TIFF Day 03: into the swing of it!

Today screenings started with Suck (2009), Canada, a comedy horror that follows the adventures of hapless rock band and their leader singer, Joey (Rob Stefaniuk), until things turn around when a freaky vampire turns up at one of their shows and turns their female bassist into a vampire.  Instead of spelling doom for the band it sets them on the path of success.  All the while a vampire hunter played Malcolm McDowell is lurking in the shadows ready to put things right.  Before you know it the bands all be turned into vampires and they are fast becoming hugely successful.  This film has number of cameo's by rock legends like Alice Cooper, Iggy Pop and Henry Rollins. The film felt like it had missed it's mark and belonged in the 80's - it reminded me so much of Fright Night (1985) and similar style films.  Passable but nothing unique or overly original.

Accident (2009), Hong Kong, Johnnie To produced hitman with a difference - Hong Kong cinema is riddled with hitman stories but this one finds you ways with dispatching their targets by staging the hits as unfortunate accident - part Myth Busters/Hong Kong action film we are treated to fantastic open execution right down to falling window glass to do the job but it's chain of events to get there that is impressive.  The film is nicely paced as this execution team next job doesn't go so well, several failed attempts and the final execution goes wrong.  Suddenly this tight knit team is looking over their shoulders at each other and everyone suspect everyone!  The leader of the team 'Brain' discovers who was set them up and goes about getting revenge.

Deliver Us From Evil (2009), Denmark, Ole Bornedal (Night watch) returns with a brilliant thriller about a small Danish and their inhabitants  and how easily things can slip into anarchy.  To be honest I almost crossed this film off the list after reading a review in a street press newspaper assessing this year's crop of films with one sentence review.  The reviewer dismissed the film as being slow and boring with nothing happening. Either the reviewer didn't watch the same film I did or they switched it off half through because anyone seeing this film could not have passed over  commenting about the last half hour of the film which is when the film descend into to complete anarchy with violent attacks being committed that would have woken anyone from their slumber.  The most disturbing thing about this film is how real it felt and it made you ponder the potential of this happening anywhere.  It's slow burner of thriller that develops a punch even for the most jaded viewer of cinema.

A Serious Man (2009), USA, those wacky Coen Brothers are backing with another one of those quirky comedies that we love for!  The seemed to in recent times be producing a new film every year and appearing almost regular fixturing at TIFF.  The Coen's are this time exploring a very ordinary jewish family who are going through some difficult times.  They always seem to assemble an array of odd ball characters and blending it with great humor.  Plus they never play by the rules you give an ending they more likely decide we'll leave it here!

Ending the evening with another Midnight Madness film completed another day of crazy collection of screenings and the streets of Toronto awash with zombies and that leads me to the final film, George A. Romero's Survival of the Dead (2009), Canada, Romero's seemed to have surrendered to the idea that the only film he can get the cash up for is a zombie film.  Survival is partly a sequel to Diary of the Dead, but exists entirely on it's barring the one character, Nicotine Crocket (Alan Van Sprang) who had a brief appearance in Diary as the leader of a group of renegade soliders.  The story revolves around Nicotine's team survival on the mainland and their chance in counter with younger teenager who encourages them to head to island off the coast of Delaware.  The island is inhabitant by two rival families of Irish migrants who are hell bent on destroying each more than the zombie.  This film plays out like a western but it really doesn't advance George's zombie universe any further.  It's for the fans and hopefully the time has come to put the zombie's in their graves.  The only problem with zombies is they don't like laying down and having a break.  I suspect that Romero may keep churning them until he is in the grave.  The real worry is maybe real life will actually imitate art in the future.  If you like Romero's previous zombie films you'll enjoy this too - I know their was part of me that did have a good time!