Running around Toronto the past week and a bit has been a blast but my real reason, at least non-work related reason for coming out east has been Fantasia and it is rapidly approaching. Fantasia will start up this Thursday with the opening night presentation of Sorcerer’s Apprentice along with IP Man 2 and Mandrill plus an opening night party at Club 1234 . I have been lucky enough to see IP Man 2 already and I will be catching Mandrill on Saturday so I’ve got the choice between Nic Cage in a Disney Flick and a party. I think I’ll do the party. My real movie going will consist of approximately 10 movies over two days. I’ll give a fairly brief run through of my two days and then in another post coming up I’ll provide a list of what I’m going to be missing later in the festival.
My Friday will consist of seeing Phobia 2, Secret Reunion, Herschell Gordon Lewis – The Godfather of Gore and Rubber. Phobia 2 is the sequel to Phobia (4bia) which I was not lucky enough to catch but has been on my radar since I heard the good reviews from Toronto After Dark plus one of the stories in it (there are 5 different stories this time) takes place during the filming of the sequel of Alone which is really strong horror movie. I love the whole meta aspect of the fake sequel being the stage for a horror story within an actual sequel for a movie. Secret Reunion is the followup film of Jang Hun (Rough Cut) and stars Song Kang-ho as an agent tasked with tracking down a sniper in what is sure to be a stylistically strong thriller.
It is always fun to take in at least one documentary and this year I am going to check out the Herschell Gordon Lewis documentary. Lewis was responsible for many of the 1960s sexploitation horror flicks that I have enjoyed in the past and I’m hoping that the documentary will be as fun as his movies are. Finally on Friday, I am truly looking forward to Rubber. If you haven’t heard about this one it is the horror movie about a killer tire. Yup, you heard me right a tire that kills people. The fact that this is a midnight movie tells me this one should be a blast with some good kills and lots of laughs. That is it for Friday but fortunately I will be there for another day which looks like just as much fun.
On Saturday my schedule looks like this: Mandrill, First Squad, Evil: In the Time of Heroes, Down Terrace, Life and Death of a Porno Gang and either IP Man 2 or Mutant Girl Squad. Mandrill is the next movie from the director of Killtro and Mirageman. With each movie Ernesto Diaz Espinoza has been provided with a bit larger budget and more room to move in the action genre and I am curious to finally see one of his movies. I feel like I’m playing catch up with a lot of movies at this year’s Fantasia. Evil: In the Time of Heroes is the bigger budget prequel to the Romero-esque Greek Zombie flick Evil. Between this, Phobia 2 and Mandrill I have a feeling that I will be running out and tracking down the earlier works of all these directors.
There were two movies that I was particularly looking forward to prior to finding out when everything was screening. Evokative Films has not let me down so far and I couldn’t wait to see their films Down Terrace and Deliver Us From Evil. Unfortunately the latter is going to play after I leave Fantasia. Fortunately Down Terrace is screening on Saturday. My favourite quote from a review for this movie is from the blog Little White Lies, “A brilliantly bizarre blend of kitchen sink realism, broad swathes of black comedy and a body count befitting a slasher flick.” I have pretty high expectations for this one.
A new wave of films have been coming out of Serbia and while I was really interested in catching A Serbian Film, I am also intrigued by Life and Death of a Porno Gang which tells the story of a traveling porno group that performs live sex acts in small villages. Things really heat up when they are offered great rewards for expanding their act to include murder. My final movie will either consist of IP Man 2 which I have already seen and is worth a rematch or perhaps Mutant Girl Squad. I am not a big fan of the whole over the top cheap special effect movies like Mutant Girl Squad but that may just be that I have seen most of the movies of this style by myself and I am sure it would play much better with a large audience.
Even though I am only getting two full days of Fantasia I am more than sure I am going to walk away happy. One of the things that I haven’t mentioned is the social aspect of going to a film festival. I have been to TIFF and I’ve been to Toronto After Dark. I am currently setting up my own Film Festival and really half of the reason why I travel and why I want to run a festival is the good times I have just hanging and meeting fellow film fans. I’ve heard good things about past Fantasia Festivals and I cannot wait to relax and enjoy the down-time between movies.