Patron Exclusive: Quinn Armstrong Interview Video

Quinn Armstrong / Survival Skills

Hey team. One of my favourite things to come out of last months Montreal Fantasia Festival was the interview I conducted with filmmaker Quinn Armstrong about this film, Survival Skills. The interview is written, but it was conducted over Zoom.

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As a bonus for the patrons, the video of my interview with Quinn Armstrong is now available as a patron-exclusive on Patreon.

Part of the plan moving forward is for more exclusives like this and a few other ideas that I have.

I really enjoy film blogging, but it also isn’t free. There are costs –both money and time– associated with doing it. That’s just the world we live in, so I am trying to make a bit more of a go of this.

The one question I get asked the most is, “when are you going to relaunch the podcast?” and that’s a fair question. The current answer is “when I have 25 patrons, ” so if you liked the podcast, please consider supporting it.




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Fantasia Review: ‘You Cannot Kill David Arquette’ is a sweet, silly, and entertaining documentary

You Cannot Kill David Arquette

When you think of David Arquette, you probably think of the lovable goofball from the Scream movies. I can say this confidently because that’s what most people think of him after he was typecast as that after the Scream movies.

I’m just tired of being the joke“, he says while atop his horse, Scooter, wearing a purple cape while vaping. Arquette feels, all at once, the loveable goofball you’re already thinking of and a slightly lost soul who wants a little respect. Introduced to professional wrestling through the 2000 film Ready to Rumble, he found a community that seemed ideally suited for him. A sport, a theatrical sport that appealed to his goofball nature.

But after a disastrous entry to the sport, in which he won the WCW World Championship to promote his movie, he lost the respect he so desperately needed. Eighteen years later, his career never having reached the heights it could have, and maybe should have, he decides to try to reclaim that respect.

This is a good movie, people.

Continue reading “Fantasia Review: ‘You Cannot Kill David Arquette’ is a sweet, silly, and entertaining documentary”

Fantasia Review: ‘Patrick’ is a sweet story of coming into ones own.


There’s something to be said for being naked. Everyone knows it, but naturalists live it. They spend all their time naked, or nearly so, while living their lives. These are normal people with normal lives; they just live in the nude when they can.

Patrick is the story of a mild-mannered handyman who lives with his parents in a nudist campground. He’s content, if unambitious, to continue fixing things and, in his spare time, build beautiful handmade wooden furniture. Patrick is a wizard in his woodworking shop, where he feels at home.

And then his father, patriarch of his family and owner of the campsite, suddenly passes away. Suddenly he has unruly tenants to deal with, a lothario rock star as a guest, a sly developer trying to bully him into selling the campground, and worst of all: his hammer is missing.

Continue reading “Fantasia Review: ‘Patrick’ is a sweet story of coming into ones own.”

Fantasia Interview: Amelia Moses on her film ‘Bleed With Me’

Amelia Moses / Bleed With Me

Bleed With Me is the first feature from Canadian director Amelia Moses. This slow-burn psychological horror film is rife with tension and atmosphere. As I said in my review earlier this week, this film is the type that should land Moses firmly on your radar for whatever she does next.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Moses via Zoom to speak about her movie, the process of getting it made, and about making a movie looking at a darker type of female relationship.

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Fantasia Review: ‘Fried Barry’ is excessive, but is it bold or juvenile?

Fried Barry

I will come right out and say that I did not get along with Fried Barry, but I can see why it resonates with some viewers. Grimy, greasy, seedy, and salacious, this film belongs to the cinema of excess, in which everything that happens to the lead character happens to the fullest extent that it can, complete with any undue side effects and grossness that might follow.

Is it bold or just juvenile? Honestly, I can’t quite tell.

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Fantasia Review: ‘Monster Seafood Wars’ is an homage to the silliest of Kaiju movies, but it’s not totally silly

Monster Seafood Wars

There are, broadly speaking, two kinds of kaiju films: those that are laden with metaphor, meaning, and subtext like 1954’s Godzilla, and those where giant monsters fight each other for the amusement of the audience like 1974’s Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla. I like both varieties of these movies, but it’s clear to me that Minoru Kawasaki loves the latter.

Monster Seafood Wars is in many ways a perfect homage to the silliest of the classic kaiju movies, complete with men in suits playing the monsters, ridiculously low tech effects, and a ridiculous storyline. The only thing it’s missing is space aliens.

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Fantasia Review: ‘The Oak Room’ weaves stories within stories to great effect

The Oak Room

On a cold winter night during a snowstorm, a man walks into a bar. The bar is deserted, but for the bartender. After a drink and some conversation, he offers to tell the bartender a story that starts like this:

On a cold winters night during a snowstorm, a man walks into a bar. The bar is deserted but for the bartender.

You might be sensing the start of a pattern, and you are not wrong. The Oak Room weaves together several stories, each told between a man and a bartender and appearing separate until they are not, of course.

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Fantasia Review: ‘Hail to the Deadites’ is an opportunity missed

Hail to the Deadites / Bruce Campbell

Some B movies go nowhere, and others become cult classics. People love this latter category of film. People go out of their way to see them in special screenings and to collect memorabilia. What makes these films resonate is a question worth examining. Not only do they have to have a certain je ne sais quoi about them, whether that is amazing effects, the cast having a great time, or them being perfectly of their place and time, but something causes them to connect with audiences profoundly.

Sam Raimi’s trilogy of Evil Dead movies are, all three of them, this type of movie. The Evil Dead, Evil Dead II, and Army of Darkness are all definitive cult classics with a wide fanbase. Hail to the Deadites, this new documentary about the fandom surrounding this trilogy, presents an opportunity to answer why and how these movies resonate.

It’s a pity then that it does not do that.

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Fantasia Review: ‘The Block Island Sound’ is suitably creepy

The Block Island Sound

Sometimes, I wonder if people in movies watch movies because when weird things start happening, like tons of dead fish washing up on the shore of a small, peaceful island, you’d think someone would say, “Wait, I have seen this before.”

Cut to Block Island. A small, peaceful island with a year-round population of less than a thousand and tons of dead fish washing up on the beaches. A marine biologist comes to town to investigate and finds more than she bargained for.

Yes, you have seen this setup before. Yes, this goes to some probably different places.

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Fantasia Interview: Quinn Armstrong on his film ‘Survival Skills’

Quinn Armstrong / Survival Skills

Survival Skills is a film I haven’t been able to stop thinking about since I first watched it. A biting satire of police training, it frames a cold hard look at the way police are trained to interact with the people they’re sworn to protect.

I watched and reviewed the film yesterday and today had the opportunity to sit down with writer and director Quinn Armstrong via Zoom to talk about police training videos, the timeliness of this satire, and what he hopes to expose with his film.

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Fantasia Review: ‘Hunted’ covers some well-worn revenge ground


The rape-revenge story is a well-worn film story. The bad man seems nice. The bad man gets the woman alone. The bad man reveals himself as bad man. Violence ensues. Hunted attempts to take a supernatural twist on this story, following our victim deep into a forest that will eventually become her ally.

Or so the pitch goes. The problem is that the film doesn’t really follow through on the pitch.

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Fantasia Review: ‘A Mermaid in Paris’ is a fun, heartfelt fantasy

A Mermaid in Paris (Large)

Unlikely couples are the hallmark of romantic comedies. People who hate each other, people from disparate backgrounds, and occasionally, a man and a mermaid.

A Mermaid in Paris is, shockingly, from this last group. A man, Gaspar (Nicolas Duvauchelle), finds the wounded mermaid Lula (Marilyn Lima) on the banks of the Seine one night and proceeds to nurse her back to health. In the process, they fall in love.

It’s not exactly a new setup, but when you filter this story through the mind and aesthetic of Mathias Malzieu, you end up with something that looks like a cross between the classic 80s film Splash and Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s 2001 classic Amélie.

Let me be clear: this is absolutely not a complaint.

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Fantasia Review: ‘PVT Chat’ can’t decide whether it’s honest or sleazy

PVT Chat

Art is a method for us to explore ourselves and our relationships. There’s bravery required to put yourself 100% out there, make yourself vulnerable, and place your raw feelings in front of an audience to examine. PVT Chat wants you to think that it has this kind of bravery. From the first frames, which see the main character, Jack, furiously masturbating to cam girl Scarlet, the film wants you to know that the film will be about sex, and it isn’t going to hold back.

Where, though, are the lines between bravery and sleaze, between honest portrayal and porn, lie?

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