Sunday, September 9th 2012
After another night of only 5 hours (or was it 4?) sleep, there was still a lot of expectation and motivation left to spend the whole Sunday at the cinema. Before going there, though, I got to meet Alex Chandon by accident again in a convenience store.
Inbred QA Part Deux, sort of
It’s always interesting to see how a director/producer or anyone involved in a movie is like in the “real world”, outside of the cinema or long after a screening. Without a doubt he wants to promote his movie, give away posters by signing them, getting in touch with the fans. But what if it’s all just part of the show?
Even meeting Alex in the spur of the moment buying some snacks/drinks etc., he was just as nice and natural as the day before and it was a pleasure talking to him about the festival and the people he met. Apparently the Cologne audience responded quite well to his genre flick Inbred. Only too bad he had to leave already for the next screening in another city as he wanted to watch some of the other festival movies as well. I wished him good luck with his promotion tour and hoped (I still do) to get to see another one in the near future and definitely get my hands on the home cinema release (even if this means not buying it in Germany, but that’s nothing new considering the weird censorship laws).
We experience technical difficulties…
I also wished the Fantasy Filmfest luck to get rid of the sound problems they had the day before with Noobz. Unfortunately after half an hour one of the subwoofers/speakers of the cinema broke and there was a constant humming sound during the entire movie, sometimes quite annoyingly loud. I remember this happening last year with The Woman which pretty much destroyed the experience.
But it wasn’t meant to be…Not only were there occasional sound problems in Cinedom 9, but in one scene of God Bless America the lower third of the picture appeared at the top of the screen. This is simply something one expects a multiplex cinema to take care of, especially at the time of a film festival when people pay quite a lot of money for single tickets.
Sorry for the inconvenience caused…due to brave new digital, schmigital world problems
Still, digital distribution of the movies became another big problem, as the last movie the day before (Nightfall) couldn’t be shown due to the Filmfest team’s inability to get another activation code. So instead the vampire comedy Vamps was the replacement. And this wouldn’t be the end of it either, which soon became apparent with other screenings.
(Ireland 2012, director: Conor McMahon)
A clown comes back from the dead to get revenge on the children who were responsible for his death at his last birthday party job.
A very entertaining slasher with lots of inventive kills, as the clown uses his own devices to get rid of the kids. Doesn’t fall into the trap like so many other genre examples, because there’s no long introduction with characters talking too much or not enough happening. Perfect runtime, very good gore and splatter effects, a cool soundtrack some nasty humor and very original ideas. Not to be missed if you want to see something different from the typical stupid-killer-goes-after-even-more-stupid-teenagers uninspired mess one usually has to bear these days.
Again another movie which has no official trailer yet and except for a rumored early 2013 BD release in Germany (and apparently shot in 3D in Ireland), this movie needs way more attention than what is usually on offer with direct-to-video or mainstream releases. Thumps up for supporting this innovative and fun slasher!
Game of Werewolves
(Spain 2011, director: Juan Martínez Moreno, original title: Lobos de Arga)
An unsuccesful writer comes back to his family’s home village to discover there’s a curse involving him and some furry fantasy creatures who are out for blood.
Not really innovative as a premise, it also takes some time (and bad jokes) to get going or for the werwolves to take center stage. But then one weird and funny situation follows another. The characters seem to be replaceable, but their lines are well written and one really cares for each of them later. The creatures themselves look quite ridiculous, and the effects are cheap as well. Lack of blood and gore is a bit disappointing too, but all in all a fun fantasy movie to pass the time and feel very entertained and satisfied at the end.
The Dinosaur Project
(UK 2012, director: Sid Bennett)
A group of scientists and journalists sets out to find a lost world of dinosaurs in the far reaches of the Kongo, or wherever that place is.
Jurassic Park with a shaky camera, plus some pretty bad special effects, acting and minus the suspense and realistic accuracy (you can do better research about dinosaurs in a children’s book, which would have a better plot anyway). It’s clear that the director wanted to achieve some sort of realistic rollercoaster ride (and it does succeed in one scene for a moment when the group doesn’t know what’s under their boats in the dark water), but it ends up as an insulting rip-off from the Hollywood movie series (the cover poster is better, though, even if doesn’t have much to do with the end product).
The only way to enjoy it is to laugh about the horrible shooting of the movie and the absent acting skills. A miserable failing from the UK when one wishes the footage should never have been found. Who’s laughing now? Maybe the dinosaurs after finally having done away with the incompetent film crew.
God Bless America
(USA 2012, director: Bobcat Goldthwait)
A terminally ill and recently fired man wants to make America aware of the hypocritical and humilitating influences by killing the responsible people with the help of a young girl at his side.
Comparisons to Natural Born Killers are there, but like Sightseers, the movie stands on its own and does a much better job to convey its message. Violence and laughter are closely linked together and rarely does a movie make the audience think about how to react. On the one hand exaggerated violence and comic scenes are in abundance, on the other hand it’s not far from the truth what TV and the general media offer today and how people consume even the worst humiliations (like Popstars or American Idol) without making up their own minds what’s wrong about their behavior (NOT only USA-specific, just looking at what’s on offer in other countries like Germany and how people react (or don’t) quite similarly there as well).
A brave, important movie for this generation which treats relevant topics and toches/moves the audience in ways not even the most accomplished arthouse director can achieve. Highly recommended and another one of the best movies of the festival.
(USA 2012, director: Jennifer Chambers Lynch)
A serial killer captures a young boy and keeps him as his prisoner and student for many years in isolation.
Sick idea and twisted execution, like her father’s (David) work, Jennifer Chambers delivers a disturbing tale of depressing images and violent scenes (receiving the rare NC-17 rating in the US). Maybe it’s a bit too long for the rather simple story, but Vincent D’Onofrio’s performance is spot on and downright creepy to watch. With a strong, brooding atmosphere and a haunting soundtrack, it’s (except for one sick cardgame scene) without any comic relief and spirals deeper and deeper down into a horrifying conclusion.
A difficult movie to recommend (or watch again), but nevertheless unique in its own way. One of those feel-bad-movies which don’t make you regret that you’ve seen them once in your life.