Category Archives: Canadian Indie
Eroticide is the latest offering from Sinema Saliba, the film company run by Matthew Saliba, a fellow writer over at Rogue Cinema, and my first foray into the Saliba world. His 7th film, Eroticide tells the story of a young man named Yan (Jocelin Haas) and how his addiction to erotic humiliation sets the course of his life on a downward spiral when his ex, Kendra (Lisa Di Capa) comes back into the picture, forcing him to choose between a future with his loving girlfriend, Elise (Stephanie van Rijn) or one of empty sexual gratification with Kendra.
This is a film about sex, desire, control, fetishes – all stuff I love to watch and discuss (seriously my Netflix queue is kind of embarrassing, lol) and the subject matter is handled quite well. Too often films of this nature turn either cheesy or just downright pornographic but Eroticide avoids those tropes with the intriguing use of seen fantasies and excellent cinematography. Our story starts with Yan and Elise discussing their 9 month anniversary and meeting (when Yan hit Elise with his car) over dinner when Kendra, Yan’s dominating ex, suddenly appears. In she walks and instantly Yan is fawning over her while Elise looks on in disgust. Kendra begins questioning their relationship, asking about their sex life only to discover that Elise and Yan haven’t yet had sex. This is remedied later that night but the only way Yan is able to perform is to imagine humiliating scenarios featuring Kendra (and sometimes Elise). We see his fantasies played out, intercut with scenes of him and Elise making love and the result is lovely to behold. From there the film moves into Yan’s betrayal of Elise and Elise’s ultimate sacrifice for the man she loves with Kendra in the background, the whole time keening with delight.
Eroticide is one of those little independent short films that packs a punch, hitting you hard right where all your dirty little secrets hide. It takes a look at the darker side of love and lust and manages to accomplish an in-depth look in just under 40 minutes. Honestly, I’d love to see this script fleshed out into a feature. While I dug the movie, it did feel a little short and a little incomplete, mostly with the feeling that the viewer doesn’t get to know Elise as well as Yan and Kendra.
And speaking of Elise, she’s my favorite one here, not so much for her character because really none of these characters are what you’d deem likable as they’re much too self-involved with their own flaws (although Elise does step out of that and looks beyond herself) but because of the actress playing her, Stephanie van Rijn. Stephanie is fragile, emotive and delicate without being completely downtrodden (plus she’s a redhead and we redheads stick together! ;)). Lisa Di Capa as Kendra was only okay – while she had the look for Kendra down and was fabulous at playing the icy bitch, she seemed to be holding back and her monologue at the end felt stilted.
Ooohhh, just realized another nice touch – having Elise as a redhead because she’s the fire on one side while Kendra is the ice on the other. Nice!
Jocelin Haas as Yan does a fine job but doesn’t overwhelm. He’s emasculated, weak and full of self-loathing but the performance didn’t make me want to stand up and cheer. He is naked for about half the film though so there’s a plus. ;) Again, I’d love to see this fleshed out into a feature – I don’t think the characters have time to fully develop but there’s amazing potential there.
Altogether, I have to recommend Eroticide, especially if you’re a fan of movies such as 9 1/2 Weeks or Boxing Helena. This film is a wonderfully done, though slightly underdeveloped look at the psychological war fare of love and relationships and the very real physical wounds they inflict.
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Okay, gotta be honest – I really watched the first 40 minutes of this not just five. BUT I honestly didn’t realize I was still watching it till my friend, The Brad, called and I was like, “Why can’t I hear what you’re saying?? Oh…this stupid thing is still on??” So that totally counts for a First Five. Right?
Yeah…so…I’d like to start by saying that a movie that involves monsters and wrestling should be AMAZING. FUCKING AMAZING. It’s like having a movie that involves hot girls and jello wrestling – how do you go wrong???? You can’t. You just can’t go wrong with that. And yet…*sighs*. WHAT THE FUCK, Monster Brawl??? WHAT THE FUCK? How on earth did you ruin a flick so full of potential?? I love monsters. I used to be really into wrestling. Kevin Nash is in this movie for pete’s sake and I couldn’t even make it to his part. Now if Mick Foley had been in this I would’ve stuck it out because my gosh, do I love that man. I even read Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks. (I know, I know – how on earth am I still single?? I am SO a kickawesome catch. ;-p) But I digress…
Speaking of Foley’s though, Dave Foley is in this movie and from what I saw he spends the entire time with a look upon his face that clearly indicates he has no CLUE how he got in this film. None at all. Also his “character” is continuously drinking from a flask…yeah, “character”…*cough cough, wink wink*
Oh and let’s talk about this guy for a minute, shall we? Someone be a dear and tell me when exactly Cyclops (Cyclopses…Cyclopi…what’s the plural??) developed laser beam eyeballs that can melt the faces off people. Because that happened. TOTES.
Why, yes, that IS her name – “Lady Vampire”. There’s also another woman called “Witch Bitch”. Don’t even get me started on this bullshit.
So to sum up – FUCK YOU, Monster Brawl. You go hide somewhere and hang your head in shame.
P.S. Next Classic Movie will be The Usual Suspects!
Today is a guest post by the always lovely Tyson over at Head in a Vice. If you haven’t already, I highly suggest you head over and check out his site as he always does fabulous work AND has a couple of really sweet projects running (such as Desert Island Films and IMDB Top 250 Films Reviewed). Thanks again for this Tyson!! YOU ROCK!!!
Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal is a Canadian-Danish co-production about an artist called Lars (Thure Lindhardt), who takes up teaching art in a small Canadian town. On his way to his new job, driving through the Canadian back roads Lars drives into a deer in the middle of the road (bloody jaywalkers!). Though the animal manages to survive the accident, it remains unable to move and Lars humanely decides to put it out of its misery. He finds himself a rock and proceeds to try and smash its head in.
In doing this, it’s almost as if something inside of him stirs, and he realises that this brutality is giving him inspiration. It appears as though violence stimulates Lars’ brush, which is an important fact especially considering that the man hasn’t made any new work in years, much to his art dealer Ronny’s (Stephen McHattie) dismay.
Once he gets to his job, he finds that one of his pupils is Eddie (Dylan Smith), who never speaks and appears to have learning difficulties. Lars ends up looking after Eddie and lets him stay at his house, as it turns out that the school is legally bound to look after him due to his Aunt funding the academy. Over time Lars discovers Eddies secret – that when he sleepwalks he eats things, namely animals and people. Although disgusted at first, Lars realises he can harness this and uses Eddie to continue to give him the inspiration for his painting. There were no real twists in the story from this point on, and it ends in a predictable fashion.
The film has a nice pace to it, and director Boris Rodriguez manages to mix together a decent blend of horror and satire but also never overplays the genre elements. Acting wise, although this is a very low-budget film, the majority give good performances. Lars is a likeable enough character that is really the ‘bad guy’ in the film, he just happens to find artistic inspiration so elusive that he’ll take it where he can get it, and that to him the ends justify the means. Eddie is just doing all that he knows really, and is used by Lars. Dylan Smith really is the stand out performer, although he never speaks he manages to be a likeable character that I felt sorry for, and he has some great subtle mannerisms, despite what he was capable of doing in his sleep! The love interest for Lars comes in the form of fellow teacher Leslie (Georgina Reilly), and again she plays her role well.
It is a weird, darkly comic tale that I saw marketed as a film in the same mould as Shaun of the Dead. Sadly, whilst Shaun was a brilliant film, combining humour, zombies and violence perfectly, Eddie never gets near the same heights. Whilst it doesn’t shy away from a little blood and violence, to animals and humans, the humour was never really present. I’ve read reviews which describe this as ‘terrifically funny‘ and ‘the best horror-comedy in years‘. Part of me wonders if they were indeed reviewed by someone involved with the making of the film, as with all due respect this is not a film which should be getting 10/10 ratings like it has at a couple of places. Either that or I’m just being cynical, and it’s just me that doesn’t ‘get‘ it.
In conclusion, sometimes a movie title shows us exactly what we are getting, and no film can do that more than Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal. It’s a film about a cannibal named Eddie, who eats living things when he sleepwalks. If that doesn’t sound like something you want to see then there is nothing I (or anyone way more important than me!) can say about it that will change your mind. As the saying goes, ‘it does exactly what it says on the tin‘, and in fairness it’s really not a bad film and a refreshing change from anything else I’ve seen for a while. It knows it’s a low-budget B-movie, and it never strays far away from this path. I guess if it had a more serious tone and offered up a bit more blood and gore, or alternatively ramped up the comedy I would recommend it a lot more. As it is, Eddie is a harmless little film that whilst I wouldn’t recommend you go out of your way to catch, if you see it cheap or on TV then it may give you a chuckle or two.
I really, really love Voodoo Moon. It’s absolutely a guilty pleasure and I’ve watched it, I don’t know how many times by this point. I don’t know anybody else who has seen it though, unless it’s someone I made watch it, which is unfortunate because for a low-budget indie horror, it’s got a fabulous cast.
Starring Charisma Carpenter, Eric Mabius and featuring Dee Wallace and John Amos, this is the story of a brother (Cole) and sister (Heather) who survived a town massacre when they were kids. Now, it’s years later and they must return to fight the evil (SPOILER: It’s Satan!), which caused the massacre. Since that day, the brother has dedicated his life to fighting evil in all it’s many forms and has garnered a rich knowledge of spiritual knowledge ranging from Christianity to msyticism to voodoo, and has acquired a motley crew of extremely loyal people including bikers, ex-cons, cops and his ex-girlfriend who all show up to help him prepare for what may be his final battle.
Is there anything truly original here? Nope. And the story can get a bit convuluted at times since there are soooo many peripheral characters. Plus the backstory is somewhat confusing because of various backflashes and vague references. But overall the concept was, I thought, great. It might just be that I’m partial to good vs. evil stories involving humans and Satan or one of the fallen ones. I’ve always found that creepier than Leatherface chasing screaming teens. (I can probably blame my Southern Baptist upbringing for that…)
Then there’s the fact that Cole could only defeat Satan (or Daniel as he’s called here) by using a mixture of religions. There were some Christian aspects in there, the aforementioned voodoo, Catholicism, some Buddhism, and so on and so forth.
The final thing I loved so much is how some of his friends have these seemingly random supernatural powers themselves. One woman heals him of injuries and one guy can hear his voice in his head (and then yells out to whomever is standing around, “I’m coming little brother!”) Oh and Cordy’s all psychic (who saw that coming?). This totally leads to fun!
Voodoo Moon has a little bit of everything and borders on just this side of cheesy – I highly recommend!
Oh, J.C., you are a superstar. Not only are you the son of God but you are one multi-talented kick ass prophet! Thank your father for this movie which shows us all the ways in which you rock.
Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter is no ordinary movie, oh no. It’s a smorgasbord of good times and fun featuring the most excellent skills of one Jesus Christ, not to mention giving us a glimpse into our future world where vampires kill lesbians precipitating the second coming. (What? I don’t write this stuff, I just watch it.) Anywho, J.C. returns to earth to wreak havoc on the vampires and takes down some atheists along the way, ultimately saving the world, getting the girl and becoming best friends with a Mexican wrestling superstar.
How does he accomplish this? Why, with his kickawesome ninja skills of course!! Turns out our guy knows some serious martial arts. He kicks, he slices, he dices, he takes down at least 30 atheists in one scene alone! J.C.’s one heck of a fighter and he manages it all (or at least most of it) wearing a dress. I mean, robe.
J.C. also has an invisible deejay following him around to soundtrack his life, enabling him to not only break into song and dance in the middle of the street but also to inhabit several different personas. One second he’s Shaft, the next he’s ghetto fab white boy. I want a deejay to soundtrack my life now. Wonder where I find that?
After all this ninja’ing, singing and dancing, you’d think ole J.C. would want a break but no. See, having these skills just isn’t enough. J.C. constantly tries to top himself by becoming a drummer, a jazz musician, being a healer and ultimately stopping the vampire apocalypse. Is there anything this guy can’t do??? Apparently not!
So next time you feel alone and unsure in your life, watch Vampire Hunter and remember Jesus has totally got your back.