman is the second Toho Pictures reboot of classic characters to be written by Neon Genesis Evangelion creator Hideaki Anno, with a third film planned. And Shin Ultraman immediately comes across as a sibling to the 2016 Shin Godzilla, with its Continue reading 2022 Fantasia Festival Movie Reviews — Shin Ultraman, Country Gold, Give Me Pity!
Please Baby Please is screening as part of the 2022 Fantasia International Film Festival, which runs from July 14 – August 3.
Newlyweds Suze (Andrea Riseborough) and Arthur (Harry Melling) witness a murder outside of their apartment building. The culprits, a greaser gang called the Young Gents, then turn their attention to the couple, initiating a series of events that change the two people forever.
Please Baby Please is a noir-tinged send-up of the biker gang movies of the 1950s, but that description does not come close to identifying what the film is accomplishing. Amanda Kramer’s film is an articulate examination of Continue reading Review: Please Baby Please — Fantasia Festival 2022
Mutant Action, Dr. Lamb and Blue Sunshine are screening as part of the Fantasia Retro series at the 2022 Fantasia International Film Festival.
Acción Mutante (Mutant Action)
Álex de la Iglesia’s Mutant Action looks like it owes a debt to the works of Paul Verhoeven. The tale of a fringe terrorist group made up of “mutants” is set against the backdrop of Continue reading 2022 Fantasia Festival Movie Reviews — Mutant Action, Dr. Lamb, Blue Sunshine
The Roundup and Popran are screening as part of the 2022 Fantasia International Film Festival, which runs from July 14 – August 3.
The Roundup is the sequel to the fan favorite The Outlaws from 2017. Admittedly, I have not seen this first film, but one hardly needs to to get invested in Continue reading 2022 Fantasia Festival Movie Reviews — Popran, The Roundup
Swallowed, Special Delivery, and Employee of the Month are screening as part of the 2022 Fantasia International Film Festival, which runs July 14 – August 3.
Benjamin (Cooper Koch) is moving away to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the adult entertainment industry. During their final night together, he and his best friend Dom (Jose Colon) tie one on, culminating in a surprise Continue reading 2022 Fantasia Festival Movie Reviews — Swallowed, Special Delivery, Employee of the Month
The Diabetic is screening as part of the 2022 Fantasia International Film Festival, which runs July 14 – August 3.
Shot on Hi-8 and transferred to 16mm, The Diabetic is hazy and grainy, a distinct aesthetic choice to mirror the protagonist’s harried state. His name is Alek (James Watts), and he seems dead-set on going on a bender.
Returning home to see his parents, early-30-something Alek reaches out to anyone still in town in pursuit of a drink and some company. A type one diabetic, Alek continues taking shots and doing drugs through the night despite Continue reading Review: The Diabetic — Fantasia Festival 2022
The Fantasia International Film Festival returns for its 26th edition, which will run from July 14 – August 3. Some of my favorite movies of the last two years — films like Labyrinth of Cinema, Mad God, and We’re All Going to the World’s Fair — played Fantasia. And I anticipate being pleasantly surprised by a few films this year, as well. To preview the fest, here’s a quick sample of what this year’s program has on offer.
All Jacked Up and Full of Worms (d. Alex Phillips)
The title of Alex Phillips feature debut sort of says it all. The Fantasia program claims All Jacked Up and Full of Worms is inspired by Continue reading Fantasia Festival 2022 — 6 Films to Have on Your Radar