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FantasyFilmFest 2009

From Wednesday last week on, the Fantasy Film Fest visited Stuttgart. After having missed this event completely last year, I decided to see more of it this time.

Since the movies at this event are somewhat up my venue, I went a few times to enjoy unknown, independent niche movies, including vampires, blood thirsty kids and some serial killing. And zombies, never forget, there be zombies 😉 District 9 which is supposedly quite a nice flick was sold out already, but it’ll be in the movies in a couple of days anyway, so no problem, I’ll get to see it, just a week later.

So here is what I saw:

  • Blood: The last Vampire: Japanese adaption of the Anime of the same title. I didn’t expect much in the way of it having a story… but I was a bit disappointed by the action. No “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” like beauty during the fighting. Instead ugly demon-vampire creatures being slaughtered so fast that it’s hard to follow the sword of the protagonist in her school uniform. Not recommended.
  • The Children: This one was much more to my liking, little kids that have a bit of a cough that turns them into evil beasts (even more evil than children usually are :P). So on a weekend trip to a lonely cabin the little sweety-pies have nothing better to do than slaughter their parents. Of course only the grumpy teenage girl understands their evil intentions. Some murderous kids, the cuddly teenage wanabe rebel girl and dark humor. I did enjoy this one.
  • Thirst – Durst: (“Bakjwi” – Korean) A monk subjected to medical experiments is the only survivor of some virus. He develops super human powers but needs to drink blood to sustain his new way of living. That doesn’t make him to happy. Poor guy with too much of a conscience. Must be hard to be a vampire without fangs. I did enjoy this one a lot, though I found Chan-wook Park’s “Old Boy” much more intense in comparison. Modern vampires in an eastern setting.
  • Push: Science Fiction with some super powers mixed in (telekinesis, mind reading and similar) which turned out much more enjoyable than it sounds. Good movie with some cheap Matrix imitations, a bit of a comic super heroes feel (but not in a bad way) and a nice story that has some surprises and a flower built in.
  • Sexykiller: Spanish with English subtitles delights me as I like to practice my increasingly rusty Spanish from time to time. And this killer is sexy indeed… a girl that sometimes is almost Austin Powers like tells her story. Better don’t ask her, why she’s a serial killer… you’ll only end up decapitated. With a firm believe that even today “serial killing” is a chauvinist domain, our heroine sets out to change that. Including fake advertising – learn how to become a serial killer in just 10 days and lose 5 kg at the same time. Quite a bit of black humor, weird scientists and towards the end zombies that are quite entertaining. I had to laugh quite a bit and thoroughly enjoyed this show.
  • Bathory: The story of Erzsébet Báthory. Or rather not. Two hours that seem to last longer even… Some of the scenes are actually nice. But some just made me cringe. Some monks are sent to spy on the Countess. Why on earth do they have motorized skates, a camera and other technical inventions that don’t really fit a movie set around the year 1600.  Oh please. At the entrance of the movie theater there was a big white board, letting visitors leave their opinion about the movies. One comment said: “Without the monks please.” I wholeheartedly agree. I would have liked to like this one, nice historical setting and costumes, but there were too many irritating wtf moments to enjoy it.
  • Loft: I don’t remember watching anything with Dutch (Flanders) language and German subtitles. Funny, how close the languages are sometimes and how totally different at others. A few friends get hold of a Loft to get away from every day life and especially their wives and girlfriends. Here they can cheat, celebrate and enjoy… until they find a dead body in there one day. There is a plot to this story. And it gets twisted. And twisted again. At some point, I thought it would never end but instead come up with different endings and more twists till eternity. It did end, I did enjoy it, it is not my new favorite.
  • Hansel and Gretel: Another Korean one, not quite the classical fairy tale. After having an accident, Eun-Soo has luck to find help and is guided to a house deep in the forest.  Recovered after a night of sound sleep he starts to walk home and comes right back to the house… Some nice twists and the original Hansel and Gretel is an important element here, but not retold. Interesting and fun to watch, but not entirely convincing.

So two Korean movies, I did like them, but not as much as “The Isle” (Seom) or “Oldboy”. Sexykiller was the most fun one of the bunch, though a bit over the edge sometimes. Overall lots of fun and a nice crowd at the festival, different from the average audience. Mediocre movies, only recommended if you enjoy independent or B-movies.