Howdy! I’m Ribbie. I’ll be posting pocket reviews of films I’m covering for the 2022 edition of Fantastic Fest here at the Overlook Theatre. While I wouldn’t describe myself as a film critic, I have been considered a sort of tastemaker by some lowly individuals, and if you’re reading I have a feeling I know what your depraved ass might be into.
This year, like years past, offers a diverse selection of genre films ranging from horror to avant-garde to action to who knows what. The in-person event is currently crackin’ in Austin, TX, but for those of us that can’t make the trip, the FF@Home option gives you the opportunity to attend the festival from your couch or bed or sex dungeon at your leisure from September 29-October 4.
Join me here for coverage of all the wonderfully strange offerings the festival has to offer.
All Jacked Up and Full of Words
BORN TO SQUIRM.
Wild, goopy odyssey through the homicidal clown-filled alleys of Chicago. Goes places you wouldn’t think are even legal to depict and turns the dial even further when you think it couldn’t get any more daring. I admire the restraint of filmmaker Alex Phillips, as it feels like they’re holding back, and that’s saying something.
The deformed bastard child of Born to Win and Brain Damage; ALL JACKED UP AND FULL OF WORMS is a film made for the midnight crowd and is sure to gain quite the reputation once it's unleashed on the worm-sniffing general public.
You’d be forgiven for rolling your eyes at the premise of DEEP FEAR, a claustrophobic horror film set in the catacombs of Paris. You’ve seen The Descent with its glowstick-lit crawls through cramped spaces; You’ll get that here. And As Above, So Below and The Catacombs have used the setting, so how much more blood can be rung from this particular cloth? A healthy bucket apparently.
If you can get past some of the foolish decisions being made by our protagonists, you’ll have a blast. Deep Fear utilizes its 80 minutes expertly, filling the run-time with a gaggle of tense moments and scares.
I went in blind, only knowing the setting, and I suggest you do the same for maximum effect.
A sex worker asks a little person, their neighbor and the only person they know with a car, to borrow said car to drive her to see her sister. She isn’t telling the truth. UNIDENTIFIED OBJECTS is an equal parts playful and ominous road dramedy that plays fully with its cast and their place in society on their journey to meet beings from another world.
There isn’t a weak link in the entire cast, but Matthew Jeffers (who also acts as Producer) is MVP as the wounded Peter and I suspect this film and his performance are going to propel him into much deserved spotlight.
Life on the Farm
Meet Charles Carson. A farmer in Somerset, England with a penchant for filming almost every moment in his busy life, editing that footage together, and distributing the tapes to neighbors. With the tape’s cut and paste craftsmanship, Carson resembles a sort of 4H Wes Anderson, equal parts charmingly funny and painfully tragic. We watch our Farmer as he buries a beloved cat, births calves, and rides his tractor with a million dollar smile; All the while presumably moving the camera and setting up shots to make these videos something his neighbors would actually want to watch.
Charles Carson was a man ahead of his time and seemed to be bursting at the seams to express this fact, even if he didn’t know how to articulate it. LIFE ON THE FARM is a beautiful documentary with some truly strange visuals and a charismatic subject at the forefront.