Becks Incredible Film Fest 2002

This year the Becks Incredible Film Fest ruined typical multiplex films for me, probably forever.

About two and a half weeks into this year’s festival I had a Saturday with no fest movies to see. I was out at a mall in search of some duct tape when I decided to see a movie at a nearby multiplex. I bought my ticket, took a seat and the movie started. About half an hour into the film (and I’m not going to say what it was, but if you really want to know, email me) I realised that I just wasn’t enjoying myself.

I knew exactly what was going to happen in the film. I knew how it would end and what would happen along the way. I realised that if I sat there for the remaining hour not only would I be bored shitless, but it would be an hour of my life that I’d never get back. So I did what I’ve never done before: I walked out in disgust. It felt really good.

Since 1995 I’ve pretty much tried to see every movie currently playing at cinemas. I’ve always had this theory that it’s good to see all films, even bad and mediocre ones because it expands my knowledge of cinema and makes me appreciate really good movies even more.

But after seeing the really good films in the Incredible Film Fest, I realised that the occasional bad film in a bad cinema is ok, but it’s not good for the soul to be seeing them on a regular basis.

I spent three weeks at the film fest seeing a lot of really good movies. Some days I saw four in a row and would leave the theatre feeling in desperate need of some sunshine, other days I’d just see one film and enjoy the lush decor of the Civic or the groovy lounge area set up in the Chinatown cinema.

It was a really excellent three-week experience. Those of us who live in Auckland or Wellington really are lucky little bastards to have such a fine selection of films put together every year.

Seeing over 30 films in three weeks was a pretty intense experience, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. To see a movie with an audience that really wants to see it, who aren’t just filling in time on a Saturday night, is a wonderful experience. Viva the fest!

Becks Incredible Film Fest 2002 – My Reviews

Akira
This was the 2001 rerelease with a new English soundtrack. I saw it the afternoon following the Armageddon nerdfest and the Civic was just swarming with chubby guys with long hair and glasses. I was expected greatness but I was a little let down, maybe just because I’m not a huge anime fan. However, sometimes I forgot I was watching an animation, so that’s got to be a good thing.

Asoka
Love really is a battlefield in this epic Bollywood tale. Strict Indian censorship rules prohibit kissing on the mouth, so the main characters got to fall in love and marry with just a lot of meaningful stares. But these restrictions just make the filmmakers get more creative. Asoka might not be very sexual, but it is sexy. It’s also quite unusual to see a film about a mighty warrior pause every now and then to have a musical number, but that’s another joy of Bollywood.

Barking Dogs Never Bite (Flandersui gae)
I really enjoyed this wonderful comedy from Korea. The action takes place around a suburban apartment block and a man who lives there and a woman who works there. He wants to be made a professor and she wants to do something better with her life. As well as plenty o’ laughs, there’s also lots of meaning too. Some audience members freaked out at the fate of some of the canine cast members, but the ending has enough uplifting charm to make up for any nastiness to dogs.

Blowup
I really like “Blowup”, probably because it’s quite arty and I have a thing for arty films. Basically a fashion photographer thinks he may have witnessed a murder – or has he? The best bit is the montage scene where he keeps blowing up photos he’s taken, trying to look for clues. I love the relaxed pace of the film, the long, almost silent scenes. It’s quite a different film from the ones of today. There’s no pop music to underscore the action, it just unfolds at a really natural pace. Sublime!

Bully
This was one of my favourites. Based on a true story about a bunch of Florida teens who kill a guy whom they reckon is a bully. They’re dumb, naive, just like real teenagers often are. There’s lots of nudity, but it’s set in a hot location, so that’s explainable. The one thing that’s not is how sometimes the camera goes into pervy guy mode, lingering on girls’ crotches, almost like a parody of typical “male gaze” camera work. There’s also excellent use of music. On the way to the murder there’s a Cypress Hill song laying on their car radio. They comment on the band, but no one listens to the lyrics: “when the shit goes down, you’d better be ready”.

Dark Side of the Rainbow
“Dark Side of the Rainbow” is “The Wizard of Oz” with Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” album played as the soundtrack, revealing a whole lot of eerie coincidences as parts of the film and album mysteriously match up. My favourite occurrence is when Dorothy emerges from her house into Munchkin land, the film bursts into colour and the ch-ching of “Money” starts. The best stuff seems to occur at the beginning of the film. Near the end it gets a little boring as the synchronicities grow thin. It’s probably the kind of movie best experienced stoned.

The Experiment (Das Experiment)
The experiment in questions takes place in mock prison in a German University. A bunch of volunteers are designated as either prisoners or guards. Power corrupts and the guards soon end up dishing out more punishment and discipline than they should. The film’s set-up is based on a real experiment at Stanford University in the 1970, but setting it in Germany, in the shadow of its Nazi history, gives it an extra level of menace. The first 90 minutes of the film was really good, but the film makers took the easy route by ending it with a bloody chase.

The Fuccon Family
The Fuccons were an unexpected delight. Shown before “Akira” and “The Happiness of the Katakuris”, these shorts showed the adventures of an American family who’ve recently moved to Japan. The family, played by mannequins, discuss such things as going to the amusement park. Young master Fuccon catches on fire. Mr and Mrs Fuccon laugh and laugh and laugh.

Gonin
I saw “Gonin” twice, because the first time I was really tired, forgot to read the subtitles and subsequently lost all track of the plot. The second time I was more alert, read all the subtitles but still pieces of plot eluded me. In the end I just decided to stop thinking about it and just sat back and watched the film. Surprisingly enough it started to make sense.

Happiness of the Katakuris (Katakuri-ke no kôfuku)
The Katakuris run a guesthouse. They finally start getting guests, but the guests start dying, so the family bury the bodies to avoid negative publicity. There’s also musical numbers a-plenty. Directed by Takashi Miike, the man behind last year’s “Audition”, the light-hearted “Katakuris” might not seem like it has much in common with the gruesome torture scenes of “Audition,” but I reckon both films have an underlying message that even though bad stuff happens, life is really pretty wonderful.

In the Realm of the Senses (Ai no corrida)
This 1976 Japanese erotic classic was the replacement for the banned “Baise Moi”. I saw it twice, the first time at the Civic, where the audience was in full-on “so bad it’s good” mode. Led by one fellow who laughed at everything and made funny comments, the audience soon giggled at almost everything on screen. The second time I saw it at Chinatown with a well-behaved audience. It was then that I realised just what a beautiful tale of obsessive love it was. There were funny moments (the egg laying, the old man doing the bird dance), but there was also plenty of really beautiful and sometimes sad scenes.

The Isle (Seom)
This was my favourite film in the festival. Both arty and violent, it’s about love and about pain – two bloody fishhooks placed together, making a heart shape. A woman runs a place where men can come and stay on a small hut floating on a lake and fish. She sleeps with them for cash, puts up with their bullshit until one guy comes along whom she takes a liking to. But he’s got about as many troubles as she has. Violent self-mutilation so convincing that it almost made me gag contrasted with the peaceful, misty lake setting makes for a unique cinematic experience.

Joint Security Area (Gongdong gyeongbi guyeok JSA)
It’s not unlike the standard Hollywood military investigation movie, the difference being that it’s set on the border of North and South Korea. An incident has occurred involving men on both sides and the neutral Swiss are investigating. It took a while for me to get into the story, but soon enough I was caught up in the tale of people who are Korean first, Northern or Southern second. (I think it should be noted that this film features a Korean Mexican-standoff – not unlike the Korean Mexican cafe in Hamilton).

Mau Mau Sex Sex
This documentary profiles Dan Sonney and David Friedman, exploitation film pioneers. Discovering early that more people will see a film if it’s retitled from “Maniac” to “Sex Maniac”, these two fellows made a career out of films showing naked ladies doing all sorts of things (for educational purposes, of course). While both the fellows and their films are really entertaining, the documentary seems a little unfocused, like it can’t figure out if it’s a biography of Dan and David, or a history of the films they made.

V Movie Marathon
I was going to do it again. Really, I was. But I had to wuss out and go home after the first film. See, “Blowup” was screening the following afternoon, so I wanted to be awake and alert for that. Fortunately the first film filled me with such happiness that I was ok with missing the rest. For that film was:

Revenge of the Cheerleaders
The slutty, bad-girl cheerleaders are hanging out in the school bathroom. One of them disappears into a stall and is obviously having sex. She emerges a bit later with a shy smile on her face. Then out comes her boyfriend, Boner. Why is this significant? Because Boner is played by David Hasselhoff. Yes! This was his first film role. He dances several times, pulling a magnificent kum fac’e. This film provided endless delights for the V’d-up audience. The best/worst scene is when the cheerleaders spike the cafeteria food. While the school is engaged in a psychedelic food fight, the girls visit their boyfriends in the showers. Things get foamy, but not before a brief glimpse of Hasspenis is revealed.

Musa
I saw this on the smaller screen at Chinatown, but it would have been much better on the giant Civic screen. It’s a big movie and it needs room to move. Somehow it didn’t engage me as much as I would have liked. There were lots of battles scenes but they didn’t have stylised fighting, instead quite raw and rough action. I think I’m going to blame my ambivalence towards this film on just not being a huge fan of war films in general.

Rural Americana
Two documentaries – one short, one longer – about two peculiarities of rural America.

The Dancing Outlaw
Jesco or Jesse or, er, Elvis is this crazy tap dancin’ fellow who aspires to be a star. He’s got a fat, big-haired wife, a young-looking mother and plenty of wild tales to tell. The documentary mostly sits back and lets Jesco take over with his own wild style. Sometimes it’s a little meandering, but there’s more than enough humour and personality to make up for it.

Okie Noodling
Noodling is the time-honoured tradition of catching catfish using ones arm as bait. These catfish are big enough that a human arm can fit inside their mouths. At the beginning of the documentary, noodling, and the men who do it, seems pretty crazy. But as the film takes a closer look, noodling ends up just seeming like any other recreational activity – there are fathers passing it down to their sons, friends going out and doing it on the weekends.

Peter Jackson’s Filler
The much-anticipated opening night entertainment extravaganza, lovingly made by the film fest team. A cross between Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video and the hype surrounding “Lord of the Rings”, it all came together like a mutant love child of a teen romance gone horribly wrong. Things got even better when the action moved from on-screen (the twinkling onion ring) to live in the theatre and a bunch of zombies came on stage to kick out the jams.

Plaster Caster
Cynthia Plaster Caster is so choice. I really hope I’m as cool as she is when I’m in my 50s. Since she was 19 she’s been making plaster moulds of rock stars penises. This documentary follows her as she prepares for her first exhibit. Along the way she makes a couple of plaster casts, including one of Danny Doll Rod (possibly her boyfriend, or at least lover at the time) that she casts in the same hotel room that she did Jimi Hendrix in back in the ’60s. It’s a little bit sexy, but also pretty funny.

Possible Worlds
I was a little bit confused at the beginning of this film, but that was due to me not paying attention and missing some information about one of the characters. The rest of the film, with potential parallel universes, brains in jars, a mysterious woman, and a couple of cops investigating a murder, all fell into place by the time the final twist was revealed. Deep, and very meaningful.

Rated X: A Journey Through Porn
Like most porn-themed documentaries, this one had a predominantly male audience. I’m not sure why, because this doco about the porn industry in the San Fernando Valley was both funny and sad, and really well made. People at all sorts of places in the porno industry were observed. The director, Dag Yngvesson, was even asked to help film a low budget porno. It was the little things that stood out, like the woman porn director who said she liked for there to be some sort of emotional connection between the couples in her films.

Seance (Korei)
This film was very scary. I got so scared at one point that I had to close my eyes. I regressed into total girly wuss mode. A kidnapped girl escapes and ends up in the home of a psychic and her husband. The woman decides to delay returning the girl and to give the police “clues” in order to boost her profile as a psychic. Then things go horribly wrong. Deep, menacing bass tones create a feeling of heavy doom. One of the scariest films I’ve seen in a long time.

Spike & Mike’s Sick & Twisted Festival of Animation
Apparently the internet is sucking up all the new animators who’d previously show their stuff with Spike and Mike. There was plenty of entertaining stuff but the one that blew me away was the Betty Boop “Snow White” cartoon from 1933. Betty Boop ends up in an icy underworld where a kind of ghost (the voice of Cab Calloway) sings “St James Infirmary”. I was sitting there, watching, just amazed at what a brilliant cartoon it was.

The Story of Ricky (Riki-Oh)
Brought in as a replacement for the other banned film, “Visitor Q”. I really enjoyed “Ricky”. It was full of cheesy, over-the-top violence. How is it possible to not enjoy a film where one character disembowels himself and strangles his foe with this intestines? Or the corrupt assistant prison warden who keep mints in his false eye? Complete with subtitles that had been translated a bit too literally, and a couple of audience walk-outs, “Ricky” was good, trash fun.

Tex Avery Returns!
The first cartoon that played had no sound until about halfway through, but it audience was laughing along at the merry antics, anyway. One of my favourite cartoons in this selection started with a cutesy squirrel that was taken behind a tree and beaten up because, let’s face it, we didn’t come here for no happy bon bon forest animal adventures. I like how parents take their kids along to this.

Bride of That’s Exploitation!
The premise is simple: hey baby, come over and I’ll show you my trailer collection. This year’s selection had a few technical problems, but there was plenty to entertain. My favourites were “The Jesus Trip” (a beautiful nun runs away with some bikers), “Redneck County” (a black pop singer becomes stranded in a racist town), and the trailer to “Southern Comfort” which played backwards and earned a small applause.

Vampire Hunter D
The title character in this animated feature is a tall, dark gentleman. He is the kind of character that teen Goths aspire to be like. But like the teen goth who curses the embarrassing fast food uniform he has to wear on weekends, D has an embarrassing smart-arse talking hand (“What’s the sound of one hand yapping?”). It’s a very stylish film with a satisfying ending that’s kind of reminiscent of how “Rocky Horror” ends.

Wendigo
This was supposed to be scary, but it wasn’t. An annoying man and woman and their son are planning on spending a weekend in a small town. Before they even get there they’ve had a run-in with some gun-totin’ locals. The boy gets a figurine of a wendigo – a native American mythological creature – and when things start to go wrong (and of course things are going to go wrong), is the wendigo going to make its presence known? It wasn’t scary, but it did have a really bleak feeling to it, contrasting nicely between the wild outdoors and the safety of indoors.

Coming Soon:
Baise Moi
Sex With Strangers
Visitor Q

“Baise Moi” and “Visitor Q” have been temporarily banned, pending some hot court action. I was looking forward to “Baise Moi”, mainly because I dig French movies (silly reason, yeah), and I was really looking forward to “Visitor Q” because I dig Takashi Miike’s films. “Sex With Strangers” is the Wellington replacement for “Visitor Q”. Being the obsessive movie-lovin’ completionist I am, I’m going to have to see it. That might mean driving down to Wellington (choice!), but rumour has it that it may get an Auckland screening later.

The Incredible Film Fest 2001 – My Reviews

Anatomie
A German thriller about some bad behaviour going on at an elite med school. Starring Franke Potente, a.k.a That Chick From “Run Lola Run”. There were a bunch of Germans sitting in the row in front who laughed harder and longer at the humour. Also, while lame stand-up comedians might say that German is not a sexy language, “Anatomie” proves that wrong.

Audition (Odishon)
I loved “Audition”! It started out so nice. A widower seeking a new wife sets up a fake audition to meet chicks. The one he picks turns out to be really messed up – bad touching in her past made her a crazy lady. The horrible finale of the film was so gruesome (but a lot of it was never shown, just implied) that about six people walked out rather than face it. But the bit I loved was when after being savaged by his dream girl, who in turn is pushed down the stair by the widower’s son, the widower turns to her and says something like, “One day you will realise that life is wonderful.”

Butterfly and Sword (Xin Liu Xing Hu Die Jian)
Part of the “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” tribute, and also starring Michelle Yeoh, but less serious and more fun and funnier than “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”. The sub-titles were sometimes badly translated, but that added to the charm. Plenty of crazy martial arts. I’m not a huge martial arts fan, but “Butterfly and Sword” was fun and entertaining. A couple of days later I heard a girl describe it as “so bad it’s good”, but she’s a deluded fool if she thinks that.

Criminal Lovers (Les Amants Criminels)
I got really excited because “Criminal Lovers” was the sole French film in the festival. I like French films. The trashier, the better. “Criminal Lovers” was kind of like Hansel and Gretel meets “Deliverance”. Y’know, young lovers on the run get lost in the woods and are taken hostage by a crazy woodsman who has a thing for the young man. In a parallel universe, it would be an excellent date movie.

The Curious Dr. Humpp (La Venganza Del Sexo)
So there’s Dr Humpp and he needs to capture the sexual essence of attractive young men and women in order to stop decaying. He has a monster who he sends out on errands. One time he was operating on the monster, inserting a smoking thing into the monsters brain, and suddenly smoke started to come out of the monsters eyes and nose. Such are the production values of this Argentinean exploitation classic. A soft-core porno film (which means naked people feeling each others bums) that features a brain in a jar can’t be a bad thing.

The Devil At Your Heels
Crazy Canadian stuntman Ken Carter wants to do a jump one mile from Canada across the St Lawrence seaway to the USA. It takes him five years, he builds a big-arse ramp. Near the end of the film, building up to the actual jump, it was so suspenseful. My palms were all sweaty and I was almost sitting on the edge of my seat. It almost had the sort of feeling that those “In Search Of…” TV shows did. In search of a crazy guy.

Divine Trash
At one point in “Divine Trash” John Waters is talking about how he and his friends used to take speed and go and see all-night movie screenings. I had to rely on energy drinks. “Divine Trash” is a documentary that looks at the making of “Pink Flamingos”. It was pretty entertaining, but might have been more interesting if I’d seen “Pink Flamingos”. I think, though, that it shows that making a good film is not reliant on technical genius, wonderful actors and money. Or perhaps it is?

Faster Pussycat Kill! Kill!
I think to appreciate this film you have to think of it in its historical context. (Oh wow, I just wrote that sentence). Basically, in these post-Xena days, seeing women kicking arse on screen is nothing special, but back in 1966 it was, so there. But the film isn’t just about large-bosomed racer chicks. It’s beautifully shot, and the acting isn’t too bad either. Leaving the film I overheard a bunch of lesbians discussing the film. One of them said “It was great – lots of crotch shots”. Does that make lesbians the new pervy old men?

The Girl Next Door
A woman lies on an operating table. Her nipple has been cut out, leaving a hole in the centre of her breast. A surgeon pulls out a bag of gel through the hole. Half the audience giggles, the other half sucks in their breath. And the best part – it’s real. The breast belongs to porn star Stacy Valentine, and “The Girl Next Door” is a documentary on her life. She escaped an abusive marriage and became a porn star. We get a behinds-the-scenes look at fakes orgasms, porn awards, and the mundane stuff that goes on.

Green Snake (Ching Se)
“Green Snake” is a really beautiful film, filled with rich colours. Everything looks good. It’s about two snake sisters who take human form, and a monk who is on the lookout for animals trying to pass themselves off as human. I think when I first saw it, it annoyed me, but thinking back, I really liked it. It’s like watching visual contentment.

In China They Eat Dogs (I Kina Spiser De Hunde)
Funny! Sexy! Violent! Immoral! Danish! “In China They Eat Dogs” is typical of the new kind of films that the Incredible Film Festival plays. If this film was American, it would probably get a cinema release and be really popular. But as its in Danish, we have to settle for occasional festival screenings. It’s not high art, it’s just fun, the story of a mild mannered (i.e. boring) man pushed to the limit and turns to a life of crime!

The Loved One
One of the two good, old films in the festival that attracted old people to come and see it. Old people laugh differently to younger people. It’s a more restrained, polite laughter. They say the film is about the young British man and his adventures in the Californian funeral industry. But really, it’s about the dead body make-up lady, Miss Thanatogunos. It’s about her and the two men vying for her affections. A classic love triangle story.

Legend Of The Wolf Woman (La Lupa Mannara)
Like Dr Humpp, it’s an exploitation classic dubbed into English. There’s a girl who experienced some bad touching and now she thinks she’s a werewolf (or maybe she really is…!). There’s a flashback where an ancestor of the girl frolicks naked in the moonlight, then turns into a werewolf, and oh my golly gosh, her were-nipples are more frightening than Stacy Valentines’.

Nowhere To Hide (Injong Sajong Polkot Opta)
There was a woman in the audience who laughed too much during this film. She would laugh at stuff that wasn’t funny (e.g., a title card reading “Day 17” HAHAHAHA! Not funny.) And in one scene a cop was taking a piss and she said “Oh, come on!” Yeah, wees are yucky. But apart from her, I managed to like the film. The basic plot: a group of cops go after a criminal. But what makes it cool was how the film was so stylish. It was like a cartoon with real people, yet didn’t feel cartoony.

Open Your Eyes (Abre Los Ojos)
Y’know, this film is being remade in English with Tom Cruise and directed by Cameron Crowe. Crowe makes really good romantic films. “Open Your Eyes” is not, however, a romantic film. See the original! It’s about a man (played by Eduardo Noriega who is a spunk) who is horribly disfigured in a car accident. His life is crap, then things start going well for him, almost too well. Is he crazy or is the world crazy? And, as I scribbled on a piece of paper, are we supposed to feel sympathy for Nuria? Who knows!

Peeping Tom
It’s a horror film, and it does it without cheesy fake spurting blood. The horror, dear viewer, is in the mind. A man, whose scientist father constantly filmed film growing up, as a film fetish of his own. He films women, and kills them being filmed. But the horrible thing about “Peeping Tom” is we see what he sees through his lens. Watching this film makes you an active participant in the goings-on. It’s an absolute classic and it was such a thrill to see it in the wonderful Civic theatre, up there on the big screen.

Paradise Lost 2: Revelations
Three teenagers were arrested for the murder of three boys. One was sentenced to death, the other two imprisoned for life. But did they do it? Perhaps not. Mark Byers, the bizarre step-father of one of the dead boys seems suspicious. Damien Echols, the one on death row, is like poster boy for the West Memphis Three. At one point in the doco, his mother is talking about how she goes and visits him and he puts his hand up on the glass, and how she likes Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” because he’s the only thing that really matters. The song starts to play, then as it builds to a climax, the film cuts to Damien in jail, behind the visitor’s room glass, with his hand up on the glass, staring soulfully with his beautiful brown eyes. Free the West Memphis Three!

Sex: The Annabel Chong Story
Waiting for the movie to start, I heard a guy say to a friend of his, “hey man, we should have brought a protective screen for the, uh, splashes”. But anyone expecting a pornographic film would be sadly disappointed. Grace Quek was gang raped in London. A few years later in Los Angeles she became Annabel Chong, pornstar, and engaged in a 251-man gang bang. Like Stacy Valentine she also wants to give up the porn industry, but she goes back to it. Watching the film, especially the part where her mother finds out what her daughter does, is harrowing. It’s about as erotic as a car crash.

Son Of That’s Exploitation
A collection of classic exploitation film trailers. It started with Oliva de Havilland introducing her new motion picture, “Lady In A Cage”, about a woman who gets trapped in a private elevator (“Help! I’m trapped in a private elevator!”) and a bunch of loonies invade her home. A taste of 1968 hippy culture film “Psych-Out” was a favourite. The collection ended with the trailer for the 1994 film of “The Fantastic Four” that was never released. It was a little sad to see that trailer end with “Coming soon to a theatre near you”.

Spike & Mike’s Sick & Twisted Festival Of Animation
A mixed bag of animations. In “Coco The Junkie Pimp 2”, one puppet hit another puppet and that cliche movie hitting noise was heard. An audience member drew his breath in sharply in empathy. Yeah, ow, that must have really hurt the puppet. There was some really vile, offensive stuff near the end. Just because you can make animated poo coming out of an animated bum, doesn’t mean you should.


Starwoids

Another doco, this time about hard core Star Wars fans. It focusses on two groups of fans who are living on the streets outside two movie theatres so they can be first in line for the opening night screening of “The Phantom Menace”. The highlight of the film is some guys who wrote “Star Wars: The Musical”, which is a bunch of songs from other shows with lyrics changed to be about Star Wars. Tears of laughter. Another cool bit was the leader of one of the groups queuing was this 17 year old fat-arse, then in the epilogue a year later, he’d lost a whole lot of weight, and there were gasps of astonishment from the audience.

Tell Me Something
Plastic rubbish bags filled with body parts and a whole lot of blood turn up and the hunt for a serial killer begins. There’s a twist at the end. At the time it was a shock, but when I think about it, it was a fairly standard film noir ending. I guess it seemed unexpected because I wasn’t used to a Korean femme fatale. Another film where a woman is subjected to bad touching as a child and turns into a psycho when she’s an adult.

The Tex Avery Cartoon Collection
The cool thing about these cartoons is they don’t rely on dialogue to tell a story. Much fun is had with the limits of cartoons. There were lots of kids at this screening, and there was one group of about six children and the dad in charge would walk along the front of the row with a bag of popcorn and they’d all take some. He was also wearing a bum-bag under his beer belly. Fortunately the cartoons started and he sat down.

The Toy Box
There’s a young couple called Donna and Ralph. In the beginning there are lots of scenes where Ralph is talking but we never see his lips move. Donna is all hot ‘n’ bothered and wants Ralph real bad, but he says, “I’ll let you know when I’m ready for your slobbery mouth!” Then our young lovers go to the house of Uncle, a horny corpse, and hang out with a bunch of free-lovin’ hippies who take turns in performing for Uncle. In one scene a woman is lying in bed and the sheets start feeling her up. Then a voice says, “Your body and my sheets are one!” It’s like a surreal soft-core porno, with a slight “Rocky Horror Picture Show” feel to it, only with Janet being Frank-n-furter. Don’t look for sense. There is none.

Wonderwall
I didn’t see “Wonderwall”. It was only on during the first week of the festival, when I was ignoring it. Damn.

B-Movie Marathon

The Undertaker and His Pals
So there’s this undertaker and he and his two pals who run a greasy spoon diner (“The Greasy Spoon Diner”) go around on their motorbikes and kill people. The pals get to keep a limb, while the undertaker gets the business generated from the funeral. The victims have names like Miss Lamb, so the pals get to have “leg of lamb” as today’s special. Then in the end all the dead people came back to life and everyone was happy.

Bigfoot
The festival organiser dude, wearing pyjamas, described this as a “piece of shit” and he wasn’t wrong. Big Foot abducts some guy’s girlfriend and he goes looking for her. Only he takes along a really large group of people and they spend most of the time walking from one side of the screen to the other.

Dead Kids
An early ’80s horror film about some groovy teens who kill other groovy teens because an evil scientist is controlling their minds. The cool thing is, the film was set in Nebraska, but was filmed in Auckland. In one scene a car drove through the entrance gate to the school, and everyone laughed because it was a gate at One Tree Hill. Then one of the teens was hanging outside a school building and crossed the road and there was the Auckland University clocktower building. It brought the house down.

Pieces
Another groovy horror film. A killer with a chainsaw is terrorising a university. A studly young fellow (who even walked around naked for a bit, oo-er) helps an attractive lady cop investigate. Meanwhile the killer, who as a child killed his crazy, domineering mother, assembles a blood-stained nudie jigsaw puzzle. The killer has trouble doing this because he is wearing thick leather gloves. But I guess if he took them off it would reveal his identity. There’s screaming and titties and tons of that fake blood around the place.

Girl from Starship Venus
An alien comes to earth and takes the form of a naked lady. She wanders the streets of London investigating human life. All the places she visits are in the dodgy, seedy areas. She goes into a porno theatre, a massage parlour, and a strip club where she drinks alcohol and turns green and grows an afro. Then a man tries to have his way with her, but the force-field that has been activated in her nether-regions means he’s not gonna get any hot alien lovin’. I don’t really have an opinion on this film. It was on at around 6-7.00 am, and my mind was fuzzy.

I learned this:

  • If the film is fiction, abuse in a person’s past turns them into a psychotic killer.
  • If the film is a documentary, abuse in a person’s past turns them into a porn star.
  • Movie marathons are better with comfortable clothes, good food and lots of leg room.
  • Seeing naked ladies in ’60s sexploitation films is weird because they have non-surgically enhanced boobs.
  • Audiences get really quiet during soft-core sex scenes.
  • It’s going to take a while before people get used to the idea that the Incredible Film Festival is not “the best of the worst”.
  • No matter what film you see, there will always be someone in the audience who thinks it’s the most bizarre film they’ve ever seen.

And I’d do it again!