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DJ XL5’S Mondo Superhero Zappin' Party

World Premiere

DJ XL5's Mondo Superhero Zappin' Party from Festival Fantasia on Vimeo.

After Bollywood films (2010), Christmas cheer (2010), Mexican genre movies (2011), Italian exploitation (2012), zombies through the decades (2013), the spandex ’80s (2014) and Blaxploitation (2015), DJ XL5 now leaps into superhero cinema, from the serials of the 1940s right up to the final hours before the advent of the recent Marvel and DC mega-productions. Meticulous preparation required the viewing of almost 140 feature films, of which 60 made the cut for this mash-up. Given the project’s ambition, DJ XL5 enlisted the able assistance of DJ UltraSanto (André Dubois, a co-founder of the testival), DJ Baragon (Éric Lavoie, also an early Fantasian, a regular collaborator with DJ XL5) and DJ Hornet (Robert Guillemette, likewise a member of the festival family from its earliest days).

Spliced together in a crazed and colourful chronology, the selected clips and snippets reveal the evolution of the superhero genre in motion pictures, starting with the very first ever on screens, inspired by American comic books and radio broadcasts. Beyond the USA, this program also mines productions from Spain, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines, Thailand and Turkey. Our criteria were strict: to qualify as a superhero, a character must have superhuman powers, or a secret identity as well as gadgets to fight crime. Thus characters like Conan or tank Girl, while drawn from comics, don’t pass the test. Of course, as regulars at DJ XL5’s Zappin’ extravaganzas know so well, they can expect not only the most outlandish spectacles the genre has to offer but also some very psychotronic moments. Expect lousy fight choreography, ill-fitting costumes, dollar-store masks and similar cinematic stumbles and bungles. Arrive early — surprise screenings await the first folks in the room!

— Marc Lamothe