Collins’ Crypt: Where Are They Now - FF2012 Edition
Last year, on the eve of Fantastic Fest 2012, I took a look at the genre films from 2011's fest and updated you fine folks on their distribution/release status. When some of my peers make their year end lists, some of them include festival fare, a practice I do not agree with because some movies might be great but remain in limbo for months or even years after that list has long since faded from memory - it doesn't do anyone any good, frankly. Who knows why You're Next failed to connect with audiences, but one thing's for certain - the lengthy delay didn't exactly build anticipation, and those who slotted it on their "Best of 2011" list are unable to do so at the end of this year, where the praise might help it find its audience on DVD.
Luckily, the news is better this year - while 2011's lineup has a few films STILL awaiting a proper release here in the US (such as Livide, picked up by Dimension and still collecting dust), I'm happy to report that ALL of 2012's genre fare has been acquired and in all but two cases already released. Power of Fantastic Fest! But while the news is pretty similar across the board, I figured it'd still be helpful to remind you about those movies that had us all abuzz last year, and here's hoping this year's independent/un-acquired titles find as much as luck as 2012's batch!
Thanks to Eli Roth this one didn't have much trouble finding a distributor; Radius/TWC picked it up pretty quickly, though a wide release eluded it, and it didn't fare too well on its 100 or so screens when it opened here in May. It's now on DVD/Blu from Anchor Bay; perhaps at home the film's strange tonal shifts and admittedly hilarious final shot will play a bit better.
Wasn't a fan of this one, but folks seem to love it - and now they can watch it again and again courtesy of Xlrator. And its filmmakers, the Soska twins, have recently signed on to helm See No Evil 2, a long-awaited sequel (by me) to WWE's first and best movie. Hopefully I'll find that one a bit more to my liking.
The American Scream
I loved the shit out of this charming documentary from Michael Stephenson that took a look at DIY haunted house gurus (all in my home state of Massachusetts!), and the post-screening haunted house was a definite highlight of last year's Fest. But while that was specific to us, the rest of the country got to enjoy the movie a few weeks later as it aired on the Chiller Channel. It doesn't appear to have a disc release as of yet, but you can (and SHOULD) check it out via Netflix Instant (or Amazon's VOD service). (Update! Kevin Hutcheson on Twitter alerted me that it is available on DVD after all.)
David Cronenberg has seemingly lost interest in the genre, but luckily his son Brandon seems more than able to pick up where he left off. Antiviral recently hit DVD after a lengthy (and successful) festival run, and I look forward to seeing what he does next - which is more than I can say for Cronenberg senior - Cosmopolis has him on very thin ice with me.
Berberian Sound Studio
A polarizing film that was unfortunately described as something it's not (a Giallo, in this case), it's possible I will enjoy this one more a second time around, now that I know what I'm in for. It certainly wasn't forgettable or bland, and with defenders like Fangoria's Sam Zimmerman and the guys at the great site The Dissolve, I'm willing to admit my initial take might be wrong. Luckily it won't be hard to see again; IFC bought it and put it out on a few theaters here in the States last spring, which means a DVD/Blu can't be too far off.
Cockneys vs Zombies
This crowd-pleasing zom-com is one of the better entries in the sub-sub-genre, and thus I was stoked to see it picked up rather quickly (and given a solid transfer/special edition) by Shout! Factory for their wallet-busting Scream Factory line. It's a bit of an anomaly in the series, which favors cult classics and 70s/80s gems (i.e. Phantasm II, Halloween III, They Live, etc) but I'm glad it was given the higher profile treatment it deserved.
Come Out And Play
Oof. I was actually excited for this one, as I'm a big fan of the original (Who Can Kill A Child?) and was curious if a modern version would be able to pull off the rampant on-screen child-killing of the original (in fact I believe I said that the film would NEVER be remade due to the excessive, now-taboo violence). Unfortunately I got my wish - it's just as violent and director Makinov pulls no punches. Unfortunately that's due to the fact that it's the EXACT SAME MOVIE as the original, bordering on Van Sant Psycho levels of pointlessness more often than not. And Makinov's stupid shtick does the movie no favors - it's on DVD now (and Cinedigm even gave it a theatrical release!) if you want to see for yourself, but I highly urge you to seek out (or rewatch) the original.
Evan Husney calls these movies "Robo-fart-ninja-zombie" fare, and it's a pretty perfect way to describe the growing sub-genre of kitchen sink horror/comedies from Japan. In my opinion this is one of the more enjoyable (provided you're in the right mood), but you can decide for yourself - Action Slate released a DVD and a Blu-ray here in the US earlier this year.
Errors Of The Human Body
The best movie David Cronenberg never made, this is more drama than horror, but it's got its fair share of "body horror" terror and an intriguing "don't mess with science" plot that fans of The Fly or Scanners would appreciate. And it's a terrific showcase for the talents of actor Michael Eklund, whose stock value recently rose thanks to his villain turn in the shockingly successful The Call. Check it out now courtesy of MPI Home Video.
Here Comes The Devil
This was going to be my last attempt to enjoy a film from Adrián Bogliano, having been disappointed with both Cold Sweat and (FF 2011 entry) Penumbra. But third time's the charm, it seems - not a perfect film but one I quite enjoyed, and look forward to revisiting when Magnet releases it (in theaters!) this coming December.
Memory of the Dead (La memoria del muerto)
Wasn't a fan of this tonally confused Evil Dead wannabe, but maybe you'll feel different when Artsploitation Films puts it out, as they picked it up in February of this year after a few other festival appearances. Still no date as of yet, but they've been releasing stuff pretty frequently (most recently fellow polarizing festival entry Hidden In The Woods), so I wouldn't be surprised to see it within the next few months.
My Amityville Horror
Scarier than any of the movies, this doc focuses on Daniel Lutz, the young son who was allegedly terrorized by ghosts and certainly terrorized by his stepfather George during the time they lived at 112 Ocean Avenue in Long Island. You won't find out much about the movies here, but it's a startling and fascinating portrait of a man who, regardless of the version of the story you believe, has clearly been damaged by whatever happened in that house and beyond. It's now available on Netflix Instant and DVD courtesy of MPI Home Video.
One of the fest's most talked about "genre" entries, and certainly the only one that was accompanied by a "backwards and forwards" showing of a movie (The Shining, of course), this doc that focuses on some of the more unusual theories about Stanley Kubrick's 1980 adaptation of Stephen King's novel is one of the most original documentaries about a movie I've ever seen. That it included footage from Lamberto Bava's awesome Demons just made it all the more fun for me, and if you haven't gotten a chance to see it yet (it played theatrically, also thanks to IFC), Badass Digest readers can get a bonus with their DVD - a (Twitter) quote from our own FilmCritHulk on the cover!
Just for completion's sake, I'll mention these. All of them were already scheduled for release within weeks of the fest, and of the three only Sinister had an impressive box office performance; Collection unfortunately failed to match the gross of its predecessor (despite the best laugh of the year - "Sorry dude!"), and Frankenweenie's thunder was stolen by the earlier Paranorman (and what I assume is a growing weariness of Tim Burton in general). But I enjoyed them all!
This year doesn't seem to have as many horror films, but the ones that are there excite me. Almost Human is said to be a love letter to Carpenter, which is right up my alley, and Sam Zimmerman's praise of Proxy is all I need to know to check it out. Add in the new film from the Amer folks (The Strange Colour Of Your Body's Tears) and the intriguing Patrick remake (starring You're Next's Sharni Vinson) and it seems like next year's "Where Are They Now?" piece will be just as filled with good news. See you at the Fest!