Geomeun sajedeul [The Priests] (2015)

Geomeun sajedeul
Director: Jae-hyun Jang
Writer: Jae-hyun Jang
Cast: Yun-seok Kim, Dong-won Gang, Byeong-ok Kim, Eui-sung Kim, Ho-jae Lee, So-dam Park, Jo Soo-Hyang
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 1.10.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
Young-shin (So-dam Park) was hit by a car in a hit-and-run accident. But maybe that’s not the only thing that’s wrong with her – she seems to be possessed by a demon. So Father Kim (Yun-seok Kim) and Deacon Choi (Dong-won Gang) start to investigate her case to see if its a human or a supernatural issue. But Choi is also supposed to keep an eye on Kim who has drawn suspicion in the church. And Choi does have his own demons to battle as well.

While I liked the idea of a Korean catholic exorcism film, I can’t say that The Priests managed to convince me. There was simply too much that didn’t work for me (and the program that showed it at around 3am didn’t do it any favors, either).

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Don’t Kill It (2016)

Don’t Kill It
Director: Mike Mendez
Writer: Robert Olsen, Dan Berk
Cast: Dolph Lundgren, Kristina Klebe, Elissa Dowling, Michael Aaron Milligan, Billy Slaughter, Aaron McPherson, Jasi Cotton Lanier
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 1.10.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
Jebediah Woodley (Dolph Lundgren) is a demon hunter. The best demon hunter. So when a demon hits the small Mississippi town of Chicory Creek, Jebediah is there to take care of it. Also there is FBI agent Evelyn Pierce (Kristina Klebe) who came to investigate the series of murder that the demon caused. While they both have their doubts about the work of the other, it doesn’t take long until they’re forced to team up.

Don’t Kill It knows exactly what it is and what it has to offer – and that is the perfect B-movie experience. So they throw all their weight into presenting the best piece of trash they could possibly offer – and it’s glorious.

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The Greasy Strangler (2016)

The Greasy Strangler
Director: Jim Hosking
Writer: Toby Harvard, Jim Hosking
Cast: Michael St. Michaels, Sky Elobar, Elizabeth De Razzo, Gil Gex
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 30.9.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
Ronnie (Michael St. Michaels) and his son Brayden (Sky Elobar) give 70s-Disco-themed city tours together. They also live together and generally spend most of their time together. They are rather settled in their lives, but things do get shaken up a bit, when oiled up serial killer The Greasy Strangler starts to haunt their city. Around the same time Janet (Elizabeth De Razzo) takes their tour and Brayden quickly falls for her. But Ronnie may be interested as well.

The Greasy Strangler is a weird animal of a film. I could go along with some of its weirdness, but definitely not with all of it. Altogether I wasn’t particularly taken with it.

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The Girl with All the Gifts (2016)

The Girl with All the Gifts
Director: Colm McCarthy
Writer: Mike Carey
Based on: his novel
Cast: Sennia Nanua, Gemma Arterton, Glenn Close, Paddy Considine, Fisayo Akinade
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 30.9.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
Melanie (Sennia Nanua) has a very regular life. She gets up in the morning, gets dressed, sits herself down in her chair and waits to be strapped down by the soldiers lead by Sergeant Parks (Paddy Considine). When her legs, arms and head are secure, she is rolled to class together with the other children. Her favorite teacher is Miss Justineau (Gemma Arterton) who sometimes tells them stories. But her routine is destroyed when she is first carted off by Dr. Caldwell (Glenn Close) who wants to perform some kind of surgery on her – and then the military base she lives at is overrun by hungries. And suddenly Melanie finds her life turned upside down – and she has to learn the truth about her world and herself.

After having read the novel, I expected many things of The Girl with All the Gifts and I’m glad to say that it absolutely delivered. It’s a fantastic film.

[Very slight SPOILERS]

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In fondo al bosco [Deep in the Wood] (2015)

In fondo al bosco
Director: Stefano Lodovichi
Writer: Isabella Aguilar, Stefano Lodovichi, Davide Orsini
Cast: Filippo Nigro, Camilla Filippi, Giovanni Vettorazzo, Teo Achille Caprio, Stefano Pietro Detassis, Maria Vittoria BarrellaRoberto Gudese, Luca Filippi
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 30.9.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
During the winter festival where Krampus roam the streets, little Tommi (Alessandro Corabi) disappears. His parents Manuel (Filippo Nigro) and Linda (Camilla Filippi) are as good as destroyed by this. Five years later, a boy (Teo Achille Caprio) is found and his DNA matches Tommi. Manuel is ready to leave the past behind and embrace his son again, but Linda is plagued by doubts about the identity of the boy.

Deep in the Woods is a mixed bag of beans. There is much I liked about it, but also a few things I didn’t like. My overall impression lands more on the didn’t like side, I’m afraid.

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Auf Augenhöhe mit dem Teufel [Eye to Eye with the Devil] (2015)

Auf Augenhöhe mit dem Teufel
Director: Alexander Naringbauer
Writer: Alexander Naringbauer
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 30.9.2016

“Plot”:
In Austria, our Christmas traditions are such that on December 6th, Nikolo (who is known in other parts of the world as Santa Claus) brings small gifts to the children [on Christmas proper it’s baby Jesus who brings gifts] who have been good. But Nikolo doesn’t come alone, he comes with Krampus, a devil figure who will take the bad children and put them in his sack (or maybe just spank them a bit). In some areas of Austria, there are entire marches of Krampusses (or Perchten) – those can be around Christmas, but also at the end of winter to chase the winter spirits and darkness away.
Auf Augenhöhe mit dem Teufel is a short documentary about what it means when the Krampus comes to the children and what it means to perform as Krampus.

It was a little disappointing that the documentary was only a short one – I wouldn’t have minded to watch an entire feature about the topic, especially since we are not all that big on Krampus and Perchten in the part of Austria where I’m from. But that’s not the only reason – maybe with a feature documentary, Naringbauer would have looked more critically at its subject. Because there are many things to criticize about this tradition as well – from the fact that during the marches, the Perchten, worn exclusively by men, are often used as the excuse to sexually harass women to the fact that most children are simply terrified of Krampus – and that a lot of adults think it’s the funniest shit ever. But hearing the men talk about their take on the tradition and documenting the tradition itself are two very good reasons to watch this.

The Master Cleanse (2016)

The Master Cleanse
Director: Bobby Miller
Writer: Bobby Miller
Cast: Johnny Galecki, Anna Friel, Anjelica Huston, Oliver Platt, Kyle Gallner, Kevin J. O’Connor, Diana Bang, Loretta Walsh
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 29.9.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
Paul (Johnny Galecki) was just dumped by his fiancée and is looking for a new direction in life. That’s when he sees the ad for a new retreat and on a whim, he decides to go, to purge the last traces of the break-up and start a new chapter in his life. With him on the retreat is Maggie (Anna Friel) among others. The retreat is run by Lily (Anjelica Huston) and it starts normal enough with a juice cleanse. But the effects of that juice is very different from what is usually done at retreats like this.

The Master Cleanse was funny, if way too predictable. It doesn’t exactly cut deep, but it’s an enteraining film.  Continue reading

In a Valley of Violence (2016)

In a Valley of Violence
Director: Ti West
Writer: Ti West
Cast: Ethan Hawke, John Travolta, Taissa Farmiga, James Ransone, Karen Gillan, Toby Huss, Tommy Nohilly, Larry Fessenden, Burn Gorman
Part of: the surprise movie at the /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 29.9.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
Paul (Ethan Hawke) and his dog are travelling on their own when their paths cross with a drunk priest (Burn Gorman) who tries to rob them. Although Paul gets the better of him, after the encounter he decides to pass through the small town of Denton. But trouble follows him there and he finds himself provoked by deputy Gilly (James Ransone). After a quick fight and a polite visit by the Sheriff (John Travolta), things seem to be resolved. But maybe Paul can’t shake Denton quite as quickly as he thought.

In a Valley of Violence is basically John Wick in the Wild West, but since I’m not much of a Western fan, that transfer didn’t completely work for me, although there is much to enjoy about the film.

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She’s Allergic to Cats (2016)

She’s Allergic to Cats
Director: Michael Reich
Writer: Michael Reich
Cast: Mike Pinkney, Sonja Kinski, Flula Borg
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 29.9.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
Mike (Mike Pinkney) works as a dog groomer and loves creating analog video art, the only thing that takes him away from the crappy life he leads. Then he meets Cora (Sonja Kinski), the absolute woman of his dreams. Somehow he gathers the courage to ask her out and to his surprise, Cora actually agrees to a date. But their evening out together doesn’t quite go how you’d want first dates to go.

She’s Allergic to Cats started off well enough, but became a little too artsy fo its own good. The bigger problem was that it simply left me completely cold – I rarely felt so much indifference towards a film as this one.

It feels weird to give a SPOILER warning for this film as the title takes the big twist away already, but still, there will be SPOILERs.

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Carnage Park (2016)

Carnage Park
Director: Mickey Keating
Writer: Mickey Keating
Cast: Ashley Bell, Pat HealyAlan Ruck, James Landry Hébert, Michael Villar, Bob Bancroft, Larry Fessenden
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 28.9.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
Joe (James Landry Hébert) and Lenny (Michael Villar) just robbed a bank and took Vivian (Ashely Bell) hostage. They are able to lead the police led by Sheriff Moss (Alan Ruck) on a merry chase and finally get away in the desert, where Lenny dies. Joe and Vivian end up on Wyatt’s (Pat Healy) and Wyatt doesn’t take lightly to trespassers. He shoots Joe outright and what should be Vivian’s salvation turns into her biggest nightmare.

Carnage Park starts off really strong, but then it gets rid of everything I liked about it and becomes the most standard of slashers and I just couldn’t get into it. I would have preferred a film about the bank robbery.

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