Fantastic Fest, the nation’s largest genre film festival, celebrated its 15th consecutive year this past September — a milestone we here at theCHIVE we lucky enough to be a part of. The festival mainly centers around horror, sci-fi, action and dark comedy films, and isn’t for the faint of heart.FF has a history of premiering some seriously incredible films — A Scanner Darkly, Hostel, and John Wick — and this year was no different. Out of the almost 20 films I was able to catch, I decided to break down over several posts the ones you should consider watching. You can check out the first round RIGHT HERE, and the second below!
Jojo Rabbit Jojo Rabbit is an extremely charming WWII movie (yes, you read that right) that centers around a lonely 10-year old boy named Jojo Beltzer (Roman Griffin Davis), attempting to navigate his way through the tensest moments of the Third Riech. Accompanied by his imaginary friend, who happens to be Hitler, Jojo learns what it really means to be a Nazi, while coming to terms with realities that shake him to his core.
With help from a star-studded cast (Taika Waititi, Sam Rockwell, Scarlett Johannson, Stephen Merchant, and Rebel Wilson),
Jojo Rabbit is as powerful as it is hilarious, and is certainly worth the watch.
Knives Out Knives Out is a murder mystery comedy that stars the following actors: Daniel Craig, Jamie Lee Curtis, Chris Evans, LaKeith Stanfield, Christopher Plummer, Michael Shannon, Toni Collette, Don Johnson, and Ana de Armas.
The cast is STACKED in this movie, to a ridiculous degree. It’s an ensemble film, but all I’ll say is that the character that gets the most screen time out of that list of actors is rather surprising. In fact, that’s the best thing about Knives Out: It’s a truly surprising mystery movie. Some mystery movies, you get way ahead of the movie’s logic, but I never got completely ahead of Knives Out’s mystery.
The only catch is that the movie definitely runs a bit long with so many characters to juggle, but the grand reveal of the movie’s mystery and the story’s ultimate conclusion make the length worth it. Oh, and if you were a fan of Daniel Craig doing a Southern accent in Logan Lucky, just wait until you see him in this.
BlissA young painter suffers from an awful creative block and turns to a strange drug for inspiration, leading to a downward spiral through a dirty Los Angeles full of hallucinations, sex and murder. It’s a drug-fueled fever dream about the sacrifices one makes to create art. It’s hardcore and loud, unrelenting and bloody. There are boobs and drugs and vampires and some great kills but it could have possibly benefited from a little more structure and stronger performances.
I mean this in the most positive way but it feels like the entire cast and crew snorted a line and downed a 5th of whiskey between takes and never bothered to clean up all the vomit on set. It’s fun as hell but shallow, don’t expect to learn anything from the film.
Butt BoyFirst and foremost — don’t let the name of this film detour you from catching it. No, it’s not a try-hard-over-the-top repugnant comedy. No, it’s not a porno. What it is is a surprisingly enjoyable flick that is equal parts dark, outrageous and hysterical.
Butt Boy tells the story of Chip Gutchell (writer/director Tyler Cornack) barely tolerating his colorless existence. He works a job he hates, endures a marriage void of love, and finds zero joy in being a new father. That all changes during Chip’s first prostate exam, where he discovers happiness in the place he’d least expect… his butt. As his obsession slowly snowballs (bah-dum-tss), Chip realizes he doesn’t only like having things up his butt but that he needs it, and goes to horrific lengths to satisfy himself.
Nothing will prepare you for this absolutely absurd film, but trust me when I say: It’s worth the watch.
The Death of Dick LongThe Death of Dick Long is part Coen Brothers, part Dumb and Dumber and part kinky fetish party. It’s a well balanced and hilarious tale about bad liars trying their best to lie. The title gives away the first 5 minutes of the film, Dick Long does in fact die. We don’t initially know what happened but when we find out, boy does it change the tone of the movie.
The film follows Dick’s friends Zeke and Earl through their small Alabama town as one bad decision leads to another and they struggle to hide the truth of the event from their families and the police. I almost wish the film committed to being even weirder, it flirts with being downright absurd but never quite crosses into full-on WTF territory. It drags at times and feels a little stretched out, but the dark comedy and the unbelievable reveal make The Death of Dick Long worth a watch.
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