Fantastic Fest

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Zack goes to FF 2007: DAY THREE

There are a lot of movies in this world. Some are good. Some are bad. Some involve hunching men with bowl haircuts obsessively playing strip baseball with geishas. There's no chance that even the most obsessive agoraphobic film lunatic would be able to watch one tenth of the movies they'd be likely to enjoy within their lifetime. But that doesn't mean I won't keep trying.

Like Lars, I attacked MAIKO HAAAAN!!! first, lightly thrilled at the prospect of a "goofball romp" after so much bloodshed and knucklebusting. I was not disappointed, as MH!!! features about 300 cc's of Japanese madcappery in every minute. So much so, in fact, that the viewer becomes immunized to wide-eyed hollering and rubber-boned dance sequences and starts to accept that love means slapping each other's faces and the passage of time is best marked by beard length. Speaking of length, viewer endurance may come into play as the screwiness here reaches the 120-minute mark, but this is nevertheless a unique child-in-a-business-suit's fantasy of the adult world that should be watched by all ramen manufacturing enthusiasts and haters of professional athletes. I count myself among both.

Also like Lars, I spent the next portion of the afternoon being wholly decimated by the DEVILS-HELPER: THE FILMS OF PHIL CHAMBLISS program. Phil Chambliss himself was on hand, having driven solo and overnight from Arkansas just for our festival. He made a hasty introduction, the lights dimmed and the audience was instantly transported to a mysterious dimension where the rules of reasoning and human interaction have been completely rewritten. Chambliss makes mini-epics that move sideways instead of forward through completely unmapped filmmaking terrain, and I'm not exagerrating when I say that half the crowd was completely in awe of the singularity of his style. The Q&A that followed was great, and it managed to further endear the filmmaker to everyone present. Those of you who weren't there (and that's a high number of you) really missed out...except you didn't, because Mr. Chambliss will be returning on Monday at 7PM for another round of brainmangling. Seriously...DO. NOT. MISS.

Also also like Lars, I ended up at THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, which I'd been warned was a very dark and discomforting experience. Even still, I was more than sufficiently queased by the content, largely due to the fact that Alamo pal Rodney maintained that the most shocking aspects of the story are actually true. I hate to write more -- partly because I hate to spoil movies and partly because it makes several of my organs wither to dwell on this film -- so we'll move on to the final show of the night.

...Which was going to be EXTE: HAIR EXTENSIONS, but all of us Alamoids instead ended up caught in the pre-POSTAL Uwe Boll intro hysteria. So rather than watching Japanese women getting strangled by autonomous hair-dos, I found myself hoisting an Osama Bin Laden pinata at arm's length while the notorious (and extremely pleasant and well-mannered) Boll beat the hell out of it with a length of rebar. Locating that pinata was no easy feat and I have to admit it made me a little sad to see its sweet little head go flying off into the third row, but a rousing time was had by all and Boll only drew blood from my hand with the whacker once, so no regrets. POSTAL itself was very much the moral brutalityfest advertised. As a politically naive childless meat-eating agnostic of undetermined ethnic background, there isn't much to offend me, but I do sincerely appreciate Boll's attempt to create the most unmarketable career-destroying work possible. The Q&A afterwards was completely railroaded by a visibly tipsy Zack Ward and, as Lars wrote earlier, melted down into a frothing dispensation of expletives and animated rants. At one point, an exhausted Uwe Boll calmly interrupted and, with his forehead cupped in his palm, said, "You haff no idea vut you are talking about." The audience stared in fascinated confusion as the barrage continued, requiring almost no questions to fuel the massive insanitybeast the screening had become.


Stay tuned.


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