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The Horrors of Fantasia: Days Seventeen and Eighteen

The final weekend of Fantasia ended the festival with a mind bending mix of Robert Morgan’s brilliant animation, a Takeshi Miike monster opus, an inflammatory dark comedy by Stuart Gordon, and Snoop Dogg’s stupefying street turd.

Fantasia closed out their inspired stop-motion program this year by playing all four of English filmmaker Robert Morgan’s short films. Every stop-motion screening at this year’s festival was jam packed, which only helps bolster the case that moviegoers are hungry for this type of animation. The films didn’t disappoint, and it was a treat to be able to see Morgan’s entire oeuvre in one shot. You can check out a review of his shorts here, and when you’re done, head on over to this site, where you can view the shorts yourself.

Next up was Takeshi Miike’s children’s epic, The Great Yokai War. Yep, the same guy that brought us Audition and Visitor Q has made a fantasy film for kids! Miike blends Neverending Story-like elements with Japanese legend to create a film with the scope of Star Wars and the heart of a deviant. The crazy part was that the audience loved it for its sweetness! Check out a pre-Fantasia review of the film here.

Fantasia tends to save the most twisted films for their coveted, weekend only midnight shows, so the crowd was cautiously optimistic about Saturday’s screening of Snoop Dogg’s Hood of Horrors. I was hoping that Snoop was going to pull out some big time T&A and gore and that the film would end up being a hard “R”, hip hop version of Creepshow. Boy was I wrong. Apart from an almost unwatchable transfer we were shown, the film was inexcusably boring. Easily the worst film of the festival. Crappy gore, no nudity, lame jokes, and zero sense of style. The film ends with a goddamn rap video that recaps the film… need I say more? Now thtat I’ve recoverd from Snoop’s two burning blunts to the eyes, check out my review of it here.

Luckily Stuart Gordon rescued us on Sunday by screening his latest (non-horror) film Edmond. While I’m not sure the politics and message behind the film stand up, as a character drama Edmond is a mini-masterpiece, eminently watchable, and entertaining throughout. Check out the full review here.

Stuart Gordon at FantasiaJust in case you’re not already smashing your head into the wall for missing Fantasia this year; after Edmond concluded, Stuart whipped out a copy of the From Beyond director’s cut and threw it on as an impromptu midnight movie! All I can say is that it looks great and still holds up after all these years. Mmmm… my pineal gland is throbbing just thinking about it!

Monday is the last day of the festival, but for some odd reason the closing films look oddly tame, so we might just go drink beer and toast the last eighteen days instead. Check back for our impromptu Dread Central Fantasia Awards in the next couple of days!

Evil Andy

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Jon Condit