Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Aww Hell Yes!

Bring on the end of the world! I'm a sucker for any story that brings down civilization as we know it. Based on the book by Richard Matheson, I AM LEGEND is the third adaptation of this 1954 novel. In 1964, Vincent Price starred in THE LAST MAN ON EARTH, which Matheson wrote the screenplay for. When the script was radically rewritten Matheson pulled his name from the credits. In 1971, Charlton Heston starred in THE OMEGA MAN, a rougher translation of the source material that removes the more vampiric tendancies of the infected. Now we get Will Smith as the lone survivor who is not really alone. Of what I've seen so far, this latest trailer actually gives me hope.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

NPH is back!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

BLOOD CAR review

Sure, it's only 2 weeks into the future, but times are tough for vehicular culture. The price of gas is beyond reach for all but the filthy rich, and the subsequent automotive graveyards only serve as convenient hideouts for fornicating teenagers. Archie Andrews, vegan kindergarten teacher and all around nice guy, has a plan to get us all behind the drivers seat again, but responsibly this time. Unfortunately, his experiments with an engine that runs on wheatgrass is making little headway, until he accidentally adds a bit of his own blood to the mix. And thus begins his downward spiral into murder, depravity, and madness!

A hilarious take on THE LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS in our eco-conscious times, Blood Car makes the most of it's modest budget with a gonzo enthusiasm and a sublime sense of humour. Archie's struggle with his principles plays out in his relationships with two women; Lorraine, the 'sweet' girl who sells Archie his wheatgrass and clearly has always had a crush on him, and Denise, the 'bad' girl who sells meat and only notices Archie after he gets his car up and running. We never question the logic behind these two characters working opposite stands in a deserted parking lot.

It doesn't take long for Archie to fall from grace once he's had crazy sex with the meat stand girl. And since Denise is really only interested in his car, that means plenty of victims for the blood car. Oh, and the government are watching him of course.

BLOOD CAR works wonderfully as a surreal comedy punctuated with an array of blood-splattering; young, old, and fluffy alike! Perhaps not to every one's taste, but I wonder if Al Gore can appreciate it?


LOOK OUT! Uwe Boll is back! Whether that's a bad thing or a terrible thing is up to debate. However, he not going away anytime soon, considering he has 3 other films coming out this year! (BLOODRAYNE 2: DELIVERANCE, SEED, and POSTAL) His latest is an 'epic' fantasy with an 'all-star' cast including Jason Statham, Ray Liotta, Claire Forlani, John Rhys-Davies, Leelee Sobieski, Ron Perlman, Matthew Lillard, AND Burt Reynolds as The King! Seriously... is it gambling debts or a stack of incriminating photos that compelled all these actors into this river wild of career suicide?!?

Statham leads the way as Farmer, a farmer(?) with an adoring wife (Forlani) and a plucky young son living a simple, unassuming life. Ray Liotta is a sorcerous mofo who spends his time seducing Leelee Sobieski and teaching orcs (I mean Krugs) to wear armour and fight with swords. The land is in peril, there's a traitor in the King's court, and Farmer is dragged into the conflict after the death of his son and the kidnapping of his wife. Gee, do you think Farmer is meant for something greater than his fields?

Surprisingly this is not a total disaster. Sure, it's too long (and Boll has a longer cut up his sleeve), it's a very familiar and sub-standard fantasy world at best, and the script is atrocious and laugh out loud funny.

On the positive side, the script is atrocious and laugh out loud funny! Stand outs in this department come courteously of the outrageous over-acting of Burt Reynolds, who discusses the benefits of seaweed in farm irrigation, and Matthew Lillard, whose every line is comedy gold!
The battle scenes are competent, if not terribly exciting. And hey, let's throw in a troupe of ninjas and few woodland faeries rejected from the Cirque du Soleil while we're at it.

Thankfully I saw this with a crowd at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, who understood full well what we were in store for, and could actually enjoy it as we laughed and commiserated with each other. Dr. Boll himself was on hand for a Q&A, which included him bad mouthing Ray Liotta, and telling us how Jason Statham thinks the film is 20 minutes too long.


What can be said about a future where the only renewable energy source is human faeces? Sure, you're rewarded with a narcotic popsicle for your 'donation' to the city, but there is the chance that you may mutate into a small blue subhumanoid.

Aachi and Ssipak are a couple of hustler/thugs in this odious world, caught between the Diaper Gang, mutants addicted to the Juicy Bars dispensed by government issue toilets, and the government's top cyborg cop, just looking to get rich and get laid.

The outrageous and kinetic animation style serves this garish and hyper-violent world perfectly. Chock full of anal humour, over the top shoot outs, and many obvious references to other films such as BASIC INSTINCT and INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM. It's rude and crude and hilarious at times, but not overly compelling as a story. It's like having street meat* at 2am, great at the time, but you feel a little dirty, and ultimately it's forgettable in the grand scheme of things. Watch it with your drinking buddies and a few pints for maximum enjoyment!

*Street meat refers to a hot dog from a street vendor, not what you're probably thinking with that dirty mind of yours!

Toronto After Dark: Night Two

Being a Saturday, the Toronto After Dark Film Fest bleeds into daytime screenings. Unfortunately I was not able to attend Cutting Edge Horror, the programme of 9 international horror shorts. I could blame the Yaggermeister from the opening night party, but that would be wrong.

Today's line up is a real mixed bag. From the land of The Simpsons (at least where they are actually drawn) comes the animated tale of human faeces, blue mutants, and narcotic popsicles. Dr. Uwe Boll's latest "epic" stars a cast of well known actors who must have a lot of gambling debts. And the possible underground cult classic tale of a vegan school teacher who suddenly craves a whole lot of blood.

Reviews to come.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Opening up the Toronto After Dark Film Festival this year is the small budget 'viral apocalypse' film MULBERRY STREET. This is very much a post 9-11 New York, perhaps a little paranoid, and under more reconstruction than just the buildings that fell that day. Big corporate development is buying up old tenement buildings in the grittier parts of town, including one on Mulberry Street where our protagonists live.

Clutch is scarred from his previous life as a boxer, and well known for his good deeds by all the tenants. He catches the eye of bartender Kay, who lives with her teenage son. Clutch gets word that his daughter Casey is coming home, her stay in a Veteran's hospital has ended after a tour of duty in the Middle East. This is also good news to the cross-dressing Coco, Clutch's best friend and perhaps second parent to Casey.

Throughout the day we hear newscasts of strange attacks in the subways, it seems that the rat population is on the offensive. Victims who survive the attacks begin to turn into something zombie-like, but more accurately, rage infected rat people! Soon enough the tenants are under attack. While Clutch struggles to save his friends from the ever growing horde, Casey races through the invested city to reach her father. Manhattan is quarantined, and it's citizens are left to fend for themselves.

It is so refreshing to watch a horror film that actually takes the time to develop it's characters, because when the shit goes down, you actually care about them, and the horrors they face become all the more frightening to the audience.

On the downside, being a low budget film like this, it can fall into the "shakey-cam" school of action, in order to hide the limited practical effects of the rat people. In the case of this film though, it's a very minor grievance because there's so much more to it than just violence and gore.

The acting is great all across the board, which you don't usually find in low budget horror films, and it conveys a great sense of dread throughout the film, because no one is safe.

Toronto After Dark: Night One

It feels like Christmas to me.

Not the holiday of consumption that comes at the end of the year, but those autumn months leading up to Halloween, when the studios tend to release genre titles, and those Midnight Madness screenings during TIFF keep me up all night, and now, for the second year, the Toronto After Dark Film Festival. It was a packed house at the Bloor Cinema for the opening gala film MULBERRY STREET.

FYI, the sound doesn't seem to carry as well up in the balcony, I'd avoid it if at all possible.

Festival director and founder Adam Lopez stirred up the crowd with his untiring enthusiasm and passion for the horror and fantasy flicks to be inflicted upon us for the next 7 nights.

Following the screening was opening night party, this year at the Gladstone Hotel. Between being moderately felt up by an over-friendly stranger and the many visits to the Angels of Yaggermeister, good times were had.

Reviews to come.

Above pic from the film, not the party :P

Friday, October 19, 2007

Darkness shrouds Toronto

It's year two for the Toronto After Dark Film Festival! 7 nights of horror and fantasy cinema, plus your chance to challenge Uwe Boll to another boxing match if you're so inclined. More importantly are the screenings of 14 features and 36 shorts from around the world. Check out the swanky new trailer.

I'm very keen to see the opening gala film again, a gritty, post 9/11 'viral' apocalypse film called MULBERRY STREET. Check out the trailer below.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

"I feel like I know her but sometimes my arms bend back…"

I've just discovered a great website of film essays called 24 Lies A Second. I was drawn to it because of this essay on David Lynch, and I really like the sound of their mission statement:

24LiesASecond has an appetite and curiosity for film that knows no bounds. In an era of literal-mindedness, short attention spans and relentless evaluation, we value a keen eye and an open mind. Our writers take traditional, canonical and so-called “objective” criteria with a grain of salt and consider a critic’s inherent subjectivity an advantage rather than a limitation.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Shorter is better

If you're in Toronto this week I suggest you check out the Student Shorts Film Festival. It's 3 nights of short film, exclusive to post secondary institutions from across Canada and around the world. Support up and coming filmmakers before they become to big for the likes of us!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

"Everything's the same here, it's just a little worse..."

This 'pitch black' comedy I saw at the Sundance Film Festival in 2006, WRISTCUTTERS: A LOVE STORY, is finally getting a theatrical release. This surprisingly funny and sweet tale of life after suicide benefits greatly from the performances of Patrick Fugit and Shannyn Sossamon, not to mention the likes of Tom Waits and Will Arnett as Messiah!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Twenty eight days, six hours, forty two minutes, twelve seconds.

Christian Ward is a freelance illustrator I happened across while on the Strange Ink website. There are a few other film related pics, this one of course really caught my eye. Check them out HERE.

DirtyRobot is in love!

I have NO idea what this is all about, but you can check out more HERE!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Guilty Pleasure #2

Bernardo Bertolucci's 2004 film THE DREAMERS certainly divided critics at the time of it's release. It was called brave, disposable, ambitious, and joyless in alternate breathes. To openly express my love for this film would illicit jeers from my co-workers, and suspicious looks from my friends. Perhaps it's all the pseudo-incest and full frontal cock?

I find the film to be sumptuous and daring and idealistic, yet sad at the same time. The re-enactment of the protests at the Cinematheque Francaise in 1968 must seem incredulous to a North American audience, who might only riot over a sporting event or an opening day sale at a big box store. I always daydream about somehow harnessing that passion in the present day to riot against the corporate renaming of a cinema, or the opening of yet another torturous sequel!

I love the line "You're awfully clean for someone who likes the cinema so much".
Every scene, every actor, every interior is so damn pretty that I want live in the film, even though the characters are immature and pretentious for the most part.
And yes, of course, I'm in love with Eva Green, despite the fact that the character of Isabelle is childish, emotionally stunted, and way too close to her brother.

Click the poster above for the trailer.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Thursday, October 4, 2007

"I know robot karate!"

I havn't had the chance to see THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP yet, but I'm a huge fan ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND, despite it's depressing parallels to my real life.* Gondry's latest looks like a lot of fun, click the pic above for the trailer.

*One time I was awakened by Kirsten Dunst dancing on my bed, I told her to settle down, I was very sleepy.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The children are creepy, again

According to Variety, someone has got it in their head to remake David Cronenberg's THE BROOD. Once I stopped banging my head against a brick wall I noticed this little 'gem' in the article:

The original "Brood," released in 1979, was one of Cronenberg's earliest pics. The Canadian helmer, whose "Eastern Promises" is in theaters, is enjoying something of a renaissance. A remake of Cronenberg's 1981 film "Scanners" is also in development, with Darren Lynn Bousman attached to direct for Dimension Films.

I somehow doubt that Mr. Cronenberg, or any fan of the original two films, is "enjoying" the idea of these sure to be shoddy remakes!

Truth be told, I havn't seen THE BROOD since I was a young pup, but I do recall that it scared the crap out of me. And the trailer may be a touch on the side of hyperbole!

Monday, October 1, 2007


Instead of the review of the TRANSFORMERS I didn't write because I was too blinded with anger and dismay, let's watch Michael Bay on South Park instead.