|Title:||The Beach Party at the Threshold of Hell|
|Director:||Jonny Gillette, Kevin Wheatley|
Other Movies Seen By This Director (0)
|09.26.06||Alamo South Lamar||This Screening is part of event: FantasticFest 2006|
Today's Fantafest started with this post-apocalyptic movie that I'd pretty much heard nothing about. Hey, post-apocalypse? I'm there... even though people in the theater were guessing at a strong Six String Samurai vibe... which, since I saw it alone on my tv instead of some "perfect" sxsw audience, was not good news. It is kinda like Six String Samurai in that it's post-apocalyptic and a comedy and really really cheap, but that's about where it ends. For one, I actually enjoyed this movie... and for another it didn't give me a headache so... bonus.
I thought of this as a bad movie that I enjoyed though... the beginning is chock full of weird exposition since the movie is sort of structured like a TV documentary... well, sort of. It's like a crappy DV indie movie with an intruding TV doco busting in whenever it wants to. There's animation, there's historical footage, cheap CG graphics, and talking head interviews all kind of slopped together in a noisy soup of set up and character background. If you aren't immediately tickled by it all, it gets pretty grating. My friend wrote a note saying "I hate this movie" and passed it on.
But then it grows on you... by getting better. The exposition fades away as stuff starts to happen and the DV indie sort of takes over, pushing the TV doc out of the spotlight and the movie finds its rythm. My friend took his note off the table at a certain point and ended up liking it by the end.
For me, that's largely due to the lead actor... and I guess writer and co-director. Dude's like a cross between George Clooney and Vincent D'Onofrio with some Jack Burton sprinkled on top. His character... you know, I don't feel like getting into any of the story stuff... it's just too crazy. I mean, if the movie needs a half hour to set it all up, how am I gonna do it here in one paragraph? he just has the tailored "cool" role and plays it nicely.
So yeah... this was goofy and funny and kinda crappy but not so much to let it get you down. It was a fun time.
It also had a pretty decent short before it. Since the time has kind of crunched between my sleep and making it to the theater, I've stopped mentioning the shorts but they're still there, in front of most screenings to soak up time. There's been maybe two i didn't hate and this is one of them. It's a quick little scene between an old guy (the man who smokes in x-files) and a salesman and we find out as they talk that the guy's trying to buy a replacement body... but he doesn't have enough money. So the company that makes the artifical bodies has this employment plan to work off the bill but it basically turns you into a slave for 100 years... but the old guy has cancer so it's a basic choice between death and enslavement for 100 years. It manages to speak about some human truth while being interesting and entertaining and, most important for a short, short. So I was happy with that one... they should all be so good.
Afterward, I went to Greg Nicotero's panel. This was kind of a shame because I'd heard the ComicCon Grindhouse trailer was going to play... which was gonna be awesome. Unfortunately, we got the word one degree away from nicotero himself that it wasn't going to play. Why? Well apparently Robert Rodriguez was gonna come by and moderate the panel and present the footage to us but he's in LA. I can't speak to how or why he didn't make it but... that sucks. And it sucks worse for those of us who knew what we were missing.
Nevertheless, Greg played some clips from previous work and talked over them and paused them to tell us stories about the jobs and directors. The big surprise for me ended up being finding out that they had done the make-up effects on UHF, Weird Al's movie... I love that movie and knowing that makes me love it just a little more.
So it was still a fun time, still well worth going to. Something like this always makes for a good excuse to put someone in a position to hear all the typical things you really want to ask but don't when you actually talk to him in fear of coming off as too fanboyish. Kinda like when your parents visit town so you can go do all the corny touristy stuff that locals snicker at. Not that I talk to Greg Nicotero at all... but if i did, I'd have all these bases covered.