Fantastic Fest 2012 Day 5: Black Out, Vulgaria, Cold Steel, The Warped Forest, Fantastic Feud
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By Johnny Rollerfeet's Echo Chamber - Last updated: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

A man wakes up two days before his wedding with a dead body in his bed and a gun in his hand. Former drug dealer Jos Vreeswijk is drawn back into the world of crime bosses and their lackeys as he tries to unravel what happened. Black Out plays on a familiar (particularly British) trope of cocaine, guns, and power struggles, but it does it well.

The highest grossing Hong Kong film (so far) of the year in China, Vulgaria is the story of the lengths a producer has to go to just to make a Category III (soft porn), as told by said producer. Raucous without actual nudity, it’s a fun ride.

Cold Steel, on the surface, shows a rural hunter conscripted into the Chinese military to be a sharpshooter killing the evil Japanese invaders. The directors attempt to bring balance to an obvious propaganda film — interestingly linked to the current political conflict in the area — is unable to hide its subtext. The romantic scenes are overwrought, but the action is phenomenal.

The inhabitants of The Warped Forest are living in a world of erotically unerotic fruit where some people are giants and a mysterious force offers life-changing events. This is how bizarre the Japanese get, but it comes with a great deal of heart.

Fantastic Feud is my favorite non-movie event of the festival. I still think the USA team was robbed of some points, losing to the evil International team, but fun was had and the addition of Doug Benson to the USA team wasn’t wasted.

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