New York Asian Film Festival ‣ 地獄の花園

I checked out based solely on the title, hoping for simply in an office setting, and if that’s what you’re expecting too — I am here to enthusiastically say you won’t be disappointed. The film was originally titled , but I think for Western audiences this title swap was a no-brainer, since it’s what got me in the door, and promises were most definitely kept. The film played at Fantasia, and will also be screening as part of the New York Asian Film Fest which is currently running.


I wish more boutique labels would follow suit with Severin and do a podcast. It’s a great way for the curators of the label to not only keep fans updated on what’s going on with the day to day workings of the label, but to help give us context as to why they chose particular films and why they’re worth picking up. I mean, given how deep some labels are digging for these hidden gems nowadays, it’s a great way to deliver some context for the film fan who may not be up on that particular sub-genre or director. I…


For genre in 2021 one of the biggest standouts for me personally was Prano Bailey-Bond’s surreal psychological masterwork . I caught the film during its Sundance premiere (Read my review here) and the film has stuck with me since. Its the story of Enid (Niamh Alga), a film censor in the UK’s Video Nasty era who slowly unravels after she believes she sees her sister, who was abducted when she was a child in a horror film she’s tasked with reviewing. …


Glenn Danzig’s feature length directorial debut which was culled from his own long running comic book imprint, brought a level of insanity rarely seen to the horror genre. It was a mix of Video Nasties Era Gore, 50’s camp and goth pinup cheesecake — that felt syphoned directly from the man’s ID and projected on screen. While some simply enjoyed using the film as an excuse to take potshots at the Misifts frontman, I personally thought they missed the point. …


In the late 80's/early 90’s there was a classification, or rating if you will, in Hong Kong called Category III. These were films that “No persons younger than 18 years of age were permitted to rent, purchase, or watch in the cinema.” While of course soft-core porn usually fell under this umbrella, so did some of the more notable in Chinese transgressive Cinema — and These were films that trafficked in not only extreme visuals, but sometimes paired them with some extreme ideas as well.


As far as my favorite genre to come from an American filmmaker this year, my current go to is Travis Stevens’ genderswap of the classic metamorphosis metaphor, In this case it’s the rare film I not only sought out on my own, but purchased in a brick and mortar store, after hitting three Best Buys trying to score a copy. The film stars Barbara Crampton, who’s become a trusted name in horror for me, since her choice in projects definitely lead me to believe her criteria for…


I love movies, so naturally I love documentaries about them and when I read the synopsis for I was immediately transfixed. A doc about a rarely seen cult “shot on video” film from Uruguay, seemed like the perfect combination of my love of outsider art, dead formats and nostalgia — all wrapped into one. The film is the story of the director’s (Emilio Silva Torres) love for a regional film from 1989, by Manuel Lamas, that was shot and released in Uruguay during the VHS boom. The beginning of the…


is the latest from filmmaker Richard Bates Jr. and has the genre director trying his hand at comedy with this film that is currently screening at Fantasia. The film follows Thorn (Matthew Gray Gubler), a Wiccan who seemingly has it all — leader of a wonderful coven, an internet-based, bird-bath business, respect from his peers, and a loving partner (Angela Sarafyan). But when he’s invited to his high school reunion a dark secret is unleashed upon his perfect existence — Thorn was popular in high school and even played organized sports. …


I love Japanese films which sound like a slice of life type scenario gone horribly wrong and Masashi Yamamoto’s fit that bill to a T. The film is the story of the debt-ridden Sasayas who are moving out of their mansion in the burbs of Tokyo thanks to their father’s gambling debts to the Yakuza. When he offhandedly mentions having better times before departing their home, the daughter posts an open invitation on Twitter for a farewell party. …


One of the standouts of Richard Bates Jr’s latest is a familiar face to fans of HBO’s . Angela Sarafyan has been playing the robot host Clementine Pennyfeather now for nearly a decade and in , which is premiering at Fantasia she plays Willow, the partner of Thorn, leader of a coven of hipster Wiccans. When Thorn is invited to his high school reunion, Willow discovers a dark secret about her partner that threatens to tear their relationship and coven apart. Think meets

Dan Tabor

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