While I am still recovering from the Toronto Film Festival experience (45 films, 16 reviews, 4am walks, 3 parties, 2 interviews, no sleep!) I cannot but think that I wish I was planning a trip to the sunny coast of spain for the worlds biggest and most comprehensive genre film festival: Sitges. Now in its 42nd year, the line up is to die for.
Here are some of the highlights (links to Row Three Reviews):
Enter The Void (R3 Review) – The Best film Experience of the year! Seriously.
Grace (R3 Review) – Motherhood, biology and the parasitic infant. “He requires special food!”
Splice (R3 Review) – sexy and scary genetic experimentation with Sarah Polley and Adrian Brody.
Pontypool (R3 Review) – Semiotics! Zombies! Talk Radio!
Black Dynamite (R3 Review) – Blaxploitation Spoof. Badassery. You Dig, MuthaFucka!
Thirst (R3 Podcast Discussion) – Chan-wook Park does vampires in his own majestic and unpredictable fashion.
Mr. Nobody (R3 Review) – Donnie Darko meets Primer meets Sliding Doors. Rinse. Repeat.
[Rec]2 (R3 Review) – Just like [Rec] only more guns. And more crosses. (As [Rec] was to Alien, [Rec]2 is to Aliens.)
Genius Party Beyond – The best of strange animation from 4oC studios. Animation without boundaries.
Best Worst Movie – A doc on Troll 2 (a contender for worst film ever made) and its fandom. And Sitges is double billing it with Troll 2 for the complete package.
The Hole – 3D (R3 Review) – A great kids story of fears in the dark with astoundingly good 3D technology.
The Loved Ones (R3 Review) – John Hughes meets Carrie with a dollop of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Drag Me to Hell. This Down Under horror film won the TIFF midnight madness award.
Nymph (R3 Review) – Nature is Satan’s Church.
Deliver Us From Evil – A stylish revisit of Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs. With bonus added nail gun.
Danse Macabre – Drop Dead Gorgeous reverie on the final moments before a body is interred into the ground.
The Bad Lieutenant: Port of call New Orleans (R3 Review) – Shoot him again! His soul is still dancing. God Bless Herzog goofing on genre cinema and creating amusing, highly quotable, entertainment.
The Forbidden Door – Indonesian ‘mind-fuck’ of a successful artist discovering how badly things can go when you peer behind the red curtain of your own psyche. Stay until after the credits for more information.
Valhalla Rising – Vikings! Sergio Leone framing! Terrence Malick tonal poetry! Blood Eagling! Mads Mikklesen!
Vengeance – Johnnie To in fine form makes an urban western with French superstar Johnny Hallyday.
Moon (R3 Review) – Sam Rockwell in a stunningly designed hard science fiction film.
Some that I personally wish to see:
Stanislaw Lem’s “1″
O Lucky Malcolm!
The Bullet Man (Tetsuo 3)
Cold Souls (R3 Review)
…And a word of warning (i.e. best to skip out) on these:
Les derniers jours du monde (Happiness at the End of the World) – Sexual confusion and promiscuity as Apocalypse metaphor could have been done in 10 minutes instead of 130 agonizing minutes! Unless you want to see Sergei Lopez and Mathieu Almalric graphically make out, avoid like the plague!
George A. Romero’s Survival of the Dead – He’s lost it with this one, blunt, directionless and looking more like a bad Romero imitation than anything else.
The Children (R3 Review) – A handsome and well shot ‘Children Slasher Film’ that seems to please the genre-crowd, but is braindead and blunt without being very scary.