‘NINJA ZOMBIE’ LIVES UP TO ITS BRILLIANT, TWISTED PREMISE

‘NINJA ZOMBIE’ LIVES UP TO ITS BRILLIANT, TWISTED PREMISE


October 8, 2018    Matt Wedge

It is a rarity when a film at the budget level of NINJA ZOMBIE actually lives up to its inspired title. I have watched so many micro-budget indies with great titles and groovy DVD art/posters that were plodding, dull, and talky that I immediately assume a movie with as tremendous…

Please Share
‘VENOM’ GIVES THE VIOLENT ANTIHERO THE BLAND ORIGIN STORY TREATMENT

‘VENOM’ GIVES THE VIOLENT ANTIHERO THE BLAND ORIGIN STORY TREATMENT


October 4, 2018    Rob Dean

Not every adaptation into film needs to be 100% faithful to the source material. There have been tons of successful works that have changed, combined, or left out major narrative elements of stories and characters that audiences love—but the films work just as well. The two main questions one should…

Please Share
‘DESTROYER’ IS A FAMILIAR CRIME DRAMA WITH A TERRIFIC LEAD PERFORMANCE

‘DESTROYER’ IS A FAMILIAR CRIME DRAMA WITH A TERRIFIC LEAD PERFORMANCE


October 2, 2018    Johnny Donaldson

Nicole Kidman looks unrecognizable in DESTROYER, her famously refined features dirtied and sallow with a lifetime of weariness. Her porcelain skin is now grayish and liver-spotted, her eyes heavy with tiredness, the mop of hair on her head limp and streaked with white. You can hardly believe you are seeing…

Please Share
THERE ARE GOOD TIMES TO BE HAD WITH ‘BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE’

THERE ARE GOOD TIMES TO BE HAD WITH ‘BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE’


October 2, 2018    Jason Coffman

Drew Goddard’s debut feature THE CABIN IN THE WOODS was a highly memorable way to start a directorial career. This wasn’t just a meta-horror in the SCREAM tradition, it was a call to arms for horror fans and filmmakers to demand something more out the genre than the same exhausted…

Please Share
‘SAVAGE’ IS A CLUMSY COMING OF AGE TALE DISGUISED AS AN ANEMIC THRILLER

‘SAVAGE’ IS A CLUMSY COMING OF AGE TALE DISGUISED AS AN ANEMIC THRILLER


October 1, 2018    Matt Wedge

SAVAGE had its world premiere at Fantastic Fest on Saturday, September 22, 2018.   I appreciate a well-made coming of age film. When everything clicks, the harsh truths of a young person growing up and dealing with a world where they now understand that adults are not always right and…

Please Share
‘WEREWOLF’ IS A SIEGE FILM THAT LETS ITS HUMANITY SHINE THROUGH

‘WEREWOLF’ IS A SIEGE FILM THAT LETS ITS HUMANITY SHINE THROUGH


September 30, 2018    Matt Wedge

WEREWOLF recently had its North American premiere at Fantastic Fest 2018.   There are two ways a genre film can make me nervous before watching it. One is to be based upon an actual tragedy. It is hard for me to watch a movie based on true events that result…

Please Share
UNDER THE SILVER LAKE Is A Hollow Hipster Noir Mystery

UNDER THE SILVER LAKE Is A Hollow Hipster Noir Mystery


September 27, 2018    Johnny Donaldson

There’s a certain breed of film fan that gets roundly mocked on social media for their rather basic tastes: the Dudely Film Bro. We all know the (stereo)type. The man with the SCARFACE and BOONDOCK SAINTS posters on his wall. The one who worships at the altar of Tyler Durden,…

Please Share
CHAINED FOR LIFE Is Playful And Joyfully Spirited

CHAINED FOR LIFE Is Playful And Joyfully Spirited


September 27, 2018    Sharon Gissy

CHAINED FOR LIFE is prefaced by a lengthy quote from Pauline Kael about the necessity of beauty in actors, because it makes the viewing experience more pleasurable for the audience. Make no mistake about it: this is a message movie. It is, as predicted by the quote, a movie about beauty,…

Please Share
The Genre Bending Animated Musical LAIKA Is A Joy To Watch

The Genre Bending Animated Musical LAIKA Is A Joy To Watch


September 27, 2018    Sharon Gissy

Wes Anderson’s ISLE OF DOGS may be given a run for its money by LAIKA, an utterly charming, whimsical, and funny animated musical about the famous space dog that died in the launching of Sputnik 2. In this alternate reality created by Czech director Aurel Klimt, Laika does not die but…

Please Share
AS A MIDNIGHT MOVIE, ‘GIRLS WITH BALLS’ FAILS TO ENTERTAIN

AS A MIDNIGHT MOVIE, ‘GIRLS WITH BALLS’ FAILS TO ENTERTAIN


September 26, 2018    Matt Wedge

I saw GIRLS WITH BALLS in one of the midnight slots at this year’s Fantastic Fest, and I have to admit, in many ways, it is very much a traditional midnight movie with as much gore, stupid jokes, and obnoxious behavior as should be expected. That said, many of the…

Please Share
STRIKE, DEAR MISTRESS, AND CURE HIS HEART Displays A Welcome Regional Weirdness

STRIKE, DEAR MISTRESS, AND CURE HIS HEART Displays A Welcome Regional Weirdness


September 26, 2018    Jason Coffman

Fantastic Fest is a celebration of genre and cult cinema from all over the world, bringing both new and classic films to the big screen for eager crowds. Sometimes, though, the fest brings something completely unexpected even by its own high standards of outré programming. This year, the festival hosted…

Please Share
THE PERFECTION Orchestrates An Aria Of Twisted, Perverse Surprises

THE PERFECTION Orchestrates An Aria Of Twisted, Perverse Surprises


September 26, 2018    Johnny Donaldson

There’s no way to coherently to review a film like THE PERFECTION without giving what makes it tick away. It’s that kind of movie, the kind of film where the twists and turns come so unexpectedly, with such hair-trigger precision, and go to places that one would never even expect…

Please Share
[FANTASTIC FEST 2018] JEAN-CLAUDE VAN DAMME STRETCHES HIS ACTING MUSCLES IN ‘THE BOUNCER’

[FANTASTIC FEST 2018] JEAN-CLAUDE VAN DAMME STRETCHES HIS ACTING MUSCLES IN ‘THE BOUNCER’


September 25, 2018    Matt Wedge

  As he has aged, I find Jean-Claude Van Damme to be an enigma as a screen presence. He no longer is capable of the kind of stunt work and choreographed martial arts action scenes with which he made his name. Forced to rely more on his surprisingly decent acting…

Please Share
Gaspar Noé’s CLIMAX Is A Real Disco Inferno

Gaspar Noé’s CLIMAX Is A Real Disco Inferno


September 25, 2018    Jason Coffman

Gaspar Noé is a director whose name inspires strong reactions among those familiar with his work. It’s rare to find a cinephile who is ambivalent about Noé, who has spent his entire career as a director as an unrepentant provocateur. “Confrontational” is a good descriptor, and that extends to the marketing…

Please Share
Loneliness Goes Psychotic In The Perversely Funny PIERCING

Loneliness Goes Psychotic In The Perversely Funny PIERCING


September 25, 2018    Johnny Donaldson

Can we eat first? In PIERCING those words take on a mean far and away from their seemingly innocent origins. They become something of a code, a mantra for the damaged souls at the center of Nicholas Pesce’s film. A Pop Art BDSM fever dream that can only be called…

Please Share
OVERLORD Is A Gloriously Gory Action Packed Thrill Ride

OVERLORD Is A Gloriously Gory Action Packed Thrill Ride


September 24, 2018    Jason Coffman

HELLBOY may be the most well-known 2000s franchise that uses the Third Reich’s preoccupation with the occult as a touchstone, but that footnote in weird history has proven to be a rich mine for genre artists of all sorts. The basic concept of someone stumbling upon supernatural evil in a…

Please Share
APOSTLE Is A Slow But Brutal Cult Thriller

APOSTLE Is A Slow But Brutal Cult Thriller


September 24, 2018    Johnny Donaldson

Gareth Evans knows violence. The Welsh filmmaker broke through to audiences with his beloved pair of RAID films, balletic blood operas that allowed Indonesian martial arts star Iko Uwais to go HAM on a slew of oncomers in displays of bone shattering athletic prowess. Then there was his “Safe Haven”…

Please Share
SUSPIRIA Is An Unholy Masterpiece

SUSPIRIA Is An Unholy Masterpiece


September 24, 2018    Johnny Donaldson

There’s  a certain unspoken rule to making a good remake: embrace the original, but do your own thing.  Go too far astray, and you risk looking like you are just capitalizing on a familiar title; act too faithfully, and you are just lukewarm leftovers.  The good news about Luca Guadagnino’s…

Please Share
[FANTASTIC FEST 2018] ‘BLOODLINE’ IS A SHAKY DARK COMEDY WITH A KILLER LEAD PERFORMANCE

[FANTASTIC FEST 2018] ‘BLOODLINE’ IS A SHAKY DARK COMEDY WITH A KILLER LEAD PERFORMANCE


September 23, 2018    Matt Wedge

  A devoted husband and father-to-be presents a milquetoast version of himself to the world and moonlights as a serial killer of bad people, following the same ritualistic killing pattern to keep his darker impulses from harming his family. The whole situation is played for darkly funny beats that edges…

Please Share
[FANTASTIC FEST 2018] JEREMY SAULNIER’S ‘HOLD THE DARK’ IS HIS BLEAKEST FILM YET

[FANTASTIC FEST 2018] JEREMY SAULNIER’S ‘HOLD THE DARK’ IS HIS BLEAKEST FILM YET


September 23, 2018    Matt Wedge

  There is so much to unpack in HOLD THE DARK that I fear not being able to properly break down my feelings and thoughts in a quick festival review, but here we go…   Alongside his frequent collaborator Macon Blair, Jeremy Saulnier is responsible for two of my favorite…

Please Share
[FANTASTIC FEST 2018] ‘BETWEEN WORLDS’ IS SURPRISINGLY DULL TRASH

[FANTASTIC FEST 2018] ‘BETWEEN WORLDS’ IS SURPRISINGLY DULL TRASH


September 22, 2018    Matt Wedge

    The premise of BETWEEN WORLDS is ridiculous. There is no doubt of that. It feels a bit like Zalman King tried his hand at writing a Twilight Zone episode and filled it with his usual doses of heavy melodramatic erotica. Add to that equation Nicolas Cage playing a…

Please Share
[FANTASTIC FEST 2018] ‘TERRIFIED’ COMES VERY CLOSE TO LIVING UP TO ITS TITLE

[FANTASTIC FEST 2018] ‘TERRIFIED’ COMES VERY CLOSE TO LIVING UP TO ITS TITLE


September 22, 2018    Matt Wedge

  There is something admirable about a horror film that is fairly upfront and open about the fact that it plans to only serve as a delivery device for jump scares. While I suppose the argument could be made that there is some sort of metaphor buried in the film…

Please Share
[FANTASTIC FEST 2018] ‘IN FABRIC’ IS AN ABSURDIST DARK COMIC MASTERWORK

[FANTASTIC FEST 2018] ‘IN FABRIC’ IS AN ABSURDIST DARK COMIC MASTERWORK


September 21, 2018    Jason Coffman

  Peter Strickland has gained a reputation for taking on familiar genre conventions and giving them highly unexpected tweaks thanks to his previous two features. BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO approached lurid ’70s Italian horror from the perspective of a protagonist working on the sound design of a horror film whose mental…

Please Share
[Fantastic Fest 2018] Love and Euro-Horror Combine in LUZ and KNIFE + HEART

[Fantastic Fest 2018] Love and Euro-Horror Combine in LUZ and KNIFE + HEART


September 21, 2018    Johnny Donaldson

    Luz (Luana Veliz) has jumped out of her cab mid ride, and made her way to the nearest police precinct. All she can bring herself to mutter to the tiny skeleton crew staff is a blasphemous inversion of the Lord’s Prayer, crass and full of perverted, sexualized language….

Please Share
Please Share