Sunday, 22 November 2015

NIGHT CRIES - Review By Greg Klymkiw - 2015 Toronto Blood in the Snow Film Festival

Night Cries (2015)
Dir. Andrew Cymek
Starring: Colin Mochrie, Andrew Cymek, Brigitte Kingsley, Dillon Baldassero

Review By Greg Klymkiw

This movie is completely and utterly insane. I mean that in the most positive manner. At times it's almost ridiculously cheesy and suffers from being about twenty minutes too long, but it is clearly a work of imagination, talent, ambition and an infectious love for movie-making. Surprisingly, it's a movie with considerable heart and romance that will most likely appeal to genre fans who don't mind their horror-fantasy tempered with a dour touchstone upon reality as it delves into its otherwise phantasmagorical world.

In a nutshell, it tells the tale of a brave cowpoke adorned as if he escaped from a Tarantino western who becomes the hero and protector of a staggeringly gorgeous missy (gloriously played by Brigitte Kingsley) costumed like some valkyrie who jumped from the pages of a Robert E. Howard novel. There are horrible monsters and ogres threatening our damsel in distress and it's up to the cowpoke to see that she's safe.

Unfortunately, there is a prissy villain (a creepy AND funny Colin Mochrie) who runs this weird underworld with all the power of a dark overlord. Seeking a new babe for his harem, perhaps one who will grace his boudoir for an eternity, our heroine is in dire straights. Even our hero has his work cut out for him against this mincing, dastardly, floridly accoutred whack-job.

But, hold the phone, folks! This is no mere demented bit of sword and sorcery, but is rooted in the real world where a husband loses his wife to cancer (in a series of deeply moving scenes) and involves his journeys into the afterlife to save her soul. I'm not kidding.

You see? I told you the movie was going to be completely and utterly insane. But that's A-OK: this bizarre hybrid is replete with plenty of derring-do, first rate special effects, nicely directed action sequences, some mind-blowing and eye-popping visuals, and, thanks to the welcome relief of Mochrie's great performance, a deliciously demented sense of humour.

One wishes director Cymek would have taken the shears to this a bit more since it might have had way more oomph if it didn't feel like it was occasionally lolly-gagging. Still, I'll take a bit of dawdling when a low budget genre film is as ambitious and imaginative as this one is.


Night Cries is playing at the 2015 Toronto Blood in the Snow Film Festival.