Directed by ASTRON-6
2011, Canada/USA, 100 minutes
Father’s Day has a half-naked stripper wielding a chainsaw. Review over.
Okay, fine. I’ve got more. However, it’s safe to say that about ninety percent of you know whether or not you want to see this movie. For that remaining ten percent, this film is about a satanic, cannibalistic, father-raping serial killer and a group of heroes (a one-eyed vigilante, his stripper sister, a hapless priest, and a gay prostitute) sent to stop him. Still undecided? A few more things this film has: retro graphics, full-frontal nudity, hallucinations, incest, stop-motion animation, an 80s style electronic soundtrack, four pigs worth of guts, sodomy, and more killing than a Texas execution chamber.
So, now that everyone’s decided whether or not to see Father’s Day, let’s get down to brass tacks. This movie is great. It started life as a three minute faux-trailer and last-second addition at last year’s Toronto After Dark, and nearly everyone at the bar afterwards was saying how great it would be if it were a full movie. Thankfully, the right people were listening. Father’s Day has all the smart-ass humour of the Evil Dead movies with the gore and depravity of the new wave of homages to exploitation films.
Inevitably, we’ve got to compare it to Hobo With a Shotgun. Both started life as trailers and both celebrate the grindhouse movies of decades ago. The thing is, I enjoyed Father’s Day more. It’s ultra-low-budget in a very endearing way. Imagine your nuttiest filmmaker friends from high school—the kind always mixing fake blood, having awkward conversations with the police, and submitting short films to festivals. Well, that’s who ASTRON-6 is, except that they’ve made a feature.
Father’s Day is for anyone who’s ever rented tapes from the grindhouse section of the neighbourhood video store, stayed up past midnight watching the sketchiest channel, or smuggled I Spit on Your Grave through the Canada/US border (and yes, it had to be a video tape, and no, the store couldn’t be Blockbuster). It’s got references to grindhouse classics aplenty, but catching them isn’t necessary. This movie is a treat—one of those Halloween treats, laced with arsenic or razor blades, that your father warned you about. But fuck him.
– Dave Robson
The 6th Annual Toronto After Dark Film Festival runs October 20 though 27, 2011 at the Toronto Underground Cinema. For complete festival info visit www.torontoafterdark.com.