Fantasia 2019 A Preview

Fantasia 2019 Poster

The 23rd edition of Fantasia arrives in Montreal July 11th and runs through August 1st. While a list of all the films and events would be way to long, here are a few that caught my attention.


 Hideo Nakata, director of the original Ringu returns to the franchise with Sadako. The latest sequel promises to respect all of the elements that made Koji Suzuki’s novels so successful. But also bring in a host of new elements that will revive J-horror for an all-new generation of terrified moviegoers.

American Fighter
American Fighter

Shaun Piccinino’s American Fighter mixes political thriller and action film elements as the title character gets involved in bare knuckle, anything goes fights in order to get his mother out of Iran.

Documentaries are well represented, including Blood & Flesh: The Reel Life & Ghastly Death of Al Adamson, by Severin Films founder and filmmaker David Gregory (Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau), goes beyond detailing the uncommon life and unthinkable murder of the legendary no-budget exploitation filmmaker. It beautifully captures the worlds of outsider moviemaking communities that existed in California in the ’70s and the weird ways they intersected with Hollywood mainstream and union indies. There will also be a showing of the restored print of his best-known film Dracula Vs Frankenstein.

Ted Kotcheff

Fantasia will bestow its inaugural Canadian Trailblazer Award to director Ted Kotcheff, a singular filmmaker who has worked across genres and mediums to tell bold, vivid stories with strong points-of-view. Born in Toronto in 1931, he began directing at the CBC at age 24 and was, at the time, the youngest director ever at the station. His filmography includes the Outback thriller Wake In Fright (1971), North Dallas 40 (1979), Split Image 1982), the Stallone-starring blockbuster First Blood (1982), Uncommon Valour (1983), Joshua Then And Now (1985), and the ‘80s comedy staple Weekend At Bernies(1989).

Bliss 1 - 1080p - 300dpi

In the latest film from Almost Human and The Minds Eye director Joe Begos, a drug-fueled night out in LA transforms a young artist into something otherworldly. But is it due to the vampiric ménage à trois she took part in or the cocaine-like “bliss” she’s been snorting? Bliss is a stunning heavy metal head-trip that’s equal parts blissful euphoria and horrifying bloodbath.

Harpoon Web

Harpoon is writer/director Rob Grants follow up to Fake Blood. A clever and suspenseful film with a dose of dark humor, its festival tour makes a stop at Fantasia.


Formerly one half of The Mo Brothers, Killers, Headshot), Kimo Stamboel returns with his first solo feature, the video game adaptation Dreadout in which a group of friends obsessed with their social media exposure decide to broadcast their clandestine visit into an abandoned building that was last used by a cult, and end up opening a portal to an alternate dimension.

Head over to the Fantasia website for a complete list and schedule of films and events.

Jim Morazzini

Movie buff, gym rat and crazy cat guy

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