The Horrors of Fantasia: Day 7 & 8

Wednesday was definitely our biggest day yet here, so imagine my frustration when it started off with us rushing out to make the movie … again.

As easy as it would be place blame, it’s really no one’s fault, and it was all right anyway because we made our first screening of the day, KM 31 (review), much to my later disappointment. Sure it was slick looking and never felt like a cheap Mexican movie, hell even the acting was a lot better than I expected, it just relied way too heavily on Western stereotypes to pad its scares. My review goes into a bit more detail so check it out if you’re interested.

Fantasia 2007 report (click to see it bigger!)From there the wife and I hit up Miike’s latest head-scratcher, Big Bang Love, Juvenile A, a title that, even now that I’ve seen it, makes zero sense. Basically it’s the story of two men imprisoned on the same day for unrelated murders and the events that lead to one of the first shots of the movie: the effeminate, obviously gay inmate choking the corpse of the tough as nails, kick everyone’s ass inmate. Don’t look for anything even approaching a standard narrative, however, cause there’s no way you can piece one together. At times it just felt weird for the sake of being weird, to be honest, but it sure as hell looked beautiful.

After a short break, during which we had time to grab some food and meet up with Andy, Paul and the rest of our crew, it was off to (finally) see David Arquette’s slasher comedy The Tripper (review). The crowd dug it, I dug it, and all and all it seemed like everyone just had a really good time with it. It’s really too bad this movie didn’t get a real promotional push behind it when it was released theatrically; something tells me it would’ve done pretty damn well if enough people had known about it.

Fantasia 2007 report (click to see it bigger!)After the screening Arquette did some Q&A with the crowd with Fangoria’s Tony Timpone emceeing, and though the questions were pretty standard for the most part, one thing that stuck out for us was his mention of the potential for a Tripper sequel, which he’s calling The Tripper 2: The Burning Bush right now. It’s set at a Burning Man-style festival, and he’s got all kinds of fucked up stuff planned for it, up to and including zombies! He did say that if it happens, it might go direct-to-DVD, which is fine with me as long as it gets made.

Afterwards we got the chance to hang out with David at the local Fantasia watering hole, The Irish Embassy, and you really couldn’t ask for a nicer, more un-egotistical guy coming from the bowels of Hollywood. Talk about someone from one of the most famous family of working actors today, you’d almost expect and understand the man being a bit of a dick, but nothing could be further from the truth. He’s completely approachable and friendly, and I’m really glad we got to hang out with him (again, finally).

Wednesday night quickly became Thursday morning, quite literally as we once again stayed up until the sun came out (not hard to do when you start your real partying at midnight) so after hanging out with the man, the myth, the arrow, John Fallon, for most of the night, we found our way to a cab and hit Andy’s pad for some much-needed beauty sleep.

Fantasia 2007 report (click to see it bigger!)Waking up refreshed and beautiful on Thursday afternoon (cause that’s how we roll), Evil Andy finally lived up to his name by making us a very impressive breakfast spread, which we barely had to torture him into concocting for us. No, the food wasn’t evil, but Andy sure as hell was.

Michelle was out for the first screening, this year’s edition of Small Gauge Trauma, which in the end was pretty good for her because there wasn’t a lot she missed. “Happy Birthday to Me” was a highlight, about a woman investigating a possible child abuse case only for it to twist quite horrifically, as was Rue Morgue president Rodrigo Gudino’s “Demonology of Desire”. Unfortunately for the film, something went wrong when it was projected that caused the entire thing to be about 70% darker than it should have been. Because of that, Rodrigo’s asked me to wait for a real screener to throw a review up, so expect one shortly!

But the one film everyone was really talking about for SGT this year was “Gary’s Touch”; this is one that, upon its first screening in Ontario, had audience members actually calling the cops because of. The story is about a man who gets his rocks off by putting his semen, which he carries in petri dishes with him, on toilet paper in the girls’ bathrooms of elementary schools and enjoys banging homeless women. That’s a very base description (it actually deals with the strangest side of sexuality), but I can see how the movie could easily offend the hell out of anyone with even slightly delicate sensibilities.

Fantasia 2007 report (click to see it bigger!)We hung out with the film’s director, Ken Takahashi, afterwards, and honestly after discussing it with him, I have to say I did enjoy it more than I did initially. Andy, on the other hand, really enjoyed it from the get-go, and we had a really good chat with him about sexuality and the meaning of film. That’s why I love Fantasia so much!

After Small Gauge Trauma it was off to see the Austrian survival horror comedy On Evil Grounds (review), which was my first real discovery of the fest. It’s funny, over the top and was shot with one freaking DV camera but never looks it. The director and cast were there afterwards for a quick Q&A and detailed what a pain in the ass it was to make the film, but damn they sure did a great job with it. Hopefully we’ll be hearing more from these guys soon.

The final film of the night was a Korean flick called A Bloody Aria, which was a pretty strange way to end the night. The film details a professor who takes a detour while driving one of his students back to Seoul and ends up getting his car stuck on a strange beach. The beach is the territory of a group of guys who believe in violence and their leader, who just has issues all across the board. I honestly didn’t really dig it all that much but others did; it was a strange way to end the night because usually their last films of the night are crowd-pleasers, but A Bloody Aria was just plain depressing.

The night was called off pretty early; for some reason no one really wanted to stay out too late it seemed, but we did get to meet the On Evil Grounds director and tell him how much we enjoyed the film before we crashed out early. Today we have three potentially badass films in a row: The Matrimony, End of the Line (review) and The Signal (review). Expect a Matrimony review tomorrow and hopefully more tales of Montreal debauchery!

Johnny Butane

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