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Arrow Video FrightFest 2018: Day 4 – The Man Who Killed Hitler and then the Bigfoot, Bodied, Terrified and Videoman

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Day 4 was here, 80% of the way through and a ton of great stuff clocked – as per for Arrow Video FrightFest – but 2018 was threatening to be a vintage year, thanks in part to Upgrade knocking everyone’s socks off the night before so hard that everyone was still excitedly barefootedly banging on about what a blast they had with it the next day. Check out coverage of that and eeeeeverything else here.

Clutching a decent flat white from the Turkish place a few doors down in one fist and a handful of SHUDDER popsockets in the other (I wasn’t being selfish – I thought they were sweets) (so I was actually being greedy) (if anyone wants one then @ me – they change your life, swear to Zod) I settled into the balcony of the Cineworld Super Screen for Film 1, the best titled film of the year: The Man Who Killed Hitler and then the Bigfoot.

The Man Who Killed Hitler and then the Bigfoot stars Sam Elliott (The Big Lebowski) and Aidan Turner (Poldark) as the present and past versions of Calvin Barr – a super cool and skilled US government operative who is now trying to find some purpose and direction in his twilight years.

Turner’s scenes in the past are full of thrilling espionage and adventure as Calvin carries out the titular fuhrer assassination. These sections are full of thrills and gadgets as well as a miraculously unsappy romance, as Barr also woos his hometown sweetheart, Maxine (Caitlin Fitzgerald – Masters of Sex).

The “present” scenes intercut with the thrilling heroics are where the meat lies, with Elliott providing the performance of a lifetime as an aging legend who in going off on adventures lost contact with his family and paramour and now is lonely and rudderless. This could have all been very “get off my lawn” as we’ve seen Eastwood do over the years, but Elliot and director Robert D. Krzykowski instead opt for heart and compassion focussing on Calvin’s infinite kindness and dedication to doing the right thing by others.

In taking on the “one final job” of offing a disease spreading sasquatch Calvin hopes to re-find his place and purpose and repair his relationship with his brother (Larry Miller – 10 Things I Hate About You).

THE MAN WHO KILLED HITLER AND THEN THE BIGFOOT is wonderful. It’s an absolute American classic about heroism, decency, love and sacrifice – with a mythic performance from Sam Elliot that should land him an Oscar – and a film that you should see as soon as your humanly able. Everyone should watch it as soon as their humanly able – it’s a film that could make the world a better place.

Next up was a trip round to The Prince Charles Cinema for Eminem produced rap battle movie: Bodied.

If you’re not familiar with the concept of rap battles it’s when two rappers take it in turns to rap the meanest stuff possible about each other, with the crowd and their opponent’s reaction indicating who came out on top, and who got beat so bad they were “bodied”.

The battling scenes are full of infectious energy that gets you as amped up as the crowd, and the rhyming put-downs are totally harsh and hilarious. Director Joseph Kahn cleverly augments these scenes with small touches like wisps of smoke around the rappers feet, and CG’d in props when a particular cuss is being acted out so that you a) don’t miss it in the avalanche of mickey-taking, and b) you wince-laugh even harder.

BODIED had the most brutal murders I’d seen so far at FrightFest with frenemies Adam (Calum Worthy) and Ben Grymm (Jackie Long) making verbal mincemeat out of the competition and each other.


Check out all of our FrightFest coverage

Bigfoot Hitler and Bodied were beautiful and dope respectively, but I was feeling the need for a good old-fashioned scare or two. Luckily, next up was Demian Rugna’s Terrified, an Argentine ghost train created solely to jump scare the Jiminy Crickets out of you repeatedly until you can’t take anymore.

Some sort of paranormal Hellmouth is taking an effect on three houses across the street from each other, and, after the owners are scared out of their minds and cribs by zombie kids and creepy naked dudes under the bed and in the wardrobe, a chicken shiz detective with a heart problem and two weeks to retirement and a team of ghost hunters enter the houses to try and document and eradicate the evil.

If jump scares were an Olympic sport, Argentina would have won gold with Terrified, and director Demian Rugna would be getting looked at very closely for being a liiittle too good at making you jump out of your seat a million times.

Next: Videoman (Videomannen), Kristian A. Soderstrom offbeat sorta romantic giallo about a missing video cassette and two outsiders finding each other while battling alcoholism and unhealthy obsession and being stalked by a scary preternatural video collector – who may resort to murderous means to get a rare tape.

Beautifully lit and shot and full of fluorescents and brooding darkness, Videoman is a little gem of a film that is impossible to completely classify and impossible to take your eyes off. Stars Stefan Sauk and Lena Nilsson are so raw and honest as Ennio and Simone, making you root for them to get it together. In spite of how damaged they both are, together they could make each other happy and lift themselves out of their unhealthy habits and doldrums – if Faceless (Carolin Stoltz) doesn’t murder Ennio for an impossible to find VHS first.

A neon and synth soaked love letter to tape heads and giallo obsession, VIDEOMAN is an analogue oddball kitchen sink alt-rom with the soundtrack of the year from synthwave supremos Waveshaper. Videophiles will be in love and in heaven.

 

Next up: Day Five a.k.a. THE END OF EVERYTHING a.k.a. Climax Day was scheduled to feature: Open 24 Hours, Crystal Eyes, Frankenstein’s Creature, The Golem and Climax, but SPOILER ALERT there was a late wild card joining the party. It’s a claaassic FF day of turnarounds and unexpected surprises so you’ll like it.

As ever, if you want to catch up on previous Day’s, or just check out any of our FrightFest coverage EVER – just pop over here.

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