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Author: Matthew Stewart

October 4, 2020

SR at the 2020 Nashville Film Fest: ‘The Outside Story’ Is Pure Schmaltz, and That’s Not All Bad

‘The Outside Story’ is a NEIGHBORLY film that is equal parts schmaltz and predictability, but with a cast this charming and quirky, it’s difficult to hate.

September 28, 2020

Nashville Film Fest 2020: Our Simplistic Preview

Music City Here we come! Virtually of course. These are just some of the films we are looking forward in this year’s 51st edition of the festival.

September 20, 2020

A Simplistic Review: ‘Mr. Soul!’ Sings the Praises of an Unsung Hero

@Mrsoultheovie From 1968 to 1973, the public television variety show SOUL!, guided by the enigmatic producer and host Ellis Haizlip, offered an unfiltered, uncompromising celebration of Black literature, poetry, music, and politics.

September 14, 2020

A Simplistic Review: ‘We Got A Monkey’s Paw’ is Paw-some!

Things get hairy when Zack convinces Jakki to spend the day making wishes on a cursed Monkey’s Paw. Soon the two find themselves doing backflips trying to undo the cataclysmic series of events they’ve set off: Ghost brides, demon boxes, dead-y bears, oh my!

September 4, 2020

A Simplistic Review: ‘Nail in the Coffin: The Fall and Rise of Vampiro’

But as we’ve learned in other docs like ‘Beyond the Mat’ and the story of ‘GLOW’ the fall is just as epic and mythic for many titans of the squared circle.

September 2, 2020

Fantasia Fest 2020: ‘For the Sake of Vicious’ is More Treat, Than Trick

Directors Gabriel Carrer & Reese Eveneshen choose to be more direct with their tidy 81-minutes and gives us a violence-laden exploitation thriller that gets the job done.

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 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.

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