Last night was the first edition of Dread Central Presents, a new monthly series created to bring independent horror (or adjacent) films to theaters near you. Oddly, this actually came to a theater near me, the delightful Nightlight Theater in Akron, Ohio. I appreciate the concept, it is nice to be able to see some of these films on the big screen, especially when they are curated by someone who is in the know. There needs to be a little more word of mouth because there were seats available, but this was the first of many, I hope. I heard about in on the Shock Waves podcast.
The first film we watched was…
Zombiology: Enjoy Yourself Tonight (Gam man da song si)
Screenplay: Nick Cheuk and Nero Ng
Release: Dread Central Presents
The film was introduced as “the Chinese Shaun of the Dead” which is accurate to a point. Within about two minutes of the film opening you know, without a doubt, that this film will be bananas crazy. The film tells the story of two friends who, since childhood, imagined themselves as superheroes whose nemesis is a cubic chicken whose psychic projections zombify people and eggs have an immediate effect on those hit (this left intentionally vague). Oh, and they are opera prop makers. Really, just bizarre.
The gore and violence volley between tame and extreme and it keeps you guessing, which is an interesting method to keep the viewer on the edge of their seats. It is difficult, though, to say whether or not the film met my expectations. I didn’t really have any until it was introduced with a comparison with one my favorite horror comedies. It is good, quite good in many aspects, but it struggles in others.
The film could use a little character work but I wouldn’t want it to be any longer. Overall, though, I would recommend giving the film a chance if you find it streaming.
Director: 6 – Cinematography: 7 – Edit: 2 – Parity: 3 – Main performance: 7 – Else performance: 5 – Score: 9 – Sound: 7 – Story: 5 – Script: 9 – Effects: 9 – Design: 8 – Costumes: 9 – Keeps interest: 10 – Lasting: 5
The second film was….
Screenplay: Francois Simard, Anouk Whissell and Yoann-Karl Whissell
Release: Dread Central Presents
If you ever wanted to watch a movie made by children who wanted to make a classic Peter Jackson style horror film, but also have a powerful VFX computer, then Turbo Kid is you movie. I am not suggesting that the film is childish, or poorly executed. It is just that all of the transportation in this film is on bicycles, not cars, like if, as a child, I wanted to make a movie, but could only ride bikes, then this is the movie I would have made. It is endlessly charming and tremendously bloody.
The film is set in post-apocalyptic universe in which Munro Chambers plays a kid who is surviving on his own, scavenging for whatever he can use to eat. He befriends a young, seemingly crazy, woman named Apple whom he helps on a journey. The film is so lovely that I want to give you the opportunity.
The blood effects are extreme, beyond extreme at times, there is a scene with an umbrella, and you see where this is going. Story-wise, the film is beyond corny but that really adds to the experience. Is it a favorite? No. Is it worth 90 minutes? Absolutely. Also, I won a poster.
Director: 6 – Cinematography: 7 – Edit: 6 – Parity: 2 – Main performance: 7 – Else performance: 6 – Score: 10 – Sound: 8 – Story: 6 – Script: 7 – Effects: 10 – Design: 8 – Costumes: 8 – Keeps interest: 8 – Lasting: 5
Next up, on February 23rd, is the Gothic horror film THE LODGERS