It really must take a special kind of person to work in a morgue. Constantly seeing (actual) blood and guts and dead bodies, always smelling formaldehyde (and smelling like formaldehyde), and God forbid if you work on the night shift, then it’s just you and the bodies all night long. The protagonist of THE NIGHTSHIFTER (original title Morto Nao Fala), Stenio (Daniel de Oliveira; The Dead Girl’s Feast) is one of those special people. His ability to stomach a job that very few people can is not the only thing that makes him unique. What truly sets him apart from every other working stiff (pun very much intended) is that he can talk to the dead bodies in the morgue.
Reprising an idea from the 2016 Fantasia Film Festival, this year on the 21st of July, those who were lucky enough to be in attendance at the festival got to see this year’s BORN OF WOMAN short film programming block. I have reviewed each film in the order in which they were shown at the festival. Some of them are currently available online, some of them will be eventually. All of them are awesome! Read on for more info.
COLD SKIN, the latest from director Xavier Gens (The Crucifixion), based on the novel by Albert Sanchez Pinol, centers around a young man who encounters deadly creatures near the Antarctic Circle. The film stars Aura Garrido (The Ministry of Time), David Oakes (Victoria) and Ray Stevenson (Thor). COLD SKIN had its Canadian Premiere July 15th at the 2018 Fantasia International Film Festival.
TOKYO VAMPIRE HOTEL starts out by demanding that you turn the volume up to the max level, whether you’re in front of the TV, or just watching with a pair of headphones on a tiny laptop screen. I’ll admit, I didn’t do it, because I value my aural health, but anyway… this IS a loud flick! It’s colorful, it’s crazy, and I’d best describe it as Japan doing Tarantino doing Japan. Think Kill Bill, but with more teeth.
Before I even begin talking about FLEUVE NOIR (The original French title which I’m going to use for the rest of the piece because I’m CLASSY), I must first let everyone know about my long-standing love for Vincent Cassel. The first film I ever saw him in was Gaspar Noe’s soul-wrenching masterpiece, Irreversible. His role in Eastern Promises is incredible and then there’s his unnerving performance as the douchebag dance instructor in Black Swan. Also, I’m going to kick myself later if I don’t mention the groundbreaking, awe-inspiring La Haine. If you haven’t seen it, I’m turning this car around right now! Go watch La Haine and then continue reading the article.
Mike Wiluan in his directorial debut, BUFFALO BOYS, has made a great Western his first go round. The script for the film, written by Wiluan, with co-writer Raymond Lee (Smaller and Smaller Circles, Jesus Is Dead), is pretty much boilerplate Western territory. A man returns to his hometown after being gone for 20 years to get revenge on a horrible villain who killed his brother and performed a litany of other transgressions. Wild hooligans are raping and pillaging. Innocent villagers are being killed and tortured.
CAM is the feature film debut from director Daniel Goldhabers and is co-written by Godlhabers and Isa Mazzei. The film is a surreal thriller that focuses on a webcam girl who's identity has been stolen. The film stars Madeline Brewer (The Handsmaid's Tale), Patch Darragh (The First Purge), Melora Walters (Magnolia) and Devin Druid (13 Reasons Why).
It's always a pleasure for me to check out newer short films. Some shorts that I've seen hold a place in my heart with other films I refer to as gold. I recently had the opportunity to check out THE INVADERS by Mateo Márquez and was actually shocked by how much I liked it. The following is a brief plot overview of the short from IMDB
The Hollywood Executive description of THE SCYTHIAN could be "300 meets Game of Thrones in Ancient Russia". To be fair, the simplest way that one could describe Russian action/fantasy movie THE SCYTHIAN is "Russian Game of Thrones". Hell, the lead actor Alexsey Faddeev could easily be a stand-in for Pilou Asbæk (Euron Greyjoy). However, this movie isn't incredibly derivative of the beloved HBO masterpiece. It shares the themes of violence, deception, and royal conquest, but so does basically any film based in an ancient civilization.
Time for a confession here. When I was growing up, starting from about 13 until I don't know - a couple of years ago, I was a hellion. My parents, I'm sure, we're completely dumbfounded as to how to deal with me. To make things even more difficult, especially for my mom, they were divorced. I was angry and exceptionally depressed and acted out in some really outlandish and off-putting ways.