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Articles by Shahbaz Khayambashi

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2019: ‘The Furies’ and ‘Mutant Blast’

The Furies (DIR. Tony D’Aquino) So, there are these seven women and seven monsters.  The women are tasked with staying alive, while the monsters attempt to kill them.  This plot could either be attached to a self-aware bit of amazing cinematic trash, or it could take itself too seriously and fail.  Tony D’Aquino’s The Furies falls firmly into the latter category.

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2019: ‘Extra Ordinary’

Ghosts are just ordinary people who have died.  Surely, that means they are all around us, right?  Extra Ordinary starts with this quirky concept and adds satanism, post-domestic abuse, and driving school experience to turn the weirdness up to eleven.  The film’s weirdness isn’t its only trick, however, because Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman’s film is roaringly funny despite that.

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2019: ‘The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale’ and ‘Witches in the Woods’

The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale (DIR. Lee Min-jae) The zombie genre has always managed to survive because zombies, as a monster, are wholly dependent on the zeitgeist of the time.  Since they are brainless creatures, their existence can generally be justified by the anxieties of the time (military industrial complex, consumerism, conformity, racism, etc.).  While that is an advantage to sub-genre, most zombie films follow the same template.  The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale is no…

One-on-Ones

Wylie Writes’ One-On-One with Corey Stanton

Robbery is a solid drama that tells the compelling story of Frank (Art Hindle), a cerebral career criminal suffering from dementia.  When his son, Richie (Jeremy Ferdman), finds himself the target of a dangerous organization to whom he owes money, Frank must come out of retirement and use the remnants of his mind to save his son. I talked with writer/director Corey Stanton to see where this surprisingly unique story came from.

Festival Coverage

TIFF 2019: ‘The Twentieth Century’

Depending on who you ask, Canadian cinema may well be celebrating its 100th year this year and, despite the general dismay that it continues to attract from some, it is still very much able to be as innovative as any other national cinema.  Why the history lesson?  Because that may be the best way to introduce Matthew Rankin’s The Twentieth Century, at once a great addition to the Canadian cinematic canon and a bitter poisonous…

Festival Coverage

TIFF 2019: ‘The Lighthouse’

With The Witch, Robert Eggers showed the world that there were untold, new ways to tell horror stories.  So, what can someone who has already reinvented a genre do as a follow up?  Eggers decided to tell a new story based on the research of horrific authentic historical documents, and it works.

Reviews

Survival Box

What do you do when you live in an age of renewed Trumpian nuclear anxiety and wish to express the doomed future of the youth therein?  If you’re William Scoular, you make Survival Box, a film so navel-gazing in its execution that, by the end of its runtime, it can only be described as an answer to a question no one asked.

Reviews

Yesterday

What would happen if you woke up one day and just one seemingly ubiquitous thing had vanished off the face of the earth?  As far as thought experiments go, this formula can lead to a variety of paths, most of them worth a bit of digging.  However, what would happen if the Beatles vanished off the face of the earth and the answer was told by a cheque-cashing Danny Boyle, based on yet another formulaic…

Uncategorized

The Dead Don’t Die

Jim Jarmusch has been making films for almost forty years.  Despite such a prolific career, his bad works can be counted on one hand.  This is a direct result of knowing his audience and knowing exactly what it is that they want.  This streak continues with his latest feature, The Dead Don’t Die, a zombie horror-comedy which takes on American consumption without ever taking itself too seriously;  after all, that film was made about forty…