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Another Hole in the Head, Fantasia, More

As the New York Asian Film Festival wraps today, the baton of genre weirdness passes on to San Francisco's Another Hole in the Head and Montreal's Fantasia International Film Festival, both opening today and running through July 29 and 28, respectively.

Michael Guillén has spotted some overlap in the Head and NYAFF programming and gathers reviews from Twitch, probably the site that's blanketed NYAFF most thickly. Also at Michael's site, The Evening Class, Peter Galvin presents a mini-roundup of his own covering The Exterminator, "a NY anomaly of gleeful macho-isms and vigilante justice in the wake of Death Wish (1974)," Lady Terminator, an Indonesian production that "does more than pay homage to the 1984 classic" and "is easily one of the better cheapo action flicks of the 80s," and Giorgio Moroder's Metropolis 1984 Redux. Also: "At 75 minutes, Death Kappa will be either just the right amount of fun or a real struggle, depending on how funny you find watching the big rubber suits crush plastic models."

Filmbalaya has posted well over a dozen reviews, nearly all of them accompanied by trailers, while, for SF360, Matt Sussman surveys the titles from Japan and the US before noting that some of the festival's "more riveting selections come from further afield... In the Romanian-set Strigoi British filmmaker Faye Jackson recasts the vampire myth in light of the recent political history of Dracula's actual homeland. Vlad initially seeks to pin blame for his grandfather's mysterious death on the village's creepy ex-Communist official, but soon finds out that the current ruling class has fangs of its own. And Icelandic entry Reyjavik Whale Watching Massacre earns points simply for the absurdity of its premise: What if Texas Chainsaw Massacre took place on a whale-watching cruise off the coast of Iceland?"

"Jon Turteltaub's The Sorcerer's Apprentice, a live action remake of Disney's classic animated feature Fantasia, will suitably open Montreal's Fantasia Film Festival," notes Etan Vlessing in the Hollywood Reporter. "Festival highlights include world premieres for The Shrine from Canadian director Jon Knautz (Jack Brooks Monster Slayer), US director Steven Monroe's I Spit On Your Grave, a remake of the notorious 1978 rape and revenge movie, Day of the Woman, to be released by Anchor Bay in October, and Frank Henenlotter's Herschell Gordon Lewis: The Godfather of Gore."

A slew of previews can be found at Dread Central and from Hour's Meghan Hicks and Melora Koepke: "We wrote last week about Fantasia's truly groundbreaking spotlight on current Serbian horror cinema. I want to stress that none of the films I've seen from this selection are gratuitously shocking or violent in any way. Rather, these are some of the most important and remarkable art films I've seen, and anyone interested in recent Balkan history, or artistic expression of the human condition, should check out these groundbreaking films." A Serbian Film (from which that top image comes) screens tonight and Saturday at the Roxie in San Francisco and in Montreal on July 16 and 19 in July.

Another highlight: Fantasia's lifetime achievement award will be presented to Ken Russell and there'll be a rare screening of his 1971 film, The Devils.

Update, 7/10: Twitch's Fantasia reviews are gathering here; Filmbalaya carries on posting reviews from the Head.



"A fascinating collection of rarely screened documentaries, many made in the midst of New York City's fiscal catastrophe of the 1970s and 80s, Anthology's Outer Boroughs on Film series starkly depicts the abject poverty of the era, while also honoring the rage, energy, and boosterism of those who made their homes in blighted, neglected neighborhoods." Melissa Anderson has an overview in the Voice. Tomorrow through Sunday.

At Little White Lies, Kit Vane Tempest previews this year's Melbourne International Film Festival, running July 22 through August 8.

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