Fantastic Fest Day 2: Mothers Day, Zombie Roadkill, The Life and Death of a Porno Gang

Fantastic Fest Day 2

Mother’s Day 2010 Dir Darren Bousman United States
This was a day one midnight showing that had a press/public screening added on day two. The director, Kansas City native Darren Bousman has a fairly large cult following at this point having directed the first three Saw films and the working on cult status picture Repo: The Genetic Opera. The title is borrowed from a 1980 horror film, though that is about all the two films share. This doesn’t really fall into remake territory as the story is completely different. The writer, Scott Milam in the pre-show introduction that stated that its’ loosely based on a true events.

Mother’s Day is unrelenting, it starts off at full sprint and never really abandons the tension, thrills, and violence. The problem I had with it is that the film is populated with asshole characters that I was challenged to find any redeeming qualities in. There were a few I felt a bit of sympathy toward but they would often fall into gray areas that I would easily turn on them, just as most of them do in the film. So as people begin getting picked off one by one or forced to commit acts of violence upon each other I had a hard time feeling anything as they were taken down. Being from Bousman, there are some gory just shy of torture porn level violence and blood spilled on screen though he did confess to cutting some of the more hardcore stuff in the post-screening Q&A.

The highlights of Mothers Day are easily Rebecca De Mornay as the mother. She plays the role with a perfect balance of sweet and apologetic one minute and a menacing psychopath the next. The other highlight is a couple of scenes where friends are forced to chose between taking their friend’s life or having their own ended.

I give Mother’s Day 2.5 “Milk and Cookies” out of 5

Zombie Roadkill 2010 dir David Green United States
This was easily my day two surprise. I had gotten shut out of my first two choices for this time slot which was secret screening one, later reveled to be I Saw the Devil and Rubber. Thus I was walking into Zombie Roadkill a bit bummed out as it was the third choice and it is a thirty minute short, I guess you could call it. Zombie Roadkill is a web series that will be premiering October 4 on Fearnet.com. Having now seen the entire thirty minute series I would highly recommend you tune in.

Just about everyone involved with the show behind the scenes from the writer to the director has worked with Sam Raimi. Further Raimi’s Ghost House Pictures put up the production cost of Roadkill Zombies. If that isn’t reason and hint enough as to why you should seek this out, I’m not sure I can help you.

I give Zombie Roadkill 4 “eyeballs” out of 5

The Life and Death of a Porno Gang 2009 Dir Mladen Djordjevic
Midnight movie number one of the fest for yours truly is a spiritual cousin of the much talked about Serbian Film, it was even introduced as such. After now having taken both films in all I can say is what the hell is going on in the Balkans? Though in that same breath I would have to say, bless them for having the courage to make these types of films revolving around pornography and grotesque violence. The Life and Death of a Porno Gang follows a director as he gets a traveling porno act off the road after having difficulty becoming a director. Of course the towns they travel to are not all that accepting of the live sex acts the group performs and are constantly on the go. Before long a snuff film producer hooks up with the would be director with a business proposition that is financially too good to pass up.

What follows is an erotic snuff mix. Not sure if it was the time of day, make that morning, in which I chose to take in The Life and Death of a Porno Gang but I had a tough time making it through, the film much like Serbian Film is sick, twisted, and outright depressing at times.

I give The Life and Death of a Porno Gang 2.5 crudely drawn penises out of 5

By John Coovert

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