>> Fantastic Fest 2008: Day Seven

Spine Tingler!  The William Castle Story / USA / Directed by Jeffrey Schwarz

Synopsis:  A documentary detailing the life story of filmmaker/huckster William Castle, famous for his horror films and the gimmicky promotions he used to drive audiences into the theatre.

Wow, this is an incredibly fast-paced documentary.  It’s basically one of those docs that you get in the special features of a DVD–the usual talking heads (Leonard Maltin, John Landis, Jon Waters), a couple seconds of footage from each important film, and lots of computer graphics to slick things up a bit.  The information is interesting, if anecdotal, and makes you want to seek out more of his films (Homicidal and Shanks, esepcially), so, mission accomplished in that regard.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone’s life story told this quickly.

7 on a 1 to 10 scale

Gachi Boy:  Wrestling With a Memory / Japan / Directed by Norihiro Koizumi

Synopsis:  An amnesiac named Igarashi uses pro wrestling as a means of making himself feel normal again.

Gachi Boy is a sports comedy where Rocky meets Memento meets Japanese pro wrestling, and if that sounds like your cup of tea, then you’ll probably love this.  It’s colorful, goofy fun with a memorable cast, and I’d honestly like to see it again sometime soon.  The comedic elements work better than the dramatic parts, but that’s being nitpicky, really, since the film seems pretty aware of when it falls into conventional sports territory.  Just don’t expect a ton of great wrestling action either.  For one thing, that’s part of the comedy–these aren’t supposed to be excellent wrestlers–and secondly, the thrust of the story is more about Igarashi’s memory loss than it is suplexes and swantons.  His daily bruises and polaroids of his fellow wrestler remind Igarashi that he has a life to live.

7 on a 1 to 10 scale

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1 Comment

  1. I really enjoyed this film and would love to see it again.


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