Fantastic Fest 2010 Halfway Point Wrap-up Part 2

by Eric Melin on September 27, 2010

in Blogs

For a summary of Fantastic Fest 2010 Days 1 and 2, click here. Here are summaries and movie-review haikus for Days 3 and 4:

Day 3 – Saturday, 9/25/10

The third day featured the presentation of a lifetime achievement award to director and fight choreographer of “The Matrix” and “Kill Bill,” Yuen Woo Ping. There to present the award was Wu Tang member and film composer RZA. Two of the directors’ films screened. His new film “True Legend,” and “Snake in the Eagles Shadow,” the undisputed classic starring Jackie Chan.

Here is audience-shot video of the award presentation:

But the most notorious event of the night happened at the “Chaos Reigns” karaoke party, when the Rza, Elijah Wood, directors Nacho Vigalondo, Eugenio Mira, Fantastic Fest co-found Tim League, and others performed a rambunctious rendition of that one Black Eyed Peas song most people pretend to hate.

I managed to see five films, but of the ones I did not see, “Kidnapped,” “Drones,” and “True Legend” all had positive word of mouth.

Sound of Noise – rock fist way up
Criminal drummers
Make a city their instrument
And their crimes music

Red Hill – solid rock fist up
On a cop’s first day
A town’s past returns angry
And heavily armed

We Are What We Are - minor rock fist down
When their father dies
Three cannibal siblings look
For a bite to eat

Rammbock – solid rock fist up
Heartbreak and zombies
Even if it’s the end of the world
Being dumped still hurts

Stake Land – solid rock fist up
A “Lone Wolf and Cub”
On “the Road” to a place where
Vampires don’t suck

Day 4 – Sunday, 9/26/10

Yesterday started out as the most low key day so far, with all films now taking place at the Drafthouse. It didn’t end that way, however. Since 2008 there has been an event called “Fantastic Debates” where two people, usually involved in the industry, debate a topic for several minutes then follow it up by strapping on boxing gloves and duking it out. The last two years were a little disappointing since the fighting seemed perfunctory at best.

And while the second bout, arguing the merits of “Lost” based on its approach to time travel, apparently was mostly comedic, the third and final bout both featured real and bloody fighting. What made this all the more remarkable was the fact that Tim League fought “Girl Fight” star Michelle Rodriguez after debating whether “Avatar” should have won best picture. Tim’s wife Karrie even came out shortly before the fight dressed in funeral garb. Surprisingly, he held his own against her and the match ended in a draw. The footage from the event that I found so far is a bit of the debate portion of the first bout, with the Zellner Brothers arguing the pros and cons of video games.

Of the films I didn’t see, “Bedeviled” had almost universal praise, while “Outrage,” and “Carancho,” also had great word of mouth.

Ip Man 2 – solid rock fist up
Kung fu and boxing
Even if they did happen
The fights are unreal

Hatchet 2 – minor rock fist up
That Victor Crowley
Sure does love murdering folks
In damn funny ways

Bunraku – solid rock fist up
You may see the strings
But samurais and cowboys
Make awesome puppets

In the Attic – solid rock fist up
Whimsical and odd
I still can’t help but root for
The evil statue

The in-depth daily wrap ups are still coming, so keep an eye out for them. You can check in with my frequently updated Twitter account (@chinesedentist).

Bring on the second half of Fantastic Fest!

Eric is the Editor-in-Chief of and writes the Screen Stealers column for The Pitch. He’s President of the KCFCC, and drummer for The Dead Girls and Ultimate Fakebook. He is also Air Guitar World Champion Mean Melin. Eric goes to 11. Follow him at:

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