Dead Shack (2017) [Fantasia International Film Festival 2017]

For folks experiencing zombie fatigue, “Dead Shack” might be the small movie that cures your unrest for the sub-genre. Director-writer Peter Ricq and co-writers Philippe Ivanusic, Davila LeBlanc twist conventions rather well while also introducing a dashing but complex horror villain to boot. “Dead Shack” is a fun and very funny mix of genres that has a good time implementing the zombie sub-genre without bogging the entire movie down in typical cinematic tropes and heavy handed overtones. The zombies here are more devious plot devices that allow for a ton of gore and splatter, and director Ricq never shies away from the gooey and red stuff.

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The Bootleg Files: Arsenic and Old Lace

BOOTLEG FILES 598: “Arsenic and Old Lace” (1969 television production starring Bob Crane, Helen Hayes and Lillian Gish).

LAST SEEN: It is on YouTube.


REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: The reason may be a little complicated.


Remaking a beloved classic film is always a tricky endeavor – the new offering is inevitably judged against its predecessor, and it is rare for the second effort to be found superior to the work that came first.

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Bad Genius (Chalard Games Goeng) (2017) [Fantasia International Film Festival 2017]

A straight A+ student, Lynn sells the right to cheat of off her for money which her family desperately needs so she can maintain going to private school where she has a better chance at a better education. As the stakes go up, she gets involved in a plan to cheat on an international university entry classification test. From there on, things become stressful and nerve-wracking for her group of friends and herself.

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Death Line (Raw Meat) (1972) [Fantasia International Film Festival 2017]

A precursor to “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” Gary Sherman’s European based cannibal thriller is a ghoulish and often eerie bit of horror about a monster lurking within the tubes of London. Set amidst a busy and unsuspecting city, director Gary Sherman makes amazing use of the abandoned tunnels and corridors of London’s underground between Russell Square and Holborn. Sherman concocts a veritable lair for a clan of Victorian cannibals, the last of which is struggling to keep his pregnant wife alive. Sherman is great about setting the tone for his grisly little tale, constantly showing the radical worlds that lurk above and beneath local London subways.

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The Fate of the Furious (2017) [Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital]

With the death of Paul Walker and the unstoppable ego of Vin Diesel, “The Fate of the Furious” signals a rock bottom point in the movie series that we haven’t seen since “Fast and Furious.” As the series runs on fumes, the writers and producers are working over time to introduce us to dynamic new anti-heroes, all of whom can’t make “Fate of the Furious” worth watching. Unless you’re a completionist, or a hardcore Kurt Russell fanatic, “Fate of the Furious” is a convoluted and painfully long follow up that tries very hard to fill the void Paul Walker left when he died.

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Baby Driver (2017)

Edgar Wright has proven himself to be one of the most unique and creative living directors today and the man has only honed his craft to deliver a great spin on a classic crime tale about love, and redemption. “Baby Driver” is a remarkable turn for Wright who creates a pulp masterpiece. “Baby Driver” is a powerful and emotional tale about a truly engaging protagonist who is sinking in to a world of violence and murder, and has no idea how to get out. We’ve seen movies about getaway drivers before, but “Baby Driver” works to the benefit of Wright’s strengths including dynamic characters, sharp humor, and amazing editing.

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