Monday, September 21, 2009

Michael Fassbender Film Festival Wrap Up

[Edited to add larger Blood Creek movie poster image]

Last night I drove 35 minutes to the one theater that was playing 'Blood Creek' the closest to me here in Michigan. I asked Laurie if she wanted to go but she passed on it and said that for me to drive "so far" demonstrated my "commitment" to Fassbender. Fuck Yeah! I have a job - writing for FF, and to drive just 35 minutes to watch and review a film starring the subject of this blog, it was a no brainer. And I'm glad I did it. I've driven such distances for only a few films previously, and those were Oscar nominated Best Picture films, so, although Creek isn't that caliber, it is a Michael Fassbender film! And based on how the film's distributor, Lionsgate, unceremoniously and quietly placed this movie at select second run theaters in select cities throughout the country, it was now or very, very later.

Had I been thinking, I would have taken my digital camera with me to take a picture of the movie poster. But since I rarely go to the $2.50 movies, I didn't know if they would even have a movie poster since Lionsgate was going all El Cheapo on the promotion for Creek. But low and behold, there was a movie poster for Creek and it was quite cool and very creepy looking. The image above you see is what I found on the internet. Apparently someone else had the idea to take a cell phone picture of the movie poster when they went to the theater, and it's a crummy photo, but it gives you the gist of the image. You see the back of Michael's head with ancient rune symbols that the Nazis admired. Upon looking at Michael's character 'Wirth' in this film, any decent horror fan would see a resemblance to Pinhead in HellRaiser, and Sam Neill's deranged character in Event Horizon. The makeup was awesome. But I'll get to that later.

As I posted on FassFass last night, I rate the movie a solid B. I'm pleased that this was just a straight up horror film dealing with the occult and supernatural. It wasn't a senseless slasher film, and thankfully, there was no bloody T&A or helpless female victims which is sadly common in most horror films. The movie starts out with Prof. Wirth, played by Michael, coming to the Wollner family's farm as a visiting scholar. They were financially enticed to allow him to stay with them, but they soon find out that he came there on Nazi business to conjure up evil powers to ensure that the master race reins on Earth. The first 12 minutes of the film was in black and white because it took place in 1936. And they spoke in German with subtitles, so we have Michael speaking in perfect German again and looking very sexy in his long leather coat. The filming of the intro sequence was nice because it made Michael look like a 1930's movie star. Some of the upclose camera shots of him were breathtaking. I guess that's to give the false impression that this handsome man was there on German scholarly business - but that was an allusion, he was there to start some shit.

Flash forward almost 60 years, two brothers, Dominic Purcell and Henry Cavill, have some vengeful business to deal with on the Wollner farm. When they meet up with Wirth, he's pissed off, hungry, and raising the dead to kill them. Michael's unrecognizable in the rest of the film due to the makeup he's wearing, but he does a great job with what he's got to work with. I enjoyed Creek because it was original in its storytelling, but it did suffer from some editing, pacing, and most of the action takes place at night, making it difficult to see what's happening in great detail. Wirth was a nasty mofo and he got what he deserved in the end, especially when the tension built up and you didn't know if the brothers would succeed or not. It's unfortunate that this low budget but decent horror film did not get proper distribution treatment from Lionsgate. So many other absolutely dispicable, misogynistic, outrageously bloody horror movies get wide release, but not Blood Creek. However, unlike many other decent and interesting horror films, at least it's being shown at some theaters, others just go straight to DVD or the SciFi channel. Just FYI, there were about 30 people in the theater with me last night.

I was reading on Twitter yesterday before going to the movie, and I saw that many other Blood Creek movie goers had to drive great distances to go see this movie too. Many were hardcore Dominic Purcell fans, and the others were just hardcore gore fans. I doubt that Blood Creek will be at the $2 movies beyond this week, so the lot of you, especially those of you overseas, will have to wait until the DVD comes out, or keep an eye out at, a website for horror film fans. They may do something for Creek in October like how they did for Clive Barker's Midnight Meat Train last year when LIONSGATE screwed up that film's theatric distribution and release. Fearnet broadcasted MMT out of respect to Horror Master Clive Barker on their website last year around Halloween, I watched it online myself.

Even if you don't like horror movies, this one is not as grisly as the horror films I usually watch. It's more supernatural than anything, and if human and horse zombies don't scare you, check out Blood Creek when you can.


Here are two images of Fish Tank director Andrea Arnold from the Friday, September 11th screening at the Toronto Int'l Film Festival. Me and two MFO ladies were sitting higher up in the auditorium while Fish Tank was on the screen. But when the Q&A with Andrea commenced, we went down to the 2nd row to see her better.

She answered a few fan questions, and just talked about the filming process of Fish Tank and how she found the brilliant Katie Jarvis. After the Q&A, I approached Ms. Arnold and shook her hand, told her how much I enjoyed Fish Tank. I also informed her that I saw Red Road and loved it and knew then that I had to see Fish Tank. Then I proudly declared to her that I was a huge Michael Fassbender fan, to which she smiled and said thanks in regards to my praise about her films. Very nice lady. She apparently did another Q&A at the Saturday screening that my friend Laurie and her husband went to. I'm pleased to report that Laurie, her husband, and my friend Glenn all enjoyed Fish Tank. However, as of yesterday, the TIFF awards were presented, but Fish Tank didn't win anything. That's ok, this film is not everyone's cup of tea, and how can you really compete with the Pre-Oscar film pimping done by Queen Oprah for 'Precious'? (sarcasm)

So, I have seen three new Fassbender films within four weeks and I enjoyed all of them. It appears that Michael is flying under the radar at the moment as there's been no sight or sound from him. Other than interviews and photo shoots done months and weeks in advance that have been unveiled in the past week, the man is hunkered down somewhere and I just hope he's taking it easy and enjoying life.

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