14th Jul2023

Fantasia Film Festival 2023 – Phil’s Top 5 Picks!

by Phil Wheat

It’s July, so you know what that means… Fantasia International Film Festival time! Kicking off our Summer of film festival coverage, Fantasia is ALWAYS packed with a vast variety of films, from action to horror, drama to comedy, the festival covers the gamut of genres and offers films that [I think] no other festival does. With that in mind, here are five of my “must-see” picks from this year’s line-up.

  1. Blackout – Genre veteran Larry Fessenden goes back behind the camera for another genre film following the likes of Wendigo, The Last Winter and Beneath. This time around Fessenden brings us the tale of a painter (Alex Hurt) who, convinced he is a werewolf, creates chaos in a small town at each full moon.
  2. Suitable Flesh – Director Joe Lynch returns with his first feature after a 4-year absence to helm Suitable Flesh, which not only stars Scream Queen Barbara Crampton but comes from writer Dennis Paoli, who also wrote the likes of Re-Animator, From Beyond, The Dentist and Dagon! The film follows a once-esteemed psychiatrist who, after murdering her young patient, helplessly watches her life spiral into a nightmarish maelstrom of supernatural hysteria and gruesome deaths, all linked to a seemingly unstoppable ancient curse.
  3. Where the Devil Roams – The Addams family, no not that one, the family behind the likes of The Deeper You Dig, are back in with another genre film, this time following a family of travelling sideshow performers as they traverse the harsh conditions of Depression-era America on a bloody search for eternal life.
  4. Baby Assassins 2 – Writer/director Yugo Sakamoto returns with a sequel to 2021’s Baby Assassins with another madcap acton-comedy that sees out “heroines” Mahiro and Chisato find themselves obligated to seek employment that’s a lot less exciting than their usual contract killings. Unpaid fees for a gym they signed up for and only used once have snowballed, and getting out of that jam drops them right in the middle of a bank robbery. Foiling the heist only gets them in trouble with the tediously bureaucratic assassination agency they work for!
  5. A Disturbance in the Force – Jeremy Coon and Steve Kozak’s A Disturbance in the Force tells a Star Wars story unlike any other – it’s fresh, new and very entertaining. Speaking with several crew members (among them director Steve Binder and writer Bruce Villanch), along with superfans “Weird Al” Yankovic and Seth Green, Coon and Kozak’s documentary finally explains just how The Star Wars Holiday Special turned out as disastrous as it did.

And if you haven’t checked it out yet, make sure to read this article by Nerdly’s own Alain Elliot outlining his first five picks of this year’s festival.


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