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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Film Reviews - Fantastic Fest Round Up - Day 6

By Adam Ruhl



Borgman

This is a new Dutch release that has been picked up by Drafthouse Films. It’s a mystery story that really held my attention and I could really get into the characters. The plot follows a homeless man who invites himself into a family’s home for a shower and decides to stay, slowly growing more involved with their lives. The key to this film is its dark; its like an evil ‘What About Bob’ meets ‘Pacific Heights’ and a little ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ thrown in. The film has a lot of intrigue and each twist just pulls you further along in the mystery of who Borgman is and what he wants.

 

Hentai Kemen: Forbidden Super Hero

When I reviewed Greatful Dead yesterday I noted it was the festival ‘over-the-top’ entry from Japan and today I realized I completely overlooked this Hentai Kamen. In my defense, I was tired and Hentai is sexual and violent in a completely different way from Dead. Hentai Kamen is actually very similar to the Spiderman movies, the principal difference being that instead of being powered by a radioactive spider, Hentai Kamen is power by continuously sniffing used panties. I think that indicates what kind of parody this this film is and it is a parody right down to the spoofing Marvel Studios logo at the opening. It is immensely over the top juvenile gags that will appeal to the fans of movies like Robogeisha (which in the interest of disclosure I am one).

 

Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons

The latest offering from Writer-Director Stephen Chow is a fascinating piece of Chinese mythology. It follows a demon hunter as he hunts a powerful pig demon through ancient China. The film has a lot of great special effects in the form of the demons; they appear as giant animals with impressive design and execution. Chow who’s also known for Sholin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle brings his famous brand of cartoony humor. All in all it’s a great journey and worth seeing if you get the opportunity.

 

Afflicted

The ‘found footage’ horror film is a genre I feel is just about played out. We’ve seen people running away from monsters, witches, aliens, all type of creatures while making an excuse for still holding the camera. Afflicted follows a lot of the formula conventions pretty closely, but it does have an element that makes it stand out. That comes in the form of the Writer, Directors, and stars Clif Prowse and Derek Lee. They’ve written and performed fictionalized versions of themselves and their natural and real friendship makes the characters much more believable on the screen. That dynamic goes a long way in selling the ‘found footage’ aspect of this movie where other films often fall flat.

 


Chanthaly

Chan has a heart condition that leaves her in fragile health and her controlling father keeps her a shut in. She begins to have visions of her mother who supposedly died of the same heart condition and its clear she’s trying to send a message. The film has a good atmosphere and great use of natural sound. It’s a ghost story so there is a very slow build of the plot and a lot of tension building. Chanthaly also has the distinction of being the first feature directed by a woman (Mattie Do) in its native country of Laos and the first horror film for the nation.
 
 

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