Seeing a movie for the first time at a film festival can be a dicey proposition when it comes to objectivity. Particularly genre festivals like Fantastic Fest when you’ve got a theater crammed with fanboys craving to have a collective cinematic orgasm when a movie delivers a never before seen over-the-top money shot. The roar of the mouthbreathers and the smell of the crowd can fog even the sharpest of minds. Last year the Turkish film Baskin wowed Fantastic Fest attendees with a gore-slathered climax that was intended to shock, but at its best was merely repellent with its tired torture porn tropes. Worse, it was boring. And Tom Six’s odious ode to analingus The Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence) was a group grope that proved that enough of a bad thing is truly enough. Thank god it wasn’t in Odorama.
Overall, Fantastic Fest is reliably consistent in its excellent programming and there were plenty of films to revive your faith in cutting-edge cinema. High Rise by Ben Wheatley, Lobster by Yorgos Lanthimos, Anders Thomas Jensen’s Men And Chicken and Matteo Garrone’s A Tale Of Tales are all being released in the next few weeks and I recommend them highly. But the movie that really knocked my socks off, Green Room, is being released on Friday in 18 cities and Dangerous Minds is giving away tickets. The movie opened last Friday in three cities and had the highest per screen gross of any film currently in theaters. This could be one of the rare authentically rock and roll movies to actually be a hit. And we want you to see it.
As I wrote in my original review of Green Room last year:
Green Room‘s plot is crazily clever: Ain’t Rights, a young punk band from the Washington D.C. area, proudly channeling their Dischord Records’ influences, land a last minute gig during a tour of the Pacific Northwest (somewhere near Portland). Booked into a rural music venue that turns out to be a gathering place for white supremacist headbangers, Ain’t Rights find themselves confronting the mosh pit from Hell. Far from the security of the suburbs where Hot Topics sell Doc Martens to fifth generation punks, Ain’t Rights are hurled into a dark reality where Ed Gein has traded in his plaid cap for a pair of red bootlaces and suspenders. Performing Dead Kennedys’ “Nazi Punks Fuck Off” before a mob of Hitler-worshiping fuckwads is a heroically dumb move for our band of young anarchists, but it’s just the beginning in an ever-escalating nightmare involving murder, thrash metal, heroin and a violent gang of skinheads led by the epically skin-headed Patrick Stewart.
Green Room succeeds in its mission to pin your ass to the theater seat. It combines the tightly crafted action chops of John Carpenter’s Assault On Precinct 13 with some of the psychotic mayhem of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Hills Have Eyes. But instead of mutant cave dwellers and Leatherface, we’ve got goose-stepping skins with boxcutters and shotguns: The Rocking Dead.
For those viewers who know more than a little bit about punk culture, Green Room works so well, despite its off-the-wallness, because it feels authentic. It gets the details right. Director Jeremy Saulnier (Blue Ruin) knows the punk scene and the vibe of his subjects because he was one of them, as evidenced by a savvy soundtrack that perfectly weds music to action. Napalm Death, Bad Brains, Misfits, Minor Threat and Slayer create the background thump and grind to a movie that is disturbing, funny and supremely badass.
So kids if you wanna see a movie that will undoubtedly be in my top ten of 2016, we’ve got tickets for you and an exclusive clip… after the jump…