Fantasia IFF 2017 Part 2: The Night of the Virgin, Dan Dream, Friendly Beast

Adam RuhlFilm FestivalLeave a Comment

 

 

The Night of the Virgin 

Nico is a young virgin loser, by himself at a New Year’s Eve party and unable to talk to the ladies. Suddenly, the more mature Medea appears and takes him home. Nico thinks he’s going to get lucky and all his friends are teasing him in texts, but he has no idea what he’s in for. It turns out Medea worships an obscure goddess, saves all her menstrual blood, and has a crazy jealous boyfriend who camps out on her doorstep in wait for Nico. He’s trapped in Medea’s apartment with her madness and the only way out is via one of the most disgusting means I’ve ever seen on film.

The Night of the Virgin is a collage of other movies and genres. There’s a little bit of The Graduate in here, a bit of American Pie, and a bit of horror comedies like Witching and Bitching. Gross out humor and genitals abound as Nico tries to claw his way out of the apartment. Each scene is more degrading for him than the last. As an exercise in good bad taste, it’s a pretty fun ride, just don’t eat before you go see it. I’m serious, at the risk of being spoiler-y, I’ve seen surgical films less explicit.

 

Dan Dream 

Frank Hvam and Casper Christensen have been Genre favorites for years with their film adaptations of their Klown series. Now they are back in the equally hilarious Dan Dream; though this time around they’re in character, not playing versions of their real life selves. Set in the early 1980’s, Dan Dream follows a small group of determined men as they attempt to pioneer the first Danish electric car. They get a factory space out in a small village and move their families out to begin designing the car. However, they quickly discover they are fish out of water outside of the city and taking the auto world by storm is going to be no easy feat.

Sometimes raunchy, often crude, and always hilarious; Frank and Casper deliver one of the best comedies at Fantasia this year. Dan Dream is full of those horribly awkward moments that are sure to have you rolling with laughter. There are moments when the humor drifts, shall we say, not politically correct but it’s handled well and it is a period piece after all so there’s some context. If you’re a fan of the Klown movies you’re going to love Dan Dream. If you haven’t seen them yet, go buy them, watch them, and then go see Dan Dream. Best of all the story is loosely based on real events.

 

Friendly Beast

It’s near closing at a failing fine dining establishment. The staff are bored, the chef is frustrated with the working conditions, the owner Inácio is frustrated with his business, and just before closing a pair of obnoxious customers come into to criticize the wine selection. In the midst of all this, a pair of robbers break in and one of them sexually assaults one of the customers. This proves too much for the mentally fragile Inácio who shoots one of the robbers and then takes everyone, robber, staff, and customers alike hostage inside the tiny closed restaurant. It sets off a nightmare game of who will the disturbed Inácio target next and who will survive to the morning.

Friendly Beast is a terrifyingly tense film about being at the mercy of a madman. As he grows more paranoid about who he can trust he also grows more dangerous and violent. The film walks the line at becoming torture porn but always stays more in the realm of psychologically frightening than gore. A brilliant musical score helps frame the descent into madness. This is one of the most beautiful and utterly disturbing genre films of the year, it should not be missed.

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Adam RuhlFantasia IFF 2017 Part 2: The Night of the Virgin, Dan Dream, Friendly Beast