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Monday, 23 August 2021 17:44

[Fantasia 2021] The Spine of Night Movie Review

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Due to play in theatres Late 2021 (please check local listings)
Coming to Shudder

Tzod (Lucy Lawless, Xena: Warrior Princess) is the latest guardian of the bloom, a flower which does more than protect the user in a very ambitious animated epic fantasy known as The Spine of Night. She wears it proudly instead of donning any other armour (much less clothes) because it bestows untold power and protection. 

After seeking shelter, another resident of the cave, The Guardian (Richard E. Grant, Withnail & I), is inquisitive, and the real stories unfold. This anthology series is certainly a love letter to the 70s animated aesthetic. Ranging from Eiichi Yamamoto's Cleopatra to Heavy Metal the Movie to Ralph Bakashi's Lord of the Rings for narrative and visual style, I'd say the tribute is well done.

Friday, 13 August 2021 16:20

[Fantasia 2021] When Frank and Zed Desire More Than Blood

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Fantasia Film Festival 2021
Available to view on demand

Frank and Zed is Jesse Blanchard's debut feature film, and his studio Puppetcore is an operation that I'm sure many horror makeup fans would love to work at. 

The people who work there now must have had fun creating this movie, as it really gets crazy with the effects offered in this movie about a Frankenstein monster and a ghoul. Technically, the latter is a zombie. All this over the top massacre is the orgy of destruction to which the villagers fear coming. This film wastes no time in explaining the situation in the beginning act and the waiting for this moment to happen is certainly worthwhile. Without a proper story, none of the action would be understandable. 

Thursday, 12 August 2021 16:15

[Fantasia Film Festival 2021] People Are Strange in Hotel Poseidon

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Fantasia Film Festival 2021

Available to watch on demand.
Buy your virtual ticket here.


I have to wonder if Stefan Lernous'
Hotel Poseidon is his interpretation of the classic Eagles song, "Hotel California?" I know the lyrics all too well, and although the band acknowledged the song was about hedonism and excess (in America), this film is the polar opposite. It's a story about despair and urban decay.

Dave (Tom Vermeir) is the manager, and he doesn't care if his building regularly gets guests in or not. When Nora (Anneke Sluiters) sweetly talks her way in, he's hardly swooning.

Fantasia Film Festival 2021

Available to watch on demand.
Buy your virtual ticket here.

Lost Boys is an indirect sequel to Reindeerspotting: Escape from Santaland, as it blurs the line between reality and fiction. This feature film is billed as a documentary in Fantasia Film Festival's programme guide, and if so, this piece is a dark and disturbing look at a side of life in Cambodia which is not good.

Wednesday, 11 November 2020 15:23

When Mutant Pigs Go Wild in Bullets of Justice!

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Available on iTunes, Microsoft, Amazon (UK), Amazon (US), Google Play

Danny Trejo is the Gravedigger in Bullets of Justice (formerly known as Mutant Pig Soldiers), and he's a father-figure (of all things) to Rob Justice (Timur Turisbekov). The youngin is trying to survive the post-apocalyptic world with Raksha (Doroteya Toleva) and if I didn't know any better, I'd swear the universe is right out of Palladium'sTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness. This RPG game has a supplement, After the Bomb, which pits man against mutant in a game of survival.

Saturday, 29 August 2020 22:25

Prepare for it, A #Shakespeareshitstorm!

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Fantasia Digital Film Festival 2020
North American Debut

When considering Troma Entertainment spent 45 years of disrupting media, they are showing no signs of slowing down! Their latest, #shakespearesh*tstorm is a reimagining of William Shakespeare'sThe Tempest, and they topped themselves! We get everything this studio is famous for–namely a car being flipped and gross out humour– that any Tromaphile will love to digest. In this case, blast out of a certain orifice!

Quebec Premiere. Playing at Fantasia Digital Film Festival 2020 On Demand till Sept 2. Buy your virtual ticket here.

SPOILER ALERT

Feels good, man. The Pepe the Frog comic and meme is explored in Arthur Jones' excellent debut documentary about the creator Matt Furie and how his comic book creation became a sensation as intended—including how he lost creative control. Some years ago, he was not pleased when other people took his work and used it for their purposes. Pepe’s use as a meme was widespread and got more attention than from his self-published comic book, Boys Club #1. After appearing on the Internet, that’s when problems surfaced. It isn’t easy being green.

Saturday, 29 August 2020 01:51

When Watching Kriya Alone, Beware the Road That You Follow

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Fantasia Digital Film Festival 2020
Last Showing: Saturday 29th, 23:15 EST
Buy your virtual ticket here.

Reality is warped in Kirya. New Delhi writer and director Sidharth Srinivasan’s Hindi-Indie horror mixes mysticism and devotion in a haunting tale about Sitara (Navjot Randhawa). It’s easy to see she’s a maneater. Or could she be Kyrie Eleison, that vixen found in the darkness of the night–the song from Mr. Mister? Though this bouncy song is about finding happiness, the lyrics can be given a darker meaning this movie crazily descends into,

Tuesday, 25 August 2020 20:26

Welcome to the World of Coffin Joe! Courtesy of Fantasia 2020!

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Playing at Fantasia Digital Film Festival 2020 On Demand till Sept 2. Buy your ticket ($8) to At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul here and The Strange World of Coffin Joe here.

If you haven’t been introduced to Coffin Joe yet, now is your chance! Fantasia's Digital 2020 Festival is showing the first instalment as part of their Retro program and "At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul" (1964) is a zinger.

Playing at Fantasia Digital Film Festival 2020 On Demand till Sept 2. Buy your virtual ticket here.

From Fantastic Fest 2019 to Fantasia Digital Film Fest. 2020, The Mortuary Collection is making its rounds to other celebrations on cinema. Filmmaker Ryan Spindell's work is a retrospective on modern-20th century horror—four tales said in summary to start from the 50s and leap each decade to spotlight a particular style of horror relevant for that time. If further screenings and a home video sell out prove successful enough, I can hope for the making of a second volume where it goes back to the ages I adore–The Wild West, Renaissance and Victorian Age.

Monday, 24 August 2020 19:50

What's Behind 2011? A Movie Review. Now Playing at Fantasia 2020

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Playing at Fantasia Digital Film Festival 2020. On Demand till Sept 2. Buy your virtual ticket here.

Alexandre Prieur-Grenier may well be the next Guy Maddin or, perhaps, the next David Cronenberg. His debut in 2011 oozes with avant-garde visuals and the lighting design is electric. The best scenes are when our hero’s dreams become reality, and it looks like a heat storm at night. We’re never sure what is upside down or right side up as this director is challenging us to figure out if everything we see is part of Émile Schneider’s (the protagonist's) imagination?

Wednesday, 08 July 2020 03:06

White Riot - Rock Against Racism Movement Documentary Film

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As cinemas are roaring back into business with the oldies and goodies, White Riot is going to revisit the late 70’s and the Rock Against Racism movement which threatened many emerging talents from out of Britain. This documentary by Rubika Shah cuts to the chase very fast.

The 80 minute runtime is comprised more with archival material than new. We have, with no surprise, The Clash’s London Calling as the national anthem which begins this work, and this editor doesn’t hold back. We see how far the bigotry went. We even have mentions of Bowie and Eric Clapton, and how involved they got into this situation.

As a single watch is not enough to understand how reaching this protest went. The new interviews sheds light to how people see this poignant time when the National Front was on the rise. I’m glad this release is through on demand services, and for as long as the ticket allows–usually three days–I can absorb and try to make sense of all that went on. It’s best not to dwell too much about this time, but for any music historian who wants a clear view of what happened, this documentary is heavily recommended!

Available on http://www.filmswelike.com/films/white-riot

-Ed Sum

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