Fantasia Festival Review: The Dark and the Wicked

Bertino goes into uncharted waters with his latest horror effort, “The Dark and the Wicked”. Bertino had made the film in his own farm and it promises something more psychological; exploring other levels of fear he has not worked on in his prior work.

The film stars Marin Ireland and Michael Abbott Jr. as Louise and Michael; siblings whom have just heard that their father is fatally ill. The two put their lives on hold and visit his farm to be with their father for his final hours as well as their mother for emotional support. While the time spent together brings up closeted skeletons in their past; the two begin to realize that their estrangement towards their parents seem to be the least of their problems as the farm shows signs of something sinister. Continue reading Fantasia Festival Review: The Dark and the Wicked

Fantasia Festival Review: Shakespeare’s Shitstorm

Kaufman stars as Prospero, a talented yet increasingly unhinged scientist, who is exiled away to Tromaville, New Jersey with his blind daughter Miranda (Kate McGarrigle) thanks to his carelessness in cultural appropriation, his double-crossing sister (also played by Kaufman) and greedy pharmaceutical execs headed by Big Al (Abraham Spencer). Despite his humongous wealth (amusingly given away as $225 million), Prospero buys a crackhouse from a bunch of prostitutes and seeks refuge there to bide his time until the opportune moment. Continue reading Fantasia Festival Review: Shakespeare’s Shitstorm

Fantasia Festival Review: For The Sake of Vicious

Three unreliable people, a house lit with shades of yellow evocative of a Roger Deakins’ film, and a pulsating score. This is what “For The Sake of Vicious”, the latest film by Gabriel Carrer and Reese Evenshen offers. Debuting at this year’s Fantasia Film Fest, this picture has all the makings of a trademark midnight movie. It wastes no time setting itself up for carnage to ensue, and ensue it does…and this is before a bloodthirsty biker gang shows up!  Continue reading Fantasia Festival Review: For The Sake of Vicious

Fantasia Festival Review: Texas Trip-A Carnival of Ghosts

“Texas Trip-Carnival of Ghosts” (2020) pays homage to the B-rated films that were shown on the big screens of drive-in movies in the 1950’s and 1960’s, specifically in Austin, Texas. The premise seems to be that those odd, low budget horror, science-fiction and exploitation films were the inspiration for this generation of performance artists who are one of the reasons the city’s motto is “Keep Austin Weird.” Like the cult classic horror film that inspired its title, “Texas Trip-Carnival of Ghosts” is an unsettling road trip that plays with the audience by occasionally having artists pose in macabre handmade masks. At one point, a quote by Hunter S. Thompson is referred to, and who better to be a spirit guide on a journey through bizarre landscapes then this icon of counterculture? Continue reading Fantasia Festival Review: Texas Trip-A Carnival of Ghosts

Fantasia Festival Review: “Wildland” (Kød & blod)

In her feature film debut, “Wildland”, Jeannette Nordahl takes audiences on a haunting rollercoaster. Ida (Sandra Guldberg Kampp) moves in with her aunt, Bodil (Sidse Babett Knudsen) after her mother (and Bodil’s sister) dies in a car accident. At first, Ida is delicately embraced by Bodil and her three sons. But as the film progresses, Ida learns that the club Bodil runs and owns is not what sustains the family. Rather, Bodil and her sons, Jonas (Joachim Fjelstrup), David (Elliott Crosset Hove), and Mads (Besir Zeciri) are loan shark debt collectors. As the matriarch, Bodil forces her sons to be the muscles of the family crime operation. As a new member of the family, Ida starts to join in on the business, but learns that the high stakes also come with real consequences. Continue reading Fantasia Festival Review: “Wildland” (Kød & blod)

Fantasia Festival Review: Morgana

I was not familiar with Muses before starting this film. Heck, I know nothing about the adult film industry. While the film is about her work and specific artistry, much of it is about her past. Muses grew up in a religious household, one which adhered to gender roles and expectations. Muses attempted to fit in the mold, but she was never really happy. Married with children, food her only companion, she had nowhere to turn. When her marriage fell apart, Muses’ mental health began to spiral. Continue reading Fantasia Festival Review: Morgana

Fantasia Festival Review: Marygoround

In “Marygoround,” one woman undergoes a transformation that changes the course of her life. This black comedy drama was directed by Daria Woszek with a script by Woszek, Sylwester Piechura, and Aleksandra Swierk. The Polish film follows a woman named Mary who undergoes treatment for menopause and experiences some surprising side effects. It definitely is a unique and sometimes strange film, but it is an interesting look at a late sexual awakening.  Continue reading Fantasia Festival Review: Marygoround

Fantasia Festival Review: Climate of the Hunter

The newest film from veteran indie auteur Mickey Reece, “Climate of the Hunter”, is a vintage vampiric horror story set fittingly in a cabin in the woods and right between a feud between two sisters.

The film takes us into the reunion between three longtime friends at a vacation cabin in the woods. Sisters Alma (Ginger Gilmartin), who is recently divorced, and Elizabeth (Mary Buss), a workaholic living in Washington D.C., are constantly quarrelling about their positions in life and slightly competing for the attention of their longtime friend Wesley (Ben Hall). While Wesley is a prolific and sophisticated writer, he has plenty of family issues of his own as his wife is in a mental clinic and his son Percy (Sheridan McMichael) doesn’t like him. However, as Wesley’s nightly behavior and ritual become noticeably stranger, one question starts to become more prevalent and pertinent – is Wesley a vampire? Continue reading Fantasia Festival Review: Climate of the Hunter

Fantasia Festival Review: Hunted

“Hunted” (2020) stars Lucie Debay as Eve, a building contractor who is struggling under the pressures of work. The project is closing in to its impending deadline soon and the stress is starting to kick in for Eve and none of her male colleagues are of any help to her. Seeking any sort of cathartic release, she goes to a nightclub for drinks. Continue reading Fantasia Festival Review: Hunted