Review: Dead Man Tells His Own Tale (Fantasia 2017)

It’s hard for a horror film to be a comedy, while keeping all of its horror aspects intact throughout. If you have too much of one, you lose some of the other. Even harder then, is to balance these two genres and make the entire film be a commentary on sexism and misogyny in the modern world while not taking away from the experience by pushing that angle too far either. Yet, I found myself surprised by the deft touch, thematic balancing, and care put into this movie.



Dead Man Tells His Own Tale is directed by Fabián Forte, co-written with Nicolás Britos; the film stars Diego Gentile, Mariana Anghileri, and Emilia Attías. Fabian stars as Angel Barrios, a sleazy advertising director who is big and important enough to get what he wants. He uses his position to sleep with the women who roles, holding this double standard to his wife despite her wanting an open relationship. He’s a scummy douchebag who eventually gets what’s coming to him when he’s killed by women who turn out to be Celtic Banshees, and resurrect him as their zombified slave to do their bidding. Now the tables are turned, and women are completely in charge of him and his life.


Despite him being enslaved, the rules set upon him actually make him a better person. He can no longer lie to woman, he can no use foul language to them, and interestingly enough, there’s a scene where he seems to understand exactly what his wife is feeling about him as a husband and a person, and she hilariously freaks out know that everything the Angel she knows would never, ever say something so touching and heartfelt. It’s makes for a interesting dynamic throughout when he’s presented with situations he’s faced before, but can only go about them in ways he never has. There are some hilarious scenes later on when Angel meets other men enslaved by the coven as well, and the interplay between them is a huge laugh. Towards the end, the film starts to get more into the horror aspects of things when the coven starts to carry out their plans. The Banshees are legitimately terrifying, and I wish there were more of them in the film. The only big gripe with this film is the ending, in which everything just abruptly ends. The whole movie led to the final moments, and when the moment comes, it just happens and then the credits roll. It’s a very vague, ambiguous ending that’s open to interpretation. Despite it being somewhat hopeful, it could have transitioned smoother.


Dead Man Tell His Own Tale is a smart and funny film that has a lot to say about today’s sexism and misogyny, while keeping itself grounded in it’s horror and comedy roots. The characters are fun, the situations are hilarious and it’s commentary on today’s world is done with deft touches. This film has a lot of heart and love poured into it, and it should be commended for that. It doesn’t have a definitive answer for the imbalances and injustice people face and are discriminated for, but it leaves the door open to discussion and interpretation.


3.5/5 Zombie Heads


Review: Dead Shack (Fantasia 2017)



Filmmaker/Musician Peter Ricq, known for his work on the animated shows The League of Super Evil as well as Freaktown where he worked with fellow filmmaker/writers Phil Ivanusic-Vallee and Davila LeBLanc, now tries his hand at live-action horror fare for his first feature, Dead Shack. Aimed at mixing dark comedy with big horror themes, the film shares its festival run with the prestigious Fantasia International Film Festival.

Taking a relaxing trip to the woods, a young kid joining his best friends’ family on a camping vacation in the wilderness finds their next-door neighbor is keeping a cannibalistic secret with her and must find a way to force their parents to believe them in order to get away alive.



For the most part, this here wasn’t all that bad of an effort. One of the more impressive elements here is the rather fun action that pops up, as this delivers some rather fun and enjoyable action scenes that come off quite nicely. Giving this one some solid gore from the unique and novel methods of dealing with the zombified creatures, these scenes make this one highly interesting as well as providing this one with plenty of solid, genuine laughs that come from the solid cast. They give this one a lot of it’s warmth and charm, which is what makes this one the overall appeal by having a lot to like overall by having the friendly banter between everyone and going for the joke is what causes this to be as funny as it is. There’s a few pacing issues to be had and the low-budget nature of the shoot does crop up at times where the darkness creeps in a little too much to make the film hard to make out what’s happening, but overall there’s still plenty to enjoy here.

You can catch the film’s premiere screening at the Fantasia Festival July 22, 2017

4/5 Zombie Heads



Interview: Peter Ricq (Dead Shack, Fantasia 2017)

The Don interviews the director of Dead Shack, Peter Ricq.



DA: Hello, and thank you for taking the time to talk to us. What can you tell us about your new film Dead Shack?

PR: Dead Shack is a Horror film with a lot of comedy moments in the vein of Evil Dead 2, An American Werewolf in London, Reanimator and Fright Night.

DA: Where did the inspiration for the film come from? Where there any unique stories about it’s conception?

PR: I was trying to develop these 80 million dollar movies for many years and knew that it was never going to happen. After watching the Fright Night remake in theatres, it reminded me how much fun those types of movies were and how they affected me as a child. I remembered how many small horror films were some of my favourite films of all time and that I’ve watched them over and over again growing up. I went home and wrote the outline to Dead Shack in three days, did nothing else and wrote it knowing that I wanted very little locations and few characters like Evil Dead 2.

DA: How did you come to be attached to the project? Was this something you always wanted to do or were you brought on board later on?

PR: Quite the opposite, I was the one trying to get people attached to the project. It was never easy. Each step was a battle, no one wanted to be involved and so I worked harder to prove to people that that is something worth making.

DA: Coming from a heavy background in animated fare, was it a big step going to a live-action feature?

PR: I started doing live action music videos since 2007 for my bands HUMANS, Gang Signs and Ladyfrnd. The goal was always to learn on these music videos so that one day I could make the jump to a feature live action film.

DA: Did having your partners from the animated series involved in this film make for a smooth transition?

PR: Phil and Dav are my creative partners. We work on almost everything together and trust one another so it was always the plan to have them work on Dead Shack with me. It’s easy because we’ve done so many projects together since we met in university.

DA: Being a live-action film, did you come across any unexpected hardships while shooting the movie?

PR: Yeah, the cold was horrible. That was probably the worst, also the rain and mud where all the cars got stuck oh and then the snow.

DA: Were there any fun on-set stories about the filming that were especially memorable?

PR: There’s a lot of shots in the film where people had to step in as the kids because we couldn’t have them on set anymore. It was fun to have everyone play the kids at one point or another and in the end, you can’t even tell in the film.

DA: Now that the film is coming to film festivals, what’s the expected timeframe that others will be able to see this?

PR: I think it’ll be around Halloween but don’t quote me on that.

DA:. Lastly, do you have any upcoming projects that you would like to share with our readers?

PR: Yeah, lots. HUMANS is releasing new videos and music leading up to a new album next year and so is Gang Signs. I’m finishing the sequel to Once Our Land. We are turning Once Our Land into a feature animated film. I am finishing a script to a Vampire Movie similar to Dead Shack. Phil, Dav and I are working on several other horror films one that is a hybrid between dazed and confused and The Thing. So yeah, lots to come!




Review: The Night of the Virgin (Fantasia 2017)


Getting off the ground rather quickly, La noche del virgen/The Night of the Virgin, the debut feature from Spanish filmmaker Roberto San Sebastián, manages to combine all his influences into one screwball effort. Although certainly showing novice status from time-to-time, the film still offers plenty to like within, which makes it a natural to air as part of the prestigious Fantasia International Film Festival.

At a New Year’s Eve party, Nico (Javier Bódalo, from “Ghost Graduation”), a naïve twenty year old, sets out ready to lose his virginity at all costs that same night. In the middle of the party, his gaze crosses Medea (Miriam Martín, from “Todos estamos invitados”), a cunning and attractive mature woman. What promised to be an epic sexual debut full of lust and lack of restraint, ends up turning into his worst nightmare; as nearly every situation imaginable begins to intrude on the couple, from the noisy neighbors upstairs, to the ex-boyfriend Araña (Víctor Amilibia, from “Feel, Not to Say”) interrupting matters. However, that’s only the start of the nightmare, as the evening soon turns full of blood, sweat and varied discharges.



This is one of the hardest films from the festival to really get a hold of, as it’s nearly impossible to talk about this film without spoiling what goes on. Frankly, the general tone is gross-out comedy meets body-horror, with a touch of a coming-of-age story; yet these seemingly disparate elements come together rather nicely. The first half, with Nico in the club trying to find a girl to come home with, is a fine comedy tale as the rejections start to get more personal and weigh on him more. Yet once they leave and enter her apartment, this turns into a fun enough gross-out horror/comedy. Once there, literally every sort of bodily fluid imaginable is discharged and graced across the screen, which is what makes for a fun time here; the continuous one-upping nature of the scenes gives this a demented, deranged tone that eventually begins to feel insanely funny. Capitalizing on these gross-out gags are some terrifying moments in an agonizing pregnancy sequence. A mutant infant crawling around and the final reveal with the ritual sequence, shows the filmmakers took great care with the claustrophobic setting, as the decrepit apartment is given plenty of coverage to let loose with the onslaught throughout.



Granted, this is one of the most extreme, obscene films around and that makes for a troublesome point here. The film is absolutely unapologetic about it’s gross-out content, spewing forth vomit, blood, menstrual fluids and much, much more throughout, and in quantities that no human body would ever be able to contain. That alone makes this such a niche film, that it’s very nature would be an endurance test of insane proportions for most to even undertake. This doesn’t shy away from any form of bodily discharge conceivable, and thus that gives the film a deranged quality that could only appeal to the more adventurous genre fans, and even then the film is a tough sit-through. It’s also not helped by the main overriding factor against this one in that it’s just too long. There’s nothing that can be said here to defend its length; the film just drags on for no reason until it reaches an ungodly length of two hours, and there are plenty of scenes here that can be removed or trimmed down. This would be even more concise and effective with a half-hour shaved off immediately, as the jokes and gags here go on far longer than they should, rendering the joke far from funny anymore.

However, even under the auspices of the films flaws, this is still one of the more engaging and visceral films in the genre. It does have it’s flaws, but there’s more than enough to have a good time with The Night of the Virigin. And if you’re a fan of extreme cinema only, this is still a hard one to get through.

The Night of the Virgin screens July 22nd at the Fantasia Festival.

3.5/5 Zombie Heads