It seems like it’s Canada night for PCB reviews of Fantasia Festival films. I’ve got two amazing films from north of the border to share with you. Let’s take a look!
dir: Lowell Dean
runtime: 79 min
He’s a wolf. He’s a cop. He’s Wolfcop! Lou is an alcoholic small town police officer who’s turned into a werewolf. That sentence alone is enough to determine if Wolfcop is the movie for you. If it is, keep reading, because it’s a great fun horror, comedy, gorefest. Director Lowell Dean takes this goofy premise and plays it up for maximum gross out effect.
The wolf transformations are startlingly well done. He changes by way of some good old-school practical effects that recall early 80’s wolf movies. Even the change itself is over the top; the first time it happens you will choke with disbelief and perhaps a little revulsion.
The rest of the characters are there to basically service the wolf gags. A couple of love interests, a conspiracy theorist side kick Willie (who actually gets some of the best lines), and a town full of unlikely gangster types round out the cast. There is a robbery gang that dresses up like pigs in a good tongue in cheek moment. Wolfcop is willing to go where other werewolf movies will not and the result is one of the best monster mashes in years. By the time it descends into wolf softcore porno you’ll know this is a unique viewing experience you won’t find anywhere else.
dir: Craig Goodwill
runtime: 83 min
Patch Town is a fantasy world where babies really do come from the cabbage patch, and then they are turned into toys and sold off to little girls. When the girls grow up the toys are stolen back, returned to human form, and made into factory workers at the toy factory. This is where former toy Jon and his wife Mary find themselves; unable to have their own children or choose their own life. Jon has a plan though, he has stolen a child from the cabbage as his own and is running away with his new family to find his ‘mother’, the human girl that abandoned him as a toy all those years ago.
Patch Town is a wild, whimsical dystopic tale that recalls films like Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, with similarly wildly colorful characters. It is an adventure and a musical with quite a well written numbers to help advance the plot. Director Craig Goodwill presents a visual feast, full of lush setting and beautifully cinematographed sequences. Jon (Ron Ramsay), is a non-traditional hero who really is the heart of the movie, he’s so charming that you can’t help but root for him in his quest.
Funny and endearing, Patch Town is great for all ages. Of the Fantasia Festival titles I’ve seen, it’s got some of the most mainstream appeal.
Adam Ruhl is a writer and life long Cinephile. He is the Executive
Cinema Editor of Pop Culture Beast’s Austin branch; covering festivals,
conventions, and new releases. When not filing reports, Adam can be
found stalking Alamo Drafthouse Programmers for leads on upcoming
DrafthouseFilms titles. Adam once blocked Harry Knowles entrance to a
theater until he was given extra tickets to a Roman Polanski movie.