Ten Films You Must See At Fantasia International Film Festival 2020

Well friends, that time has come. Fantasia International Film Festival 2020 is upon us and we are so blessed and grateful to have been given this very coveted opportunity to cover the festival as part of the Canadian press. Looking at the list of films may seem somewhat daunting – so we have put together a list of what films we are most looking forward to!

1. 12 HOUR SHIFT

12 HOUR SHIFT is one that we are absolutely so fucking PUMPED for. Brea Grant directs Graveyard favourite Angela Bettis (which some will know from her starring role in MAY and Masters of Horror episode SICK GIRL) as a junkie nurse who feeds her drug habit by selling body parts and organs she harvests from her job at the hospital. This one is billed as a horror comedy thriller and promises a gory good time. We love nurses and movies featuring nurses, especially if they’re a little unhinged. And who didn’t have a lesbianic sexual awakening to May? Don’t miss this one.

12 HOUR SHIFT screens August 22, 2020 @ 930PM & August 27, 2020 @ 1130PM

2. FRIED BARRY

South Africa drug trip movie involving aliens? Oh fucking count us the fuck in. Directed by Ryan Kruger, this heady psychedelics mixed with amphetamines tear through Cape Town while blasted on heroin and controlled by aliens is a one way express elevator to crazy town and it rules so hard. The visuals in this one are just as vivid and grimy as the plot.

FRIED BARRY is available now!

3. THE RECKONING

Another Graveyard fave, Neil Marshall (director of THE DESCENT and DOG SOLDIERS as well as some Game of Thrones episodes) returns to his true form with this brutal plague tale set in 1665 as the Great Plague tore its way through Europe, and accusations witchcraft and intense paranoia ran rampant. This film conjures up some Hammer horror vibes, with a healthy of dungeon synth. Don’t miss it.

Screens August 20, 2020 @ 7PM – the opening film of Fantasia 2020.

4. DETENTION

DETENTION is directed by John Hsu and is a Taiwanese Silent Hill esque horror set in a school where secretly students have been learning about banned books during the time of White Terror and martial law in 1962. A confronting no holds barred ghost story.

DETENTION screens August 24, 2020 @ 7PM.

5. SPECIAL ACTORS

In the follow up film to his utterly brilliant ONE CUT OF THE DEAD, 上田慎一郎 Shinichiro Ueda brings us SPECIAL ACTORS which is a decidedly different feel from the zombie comedy while still retaining that meta style. SPECIAL ACTORS follows thespians, and actors paid to attend everyday events, and there’s even a cult, rice balls, ghosts, and much more. A very oddball offering that is an instant hit and wonderful follow up to ONE CUT OF THE DEAD

SPECIAL ACTORS screens August 20, 2020 @ 945PM

6. CRAZY SAMURAI MUSASHI

CRAZY SAMURAI MUSASHI tells the story of Miyamoto Musashi – Japan’s most legendary swordsman, who was undefeated in over 60 duels. Directed by 下村勇二 Yuji Shimomura, this single uninterrupted 77 minute shot shows Musashi cutting down 588 opponents and stars 坂口 拓 Tak Sakaguchi, renowed fight choreographer and stuntman in the role of Musashi.
Not one to be missed.

Available to screen now.

7. MONSTER SEAFOOD WARS

Director 河崎実 Minoru Kawaski is best known for his parody films, outlandish humor and practical effects and these are all succintly realized in MONSTER SEAFOOD WARS. A disgraced scientist has a bit of a radioactive accident on his way to deliver squid, crab, and octopus to his father’s sushi shop, and the three sea creatures quickly turn into monstrous kaiju and start decimating the city. Minoru Kawaski is also known for his defense and insistence on working with kigurumi tokusatsu – practical monster suits in his work, which is something of a dying art now in Japanese cinema. So don’t miss these silly and delicious monsters.

Available to screen now.

8. IVAN THE TERRIRBLE

Another Fantasia documentary – this time centering on the life of Ivan Cardoso, cousin of Brazil’s Jose Majica Marins who is better known as Coffin Joe, and his work within Brazilian genre film. Directed by Mario Abbade – this film explores the work of Cardoso in a genre he created called “Terrir”, a portmanteau of the word “terror” and the portugese phrase for “to laugh”.
Coffin Joe is a Graveyard favourite and we are so excited to see some of the Coffin Joe documentaries and films at Fantasia and being able to do some learning about Ivan is necessary reading for fans of the bizarre and weird.

Available to screen September 1, 2020 @ 715PM.


9. FEELS GOOD, MAN

Arthur Jones takes on the story of Matt Furie’s Pepe the Frog who went from obscure comic book character to internet meme, to hated symbol of the alt right and figurehead of 4-chan, and back again. Detailing Furie’s seeming initial indifference to Pepe’s meteoric rise to viral fame, to his decision fight back against alt-right figures like Baked Alaska, The Daily Stormer, and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. This documentary is a redemption story and while somewhat sad at first, is an ultimate story of hope, peace, and happiness winning out overall.

Available to screen now.

10. THE CURSE OF AUDREY EARNSHAW

Thomas Robert Lee directs a nightmare world of folk horror in this occult period piece following the secret birth and life of Audrey Earnshaw who exists with her mother outside of their protestant village, living a life of ritual magic, hidden from the world. As local tragedy and crop failure plagues their neighbors, whispers about the strange girl in the woods take foot and so too does Audrey’s growing power and her rage. A powerful entry into the folkhorror genre. Not to be missed.

Screens August 22, 2020 @ 715PM

And while it’s not a feature film, but this short film collection also requires mention as it is so important:

WAPIKONI – an indigenous / First Nations led short film selection including animation, horror, and other methods of storytelling to tell stories with a particularly First Nations bent.
The inclusion of this within a festival like Fantasia absolutely cannot be understated, as we in Canada sit at a time when truth and reconciliation is no longer and option, but rather a pressing need. And existing in this time, we have been given the opportunity to reclaim our stories with our own voices.

The films contained in Wapikoni are as follows:
Kakatshat by Eve Ringuette
The Guest by Nicholas Rodgers
RUN (FUYEZ) by Nicholas Rodgers
Among The Forest by Oqim Nicholas
TRANSMISSION 01: 34-OD by Jim Matlock
L’origine du capteur de rêve (The Origin of the Dreamcatcher) by Cassandra Ambroise-St-Onge Donavan Vollant
Night Stalk (Traque nocturne) by Robert Gilpin
J’ai joué à Dieu (I Played God) by Tania Jourdain
God’s Park (Le parc de Dieu) by Martin King
Malsem by Jesse Martin
Rat sale (Dirty Rat) by Jim Matlock
Missing Offering (L’offrande oubliée) by Raymond Caplin
Respect Your Elders, Chum! (Respecte tes aînés, mon Chum!) by Jack Belhumeur
Coyote’s Canoe by Gloria Morgan
After Hell (Après l’enfer) by Jim Matlock
Mahiganiec (Petite louve | Wolf Cub) by Jacqueline Michel
In Your Heart by Raymond Caplin

You can read our coverage of short film DOPPELBÅNGER here, as well as our podcast episode on Justin McConnell’s documentary Clapboard Jungle here. And be sure to stay tuned for more coverage coming up soon, and follow our social media to keep up!

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18 responses to “Ten Films You Must See At Fantasia International Film Festival 2020

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