Eric Valette is a French film director known for his fantastically creepy film Malefique (2002), his remake of One Missed Call (2008), The Prey (2011), etc. This year, his French polar, or thriller, Le Serpent aux Milles Coupures (Thousand Cuts) had its North American Premiere at Fantasia International Film Festival.
Anyone who knows me knows I’m a hardcore film and horror buff and one of the first shots of a horror movie I ever recall watching was the scene in “Psycho” where Marion Crane is stalked in her shower and mercilessly stabbed to death. It’s a scene I’ve seen at least a thousand times since I was a child and its effectiveness and impact have never worn off for me. Every scene, every second, every single shot is so deliberate and meticulous that Hitchcock creates an entity on to itself in a genuinely flawless horror film. It’s not often you’ll find a full length documentary about one shot in an entire movie, but the iconic moment with Janet Leigh is a sequence that warrants so much examination and analyses. It’s every bit the symbolism and metaphor audiences of the fifties weren’t expecting.
Izzy Lee is a talented short filmmaker who some of us cannot wait to see a feature film from. Her shorts have been many and has one of them, For a Good Time Call…, played Fantasia International Film Festival this year paired with the feature Dead Man Tells His Own Tale. As her work should, more like needs to, be seen by all horror fans, here is a rundown of some of her recent shorts.
“King Cohen” is the documentary on the life and work of filmmaker Larry Cohen, covering his entire career, from working on and directing television pilots, and blaxploitation, to horror, and studio blockbusters.
Writer/director Steve Mitchell interviews a slew of film industry people for this documentary, starting off with his subject’s early career and taking the viewer all the way until very recent work. His interviews are varied, including the likes of Martin Scorsese, Fred Williamson, both the first and current Mrs. Cohen, etc. The bulk of the film is spent with Mr. Cohen himself and some of his collaborators.
People usually laugh when I tell them I have a mortal fear of zombies, but for many years I did. I had a mortal fear of the walking dead, for reasons I can’t really explain. Fears are meant to be irrational. I can however pinpoint to where it may have all started, and it was with George Romero. One of my earliest memories as a kid was when my dad took a four year old moi to visit a friend of his, who watching this horror documentary on VHS. Mid-way through the footage there was the epic finale of “Day of the Dead” where the humongous horde of zombies is slowly descending in to the military bunker with light cast upon them.
Spectrum Productions works with a day camp in Montreal which offers filmmaking mentorship and classes for people on the autism spectrum. Spectrum Fest was a presentation of some of the films made by participants over the years for the first time at Fantasia. It was a free screening for anyone interested in going and it was hoot.
There’s been talk of remaking Suspiria for years. So much so that a lot of what I’m going to mention here are thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head for over a decade. The latest attempt at a remake, and the one most likely to happen, is supposed to star Dakota Johnson and Tilda Swinton, have music by Thom Yorke, and be directed by Luca Guadagnino. All of whom are above average artists in their respective fields. So I wish this attempt well and I genuinely hope it succeeds.
At the same time, I think it’ll fail.
Eric Dow’s “Behind the Mask” should be seen by every aspiring filmmaker out there as a course on how to navigate Hollywood and how to basically approach any kind of endeavor involving the Hollywood system. Sandy Collora is a consistently fascinating and interesting artist who has been making waves online for years thanks to his amazing special effects and consistent efforts to get a movie made. He’s also one of the forefathers of the fan film who helped make fan films not only legitimate works of cinematic art, but also a cause for Hollywood to take notice. Sandy Collora, for those unaware, is a brilliant and talented special effects artist who spent years hoping to emulate his favorite creators including Batman artist Neal Adams.