La Rage du Démon (2015) [Fantasia International Film Festival 2016]

laragedudemonAt the Musée Grévin in Paris, in January 2012, film scholars and filmmakers were invited to a mystery screening by one of the world’s foremost film collector, Edgar A. Wallace.  The film shown turns out to be La Rage du Démon, a late 1800s lost film that creates quite a ruckus every time it’s screened.  The last screening in New York City ended in tragedy.  The Paris screening does not go much better.  This documentary explores both what happened at those screenings as well as the film and its history.

Writer/Director Fabian Delage explores the history of horror cinema, of what lead to the making of the short silent film often times attributed to George Mélies who never claimed it as his own.  He builds his documentary on interviews with film scholars, filmmakers, researchers, and even a relative of Mélies’.  He explores the films of Mélies and of Victor Sicarius, the other potential director of La Rage du Démon, he also explores their lives and what they brought to cinema.  Some of the interviews here are with Dave Alexander, Philippe Rouyer, Alexandre Aja, Christophe Gans, and Pauline Mélies amongst many others.

These interviews are very informative creating an educational documentary all genre fans should see.  La Rage du Démon may be the main subject here due to the mystery surrounding it, but the whole history of the horror genre pre Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is exposed and explored.  Also touched upon is how such films came to be, their inspirations and how they were made.  Footage from the late 1800s/early 1900s adds to the subjects discussed and brings visual interest to something that could have been a very dry subject given all the historical facts and anecdotes involved.

Fanian Delage clearly has an eye for good, fascinating documentary subjects as well as has a touch that makes the documentary entertaining and almost mystifying as he chose a subject here that will probably never be fully clarified.  La Rage du Démon is relatively short at a run time of just one hour which is definitely a good choice as any longer could have become tedious and boring.  The short run time forces things to be tight and well edited, leaving all extraneous footage on the cutting room floor.  La Rage du Démon is a must see for both horror fans and film history buffs alike.

Fantasia International Film Festival ran from July 14th until August 3rd, 2016 and will be back in the summer of 2017.

Digging up the Marrow (2015)


You figure a pro like Adam Green would remember rule number one about film making: Never star in your own movie. Green isn’t exactly Woody Allen, and doesn’t take his advice opting instead for a starring role in a movie that’s thick with smug nods and pats on the back from Green to Green. I don’t mind a little self indulgence from filmmakers, but “Digging up the Marrow” focuses on a guy who’s barely in to his film career and wants to convince the world he has a hardcore rabid fan base. He advertises it as such.

Continue reading

The Sacrament (2014)


It’s really tough in this day and age to come up with new insight in to the mindset of the cult. Director Ti West manages to accomplish such a feat during the narrative of “The Sacrament” where he not only explores the facade of the utopian cult that many flock to, but the inherent mind set behind the structure of the cult. “Many people come here out of desperation,” explains character Sam, thus it’s apparent why community Eden Parish is able to thrive and live for so long without being disturbed. Even though many of the leaders of these cults are conmen, on occasion they’re also desperate individuals seeking isolation and a like minded civilization they can rule, or destroy in one fell swoop.

Continue reading