12 FILMS WE ARE STOKED TO SEE AT FANTASIA FEST 2018
Montreal is a city known for many amazing things like it’s beautiful architecture, Montreal smoked meat and THE FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (honorable mentions go out to Pizza-ghetti, Just For Laughs and the time I got Scarlet Fever as a kid).
Now in it’s 22nd year, FANTASIA has earned the reputation as not only one of the premiere film festivals in the world, but as a launchpad for many films and their creators. Who am I kidding?It is also well known for it’s large, enthusiastic crowds and legendary parties.
With the festival starting on the 12th of July (running till August 2nd), we saw it only fitting to pick 12 films we are super stoked to see!
12. TICK (WORLD PREMIERE)
TICK is the second short film from Toronto’s Ashlea Wessel, and if it is anything like INK, we are in for stunning visuals and a smart story. There is no trailer for this film but to give you a taste of what’s in store, here is the trailer for INK.
11. NIGHTMARE CINEMA (WORLD PREMIERE, GUESTS IN ATTENDANCE)
This horror anthology is like a greatest hits of horrors who’s-who, jam packed into one feature length film. Expect some blood ‘n’ guts and spooks ‘n’ scares from the likes of Alejandro Brugues (ABC’S OF DEATH 2), Joe Dante (GREMLINS, THE ‘BURBS), Ryûhei Kitamura (MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN, VERSUS), David Slade (HARD CANDY, HANNIBAL) and my dear friend, Mick Garris ( SLEEPWALKERS, CRITTERS 2).
10. TALES FROM THE HOOD 2 (WORLD PREMIERE)
I feel like I have been waiting my WHOLE LIFE (well 23 years of it) for this sequel! We all LOVED the first one and I am walking in with mega high hopes for its follow up. There doesn’t appear to be a trailer for TALES FROM THE HOOD 2 yet so here is a refresher on the first.
9. SUMMER OF ’84 (INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE, GUESTS IN ATTENDANCE)
I mostly want to see this so I will finally have an answer for the millionth person who asks me if I have seen this yet. People are obviously very intrigued by this film and why wouldn’t they be? It checks every box. Retro? Check. Killer soundtrack? Check. The STRANGER THINGS-esque group of young outcasts? Check. People totally hyped on the film? BIG check. Watch the trailer below for a taste.
8. LIFECHANGER (WORLD PREMIERE)
There has been lots of talk about Justin McConnell‘s latest. A supernatural body horror is a big undertaking but that isn’t unusual for McConnell. Remember BROKEN MILE which was shot in one continuous take? I sure do. LIFECHANGER sees him teamed up with Lora Burke (who you may recall from FANTASIA 2017’s POOR AGNES), and many more of the who’s who of Toronto’s independent film scene.
7. OUR HOUSE (WORLD PREMIERE)
I personally am thrilled that OUR HOUSE is FINALLY going to see the light of day! The film seemed to hit road block after road block post production. It was even rumored to have been canned completely but I am happy to see that was false. I did a set visit when they filmed this and what I saw was magic, and the cast and crew could not have been lovelier people if they tried. Team that up with a great score by Electric Youth and you got a winner!
6. THE FIELD GUIDE TO EVIL (CANADIAN PREMIERE)
A couple years ago I saw Can Evernol‘s baffling, terrifying and brilliant film BASKIN. I have been a fan ever since and look forward to everything he puts out. So you can imagine how elated I was to see that he is part of the horror anthology THE FIELD GUIDE TO EVIL. The film’s awesome offerings don’t stop at Evernol, it also has segments by Agnieszka Smoczynska (THE LURE), Severin Fiala (GOODNIGHT MOMMY), Peter Strickland (BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO) and more.
5. HELLO, RAIN (NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE)
Wanna know the quickest way to get me stoked on a film? Have synopsis like HELLO, RAIN does : “A Scientist-Witch through an alchemical combination of juju and technology creates wigs which grants she and her friends supernatural powers. But when their powers grow uncontrollable, she must stop them by any means.” Scientist-Witch created wigs??! A color palette with a 90’s club kid aesthetic?! Sign. Me. Up!
Check out this awesome teaser trailer below for C.J. “Fiery” Obasi‘s HELLO, RAIN !
4. TOKYO VAMPIRE HOTEL (QUEBEC PREMIERE)
If you know anything about Sion Sono, you know this is gonna be bonkers. Don’t believe me? Check out a film called TAG (not to be confused with the recent comedy) and you will see where this is headed. TOKYO VAMPIRE HOTEL is a feature length film by Sono. He also did an excellent mini-series in 2017 of the same name. He has yet to create something that didn’t leave a seriously lasting impression on me and I have no doubt that TOKYO VAMPIRE HOTEL will continue this awesome streak.
3. MANDY (CANADIAN PREMIERE)
Everyone and their grandmother has been talking about MANDY. I am a HUGE Nicolas Cage fan and an even bigger fan of everything XYZ Films puts out. judging by the trailer it appears that Cage has out Caged himself which I didn’t think was possible after last years MOM AND DAD. It’s always a delight to see maniac Cage and MANDY looks like just that….a delight! Just kidding, it looks absolutely fucking terrifying and I cannot wait!
2. BIG BROTHER (WORLD PREMIERE, DIRECTOR IN ATTENDANCE)
Donnie Yen, need I say more??????
1. BUFFALO BOYS (WORLD PREMIERE, GUESTS IN ATTENDANCE)
So this is the film that is REALLY eating at me. I have been following the film as it progressed and was elated to find out it was making it’s world premiere in Canada.
BUFFALO BOYS is the latest action film from Indonesia to make its mark overseas. North America was first introduced to Indonesian action films primarily through THE RAID and THE RAID 2. Most recently, 2016 brought us HEADSHOT, which was like THE RAID + THE RAID 2 on bath salts during a riot. It was through HEADSHOT that Martial arts and acting legend Sunny Pang was introduced to western audiences and holy shit, did he pack a punch!
Sunny plays Leung, alongside his HEADSHOT co-star Zack Lee (THE RAID 2, THE NIGHT COMES FOR US). I am seriously looking forward to this action packed western!