Tag Archives: Fantasia Film Festival

New Canadian zomcom brain freeze to play at 25th fantasia

You might not think it but the 25th edition of Fantasia Film Festival is already on its way which means tonnes of new films to looks forward to. The first one announced is a new Canadian zomedy called Brain Freeze. We have the details below, as well as the beautiful poster for this year’s Fantasia Film Festival.

Here’s the press release

Fantasia is proud to be opening its upcoming edition with the World Premiere of a major Québécois genre feature – Julien Knafo’s BRAIN FREEZE. First pitched at Frontières, the festival’s world-renowned international co-production market, the film is a smart and stylish zombie comedy that slyly comments on social concerns both domestic and universal, telling the tale of an environmental disaster that leads to a fast-spreading virus ravaging a wealthy gated community off the island of Montreal.

BRAIN FREEZE joins the ranks of recently-released cinema that holds an eerie mirror up to our collective experience even though scripted and shot pre-pandemic. While production on the winter-set chiller was abruptly halted four days before completion following Quebec’s lockdown, shooting was miraculously able to wrap the following summer. There could not be a more perfect film for Fantasia 2021 to kick off with!

Equally gorgeous as it is bloody

A clever take on corporate greed, the growing rift between the haves and have-nots and a government in crisis that uses a zombie outbreak to express its truth and succeeds at being both a charming horror comedy, coming-of-age tale, and a story of an unexpected friendship in hazardous times.

Now, feast your eyes on the glorious poster for this year’s Fantasia.

For the creation of its 25th-anniversary poster art, pictured below, Fantasia has once again turned to the talents of renowned illustrator Donald Caron. Taking inspiration from Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima’s beloved LONE WOLF AND CUB, Caron has created a work that not only acknowledges the key role that Japanese culture has played across Fantasia’s history, but also one that hints and honours our upcoming edition’s embrace of Japanese cinema as a core cinematic theme. 

I also look forward to sharing the first wave of Fantasia Film Festival films. It really is one of the best festivals in the world. I can’t wait to see what craziness we have this year. It never disappoints.

Anyways, that’s it for this article. As always, thanks for reading.

Article by GG
Founder/Owner/BigCheese @ Moviehooker
Source: Fantasia Official Coverage


Trailer For New Sci-Fi Anthology UNDERGODS

Fantasia International Film Festival has dropped the first trailer for new sci-fi anthology ahead of the world premiere for 2020 Virtual Festival

Wow, it looks like Fantasia International Film Festival has done it again. We have so much amazing content coming our way. One of these films is Undergods, a new sci-fi anthology

It is a rare thing for us to get a sci-fi anthology. I mean, we have countless horror anthologies but sci-fi?…well, it’s almost unheard of. We have really been starved of sci-fi that ain’t mainstream bollix. Apart from 2020 being the biggest sci-fi this year, we have had very little. It looks like Undergods may fill that empty void.

Chino Moya’s, Undergods offers us a look at a frail dystopian future dealing with multiple characters across the U.K and Europe.

Here is the official plot from the Fantasia International Film Festival Press-Release

An otherworldly journey through a Europe in decline, Chino Moya’s UNDERGODS is a collection of aesthetically astonishing, darkly humorous fantasy tales about a series of men whose worlds fall apart through a visit from an unexpected stranger. This singular visual feast is a co-production between the UK, Belgium, Estonia, Serbia, and Sweden with a cast that includes Geza Rohrig (SON OF SAUL), Johann Meyers (SNATCH), Hayley Carmichael (LES MISERABLES), Eric Godon (IN BRUGES), Kate Dickie (THE WITCH), Adrian Rawlins (CHERNOBYL), Ned Dennehy (MANDY), and an especially crazed Jan Bijvoet (BORGMAN). World Premiere

Fantasia Press-Release

We have some really good names among the cast for Undergods. That and a trailer that just entices you and reels you in without spoiling any major plot points makes this new sci-fi one to be looking forward to.

You can check out the trailer for Undergods below

You can find out more about what’s playing at this year’s Fantasia International Film Festival below

As always, thanks for reading.

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Article by GG 
Founder/Owner/BigCheese @ Moviehooker

Fantasia Film Festival 2019 Review: IDOL

Fantasia Film Festival is back for its 23rd edition, and man, what an absolute cracker of a programme we have this year.

Fantasia Film Festival 2019

I’ll be starting off this year’s Fantasia Film Festival coverage with South Korean thriller, IDOL.

I’m sure I’ve said this in many an article: Fantasia Film Festival rounds-up every film I’ve written about over the past year and puts them all into one great festival. They’ve got spectacular taste in picking the best genre-orientated movies. To me, it is the true birthplace of independent cinema. Not only that, their appreciation of dark Asian cinema is something we rarely see at any festival. That is why it is only fair to start off this year’s coverage with Lee Su-jin’s IDOL.

Previous information I had was telling me that Idol took us back to when South Korean Revenge Cinema was at its most brutal and finest. After watching it, I don’t think that was an accurate way of marketing the film.

Ok, this was not gonna be the revenge film I was hoping for. Regardless of my previous hopes for the movie, this was still damn fine filmmaking.

I would describe Idol as a dark political thriller with an underlying pulse that deals with Immigration. I found comparisons to The Yellow Sea. Not that they’re any similarities in the storyline. They’re both dark thrillers that deal with immigration between China and Korea. Idol and The Yellow Sea would make a fantastic double-bill.

Idol opens with a very disturbing narrative.

Those of you not used to the nature of Korean cinema, the opening words would guarantee to turn the normal cinema goer away. In fact, the opening words would probably put 99% of cinema-goers off of the movie. As for the other 1%, well, that’s you, and that is why you’re still reading.

After returning home from a work trip, Councilor Koo arrives home to find his wife cleaning bloodstains off of their son’s car. The son was involved in a hit-and-run and is showing little remorse. The actions of the councilman and his wife that night start off an unpredictable chain of events between two families.

A dark, bloody political drama with two flawless lead performances. Not as hardcore as some would hope. Nonetheless Idol a great piece of work.

I would also like to advise NOT reading the official synopsis. Maybe it’s only me, but I think it gave away too much of the story. The less you know, the better.

Idol stars: Chun Woo-hee Sul Kyung-gu & Han Seok-kyu
Directed/Written by Lee Su-jin. This marks Su-jin’s second feature with the first being bleak rape drama Han Gong-ju (2013)

As always, thanks for reading. More Fantasia Film Festival coverage on the way with our review for the new South Korean serial killer flick, The Gangster, The Cop & The Devil.

Words by Gary Gamble
Founder/Owner/BigCheese @ Moviehooker


Fantasia International Film Festival Review For HEAVY TRIP

For fans of Spinal Tap and Anvil: The Story of Anvil, where parody meets reality, where you dream big and rock out, then look no further than Heavy Trip for your next hit of music-based comedy. Written and directed by Juuso Laatio and Jukka Vidgren, Heavy Trip lands on the side of fiction but the dreams of the small town Finnish heavy-metallers feels all too real. Treading familiar ground with the road-trip, pipe-dream, buddy comedy, Laatio and Vidgren have screamed new life into it, taking us on a memorable journey that will leave your ears ringing and your heart warmed.

Set in a small picturesque Finnish town, 4 out-of-place guys balance their mundane jobs with their passion for all things metal. The frontman Turo (Johannes Holopainen) combines cleaning with air-guitar throughout the towns mental institution; the bassist Rankinen (Ville HIska) displays deadpan intensity with full corpsepaint while working in the local library; guitarist Lotvonen (Samuli Jaski) aptly works in his father’s abattoir where the band are allowed to practice; and the passionate drummer Jynkky (Antti Heikkinen) dreams of only one thing – to play in front of an actual crowd. They cannot continue as they are, and things are about to change.

As the band evolve from cover songs to their own intense sound, the story develops far beyond that of just wanting to make it big. Each character has their own motivation for doing so, and the entire town, rightly or wrongly, gets caught up in the hysteria of the band (the name of which I have deliberately omitted), their ambition and the chaos they cause along the way. It’s a wacky comedy, but treated with intense seriousness in places, and it’s this conviction of the cast including the fringe characters really helps elevate this comedy to dizzy heights of ridiculousness.

Much like the music created, Heavy Trip hit the screens at a frenetic pace. It’s over before you know it, but unlike many comedies, it doesn’t outstay it’s welcome. Each joke is well placed and each glance carefully executed. It brings together all the best parts of a hapless aspirational music comedy with unpredictable, highly improbable road trip antics. I expect Heavy Trip to do very well once it hits the VOD platforms. It’s been very well received on the festival circuit, but at its core, it’s a buddy comedy best watched with your friends; whether you’re into the heavy metal, grave-robbing, Viking escapades or just enjoy the Finnish scenery, Heavy Trip has something for everyone.

Thanks for reading. 

Review + words by Mark Blakeway 

Follow him on Twitter: @movieblort


Tigers Are Not Afraid Review

Are Fairytales Real or Just Imagined?

Because Tigers Are Not Afraid is set in present time, the layered and magical way the story is told really gives you something to think about after the credits roll and the screen goes dark.

When I saw the trailer for this Mexican horror, fantasy infused with childhood fairytales I knew I had to see it. Lucky for me it was part of 2018’s Fantasia Film Festival Line up. Now it’s coming to Shudder and will begin streaming from September 12th 2019.

Whether or not you believe that making three wishes will allow your dreams to come true, this darkly lit, shocking film by Issa Lopez will test your senses.  Lopez found a way to give the world some insight into the horrible drug wars happening right now not only in Mexico but mirrored in many countries around the world. Continue reading Tigers Are Not Afraid Review Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Fantasia Film Festival 2018 Review: ONE CUT OF THE DEAD

One Cut Of The Dead just played at this year’s Fantasia Film Festival, so what did we think of this new Japanese indie horror?

One Cut Of The Dead has been getting quite a bit of attention lately and it’s easy to see why it has been picked to show at Fantasia Film Festival.

This little indie horror movie from Japan is a truly original take on the zombie genre. Nothing new in regards to infection or groundbreaking zombie-ism but just how the film develops. The simple story of a film crew shooting a zom-B-movie who are attacked during filming by real flesh-eaters…now, whats not to love about that?

When I say this is low-budget then I mean it. This may put some people off but I urge you to stay with it until the end. There are moments in the movie you’ll be like ”what the hell is going on here?”. Everything is answered before the end credits roll. By the end of the film, you will want to find the nearest video camera and make your own movie.

One Cut For The Dead is a fresh take on a genre overpopulated with more crap than solid material. This film acts as an intense lesson in film-making and the industry involved with the production. As silly as the film may sound there is an important message flowing through the entire feature.

One Cut Of The Dead Fantasia Festival
Please can I have this on a t-shirt?

Everything from a director having a great, cinematic vision but being told to play it safe by producers; actors complaining about working conditions and roles they’re starring in; the tireless efforts of a low-budget special FX team giving it their very all to try and make the most believable horror movie they possibly can. This film has it all.

I know, I loved this because I am so interested in film-making and from that point of view, it’s fantastic. However, if you’re small-minded and can’t appreciate art in its truest form, then just go watch a Hollywood blockbuster and get your kicks that way.


Gary Gamble - Founder @ Moviehooker

Official Coverage of Fantasia International Film Festival

Stay tuned for more official coverage from Fantasia Film Festival


Catch Me Daddy [Review]

A directorial début by Daniel Wolfe, written alongside his brother Matthew, Catch Me Daddy follows Laila (Sameena Jabeen Ahmed), a Pakistani girl who leads a simple life with her white Scottish boyfriend, Aaron (Connor McCarron). Brooding in the background of this existence is something much darker, as what appears to be family and a couple of goons you’d do well to avoid are out to get them. A plastic sheet is laid down to line the boot of one of their cars, the implication is clear of what is to come, and now it’s only a matter of when. For some this chase is about the cash incentive put in front of them, for others it is simply about pride and honour. Nobody rests until the job is done.

This sense of initial unease is juxtaposed by the blissful, codeine influenced happiness that Laila and Connor have. Dancing about in their caravan high on all sorts, slurping milkshakes and making what joy they can from the little money they have, like any good thriller the scene has been set for it to completely turn on its head. From here it’s fast paced and disorientating, using the dark Yorkshire Moors to create a complete sense of unknowing and unpredictability.

Complimented by the excellent score, it was the cinematography from Robbie Ryan that spearheaded the beauty of this film. From the opening frame to the closing image, it was simply entrancing to watch. Long shots of the rolling fog over the Yorkshire Moors contrasted in a following scene with the pumping gurny club music in the town centre and bright lights of the cars, alongside close-up shots of seemingly uninteresting things made interesting like a pot of nail polish tipping over. It was immensely efficient at capturing a very surreal experience and making it appear natural, providing beauty where there should be none, and you only have to look at his other work to realise what a talent he is.

Sameena Jabeen Ahmed gives an effortlessly natural performance as Laila, an engaging free spirit in the opening scenes but ends up completely disconnected with the events that transpire. Elsewhere, the supporting cast follow the same line of naturalism and raw talent, plucked from pubs and seen in clips online rather than acting schools, it adds volumes to the films authenticity.

Catch Me Daddy loses some of its momentum in the middle, but it doesn’t take long before you are thrust back into the intense unknown. It steers clear from making any strong political or religious judgement on the individuals involved, and rather presents it as a sequence of events for you to inject your own feelings into. This is carried right until the final scene, in an ending that will surely divide opinion, but should leave you absolutely speechless.

This film is not for everyone, but then no film is. If you like your thrillers to be realistic and beautiful, then look no further than Catch Me Daddy. It’s an unsettling work of art.

You can see CATCH ME DADDY in U.S. theaters August 7th, followed by a digital release on September 1st.

Written by Mark, writer for moviehooker.com

Follow Mark on twitter @movieblortFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail