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The Best of Cinequest -- Genre Films

As always, Cinequest swallowed me up for almost two weeks. I love Cinequest, and while I wasn’t able to be there as much as I’ve been in past years, but I managed to see a bunch of films, and some of them were fantastic genre films that you might wanna seek out.

And away we go-

Best Action Film- The Action Hero’s Guide to Saving Lives
Patrick Warburton is the greatest actor in the world. The man who could have played Captain Marvel and played the voice of Brock Sampson on The Venture Brothers, plays Ace Mulligan, who is basically Brock Sampson. The film is a ton of fun, and though it’s less than 20 minutes, it allows Warburton to do some great comedy and play an action hero. You can find out more here.

Best Science Fiction Comedy Short- Ducked and Covered: A Survival Guide to the Post Apocalypse. Look for the film itself. It’s really freakin’ funny. It’s a fake film strip that tells you how to survive after the bombs are dropped. It’s absolutely hilarious and it might even teach you a thing or two.

Best Short Date Film / Fantasy - Out of the Blue
An Irish short about a guy who finds a TV in the ocean. OK, that sounds a bit strange, but it’s an adorable short that features a mermaid and a bunch of strangeness that has a fun little twist ending. This was one of the best films I’ve ever managed to discover in my years as a shorts viewer. Sadly, I’ve not been able to find a website for it.

Best Crime Feature Film- Babnik
Alejandro Adams is a filmmaker who likes his close-ups. His avant garde science fiction film Canary was in last year’s fest, and while it messed with my head, I’m still not sure how I felt about it. Walking out of Babnik after it was all over, I was convinced that this was what a crime film should be. Almost entirely in Russian, it’s a tough, mind-tugging near-masterpiece that tells a story. It reminded me that the crime genre is alive and well, and with Alejandro’s visual sense, it becomes an even more paranoid and intense tale. You can find more at http://www.babnikmovie.com/.

Best Detective Film- The Boneman
I love the Hard Case Crime books. They’re some great detective stories. This is a wonderful Austrian film about a former Police Detective who has become a Repo Man. While on a trip to repossess a car, he ends up stumbling on a trio of mysteries and goes about solving them. This is a complex film that rolls through the various stories and just when you think you’ve lost something, they pick it up. It’s certainly the kind of thing that should be a Hard Case Crime book.

Best Music Video - "Her Morning Elegance"
If you like music or stop-motion, go to YouTube and search for "Her Morning Elegance." It’ll bring up a lovely short music video where the animation elements are sheets, clothing and a lovely young Israeli woman. The song is by Oren Lavie and it’s a cute little piece. The best version is here.

Best animated Short - Fard
It’s the kind of science fiction that I love: subtle, strange and meaningful. It’s the story of a world where everything is line, black and white, and very French. The discovery of a very strange flashlight leads to some strong adventure and good deal of meaning. There’s some crazy technical stuff in there too. I really hope this gets released on some DVD compilation.

Best Weirdness - Night Mayor
Guy Maddin’s classic film The Saddest Music in the World is one of my faves, and Night Mayor is his film about turning the sound of the Aurora Borealis into a series of images. It’s so very Canadian and strange and nutty and it’s a great view. National Film Board of Canada scores again.

Best Short - Two Theories, One Stone
This is a great Canadian short that is an homage to Tarantino. Actually, it’s much more, and it’s a hilarious short! These two guys, in one continuous shot, manage to work amazing dialogue and hilarious delivery. I laughed all the way through. There are also an amazing pair of thighs featured in the thing. I mean, they are amazing! Check out their Facebook page for more info.

Best Gross-Out Comedy- Puck Hogs
If you like Mockumentaries, this one is for you. If you thought There’s Something About Mary was too subtle, this one might be for you too. There’s butthole jokes, there’s peeing, there’s urinal cake eating, there’s puking and there are other tender moments of romance. It’s hilarious and almost never lets up with the comedy. Every year there’s a film like this and this is the best one I’ve seen. The biggest laughs of the fest were at the screening I was in. A great Canadian film.

Best Comedy Feature- Cummings Farm
The tagline ‘A funny thing happened on the way to the orgy’ is appropriate, but the film is really funny. There’s also the guy who played Warren on Buffy as one of the main characters. It’s bizarre and hilarious and I’d say that it was the funniest film I’ve seen since The Hangover. http://www.cummingsfarm.com/

Chris Garcia

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