Fantasia: Aug. 8

Dutch comedy New Kids Turbo is riotously rude, and Korean horror flick The Cat is predictable but still enjoyably scary.



New Kids Turbo

Dutch writers/directors/actors Steffen Haars and Flip Van der Kuil bring us this riotously rude comedy, adapted from their TV series New Kids, a hit in their native land. Haars and Van der Kuil star, along with Huub Smit, Tim Haars and Wesley van Gaalen, as a gang of mullet-sporting losers in a small Netherlands town.

After they get fired from their jobs, the gang decides to stop paying for anything, choosing instead to steal their food and beer and greet bill collectors with a punch in the face. In the midst of the European financial crisis, this act of nihilism is interpreted across the land as political protest, and they suddenly find themselves outlaw folk heroes.

But the political angle is really just a backdrop for some gleefully juvenile humour, like something pumped straight out of the unhinged id of a particularly disturbed 12-year-old boy. Leave any trace of political correctness at the door: from retard jokes to animal abuse and child molestation, nothing is off the table in the film’s ultra-violent parade of outrageous affronts to taste and decency (and if that wasn’t enough, it’s scored almost entirely with bad Eurotrash techno).

In spite of it all, the film doesn’t come across as totally moronic or mean-spirited; there is a little heart to it and the occasional flash of deeply buried intelligence. But you’ve been warned. If it’s up your alley, stick around for the sequel, New Kids Nitro, screening immediately after and said to jettison the political subtext for pure offensive insanity. (MF) 5:45 p.m., Hall Theatre (1455 Maisonneuve W.)


The Cat

Montreal has a serious love/hate relationship with cats, and I think genre film enthusiasts will find themselves in a similar predicament with Byeon Seung-wook’s derivative and simply-named horror film.

So-yeun (Park Min-young) works at a pet shop, scrubbing down and loving up all manner of little critters day in and day out, but frisky felines trumps all other four-legged friends for her affections.

When a client of questionable character meets a mysterious and bloody end, So-yeun agrees to look after the client’s orphaned cat. But gruesome death follows everywhere this feline fiend treads, and as the bodies pile up, the cat-eyed ghost of a little girl makes herself known. Who is this deadly child spirit, and what’s her connection to the cat and to So-yeun?

If you’ve seen a Korean horror film at any point in the last number of years, you’ll recognize The Cat as something of a paint-by-numbers job. Both the plot and the scares are predictable and, to make matters worse, the film leaves major story threads unresolved (So-yeun suffers from claustrophobia and is unable or unwilling to visit her mentally unwell father in the sanatorium, but we never learn why either suffers their afflictions or if there’s a connection, though one is strongly suggested early in the narrative).

But thankfully, the story issues don’t take away from the fun of being spooked by yowling, blood-covered cats and little girl ghosts who hide under the bed. (BF) 9:30 p.m., Hall Theatre

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