Fantastic Fest 2010 – Fatso/I Saw The Devil/Rare Exports/The Violent Kind
It’s either me or Santa. I suggest Santa.
Directed by: Henrik Andersson
A far too happy couple go on a far too perfect picnic. They meet up with a monster and two mysterious men. Could this perfect world really exist?
This short was kind of funny, but wore out its welcome pretty quickly, although I did like the ending that showed that the world is not all that it seems.
Directed by: Arild Froelich
Written by: Arild Froelich/Lars Gudmestad
Based on book by: Lars Ramslie
Rino (Nils Jorgen Kaalstad) is fat. He’s also a loser. His life is filled with drawing comics and masturbating. He can’t talk to women and can barely talk to anyone else, including his “best friend,” Fillip (Kyrre Hellum). Fillip is a complete asshole who is obviously lying about all of his exploits, but Rino just kind of lets it go.
When his dad tells him that he has a new roommate, things change…somewhat. The new roommate is 20 year old Malin (Josefin Ljungman). At first, she doesn’t think anything of Rino. He’s just a weirdo who is allowing her to live with him. Eventually, though…she does not fall in love. She does, however, realize that he’s human.
Malin is also a loser. She just has more of a social life. She has a boyfriend whom she has very loud sex with every night. She drinks, she smokes, she doesn’t pay rent on time. But she really does mean well. She wants to turn her life around. Maybe Rino can help her?
What follows is a gross-out comedy with a surprising amount of heart. Rino can be an asshole and he never truly learns to be fully human, but he is, deep down, a good guy. And Malin is, deep down, a good girl. The audience is made to like both of them even as they’re wanting to beat them for being so fucking stupid.
A lot of these characters reminded me of exaggerated versions of people I know, so maybe I had a strange attachment to the film, but I did like it. It’s not the best and it’s maybe a bit overlong, but it’s certainly worth checking out…especially if you’re ok with constant semen jokes.
I really liked the animated bits, too. Rino’s comics come to life and make for some of the best parts. Oh yeah, and Rino looks like Russell Crowe if he gained about 100 pounds. Crazy.
Directed by: Ji-woon Kim
Apparently, this film had no writer. IMDB won’t allow anyone to see the full credits. Assholes. Don’t they know that people are trying to review this movie and give credit where credit is due?!
Anyway, secret screenings are a tradition of Fantastic Fest and everyone is always clamoring to get into them. We’re always guessing what we’re going to see right up until the announcer tells us what is going to grace the screen. Sometimes we win (No Country For Old Men) and sometimes we lose (Universal Soldier: A New Beginning).
Tonight, fortunately, we won.
Ji-woon Kim’s latest hearkens back to the revenge flicks of the 70s. He does something different, though: he makes it realistic. In this version of the story, revenge is a horrible, horrible thing that leaves no one feeling better and only makes the “good guy” worse.
So-Hyun Kim (Byung-hun Lee) is a special agent who seems to have everything going for him. He has a great job and a loving fiancee. When serial killer, Chang (Min-sik Choi), takes his fiancee away, things go a little haywire in his brain. He takes two weeks off from work and gathers all of the information he can get on killers in the area. That leads him to Chang.
What follows is a cat and mouse game where the mouse leads the cat further and further away from home. Kim follows Chang around, beating him within an inch of his life and then letting him go to get doctored up. Then he does it all over again.
The amazing thing about this film is that you really want Kim to get his revenge…but you really don’t want him to do anything that he’ll regret. Like Seven before it, you know that, if Kim wins, he’ll be forever changed.
I Saw The Devil is a fucking epic. It’s two and a half hours of blood, guts and horrible, horrible torture. But don’t think that it’s just viscera. This is a smart, bloody movie. I loved every minute of it.
Directed by: Arn Thor Jonsson
In Iceland, Santa is a little…different. He is actually 13 guys, each with a different, erm, affliction? One is called Sausage Snatcher. One is called Candlemaker.
Today, though, is the day of Meathook. And he’s after five survivors.
A pretty awesome short that the filmmakers are trying to make into a feature. I support that wholeheartedly.
Directed by: Jalmari Helander
Written by: Jalmari Helander/Juuso Helander
In Finland, Santa is a little…different. He’s actually more of a goat demon than a jolly old man in a suit.
An old American man is trying to find Santa. Apparently, he was frozen and buried under a pile of rocks that became a mountain. This man is now on a mission to get Santa and…do something with him. That’s never really clear.
Unfortunately, a nearby reindeer farmer and his townsfolk are none too happy about this excavation. The reindeer have all been killed by something mysterious, but they know it was because of the men on the mountain.
Young Pietari is the only one who knows that it’s Santa. It just HAS to be! But not even his best friend will believe him. What’s a kid to do?
Well, dress up in make-shift armor and follow his dad around, of course! But that’s not all he does. It’s pretty awesome to see a scrawny little kid become kind of a badass.
Rare Exports adds another notch in the Christmas horror movie bedpost and, honestly, it’s probably the best notch. It’s a much gentler movie than most Christmas horror flicks, but it certainly has its darkness. Hell, I’ve never seen so many naked old men chasing after one little boy!
(When asked how he got so many hairy old men to run around in the forest naked, one of the filmmakers said, “I live in Europe.”)
This is a great little movie that proves what I (and most of Europe) have always known: Santa is fuckin’ evil!
Directed by: Butcher Brothers (Mitchell Altieri/Phil Flores)
Written by: Butcher Brothers/Adam Weis
My original intention was to see The Life And Death Of A Porno Gang in this slot. Then everyone at work made fun of me for just wanting to see something with the word “Porno” in the title and I had other friends seeing The Violent Kind. Eventually, I changed my mind and went for this film. Then I heard that Porno Gang was great and that I should see that, so I changed my mind again…but too late. It was sold out.
So, here I am reviewing The Violent Kind.
A bunch of gang members are holed up in a house in the woods while some strange entity reigns chaos down upon them. At first, you think that this is just a gangsploitation flick and that these kids are getting fucked up by a rival gang. Then you think that it’s a vampire movie when the first one attacked bites another one. Then you start to realize that it’s actually a possession movie…or is it a sci-fi flick?
Honestly, by about the middle of the movie, I really didn’t care what it was, as long as it was over. The acting wasn’t so hot, the writing was worse and the story was just silly. I felt like the Butcher Brothers really wanted to make all of these kinds of movies, but knew that they would only be allowed one shot, so they jammed all of them into one.
The gore wasn’t bad, though. So there’s that. They’ve got that. Otherwise, you’re ok skipping it.