Presented by Super Channel
Directed by Bruce McDonald
Hosted by Director Bruce McDonald, Actors Stephen McHattie, Tómas Lemarquis and Lisa Houle and Producer Amber Ripley
Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival 2019
Tony Burgess, Patrick Whistler
Lisa Houle, Tómas Lemarquis, Juliette Lewis, Stephen McHattie, Henry Rollins
On the orders of his boss, the low-level gangster Hercules (Henry Rollins), hit man Johnny (Stephen McHattie) must cut off the pinkie finger of celebrated jazz trumpeter The Maestro (Stephen McHattie, again) just before an important, high-profile gig. Seems simple enough, but the gig is a wedding at the fortified palace of crime queen The Countess (Juliette Lewis) and Johnny isn't quite feeling it. Hercules is moving up from standard gangster stuff to human trafficking and the reason for the pinky request is more of a slight than anything else. Like all movie hit men, Johnny is thinking of getting out of the game and this job has convinced him it's time to retire. Throw in The Countess' vampire brother (Tómas Lemarquis), his child bride and the wedding from hell, you'll think you've imagined it all, but no, it's just a visit to DREAMLAND.
At long last, Canadian filmmaking great Bruce McDonald comes to Fantasia, and he's brought a real doozy with him, his jazzy, darkly comic and offbeat DREAMLAND, which reunites him with Stephen McHattie for the first time since PONTYPOOL. They once again bring out the best in each other's talents, with McHattie offering a pair of terrific, inspired performances and McDonald creating two memorable roles for him to make his own. They're obviously relishing the opportunity to take this as far as they can and the entirety of DREAMLAND is on the same level, which is what makes it such fun to watch. It's got familiar elements (gangsters, hit men, vampires) but the script by makes no attempt to hold to any kind of usual structure, delighting in its eccentricities, and is all the better for it. DREAMLAND is funny, weird and unpredictable, a delight for anyone looking for something that doesn't adhere to the norms of conventional storytelling. In other words, it's just right for Fantasia.– Matthew Kiernan
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