It’s the final week of the Fantasia International Film Festival 2023!

Time is flying guys.

Multiple devastating computer catastrophes has sadly meant that we are unable to record our usual podcast series this year (pray for both of my laptops speedy recovery).

Taking a look at the next week of the festival I want to share my shortlist of movies that I think are worth checking out.

Rapid fire hot takes! Pew pew! Bonus (for you) – I’m skipping over films that are already sold out so you can just follow this list and not have FOMO.

Thursday, August 3rd:

The Cabaret of Curiosities – Société des Arts – 20h

Why? If you’re a Fantasia vet you are no doubt familiar with DJ XL5’s madcap short film Zappin’ Parties. Well guess what, this is that. Sort of. A mixture of short films, music, guests and more and best of all it’s completely free and out in the open outside of SaT on Saint-Laurent.

Evil Judgment – J.A. De Sève – 21h25

Why? Honestly there just aren’t enough solid 80s horror films that are proudly Canadian. Let alone many that are set in Montreal and somehow are in English. There’s something special about Canadian 80s horror films (look no further than 1981’s My Bloody Valentine if you don’t believe me).

Also hats off to the wonderful crazy people at Vinegar Syndrome for doing the Lord’s work of restoring these forgotten gems for a whole new generation to witness.

Friday, August 4th:

Mad Cats – Hall Theater – 21h30

Why? If you’ve ever been to Fantasia you know that almost every time the lights go down the theater fills up with the screeching meows of Fantasia-goers before the film kicks off. If there’s a film that promises outrageous kung-fu comedy action and a solid dose of cat stuff you had better believe that the most fun place to possible watch it will be Friday night at Fantasia.

Saturday, August 5th:

Molli and Max in the Future – Hall Theater – 14h45

Why? I don’t know a lot about this movie. Look it up if you want. I couldn’t even find a trailer. However, I think Zosia Mamet is great and Aristotle Athari is pretty funny on SNL. If you want to squish them together into a sci-fi rom-com that promises to be When Harry Met Sally by way of Rick & Morty then guess what? I’ll give it a try.

Onyx the Fortuitous and the Talisman of Souls – Hall Theater – 19h30

Why? If you’re like me you immediately read “Onyx the Fortuitous” and thought to yourself “no… can it be the same thing that I have a vague memory of?” and then when you looked at the film in more detail you were delighted to find out that yes, yes it is that thing you have a vague memory of. Sarah and I still say “let’s get drunk off tiny wines” in our regular parlance and that was 12 years ago. Watch this film.

Psychotronic – Cinéma du Musée – 18h30

Why? There are 11 short films screening as part of this program and maybe all of them are worth your time. But one that is definitely worth your time is Red Tiles by Philippe Bourret! He used to cover Fantasia for this website and now his short film is in Fantasia! That’s amazing. Also the film is bonkers and cool so you should see it.

Sunday, August 6th

Pandemonium – J.A. De Sève – 18h45

Why? Sometimes with Fantasia you just have to roll the dice. Go and watch the Pandemonium trailer. Go on. Somehow you know more about the film before you watched the trailer, didn’t you? Weird giant doors in the snow in the middle of nowhere, a girl screaming in the bathroom, a creepy monster man fighting a lion man? What is this movie even about? Sometimes those are the best Fantasia movies. Second Screening August 7th.

Monday, August 7th

The Abandoned – Hall Theater – 2130

Why? I feel like Taiwanese cinema doesn’t get enough attention and honestly a neo-noir procedural thriller seems like a really good way to spend a Monday night.

The Fantasia International Film Festival runs through August 9th.