Fantasia 2008: Day 10
The second Saturday of the festival brought us the much hyped teen slasher, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, Korea’s answer to Guinea Pig, The Butcher, the crap cauldron witch movie that is Wicked Lake, and the mutant bloodbath Tokyo Gore Police (review).
First up was Wicked Lake. We skipped it, since I had already seen it, and Johnny’s already given it some love in his review. Wicked Lake has a gaggle of very pretty young ladies doing delightfully dirty things to each other, but apart from the witches broomsticking each other, and Marc Senter’s Crispin Glover impersonation, there’s not a lot to recommend. A big disappointment given the pedigree of the filmmakers involved.
Both Mitch and Andrew Kasch have had some very positive things to say about All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, which had me looking forward to it. I found the movie smarter and better written than your average teen slasher. The Columbine school violence aspect rang true and added a level or realistic grit lacking in the majority of teen horror remakes we’re seeing these days. That said the ending, which isn’t as much of a twist as you may have heard, left me feeling like the filmmakers undid most of their good work leading up to that point by taking the easy way out and cancelling out the realism they had built up.
Paul tells me The Butcher did more to slaughter an hour and a half of his day than it did to entertain, disturb, or otherwise affect him. I’m just glad Paul bit the bullet, and I didn’t have to watch another faux-snuff film. How does this sub-genre continue to exist!? You can read his typically misanthropic review soon.
Tokyo Gore Police had the most packed Fantasia screening I’ve ever seen, which is doubly as impressive since it was a midnight show which are typically never sold out. People were sitting in the isles for this one and in general the crowd went nuts for it then stayed for a fairly long Q&A session afterwards. Normally I have no problem checking my brain at the door and enjoying a good FX heavy gorefest, but Tokyo Gore Police stretched my ability to remain interested in arterial spray and mutated flesh.
The highlight of the day was no doubt meeting Eihi Shiina, otherwise known as Asami from Audition. She was a surprise guest who showed up to support Tokyo Gore Police, which she’s also in. It’s a testament to Audition, now nearly ten years old, that when I saw her, my gut reaction was fear, dread, nausea, mixed with attraction; pretty much the exact response most of had to Audition. Getting a snapshot with her was a thrill. Now was that just me or did I hear her whisper “Kiri, kiri, kiri”?
Sunday we’ll be seeing the final reality horror spotlight film in the Playback in Black series, Home Movie. Hopefully it’s more REC, than The Butcher, because I can’t handle another badly done faux-snuffy. Paul will be checking out the manga inspired Akanbo Shojo, and trashy comics inspired Trailer Park of Terror. Check back for more very soon!
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