House Logo
Explore categories +

Divine (#110 of 4)

Fantasia International Film Festival 2013: Antisocial, Willow Creek, Bad Milo, Curse of Chucky, & More

Comments Comments (...)

Fantasia International Film Festival 2013: <em>Antisocial</em>, <em>Willow Creek</em>, <em>Bad Milo</em>, <em>Curse of Chucky</em>, & More
Fantasia International Film Festival 2013: <em>Antisocial</em>, <em>Willow Creek</em>, <em>Bad Milo</em>, <em>Curse of Chucky</em>, & More

After a fully stocked three-week run, the Fantasia International Film Festival concluded this past Wednesday evening. Now in its 17th year, the Montreal-based festival remains a genre lover’s paradise, a celebration of all things horror and sci-fi.

An early highlight was Antisocial, a zombie infection film about college students who develop murderous instincts after being diseased by a Facebook-like website. A film for paranoid Luddites as well as Mark Zuckerberg detractors, Cody Calahan’s satire is clearly indebted to the legacy of Romero, Carpenter, and Cronenberg and serves as a biting commentary on the often addictive nature of online interaction. Also of note is The Dead Experiment, from first-time filmmaker and biology and physics expert Anthony Dixon. The film, whose dialogue is rooted in heavy scientific vernacular, focuses on a deceased med student (Ryan Brownlee) temporarily brought back to life, his brief time on Earth ticking as he and a conflicted friend with Dr. Frankenstein-like tendencies work to extend his lifeline. This film clearly follows the “You can’t play God!” trajectory of the mad scientist-centered sci-fi/horror subgenre, and the initial idea serves as a faithful crossbreed between Pet Sematery and Primer (one of Dixon’s self-noted influences).

15 Famous Movie Savages

Comments Comments (...)

15 Famous Movie Savages
15 Famous Movie Savages

Oliver Stone returns this weekend with Savages, a nasty crime thriller based on Don Winslow’s drug-cartel novel. The dictionary defines “savage” as “an uncivilized human being,” “a fierce, brutal, or cruel person,” and “a rude, boorish person.” In other words, it covers just about every villain who’s ever graced the screen. To whip up a list of 15, we set our sights on vicious characters as fierce as they are remarkably uncouth. There are no classy rogues here, folks. These are teeth-gnashing, eardrum-piercing, elbows-on-the-table types, and from a child murderer to a furry monster to two more Stone creations, they comprise a choice selection of scoundrels.

Freaks and Geeks Shade Rupe’s Dark Stars Rising: Conversations from the Outer Realms

Comments Comments (...)

Freaks and Geeks: Shade Rupe’s Dark Stars Rising: Conversations from the Outer Realms
Freaks and Geeks: Shade Rupe’s Dark Stars Rising: Conversations from the Outer Realms

Shade Rupe’s Dark Stars Rising is a collection of interviews with first class weirdos in the world of cinema and performance. What makes it a special read for connoisseurs of this sort of bizarre entertainment is Rupe’s earnest, non-ironic, deeply curious set of questions, which bring out a candor and trust in his subjects. Told entirely in Q&A format, there’s a shortage of editorializing, and Rupe allows his superstars to speak for themselves.

For example, the spectacularly large drag queen Divine, best known for appearing in such John Waters classics as Pink Flamingos and Polyester, opens up about various inherent vulnerabilities and interests. Perhaps it’s because Rupe’s very first question isn’t a question—he simply states, “Those are great shoes.” Divine’s response is, “I always say I look normal from my neck to my ankles, and the head and the shoes are always, as I say, fucked up.” Rupe’s follow-up question wonders if Divine gets bugged a lot for looking “normal” and already we’re set up for a little more to the discussion than, “Did you really eat the dog turd in that movie?”

Transgressive bad-boy filmmakers like Gaspar Noe (I Stand Alone) and Richard Kern (You Killed Me First) delve into their work, and how they have evolved over the years. Kern’s deadpan sense of humor about living in his fantasies is summed up when he says, “[When I was making] all that violent stuff, I was in that phase. Now I’m in the pervert phase. I don’t have to hide anymore.” Noe explains how his projects became fueled by personal anger at being rejected by financiers, or observing his friends make movies while his hands were tied. “Then you start hating the person who refused your script,” he says, “[to the point where] you kill her in your own dreams…and [when you finally make the film] it all comes out in the movie!”

Take Two #12: Hairspray (1988) & Hairspray (2007)

Comments Comments (...)

Take Two #12: <em>Hairspray</em> (1988) & <em>Hairspray</em> (2007)
Take Two #12: <em>Hairspray</em> (1988) & <em>Hairspray</em> (2007)

[Editor’s Note: Take Two is an occasional series about remakes, reboots, relaunches, ripoffs, and do-overs in every cinematic genre.]

In the month since the last Take Two column, a civic rift has formed in my semi-hometown of Baltimore that, to my mind, says everything that needs to be said about the city’s current identity. It was discovered that Denise Whiting, owner of the iconic Café Hon in Hampden, has in fact held the copyright to the even more iconic word “hon” since 1992. Click the link to get a whiff of the pre-Christmas protest that Hampden residents organized on 36th St. (better known as the “Avenue”), the neighborhood’s main drag over which the Café’s two-story foam flamingo looms like a kitsch Godzilla.

It so happens that my last apartment was near enough to Café Hon that our kitchen window looked down on its rear parking lot. The living room window, however, faced the intersection of Roland Avenue and 36th, where a Royal Farms sidewalk offered local drunks and addicts a stage for nightly freak-outs and blow-ups. This was a relative step up for my wife and me; we moved to Roland in December 2008 after a shooting took place at the bar across the street from our first place, also in Hampden. Only a few months before that, a parked white pickup truck erupted and burned to ash outside our bedroom in the middle of a Saturday night. In early 2009, a row house by the post office spontaneously combusted, singeing its two immediate neighbors and sending all five of the resident family’s children to the emergency room. The blaze was rumored to have started when the owner lit a cigarette near his stockpile of compressed air tanks. Apparently he was trying to build a cooling system on the cheap.