The Horrors of Fantasia: Day 16 & 17
Friday started off with Zoo, a documentary about guys who like to have sex with horses. In my book that constitutes a horror film. At the very least that’s some pretty transgressive behavior, deserving of a mention. Unfortunately, the movie takes its subject matter so seriously and seems so afraid of making light of what is ... let’s face it, a bunch of guys that like huge horse dick, that it misses the opportunity to investigate the depths of Zoophilia and bestiality. After watching the film I don’t know any more about these topics than I did going in (uh, not much by the way).
Next up was the New Zealand splatter stunt comedy The Devil Dared Me To, hosted by its creators Chris Stapp and Matt Heath. The film tells the story of Randy Campbell, the latest in a long line of professional stuntmen. Randy wants nothing more than to jump cars, be set on fire, and bust all his bones doing it but his boss, the famous Dick Johansonson, keeps him on the sidelines, scared of being upstaged by the younger more ambitious daredevil. While superficially similar to the upcoming American film Hot Rod, the Kiwi version is decidedly non-PG-13. The language is pure New Zealand roughneck, and when stunts go wrong, they go horribly wrong. We’re treated to supermodel bodies supporting horribly burn scarred heads, twelve year old girls with crushed legs, one armed mechanics, compound fractures, and full body amputees. It’s a foul mouthed, occasionally gory coming of age story, reminiscent of the off-color comedies of the 80’s, like Revenge of the Nerds and Police Academy.
We ended the night with Jeremy Kasten’s highly anticipated Wizard of Gore (review) remake. I found the film a little overly stylized and intentionally hip, lacking the ratty sleaze factor of the original. For a film with grindhouse roots, the use of so much CGI gore and pay before you play Suicide Girls was a letdown. That said, it does have a few things going for it, chiefly a totally over the top performance by Crispin Glover as Montag, and some truly weird cameos by Brad Dourif and Jeffrey Combs. You can read my catalog write-up of it at the Fantasia site, or check out Paul’s full review right here.
But before that we got to check out a great low budget film called Murder Party (review). The crowd had a great time with the story of a lone loser facing off against a bunch of art house hipsters. It’s got one of the wettest endings this side of Dead Alive and is sure to become required watching every Halloween. Check out my full review here.
After downing a few beers to numb the pain, a bunch of us who had already seen Postal (review) headed off to the theatre to gauge the crowd response. I’ve never seen Uwe Boll in person, nor been able to see the fanboy reaction, so I was shocked at the mob of people clambering for photos and autographs with him. Could these people possibly be celebrating his films, or is it merely the personality behind them? Paul has more to say on this topic in his review, which you can find right here!
Before Postal, we got to see a five minute trailer for The Manoeuvre In Vancouver, Rue Morgue radio’s Stuart "Feedback" Andrews’ upcoming documentary about Uwe Boll boxing his critics. It’s shaping up to be the definitive word on not only that one incident, but on Uwe Boll and his relationship to his critics in general. The bit we saw had the audience laughing their asses off. Hopefully we’ll get to see it released by Rue Morgue, or even better, as a special feature on the Postal DVD!
By the end of the film the initially enthusiastic and forgiving Fantasia audience was much more subdued. Forget what you may have heard, this is not a break out Uwe Boll film, and he’s not a comedic genius. Postal is the cinematic equivalent of a wall of hot button topics, and Uwe Boll’s idea of directing is to hamfistedly mash as many of those buttons as possible.
We’re down to the last couple of days of the festival now. Last night we checked out Borderland, a film Mitch Davis compares to a Mexican Hills Have Eyes (more on that soon), and today we'll finish the fest with the latest Kiyoshi Kurosawa film, Retribution. Also, stay tuned for the completely unofficial and totally unsanctioned Dread Central Fantasia Awards!
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