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Month: August 2020

August 31, 2020

Fantasia Fest 2020: ‘Feels Good Man’ Harshes the Mellow

We live in a society where the most nefarious and unscrupulous have motives to take something and twist it into their visage and create their very own totem, symbol, or rallying cry.

August 30, 2020

Fantasia Fest 2020: ‘The Paper Tigers’ Kicks it Old-School

‘The Paper Tigers’ the feature debut from Bao Tran, is BUSTING with heart, humor, nostalgia and of course some pretty cool fighting that blurs the lines between ‘damn, that was cool,’ and ‘geesh, that really looks like it hurt.’

August 30, 2020

Fantasia Fest 2020: Come Fuck My Robot

A virgin 18-year-old finds himself in over his head when he responds to a mysterious Craigslist post looking for someone to test a prototype sex robot only to have her not consent.

August 29, 2020

Fantasia Fest 2020: ‘#Shakespear’s Shitstorm’ Takes a Dump on Big Pharma, and Everything Else

First, a poem.

There once was a guy from New York

His religion said he couldn’t eat pork

He studied at Yale

But that soon turned stale

And he has no relation to Bjork

I’m sure The Bard is taking a dump right now, wherever he is, laughing about the noise his farts make, and thinking how much this limerick sucks.

Well, I might not be the next Francis Bacon, and POETRY certainly isn’t my thing, but I’ll tell you what; what you’ll see in Troma’s latest; ‘#Shakespear’s Shitstorm,’ will certainly change the way you see, feel, and taste of old Billy the Bard.

Lloyd Kaufman’s take on “The Tempest” is truly a shitstorm of epic proportions. And that’s no figure of speech. There is literally shit everywhere and no societal group is left without a little bit of Uncle Lloydie’s fecal matter on them.

In short, this film isn’t for everyone. Outside of the ‘The Toxic Avenger’ which while batshit crazy and bonkers, there is still a semblance of commercial appeal and isn’t all that offensive. I mean they had toys and a f*cking Saturday Morning Cartoon. ‘Shitstorm’ will likely not be granted the same honors of it’s fore-bearer.

Honestly, a film that stirs the pot is always welcome in my book. There is typical Troma dick, puke, and fart jokes, and in the hashtag world we live in, there are plenty of pokes to the eye to all groups that join in on that bandwagon.

Does it go to far? That’s debatable. Yes, humor has been forced to change in an ever ‘woke’ world, but comedians like Dave Chappelle and Bill Burr continue to push the envelope and point out the hypocritical nature of certain activists, and Lloyd Kaufman and Troma follow in that tradition, only they pull their pants down and take a giant crap on the whole thing.

‘#Shakespear’s Shitstorm’ will make it’s World Premier at the Fantasia Fest 2020. Check out the trailer and details HERE.

And catch up with everything else Troma right HERE.

August 29, 2020

Fantasia Fest 2020: ‘The Dark and the Wicked’ Gives the Creeps

Atmosphere and SOUND can make or break a horror film. You should be surrounded by dread and an impending sense of doom. Unlike a comedy or a drama, there should be that idea that just around the corner will be a scare or some insecurity of safety.

‘The Dark and the Wicked’ brings the slow burn of ‘The VVitch’ adds a haunted family dynamic of ‘Hereditary’ and the isolation of ‘The Strangers.’

Director Bryan Bertino, director of said ‘Strangers,’ sets the mood early with none other than a pack of goats, and something sinister within the flock. It’s little things like this throughout the film that give pause and make you re-think what you may have seen. The film certainly plays plenty of tricks on your senses.

I bring up SOUND again, because i can imagine what it would be like to experience ‘Wicked’ in a theater. With just some good headphones I was able to take in all the ambient noise, breathing, muttering, and every creak and groan of the old farmhouse and barn. It sent plenty of shivers up my spine.

Much like this year’s ‘Relic,’ which seems to be the closest comparison I’ve been seeing for far, ‘Wicked’ is the story of a family in peril and dealing with it’s own belief, or lack of belief. Aside from a slightly ‘meh’ end shot, Bertino has crafted a truly unsettling gothic family horror story with a creep factor that combines the recent creepiness of Ari Aster’s work, a the dread of madness of ‘The Shining.’

‘The Dark and the Wicked’ will have it’s International Premier at Fantasia Fest 2020. For more info on the film click HERE.

August 26, 2020

Fantasia Fest 2020: Dinner in America

An on-the-lam punk rocker and a young woman obsessed with his band unexpectedly fall in love and go on an epic journey together through America’s decaying Midwestern suburbs.

August 23, 2020

Fantasia Fest 2020: Tiny Tim: King for a Day

My earliest memory of the late Tiny Tim was seeing his ukulele smashed by wrestling great, Jerry “The King” Lawler during a segment of ‘The King’s Court’ during WWF Raw in the mid-90s. The segment is classic when Tim calls Lawler a ‘Dairy Queen’ instead of what he was already known as; ‘The Burger King.’ After Lawler smashes Tim’s beloved stringed instrument he begins to weep and dabs his tears away with a handkerchief while trying to collect the broken pieces.

Three years later, Tiny Tim would tiptoe through the tulips and leave this mortal plane.

“King for a Day” doesn’t touch on this extremely vivid memory for me, but it brings into focus the force of nature Tiny Tim was during the 60s and 70s. A CELESTIAL being that was brought into our lives, for better or worse, and created memories that would last what seems like a lifetime.

Johan Von Sydow paints a picture I’m sure many of us born in the 1980s and beyond can’t even comprehend; how could an oddball, with the highest of falsettos, playing a ukulele, have people eating out of the palm of his hand while people like Ed Sullivan and Johnny Carson laud him with all the praise in the world? The 60s were a wild time my friends.

With “Weird” Al Yankovic narrating Tim’s diary, the curtain is pulled back on his deepest thoughts, yearning for acceptance, being a follower of Christ, and how he transcended gender norms.

But even with his child-like innocence and beloved public persona, a torture soul dwelled deep down inside, which Sydow is able to peel back the layers via interviews with family, friends, and his widow, ‘Miss Sue.’

Tiny Tim’s shadow loomed large, and his fall from grace is just as miraculous as his rise to the top.

“Tiny Tim: King for a Day” will have it’s World Premier at the 2020 Fantasia Film Festival. Find all the films and their schedule right HERE.

August 23, 2020

Fantasia Fest 2020: ‘Class Action Park’ is So Jersey

JERSEY stand up!

‘Class Action Park’ is one wild ride, and a story that many outside the Garden City Parkway, Manhattan, or around the Vernon, New Jersey area might know about.

Remember a couple of years ago when Johnny Knoxville created a little film called “Action Point?” Well, yeah, he created it, but who really cares at this point.

‘Park’ is in the same ilk as other HBO Documentary series like ‘McMillions’ where it shares little pieces of Americana that are almost too crazy to be true.

Well, when you hear it from the lips of comedians like Chris Gethard and Alison Becker, who have now qualms about how people in Jersey don’t five a single f*ck, you know it was real at Action Park.

While you get to see the insaneness of the former staff and their stories that would make the Marquis de Sade blush, you also peel back the curtain on the corruption, shady deals, death, and anguish the park caused over its almost 20-year history. It’s all fun and games until someone drowns in the wave pool or gets electrocuted, right?

The tale of Action Park is one of nostalgia. A tale of latch key kids in the 80s and how you would ride your bike until the moon was high in the sky. A time of parental neglect, essentially the complete opposite of how kids are raised now.

There will never be another Action Park. Is that good?

‘Class Action Park’ was screened on August 22nd, 2020, and will premier on HBO Max on August 28th, 2020. Check out the trailer HERE

August 22, 2020

Fantasia Fest 2020: Climate of the Hunter

Two sisters compete for the affections of a man who may be a vampire.

August 21, 2020

Fantasia Fest 2020: PVT CHAT

Jack is an internet gambler living in NYC who becomes fixated on Scarlet – a cam girl from San Francisco. His obsession reaches a boiling point when fantasy materializes in reality and Jack sees Scarlet on a rainy Chinatown street.

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