I've had an interest to visit Den Magiska Biodagen the other years, but have for some reason (usually economical) never went. Den Magiska Biodagen is one of very few film festivals in Sweden, especially when it comes to horror. This year I decided to check it out, and I also managed to get my own table to sell my DVD+R "Experimental Films From The Lense of a Shitty Camcorder".
This year they showed the following films:
Dragonetti: The Ruthless Contract Killer
Don't Wake The Dead
Evil Dead was shown on 35mm, which was one of the biggest reasons I went there. Filmmakers Anders Jacobsson (Evil Ed) and Tomas Sandqvist, along with star Johanna Leamo were there to present their film "Insane" (a film I had seen prior to the festival, but with fewer kills and different ending; review). Jonas Wolcher was also there to present his new film "Dragonetti: The Ruthless Contract Killer".
Anyway. Knowing I had to start getting a release ready for the festival started a very annoying process of burning discs. That alone is fine, but when you don't have a burner it's harder. And when the burner you buy doesn't work, well.. it doesn't help. It also doesn't help when you are done and start putting blood drips on the discs (something I have done before and it has always worked before) and you notice that it ruins the discs because the players heat it up and the blood spreads. Well, I had to throw away almost all of the burned DVDs. I was finally done and brought 40 DVDs with me on the trip.
The trip started on the 9th, Friday. Me and my girlfriend, and star of my films, Amelie Malmberg went to Gothenburg, staying at a friend of hers. It was an honest pain to carry around a bag with 40 discs and things like a hammer and Super-8 camera from the movies. Oh well, we finally arrived around 10 or so that night at her place, and we had a cozy little night in eating tacos. Bad idea - I woke up with a little case of diarrhea. As we were leaving I could only imagine being on the toilet the entire festival, but luckily it worked out great and I only had to visit the bathroom to wee. We took the train to the town where the festival was held, Alingsås. A cozy little place I must say.
We whipped out the map and started walking towards the marked spot. While trying to find the right street, we met up with Rolle from Darkdisc.com and Sick Films. He had been there partying the night before so we basicly just followed him the last few meters to find the place. Time to set up our table (which we split with graphic artist Daniel Johnsson). It actually looked really good when we were finished. You can see below exactly how it looked.
Not too shabby, ey?
The first movie to be shown was "Dragonetti: The Ruthless Contract Killer". I was not a big fan of the director's other film "Die Zombiejäger" ("Dragonetti" is actually a prequel to it), so I wasn't sure what to expect from it. What came as a bigger surprise was that we were shown a very, very early stage of the film, where alot of the sounds weren't put in place and most after effects weren't even on screen. This meant we had to watch a film where it was written on the screen when we were suppose to see an explosion. "Explosion", "They are shooting at each other", etc. It makes it hard to review a movie when it was in such an early stage. I doubt it will be a film of my liking when it's finally finished as I wasn't impressed by what was shown on screen and not to mention I'm not a fan of "Die Zombiejäger".
Next up was Andreas Schnaas' new film "Don't Wake The Dead", now released uncut by Sick Films. If you've seen Andreas Schnaas' films before, you kinda know what to expect. The gore is there, the ladies are there. The silliness is definitely there. This movie was fairly well made and it was a fun experience. Not my favorites by him, but also not my least favorite. One complaint would be that it kinda turned into a music video after a while. Gore and nazi zombies were enough to please me here though.
"Insane" is the new film by the director of "Evil Ed ", and even though I had already reviewed a screener of the film a while back, I was looking forward to seeing it on the big screen, especially as I had hopes to see it with new kills (something the producer told me they would add). And they did! So even though I had seen the film before, it was nice to see the new things they added. The ending in particular was extremely nicely done and worked better than the screener version. These guys are the top filmmakers of Sweden, no doubt. "Insane" is good, but it doesn't quite beat the perfection that is "Evil Ed".
I'm not the biggest fan of Dario Argento. I don't mean that I dislike him, but many of his films haven't left me impressed enough to look through his entire filmography. "Opera" is a title I remember seeing waaay back, but never got around to watch again, so it was cool to see it on the big screen. It's not his best work, and I will probably be beaten to death for saying this, but I prefer both "Sleepless" and "Do You Like Hitchcock?" over this and "Suspiria". Again, not to say they are bad movies. "Opera" has some stunning moments but is far from a masterpiece. Maybe the fanboys of giallo will disagree, but I think this film drags a bit. "The Bird With The Crystal Plumage" is a much superior film by him. Kudos to him for the crow sequences though, they are very powerful, and might be the best parts of the film overall.
The night ended with my favorite movie of all time, and it was the only one shown on 35mm. "Evil Dead", in case you didn't understand that from the picture above. What can I say? It was just as good this time around. It was great to watch it on 35mm and it definitely brought a fantastic gritty quality to the experience. I'm sad to admit I was extremely tired when this film was playing, but I managed to stay awake through it all even though I wasn't always that focused.
The work of Daniel Johnsson.
I'm a bit annoyed that we didn't sell very well. I guess people aren't really interested in DVDs they know nothing about, especially when it's some dorky guy like me selling them. I don't blame them, but I wish more would have been sold. But it was still a fun experience and worth doing. The festival was fun overall and if they have good titles in the future I'll try and make sure to be there, whether I sell or not. It was alot of fun to meet the people behind "Insane", they were a fun bunch to talk to and gladly signed anything you threw their way.
Jonas Wolcher and the "Insane" gang split table. Anders Jacobsson is signing.
I would like to thank Peter for allowing me to have a table to sell my DVD+R, and it was nice meeting all the nice people. You all know who you are!
And finally, one last picture: