The Halloween mood came a little early this year, so we headed down to the 15th annual Fantastic Fest at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, TX, to catch this year’s killer lineup of upcoming horror, sci-fi, and midnight movies from https://best-solarmovie.pro/years.
A chance meeting with a dominatrix sends a grieving surgeon down an obsessive path of enlightenment in J.-P. Valkeapää’s Dogs Don’t Wear Pants, a brilliant Finnish sex-shocker that’s causing its fair share of festival walkouts. Relentlessly provocative without resorting to exploitation, Valkeapää’s modern relationship drama whips the audience into strict submission by the end of the first reel, and offers an unflinching and unusually empathetic look into sadomasochistic dynamics. Be forewarned, though: this features a scene of extreme violence that provokes such an adrenaline rush, you’ll feel a sense of post-orgasmic relief once it’s over…which is probably the point. A perfect outing for those who find 50 Shades of Whatever a bit too vanilla.
Come for the architecture porn…stay for the curiously perfect filmmaking in Bong Joon-ho’s Palme d’Or-winning black comedy Parasite. The South Korean director (Memories of Murder, Snowpiercer, Okja) keeps one-upping himself with every project, and his latest masterpiece effortlessly bounces between genres (biting satire, family drama, heist joint, straight-up horror) with striking confidence and ease. The less you know going in the better, but let’s just say it’s a clash of epic proportions between the haves and have-nots and comes armed with more than a few clever tricks up its sleeve. Easily the most exhilarating and enjoyable film of the year. You can also watch this movie at hd movies free online.
A brutally explicit biopic of German serial killer Fritz Honka, Fatih Akin’s underrated and misunderstood The Golden Glove premiered to shock and revulsion at the Berlinale last February, with critics and audiences hurling all sorts of accusations its way. Admittedly, the numerous scenes of violence against women combined with a hopelessly alcoholic atmosphere make the film pretty hard to like at first, but beneath the ugliness lies a sharp and humorous critique of German culture. To dismiss it entirely would be a huge disservice to Jonas Dassler’s riveting performance, a tour-de-force of drunken murder and mayhem that immediately recalls Charlize Theron in Monster. Opens this Friday at the IFC Center in New York and then expands to select cities, via legendary indie distributor Strand Releasing.
For reasons that shall remain unspoiled, Ant Thompson’s totally insane domestic thriller Come to Daddy is the type of film that’s best enjoyed in a packed theater. Elijah Wood stars as Norval, a prissy city-type summoned to his estranged father’s oceanfront cottage under mysterious circumstances. The film’s slow-burning first act gradually leads way to a completely balls-to-the-wall second half filled with genuinely unpredictable twists and turns, and one unshakably nasty encounter. Throughout, it all comes off a bit smart-alecky and over-stylized, but Wood fully commits to the outrageous material, and Canadian B-movie god Stephen McHattie slays as as the titular father figure.
Shot on sleazy 16mm, Joe Begos’ ultra-violent punk-rock vampire odyssey Bliss answers the age-old question: What would it feel like it Abel Ferrara’s 1979 classic The Driller Killer met up for a weekend of blood-soaked chemsex with Gaspar Noe and 90s Gregg Araki? Playing a reckless artist with a crippling case of creative block, Dora Madison (miles away from her role on Friday Night Lights) cusses like Joe Pesci and gives one of the most ferocious performances of the year, falling somewhere around Elizabeth Berkley in Showgirls on the acting spectrum (yeah, that’s a compliment). Disorienting, aggressively visceral and in your fucking face from beginning to end, it’s a druggy trip you’ll probably want to take more than once.
Sara Summa’s The Last To See Them follows a rural Italian family on their daily routine before an unseen killer pays an evening visit and executes them all offscreen, and it’s the cinematic equivalent of blue balls. An opening title card spoils the ending by disclosing its characters’ fate, creating a tension exercise that forces us to examine our thirst for violence, and the disappointment that comes when bloodshed is teased and not delivered. It’s a one-trick pony that works, though a lack of characterization or motive from the killer, or any hint of the family having a skeleton in the closet ultimately makes this a rather cold and unmoving experiment.
A missed opportunity all around, Tyler Cornack’s Butt Boy drags its one and only joke out for an excruciating 100 minutes while delivering precious few LOLs. The amusingly juvenile premise – a cop begins to suspect his new AA sponsor’s hungry asshole may be responsible for a recent crimewave – could have been hilarious in more capable hands, but Cornack makes the grave mistake of playing the material with a straight face. Imagine an 80s Michael Mann-ish made-for-TV cop thriller, but instead of coke dealers, the bad guy is a boring straight guy’s ass. Meh. Some inspired acting (Tyler Rice is especially good as Detective Russell Fox) and an awesome lasertag sequence can’t save this boring pile of poo. Mohit Jaswal’s marvelous short Butt Fantasia offers loads more inspired rectum-related humor in its brief six minutes than this stinker does over the course of its bloated running time.
Serge Ou’s thrilling and impeccably researched documentary Iron Fists and KungFu Kicks gives a chronological history of the popular martial-arts sub-genre that became a worldwide phenomenon in the 70s. Starting with the Shaw Brothers and Bruce Lee, Ou frenetically dances through the catalogue’s greatest hits and misses, and traces its connections to youth counterculture movements and blaxploitation cinema. Bring a Xanie, though – the fast and furious editing style might cause an anxiety attack.
In a strange coincidence, two different films working the horror circuit this season have characters doing an ironic sing-a-long to Lisa Loeb’s 1994 smash hit “Stay.” Jeremy Gardner and Christian Stella’s delightful crowd-pleaser After Midnight (originally titled Something Else) looks like your average indie monster movie, but deep down it’s an emotionally honest metaphor about and painful breakups and str8bro loneliness. At the other end of the spectrum, Zach Gayne’s endlessly shrill and irritating Homewrecker aims to be a Lifetime movie with turnt-up violence, but comes off as annoyingly unfunny satire that quickly wears out its welcome. Precious Chong’s fabulously wacky performance simply isn’t enough to make up for the poor screenplay and lifeless direction.
We caught Vinegar Syndrome’s loving 25th anniversary restoration of Stewart Rafill’s Tammy and the T-Rex, a forgotten slice of straight-to-video 90s cheese from the inventive mind that brought us Mannequin II: On the Move and Mac & Me. In an early role, screen legend Denise Richards plays a sassy teen (with a sassy gay sidekick) who discovers a mad scientist implanted her dead boyfriend’s (Paul Walker) brain into an animatronic dinosaur. Yes, you read that correctly. Originally marketed to tween audiences, the crisp new cut restores a bunch of gory scenes that were chopped, bringing this weirdo romantic comedy/dinoslasher hybrid from a light PG-13 to a hard R.
Other notable films: Oscar Martin’s Spanish wintertime thriller Amigo channels Rob Reiner’s Misery and Robert Aldrich’s Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, and boasts a seriously frightening physical performance from Javier Botet. Emily Beecham snagged a Best Actress trophy at Cannes for her role as a plant scientist in Jessica Hausner’s unnerving Little Joe, a botanical thriller about a genetically-engineered flower with a mood-enhancing scent. It’s a neat little film with big worries about the dangers of turning happiness into a commodity. From Canada, Alexandre Franchi’s Happy Face tells the story of a teenager who, for reasons of his own, dons a disguise to infiltrate a support group for people with facial differences. A triumph in representation, the supporting cast is wonderful, especially Debbie Lynch-White as Vanessa, the feisty group leader who suspects something’s up. For those in the mood for something beautifully weird and whimsical, Japanese animator Masaaki Yuasa’s Ride Your Wave blends romantic comedy, ghost story, and old-school surf movie vibes, resulting in a charming romp that’s just as peculiar as its predecessor (The Night Is Short, Walk On Girl). Basque director Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia’s harrowingly intense The Platform could be pitched as Snowpiercer set in a 200-story prison structure, and like that movie, serves as a timely and devastating indictment of capitalism and greed. And last, but certainly not least, we gagged on Harry Wuest’s 1968 sleazeploitation non-classic She-Mob, about a gang of four lesbians who escape prison and kidnap some rich lady’s boyfriend. Just as lurid and ridiculous as you’d imagine, the highlight being Marni Castle’s luscious cone-shaped bra, which of course, also serves as a deadly weapon.