Merry Christmas from MMC!
This year, MMC! brings you good tidings of great joy by way of the Film Junk short, A Very Gerry X-Mas! (Jay Cheel, 2010). Starring Reed Harrington, made by Jay Cheel (director of another MMC! favourite – Beauty Day), and featuring a brilliant opening sequence by Rob Niosi, A Very Gerry X-Mas! provides a quirky, awkward take on traditional holiday television programming. Part cooking show, part instructional video, part video confessional, part dream sequence, part fireside reading, this is all tongue-in-cheek, holiday goodness.
Happy holidays to everyone out there! Stay safe!
(And our next post will go up before the end of the year … and this time I mean it!)
The Saskatoon Fantastic Film Festival’s final day was even more massive than expected. With a packed program and an extra short film (moved from the previous day due to a technical issue), there was little downtime between screenings and the Festival’s final midnight show started late and wrapped well past 2:30 a.m. Those that saw the marathon day of screenings to its bleary end enjoyed without question the SFFF’s best block of films (plus some welcome giveaways for lucky attendees).
Next up, we offer a short film of short films – the indie-animated anthology Ghost Stories (2013). Containing 11 minimalist shorts, Ghost Stories is the product of various members of the Late Nite Work Club crafting these pieces between projects and classes. MMC! is particularly fond of Charles Huettner’s The Jump, Caleb Wood’s Rat Trap, and Alex Grigg’s Phantom Limb, although Ghost Stories is an impressively satisfying effort throughout. In fact, the omnibus format of Ghost Stories produces a convivial effect, expanding the regard for these shorts by placing them alongside one another and creating a whole greater than its parts.
The Saskatoon Fantastic Film Festival closed with a massive final day that included five feature films, five shorts, and screenings of the films participating in the Festival’s 48 Hour Movie Making Challenge. SFFF closed the four day run with a trio of Asian films – the Mo Brothers’ Headshot (2015), Yeon Sang-ho’s Train to Busan (2016), and Kôji Shiraishi’s Sadako vs. Kayako (2016) – that were collected to thrill audience members and get their communal adrenaline pumping. These efforts seemed to prove successful, but the best of Day 4 was found elsewhere and the final day offered some welcome surprises along the way.
FUCKKKYOUUU‘s artistic statement reads:
With the ability to travel in time, a lonely girl finds love and comfort by connecting with her past self. Eventually faced with rejection she struggles with her identity and gender, and as time unfolds onto itself only one of them can remain.
With that synopsis in mind, Eddie Alcazar’s short is a sensorial barrage that contrasts the sensual with the horrific and annihilates any comfortable, easily accessible relationship with the film’s concept. The sound design of Flying Lotus is chillingly ethereal and operates in brooding compliment to the film’s shadowy visuals and knife-cut inserts. FUCKKKYOUUU is a densely packed voyage into sci-fi horror with undeniable affect, one that gains depth and power with multiple viewings.
IS HE MAN OR ASTRO-MAN?
Something evil has drifted into Tokyo. High security banks have been mysteriously robbed with only murdered staff left to mark the crime. The police are baffled – no fingerprints, no weapons, no clues are found. The culprit is THE HUMAN VAPOR, an atomic age nightmare spawned of science-gone-mad! Once just a harmless librarian, a scientific experiment grants him the power to disintegrate into an indestructible gaseous thing. With a city on edge and journalists keenly following this fantastic figure of modern terror, the police pursue their only clue – a beautiful dancer with an unknown sponsor financing her comeback. Is she the key to stopping the Gas Man from ruthlessly killing again?
Following in the footsteps of their 1954 sci-fi classic Godzilla, director Ishiro Honda, special effects designer Eiji Tsuburaya, editor Kazuji Taira, and producer Tomoyuki Tanaka create a new story of irradiated horror, this time with a human face. The Human Vapor is presented here, for the first time, in high definition presentations of both the original Japanese version and the recut American version that transforms Honda’s film from a science fiction mystery into a flashback tale told by the Gas Man himself.
- New high definition digital transfer of the original Japanese cut of The Human Vapor and of the American version recut by Brenco Pictures
- High definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
- Original Japanese and English mono audio soundtracks (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
- Newly translated English subtitles for the Japanese soundtrack
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
- Audio commentary by actress Kaoru Yachigusa
- Interview with special effects designer Koichi Kawakita
- Half Man … Half Beast! – featurette on Eiji Tsuburaya’s special effects with special effects photographer Motoyoshi Tomioka
- Theatrical trailers
- Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing by David Kalat, an essay by special effects designer Koichi Kawakita, behind the scenes photos, and poster art