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Sitges: THE LOST, HOSTEL, ZOMBIE HONEYMOON, SERENITY, HOUSE OF THE DEAD 2, Johnny To's ELECTION and more!

Hey folks, Harry here with an update from the Sitges Film Festival, based at one of the most beautiful spots on the planet Earth! It is, without a doubt, the finest and greatest of all "genre" film festivals around the world. At least in my estimation. Fausto didn't come in with a set of reviews, but a report upon the fest in general. I'd love to hear more about this film, THE LOST and several others of the films he mentions below. Here ya go...

Dear Mr. Knowles,

I do not know if you know of the Sitges Film Festival in Catalunya, Spain, but it is the biggest and the best horror and science fiction film festival in Europe. It ends tonight with David Cronenberg with “History of Violence” and this year has been one of the best in years. This year there was a tribute to "Tiburon," which you know better as “Jaws” and Joe Alves, Carl Gottlieb and Greg Nicotero all presented the film. They also showed “The Shark Is Still Working” documentary and Jack Sholder, who made one of my favorite movies, “The Hidden,” film, “12 Days of Terror.” Joss Whedon came with “Serenity” and Summer Glau and Nathan Fillion which got a very mixed reaction, probably because it was more science fiction than horror. Everyoone liked Summer though. I saw mostly the late night films as I work during the day so I missed many good films, but most of what I saw was good. The biggest surprise was a screening of “Hostel” by director Eli Roth. Overall, I thought it was great. Lotsa of gore and sexy women. It’s a better film than “Cabin Fever” and even though the audience had a mixed reaction, I loved it. I think people were expecting more gore and less story and, in the end, there was a great story with less gore than one would have thought. Quentin Tarantino introduced the film and was very funny when he said if you walk out of this film “you’re a pussy,” but the translator actually said in Spain “if you walk out, you’re a bad person.” Eli was very funny too and has a very small role in the film. It was not the finished version and I do not know how it will change for when it comes out.

“The Lost” was a first time film by Chris Sivertson and produced by May’s Lucky McKee. It is a very dark and violent film and I liked it very much. Good performances with a psychopathic lead that reminded me of “The Rivers’ Edge” and Crispin Glover in that film. Very dark. Well done. A big surprise was “House of the Dead 2.” I hated the first film, but the new one has almost nothing to do with it and was great. Very funny, very gory and a lot of action. I could not believe how much I liked it. One of the people from the movie said “I know you’re wondering how could make a better movie than the first” joking about it, but it is really one of my favorite zombie movies since the “Dawn of the Dead” remake. At one point, the hero runs out of bullets and picks up an axe and everyone in the audience went crazy as he chops up the zombies, but the best part is when they’re driving in an ambulance and the AMS are talking when the patient changes to a zombie and they shoot him and just go back to talking.

Afterwards was “Zombie Honeymoon,” a zombie movie different than “House of the Dead.” This was much more emotional and personal, but I liked it too. In the middle of the film, zombies actually came into the theater and attacked the crowd. It was very enjoyable. “Sympathy for Lady Vengeance” also showed and may be the best film of the trilogy. It was great as was. It was not a good year for Spanish film as both “Trouble” and “Oculto” were not very good, but "Oculto" was better than "Trouble" which was disappointing to everyone.

There were tributes to Johnnie To, whose “Election” was one of my favorite films at the festival, Jodie Foster, Jim Henson, Greg Nicotero and Alex De La Iglesia (!) as well, very well deserved. All in all, a very good year for the Sitges festival showing many very good films with good guests from around the world.

Thank you, Harry. I hope to see you there next year.

Yours truly,

Fausto

Readers Talkback
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  • Oct. 17, 2005, 7:23 a.m. CST

    Where is October's DVD Picks Harry?

    by Zombieflicker

    Oh yeah... First!!!

  • Oct. 17, 2005, 7:37 a.m. CST

    Seeing as

    by Ridge

    Uwe Bolle has nothing to do with HOTD2 at all, I think its possible we could be getting a good movie this time.

  • Oct. 17, 2005, 7:55 a.m. CST

    if hotd 2 is good why not give it a new name?

    by angrykirby.tk

    if hotd turned out to have great films in it's series than people will see the origional to get the background(and get stuck with it if you buy like a box set of hotd movies). honestly I see no advantage in keeping the name the first was a flop. people will avoid 2 asuming it's more of the same shit

  • Oct. 17, 2005, 8:03 a.m. CST

    Zombie Honeymoon pulled a William Castle? excellent!

    by RealDoubleJ

    I just don't think the distributors will be able to afford to pay Extras to run in as zombies every hour or so though. Just like, not every theater could hook up all the chairs back in the day for 'the tingler'. Looking forward to hear more of "The Lost", Eli Roth burnt me with 'Cabin Fever' so it's a DVD rental for 'Hostel'.

  • Oct. 17, 2005, 8:07 a.m. CST

    Too many zombie films

    by BrunoTheDog

    I never thought I'd say it, but I think that the film market is being oversaturated with zombie films. I personally love zombie flicks, and have enjoyed quite a few of these recent films. But even I am getting tired of the half-assed attempts to recapture the 28 Days Later/DotD Remake excitement. Land of the Dead would have been much better received, I think, if so many zombie movies hadn't come out before it. While I still personally liked it, I can see why so many avoided it.

  • Oct. 17, 2005, 8:33 a.m. CST

    What if a Viet vet flipped out and killed the 'zombies'

    by DannyOcean01

    I mean that must be a real reality screw up. You're watching a film about zombies and then BANG, some zombies grab you in the theatre. There must be some kind of 'Double Jeopardy' style loop hole. If so, please bring on the zombies in my local cineplex.

  • Oct. 17, 2005, 8:39 a.m. CST

    House of The Dead 2

    by www.valiens.com

    Did the first one make enough money to justify a second or is the script so good that someone convinced a studio it would work? Can't wait for Hostel!

  • Oct. 17, 2005, 10:27 a.m. CST

    Attacked By Zombies During a Zombie Movie?

    by hipcheck13

    ...sounds like a pro-Bush rally.

  • Oct. 17, 2005, 11:08 a.m. CST

    Alex de la Iglesia rules!!!

    by DerLanghaarige

    And thank god that there is this time no "Night of The Lving Dorks is sooooooooo great" - because it isn't. P.S.: "Mr. Knowles", wow!

  • Oct. 17, 2005, 11:33 a.m. CST

    HOUSE OF THE DEAD 2?!!!

    by modlight

    Really? Is that needed. does a Boll film really warrant a sequel? Hey, what do you know hell just froze over.

  • Oct. 17, 2005, 11:34 a.m. CST

    Star Wars Episode III will own your ass!

    by jesuschrist

    It's not your ass anymore.

  • Oct. 17, 2005, 1:43 p.m. CST

    The "Dawn of the Dead" was really good.

    by Thirteen 13

  • Oct. 17, 2005, 2:29 p.m. CST

    Yes, i like it, too

    by DerLanghaarige

    And nobody said that it is as good as Romero's, but for a remake, which has been made for an MTV-audience, it's well done. I would give it a 7 out of 10. And now stop complaining about other people who like the film you hate. I hate David Fincher's Seven and I'm not running around all the time, saying: "BOOOOOOOOOOO, IT SUCKED! FINCHER IS A HACK! YOU ARE ALL STUPID ASSHOLES, BECAUSE YOU LOVE IT BLABLABLA!"

  • Oct. 17, 2005, 3:26 p.m. CST

    wolf at the door

    by jesuschrist

    What? What are you saying? I don't understand...you're all backwards....I'm confused...mind throbbing...ummm.....no! NO!...Go to hell! Owned!

  • YOU CLICKED ON IT! ok, it was the very first episode! cartman gets an anal probe was numero uno on the countdown! the special olympics was close 2nd! was a bitchin' countdown.

  • Oct. 17, 2005, 4:53 p.m. CST

    Cartman's best moment

    by BrunoTheDog

    was when he fed Scott Tenorman his own parents in chili. I don't care what anyone else says.

  • Oct. 17, 2005, 6:40 p.m. CST

    What? No badmouthing on SERENITY?

    by IAmLegolas

    You AICN geeks are letting me down, you've never given up on beating a dead horse before.

  • Oct. 17, 2005, 7:43 p.m. CST

    I stopped reading...

    by cannedpasta

    when this person said "but it is really one of my favorite zombie movies since the 'Dawn of the Dead' remake." That was the point where Fausto's opinion lost all credibility with me.

  • Oct. 17, 2005, 10:21 p.m. CST

    What was wrong with the Dawn of the Dead remake?

    by I Dunno

    Besides the fact that it's a remake and you're not "supposed" to like it? Was it the fast zombies? I like the fast zombies. Anyway, it was better than Land of the Dead by a huge margin.

  • Oct. 18, 2005, 12:51 a.m. CST

    Sorry, Wnanahara7, you are wrong

    by Blok Narpin

    You are wrong, Wnanahara7. Dawn of the Dead did not suck. It was awesome. And is was NOT a "remake". A remake is when you remake the same movie. Dawn of the Dead was a reimagining. It had nothing to do with the original except the concept of zombies in a mall. The characters and every single plot point was totally original. Thus it was not a remake.

  • Oct. 18, 2005, 8:34 a.m. CST

    I Was Once On A Zombie Honeymoon

    by ZombieSolutions

    and i gotta tell ya, oral sex is emphatically NOT AN OPTION with the undead. stay away from my nethers zombie layday!

  • Oct. 18, 2005, 8:46 a.m. CST

    DAWN Remake Was Okay...

    by ZombieSolutions

    i liked it. nowhere near as good as the original though. the opening and ending of the remake was fantastic, the rest of it was "meh." i'll take 28 DAYS LATER over the DAWN Remake anyday. (i fcukin' love me some 28 DAYS LATER)...

  • Oct. 18, 2005, 1:49 p.m. CST

    I was at Sitges this year, and Serenity hasn't got mixed rea

    by MrFloppy

  • Oct. 18, 2005, 1:51 p.m. CST

    Sorry: this = least

    by MrFloppy