Fantasia 2008: Days 14 & 15

Ah, the sweet beauty of Montreal in July. For me there’s nothing like it. I love coming to this city every year when it’s at its very peak, and this year I couldn’t be happier simply because this trip came so close to not happening.

Upon arriving into the city on Wednesday night, my wife and I immediately headed to the post-Fantasia headquarters, The Irish Embassy. This is the same bar we hung out at last year, and I’m glad we’re back cause it’s a very cool place. While we waited for “>From Within to end, which according to Andy and Paul didn’t come nearly soon enough, we hung out with Mitch and Pierre, both programmers for the festival, as well as director Douglas Buck, who you may recall hooked us up with some very cool information about his next project, “>The Broken Imago, a few days back.

Fantasia 2008 (click to see it bigger!)After From Within let out, we were joined by Paul McCannibal and Evil Andy, our go-to guys for Fantasia coverage day in and day out every year. Montreal native and overall badass John “Arrow” Fallon showed up with the lovely Serena, who’s covering the show for Horror A night of good drinking and good conversation followed, which outside of the films is the best part of Fantasia.

The next day we didn’t have any films until Yam Laranas’ “>The Echo (review), the remake of his Filipino ghost story Sigaw, which had its very well-received world premiere at Fantasia. Most of our day, then, was spent with Fallon, hanging out and enjoying the relaxation of not having any responsibilities for hours on end. A beautiful thing when you can do it.

Finally The Echo premiere was upon us. You can read my review for the full picture, but suffice it to say the crowd enjoyed the hell out of it. It’s a very slow, sometimes very quiet movie, but you didn’t hear a single sound from anyone in that audience. Another reason I love Fantasia!

After some terrifying and potentially life-threatening car troubles, Fangoria’s Mike Gingold was finally able to join us when The Echo emptied, and it was great to see him in one piece. Needless to say he got himself a drink on me and spent the rest of the night unwinding. Jovanka and Sean from Rue Morgue soon joined us, and Echo director Yam Laranas even came by to hang out. Of course we took the chance to pick his brain about some of the elements of The Echo we had questions on. And yet another reason I love this fest.

Tonight is going to be insane. Darren Bousman’s “>Repo! The Genetic Opera (review) is having its world premiere here, and I cannot even imagine what the lines are going to look like. Expect to hear about it as soon as I recover from whatever goes down after!

Johnny Butane

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