Brisbane 2011 Film Festival - Fantastic Fest Weekend
Following the initially fascinating but ultimate tedium of black-magic mumbo-jumbo Shaw Brothers kung-fu oddity The Boxer's Omen as the highly anticipated 'Mystery Film' choice, Sunday evening's Drive-In Delirium Presents... double bill mash-up was something to get seriously geeked out about.
Following the initially fascinating but ultimate tedium of black-magic mumbo-jumbo Shaw Brothers oddity The Boxer's Omen (1983) as the highly anticipated 'Mystery Film' choice from Fantastic Fest, Sunday evening's Drive-In Delirium Presents... double bill mash-up was something to get seriously geeked out about. Ozploitation extraordinarie Mark Hartley (Not Quite Hollywood) and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema's 'Weird Wednesday' programmer Lars Niels presented their film clip compendiums; the first of which, Trailorpalooza, compiled a collection of cult film trailers plucked from the last 50 years and featured some of the most ludicrously over-the-top scenarios ever conceived. What was most surprising however was the calibre of former Hollywood heavy-weights who actually agreed to sign up to such straight-to-the-trash can concepts. Ray Millard in The Thing with Two Heads - a supposedly humorous transplant tale with a white man/black man splicing that defies definition; Joan Crawford in (what ultimately became her swansong) Trog - an exploitative and blatant King Kong rip-off featuring one of the most woeful pre-historic ape suits known to man in an hilariously implausible but apparently deadly serious yarn about a killer anthropoid on the loose. Then there was the cautionary LSD expose The Big Cube with an aging Lana Turner and singer Cher popping up as the titular tear-about Chastity: "a bummer, a drop-out, a looser" as the trailer narrator dead-pans. Funniest of all was the Z-grad SFX flying critter contraption at the centre of The Giant Claw or the screen's most laughably lame men-in-monster-suit threat ever imagined for The Alligator People. But perhaps most notorious was The Mutations - an apparent Freaks re-hash from (of all people) renowned cinematographer Jack Cardiff and Cripled Avengers - Shaw Studios mentally handicapped Kung Fu extravaganza that has the audacity to proclaim itself as "A sophisticated story of the handicapped". Firm favourites Enemy of the Ants, Ivan Reitman's debut Cannibal Girls, The Baby and titillatingly Jesus Franco's Sadomania - (half-naked lesbian fighting squad) all make welcome appearances interspersed with corny cautionary 'Intermissions' on fire hazards and drug abuse - the later of which featuring Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry mode warning audiences about the deadly consequences of cocaine. This was aptly pursued by a vintage "Coming at Ya!" advertisement for 3D features - tailed by shorts to the freaky feature Parasite - which is apparently deemed too shocking to show in a 3D trailer - and Pieces: "It's exactly what you feel inside!". Lars Niels contribution - 50 Best Kills - compiled some of the most elaborate deaths to ever grave the silver screen and hilariously commenced with Brad Pitt's roadside comeuppance in Meet Joe Black. All the infamous screen demises were present and correct: Scanners' exploding head scene, Raiders' melting Nazis showdown and the notorious ice-cream girl shooting in John Carpenter's Assault on Precinct 13. But also included were some nice unfamiliar oddities including the Godzilla rip-off Light Blast - featuring plastic miniature dinos in a surprisingly vile duel to the death, Yaphet Kotto's elongated death scene in Vigilante and the melting-corpse-due-to-dodgy-wine death in Street Trash. Rambo, Driller Killer, Maniac, Peter Jackson weirdy Bad Taste and, err, Paul Reiser's sudden death scene in One Night At McCools were all accountable too. Ideal double-bill viewing material for any drunken geekish movie night in. When's the DVD out boys?
Oliver Pfeiffer is a freelance writer who trained at the British Film Institute. He joined OWF in 2007 and now contributes as a Features Writer. Since becoming Obsessed with Film he has interviewed such diverse talents as actors Keanu Reeves, Tobin Bell, Dave Prowse and Naomie Harris, new Hammer Studios Head Simon Oakes and Hollywood filmmakers James Mangold, Scott Derrickson and Uk director Justin Chadwick.
Previously he contributed to dimsum.co.uk and has had other articles published in Empire, Hecklerspray, Se7en Magazine, Pop Matters, The Fulham & Hammersmith Chronicle and more recently SciFiNow Magazine and The Guardian. He loves anything directed by Cronenberg, Lynch, Weir, Haneke, Herzog, Kubrick and Hitchcock and always has time for Hammer horror films, Ealing comedies and those twisted Giallo movies.
His blog is: http://sites.google.com/site/oliverpfeiffer102/