Our journalist David A. Harris continues his cinematographic journey at the 2017 Fantasia International Film Festival. Here are his latest reviews for the movies he saw recently.
- Kodoku Meatball Machine
Kodoku Meatball Machine is Yoshihiro NishimuraIt’s highly ridiculous film that showers the audience in a torrent of blood, practical and special effects, with copious amounts of nudity. Aliens land in Japan and infect a certain portion of its inhabitants with parasites that transforms their victims into undead cybernetic killing machines. Then they torture the humans not yet turned, or fight the other creatures that get in their way. This film is simply an excuse to shock and entertain.
The monsters’ costumes are the perfect blend of Hellraiser body horror and kid’s TV show. Each creature is unique in its own way, that it makes every fight scene a brand new outrageous adventure. It’s not surprising, but a movie of this quality isn’t without its faults. The computer-generated effects look like something out of a 90s Power Rangers TV show. Unfortunately, it doesn’t add to the charm, but detracts from it. This is a small grievance compared to the real problem. If you were to watch the trailer, you’d assume nearly the entire movie will be over-the-top action and gore. It takes a little too long for the craziness to actually begin. It starts off with a down on his lucky middle-aged man trying to make ends meet. His boss is abusive, his mother is taking advantage of him, and he doesn’t have a friend in the world. This segment goes on a little too long for a movie that relishes in its ludicrous premise.
This movie will definitely split the audience. It is either too bloody or too weird that shock value will just gross out whoever watches it, or it’s the perfect midnight Halloween guilty pleasure making the audience holler with sickness or glee, hopefully both.
- Ron Goossens, Low-Budget Stuntman
Sick and twisted, this movie makes you laugh and question your moral compass’s alignment. Ron Goossens, Low-Budget Stuntman is a heartbreaking love story that, in a perfect world, any sane person would quickly end. Ron, to say the least, is an alcoholic. He’s a man of few words, and fewer thoughts, but has a sweet and naïve loyalty to him. His wife tasks him with an impossible chore to win her heart back: He has to bed an award-winning actress. This is where his life as a drunken nobody ends, and his life as the drunken low budget stuntman begins.
This movie will divide audiences. From the brainchild of New Kids, Ron is in whole a victim of his friends’ and neighbours’ abuse. He could care less for the fame, and just wishes he can be back with his cheating wife. He constantly drinks and puts his body to the test in ridiculous stunts, just so he can prove his love for a woman who despises him.
This movie reaches to the darkest depths of depravity to test how far you’ll laugh at the poor moustachioed Ron. On the one hand, Ron can be considered a subversion of the knights on his quest for glory and happiness. It makes you question what kind of treasures are worth pursuing, and what dangers will you face to get them. On the other hand, this is an excuse for the directors to abuse family members, and make a gross out R-rated slapstick comedy as a big middle finger to the overly serious Dutch cinema that (according to the creators) plagues the cinema today. Hopefully this movie will leave you laughing and groaning, making you beg for Ron’s deteriorating condition to end, and that he finds the peace he profoundly needs.
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