Antonio Pantoja is an acclaimed artist, photographer, and man of many skills who has just completed “One Must Fall.” Now premiering in various festivals around America and garnering various accolades, Pantoja’s horror comedy slasher is making waves, and Emilie Black took time from his busy schedule to ask about his career and love of film.
Although “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” has gone down considerably well with audiences it might remain one of the most misunderstood movies of the year. The original books from Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell were compilations of urban legends, urban folklore, and original tales, the former of which had been shared for generations by many people. They began life as morality stories and then became campfire tales. Sure André Øvredal could have turned the books in to a normal anthology, but in the end he opts for something of more substance. “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” is about stories. The stories of the past. The stories we tell one another. The stories the characters tell each other to survive. The stories that can ultimately destroy us.
As we’ve learned over the last few years, representation means a lot and Hollywood is finally catching on to that fact. Minorities and People of Color are no longer gangsters, criminals and thugs. They’re now the everyman hero, the good guys, and yes, even the blockbuster superheroes. With “Dora and the Lost City of Gold” and “Hobbs and Shaw” out in theaters now, I thought it’d be a great time to continue the list of Great Minority Movie Heroes.
Director Carolina Hellsgård wears her heart on her sleeve with “Ever After,” a movie that’s mired in the influence of femininity and women and offers up a lot of metaphysical ideas about mother Earth, nature, and our state of being. Although “Ever After” has been marketed as a zombie movie, the zombie element is mostly a background dressing for something more meditative and complex. While I adapted to what screenwriter Olivia Vieweg was leading us in to after the first half hour, “Ever After” still manages to be a mixed bag and doesn’t quite re-invent the wheel.
As with every year, Fantasia Film Festival is also a place to showcase the talents of filmmakers that specialize in making short films of all genres. This year I tackled the “Small Gauge Trauma” block and thankfully didn’t find a single bad apple in the whole bunch. These shorts aren’t just creative, but they’re incredibly original and delivered in the realm of horror big time.
This year, Fantasia International Film Festival is screening a nice collection of vintage titles and anniversary screenings. One of these is The Crow coming up on the 30th of July at 7pm and it’s one screening I hate to miss.
The Crow turned 25 this year and it has been just about as long since it became my favorite film, hence why this is one of the hardest films for me to write about. There is no being objective, this film is entwined in my teen years and my adulthood. It’s one of those films that had such a big impact, it’s almost impossible to separate the emotional from the reality of the film. So, as it’s playing, I wanted to write a deeply personal piece, a piece that it nowhere near objective, a piece that is about my history with The Crow.
It’s been slim pickings for fans of “Critters” and it’s a shame that even after this film, there’s still not a lot of options for us. We’re either stuck with “The New Binge” which was nigh unwatchable, or “Critters Attack!” which is quite boring and defeats the whole idea of a sequel by dodging everything that makes these movies so fun. It even wastes the idea of a friendly Crite named Bianca by making the monster some aimless prop. Let’s just say Gizmo is in no threat of being dethroned as cutest monster ever.
On July 22nd, the 60th anniversary of “Plan 9 from Outer Space” will be celebrated by horror fans and movie buffs alike, and it’s a celebration I hope you partake in. Ed Wood’s science fiction horror film is notorious for being branded “the worst film ever made,” but through and through it’s proven to be a film that’s so bad it’s quite great. With the Ed Wood classic hitting its 60th, I recommend five ways you can celebrate the anniversary and honor the auteur we once knew we Edward Wood Jr.