In todays edition of FanTasia Festival 2004, you will hear about a film entitled Thundercrack!, which gives the disgusting Pink Flamingos a run for its money along with a film Dom’s calls “sheer poetry”, Blueberry. Read on for Dominic F. Marceau’s full report from Day Eleven FanTasia…
I knew that tonight’s crop of cinematic oddities was going to be on the “out there” side of things, so I put on “The Residents” classic album “Third Reich & Roll” as I drove to Concordia University. I figured that if I was going to get my head messed up, might as well start early!
Speaking of early, I was up to my usual tricks when I got there an hour before our first presentation was about to start. Since I had time to kill, I decided to visit the makeshift DVD store that “Archambault” has put up on Concordia’s second floor. What a neat idea! Do you like the types of movies shown at FanTasia? Well, some of them are for sale up there! You will definitely find a cure for your Genre Cinema Blues! Being rather on the poor side these days (I’m doing this for free, you know!), I just looked at the “menu” and made my way back down to the main lobby to wait for the doors to open. Well, wait I did. The screening was delayed, a rarity at the FanTasia festival, so I struck a conversation with the guy behind me. His name was Jason and he was covering the festival for CJLO Radio here in Montreal. My first conversation with a fellow reporter! Finally, someone who feels my pain! We talked about “The Devil’s Rejects” and how awesome it should be, and how we were pleased by this year’s festival. Finally, after a delay of half an hour, we were let in, along with the hundreds of people waiting outside in the rain, to see this eagerly awaited film: Jan Kounen’s Blueberry.
First off, what a sight! This film is sheer poetry under a layer of dust. If you thought Sam Raimi had reinvented the way westerns are shot with “The quick and the dead”, well, you’re in for a surprise. Here, Kounen utilizes every camera trick, every special effect, every subtle, and not so subtle, nuance to tell his story. He had to because, let’s be honest for a second. We’ve seen this story before. But never told like this. Not since Jim Jarmusch’s damn-near-perfect “Dead Man” has a western amazed me as much. It provokes you to rethink your purpose in life and tells you it’s Ok to fight for one’s salvation. And now for the bad stuff. This film would have been on my top ten list for this year if it had had a different actor play the part of the deputy. Alas, this is not the case. Vincent Cassel is the most pathetic excuse for a western star I have ever seen! This French actor, usually very effective (“La Haine” anyone?), does a pitiful job at faking an old west accent. Ok. It’s stated that he comes from Louisiana, I’ll buy that. But all he does is come off sounding like a baaaaaaaad Elvis Presley impersonator from France! I couldn’t help but giggle my ass off every time he said, “How-dee, Part-e-ner”! It completely took me out of the film, which is a shame because there’s a lot of really great things in there…
Speaking of great things, I ran across the street to the De Sève Theatre for the showing of the infamous Thundercrack! As I sat down, I noticed that they were playing the classic “Talking Heads ’77” album, which is a personal favorite. Well, that’s as great as it got. Here’s the “story” in a nutshell: A few horny men and women are forced to take refuge in an old house whose owner is whacked out of her mind and has many secrets. There, they will have sex with each other and discover facets of their past. That’s about it. Call the Academy!
Speaking of beasts, the only horror aspect of the film is that one of its main characters has un-simulated sex with a gorilla! Well, it wasn’t a real gorilla. Does that make it a simulated gorilla? (My head hurts!) And a two hour forty minute porn film? Come on! I’ll take the 55-minute “Deep Throat” back-to-back three times over this turkey any day!
And Linda Lovelace is prettier than ANY gorilla I’ve ever seen!
Cut to credits.