The Horrors of Fantasia: Day 14 &15
Check out the photo to the right. That’s a still from "Plasma Baron", Paul McCann(ibal)’s second short to play at Fantasia. Every year the programmers graciously give tons of screen time to up and coming local talent. These blocks are normally packed with parents, grandparents, siblings and friends, giving the proceedings a decidedly high school talent show vibe. That said, some of the films were surprisingly entertaining and boasted good production values (particularly Adam McDonald’s "Somber Zombie", and Eric Piccoli’s "Jammed"). Others were little more than friends with a DV cam and a half baked idea. Paul’s short came up towards the end, just as the audience was nearing exhaustion from all the overwrought acting and pixilated video. I was scared that his film was going to get raked over the coals, given its intentionally repetitive, non-narrative structure, droning score and rapid fire flashback visuals. Much to my delight, Paul’s film won the audience over with its weird ass vibe, misspelled interstitials and creepy main character, the Plasma Baron (pictured). You can find out more about McCannibal’s film by e-mailing him here.
Unfortunately, we had to skip The Redsin Tower (review) (which we hear is pretty dang good) since it was playing at the same time as Paul’s short. We were pleased to see that that Toe Tag crew is in town, which should go a long way towards making the final weekend a memorable one. Jeremy Kasten, director of Wizard of Gore, also rolled in and we’re expecting Uwe Boll any day now. This could be the best final weekend of Fantasia in a while...
On Day 15 we saw the world premier of Jack Ketchum’s The Girl Next Door (review). Of all the films screening this year, this one might be the most highly anticipated. Ketchum’s book is highly revered, both as one of the hardest reads you’ll ever experience, but also as one of the coldest, longest stares into real-life evil ever committed to paper. The last part of the film prompted dozens of walkouts, so rest assured that the movie is difficult to watch. I had some problems with a particular facet of the adaptation, but overall thought it was reasonably faithful, if not to the spirit, at least to the structure and story of the book. Director Gregory Wilson, and producer Andrew van den Houten were on hand to field the inevitable "why make this kind of movie?" questions afterwards. They also informed us that The Girl Next Door has secured an R rating from the MPAA. Rest assured, if they get this thing into multiplexes, there will be protests and people passing out in the isles.
Another film we saw today is worth mentioning in the hopes that it gets distribution. If David Lynch and David Cronenberg dropped acid, had sex changes, and gang banged Guy Maddin, the hairlipped hermaphroditic offspring would be Francois Miron’s The Fourth Life. The film defies description (except to say it has lots of tits), but if you want to know more head to its official site. Have fun!
Friday we’ll be watching the horse fucker documentary Zoo followed by the New Zealand stunt-splatter comedy The Devil Dared Me To, and will finish up with the Canadian premier of Jeremy Kasten’s The Wizard of Gore. Oh, and did I mention Uwe Boll is getting into town today?
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