Some films that I was able to catch last year at Fantasia last year have just been released so I’m just doing a quick reposting of parts of the three reviews and links to the original reviews. Those films are Fried Barry, a nutty, experimental sci-fi film about a man being abducted by aliens, which is now a Shudder Original Film available to stream on Shudder…
The Paper Tigers is a martial arts film with a lot of heart three Kung Fu prodigies who are now middle-aged men who try to avenge the death of their master, that is now available online…
Also streaming on digital, too, is Chino Moya’s strange, otherworldly anthology, Undergods, about a Europe in decline, in a collection of darkly humorous, fantasy tales about ill-fated characters and doomed fortune. It wasn’t for me, but it’s an interesting watch.
Below, find excerpts from my reviews from last August:
Fried Barry: “It’s also a story about discovery and debauchery made possible by an insane and original vision by director Ryan Kruger. The way he shoots the alien abduction with the colours is great, and the surrealism of what happens on the alien ship seems so bizarre and experimental that it must be what happens when someone is abducted by aliens.
When it comes to the horror there’s some body horror and the intense moments come from Barry’s drug use and how horrifying that is, especially in the opening scene when Barry shoots up and there’s a great use of sound design as there are little jolts with every shot we get of him using. One scene with a prostitute and what happens there is straight out of a nightmare. I could never look away from the film.”
The Paper Tigers: “Each character is well thought-out as Danny receives the most attention. There’s a sub-plot with his son Ed (Joziah Lagonoy) as Danny tries to teach him about honour and values, as well as gung fu. These scenes are strong. There is one scene where Danny tries to teach him about sticking up for his friends and it parallels with the rest of the story; and the scene goes on too long…
This aspect of legacy is heartwarming, as he passes something he loves down to his son. That’s partly why Danny gets the most focus in characterization, because he’s the only character here with a child, and otherwise Hing and Jim are characterized with their relationship within the Tigers group, and that’s good enough.
I appreciated the realism in this film, too, that each middle-aged guy fights like their age and they don’t automatically revert to their glory days. That’s most refreshing with Hing’s knee problem. They know they’re old and they lose (a lot), and that’s a welcome authenticity to these characters.”
Undergods: “I think it’s worth seeking out as the score is amazing, it has a very synth sound as it drives the film. I’ve mentioned before, but the look of the world is my other favourite part about this. There’s a scene in a factory where everyone has pink uniforms on, and which was such a cool contrast from seeing this blueish gray world, going right into something so colourful. Chino Moya’s film also has the right components to be a good film and is well-made, but again, I didn’t connect so much with the characters or every story here. Everyone’s a bit unlikable and I couldn’t get invested because of that, as we learn about their past before the vague fallout that created this strange dystopia.”
Fried Barry is currently streaming on Shudder in the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Australia and New Zealand. Viewing options for The Paper Tigers can be found here, and viewing options for Undergods can be found here.