Fantasia Film Festival: The Battery Review by Oz & Panagiotis Drakopoulos
Oz’s Take: THE BATTERY. WHO IS THE BATTERY? MICKEY (Actor/Producer Adam Cronheim)? BEN (Director/Writer/Producer/Actor Jeremy Gardner)? ME? YOU? Fuck zombie movies, fuck them all compared to this low budget masterpiece. I’ve seen it all “being an old man,” but this one, this one sparked my imagination.
I talked with the guys from the film and I can't say that I didn't leave impressed. Aggressive, energetic, projective, intense, personal, and ambitious, these fellas had all the proper dealing/recipe to make a fuck you soup. Fuck you standing for imagination, representation and expression, and not genital exercise. A beautiful zombie flick yet light on the zombies. The human person was the main star here. You are like this, I am like this but what WE are at the end of the world where our only neighbours/contact to walking flesh is zombies? Oh but don't say the z word, Mickey has issues dealing with this. Why? Cuz he has issues of letting go, letting go of yesterday, letting go of sanity, letting go of comfort and security. This new world isn't here to welcome you or hug you or keep you warm, this world is here to strip you bear boned. This world is here to fucking measure your mettle and what you are willing to do to survive. Ben is your guide to this reality and Mickey is a false hope that wants you to stick to your yesterday. A journey that tests both men to their limits, it was a pleasure and an honour being included on the ride.
Panagiotis’ Take: The Battery is one of those films that will leave you wanting more. Wanting you to feel uneasy and asking questions about humanity. The premise of the film follows two former baseball players Ben (Jeremy Gardner) and Mickey (Adam Cronheim) trying to survive the zombie apocalypse. Tension mounts between the two. Ben feels at easy living a nomadic and undomesticated life. While Mickey is unable to cope with his current living conditions and wants a static lifestyle, a bed, a woman, shelter, and to be social with human life (outside of Ben). The constant fighting between them leads to many twists and turn, and an horrifying ending. The Battery could easily take place in the same universe as The Walking Dead television series or any of George A. Romero zombie film. With a budget about $6000, this film does more with less. It’s all the story and the human drama of two people trying to survive in a world run by zombies. The Battery is a film that everyone should check out and experience for themselves. A true hidden gem and a game changer to the horror genre.
Fantasia Film Festival: DOOMSDAYS Review by Panagiotis Drakopoulos
DOOMSDAYS is one of the most unique films I’ve ever seen. It’s a comedy about preparing for the apocalypse. The story is about two friends Dirty Fred (Justin Rice) and Bruno (Leo Fitzpatrick) who are uncertain about the future due to the declining petroleum resources will lead to the collapse of the modern world. Instead of waiting for the end, both men decide to live life as a couple of vagabonds. Breaking into vacant homes and staying there until they run out of supplies or when the home owners return. This becomes a daily routine until they meet with up a runaway teenage named Jaidon (Brian Charles Johnson) and a woman at a party named Reyna (Laura Campbell) join the duo on their travels. This leads into huge shift within the group. DOOMSDAYS is great film with an awesome cast and a very original concept. The principal cast has a special bond between them, to a point where these fictional characters feel like real people. This from a strong script and direction from writer/director Eddie Mullins. I enjoy watching the film and planning on watching it again at the festival. I highly recommend this film and look forward for Mr. Mullins next project.
Fantasia Film Festival: Rurouni Kenshin Review by Panagiotis Drakopoulos
Rurouni Kenshin is based on the popular manga(comic) of the same name, created by Nobuhiro Watsuki, which appeared in Weekly Shonen Jump back in the mid 90s. The two plus hour film was able to cover the first major story arc of the comic. With some minor changes to the original source material. The film follows a wanderer named Himura Kenshin (Takeru Satoh), who wants to spend his days in peace. But a decade prior, he was a former assassin with a bloody past known as “Hitokiri Battosai.” While on his journey he meets the lovely and compassionate Kamiya Kaoru (Emi Takei) the owner of her late father’s dojo. After this faithful encounter between the two, Kenshin must wield his sword again to take down an evil businessman named Takeda Kenryu (Teruyuki Kagawa). Rurouni Kenshin is the perfect film for both a male and female audience. Insane and over the top action scenes mix with romance and a sprinkle of comedy all around. There are some issues I do have with the film. Some of the comedy bits during the most dramatic scenes in the film felt in weird and out of place, and trying to compress a long a comic story into a 135 minute film felt overwhelming. Yet, this is still a great film that got a loud applause from the audience when the credits rolled on screen. If Rurouni Kenshin is playing at your local cinema or film festival I highly recommend for you to watch this film.