Monday, October 5, 2015

THE EDITOR (Review)

THE EDITOR (2014)

review by DARRELL MARSH

Directed by Adam Brooks and Matthew Kennedy

Written by Adam Brooks, Matthew Kennedy, Conor Sweeney

Starring Paz de la Huerta, Adam Brooks, Matthew Kennedy, Conor Sweeney, Udo Kier, Laurence R. Harvey
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There's always room for Giallo

First off, let me say that I am a huge Astron-6 fan. How huge? Huge enough to make the six-hour drive to Montreal's Fantasia Film Festival for a midnight screening of their new film The Editor and then immediately drive the six hours back home. Was it worth it? You bet your ass it was! The Editor totally exceeded my unrealistically high expectations. 

Terrified actress Samantha Hill or Catriona MacColl's Twin?
The Winnipeg filmmaking collective that brought us the absurdly entertaining, goretastic Father's Day have taken their unique brand of horror and humour and aimed it squarely at the Italian Giallo genre. The murder mysteries made famous by directors such as Dario Argento and Mario Bava have plenty to poke fun at, and the boys in Astron-6 were definitely up to the task. Astron-6 made their start filming short films and mock trailers, but it was the faux grindhouse trailer for "Father's Day," chock full of male nudity and genital mutilation, that caught the attention of Troma's Lloyd Kaufman, who gave Astron-6 the green light and funds to make Father's Day into their first feature. Who knew that the story of a dad-raping serial killer and a one-eyed vigilante would end up becoming the toast of the indie horror community? Now, Astron-6's much-anticipated sophomoric effort, The Editor, has finally arrived in Canada courtesy of Raven Banner Entertainment! 

The Giallo's genre's black-gloved killer is only one of many conventions spoofed by The Editor
Directed by Adam Brooks, and Matthew Ward Kennedy (who both also star in the film), The Editor is the story of Rey Ciso (Brooks), a once-famed film editor who has fallen from grace after chopping off four of his own fingers in a film editing accident. Married to former starlet Josephine Jardin (Paz de la Huerta) who constantly belittles him, Ciso spends most of his time working with his assistant Bella (the adorable Samantha Hill) on the trashy new film TARANTOLA from Francesco Mancini (Kevin Anderson). With the exception of Bella, Ciso doesn't seem to have a friend in sight. Things get much worse for Rey when actors in the film start dropping like flies. These corpses just happen to have four missing fingers, so guess who the main suspect is? Matthew Kennedy turns in a hilarious portrayal of the bumbling inspector Porfiry, while fellow Astron-6er Conor Sweeney plays the lead man wannabe Cal Konitz (another obvious suspect in the murders). Along for the ride, we also have some genre film icons. Udo Kier (Mark Of The Devil) and Laurence Harvey (Human Centipede 2&3) have small but very memorable roles. The beautiful, talented Tristan Risk (from HITH favourites American Mary and Call Girl) rounds out the cast, playing actress/murder victim Veronica. Aftermath FX (Jason Koch and Kaleigh Brown) created some truly stunning special effects, including a very cool Videodrome-style Beta tape (watch the film and you'll see what I mean). With all these ingredients, The Editor arrives laced with the classic Giallo tropes of bad English dubbing, a black-gloved killer, and gratuitous love making as icing on the cake.

Despite losing four of his own, Rey (Brooks) is getting fingered for murder
The Editor is, hands down, one of the best films I have seen all year, but not just because of how goddamn funny it is. This film looks absolutely beautiful. The feel of classic Giallo films like Suspiria or Deep Red is lovingly recreated with great sets, genuine 70s garb, a wonderful score, and most of all, amazing lighting and use of colour. I am admittedly NOT a fan of Blu-ray, but the Blu-ray of The Editor seems to make every scene jump off the screen. What I love most about these Canuckleheads at Astron-6 is their attention to detail. They succeed at the whole Giallo spoof because they know their stuff. Down to the fake one sheet film posters that hang on the walls of the editing suite, Dario himself couldn't have made a more giallolly Giallo film. These posters designed by Graham Humphreys really are a thing of beauty. Posters with fake film titles such as The Mirror and the Guillotine, Cat With The Velvet Blade, and Colour Me Sin just scream of the good old days, when I would spend what seems like an endless amount of time in my favourite mom and pop video store, in awe of all the glorious VHS box art. 

You wish these films were real
To make a long story short, Astron-6 put in a shit ton of work, making sure that every little thing was perfect for The Editor: their first film with a budget, albeit a small one. Even if you have never heard of Dario Argento or the Giallo film genre, you will have a blast with The Editor. This film is well-written, acted, scored, and shot. Even better than that, Fright Night Theatre is proud to have The Editor as a part of its October 10th double bill, screening with another great Canadian horror-comedy: Bloody Knuckles! So get off your duff, and buy your tickets now, before they are gone.



THE EDITOR and BLOODY KNUCKLES
Saturday, October 10, 2015
The Staircase Theatre (27 Dundurn St. N.)
Hamilton, ON

Double Feature Admission: $15.00
Single Film Admission: $10.00 (advance) / $12.00 (at-the-door)

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