Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Frightfest 2016: Day Three

Sorry guys...this when I started suffering fatigue. Six more films for you.

The Master Cleanse

Following his jilting at the alter, Paul (Johnny Galecki) decides to rebuild his life. He joins a reclusive spiritual mountain retreat in order to banish the negative energy within him by cleansing himself of them but Paul and his fellow cleansers soon discover something rather strange is going on.

The Master Cleanse is again one of those films that the less you know about it the better the experience will be when you first watch it. It's a rather strange but watchable film that features likeable performances from Big Bang Theory's Johnny Galecki and Anna Friel in the two lead roles as the pair share a great and effective chemistry (Anjelica Huston is also terrific in her extended cameo role). The Master Cleanse is a film influenced by the David Cromenbergesque body horror but amongst all this is comedy satirising self help therapy. The story itself is a little lacking in punch and the film ends rather suddenly, but its an amusing, sometimes creepy and often just plain weird film.


Sadako vs Kayako

Initially the trailer for the film was released on April Fools' Day of last year and everyone assumed it to be a big joke. Much to everyone's surprise it was a project that has been given the green light. Anyway in Japan two teenage girls awaken two terrible curses, the one of a cursed video where the viewer dies in two days (the mythology was changed from seven days for some reason) and The Death House where a father murdered his wife, child and pet cat. This offers a chance to destroy both ghouls forever by having them battle each other for the souls of their intended victims

I can't say that I ever particularly cared for any movie where famous horror monsters face off against one another and it's apparent by the time these two legendary Japanese ghosts started fighting each other the makers stopped taking these films seriously. I mean there's a guy who pops up with these telekinetic powers, and does a lot of hand waving to banish evil spirits. That said, however, I wasn't expecting a film where The Ring's Sadako faces off against Kayako to be a serious work of art, but I did expect it to be entertaining and scary but instead found it to be rather boring. Perhaps it was because it was the last film of a long day, but I found my attention waning frequently as I became somewhat disappointed in the direction that both film franchises seem to be going. Still, it's kind a funny in places (the professor's desire to meet Sadako is kind of amusing) and creepy (the long awaited Kayako appearance in this film is a highlight) but we wait a little too long for the two pale, black haired freaks lock their matted hair in battle.

Beyond the Gates

When their father goes missing, estranged brothers Gordon (Graham Skipper) and John (Chase Williamson) return to their home town to box up all the VHS types in their father's VHS rental store. In the office of the VHS store they discover a sinister board game which could be a reason for their father's disappearance, they must play the deadly game to rescue their father.

If Jumanji was a horror film, it may be something like Beyond the Gates which was perhaps the best film of main screens (until Train to Busan). The film pays homage to the Italian horror films of the 70s and 80s with its style and score (which is superb) but whilst the film is often funny, the homages the film makes to the classic era of Italian is of respect rather than a disrespectful mocking of the era. There's some superb performances by Graham Skipper and Chase Williamson but it is Barbara Crampton (as the video game presenter) and Jesse Merlin (whose eccentric performance is based on the classic Hammer Horror stars of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee) who steal the show. That's not to take anything away from Graham Skipper and Chase Williamson whose performances help the brotherly relationship become one the film's most engaging aspects.


The Rezort

The Rezort is about an Island which allows rich tourists to shoot zombies for fun, however, something goes terribly wrong and a horde of zombie are unleashed on the unsuspecting tourists.

The zombie genre is an overpopulated one, this is evident from the fact that there are four or five zombie films at Frightfest alone. Some of them have interesting spins on the genre such as Night of Something Strange whilst others like Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies is probably all the title and nothing more. The Rezort is another one of those films with an interesting take on the genre by creating a Jurassic Park style zombie theme park. Still, like many Zombie films before it The Rezort does fall into the cliched category once the undead still feasting upon the living. However, like the best Zombie films there's a political point to the film as it discusses the treatment of the refugees of the Syrian Civil War. The Rezort is a zombie film with enough political bite and enough gore to be worth a watch.


Blood Feast

This so bad its good remake of Herschell Gordon Lewis’ 1963 film of the same name is perhaps the only film where a cafĂ© owner was given permission to cum in the face of woman after fixing a her a drink and calling roadside assistance (outside of pornography, of course). Also, the camera does not shy away from showing a penis being hacked off with a knife. As someone said, it’s The Room meets Cannibal Holocaust. What's this film about? I don't fucking know.



It’s getting to the stage that I can’t really remember some films but I do remember that Abattoir had a superb final act that made up for the flat first two acts.


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