The last Fantasia weekend was filled with a great bunch of movies. Here are my reviews, in even more express form than usual.
The Great Yokai War is a children's epic. It's from Takashi Miike and it is an absolute delight to watch. Great character and creature design, awesome mechanical design. In this story a young child is destined to save Tokyo, the capital of all anger, from an army of mechanical monsters created by combining trashed, but still functional, items with the souls of the Yokai. Chiaki Kuriyama (of Kill Bill fame) proves in this movie that no matter how ridiculous her outfit or hairdo, the camera still loves her, and so do I. Acting is usually good but fails at times. The ending really doesn't make much sense, but it's beautiful. 8 out of 10 with a butt-factor of 1.
Moving on to Executive Koala, the movie that had me laughing out loud long after it was done. Part Perfect Blue, part romantic comedy, it is important to note that although the main character is a Koala, he could've been human without affecting the scenario. The result however would have been less than stellar. Seeing someone bad tripping and going insane is something that can be seen in any other movie. But a Koala? Instant entertainment. 8.0 with a butt-factor of 1.
The Five Venoms is ranks as the second best Shaw Brothers movie I've seen. Finishing after last year's hilarious Heroes of the East but before the others. It's a Shaw Brothers movie. It's old and it's mostly good for the cheese factor. 6.0 out of 10 with a butt-factor of 1.
The sold-out Re-cycle featured lots genuinely scary moments. While seeking inspiration for her next best-seller, an author is propelled into a nightmarish world made up of all the things, and people, she threw away in her life. Old acquaintances, old toys, old secrets. All are there to torment her. Visually impressive, good acting, but a bit too predictable. 4.5 out of 10 with a butt-factor of 3.
Zombie Self-Defense Force would be my last Fantasia movie this year. Not exactly the best way to end the festival, this movie is a weird DIY zombie flick. Beginning with a strong anti-Bush, anti-American imperialism and yet pro-Japanese imperialism (Japan saved south-east Asian from occidental imperialism during World War II. Right.) Moving on to the movie itself. Lots of cheesy gore. Reminiscent of Bad Taste or Dead Alive, ZSDF lacks a good plot, good special effects and good acting. Like Dead Alive, it has a few good quotes and is entertaining for the gore and cheese factor. It has a pretty funny zombie fetus, which gives this movie a few extra points. 4.5 out of 10 with a butt-factor of 0.5.