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[Fantasia 2021] The Spine of Night Movie Review

Monday, 23 August 2021 17:44
Published in Movie Reviews

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.

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. 

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.

Kauan's Ice Fleet Album Release, RPG & More!

Thursday, 04 March 2021 12:49
Published in Underground News

Release Date: April 9

Stream Maanpako here! 

"Maanpako" begins in a state of gentle nostalgia, erupts into a post-rock storm punctuated by blackened screams, then settles back into the calm where it began. The song, like all of Kauan's work, paints vivid pictures that range from the melancholy to the rapturous. As a recent Stereogum review puts it, “Serene guitars give way to crashing devastation and back again... Kauan seems to exist just out of reach on the edge of a dream, where equal parts hope, wonder, and despair are all possible.”

Ice Fleet, Kauan’s eighth full-length, is based on the true story of an unidentified fleet of ships discovered in 1930 in northernmost Russia, completely frozen under the permafrost with crew and passengers' bodies grotesquely preserved.

Prepare for it, A #Shakespeareshitstorm!

Saturday, 29 August 2020 22:25
Published in Movie Reviews

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!

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,

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.

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?

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