Monday, August 31, 2020

Fantasia 2020: 'The Paper Tigers' Movie Review


I’ve been tracking the progress of writer/director Bao Tran’s The Paper Tigers for a while now. There weirdly aren’t many indie Kung Fu movies produced in Seattle, so when one does happen, you’re damn right it has my attention. After a long journey, the film finally premiered at the Fantasia International Film Festival over the weekend, and doesn’t disappoint when it comes to delivering humor, heart, and face-kicking.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Fantasia 2020: 'The Mortuary Collection' Movie Review


Writer/director Ryan Spindell’s The Mortuary Collection has the honor of being the third anthology (or at least anthology adjacent) film I’ve watched at this year’s Fantasia Film Festival that places stories and the craft of storytelling front and center in the narrative. (The others being The Oak Room and Undergods.) 

Fantasia 2020: 'Monster SeaFood Wars' Movie Review


Minoru Kawasaki’s Monster SeaFood Wars is a kaiju movie about a giant crab, squid, and octopus rampaging through Tokyo. And it’s as ludicrous and off-the-wall as that sounds. It’s strange and silly and upholds the Japanese dudes-in-rubber-monster-suits-wreaking-havoc tradition. There’s also the added bonus that it may well make you very, very hungry.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

'The Dark And The Wicked' Trailer: Supernatural Horror Goes To The Farm


If horror movies have taught us anything, it’s that chopping vegetables never ends well. Case in point, the first trailer for the upcoming The Dark and the Wicked. For that matter, when a rickety old phone rings, also leave it the hell alone. Check out the trailer below.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Fantasia 2020: 'The Oak Room' Movie Review


A guy walks into a bar. Only instead of beginning a joke, he comes with a story, a debt, deep secrets about to bubble to the surface, and even deeper wounds. Such is the set up for director Cody Calahan’s The Oak Room, the latest offering from Canadian filmmaking crew, Black Fawn Films (I’ll Take Your Dead, Bed of the Dead). Their latest is a chilly, noir-inspired tale that watches like Southern Gothic in the Great White North and just held its world premiere at the Fantasia International Film Festival.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

'Get Duked!' (2019) Movie Review


Richard Connell’s short story, “The Most Dangerous Game,” has given us a nearly inexhaustible supply of movies inspired by the tale of man hunting man. It’s practically its own cinematic subgenre. Though I doubt any iteration is quite so profane, rowdy, or as much manic fun as writer/director Ninian Doff’s action horror comedy Get Duked!. (Hard Target notwithstanding.) Come on, there’s supercharged hallucinogenic rabbit poop, what’s not to love?

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Fantasia 2020: 'Fried Barry' Movie Review


In the end, I’m not entirely sure what to make of South African oddity Fried Barry. Leaping boundaries of horror, science fiction, and gritty realism, among others, it’s certainly a wild, chaotic, immersive ride. And one I’m glad I had the opportunity to watch. I think. It’s the kind of cinematic madness that the Fantasia International Film Festival is tailor made for.

DC Fandome Trailers: The Batman, Wonder Woman 1984, The Suicide Squad, The Snyder Cut


Because every company gets their own convention, we got DC Fandome this weekend, which sounds a lot like Thunderdome, though I doubt DC/Warner Bros. made their fans fight to the death in a makeshift cage. Though I’m sure they would, they seem to be a dedicated bunch. Anyway, the studio dropped a bunch of new/first looks at various projects people are excited about, and because I’m too lazy to break them up, here they are all at once. Fans of the DC family of films certainly have quite a bit to look forward to coming in 2021. Enjoy.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Fantasia 2020: 'A Witness Out Of The Blue' Movie Review


Fung Chih-Chiang’s A Witness Out of the Blue has all the earmarks of a classic Hong Kong crime saga. There’s murder, slick production values, a twisting plot, shades of moral ambiguity, standoffs, shootouts, and a parrot. Wait, what? 

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Fantasia 2020: 'The Columnist' Movie Review


It doesn’t take much time on social media to realize that the distance and anonymity of various platforms make people way more comfortable to say horrific things than they would in person. The lack of real-world consequences only further emboldens people. (A commenter once told me he hoped my entire family died in a fire in front of me because a YouTube embed of a trailer was geo-locked where he lived. Shit gets wild.) It’s exponentially worse for women on the internet. And bloody, pitch-black Danish satire The Columnist has some thoughts on the matter.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

'The Prey' (2019) Movie Review


Richard Connell’s short story “The Most Dangerous Game” has, officially or otherwise, served as the basis for countless action movies. Hard TargetSurviving the Game, Bloodlust!, and others—not to mention all the straight adaptations—all draw from the tale of men hunting men. Now we can add Cambodian actioner The Prey, from Jailbreak director Jimmy Henderson, to the pile.

Monday, August 17, 2020

10 Movies To See At The Fantasia Film Festival 2020


With COVID-19 running wild, film festivals as we know them are, maybe not a thing of the past, but quite different. For the time being anyway. (Hopefully only the time being.) Many have been cancelled, but a few intrepid endeavors have chosen to soldier on digitally. That includes one of our favorites, Canada’s Fantasia Film Festival, a repository of cinematic weirdness, filmic mayhem, and genre nonsense of all stripes. And that’s a good thing, a very, very good thing. The 2020 schedule has been taken entirely online.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

'Sputnik' (2020) Movie Review


Leave it to Russia to drop a cold, tense sci-fi/horror hybrid that’s chilly and austere while also being all kinds of gooey and gross. Such is the way of Egor Abramenko’s Sputnik, a creeping dread creature feature and tale of institutional bureaucratic terror that regularly, and in clever fashion, pulls the rug out from under the viewer. All with unsettling monster effects peppered throughout.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

'Black Water: Abyss' (2020) Movie Review


When you think crocodiles and Australians in movies, odds are your mind turns immediately to a man named Dundee and his rather large knife. That, however, is not the only game in town. Case in point, director Andrew Traucki’s Black Water: Abyss, a cave-spelunking, croc-fighting tale of claustrophobia and survival that watches a bit like a synthesis of The Descent and Crawl.

Monday, August 3, 2020

'Get Duked!' Red Band Trailer Hunts Teens In The Woods


It was called Boyz in the Wood when it debuted at film festivals last year, but now Amazon has retitled the Scottish action/horror/comedy Get Duked! ahead of its impending release. They also dropped this raucous new red band trailer for writer/director Ninian Doff’s film.