Monday, 8 September 2014

THE EDITOR - TIFF 2014 (TIFF MIDNIGHT MADNESS) - Review By Greg Klymkiw - Giallo4U

Udo Kier, tender lovemaking and a virgin bending over
in the triumphant new Astron-6 production that
presents more than a few things
you don't see everyday!
The Editor (2014)
Dir. Adam Brooks, Matthew Kennedy
Starring: Adam Brooks, Matthew Kennedy, Paz de le Huerta, Udo Kier, Laurence R. Harvey, Tristan Risk, Samantha Hill, Conor Sweeney, Brent Neale, Kevin Anderson, Mackenzie Murdock, John Paizs

Review By Greg Klymkiw

Okay, ladies and gents, strap-on your biggest vibrating butt-plugs and get ready to plop your ass cheeks upon your theatre seat and glue your eyeballs upon The Editor, the newest and most triumphant Astron-6 production to date and easily the greatest thrill ride since Italy spewed out the likes of Tenebre, Inferno, Opera, The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh, The Beyond, Strip Nude For Your Killer, Don't Torture a Duckling, Hitch-Hike, Shock, Blood and Black Lace, Twitch of the Death Nerve, Kill Baby Kill and, of course, Hatchet for the Honeymoon. You'll relive, beyond your wildest dreams, those films which scorched silver screens the world over during those lazy, hazy, summer days of Giallo. But, be prepared! The Editor is no mere copycat, homage and/or parody - well, it is all three, but more! Directors Adam Brooks and Matthew Kennedy have created a modern work that holds its own with the greatest gialli of all time.
Great giallo MUST HAVE babes screaming.
It's laugh-out-loud funny, grotesquely gory and viciously violent. Though it draws inspiration from Argento, Fulci, Bava, et al, the movie is so dazzlingly original that you'll be weeping buckets of joy because finally, someone has managed to mix-master all the giallo elements, but in so doing has served up a delicious platter of post-modern pasta du cinema that both harkens back to simpler, bloodier and nastier times whilst also creating a piece actually made in this day and age.

What, for example, can anyone say about a film that features the following dialogue:

BLONDE STUD: So where were you on the night of the murder?
BLONDE BABE: I was at home washing my hair and shaving my pussy.

Well, let me tell you what one can say to this sampling of dialogue thats's indicative of the film's approach to all things irreverent and original:

A TRUE Giallo Hero MUST sport
a stylish FRANCO NERO moustache
To the uninitiated, Giallo is the Italian word for "yellow". Its cultural significance is derived from pulp novels published in Italy with trademark yellow paperback covers. Giallo films are the cinematic expression of this literary tradition. The stories usually involve a psychopath (often wearing black gloves and other costume-like elements to hide his, and sometimes her, identity) who stalks and murders babes. All other kills are strictly of the opportunistic variety and usually include anyone who gets in the way (expected or not) of the killer's motives/quarry.

The movies are splashed with globs of garish colour, replete with cool jarring camera moves like quick pans, swish pans, zany zooms and a delightful abundance of shock cuts. The narrative ingredients will almost always include a hero whom everyone thinks is guilty, a few red herring suspects, disloyal and/or uppity wives, sweet young things to tempt cuckolded hubbies and detectives who are almost always on the wrong trail (some are decent-enough dicks), others well-meaning and others yet, are boneheads rivalling the Order of Clouseau. Studs and babes are de rigueur. Nudity and sex are almost always the norm. This is a world we ALL want to live in. (If "we" don't, "we" are dullards.) Into this time-honoured tradition comes The Editor. Its deceptively simple plot involves Rey Ciso (Adam Brooks, with the greatest Franco Nero moustache since Franco Nero). A once-prominent film editor who accidentally chopped four of his fingers off and now sports four hooks in their stead, covered by a stylish flesh-coloured, finger-shaped slipcover-like glove. His handicap, more often than not, forces him to edit with one hand.

Working for a sleazy producer, our title hero eventually becomes the prime suspect in a series of brutal murders perpetrated one-by-one against the members of the film's cast. The salient detail is that all the victims have had four of their fingers chopped off. If any of them had actually survived, they, like Rey, would suffer the indignity of being referred to as "the cripple".

To complicate matters, Rey has fallen head over heels for his beautiful, young assistant editor, but he tries to resist seducing her, even though at one point she demands, "Make me a woman." Rey, however, points out their age difference: "You are just a little girl. Play with the boys your own age."

Besides, he's locked into an unhappy marriage with a sexy, but spiteful has-been actress (Paz de le Huerta) - a harping shrew who openly cuckolds Rey. At one point, she admits to having eyes for one of the lead actors in the film Rey is editing. Our hero snidely quips, "What would you do if he died?" Wifey is outraged by his mind games and responds: "I would cry. I would cry. I would cry, cry, cry, cry, cry, cry, cry, cry," and then adds, ""I would cry. I would. I would never, ever stop crying, you stupid cripple!"

Detective Peter Porfiry (Matthew Kennedy, also sporting a Nero 'stache), is hell-bent on finding the killer and upon first laying eyes on Rey, he suspiciously asks, "Who's he?" The sleazy producer makes a most gracious introduction: "That's the cripple, the editor." Porfiry, a lusty swordsman with a penchant for slapping his eager women on the face when they talk back, dogs poor Rey at every step. This is not the ideal situation for our hero since he has to keep editing around all the actors who keep getting murdered. Still, he handles the stress as well as could be expected and when he inadvertently lets an amusing comment slip out, the Producer happily announces: "Good one, Ray. I knew it would be fun having a cripple around."

As bodies pile up, Porfiry slaps together a brilliant undercover idea and manages to get his junior detective (Brent Neale) onto the film as the editor. Hapless Rey is being replaced by an Italian version of Jethro Beaudine. The producer tries to let Rey go graciously. "Honestly Ray," he says, "I thought it would be fun to have a cripple around, but I was dead wrong."

The Editor has all the makings of a horror classic. The writing is always sharp and delightfully mordant, the cinematography is first-rate - capturing all the near-fluorescent colours of gialli, the special effects are outstanding (and wonderfully over-the-top), and the musical score is a marvel of aurally rapturous 70s/80s-styled sleaze. Though the film appears to have a bigger budget than previous Astron-6 titles like Manborg and Father's Day, it's lost none of those pictures' independent spirit.
FUCHMAN, (from "Father's Day")
is up to his old shenanigans. 
Hell, we even get teased with a cameo by Mackenzie Murdock in the role of Fuchman ("ch" naturally pronounced like "k") the Daddy-Sodomizing serial killer of Father's Day. And speaking of actors, the cast of The Editor is to-die-for. Brooks is a terrific schlubby hero, Kennedy is suitably, sexily smarmy, the gorgeous Tristan Risk is a Giallo scream-queen incarnate, Brent Neale is galumphingly hilarious as the junior cop, Conor Sweeney (as per usual) dazzles us with his stunning pretty boy looks and utterly astounding ability to play a terrible actor and among many other astonishing thespians delivering spot-on work, the movie features Udo Kier, the greatest actor of all time, as a demented psychiatrist.
Giallo fans will recognize the source
of these specific images in "The Editor".
Finally though, the importance of this film in terms of Canadian Cinema, and cinema period, is that it's a genuine contemporary contribution to the exciting wave of prairie post-modernism that was spawned out of Winnipeg by the brilliant John Paizs (whose classic Crimewave has been given a gorgeous, TIFF-funded 2K restoration which will premiere at TIFF 2014 as well as The Editor).
the FATHER of Astron-6
Among other Winnipeg practitioners of the art of paying homage to genres and being the thing itself, the crazed Guy Maddin (Tales from the Gimli Hospital, Archangel, Careful, My Winnipeg) is also part of this tradition. Consider John Paizs as God the Father of Astron-6 and Guy Maddin as the collective's Uncle Jesus Christ.
Chainsaw VS. Conor Sweeney,
Axe VS. Tristan Risk
Who will Survive?

What will be left of them?
Brooks and Kennedy via the Astron-6 collective in Winnipeg have joined the ranks of the very best filmmakers to smash through the traditional boundaries of the medium and create work of genuinely lasting value. Best of all, though, The Editor is probably the coolest film you'll see this year and one you'll want to partake of again and again and yet again.

Cult classics never die. They get better and better.

THE FILM CORNER RATING: ***** 5-Stars Highest Rating

The Editor enjoys its World Premiere in the Midnight Madness series programmed by the brilliant Colin Geddes at the 2014 edition of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF 2014). For tix, times, dates and venues, visit the TIFF website by clicking HERE.

HEY YOU! If you want to buy any of the following movies, click directly onto the Amazon links below and keep-a-goin' until you checkout. All sales and ad-clicks on this site assist greatly with the ongoing maintenance of The Film Corner.
In Canada BUY the Astron-6 Short Film Collection HERE
In USA and the rest of the WORLD - BUY the ASTRON-6 Short Film Collection - HERE

In Canada BUY Astron-6's FATHER'S DAY - HERE

In USA and the rest of the WORLD - BUY Astron-6's FATHER'S DAY - HERE

In Canada BUY Astron-6's MANBORG - HERE

In USA and the rest of the WORLD - BUY ASTRON-6's MANBORG - HERE
A similar scene to the one experienced by Jim Jarmusch and others in New York during the 70s and 80s was also happening in Winnipeg at the same time and captured in the documentary BLANK CITY as well as many other works which appeared in the "Forgotten Winnipeg" series during the early winter of 2014. A very cool explosion in indie underground cinema that I and many colleagues and friends were involved with was spawned during these halcyon days. This period, coined by film critic Geoff Pevere as Prairie Post-Modernism, included the works of John Paizs, Guy Maddin, Greg Hanec and many others.

Another great film from Winnipeg during this period is Greg Hanec's extraordinary DOWNTIME which has the distinction of being a parallel cinematic universe to Jim Jarmusch's "STRANGER THAN PARADISE". Both films were made at the same time in two completely different cities and scenes and both Hanec and Jarmusch premiered their films at the same time at the Berlin Film Festival. One's famous, the other isn't - but now that the "lost" and "found" DOWNTIME has been remastered from original elements to DVD, it can now be purchased directly online.
Order DOWNTIME directly from the film's new website by clicking HERE
Perhaps the greatest Canadian independent underground filmmaker of all-time is Winnipeg's John Paizs. It's virtually impossible to secure copies of his astounding work which, frankly, is responsible for influencing the work of Guy Maddin, David Lynch, Bruce McDonald and an endless number of great indie filmmakers the world over. Paizs' great short film SPRINGTIME IN GREENLAND is available for purchase in a beautiful remastered edition from a fan website, the inimitable Frank Norman. Norman has Paizs' blessing to provide copies of the film, so feel free to directly make your request to Mr. Norman by clicking HERE.

Visit Frank Norman's CRIME WAVE
fan site by clicking HERE
Alas, it's super-impossible to get a copy of Paizs' masterpiece CRIME WAVE (not to be confused with the super-awful Coen Bros/Sam Raimi film of the same name that was released the same year Paizs' film was NOT released properly by its scumbag Canadian distributor Norstar Releasing, which eventually became Alliance Films (where the boneheads sat on the film and turned down several excellent offers from small indie companies to release the film properly on DVD in super-deluxe special editions because they lazily purported to be negotiating a massive package deal on its catalogue titles with some tiny scumbag public domain company that, as far as I can tell, has neither purchased nor released the film). This truly great and highly influential film is, no doubt, languishing in some boneheaded distribution purgatory within the deep anal cavities of the new owner of Alliance Films, a humungous mega-corporation called E-One. Feel free to repeatedly bug their stinking asses and demand a proper release. In the meantime, VHS copies of CRIME WAVE can still be found with the ludicrous title THE BIG CRIME WAVE and E-One has released CRIME WAVE on iTunes - hardly a proper way to view the film.