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Latin-AICN: Habit; Frida Kahlo; Chamado de Deus; Wendigo; The Body; El Retrato de Felicitas; Ginger Snaps; No Muertos

Father Geek here along with Coffin Joe Jr. and this week's Latin-AICN Tuesday morning column. Buuuuuut, first here's a letter I just received from a reader in Brazil who is reporting on the most fun flick that ol' Father Geek saw at the recent SXSW Film Festival...

(Please put up with me and my rusty english)

Hey Guys, call me Deckterrorist. I a fan of AICN for a long time now, but i never thought I'd have anything interesting enough to write about for your page, since I live in Brazil and, let's face it, it's not like they'll hold test screenings for the next north-american blockbuster here and brazilian movies, well... nobody really cares or watches much. But anyway, "Ginger Snaps":

I'm very fresh from the movie as I write this, because "Ginger Snaps" has already been released in video to rent here and, well, I JUST have finished watching it. This often happens: a local distributor buys a movie, but as he can see no big market screening it on theaters, they just send it straight to video and hope for the best, even if the movie hasn't even been released on theaters overseas. An example is "Affliction" with Nick Nolte.

As for the review, I'm afraid raving too much about it will spoil the experience for those who want to watch it. But I got interested in "Ginger Snaps" reading your really positive review and that's how I feel about it: THIS MOVIE ROCKS, REALLY! The movie delivers so bad, delivers on silver tray, man. It's got this 80's horror movie sense to it, but not wanting to be campy or anything. I wouldn't say the movie pay a homage to them, but it's more like it was made so people can realise how cool those movies really were ( for some reason, the movie made me remember of a Werewolf movie Michael J. Fox starred in, "Teen Wolf"). I'll keep short, because nothing I'd say here would be different from what other reviewers had to say about it: from the very beginning, from its very stylish and eerie opening titles, "Ginger Snaps" shows it is coming to make a difference. The movie plays in a much more melanchiolic tone than one would expect, in fact, turns out "Ginger Snaps" is a really sad sad movie. The cast is great - I'd point out Katharine Isabelle who is a real babe and Kris Lemche, who plays the drug dealer is just as hot, but the movie belongs to Mimi Rogers. I can't believe how good she is on this movie! And to think I saw this woman on late night cheesy soft porn thrillers. Her character is pretty much Annette Bening's in "American Beauty", the kind of "I wanna be friend of my teenage sons" type of mom, who puts out this image of perfection for others, with a twist.

The plot everyone pretty much knows, but it's cool how it parallels the horror tale with a very endearing coming of age theme - y'know, when you're cranky teenager and you're a real bore. And I gotta spill this: You know, Harry, when you said that "Along Came a Spider" had entertaining 2/3 but it falls flat on the end? "Ginger Snaps" has great first 2/3, but the last half hour is genuine nail-biting-edge-of-the-seat thrill. It's on my list of the coolest last half-hours on movies of all time. "Ginger Snaps" is great little movie.

But I wish I had watched it on a silver screen. Fortunately, I have a decent Home Theater.

-Deckterrorist

Father Geek back only long enough to introduce Coffin Joe Jr. with this weeks column...

Hey there , Coffin Joe Jr. here with another edition of Latin-AICN .

I´m pretty happy to inform that the whole " Cherry Falls " fiasco , which I talked about last week right here in our very own Latin-AICN column , is not as bad as I thought , at least for Brazilian horror fans and other folks around the world . " Cherry Falls " was released in theatres in the U.K. and other countries , and it will play in theatres here in Brazil this year . No such luck for American horror buffs , who will have to watch the crappy USA films DVD .

On a related note , the Antonio Banderas flick " The Body " will hit theatres here in Brazil next week , but will go straight to video in the US . I´ll have a review of " The Body " for you guys next Tuesday . Another funny thing when it comes to a film´s distribution is timing . Boy , I´ll tell ya the Oscars are a huge factor for distributors . Because Steven Soderbergh won for best director , the local distributor who bought " The Limey " a couple of years ago and had shelved it , decided to run it in a few theatres . Same thing with " Way of the Gun " , because of Benicio del Toro´s win as best supporting actor they finally released it . The funniest thing about the whole deal is that anyone here could buy either one of these movies at an international online retailer ; both movies have been out on DVD for a while . I own a copy of both . Isn´t it funny how these things work ? It´s all about how they can market the movies , how they can get a profit , bottom line is : will it make money ? They don´t care what it is , they just want to know wether or not they can make a buck out of it . It doesn´t matter if it´s " BattleField Earth " or " Citizen Kane " , as long as it is profit! able . They aren´t releasing " The Limey " because it´s Soderbergh´s coolest movie , they are putting it out because he has just won an Oscar and maybe they can cash in on the whole thing . Aren´t they clever ? Oh , fuck it .

Here´s this week´s news :

ARGENTINA

-Horror news from the Pampas ! Director Alexis Puig , who directed the horror film " No Muertos " ( check out the site for this very cool 1999 Argentinean vampire flick at This Location , where there are some great pics and the trailer ) , is back with a new project called " El Retrato de Felicitas " , a fantasy/horror ghost story , based on a famous Buenos Aires urban legend , about a woman called Felicitas Guerrero de Alzaga , a beautiful young lady who was murdered by a former lover around 1872 . The legend says her ghost walks around a chapel that was built to honor her memory . The cast includes Raquel Soaje as Felicitas Guerrero , Jean Pierre Noher as Martín de la Alzaga , Pancho Ibáñez as Enrique Ocampo , Jorge Dorio as Carlos Guerrero , Nicolás Scarpino as Samuel Saenz Valiente , Santiago Oriad as Felicita´s brother , Alejo Massat as Niño Félix , and even director Alexis Puig himself makes a cameo as a painter . Learn more about this production and a bit about its director , at Alexis Puig´s very own website : www.cinefantastico.com/alexispuig/ .

BRAZIL

-Local teen pop stars Sandy & Junior ( who performed at this year´s huge Rock in Rio festival on the day Britney Spears and N´Synch performed ) are set to make their big screen debut in an adventure flick aimed for kids and teens , which is still untitled . The project is set at Globo Filmes ( co-producers of Bossa Nova ) , and at this point there´s no script or director attached .

-After two documentaries exploring the theme of religion here in Brazil ( " Santo Forte " and " Fé " ) , a third one comes along with quite a unique approach . " O Chamado de Deus " , directed by José Joffily ( who helmed the 1996 film " Who Killed Pixote ? " , about the tragic life of Fernando Ramos da Silva , who played the title character in Hector Babenco´s " Pixote " ) , looks at six seminarians and tries to find out why these young men want to become priests . The movie opens here in São Paulo this April 13th . Visit the official site by: Just Clicking Here .

MEXICO

-Looks like Salma Hayek won the Frida Kahlo bio pic race . The other contender , Jennifer Lopez , has dropped out of the MGM/American Zoetrope pic based on Frida´s life . The Miramax film , starring Salma Hayek , Edward Norton , Geoffrey Rush , Antonio Banderas , Ashley Judd and to be directed by Julie Taymor ( " Titus " ) is already shooting in Mexico . There are already pictures from the set at one of Hayek´s best fan sites : www.hayekheaven.com . Check it out , they have extensive coverage on the project , including the press conference that Miramax held for the movie . There´s also another site dedicated exclusively to the Frida Kahlo movie : www.fridamovie.com .

UNSEEN GEMS

" Habit " (1997) Director : Larry Fessenden

This movie creeps me out . It really gets under my skin . You know why ? Because it feels so damn real . It´s shot in such a manner that it doesn´t really feel like a movie . The low budget of the film only adds layers of realism and sheer grittiness to the very unreal scenario . It´s a movie about vampirism , but it´s unlike any other film on the subject I´ve ever seen . Yes , you have a sexy vampire lady , who seduces an innocent young man , but that´s all the familiar ground this movie covers . Everything else is pretty different . The main character , Sam , ( played by director Fessenden ) is invited to a party and there he meets this mysterious woman , who crashed the party , and they hit it off right away . They do the dirty dance that night and after that things start to fall apart for our hero . He has weird dreams , loses any sense of reality , isolates himself , and slowly becomes a complete and total loony . Sounds fun ? You betcha . Things escalate towards a confrontation between our guy and the vampire chick , and the results are pretty nasty .

The movie plays it straight , and director Fessenden doesn´t go for cheap scares or any horror clichés . Paranoia is the name of the game here . Using New York city as the film´s location helps to establish a grim , dark tone from the beginning . The angst felt by Sam turns the movie into quite an unbearable experience at times . It´s powerful stuff at times . There are problems though . Mainstream audiences may find the flick a bit tedious , talkative . Others might find the film´s low budget a bad thing , because of the cheap production values and sometimes amateurish acting from the secondary characters . It´s an indie flick and those who don´t enjoy this type of movie , I recommend you stay away . Horror fans who are in the mood for something different ( fans of George A. Romero´s " Martin " are likely to love this one , it´s pretty similar stuff ) should give it a try . Larry Fessenden has a new film coming out in 2001 , simply titled " Wendigo " . Learn more about it at : Their Site.

Well , that´s all for this week , hope you folks enjoyed it . We´re here every Tuesday , so drop by , say hello , have a cup of coffee . Ok ?

Coffin Joe Jr. says : bye .

Readers Talkback
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  • April 10, 2001, 12:32 p.m. CST

    Ginger Snaps

    by moofeet

    Does anyone know whats going on with this movie in the U.S?

  • April 10, 2001, 1:14 p.m. CST

    the body sucks

    by cifra2

    Hi, I'm a Spanish guy who saw the movie in January (It was released here in theaters, due to the "Banderas" factor) and I can make a review for you: IT SUCKS!!!! Promising idea (finding the body of Jesuschrist), fine actors (Banderas, Olivia - The Sixth Sense - Williams and Derek Jacobi) and an idiot directing. The director seems to have not idea of where to put the camera or talking with actors. It is obvious that Banderas and Williams do a little effort to push the movie towards, but Derek Jacobi is a shame, not only wasted. The "direct to video" release in the U.S. will help Banderas avoiding the Razzies next years (well, maybe not, he has another movies this year). Did I forgot saying I live in Banderas' hometown, M

  • April 10, 2001, 1:58 p.m. CST

    Wendigo is a Remake or copy or something

    by Mooseboy

    ... of an indy film made in 1991 in Michigan. It was eventually picked up by Troma. Google-ize it to learn more.

  • April 10, 2001, 9:29 p.m. CST

    Johnny Depp as Einstein!!!

    by Smurfette

    You must be shitting me. WHO'S Frida Kahlo!?!