Fantastic Fest changes lives. Seriously. If it weren't for the week-long genre celebration, I would've never discovered The Astrologer in 2014: one of the last genuine cult items that's a mind-blowing singular experience, and continues to be a secret handshake among those who've been lucky enough to see the '70s DIY rarity. While it's great to catch big name titles like Halloween and Hold the Dark with the greatest movie-going crowd on the planet, the rep and discovery screenings are what really stick with you for years to come.
Enter Mickey Reece: a modern day Oklahoma DIY maestro who's already churned out over twenty features (plus a handful of shorts) during the first decade he's been making movies in America's heartland. His last picture - the wacko Elvis pseudo-biopic Mickey Reece's Alien - is a B&W odyssey depicting the marriage of an escalatingly paranoid Elvis (Jacob Snovel) and his naïve bride Priscilla (Cate Jones). Along the way, there are dinners with Tom Jones and a road trip to Texas to test the paternity of his possible progeny.
Just check the trailer out for that opus:
Now comes Strike, Dear Mistress, and Cure His Heart and it looks to be one of the more bizarre entries into a Fest's history that's already littered with outlandish oddities. Inspired by Igmar Bergman’s Autumn Sonata, Strike, Dear Mistress, and Cure His Heart amalgamates current surrealist stylists (such as Darren Aronofsky and Yorgos Lanthimos) into a backyard melodrama about a mother/daughter relationship plagued by a generational curse.
From Mr. Reece himself:
“The themes were something I would have never been able to get right without the specific talent and resources to execute. I am grateful to be able to share this movie with anyone as I truly believe it is my most sophisticated and mature work to date. As homage to the great Ingmar Bergman: Strike, Dear Mistress is, in some aspects, the best film I’ll probably ever make.”
In case none of that can sell you on this bugnuts piece of outsider art, here's the truly strange trailer for Strike, Dear Mistress:
Well, I know what's definitely taking up one of my screening slots now. Hopefully, Fantastic Fest has delivered another one of the weirdo discoveries I've come to expect from them for so long.
To Be Continued...