Hey film fans, Fantasiafest 2015 started a few days ago and will continue to kick ass for the next few weeks.
Here’s a look at two films debuting tonight that are definitely worth a look.
POSSESSED (“POS ESO”)
• Director: Sam
• Screenplay: Rubén Ontiveros, Sam
• Cast: Anabel Alonso, Josema Yuste, Santiago Segura, Nacho Vigalondo
POSSESSED, the splatteriffic claymation gorefest from Spain, makes it’s North American premiere TONIGHT!
Easily one of the best films I’ve seen this fest so far, and probably my favourite animated film of the year, POSSESSED is not to be missed for gorehounds, stopmotion fans, film brats, and/or exorcism nuts.
It’s definitely got something for everyone. Think of it as an R-Rated Wallace and Gromit film by way of Itchy & Scratchy cartoon gore with carefree European sensibilities of not having any friggin’ filter whatsoever.
POSSESSED follows the classic cinematic tropes of the tough as nails priest who’s lost his faith, the famous dancer who quits because of tradgedy, and the hapless possessed child with a fondness for boxcutters and murder! How do they all tie in? Will their souls be saved? And how much blood and guts can be conveyed with plasticine?
Definitely not for kids, POSSESSED features gratuitous clay-nudity, clay-vomit, clay-dismemberment, and lot’s of clay-blood. If that’s your thing you’re in luck!
It’s a really beautiful and really funny love letter to genre cinema. There’s nods to everything from Raiders of the Lost Ark to The Evil Dead to The Omen & The Exorcism (of course!) to even Lovecraft’s Cthulhu(!!!) mythos… all while carefully spinning a great tale (or is that Tail?) of the devil… while being heavily submerged in Spanish culture. Yes folks, what other film this year gives you a healthy dose of Flamenco dancing and Spanish heavy metal?
Featuring some of the slickest stopmotion I’ve seen since Nightmare Before Christmas, and easily one of the most goriest things since the glory days of 80s horror cinema, POSSESSED is not to be missed. It’s charming– in it’s own twisted and warped way– and it’s got plenty of heart.
The character designs are so perfectly sculpted and well thought out, that it make me wonder why this isn’t getting a wider distribution– but then again, that probably has something to do with it being an R-Rated cartoon about the devil…
Regardless, It’s a breath of fresh air to see quality like this. The demon designs are so unique and fresh that it rivals anything leading Japanese or North American animation houses have to offer.
If that’s not enough, the voice cast is a veritable who’s who of Spanish cinema, featuring everyone from Alex Angulo, Anabel Alonso, to Nacho Vigalondo!!!
This is one of those films that you want to immediately buy a copy of to loan to friends. And then buy another copy because your friends won’t ever return it. It’s definitely one of those gems you want in your permanent collection. I highly recommend you catching this on a big screen. It’s such a trippy delight of pure WTFness.
If you’re an animation or horror fan, catch it today at Fantasia at 3:15pm… and if you can’t make it, there’s a late night screening on July 24th!
- July 19 • 3:15 PM Concordia Hall Theatre
- July 24 • 11:55 PM J.A. De Seve Theatre
DIRECTOR’S COMMENTARY: TERROR OF FRANKENSTEIN
• Director: Tim Kirk
• Screenplay: Tim Kirk, Jay Kirk
• Cast: Clu Gulager, Zack Norman, Leon Vitali
And on a more experimental note, take a gander at DIRECTOR’S COMMENTARY: TERROR OF FRANKENSTEIN… one of the weirdest (and at times creepiest) things I’ve seen in a long while.
The film is basically a 1977 Frankenstein flick with a brand new commentary track by the director and writer, where they discuss their brutal filming techniques, and the tragic and horrid series of real life murders that happened behind the scenes. It’s a candid, gripping, and emotional look at the scary lengths people go in creating art, how creating said art does not exactly go as planned, and how sometimes dark subject matter in art blur the lines of reality… or it would be if any of that really happened.
What this film actually is, is a meta “what if” tale of brilliant revisionist history. What if this old and actual 70s Frankenstein film had a brutal series of murders attached to it. What if this notorious film has since gained a cult following that demanded a 37th anniversary DVD outlining the real life horror behind it. What if more pieces of that terrifying puzzle were found amidst this commentary track and the mystery was slowly unravelled right before us all…
DC: ToF (which is what I’m calling it right now, because DIRECTOR’S COMMENTARY: TERROR OF FRANKENSTEIN is a really long title) is the brainchild of Tim Kirk (the man that brought you the recent THE NIGHTMARE night terrors doc, and the nutty 217 Stanley Kubrick/Shining conspiracy doc, you know, the one that you all watched on Netflix that time you got really baked?). The film, well, the new commentary portion, at least, comes across like an elaborate radio play. Clu Gulager and Zack Norman (perfectly cast as the nostalgic director and cantankerous writer) assume the roles of the actual director and writer of the film. Eventually they are joined by Leon Vitali (famed Kubrick regular), the ACTUAL star of the actual 1977 film, playing himself… or at least a version of himself.
Confused? You shouldn’t be, but it’s best to not think too much of it. Just enjoy the ride. It’s one of the more unique and brilliant films out this year at Fantasia.
It’s also pretty spot on as far as imitating a DVD commentary track, complete with confused recollections, bits of trivia (both real and unreal), and heated exchanges. It’s so simple in it’s execution and it makes you wonder why more people haven’t attempted this format. It’s a brilliant cinematic remix. It’s like an episode of Mystery Science Theatre 3000, but with less humour and more pathos. And they really go the extra mile by replicating the whole DVD experience, complete with a DVD menu and a great unskippable screen gag.
And as far as it’s qualities as a film, the tension really builds because you don’t have all the facts from the get go. It’s a slow reveal. It starts off innocent enough and eventually you’re pulled in. Between the grim tales of murder and the odd and troubling “process” to their method, there’s plenty in this commentary to creep you out.
What’s great is that you’re not even certain of what actually happened until well into the commentary, because in this alternate-universe the events are pretty much public knowledge. It’s a clever technique that works well with this format. And things really heat up in the final reel when Vitali enters with additional information and disturbing twists and turns.
If you’re a fan of weird Frankenstein movies, DVD commentary tracks gone wrong (or right), and really out there and experimental meta takes on film, you should give this one a look.
TONIGHT: July 19th, 5:00 PM J.A. De Seve Theatre