If I Had The Chance To Attend Fantasia Festival, I’d See…

by Matthew Edward Hawkins

Each and every summer I see a LOT of movies, and then talk about them, as evidenced by all the New York Asian Film Festival and JAPAN CUTS reviews that are posted year after year. There’s actually three film fests that I care about, with the third being Fantasia Festival!

Which… I’ve never been to, cuz it’s not in the Big Apple, but the Great White North. Yet this year I’ve been invited to check out some of the programming! Actually, I’ve already seen some of it, via the two aforementioned fests… such as Inuyashiki & Violence Voyager… that’s just how these things work.

Then there’s movies I’ve seen already, many years ago & many times already, which you’re probably familiar with as well, cuz they’re classics and therefore household names. Gremlins, Five Fingers of Death, Blood & Black Lace, and Body Melt… okay, maybe some are more recognizable than others to regular folk.

Anyhow, am still in the midst of finalizing my plans for coverage, though here’s my top five that I’ve love to see most (hopefully I’ll get the chance to review them)…


Here’s the deal: been a legit fan of Nicolas Cage since I was a kid (thanks to Raising Arizona), so am not trying to be ironic when saying that I really enjoy his work. That being said, I have enjoyed how much of a meme the guy has become, and am therefore interested in a movie in which he’s in the middle of the woods, covered in blood, and slicing up cult members with a blade that resembles with Worf from Star Trek: TNG used to wield.


Am very much into cinema, obviously, as well as video games, also obviously, and most especially when the two are combined…. provided it’s off the beaten path. Hence why my favorite video game flick is based upon a Hans Christian Andersen poem, I REALLY want to see a movie about someone tasked with getting the high score in Pac-Man without once getting off the couch… and that’s it. That’s the whole movie, apparently.

The Traveling Cat Chronicle

In addition to being a connoisseur of video game cinema, the same could be said for films starring cats, in particular those from Japan. I’ve seen some damn fine ones, like If Cats Disappeared From the World, and I’ve seen ones that are total crap, like Neko Atsume House. Thankfully, The Travelling Cat Chronicles sounds a serious contender for the first category (it already has bonus points for sounding like a road flick, and I’m sucker for those that take place in Japan as well).

Tokyo Vampire Hotel

I was originally going to just say Sion Sono and ‘nuff said, but apparently his latest was originally a ten episode series (for Amazon Prime, in Japan I’m assuming) that has been edited down to form a movie… just like Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s latest. Which I thoroughly enjoyed, cuz it’s Kiyoshi Kurosawa after all, but that’s not to say that I didn’t think it was perfect either. And as much of a super fan I am of Sion Sono, I also didn’t think Love Exposure was a staggering work of genius either. Yet given how strongly I resonate with his genre efforts… and this film happens to feature vampires… my gut tells me that it’ll be awesome.

Mega Time Squad

I’m not only about Japanese cinema; have also really gotten into Kiwi cinema as of late. Like everyone else, Taika Waititi has been my gateway, though that world as a whole is not completely unfamiliar, thanks to my interest in my long-standing interest Ozploitation (hence the aforementioned interest in Body Melt). But anyhow, Mega Time Squad is again about two things I love in one: inept criminals and time travel.

The Man Who Killed Hitler And Then The Bigfoot

Um, the title of the movie is called The Man Who Killed Hitler And Then The Bigfoot, ‘nuff said. But also, Same Elliot is great!

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