The Fantasia Festival is upon us once more! For me, this is a particularly special film festival, as it’s held in my hometown- Montreal! Over the last few years, the Fantasia Fest has just gotten bigger, and bigger- with many of the best genre films over the last few years making their debuts at Fantasia. Last year, we even had the North American premiere of QT’s INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS- hosted by the Bear Jew himself, Eli Roth, whose first film, CABIN FEVER, premiered at Fantasia back in the day.
Once again, we have ourselves an eclectic mix of horror, sci-fi, action and kung fu flicks. Fantasia will be opening and closing with the North American premieres of two big summer flicks- THE SORCERER’S APPRENTICE, and SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD- both of which I’ll be checking out.
However, Fantasia is really about discovering the smaller genre flicks. Last year, I caught several gems, including THIRST, THE CHASER, TRICK OR TREAT, etc. Here are a few of the films that I plan on checking out:
A British horror comedy following a group of buddies, who find themselves stranded in a town overrun by vicious, female zombies. Watching the trailer, it looked less like another SHAUN OF THE DEAD, than another LESBIAN VAMPIRE KILLERS- but it should be fun. The cast ain’t half bad, with Danny Dyer, from SEVERANCE (who’s cheeky Chav shtick wears a little thin at times), and Stephen Graham- fresh off his incredible turn in THIS IS ENGLAND.
Speaking of SEVERANCE- here we have the latest from Christopher Smith, who also helmed the underrated TRIANGLE. Here, he tackles the bubonic plague in Medieval England, with stars Sean Bean, Carice Van Houten, and David Warner. This could be a fun, Hammer-style throwback, and I’m looking forward to catching it.
IP MAN 2:
Last year, I was blown away by the ass-kicking badassery of IP MAN, and I can’t wait to see what star Donnie Yen has in store for us with the sequel. My only complaint about the original was that Yen was almost too invincible, with none of his opponents even landing a single punch. Luckily, Yen’s got Sammo Hung to spar with here. The last two these two went at it, we got an incredible ten minute showdown in SPL (or, as it’s known in North America- KILL ZONE). Will IP MAN 2 measure up?
THE LAST EXORCISM:
Produced by Eli Roth, THE LAST EXORCISM is getting a big release this fall, with its studio no doubt hoping this faux-reality based exorcism tale will be the next PARANORMAL ACTIVITY.
ALIEN VS. NINJA:
I know nothing about this, but the title is enough to get my ass into the theater. I mean, c’mon- ALIEN VS. NINJA. How could it not be good?
Canada represent! A vampire horror-comedy from my fellow Canucks, and starring the gorgeous Jessica Pare, as an undead, blood sucking rock star. SOLD!
The latest from the guys behind JACK BROOKS: MONSTER SLAYER. This looks to be a much more somber, serious film- which, truth be told, is a bit of a letdown for me, as the thing that set JACK BROOKS apart was the fact it didn’t take itself too seriously. Will the filmmakers be able to make the jump into straight horror? Watch this space!
Film about a killer tire. Need I say more? Actually, this has gotten some raves at the festival circuit, so they’re might be more going on here than meets the eye. We’ll see…
RED, WHITE & BLUE:
Supposedly, this is a hardcore little number that’s been polarizing audiences. Some have said this brings to mind the work of Sam Peckinpah, which is enough to make this a must see for me. The fact that it stars the criminally underrated Noah Taylor doesn’t hurt either.
Besides that, there are loads more films I’m planning to catch, so keep checking back for reviews. I also highly recommend making the trip to Montreal for Fantasia is you have the means. This is a great city, and Fantasia is a fun festival, packed to the brim with folks that truly love genre films.
Hope to see some of you here!