Fantasia: Days 12 Through 15 - Dread Central
Connect with us

Fantasia: Days 12 Through 15

Published

on

Fantasia 2009 (click for larger image)More highlights from the Great White North’s incredible film festival!

The world is an unfair place. How else to describe how a guy like Buddy Giovinazzo can make a film like Life is Hot in Cracktown, a year ago, and have it be rejected by every major film festival the world over, despite its being goddamn genius? We saw the international premier on Monday, and while not a horror film, it is the kind of movie fans of the genre need to embrace. Like Aronofsky’s adaptation of Hubert Selby Jr’s Requiem for a Dream, Life is Hot in Cracktown chronicles the lives of a number of lost souls and their crushing slide from streets to the gutter, and from the gutter, into hell. Unlike Requiem for a Dream, Giovinazzo’s film is not filled with pretty teen starlets, and does little to glorify hardcore drug addiction. Requiem for a Dream probably caused just as many people to try heroin than it did scare them away, but the same cannot be said of Life is Hot in Cracktown. Viewers will be shocked into submission, and puffing rock is going to be the last thing on their minds after watching this movie.

Giovinazzo has been said to be the anti-Brett Easton Ellis, and it shows. Rather than depicting the lives of the spoiled elite, and their cushy excess, Life is Hot in Cracktown variously follows a baby faced, hip-hop angel of death in hooded sweatshirt, a lunkish crackhead, with so little self worth, he waits for the day his black, pre-op transsexual, junkie girlfriend will leave him, an industrious, but doomed street urchin who rustles up change on the street corner to feed his little sister hamburgers, and a family struggling to remain sane in the midst of sleeplessness, daily death threats and a baby that just won’t stop crying…

Fantasia 2009 (click for larger image)

Given the shameful way in which festivals have scorned the movie, its unlikely you’ll get a chance to experience Life is Hot in Cracktown anytime soon. But, this is a movie that deserves to be seen, and another reason why Fantasia is the best genre festival in the world. Tuck this recommendation away in your brain, and when it eventually comes out on DVD, seek it out.

Tuesday we saw the always highly anticipated Fantasia shorts program, Small Gauge Trauma. Every year there’s a few stinkers, and a few films that end up sticking with you for the rest of your life (Garry’s Touch I’m looking at you!). This year’s highlights included:

Rite

Director: Alicia Conway

Website

Rite is a Bat Mitzvah home video from hell, with a sarcastic dose of Brian Yuzna’s Society thrown in for good measure. The short depicts a little girl, who is the center of attention, and clearly about to take part in an ancient ritual. What we don’t know is if it will be one of modern society’s accepted ceremonies, like marriage, or baptism, or will it be something, older, darker, and undoubtedly more violent? Rite perfectly captures an adolescent feeling of fear, curiosity, and mild repugnance associated with adults and adulthood. Your interpretation is sure to differ, as Rite is wickedly open ended.

Fantasia 2009 (click for larger image)

My Love Lives in the Sewers

Director: Manuel Arija

Website

Easily the most extreme thing at Fantasia this year, My Love Lives in the Sewers is one part anti-masturbation manifesto, one part romantic comedy, wrapped up in a grimy black and white package that feels like it could have been directed by Roman Polanski out on a bender with Frank Henenlotter. It tells the story of a lonely young man, who discovers coded messages on his recycled toilet paper, leading him to a mysterious woman living in the sewer below his house. Unable to consummate their relationship except via the filth encrusted piping leading from his toilet bowl, the young Spaniard begins sticking his heavily vaselined ‘Jamón’ places it ought not go. While it is filled with infantile dick and poo jokes (most of the film does take place with the lead actor naked in the bathroom after all), the last minute of the My Love Lives in the Sewer feels more like Repulsion than Porky’s, cementing the film as far more than just a simple gross out exercise.

The Scavengers

Director: Cory Bowles

Website

The Scavengers starts and ends very abruptly, but during the short 11 minute running time, it perfectly captures one particular adolescent memory so well that it really got inside my head. Just about every one has discovered a dead animal, out in the woods, away from the prying eyes of adults. Were you the type that wanted to honor the dead thing and bury it, or were you the type that wanted to poke and prod it until it was destroyed? In The Scavengers, a trio of young boys have this experience, but instead of a dog, or bird, they find a freaking mermaid! The film is a quiet meditation on the mystery and beauty of nature and our urge to simultaneously exalt, and destroy it.

Fallow:

Directors: Dave Alexander, Colin Landry

Website

Despite his high hipness factor (check that shirt!), Rue Morgue’s managing editor, Dave Alexander is not one of those slick, native born Torontonians you see sipping café-latte in between bites of sushi – he’s a western boy, raised on wheat fields and red meat, hailing originally from the heart of coldest dEadmonton, Alberta. Dave, and filmmaking partner, Colin Landry’s latest short, Fallow makes their lineage clear; the film being what you’d get if you crossed The Wicker Man, with RawHead Rex, and set it in the Canadian prairies. The central idea of an ancient beast that punishes infertility is creepy, the setting original, and overall Fallow had me wishing it had more time to flesh out the origins of the monster, it’s myth, and the curse it lays upon the unlucky inhabitants of Miracle Valley. Here’s an idea, whoever’s in charge of adapting the Books of Blood, why not let Dave and Colin direct the remake of Rawhead Rex? Stranger things have happened…

Fantasia 2009 (click for larger image)

Wednesday we took another day off. Sue us…

On Thursday we came out of self-imposed retirement, and boy am I wishing I could get that time back. Mitch heavily sold a lot of folks on Cryptic, based on the strength of his catalog write-up, where he exclaimed that it was “the rare kind of micro-budget indie treat we hunt through mountains of mediocrity hoping to find.“ I have newfound respect for Mitch, Simon, Nicolas and the rest of the Fantasia programmers if this is the kind of turd they consider a diamond in the rough. My synopsis? The Butterfly Effect 2 meets the S. Darko. Yes, like the sequels, except, less entertaining. I wish I could call myself on my magic cell phone to tell me not to go see this derivative stinker.

Tonight starts the final nicotine, booze and caffeine fueled weekend to Fantasia, where we’ll be watching Troll 2, and the documentary made about it, Best Worst Movie, on the big screen. We’ll also be watching (surreal to even by typing this), the latest Coffin Joe flick, Embodiment of Evil! I haven’t cut my fingernails all week in anticipation!

The end is in sight…Thank the Founder!

Evil Andy

VISIT THE EVILSHOP @ AMAZON!
Got news? Click here to submit it!
Continue discussing missing out on one of the coolest film festivals ever in our forums!

Image Type 1:

Continue Reading
Comments

News

DVD and Blu-ray Releases: January 16, 2018

Published

on

Welcome back, friends.  One would imagine that a release list containing only five entries wouldn’t contain any discrepancies, right? Nope. The Amicus Collection may have come out on December 5th, but it popped up again this week, so if you missed it then, go get yours now.

The big hit of this week, and of 2017, Happy Death Day gets it release this week on both Blu-ray and DVD.  This was a great movie and recently surpassed $100 million dollars worldwide. I highly recommend it.

Up next is The Snowman.  You can check out the Dread Central review of this winter time serial killer thriller here.

If you’re feeling more of a science fiction kind of vibe, check out Beyond Skyline.  Basically there’s a little something for everyone this week.  What are you going to watch?

Pleasant viewing, friends.



MOVIES

Beyond Skyline (2017)

Starring:

Frank Grillo, Bojana Novakovic, Iko Uwais, Jonny Weston

Synopsis:

When the population of Los Angeles is vacuumed off the face of the Earth, Detective Mark Corley storms his way onto an alien ship to rescue his estranged son. But after crashing the ship in Southeast Asia, he must forge an alliance with a band of survivors to discover the key to saving his son and taking back the planet once and for all.

BUY IT NOW!


Eye Of The Cat (1969)

Starring:

Michael Sarrazin, Eleanor Parker

Synopsis:

A man and his girlfriend plan to rob the mansion of the man’s eccentric but wealthy aunt. However, the aunt keeps dozens of cats in her home, and the man is deathly afraid of cats.

BUY IT NOW!


Happy Death Day (2017)

Starring:

Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Ruby Modine, Rachel Matthews, Charles Aitken

Synopsis:

Blumhouse (Split, Get Out, The Purge) produces an original and inventive rewinding thriller in Happy Death Day, in which a college student relives the day of her murder with both its unexceptional details and terrifying end until she discovers her killer’s identity. The thrills continue with an Alternate Ending never-before-seen in theaters.

BUY IT NOW!


Snowman, The (2017)

Starring:

Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Toby Jones, Chloe Sevigny

Synopsis:

From executive producer Martin Scorsese, The Snowman is based on Jo Nesbø’s New York Times bestselling thriller series. When an elite crime squad’s lead detective (Michael Fassbender) investigates the disappearance of a victim on the first snow of winter, he fears an elusive serial killer may be active again. With the help of a brilliant recruit (Rebecca Ferguson), the cop must connect decades-old cold cases to the brutal new one if he hopes to outwit this unthinkable evil before the next snowfall.

BUY IT NOW!



COLLECTIONS

The Amicus Collection

Starring:

Peter Cushing, Britt Ekland, Herbert Lom, Patrick Magee, Stephanie Beacham

Synopsis:

Known as The Studio That Dripped Blood , the British film company Amicus Productions founded by American writer/producers Max J. Rosenberg and Milton Subotsky built a legacy of horror anthologies and twisted thrillers that remains among the very best genre movies of the 70s. In this trio of Amicus classics featuring stars that include Peter Cushing, Herbert Lom, Britt Ekland, Patrick Magee, Stephanie Beacham, Calvin Lockhart, Michael Gambon and Charlotte Rampling you ll discover the studio s legendary portmanteau Asylum, their insane gothic shocker And Now The Screaming Starts, and exclusive to this set the infamous werewolf whodunit The Beast Must Die, as well as a Bonus Disc of Amicus trailers, TV commercials, rare interviews and more all in this 4 disc box set.

BUY IT NOW!

Continue Reading

News

Pride and Prometheus Fuses the Horror of Mary Shelley with the Romance of Jane Austen

Published

on

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein so you can expect to see several articles tied in with that momentous occasion over the next several months. Today we have your first word on Pride and Prometheus from John Kessel, which fuses Shelley’s Gothic horror with the Regency romance of Jane Austen in an exciting novel that combines two age-old stories in a fresh and startling way.

Born in Buffalo, New York, Kessel holds a B.A. in Physics and English and a Ph.D. in American Literature. He helped found and served as the first director of the MFA program in creative writing at North Carolina State University, where he has taught since 1982. He is the author of the novels Good News from Outer Space, Corrupting Dr. Nice, and, in collaboration with James Patrick Kelly, Freedom Beach. His short story collections are Meeting in Infinity (a New York Times Notable Book), The Pure Product, and The Baum Plan for Financial Independence. Also with Jim Kelly, he has edited five anthologies of stories re-visioning contemporary short sci-fi, most recently Digital Rapture: The Singularity Anthology.

Pride and Prometheus arrives February 13th from Sega Press. Look for a guest blog from John Kessel in the coming weeks!

Synopsis:
Pride and Prejudice meets Frankenstein as Mary Bennet falls for the enigmatic Victor Frankenstein and befriends his monstrous Creature in this clever fusion of two popular classics.

Threatened with destruction unless he fashions a wife for his Creature, Victor Frankenstein travels to England, where he meets Mary and Kitty Bennet, the remaining unmarried sisters of the Bennet family from Pride and Prejudice. As Mary and Victor become increasingly attracted to each other, the Creature looks on impatiently, waiting for his bride. But where will Victor find a female body from which to create the monster’s mate?

Meanwhile, the awkward Mary hopes that Victor will save her from approaching spinsterhood while wondering what dark secret he is keeping from her.

Continue Reading

Editorials

Why Brad Anderson’s Session 9 Scared the Hell Out of Me

Published

on

“Hello, Gordon.”

Invariably working for sites such as Dread Central I am always asked the question, “What is the scariest movie you have ever seen?” And, well, truth be told movies don’t tend to scare me that often. Sure there are my go-to flicks time and time again, such as The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity, and Lake Mungo. But sure enough everytime I spout out that list to a fellow horror fan they always follow up with, “Well, what is the scariest movie you’ve ever seen that ISN’T found footage?” Fair enough question.

Now while I’m not going to go into what I consider to be the scariest non-found footage horror movies (we’ll get into all of that at some later date) I do want to point out a movie in particular here today. The way it goes is that when I tell people my list of scariest non-found footage films, they always nod in agreement. Until that is, I get to a film called Session 9. It is at that point that whomever I am talking to cocks their head to the side and says, “I’ve never heard of that one.” Which is a shame and it happens far too often. So today I want to, yet again, give any and everyone who’s willing to listen the recommend.

Let’s begin with a quick rundown of the film. Session 9 was written and directed by Brad Anderson, who is a name you might recognize as the creative force behind such films as The Vanishing on 7th Street, Transsiberian, and the “Christian Bale is as skinny as a skeleton” mindfuck The Machinist.

But as good as those film may (or may not) be, without a doubt Anderson’s masterpiece is Session 9. Written specifically to be filmed inside the Danvers State Mental Hospital, the film stars David Caruso (don’t let that stop you), Peter Mullan, Josh Lucas and a few other gents as a group of asbestos removal guys who are possibly haunted within the walls of the institute while on a job.

If that rundown isn’t the best, here is the film’s official synopsis: “A tale of terror when a group of asbestos removal workers starts work in an abandoned insane asylum. The complex of buildings looms up out of the woods like a dormant beast. Grand, imposing…abandoned, deteriorating. The residents of Danvers, Massachusetts steer well clear of the place. But Danvers State Mental Hospital closed down for 15 years is about to receive five new visitors…”

Brrr… freaky enough, right? Well, trust me, the actual film is leaps and bounds better than even that creeper synopsis lets on. And best of all, with all horror and terror aside, the film is a tight flick about a group of men and how they interact as a team. While that may not sound too appealing, the actors, yes, even David Caruso, make for a lovable group of grumps that I enjoyed spending 90 minutes with.

Let’s talk about the horror for a second. You have to wait until the end, but once it hits (full-force) it is well worth the wait. The first 2/3 of the film are creepy but are mostly about the men and the job. Horror looms in the background at all times, sure, but it isn’t until the final act that the shit really hits the fan. And boy, does it. The final act is as bloody as any slasher you could ever hope for and even features a fun, very cool cameo by Mr. Larry Fessenden himself. But it is the final, give or take, 30 seconds of the film that still haunts me to this day.

You see the film is constantly playing a game of “Is it ghosts? Is it all in your head? Or is there a human element to the horror?” And that game comes to nightmarish reality in the film’s final moments. I specifically remember having fun with the film until its last frames. That was when I needed to turn the lights on. But that still didn’t help. The horror that Session 9 presents in its final moments are horrors where there is nowhere to run, no way to prevent it from finding you in the darkness, and no way to save yourself, or your loved ones, if it finds you.

“I live in the weak and the wounded.”

Being that I am prone to being one of those dudes that let’s shit bottle up inside until I explode (sad but true), this film is fu*king terrifying to me. I get it. I fear it. And I hope you will too. As kids, we need cautionary tales, and let’s not forget that we as adults do too sometimes. Session 9 is a warning for grown-ups. You almost deserve it to yourself and your loved ones to see this film and allow it sink in. Just don’t expect to sleep for a few nights…

In the end, why did Session 9 scare the hell out me so bad? Was it that voice that haunts my dreams to this day, or was it what the voice says? I’m still not sure. But trust me when I say that Brad Anderson’s Session 9 is one of the absolute scariest films I have ever seen. If you haven’t given the film its day in court yet, remedy that ASAP and thank me (or hate me) later.

You can buy Session 9 on Blu-ray HERE. And while you’re at it make sure to check out Villmark Asylum now on VOD.

Continue Reading

Recent Comments

Advertisement

Join the Box of Dread Mailing List

* indicates required

Go Ad Free!

Support Dread Central on Patreon!

Trending

Copyright © 2017 Dread Central Media LLC