The Horrors of Fantasia: Day 12 & 13
Day 12 started with Dead in 3 Days (review), Austria’s answer to the slasher revival trend that started off well enough with Behind the Mask and now, barely a year later is already petering out. The yodeled review is "Crap-a-lay-hee-hoo", but those seeking more in-depth vitriol can find it in the full review. Luckily "The Eyes of Edward James", screened before Di3D, which gave me something meatier to ponder while zoning out to the sound of the same old teen screaming.
On paper, a voice over narrated, completely POV shot, psychological horror story should have been a sophomoric disaster. Instead, Rodrigo Gudino has created a surprisingly moody and original short. "The Demonology of Desire" promises to be even better from the little we saw last week. The very cool and uber-unpretentious Tal Zimmerman (who plays The Doctor) and his delightful lady Miki were on hand to introduce Rodrigo’s film. Other last week festival-goers include Michael Gingold, managing editor of Fangoria magazine. No matter how many times I meet him or Tony Timpone, I just can’t get over the fact that these were the guys putting out the same horror rag that I used to save nickels for and hide under my bed. Weird I tell ya.
Luckily I was able to wash down the dead teen bile with a hearty helping of John Rhys-Davies in The Ferryman (review); New Zealand’s answer to The Thing on a yacht. This one was a lot more fun than I was expecting and was a highlight of the festival so far. Strong performances and a black humored EC comics vibe made for a good time.
Across the street at the De-Seve theatre Paul was busy watching a 25 year old vampire film, in French, with no subtitles (Jean Rollin’s Les Frissons des Vampires). Normally in Montreal this wouldn’t be a big deal but Paul, being a recent transplant, doesn’t speak any French! Freak that he is, he loved it, despite not being able to understand a word. Paul’s also been hard at work on a review of a short film we saw last week during Small Gauge Trauma. This is the one that everybody’s been talking about, and that there’s almost no chance you’ll ever get to see. It’s called "Gary’s Touch" (review) and, as you can read in Paul’s review, it’s touched everyone who’s seen it, though not necessarily in a good way. Like Webster told us: Say no! And go! And tell!
We closed out the night with one that a lot of folks have been looking forward to: Larry Fessenden’s The Last Winter (review). For those of you that loved Wendigo (I know I did), the good news is that Fessenden’s latest is an unofficial sequel and even features the same freaky caribou creatures from his earlier film. The bad news is that the world is coming to an end, global warming has passed irreversible levels and the harbinger of the end of civilization is a forty foot tall pissed off ghost caribou. Needless to say, I dug the film a lot. It’s nice to see the guy getting a bigger budget and making the most of it. God I want to see Fessenden direct a blockbuster; can you imagine the freaky shit he’d slip in there? Paul’s take was slightly less enthusiastic, but I chalk that up to his not having seen Wendigo yet. Read his review to find out more.
After listening to Fessenden’s really funny and informative Q&A (he’d been into the sauce by then), we snuck out the back door lest we get embroiled in another 5:00 am pint-guzzling session.
Day 13 was fairly uneventful. I’m a big sucker for anthology films so was pretty excited to see Trapped Ashes (review), with segments directed by Joe Dante, Ken Russel, Sean Cunningham, Monte Hellman, and first-timer John Gaeta. I dug it a lot, but pretty much everyone I saw it with thought it was only so-so. Check out the full for more details!
Wednesday we’re going to see Paul’s second Fantasia short, called "Plasma Baron", followed by Nightmare Detective. I’m psyched for Thursday, since we’ll finally get to see The Girl Next Door, which is getting some pretty mixed word of mouth reviews so far. Fingers crossed...
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