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Notes from the back row

The horrors of Whistler

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By Feet Banks

Not much happening this week as far as Hollywood goes so let’s focus a bit on the local scene, specifically the B-grade horror fest, held last week.

Whistler has always had a bit of a bad-ass image as far as filmmaking goes and Horrorfest, with 13 Whistler-made flicks and two from afar, did nothing if not reinforce the concept that, yeah things tend to work a bit differently up here.

Full frontal nudity took centre stage at this year’s fest, with more entries than ever attemping to stick to the rules of the genre. “It was pretty much perfect,” says co-founder Chili Thom. “Everyone that made a film seemed to really have fun with it and that’s sort of what it’s all about.”

And fun it was. Be it Robjn Taylor’s environmentalist-chainsaw massacre (with a twist) or the regurgitating antics of Pepe 3000, this year’s entries brought more blood, more laughs and much more B-Grade.

Cole Manson, in his film debut, managed to charm the judges and audience into choosing him as the best actor of the fest. His surprise one-take parody Killer Camera , packed in laughs, film references and a couple low blows to the Blair Witch crap.

Pique Newsmagazine’s own Magda-Licious walked off with best actress honours for her overzealous, yet very realistic, shower scene.

Best cinematography, had such an award existed, would have gone to Jamey Kramer for his stunning abandoned Boot Pub footage. His film, No Moon, directed by Angie Nolan who stuck to her menstral theme for another year, also wowed judges with its fantasic Mongolian male-birth scene. Go figure.

But in the end, when all the chips were stacked, it came down to a couple doozies. First off, don’t you hate mimes? I do. And let me tell you, there’s nothing more entertaining than watching a bunch of mimes get slaughtered via shotguns, knives and a good old fashioned hanging. Filmic perfection, pretty much.

One film, however, stood above all others, with its twisted mix of blood, misunderstood love, organ draining and rock-a-billy. Frankemosquito, directed by Scott Johnston, utterly exemplified the spirit of the festival and walked away with the much-coveted silver skull trophy. Head-manned by comedic eyebrow genius Jimmy Ford (still the best actor in town, despite Cole’s underdog victory) Frankenmosquito tied together all the classic horror elements with bang-up dance montages and won the day.

Stayng true to the B-grade aesthetic is an important part of the festival.

“I’d rather see people work hard to make their film look crappy, than to try and make it look glossy and Hollywood, and gay,” adds Thom.

The no-rules approach seems to be working, the event was sold out almost before tickets went on sale. And with the Whistler Film Festival kicking in some prizes and getting people stoked for their upcoming event it’s looking like the Whistler film scene is healthy and thriving. Twisted, but thriving.

Back on the “real” movie program. The Village 8 isn’t doing anyone any favours this week by bringing in The Santa Clause 3. Living in Whistler already robs Christmas of any real meaning (dollar bills y’all) but to chuck Tim Allen on top of that is a little bit torturous if you ask me.

Tim Allen? Give me a break. The guy makes Affleck look like deNiro. Give it up Timmy, your show sucked even when it was popular and calling you washed up is doing a disservice to the word.

Fear not, dear readers, next week the Village 8 is totally redeeming itself and bringing in Borat, probably their funniest movie of the year. But that’s another thing altogether....

AT VILLAGE 8 Nov. 3-9: Santa Clause 3; Flushed Away; Flicka; Little Miss Sunshine; Prestige; Departed; Saw 3; Man of the Year; Open Season.

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