- Film Guide
Media sponsor: The Onion/A.V. Club Milwaukee
Our wildly popular late-night screenings get their own official program this year in Cinema Hooligante. These are all the gory, trippy, raunchy, scary, sometimes offensive, always fun films from the best corners of cinema subculture that you wouldn't take your grandmother to. Unless your grandmother likes that sort of thing, which is totally cool.
100 Bloody Acres
(Australia / 2012 / Directors: Cameron Cairnes, Colin Cairnes)
Following in the proud cannibalism-as-business-model tradition of films from Soylent Green to Silence of the Lambs comes the tale of the Morgan brothers and their curiously potent organic fertilizer. Unfortunately, a scarcity of roadside product has seen demand far outstrip their supply. Younger brother Reg (Damon Herriman of Justified) sees a solution to their woes — in the form of three stranded travelers — that might also finally net his older brother's respect. But when he begins to fall for Sophie, meant for man-mulch and whose travel situation is more complicated than Reg could possibly realize, this wildly entertaining horror-comedy becomes violently and hilariously complicated.
2001: A Space Odyssey
Presented by John Axford
(USA, UK / 1968 / Director: Stanley Kubrick)
A movie about life, the universe and everything, Stanley Kubrick’s triumphant sci-fi classic is one of cinema’s towering achievements, a film whose awe-inspiring visuals, meticulous composition and editing demand the sort of big-screen treatment that is so luckily being afforded us with this 35 mm screening. 2001 also heralds the return of Brewers fireballer John Axford to the MFF, bringing his expertise as a graduate of Notre Dame’s film program to bear as he presents this, one of his favorite films, to our audience — a rare opportunity to see one of the greatest movies ever made on film among fellow cinephiles.
Enter the Dragon
(Hong Kong, USA / 1973 / Director: Robert Clouse)
Bruce Lee’s tragically short life allowed us only a scant few opportunities to see him lay waste to all who surrounded him with his awesome display of martial arts mastery. Enter the Dragon might be the best of them: Going undercover at the behest of an intelligence agency, Lee is entered into a bone-crunching karate tournament hosted by the dastardly Han in order to expose the drug trafficking and human slavery Han engages in on his secret island fortress. This 35 mm screening, during the film’s 40th anniversary, is skull-rattling, jump-kicking appointment viewing for any and all action fans.
Here Comes the Devil
(Mexico / 2012 / Director: Adrián García Bogliano)
Felix and Sol’s desire for some amorous alone time leads them to allow their children Sara and Adolfo to explore a hillside cave while on vacation in Tijuana. The children’s subsequent disappearance causes no small amount of anguish for the young parents, only for the kids to reappear the next day. It becomes clear, however, that the children didn’t come back alone. Director Adrián García Bogliano deftly blends art house and exploitation cinema in this tale of parental paranoia, piling on the tension and gratuitous nudity as this chilling, hypersexual tale careens toward its shocking and violent final revelations.
(UK / 2012 / Director: Ben Wheatley)
A road-trip vacation takes a turn for the gruesome in this pitch-black comedy from cult director Ben Wheatley (Kill List) and executive producer Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead). Chris means to show the sheltered Tina the British Isles and their many wonderments (sample destination: The Pencil Museum) in his caravan. Their sweet sojourn turns bitter after a violent encounter with a persnickety townsperson turns their idyllic journey into a gore-soaked romp through the countryside. Wheatley’s droll humor meshes exquisitely with his shocking bursts of arterial artistry, allowing for a horrifyingly funny culture critique in the proud British tradition.
(USA / 2013 / Director: Calvin Reeder)
Fresh out of prison, our laconic protagonist (Dermot Mulroney) abandons his ramshackle existence to start a slow meander toward his brother’s Oregonian ranch. He encounters increasingly surreal people and places on this horrific journey that feels like the demented hellspawn of David Lynch and the Coen brothers. A cinematic middle finger to conventional narrative, form and content, The Rambler will bewilder and engage you in equal amounts, but there’s no doubt that director Calvin Lee Reeder’s immaculately nightmarish trip through American back roads (call it Route 666) will stick with you long after our main character’s grip on reality has become irrevocably unstuck.
(Lithuania, France, Belgium / 2012 / Director: Kristina Buozyte)
Fans of MFF 2012's Beyond the Black Rainbow take note: Vanishing Waves is your ticket to trippy sci-fi delirium at this year's festival. Something like “Altered States” crossbred with “Inception,” but with the determination to mine the inescapable sexuality at the forefront of our subconscious, the film follows Lukas as his attempts to communicate with the comatose Aurora through sensory deprivation result in a hauntingly erotic journey through their united surrealistic dreamscapes. Lukas’ obsession grows deeper as he hides these trysts from his fellow researchers and probes further into the recesses of Aurora's subconscious to rescue her from certain doom.
We Are What We Are
(USA / 2013 / Director: Jim Mickle)
In the wake of the family matriarch’s untimely passing, father Frank Parker tasks his teenage daughters Iris and Rose with taking up her role in the family’s sacred traditions. However, the young women find themselves questioning these rituals as a local doctor begins uncovering the truth about what happens behind the Parkers’ closed doors. The latest film produced by Whitefish Bay native Jack Turner (ME @ THE ZOO, MFF 2012) is a slow-burn descent into sheer terror tailor-made for fans of 2009 festival favorite The House of the Devil. We Are What We Are methodically amps the suspense on this American Gothic to almost-unbearable levels before unleashing a cavalcade of violence that will leave even the most battle-hardened horror fanatic feeling queasy.