[MOTELx 2017] A Disgusting Art-Film And A Murder Mystery Make The Second Day of MOTELx

Day two of MOTELx — Lisbon International Horror Film Festival came with a rather weird lot of movies, from a Vietnamese story in fragments, to what is continuously being called “the most disgusting film ever”; passing by some guy called Dave that made a maze that’s bigger on the inside.

Curious? Let me tell you all about it!


First on my watching list was Vietnamese film Kfc. It had an interesting revenge premise, by a new director, Lê Bình Giang; that while in film school tried to make this happen, but was denied by the Council of Examiners of that same school for being “too violent”. Three years and a few short films later, he was able to complete his movie.

In fact, this film is quite violent and grotesque in several graphic ways, with a storytelling that much resembles Christopher Nolan’s Memento, as the story is told in fractions and we’re left to figure it out how it pieces together.

There are also a few aspects where you see that Lê Bình Giang was trying to keep from making a traditional school project, while showing off likely skills he picked up during his studies, such as a recreation of bullet-time, shortly choreographed fight scenes and use of visual effects, with realistic body parts that if you pay close attention, you’re able to rest assured it something edible.

But its with the raw, local, feel of the city, along with a an incredible camerawork, that we’re hooked onto a story that leaves us thinking about how things are done on that side of the world, since the country is highly known for its censorship toward sex and political issues, that might conflict the institution with the country itself.

Seeing how a passion project turned into a fully produced film, against the odds of a so-called higher power, one thing is true: Whatever Lê Bình Giang does next, he sure isn’t going to hold himself back.

Dave Made a Maze

When Dave’s girlfriend walks through the door, she’s face with a cardboard maze that Dave built. It sounds stupid, but once Dave tells her he’s lost because it’s bigger than it looks, and he won’t let anyone go inside. Then, more people arrive at the house and things take an unexpected adventurous turn as Dave’s friends go in to rescue him and discover the secret beneath. Yup, this is the story of Dave Made A Maze.

The laws of logic are defied in Bill Watterson directing debut, where we’re not even sure if someone really dies or just turns into a craft project. Never has a paper cut been taken more seriously.

There’s a sense of discovery, as well as a sense of weirdness, has we see the very DIY and handmade scenery, like the paper filled room and origami birds. It’s definitely weird, no doubt about it, but it’s as exciting as one could wish for. In fact, everything is made of paper and trash. leaving the audience perplexed, just as the characters.

After a while, the novelty passes and we’re left with a clichéd story that loses itself due to the uninteresting and unintelligent characters, that just aren’t quite able to keep up with the films specific idea. This is unfortunate, as had there been a better ensemble, it wouldn’t have fallen apart so easily.

At the end, all we know is that we spent the last hour and a half in a surrealistic world filled with details, that will keep you on your feet. Including a puppet show. But once the fun wears off, there isn’t much left to enjoy in discovering why the heck did Dave make a maze.


Before I start, do understand that I never really wanted to watch this. Between a shady reputation of being “the grossest movie ever” and the trailer looking like true nightmare fuel, wasn’t aiming to spend two hours on Kuso.

But I did. And it was… weird. For starters, it wasn’t as gross as I would expect. Mind you, it’s still pretty disgusting at times, but you’ll get over it. I think.

Secondly, there’s a lot of reading between the lines if you except to understand minimally anything you see, hear and feel about on screen. It’s not an easy movie to watch and consider this your full disclaimer.

When an earthquake hits Los Angeles, survivors are infected with some sort of disease that has their flesh rot. Bare with me.

Intertwined with different characters in this messed up universe, Steven Ellison a.k.a. music genius Flying Lotus, writes and directs something unlike you’ll ever see again.

After all, I can’t quite recommend this movie to anyone. It’s not the most pleasant of experiences. However, I can say that different is the word I’m going to define Kuso and I mean, if you’re into this sort of stuff, then there will definitely be something here for you to enjoy and appreciate. But for the rest of us, maybe we should stick to other kinds of storytelling.

Él Bar (The Bar)

Now for the highlight of my day: The Bar

When a well frequented street in Madrid becomes deserted after a man gets shot in broad daylight, a group of people are locked in a local café, all trying to figure out why they are being targeted.

What follows is a very Spanish twist to a classic story that’s been told for ages. Is the killer among them? Why is there someone picking them off? Who are the men in black outside burning tires an making smoke? These are some of questions that need to be answered in order to understand the issue in hand.

While everyone is fighting with each other, it’s become clear they’re not getting any help from the outside world, forcing each other to have work together. Obviously things don’t work out as they should and not everything is what it seems.

That’s it out, that this fast-paced thriller is as exciting as you would expect from Spanish veteran Álex de la Iglesia, leaving the audience intrigued at every turn, while the plot grips us in ways no other filmmaker will. It might not be his best film, but it’s definitely up there!

That’s it from me today. Tomorrow you can expect reviews from Australian kidnap thriller Hounds of Love, A-List actor indie The Bad Batch, and low-key alien cult hit The Endless.

Originally published at creators.co on September 7, 2017.




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Ricardo Du Toit

Ricardo Du Toit

Aspirant filmmaker and pop-culture geek! Follow me on Twitter @RicardoDuToit

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