2014 BLOOD IN THE SNOW CANADIAN FILM FESTIVAL: DAY 2
Queen of Blood (screened with the short film The Table)
Director Chris Alexander returns with Queen of Blood, a sister film to Blood for Irina, which are both surreal tales of vengeance by the hands of the vampire lead character.This film is almost completely without dialogue and relies heavily on visceral cinematography over anything else, which makes it extremely niche for audiences. People who watch Queen of Blood are either going to love it whole-heartedly or not be able to stand more than five minutes, with no room in between to feel indifferent. This picture could be improved by a higher budget to provide sharper imagery because the movie is so dependent on its visuals, which do fall short on lower quality cameras. Alexander has created an honest albeit ambitious story that requires patience and attention from its audience.
In The Table, Director Izabel Grondin brings an unsettling insight into the relationship between a husband and his subservient wife. This is a grating and nauseating ride from beginning to end (which is exactly what it aims to accomplish) that has an extremely subtle and smart ending. It is well worth the watch if you can stomach it.
Ejecta (screened with the short film Uncommon Enemies)
Ejecta follows a man who has been abducted by aliens and the subsequent hardships that surround his life, as much as he tries to escape it. It is a fairly thin premise that does not opt to expand upon itself further, which is why it could have worked much better as a short film. It is not exceptionally well acted due to its tendency to fall back on melodrama and is laden with government jargon, which occasionally makes it almost a self parody. Although there are flaws, Ejecta has superb set design that effectively captures the science fiction feel.
A US sergeant and a Nazi soldier find themselves teaming up to destroy a sexy French vampire in Uncommon Enemies. Directed by Alex Hatz, this is a thoughtfully shot piece that is worthy of multiple giggles at the witty and ridiculous dialogue, specifically from the Nazi character. Uncommon Enemies very effectively takes a standard premise and twists it into something unique and enjoyable.
Bloody Knuckles (screened with the short film O Come All Ye Zombies)
Director Matt O'Mahoney presents his exercise in poor taste and vulgarity with Bloody Knuckles. Although it is a surprisingly low-budget movie, it is incredibly impressive what O'Mahoney and his team have managed to accomplish, because it is a smooth and high quality looking picture. The film follows Travis, an underground comic book artist who pushes limits too far after he lampoons a local crime boss on one of his comic covers, who then punishes Travis by cutting off his drawing hand. Travis subsequently goes on a bender of booze and misery, but is brought back to reality when he finds that his hand has reanimated and has plans for his future.
Bloody Knuckles is an enormous amount of fun for fans of the absurd and offensive; and I defy you not to laugh out loud at the comic book covers in the opening credits. Although some of the characters fit fairly standard archetypal roles (hero, damsel, jester, etc), which is an arguable weak spot for the film, there is so much that is inventive and unique about the overall movie that those weaknesses become more than forgivable.
O Come All Ye Zombies peaks into the Christmas dinner of a family of zombies and what happens when the human they intended on eating turns out to be alive. This short is a humorous and inventive piece that brings multiple moments of laughter, whether they are witty and smart pop culture references, or outrageous and stupid (but in a good way) jokes about penises.
O Come All Ye Zombies:
Teddy Bomb (screened with the short film No Pets Allowed)
With this screening being my first experience ever with a midnight movie in a theater, I almost skipped into my seat I was so excited. Teddy Bomb follows Christian, a young beer delivery man who accidentally steals a small and adorable teddy bear that talks, thinks, feels, and is also a bomb. Because the teddy bomb belonged to a group of blood-thirsty criminals, Christian must avoid them at all costs and somehow figure out how to part ways with the sentient teddy bear. Director Justin Decloux brings an uproarious funny splatter comedy that very effectively uses camp, cheese and sensationalism in its arsenal. This is a film to watch with lots of friends, and lots of beer.
No Pets Allowed is a very niche piece that will either have people excited and on the verge of cheering, or praying for the moment when it is over. Director Nadine L'Esperance presents a short about a woman who has gone mad from her dark childhood of never being allowed to have a pet, with drastic results any time she brought one home anyway. As an adult she uses her sultry curves to lure men into her home and lobotomize them into 'pets', and fulfill the part of her that has been missing. This piece is very low budget and poorly acted on purpose, which gives it a feel as though it could be released by a company like Troma. Albeit flawed, it is palpable that the filmmakers enjoyed creating No Pets Allowed, and set out to make something that was violent, ridiculous and fun, which is accomplished.
No Pets Allowed:
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