Harry was blown away by the bloody great film, THE REVENANT in CineVegas!!!
You know - sometimes you're at a Festival. You have a great first day, but then... you just seem to be on a roll of forgettable or worse films. That isn't to say this festival isn't wonderful, because CINEVEGAS is! It's a party festival, one that fully uses everything that VEGAS has to infuse it with awesome good times. The other night, I meant to see the "world premiere" of THE REVENANT, but I'd seen a couple films that day - and the party opposite the premiere was at SAPPHIRE'S the 70,000 Square Foot Wal-Mart of Tits & Ass. The festival write up told me it was a zombie film, about a guy who dies in Iraq and is buried and comes back to life and hangs out with his best friend as they deal with the decaying body he occupies.
Well, that didn't adequately fire me up to blow off Vegas Strippers with Yoko. No, I let you folks down and succumbed to my own lust for T&A that gets rubbed in your face, crotch, etc.
Today started off with a film I hated from the get go, and I just hated it more with every continuing second, till at the 18 minute mark, I left the screening. It was so bad, I almost blew off seeing anything else at the festival. When a film sucks at this level, it's the sort of thing that makes you not want to see anything else. Then there was another film I saw that had moments, but didn't come together as one would hope.
About 30 minutes before this movie, Yoko was asleep - and I was debating whether or not to wake her for the film, but I thought about the one color still I'd seen from the film. I liked the make-up. And hey - as well as doing AICN, I'm one of the lead programmers at Fantastic Fest and it is my duty, for the team, to see this festival's most likely candidate.
By the time David Anders' reanimated BART - moaning in pain breaks into the funeral home, looks in the mirror horrified at his own eyes (which rule) - grabs a pair of scissors and snips through his sewn shut mouth, so he can speak... I was ON BOARD! I was officially rooting for the film, but knowing that it's a far cry to go from a cool scene to a full fledged genre piece of awesome.
After all... as far as I knew, this film was about to turn into a film about a best friend taking care of the decaying talking corpse of his best friend... and well, I saw a film like that at SXSW and hated it.
The first thing that makes this film awesome is the friendship as played between David Anders and Chris Wylde is note fucking perfect. Wylde's JOEY is a consummate best friend that doesn't want to lose his best friend again. And it doesn't matter if his best friend pukes black blood on his carpet and dining room table. It doesn't matter if he has to find blood for him, so they can still be tight. It doesn't matter if every night they have to kill someone and drain them of blood - because goddammit, that's what best friends do for one another!
And yes, there's other characters. Girl Friends and nosey friends. But this is really a story about best friends being there for each other. Even if one of them is needing blood to keep from decomposing.
NOW - their answer to the blood issue is to kill evil fucks and save innocent people from evil... and suck the bad people dry. That is an excellent plan. They're in Los Angeles, so there's plenty of nasty fucks to kill - and they get into it - and it does give them some problems later.
The film this most resembles is NEAR DARK.
Is it as great as NEAR DARK... that's difficult to say due to the rough state of the film I saw tonight. Sure, this may be its "World Premiere" engagement - but frankly the film is nowhere near done. What we heard was basically a stereo mix of a film that will have a far more powerful audio output later. The film was being screened off of essentially an avid output - which folks that know what that means know that you'll see a lot of artifacting, especially in the low light scenes, and the dark sequences - you'll lose a TON OF DETAIL that is actually there in the print waiting to be projected. Whenever it gets finished. There's also a bit of effects work that wasn't quite done, but again - they know it and it will be done before any of you are likely to see this fucking amazing film.
Now - I have to warn some of you. There's shit that happens in this film that will turn some stomachs and make horror fans cheer! So... where the fuck did this film come from?
The director's name is Kerry Prior. For all intents and purposes this is his first film as director. But you've seen his work as an effects man in everything from PHANTASM II & III & IV to THE ABYSS to Elm Street 3 & 4 to THE BLOB remake to CHRISTMAS VACATION to BUBBA HO-TEP!!! And it seems he's decided to make a real fucking horror film to stamp his name into the minds of geeks like us everywhere... and that's exactly what he has done with this film!
The name that really gave me pause in the opening credits was the credited editor of this film. None other than WALTER MURCH. Yeah, the guy behind APOCALYPSE NOW, the re-edit of TOUCH OF EVIL, THE CONVERSATION and a great deal of other great films. I've no idea how Prior got Walter aboard, but damn if this film isn't nicely put together!
This is a film you'll be hearing a lot about from here on. Be it on AICN or elsewhere. This is a great little genre film that gets exactly as nuts as one would hope a violent buddy flick can get with the undead. I am purposefully not talking about WHOLE ASPECTS of this film because you should let the film do that to you. In fact, when I found the trailer online, I got mad at it because frankly it gives too much away.
But one thing is for sure, you'll love the tag line for this film:
"You Think TWILIGHT Is A Vampire Movie?"
Well, I do - it just doesn't have the balls or a twentieth of the awesome of this film. This is Vampire/Undead the way we love it. Bloody, Fucked-Up and Twisted as all Hell!