Adventures In Fantasia [Fantasia International Film Festival 2017]

I got started as a critic in 2004 when I covered the Fantasia film festival for Film Threat. At the time I was pretty active on the Film Threat web board and one of the moderators, I believe it was Eric Campos, asked if I could attend the festival and write something for the magazine since I lived nearby. I must have done a good job because he let me stick around to do more stuff, mostly review indie films and write a series called “Versus” where I compared remakes with the original.

It was fun, but eventually I had to slow down because I was burnt out. I realize that “watching movies” doesn’t sound exhausting, but I always felt a deep sense of responsibility to both the readers and the filmmakers. It felt wrong to just go “This film sucks!” or “This film rocks” without exploring every little detail on screen and analyzing every aspect of the production.

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Movies, Camp Fire Stories, Dance, and… Grease? [Horrible Imaginings Film Festival 2016]

hiffsd-01This year’s edition of Horrible Imaginings Film Festival saw the festival grow from 3 days to 5 days and include more features, documentaries, shorts, live literature readings (as well as a dance showcase).  The fest does not feature a gallery anymore, but it has been about more than films since its inception.  This year’s highlights were some truly great short films and the campfire story readings with David Agranoff, Laura  Lee Bahr, John Skipp, and Cody Goodfellow amongst others.

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A First Edition Festival in Brooklyn [Brooklyn Horror Film Festival 2016]

bhffAnother film festival had its first edition this year and it had a great line up.  This fest had it all: films, scary stories, trivia, et al.  The fest had some great films, features and shorts.  Some of my favorites among many were The Master Cleanse and Child Eater for features and for shorts there was Shorty, Pigskin, and The Man Who Caught a Mermaid.

They also had films we reviewed as part of other festivals like Let Her Out, Therapy, La Rage du Demon, The Puppet Man, The Stylist, Disco Inferno, and Mute.

Cinema Crazed’s coverage was limited but here are the few films I reviewed here for the Festival if you missed the updates:

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Emilie Black’s FrightFest 2016 Wrap-Up

frightfest-2016Normally I get to see a few films from FrightFest through contacts and much later on when they are finally released through VOD or on disk.  Sometimes I’m lucky enough to manage to see a few in other places such as festivals and conventions.  This year, I got to see 21 of the feature films and I did my best to give each a fair assessment.

Here’s a gathering of all of Cinema Crazed’s coverage for FrightFest 2016.

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A Short Interview with Miguel Rodriguez, founder of Horrible Imaginings Film Festival San Diego

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Q. First things first: What is Horrible Imaginings and why did you start it?
I started Horrible Imaginings Film Festival after moving to San Diego in 2009 to discover there was not a regular film festival in the city—or any film event really—that examined or celebrated the horror genre. I had to drive to Los Angeles for an opportunity to meet other people who loved horror or see new genre films.

So partially, I started Horrible Imaginings simply to give a life to horror in San Diego. More importantly to our mission statement, though, I wanted to expand what I have been seeing as a narrow definition people have for horror, and even to legitimize horror as a means for artistic expression.

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Talking with Lloyd Kaufman: Tromadance, Toxie, and Tits

His name is Lloyd Kaufman. For fans of cult cinema and indie filmmaking, the name rings like a doorbell to some of the unusual most twisted films ever conceived by the human mind. To us, the man has been a proponent of what we advocate here on Cinema Crazed: Independent Filmmaking to the very core. Sick and tired of the bloated and corrupt submission guidelines and festival scene that is the Sundance Film Festival, every year for twelve years, Lloyd Kaufman and Tromaniacs throw the the TromaDance film festival.

There’s no entry fee. There’s no ticket price. The only catch is to bring your best film and be ready for some fun. This year we were honored to grab an opportunity to interview Mr. Lloyd Kaufman during his press junket for Tromadance storms New Jersey, and we’re honored to speak to the man who has pushed the very ideals of independent filmmaking for decades and, unlike other filmmakers of his ilk, has actually stuck to his guns even his age where he’s become a bona fide icon among the masses of cult fans, indie filmmaking fans, and horror buffs across the world.

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The PC Thug: Slamming Sundance

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2005’s “Mad Hot Ballroom” was the hit of the year. The Nickelodeon/Paramount owned documentary featured three Public Schools in New York, all of whom were taught the art of ballroom dancing and ultimately experienced a coming of age with their skills that took them in to a major competition by the end of the film. The film grossed a total of over nine million dollars, screening on theaters in the double digits. 2007’s “The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters” about the inadvertent rivalry between two master gamers competing to obtain the world record Donkey Kong made the top ten lists of over a dozen critics in 2007, and garnered immense buzz over the course of the year from news companies alike. 2009’s “Paranormal Activity” was made on a micro budget and filmed in generally one location.

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