38th Fantastic Night
THE MORTUARY COLLECTION (USA – 2019)
Director: Ryan Spindell
Writer: Ryan Spindell Cast: Clancy Brown, Caitlin Fisher, Christine Kilmer
Runtime: 108 min
What if the Tall Man, the evil undertaker from PHANTASM, enjoying his twilight years in 2020, took in an ironic millennial to help him out in his rundown mortuary? That’s exactly what Ryan Spindell wants to find out too! Montgomery Dark, a 7-feet tall, seemingly decade-old creepoid goes about his daily chores at Raven End’s Mortuary: tending to the dead, scaring away little kids, relishing in old school horror stories. Old school, like everything about Mr. Dark: his speech, manner, clothes, mansion, the music that plays in the background – yes, even the grainy film images, everything suggests the glory days of 70’s and 80’s. But Sam, his new apprentice who wasn’t even born when his favorite horror flicks were released, is going to burst his bubble. Monty tries to spook
her with a couple of tales from the crypt: stories with Lovecraftian tentacles, or highly unusual – and graphic! – pregnancies, or love beyond the tomb… But all he gets are jaded reactions: “It’s not bad”, “I was expecting something a bit more substantial, maybe an ironic come- uppance or a big twist”, “a bit predictable”… Yup, she’s pretty much like the BIFFF audience! Spindell’s brilliant 2015 short THE BABYSITTER MURDERS was the starting point for this one-of-a-kind anthology that has those vintage thrills of say, EC Comics and CREEPSHOW but with a modern- day ironic wink. It’s gorgeous to look at and Clancy Brown was born to play the gravely funny mortician Dark.
(Japan – 2019)
Director: Lisa Takeba Writer: Watanabe Yusuke Cast: Kanna Hashimoto, Yuta Koseki, Toshiki Seto & Shido Nakamura
Runtime: 88 min
Are you a teacher? Are you fed up with all those pupils seemingly raised by a pack of wolves? In that case, kick back, relax and enjoy this hardcore adaptation of the eponymous manga by Arata Miyatsuki and Shigure Kondo. Imagine 36 pupils, smartphone in hand, eternal gum stuck in between jaws, hanky panky in the back of the classroom and their teacher driven to the brink of insanity. Well, he’s had it! He decides to hypnotize the boisterous bunch. From now on, a specific set of signals triggers pupils
to commit instant suicide. Using your phone? Suicide. Sobbing? Kaputt. Drinking from the bottle? Bye-bye. Smooching? Wither in hell! This is all pedagogically sound, of course. To break the spell, one simply has to be the last survivor… Careful though, because hurting others is one of the fatal signals. For once they will have to put their gray matter to good use in the midst of all the jumping out of windows, throat slitting, improvised seppuku and skulls splattering all over the blackboard at a frenzied pace… Director Lisa Takeba sure knows how to have a good time in this 100% Montessori- certified BATTLE ROYALE for the iPhone generation.
(Canada – 2019)
Runtime: 83 min
A puppet killer, ay? At first sight this might look like the usual hackneyed horror fare, and in a way it is but don’t be fooled! Sure, there’s the usual group of teenagers that get together in a Cabin in the Woods just get slaughtered one by one… Except, these ‘teenagers’ are played by… 50-year-olds? That’s just one of the many wacky winks to classic 80’s slashers, a genre Lisa Ovies loves and loves to turn on its head. The result? Christmas with the Muppets in the cabin of EVIL DEAD! Killer Muppet Simon used to be the favorite doll of Jamie, until he got to high school and preferred to hang out with his new buddies. Simon is no Woody or Buzz Lightyear: he doesn’t try to win back the heart of his best pal, but rather wants to wreak havoc on those new friends of his. When Jamie invites his friends to his family cabin for Christmas, Simon strikes! He proves to be a worthy successor of Chuckie, with one difference: after years of watching horror movies on TV next to Jamie, he’s become quite the film connoisseur. And those classic murder scenes inspire him for his own chopping skills, eh kills, eh skills. Unique!
(New Zealand – 2019)
Director: Bernie Rao
Writer: Bernie Rao Cast: Jed Brophy, Sarah Munn, Stacy King & Harley Neville
Runtime: 81 min
Furniture on a killing spree: maybe we should think about a new subgenre! After killer tomatoes, dangerous donuts, violent puppets, schizophrenic cars, deadly elevators, psychotic tires, beds and refrigerators… it’s time for the possessed sofa. Possessed by a dybbuck (for those of you not in the know: a sort of Jewish demon). Dancer Franscesca thinks she made a bargain when she buys a comfortable looking armchair for next to nothing. At the first touch of the dancer’s thighs though, the couch is under her spell. Believe us: you don’t want a sofa with a crush on you. That means no more cozy, snuggly evenings with your boyfriends on the couch… The latter’s more jealous than the average Ikea closet and starts a-killing one by one the dudes that try getting between him and Franscesca. Shiny buttons for eyes, its mouth a crooked seam and most importantly, a foot rest as its improbable but ultimate slaughter weapon! So kick back, relax – but do pay a bit of attention to our BIFFF seats (we haven’t been feeding them since last year’s edition) – and enjoy this New Zealand gem by Bernie Rao. One deliciously cult scene after another. Your trips to the secondhand store will never be the same again