Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Thoughts on Cabane à sang Film Fest 2020 Weekend One
As some one who has spent the last ten years watching films and going to festivals I have to say that the first night of programming for this year's Cabane à sang Film Festival is simply the greatest block of genre programming I've run across. Allowing that I couldn't full appreciate some of the films because they were in French (which I don't speak) and not subtitled everything was was very good to great. There were no turkeys in the bunch. In an age when most film festivals can't program an hour of shorts they programmed three and a half hours of them.
How is that possible?
Every film, even the stuff I questioned on some level (say the plushies with anatomically correct genitals), made perfect sense to be part of the festival. Organizer Frank Appache said that the festival aims to mix "turds" with gems but they have balanced the selection so there are no turds, only gems. There is only differing budgets. A low budget or no budget is never a sign that a film is crap. If you program a "turd" film with the right films around it you'll see it's real worth. Appache and the programmers at Cabane à sang understand that and they have done the miraculous this past Saturday when they programmed almost four hours of movies that bled perfectly not only into each other but into the host segments. (They actually perfectly timed where we should breath.)
Frankly, I went in thinking I was going to watch maybe a film or two, but each film gripped me and what I thought was going to be a half an hour of my time before moving on became an almost four hour marathon of cinematic madness of the absolute best sort.
By the end I was absolutely exhausted for all the right reasons.
This was one of the best nights I ever had at the movies. It will end up on my best of the year list as a magnificent achievement. I loved this group of films and I wish I had it in my collection to show people-YES IT IS THAT GOOD.
Do yourself a favor and make plans to watch the second night of films this on coming Saturday (info can be found here). If it is half as good as what happened last Saturday it will be one of the best nights at the movie's you'll have all year.
What follows is brief word on all of the films. In looking over the list of films to write this intro other than the films that were completely in French to the point that I couldn't full grasp the plot the only complete miss for me is the one with the older guys and the bananas (MANEATER). I don't know what that was but it was...really WTF
UNKNOWN VISITOR by Isaac Rodriguez- a truly frighting coming attraction for a doorbell camera horror film. It is better than most features and the perfect way to start the festival
MOONLIGHT PEOPLE by Dmitri Frolov- a odd short piece about people by a lake
STAR TRASH by Gabriel Spatulus was a film with robots or cyborgs and amputations. Its an amusing trifle.
GO BACK by Matthew Barberand Nathaniel Barber- Set in 1978- A man driving in the woods and pondering the woman he left behind finds mannequins in the road---and I dare not say more. Its a short horror film with the right sort of chills and perfectly done ending that had me wondering why more people do that..
XX VIRUS by Kimyan Flückiger- a black and white zombie film that echoes Night of the Lining Dead but with a modern spin exploitation twist and some adult turns. This is awesome in countless ways. One of the best in the collection
HOBO SEWER SLAUGHTER by Vanessa Gudgeon and Duncan Shaw- A coming attraction about hobo who kills people for flushing non-human waste.
ROOM FOR RENT by Fernando Simarro- A woman's car breaks down and she takes a room in a nearby and run down house. Feral horror turns into something darkly funny. Not sure it works all the way to the end with the mood of the first half clashing with the sting but it's still enjoyable.
RUBY IN THE WHITE VAN by Brandon Rhiness- I can't say what this is beyond the title except to say - WOW.
Cucul la praline by Gabriel Auclair-Doucet. A kidnap comedy that was all in French. With this one the lack of understanding prevented my being able to critique.
RO-BOOB: THE FARTING ROBOT by Logan Fry- a farting monster film done in a retro silent style. It's an off color send up of ROBOT MONSTER
DEATH MAZE by Bryce Williams- an AI game that forces you to face the worst fear. Good idea with weak acting.
THE ANIMATOR By Tent Shy- Deeply disturbing animation of the torture of clay people
NINO DOCTOR by Sinhué F. Benavides- A dying girl seems to have been saved by a miracle but it's not a good one. Its a creepy little tale....
THE FLYING MENSTRAL TAMPON by Cyrille Daclinat, Fabrice Sese and Alexis Robert A trailer about giant tampons from space invading earth- It perfectly mirrors a big blockbuster trailer. I just wish I spoke French so I could get the verbal jokes.
ALCHEMIA by Natacha Thomas is a music video like horror film. It's okay when compared to the films around it.
CLICHE by Miguel Plante- people sitting a round a campfire hear the story of a horror film shot decades in the same location- anyone hearing the story acts out the worst movie cliches and are lost. This is a wonderful spinning of a cliche story into something more.
WRONG DAY by Doug Rollins- A killer clown shows up on Halloween... This is too short to comment other than to say its very good.
GORE FEST by Patrick Fortin - strange images and actions in a disturbing experimental short.
MAELSTROM by Carlos Gómez-Trigo- The inner turmoil of a man bothered by the sound of someone stirring their drink.
THE PROCEDURE PART 2 by Calvin Lee Reeder - A jogger is tripped, drugged and - and it's a wtf shaggy dog story.
ELECTRIC NIGHTMARE by Quentin Herlemont- two people rob a house and the person inside won't die. While I could follow what was going on the lack of speaking French on my part prevents me from commenting completely other than to say it is intriguing.
MANEATER by Sandra Isacsson and Caroline Wallén- Older men and bananas- and...beyond that you're on you're own.
THE MINISTER by Matt Parks- An extended video preview for a 1980's style dystopian action film about a minister in a wrestling mask tasked by god to clean up his city. If this were turned into a slightly less goofy feature this would be a classic. As it is these are seven minutes to cherish.
DEATH'S TOLL by Spencer Hetherington- A horror film about a cursed bell and a demon who appears when it rung- it's a great one
SOUS LA MOUSSE (aka Under the Lather) by Ollivier Briand - A woman babysits a young boy...but there is something else is the house. A sweet monstrous confection.
MADAME COUCOUNE by Frank Appache- A WTF film about making genitals for plushies (I would have liked this more had I not been exhausted by three hours of other films)
SLICE OF LIFE by Dino Julius and Luka Hrgovic- Bladerunner inspired film has a man being blackmailed after committing a robbery to get money to go off world. Longest of the films is one of the best films in the collection. Its a solid little mini-feature that I want to see on the big screen at some point.
And after that it ended. I am told most if not all the films are on the festival circuit so keepan eye out.
The second weekend of the festival happens on April 18 and I can't wait. For information on tuning in go here.