Hey everyone! Jeff here with a quick recap of Day Two of the Toronto After Dark 2012 film festival. Today was a little bit quieter, as I was still recovering from lack of sleep, but I did see one film that I very much like. The other? Well, we’ll get into that in a minute…
Luckily, when I got to the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, I was able to get a good seat, which always makes the screening more enjoyable. As usual, the first film was preceded by a Canadian-made short. This time around, it was Jovanka Vuckovic’s The Captured Bird. Seeing as Vuckovic Vuckovic used to be the Editor In Chief over at Rue Morgue Magazine, there has been a lot of buzz about this short; which is also her first foray into filmmaking. Essentially, the film tells a tale of a small girl who ventures off onto a large estate and encounters some suprises. The short was easily the best looking of TADFF’s Canada After Dark series so far this year, and it was definitely entertaining. It probably helped that much of the crew on the film are very talented folks. Most notably, Karim Hussain (who shot Hobo With A Shotgun) did great cinematography work, Douglas Buck’s editing was on point, and the score by Redeemer and Fabio Frizzi(!) was wonderful. Aside from that, there’s not a lot to say, as there is no dialog and telling much more would spoil the story. I would recommend you check it out if you get a chance, and I’m curious how Vuckovic would do with an original feature.
Following that short, was the first feature of the night, Crave. I hadn’t heard much about this film beforehand, except that it was being compared to Taxi Driver, and I didn’t know anything about the Director, Charles de Lauzirika. As it turns out, this little film about a freelance photographer struggling with his anger at society and his grasp on reality is something special. I do understand why Taxi Driver has been thrown around when describing the film, and I think I would best sum it up as that movie mixed with a bit of Dexter, as the main character does a lot of crime scene photography (hence his disdain for the world around him). Considering some of the dark material contained in the film, there is a surprising amount of humor as well, and though the shift is jarring at times, it works well. Definitely recommended. For more info on Crave, check out the film’s Official TADFF Page. The Director was on-hand for a Q&A session, which I am hoping to add to this post when I get it processed, so check back if you’re interested in hearing that.
The next short was entitled Garlic Bread Man vs. Superbo Lasagna Man. I’m not kidding. And, yes, the title pretty much sums up the short: Two dudes in crazy costumes fighting over a family’s mealtime decisions with lasers and super powers. It was pretty silly, but definitely well made; though not really my cup of tea at the end of the day. Fans of Troma-type films would probably relate better.
Speaking of things that weren’t really my cup of tea, the second film of the night, Inbred, was not up my alley either. This was a co-presentation by TADFF and Rue Morgue Magazine’s monthly Cinemacabre screening series, and as many of the films they show do, this one featured a lot of blood and gore. The story is ridiculously simple: Group of troubled teens and their caregivers head to a rural area to fix up an old house, and they run into a bunch of hillbillies who slaughter them, one by one. Alex Chandon, who also directed Cradle of Fear, was behind this one, and I’ll admit that there was plenty of twisted gore on display here. Inbred was easily the bloodiest film of the festival so far, but it was also the least entertaining to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good gore flick, but man, the first 30+ minutes of the movie are a drag. For a movie that obviously was just made as an excuse to kill off a bunch of people in creative and nasty ways, Inbred spends an amazing amount of time setting up a story that could easily be established in 10 or 15 minutes or so. Shaving off about 10 minutes or so, or replacing some of the exposition with more scenes of gore would have probably worked better. Especially given that this is supposed to be comedic gore, and the first act is about as unfunny as you can get. If you’re a diehard gore-hound, you’ll want to see this regardless, but in my opinion, it was mediocre due to a bloated running time. For more info on Inbred, check out its Official TADFF Page.
Well, that about sums up the second night of Toronto After Dark 2012. As with any festival, there will be films you love, films you don’t like, and some that are in between. Cravewas the standout here for me, so if you only get to see one of the films from this recap, see that one. Inbred can wait for the bargain bin.
As always, you can find all of our TADFF coverage by checking the Toronto After Dark 2012 tag, and you can get more info on the festival at their Official Page. See you all here tomorrow for another report… Until then, Cheers!