Re-Watch: HK: Hentai Kamen [HK: Forbidden Super Hero] (2013)

HK: Hentai Kamen
Director: Yûichi Fukuda
Writer: Yûichi Fukuda, Shun Oguri
Based on: Keishū Ando’s manga Kyūkyoku!! Hentai Kamen
Cast: Ryôhei Suzuki, Fumika Shimizu, Ken Yasuda
Part of: /slash Filmfestival (special screening)
Seen on: 9.9.2016
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
Kyōsuke Shikijō (Ryôhei Suzuki) is a high school student with a strong sense of justice, but unfortunately nothing to back that up with. So when he stands up against bullies, he regularly gets beat up. When Aiko Himeno (Fumika Shimizu) comes to his school, he immediately falls in love. Then Aiko is taken hostage during a bank robbery and Kyōsuke wants to save her. To not be recognized, he wants to pull on a mask, but pulls on a panty by mistake. But through that mistake his superpowers are released and Kyōsuke becomes Hentai Kamen – Pervert Mask.

When I first saw Hentai Kamen, I already loved it and I’m happy to say that it definitely holds up to re-watching it. It again had me laughing more often than not.

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Fear is an Option – Short Film Program

Fear is an Option [a play on the VIS motto of Fear is not an Option] was a collection of horror short films curated (among others) by the /slash Filmfestival as part of the VIS Vienna Independent Shorts film festival. They showed the following short films:
The Simpsons Couch Gag [You’re Next] (2015)
Directed and written by: Lee Hardcastle
[Can be watched here.]
The Chickening (2015)
Directed and written by: Nick DenBoer, Davy Force
Based on: The Shining
[Can be watched here.]
Invaders (2014)
Directed and written by: Jason Kupfer
Cast: Ricky Wayne, Jordan Woods-Robinson
[Can be watched here.]
Jack Attack (2013)
Directed and written by: Bryan Norton, Antonio Padovan
Cast: Helen Rogers, Tyler Rossell, Steve Anderson Jr.
Monster (2005)
Directed and written by: Jennifer Kent
Cast: Susan Prior, Luke Ikimis-Healey, Trash Vaudeville
[Can be watched here.]
One Last Dive (2013)
Directed and written by: Jason Eisener
Cast: Catherine Maltais, Peter Allen
[Can be watched here.]
Polaroid (2015)
Directed and written by: Lars Klevberg
Cast: Annika Witt, Thea Sofie Loch Næss, Anne Cloetta
Baskin (2013)
Directed and written by: Can Evrenol, Co-Directed by: Ogulcan Eren Akay
Cast: Muharrem Bayrak, Fadik Bülbül, Gorkem Kasal, Aydin Orak, Remzi Pamukcu
Lights Out (2013)
Directed and written by: David F. Sandberg
Cast: Lotta Losten
[Can be watched here.]
Seen on: 29.5.2016

They put together a strong collection of short films here, some of which were connected to the /slash Filmfestival – where they did show You’re Next, the basis for the Simpsons Couch Gag; both Baskin and Monster were turned into feature films that were also part of the festival program – Baskin and The Babadook respectively; and Jason Eisener had segments in V/H/S 2 and The ABCs of Death, where Lee Hardcastle also made an appearance. The short films ranged from very funny and silly to outright terrifying and most of them were really effective, even if not all worked for me.

fearisanoption

[After the jump I’ll talk about each of the films individually.]

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The Mind’s Eye (2015)

The Mind’s Eye
Director: Joe Begos
Writer: Joe Begos
Cast: Graham SkipperLauren Ashley CarterJohn SperedakosLarry FessendenNoah SeganMatt Mercer
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 1.5.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
Zack Connors (Graham Skipper) and Rachel Meadows (Laura Ashley Carter) are not only in love, they also both share the same gift: they have telekinetic powers. That makes them a target for Dr Michael Slovak (John Speredakos) who wants to harness their powers. After an incident, they had to separate, but they are reunited when Slovak catches them both. Together, they try to make a break for it.

The Mind’s Eye sticks to a straight-to-VHS-80s aesthetic but then it can’t seem to decide whether it wants to reproduce that look and make a serious action film or whether it’s a persiflage of those films and meant to be funny. Thus it outmaneuvers itself: for the former, it’s simply ridiculous, for the latter it’s not funny enough.

themindseye

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Southbound (2015)

Southbound
Segment 1: The Way Out
Director: Radio Silence
Writer: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin
Cast: Chad Villella, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin
Segment 2: Siren
Director: Roxanne Benjamin
Writer: Roxanne Benjamin, Susan Burke
Cast: Fabianne ThereseNathalie LoveHannah Marks, Susan Burke, Davey Johnson
Segment 3: The Accident
Director: David Bruckner
Writer: David Bruckner
Cast: Mather Zickel
Segment 4: Jailbreak
Director: Patrick Horvath
Writer: Patrick Horvath, Dallas Richard Hallam
Cast: David YowTipper NewtonMatt Peters
Segment 5: The Way In
Director: Radio Silence
Writer: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin
Cast: Hassie HarrisonGerald DowneyKate Beahan 
The segments are connected by a radio DJ played by Larry Fessenden.
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 30.4.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
On the seemingly endless highways of the USAmerican South, several fates cross each other, each set on their own dark path.

There was obviously a lot of thought put into the transition between the segments in Southbound, creating an interesting structure. I certainly appreciated that, though it doesn’t change the usual anthology film problem: some segments are simply better than others. For me, Southbound reached its climax in the middle with The Accident. Overall I wasn’t absolutely enthusiastic about it, but I did enjoy it.

southbound

After the jump I talk about each of the segments individually.

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Summer Camp (2015)

Summer Camp
Director: Alberto Marini
Writer: Alberto Marini, Danielle Schleif
Cast: Diego BonetaJocelin DonahueMaiara WalshAndrés VelencosoÀlex MonnerXavier Capdet
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 30.4.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
Will (Diego Boneta), Christy (Jocelin Donahue), Michelle (Maiara Walsh) and Antonio (Andrés Velencoso) have arrived a day early at the location where they’ll be working as counsellors for a summer camp for the next few weeks. They are supposed to spend the day preparing for the kids’ arrival and to get to know each other. But their plans have to change when the animals around them start to turn into raging zombie-like monsters. At least at first it’s only the animals.

Summer Camp was rather entertaining for about half an hour. Then it started to become extremely repetitive and with that repetition boring. Plus, the characters remained flat and there were some serious logic errors, leaving more frustrated than anything else.

summercamp

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February (2015)

February aka The Blackcoat’s Daughter
Director: Osgood Perkins
Writer: Osgood Perkins
Cast: Emma RobertsKiernan ShipkaLauren HollyLucy BoyntonJames RemarPeter J. GrayEmma Holzer
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 30.4.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
Kat (Kiernan Shipka) and Rose (Lucy Boynton) are both at the same boarding school, waiting for winter break. Other than that, they don’t have much in common. Kat is shy and withdrawn, desperately waiting for her parents to pick her up, while Rose told her parents to pick her up a day later so she would have unsupervised time to get an abortion. When Kat’s parents don’t show up and the two are left alone at school – although something else seems to be with them.
Meanwhile Joan (Emma Roberts) is hitchhiking towards the school. She gets a ride from Bill (James Remar) and his wife Linda (Lauren Holly) who have their own demons to fight.

February was a mixed bag of beans. The acting was fantastic and I really loved some of the very fresh ideas. But after an atmospheric beginning, the film peters out and in the end, it failed to convince me.

february

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Avril et le monde truqué [April and the Extraordinary World] (2015)

Avril et le monde truqué
Director: Christian DesmaresFranck Ekinci
Writer: Benjamin Legrand, Franck Ekinci
Based on: Jacques Tardi‘s design and world building
Cast: Marion CotillardPhilippe KaterineJean RochefortOlivier GourmetMarc-André GrondinBouli LannersAnne CoesensMacha Grenon
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 30.4.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
Avril (Marion Cotillard) comes from a family of scientists. But scientists are an endangered species in her world, one of the reasons why everything is steampowered: scientists go missing all the time. And then Avril’s parents and her grandfather disappear, too. Avril is left alone with her cat Darwin (Philippe Katerine) who at least is able to speak due to some experiments. She is dead set on figuring out what happened to her parents. But it is only when small time criminal and police informant Julius (Marc-André Grondin) threatens Avril’s existence that things really start to get moving.

Avril et le monde truqué is a sweet, fun film and will probably warm the cockles of any heart that appreciates steampunk and (talking) cats. If that sounds like your thing, you should definitely see it.

avriletlemondetruque

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A la recherche de l’Ultra-Sex [In Search of the Ultra-Sex] (2015)

A la recherche de l’Ultra-Sex
Director: Nicolas Charlet, Bruno Lavaine
Writer: Nicolas Charlet, Bruno Lavaine
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 30.4.2016

Plot:
Earth is infected with a mysterious epidemic that makes people crazy with lust. As the entire earth is threatened to dissolve into an endless stream of sex, a few people take up the investigation: a group of astronauts led by Captain Cock and on earth itself the FBI agents Bambi Darling and Stormy Brushing. They realize that the problem stems from the fact that the Ultra-Sex was stolen – and they have to find it before it is too late!

A la recherche de l’Ultra-Sex consists entirely of edited together excerpts from pornos from the 70s and 80s, shaped into a story by Charlet and Lavaine who also provide dubbing for all of the characters. The concept is pretty ingenious and for a while there, it is really funny. But even the moderate runtime of 60 minutes outstays its welcome after a short bit.

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Córki dancingu [The Lure] (2015)

Córki dancingu
Director: Agnieszka Smoczynska
Writer: Robert Bolesto
Cast: Marta Mazurek, Michalina Olszanska, Kinga Preis, Andrzej Konopka, Jakub Gierszal, Zygmunt Malanowicz, Magdalena Cielecka, Katarzyna Herman, Marcin Kowalczyk
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 29.4.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
Srebrna (Marta Mazurek) and Zwota (Michalina Oszanska) are sirens who decide to try their luck on land when they see a band at the shore. The band – consisting of singer (Kinga Preis), bass player (Jakub Gierszal) and percussionist (Andrzej Konopka) – help them ashore and bring them to the night club where they work. There, the siren sisters become great hits. But when Srebrna starts to fall for the bass player, things become dangerous for them.

The Lure is a strange film. Taking different mermaid/siren lore and combining it, transplating everything into modern day Polish night clubs and making a musical of it – there’s enough material for quite a few films. That being said, it didn’t entirely manage to blow me away.

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Mi gran noche [My Big Night] (2015)

Mi gran noche
Director: Álex de la Iglesia
Writer: Jorge Guerricaechevarría, Álex de la Iglesia
Cast: Raphael, Mario Casas, Pepón Nieto, Blanca Suárez, Hugo Silva, Carmen Machi, Luis Callejo, Carlos ArecesEnrique Villén, Santiago Segura, Jaime OrdóñezCarolina Bang
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 29.4.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
José (Pepón Nieto) can’t believe his luck when the temp agency actually sends him a job: he is supposed to attend the taping (four months in advance) of the New Year’s Show (not knowing that he has to fill the spot of a guy who was killed on set) to be in the audience. He puts on his tux and makes his way to the studio just outside of Madrid through an increasingly heated strike. The show features two major musical acts: the old crooner Alphonso (Raphael) and the new pop sensation Adanne (Mario Casas) whose competition with each other backstage is also getting more and more heated. With tensions rising everywhere, something has got to give.

After Las brujas de Zugarramurdi I was very reluctant to see any de la Iglesia movie ever again. If Mi gran noche hadn’t been included in my all access pass to the festival, I probably wouldn’t have seen it at all. Which would have been a pity, because it was an extremely funny (though not particularly clever) film.

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