The Fantasia Film Festival has revealed their full 2016 lineup of over 130 features. Included therein are 19 World Premieres, 18 North American Premieres, and 47 Canadian Premieres!
OFFICIAL CLOSING FILM: THE CANADIAN PREMIERE OF FEDE ALVAREZ’S TERRIFYING FILM DON’T BREATHE
For the grand finale of Fantasia’s 20th anniversary edition, the festival is more than proud to present the Canadian Premiere of co-writer/director Fede Alvarez’s terrifying new film DON’T BREATHE, which left audiences breathless during its ecstatic South by Southwest debut earlier this year. In DON’T BREATHE, a trio of friends break into the house of a wealthy blind man, thinking they’ll get away with the perfect heist. They’re wrong. Screening will be hosted by Alvarez himself. DON’T BREATHE is produced by Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert along with Alvarez. Sony Pictures will release the film in North America on August 26, 2016.
ADDITIONAL CLOSING NIGHT EVENT: THE NORTH-AMERICAN PREMIERE OF JEAN-FRANÇOIS RICHET’S MEL GIBSON-FRONTED POWERHOUSE BLOOD FATHER
Hot off its premiere at Cannes, the powerhouse Mel Gibson thriller BLOOD FATHER, directed by Jean-François Richet (MESRINE, ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13), will be having its first North American screening at Fantasia as both part of the festival’s closing night events and the official closing film of the Action! section. BLOOD FATHER’s impressive cast also features Erin Moriarty, Elisabeth Röhm, William H. Macy, Diego Luna, Dale Dickey, Thomas Mann, and Michael Parks.
CELEBRATING JEAN-CLAUDE LORD IN THE NAME OF DENIS HÉROUX
As part of the festival’s 20th Anniversary festivities, Fantasia has announced the creation of The Denis Héroux Award, a prize that recognizes exceptional contribution to the development of genre cinema and independent cinema from Quebec, named after the trailblazing filmmaker – director of such works as VALÉRIE and A FEW ACRES OF SNOW, producer of landmarks that include QUEST FOR FIRE and ATLANTIC CITY – who passed away in December of last year. The inaugural recipient will be Jean-Claude Lord, maker of such diverse works as PARLEZ-NOUS D’AMOUR, VISITING HOURS, PANIQUE, THE VINDICATOR, and BINGO, the latter being one of the first thrillers from Quebec.
INTRODUCING THE SAMSUNG FANTASIA VIRTUAL REALITY EXPERIENCE
Whether you’re curious about this new technology or anxious to try some of the genre film experiences developed in Canada and around the world in recent months, FANTASIA, in collaboration with CFC Media Lab, Cream Productions and Woolf + Lapin, is proud to present THE SAMSUNG FANTASIA VIRTUAL REALITY EXPERIENCE. On Thursday July 21st, from 3PM to 8PM, and from Friday to Sunday, July 24th, from noon to 8PM, the Fantasia audience will have the chance to choose among a selection of 11 different viewing experiences for virtual reality technology, selected for us by the CFC MEDIA LAB. Admission is free.
A SPOKEN-WORD PERFORMANCE BY GRADY HENDRIX:
SUMMERLAND LOST: A GHOST STORY IN PROGRESS
Grady Hendrix, celebrated film critic and acclaimed author of bestsellers Horrorstör and My Best Friend’s Exorcism, brings his stunning, deeply personal one-man show about psychic teenagers to Fantasia with SUMMERLAND LOST: A GHOST STORY IN PROGRESS. Telling the all-shocking, all-true tale of Victorian teenagers who spoke to the dead, this is the real life story of how biomechanical sex cults, the ghost of Ben Franklin, and Arctic explorers all teamed up to answer the ultimate question: is there life after death?
GO BEHIND THE GREEN DOOR WITH GÉRARD KIKOÏNE
Fantasia will be hosting a rare appearance by Gérard Kikoïne, French director of “films d’amour” featuring iconic X stars Brigitte Lahaie and Marilyn Jess. Having just published his memoir, “Kikobook,” the industry pioneer will revisit his singular life path and discuss his collaborations with Oliver Reed, Anthony Perkins, and Abel Gance, among others. During this round-table talk, moderated by filmmaker Éric Falardeau (THANATOMORPHOSE) and Mad Movies Magazine’s Gilles Esposito, he will reveal many behind-the-scenes secrets. The event will take place following our screening of Nicolas and Bruno’s IN SEARCH OF THE ULTRA-SEX.
RUROUNI KENSHIN DIRECTOR HAS MURDER IN MIND FOR A FANTASIA WORLD PREMIERE
Fantasia is thrilled to host the World Premiere of the fascinating sci-fi thriller THE TOP SECRET: MURDER IN MIND, adapted from the popular manga Himitsu The Top Secret. A masterful script full of surprises, flawless characterizations and top-of-the-line production values make this visually stunning work a standout. After directing the immensely popular RUROUNI KENSHIN trilogy, Keishi Otomo proves once again that he is a singular talent and it will be a pleasure to welcome him back to Montreal for our 20th anniversary edition.
CHRISTOPHER LLOYD HOSTS THE CANADIAN PREMIERE OF BILLY O’BRIEN’S I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER
Adored actor Christopher Lloyd will be visiting Fantasia for the Canadian Premiere of Billy O’Brien’s I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER, an acclaimed adaptation of Dan Wells’ successful novel. Who better to understand and stalk a serial killer than a teenage closet sociopath? From the gifted director of ISOLATION.
THE NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE OF YEON SANG-HO’S CANNES SENSATION TRAIN TO BUSAN
Following our First Wave announcement of the Canadian Premiere of Yeon Sang-ho’s animated horror masterpiece SEOUL STATION, Fantasia is excited to announce the first North American screening of the filmmaker’s riveting TRAIN TO BUSAN, fresh off obliterating audiences’ nervous systems at Cannes.
CROATIAN CINEMA GETS ITS HANDS BLOODY: THE WORLD PREMIERE OF GORAN
Believe us when we tell you that one of the must-see discoveries of Fantasia’s 20th edition is the unpredictable, violent and hilarious GORAN from Croatian filmmaker Nevio Marasovic (VIS-À-VIS). Following a down on his luck alcoholic cab driver during a nightmarish birthday party, this amalgamation of deranged situations turns a powerful social drama into a comedy of awkward situations along the lines of CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM with a substantially darker soul.
AN ABSURDIST NEW CREATION FROM MINORU KAWASAKI
Japanese comedy master Minoru Kawasaki, creator of such Fantasia classics as THE CALAMARI WRESTLER, EXECUTIVE KOALA and THE RUG COP, is back with another hilariously absurdist treat! A giant monster feasts on hikers and begins to destroy the city when scientists have a genius idea: turning a skinny dude into a colossal pro wrestler! Buildings will fly and models will be pulverized when the hilarious KAIJYU MONO screens in its International Premiere.
JOBS GET LETHALLY ODD IN THE WORLD PREMIERE OF PASCAL CHAUMEIL’S UN PETIT BOULOT
Left jobless after the town’s big factory closes, Jacques (Romain Duris) finds a new job to cover his debts and make ends meet – contract killings. A smartly written black comedy that takes sharp shots at capitalism and conformity, UN PETIT BOULOT (ODD JOB) is scripted by and co-starring Michel Blanc, and directed by the late Pascal Chaumeil, who passed away shortly after production was completed.
FROM THE MAKERS OF BITE –
THE WORLD PREMIERE OF BED OF THE DEAD
Maverick Canadian genre heroes Black Fawn Films, whose BITE, EJECTA, ANTISOCIAL, THE DROWNSMAN, and NEVERLOST have all world premiered at Fantasia, return to Montreal with BED OF THE DEAD, the directorial debut of cinematographer Jeff Maher (BITE, HELLOUTH). Four twenty-somethings find themselves stuck on a haunted antique bed where leaving means suffering a gruesome death in this hallucinatory Grand Guignol Twilight Zone-esque shocker that gets freakier with each passing minute.
EVERYONE WILL FALL IN LOWLIFE LOVE
Third Window Films and Eiji Uchida (GREATFUL DEAD) partner up once again for LOWLIFE LOVE, an undeniably personal and uncompromising look behind the scenes of Japan’s micro-budget film industry. Starring veteran actor Denden (COLD FISH, CURE, UZUMAKI) and Kiyohiko Shibukawa (LOVE & PEACE) in the lead role of a 39-year-old deadbeat lowlife running a scam film school for down-on-their-luck actors and filmmakers. Fantasia’s Canadian Premiere screening will be hosted by Director Eiji Uchida, actor Denden, and producer Adam Torel.
FANTASIA CELEBRATES 50 YEARS OF JAPAN’S MOST FAMOUS SUPERHERO WITH THE INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE OF ULTRAMAN X: THE MOVIE
On July 17, 1966, the first episode of the hugely popular Ultraman series was broadcast on Japanese television. On July 17, 2016, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the birth of Japan’s most famous superhero, Fantasia will present the international premiere of Kiyotaka Taguchi’s ULTRAMAN X: THE MOVIE, the latest film from Tsuburaya Productions, featuring the original Ultraman.
THE INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE OF KIM TAE-GON’S FAMILYHOOD
Both hilarious and deeply moving, Kim Tae-gon’s extremely smart dramedy FAMILYHOOD (International Premiere) is more than just a solid piece of entertainment. Featuring an impressive cast led by the extraordinary Kim Hye-soo (COIN LOCKER GIRL), it also sparks a necessary reflection on the cult of youth and beauty in contemporary society and South Korean medias, while tackling the unfair marginalization of young single mothers. Director Kim Tae-gon (THE POT) will be hosting Fantasia’s International Premiere of the film.
DOCUMENTARIES FROM THE EDGE 2016 LINEUP
Fantasia’s documentary section returns with six fascinating works that will provoke thoughts and post-screening discussions-a-plenty.
Beware the Slenderman
USA / Dir: Irene Taylor Brodsky
On May 31, 2014, two girls in Wisconsin committed an irredeemable act at the behest of an eerie Internet entity. A doc in which fiction not only surpasses reality but contaminates it in a horrifying way. Using testimonials and archival footage, it also questions the complex relationship that exists today between youth and social media. If the Slender Man doesn’t exist, he certainly haunts our spirit. Screening will be hosted by director Irene Taylor Brodsky. Official Selection: SXSW 2016, Hot Docs 2016. Quebec Premiere.
USA / Dir: Josh Bishop
A portrait of the challenges and triumphs of artist, entrepreneur, off-the-cuff philosopher and supremely devoted D&D aficionado Stefan Pokorny, mastermind of Dwarven Forge gaming miniatures. Bishop’s doc is a robust and immensely inspiring tribute to talent, purpose, and dreams made real — an enchanted, and enchanting, tale for the ages. Pokorny and Bishop will be hosting our screening. Official Selection: SXSW 2016, Calgary Underground Film Festival 2016. Quebec Premiere.
The Show of Shows
Iceland-UK / Dir: Benedikt Erlingsson
Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, it’s perfectly okay to stare. Prepare to embark on a spectacular non-narrative journey through a century of lost circus and vaudeville arts, set to a bedazzling score by members of Sigur Rós and an Icelandic choir. A dreamy, beautiful, eerie poem of a film. Official Selection: Sheffield Documentary Film Festival 2015, Göteborg International Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere.
USA / Dir: Keith Maitland
On Aug 1, 1966, Austin’s University of Texas campus abruptly became a place of horror when Charles Whitman opened fire from a clock tower. A hyper-cinematic oral history of sorts, set to an inspired combination of artfully animated recreations, newsreel footage, photographs and rotoscoped depictions of the speakers themselves, using these devices to brilliant effect, telling the story in near real-time. Winner: Best Documentary Feature, SXSW 2016. Fantasia’s screening on August 1st will be followed by a panel discussion organized by Meaghan Hennegan, survivor of the 2006 Dawson College Shooting, featuring speakers from Polytechnique, Dawson College and CTV News, with more participants to be announced shortly.
Previously announced Documentaries from the Edge titles: CREATURE DESIGNERS: THE FRANKENSTEIN COMPLEX and FOR THE LOVE OF SPOCK.
FANTASIA’S ACTION! SECTION EXPLODES THE REMAINDER OF ITS 2016 LINEUP
Following the earlier announcements of the World Premiere of KICKBOXER VENGEANCE and North American Premieres of SKIPTRACE, BLOOD FATHER, ANTIGANG, and TORO, among others, Fantasia’s Action! section has three more hard-hitting punches to land:
India / Dir: Sabbir Khan
Ronny has mastered the art of fighting, a skill he’ll need when he races to the rescue of a kidnapped flame in Thailand. Tiger Shroff’s intense performance shows promise of major martial-arts stardom ahead. BAAGHI is a non-stop action feast that will keep you on the edge of your seat for its whole duration. Quebec Premiere.
Kill Zone 2
Hong Kong-China / Dir.:Soi Cheang
Thai prison guard Chai must keep Kit, an undercover Hong Kong cop, alive at any cost. An action extravaganza with some truly astounding scenes — including a prison riot that will have you on the edge of your seat! Official Selection : Toronto International Film Festival 2015.
The Phantom Detective
South Korea / Dir: Jo Sung-hee
Private investigator Hong Gil-dong (Lee Je-hoon), searching for his mother’s killer, enlists the unsuspecting help of the man’s two granddaughters. A devilish, modern mélange of film noir and action. Official Selection: Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival 2016. Quebec Premiere.
Additional previously announced Action! titles: THE BODYGUARD, LIBRARY WARS: THE LAST MISSION, and THEY CALL ME JEEG.
AXIS SECTION 2016: ANIME THEN AND NOW, LONE-WOLF ANIMATORS
As its twentieth anniversary arrives, Fantasia can’t forget how essential Japanese anime has been in our programming over the past two decades, and this year we’re screening both a new, state-of-the-art anime feature (HARMONY) and an early cornerstone of Japanese animation history (MOMOTARO, SACRED SAILORS).The 2016 Axis section also showcases BATTLEDREAM CHRONICLE from Martinique and NOVA SEED from Canada, two superior examples of something we can expect more of in the years to come: full feature films crafted by a single animator on a negligible budget. The quality, creativity, and charm these labours of love exude should give big studios pause… and remind fans of the medium what they love about it in the first place.
Japan / Dirs.: Takashi Nakamura, Michael Arias
Tuan has fled to the ends of the Earth, the edge of human civilization drastically reduced by cataclysm – and since supremely elevated by nanotech miracles. A new key work in Japanese animation from the innovative Studio 4°C, part of the Project Itoh anime trilogy. Quebec Premiere.
Momotaro, Sacred Sailors
Japan / Dir.: Mitsuyo Seo
Commissioned by the Ministry of the Navy and inspired by Disney’s FANTASIA, animation pioneer Seo’s 1945 propaganda film for children was the very first Japanese anime feature. A lost masterpiece, freshly restored from the original 35mm negatives. Official Selection, Cannes Classics 2016. Canadian Premiere.
Martinique / Dir.: Alain Bidard
Syanna must confront the fiercest fighters of Mortemonde, to kill the masters inside them – and the slave inside herself. Martinique’s first animated feature, a digital anime adventure on par with Japan’s best, but proudly Caribbean at heart (and it’s all the work of a single filmmaker).
Canada / Dir.: Nick DiLiberto
It’s bio-warrior beast-man versus wasteland warlock in this totally hand-drawn, homemade cartoon mini-masterpiece, shamelessly wallowing in vintage Saturday-morning science-fantasy fun. The ne plus ultra of do-it-yourself animation, loaded with irony-free charm. Quebec Premiere.
Previously announced Axis titles: BAD CAT, PSYCHONAUTS, and SEOUL STATION.
ADDITIONAL THIRD WAVE TITLES INCLUDE:
USA / Dir: Adam Pinney
The reclusive and eccentric inventor behind the Kalt Cube – the world’s most popular toy! – is opening up after a 10-year vow of silence, ready to unveil a new invention. A quirky, edge-of-your-seat character study, unfolding as the confessional of a Steve Jobs-esque inventor, THE ARBALEST is a rare thing: a vision at once fresh, hilarious, and chilling in its pitch-perfect timeliness. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at SXSW 2016.Bakuman
Japan / Dir: Hitoshi Ohne
Two classmates team up to create a manga and get it published in the legendary magazine Shonen Jump. A film for manga fans to drool over, while pleasing the uninitiated with its contagious dynamism, astounding visual creativity, award winning soundtrack by electro band Sakanaction and stellar cast led by RUROUNI KENSHIN’s Takeru Sato. Official Selection: Udine Far East Film Festival 2016, Japan Cuts 2016. Canadian Premiere.Collective Invention
South Korea / Dir: Kwon Oh-kwang
A journalist strives to expose the transformation of a boy into a fish following a clinical experiment gone awry. Alternately absurd and bitingly satirical, a smart, funny fantasy you can dive right into. Official Selection: Toronto International Film Festival 2015, Busan International Film Festival 2015, BAFICI – Buenos Aires Film Festival 2016. Quebec Premiere.The Exclusive: Beat the Devil’s Tattoo
South Korea / Dir: Roh Deok
Breaking news, this just in! Killer-thriller collides with biting black satire of modern media! Body count sure to rise! Rising South Korean star Cho Jung-seok (ARCHITECTURE 101) headlines in this anxious, adrenal twist of mystery, mayhem, and mockery. Official Selection: Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival 2016, Udine Far East Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere.Feuilles mortes
Quebec / Dirs: Thierry Bouffard, Carnior, Edouard A. Tremblay
On the road to a fortified village, three individuals with very different pasts see their destinies unwillingly intertwined. A post-apocalyptic Western that’s also a powerful human drama, starring Roy Dupuis, Noémie O’Farrell, and Philippe Racine. Big-screen viewing is a must. World Premiere. Five
France / Dir: Igor Gotesman
Selling drugs isn’t for everybody, and when things turn sour, Samuel (Pierre Niney) has no choice but to turn to those who always had his back: his friends! A funny yet humanist film about friendship. North American Premiere.
South Korea / Dir: Jung Ji-woo
Coach Gwang-su will make a better competitive swimmer of 11-year-old Jun-ho — but at what terrible cost? Gorgeously shot and masterfully written, this shattering, yet luminous sports drama carries the torch for independent Korean cinema in this Olympic year. Official Selection: Busan International Film Festival 2015, Udine Far East Film Festival 2016, New York Asian Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere.
HK2: The Abnormal Crisis
Japan / Dir: Yuichi Fukuda
After being the hero of one of the craziest screenings in the history of Fantasia, Hentai Kamen is back for further sexy superheroics in a sequel packed with salacious gags, absurd dialogue, over-the-top action, and grotesque baddies. Official Selection: Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival 2016, Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival 2016, New York Asian Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere.
Holy Flame of the Martial World
Hong Kong / Dir: Lu Chin-Ku
The search for the ultimate weapon, the Holy Flame, continues to create havoc! Beware of laser fingers and flying disco balls as you enjoy this blast of pure, unfiltered kung fu insanity in a rarely seen 35mm Shaw Scope print.
China / Dir: Xu Haofeng
A tormented young man invites trouble with his new identity in this resounding, confounding kung fu delight that breaks and remakes the very laws of martial arts cinema! North American Premiere.
South Korea / Dir: Kim Sang-chan
Financial pressures make a dysfunctional family of sorts out of the misfits at Addiction Karaoke — but a serial killer threatens to upend the fragile peace. A crafty blend of black comedy, poignant drama, and brutal suspense. Official Selection: South by Southwest Film Festival 2016, Boston Underground Film Festival 2016. Quebec Premiere.
Kiki, Love to Love
Spain / Dir: Paco León
Five unusual love stories unfold in sunny Madrid, in this smart, spicy sympathetic erotic comedy. León’s film blew up at the box office in Spain and seduced millions — and schooled them in the details of dirty dabblings like harpaxophilia, polyamory, dacryphilia, eliphilia, and somnophilia! Canadian Premiere.
Japan / Dir: Hideo Sakaki
Katsuura was once at the top, boss of a Kyoto yakuza clan. Now, he’s at the very bottom, literally crawling on the floor as a limbless debt collector. One of the bleakest, most unrelenting gangster films which is playing against type at every level possible. Official Selection: New York Asian Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere.
USA / Dir: Harrison Atkins
A disarming film about messy relationships and the shame of owning up to one’s sexuality… especially when ghosts and STDs are involved! Exploring a generation’s drive for romantic connection by way of the supernatural, LACE CRATER blends the improvisational and comedic approaches of erstwhile mumblecore cinema, with the unsettling metaphors that a genre framework can bring to life. Official Selection: Toronto International Film Festival 2015, Imagine Film Festival 2016. Quebec Premiere.
USA / Dir: Zach Clark
Halloween 2008 brings a former goth girl, now a nun, back into her dysfunctional clan’s den of disaster. A delightful and idiosyncratic black comedy about family, black lipstick, drugs, and finding grace in adversity starring Addison Timlin, Ally Sheedy, Keith Poulson, and Barbara Crampton. An outright masterpiece from the wildly talented director of WHITE REINDEER. Official Selection: SXSW 2016, Edinburgh International Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere.
Mon ami Dino
Quebec / Dir: Jimmy Larouche
“I’m not afraid to die — I’m scared to lose my life.” Actor Dino Tavarone (OMERTA) delivers a performance of rare authenticity, playing himself in a wild concoction that perfectly blends reality with fiction. A splendid celebration of life reflecting on family, friendship, work… and illness. Montreal Premiere.
Outlaws and Angels
USA / Dir: JT Mollner
Desperate bank robbers with a bounty hunter on their trail hide out at an isolated farm. A gloomy, violent concoction emphasizing the gritty, depraved, and brutal side of the Wild West, tipping its hat to the classics. Francesca Eastwood, daughter of the legendary silver-screen cowboy, delivers a twisted yet solid performance that is sure to make her famous father proud. Official Selection : Sundance 2016. Canadian Premiere.
Parasyte: Part 1
Japan / Dir: Takashi Yamazaki
The right hand of teenager Shinichi has been commandeered by a strange alien entity, and it wants to find more of its kind. A shrewd, highly logical hybrid of horror and sci-fi, adapted from the hugely popular manga. Official Selection: Tokyo International Film Festival 2014, Udine Far East Film Festival 2015, Nippon Connection Festival 2015. Quebec Premiere.
Parasyte: Part 2
Japan / Dir: Takashi Yamazaki
The second act of the two-part PARASYTE series raises the stakes and cranks up the excitement. A mutant mash-up of grisly gore, creature feature, science fiction eco-shocker, and superhero thrill ride. Official Selection: Udine Far East Film Festival 2015, Nippon Connection Festival 2015. Quebec Premiere.
South Korea / Dir: Kim Gwang-tae
In the aftermath of the Korean war, a humble musician and his sick son discover a hidden village plagued by rats — and by shameful, dark secrets. A haunting, horror-stained fable of doublecross and dire retribution adapted from the classic Pied Piper of Hamelin with an amazing cast led by Ryoo Seung Ryong (SEOUL STATION) and Chun Woo-hee (HAN GONG-JU). Official Selection: Vancouver International Film Festival 2015, Busan International Film Festival 2015.
South Korea / Dir: Jang Jae-hyun
A grizzled, borderline-burnout veteran exorcist and a rebellious young seminarian confront a demonic possession in Korea in this supernatural thriller that’s scary and/or funny in just the right places. Kim Yoon-seok (THE CHASER), Kang Dong-won (HAUNTERS), and Park So-dam (THE THRONE) shine in Jang Jae-hyun’s impressive first direction. Official Selection: Udine Far East Film Festival 2016, Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival 2016. Quebec Premiere.
India / Dir: Anurag Kashyap
Raman, a serial killer in Mumbai, sees his alter ego in the crooked cop pursuing him. A genuine time bomb that can suddenly blow up in your face at any time, capturing the social pressures gnawing away at Indian society. From the visionary director of GANGS OF WASSEYPUR and UGLY. Fantasia will be showing the Cannes cut, as opposed to the version that recently opened in theatrical release. Official Selection, Cannes Director’s Fortnight 2016.
Sori: Voice from the Heart
South Korea / Dir: Lee Ho-jae
Kim is searching for his long-lost daughter. A satellite robot he names Sori is also on a quest — and government agents are after them both. A smart, inventive, and empathic adventure, part quirky comedy, part techno-thriller. Official Selection: Hong Kong International Film Festival 2016, Udine Far East Film Festival 2016. Quebec Premiere.
Too Young to Die!
Japan / Dir: Kankuro Kudo
Recently deceased teenager Daisuke, desperate to escape Hell and reach Heaven, embarks on an epic journey of wacky reincarnations. A devil-horned comedy masterpiece by Writer/Director Kankuro Kudo (BRASS KNUCKLE BOYS), bursting with gore gags and heavy metal tunes by the gallon! Official Selection: International Film Festival Rotterdam 2016, Hong Kong Filmart 2016, New York Asian Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere.
A Violent Prosecutor
South Korea / Dir: Lee Il-hyung
Hardboiled prosecutor Byun, framed for the death of a suspect, isn’t going to let prison walls get in the way of his revenge. A rough, tough, rambunctious legal thriller that ransacked the South Korean box office featuring stars Hwang Jung-min (THE WAILING) and Kang Dong-won (THE PRIESTS). Quebec Premiere.
The Fantasia International Film Festival takes place in Montreal from July 14 through August 2, 2016, once again returning to the mammoth Concordia Hall Cinema as its main base.
John McTiernan’s Predator turns 30 next June, and plans for a celebration are already underway.
The action-horror-sci-fi epic has been digitally restored with plans for a 2K release…in France.
A new trailer touts the new transfer for the film featuring one of the best ensembles of all time: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Elpidia Carrillo, Bill Duke, Jesse Ventura, Sonny Landham and Richard Chaves as a team of commandos on a mission in a Central American jungle find themselves hunted by an extra-terrestrial warrior.
Obviously, next year is the film’s anniversary, which means FOX could be planning a theatrical re-release. And this makes even more sense when you consider that Shane Black’s The Predator is scheduled to hit theaters in 2018. We’ll update you as soon as something official is announced.
It’s hard to comment on the decision to make an all-female Ghostbusters troop without knowing the mentality of the studio or director Paul Feig going in. There’s a strong feminist movement online, rightfully so, but sometimes this causes overreaction. It could ignite PR greed; was the intention to cash in on the demands of the film community for female empowerment, or did this come from a good place with social commentary attached? We’ll never know, leaving us to judge only one thing – the finished product.
Feig’s Ghostbusters has received some of the worst fan backlash I’ve ever seen, and I had figured that we’d seen the worst of it until at least the film’s opening on July 15th.
There’s no way the following TV Spot doesn’t ignite an apocalypse of rage among those who have already decided they hate the new take on Ghostbusters, which introduces the all-female quartet of Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon), Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig), Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones), and Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy).
The above shot comes at the very end of the following trailer and reveals that Slimer isn’t simply a lonely soul roaming the streets of New York seeking food to binge on. In fact, he’s got a female companion – lipstick, blush, pretty hair and all. Is it Slimer’s sister, girlfriend or wife, we don’t know, but it’s hard to understand how this would make any sense in this universe without some sort of a backstory. They’re driving a car in the TV Spot, so maybe they’re a couple who crashed and died together? I dunno. My initial instinct was to roll my eyes, while Jon Barkan’s was to send the below image that may or may not be work safe (does it make you tingle?).
What do you guys think? Are you feeling slimed?
Starring Sophie Skelton, Marcus Vanco, Jeff Gum (Exeter, The Vault), Lorina Kamburova (Nightworld, Leatherface Death Race 4), Nick Loeb, Rachel O’Meara, Debbie Sherman, Luke Cousins, Nathan Cooper, and Cristina Serafini, the Day of the Dead remake is currently filming under the direction of The Corpse of Anna Fritz‘s Hèctor Hernández Vicens.
Day of the Dead follows a former medical student tormented by a dark figure from her past, who happens to be a half-human, half-zombie hell-bent on destroying her.
We’ve already shared images of Johnathon Schaech as MAX, a modern take on the iconic BUB from George A. Romeros’ 1985 classic. Now, Vanco uploaded to Instagram a behind-the-scenes look at the on-set weapon testing.
Campbell Grobman Films produces, coming off of the upcoming Texas Chainsaw Massacreprequel, Leatherface, with Jeff Rice.
Watch for more goodies as filming continues.
A very short looping video goes behind-the-scenes on Ridley Scott’s highly anticipated upcoming sci-fi/horror film Alien: Covenant and brings us a sneak peek into what the creatures in the film might look like.
The BTS video shows an FX team person working on the hand design for…something. It has elongated fingers, although it is jointed just like a human hand, and it also features five total fingers. This differs from the xenomorph design that we’re used to, which features six total fingers, two of which are conjoined and two others held very close to each other (example).
Ridley Scott returns to the universe he created in ‘Alien’ with ‘Alien: Covenant’, the second chapter in a prequel trilogy that began with ‘Prometheus’ — and connects directly to Scott’s 1979 seminal work of science fiction. Bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, the crew of the colony ship Covenant discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world — whose sole inhabitant is the “synthetic” David (Michael Fassbender), survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition.
Alien: Covenant comes to theaters on August 4th, 2017.
— Alien Anthology (@AlienAnthology) July 6, 2016
Before McFarlane Toys could swoop in and take on the franchise toy rights like they did with “The Walking Dead,” NECA took an early chance on “Preacher,” and plans to reveal the first line some time this year (possibly at the San Diego Comic-Con this month).
This isn’t the first time “Preacher” had action figures made, as there’s some really crappy toys (Jesse’s tucked in shirt is all kinds of uh-uh) adapted from Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s comic series. I own them all.
NECA can’t be thrilled by the early numbers AMC’s reported, but they have to feel confidence in the fact that a second season has already been ordered.
“Preacher” is the story of Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper) a conflicted Preacher in a small Texas town who is inhabited by a mysterious entity that allows him to develop a highly unconventional power. Jesse, his ex-girlfriend, Tulip (Ruth Negga), and an Irish vampire named Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) embark on a journey to, literally, find God.
Other cast includes W. Earl Brown as ‘Sheriff Hugo Root’, the mean-hearted father of Eugene Root aka Arseface (Ian Colletti), a flinty-eyed, conspiracy-credulous redneck who is not a fool and has a vulnerability to him.
I hope the popularity of the show builds enough that NECA gets around to making new versions of the comic characters, much like McFarlane did with their “The Walking Dead” line.
Here are the old figures for reference.
Back in January, Terror Films announced it had acquired U.S. rights to horror film, The House On Pine Street, from Canada’s Raven Banner Entertainment. Now, as the film gathers steam heading into a fall release, we’ve got the first look at a haunting new US trailer and key art.
The story revolves around Jennifer (Emily Goss), who is seven months pregnant and reluctantly returning to her hometown in Kansas, after an unexpected mental breakdown. Coping with her fears of motherhood, a strained relationship with her husband, Luke (Taylor Bottles) and the overbearing presence of her own mother, Meredith (Cathy Barnett), Jennifer struggles to regain control of her life. But when strange things start happening in their new rental home, Jennifer begins to fear that it may be haunted. Alone in her convictions, Jennifer is forced to question her sanity as she attempts to find out what, if anything, is plaguing the house.
The House On Pine Street was directed by Aaron and Austin Keeling. They also co-wrote and produced the film along with Natalie Jones and Monique Thomas. The film was an official selection at 14 domestic and international film festivals including New Orleans Horror Film Festival (where it won the “Best Feature” award), Nocturna Madrid International Fantastic Film Festival, Molins Horror Film Festival, and the Kansas International Film Festival.
The film will have a limited theatrical release followed by a wide ancillary release sometime in September.
More as it comes, folks!
‘Friday the 13th: The Complete Series’ and ‘Tales from the Darkside: The Complete Series’ Art Revealed
Pretty exciting announcement from CBS and Paramount as they announced DVD boxsets of both “Friday the 13th: The Complete Series” and “Tales from the Darkside: The Complete Series”. Now both these sets are re-releases, so I’m hopeful that these new sets will have some type of special features included as the sets from a few years back did not. If they’re the same exact sets that’ll be a bit of a bummer, but still nice to see these sets get pushed back into circulation. At the very least the Friday the 13th set looks like it’ll be coming in new packaging which looks much better than the packaging on the previous release. Fingers crossed for some bonus supplements!
Friday The 13th: The Complete Series
Release Date: September 6
Micki Foster inherits an antique store from her Uncle Lewis, but this is no ordinary antique shop. Lewis made a deal with the devil — in exchange for material wealth, he will sell cursed antiques. Micki, along with cousin Ryan and her partner, retired magician Jack, have the duty of recovering the antiques to be sealed in their basement, where the items can’t cause more harm.
Tales From The Darkside: The Complete Series
Release Date: September 6
This horror/fantasy anthology series follows in the vein of The Twilight Zone. Each week presents another standalone story of horror fantasy, and/or science fiction. Some episodes are gruesome, a few are of a lighter comedic style. Like many such shows, Tales… adapted the work of famous genre authors of the period such as Harlan Ellison, Stephen King, and Clive Barker. Many episodes also featured veteran actors of the 40’s and 50’s that saw very little work in their later years.
“Jeepers Creepers” was a pretty solid episode of Scream and continues its trend of being a vast improvement over the first season, but before I get into why this episode worked as well as it did one glaring flaw needs to be brought up: Why set a good chunk of the episode in a carnival and completely squander any potential it has for a chase scene? Just when it looked like the killer was going to get our quartet of leads caught in an exciting chase, they leave. Why even set a scene there at all? One can only hope that the series will return there for a legitimate chase scene. That’s my rant, but the episode gets docked half a skull for that missed opportunity.
While there was no real reason for the carnival setting, it did finally reveal Audrey’s past with Piper. After receiving a text from the motel concierge (who died three episodes ago) to meet him at the aforementioned fair grounds, Noah unwittingly walks into a trap and gets knocked out by the killer. He wakes up strapped into a roller coaster car with Audrey tied up behind him. Lo and behold, it was Audrey’s who knocked him out and tied him up, not the killer. It was all a ploy to get him to confess why he has been following her around lately. She certainly was the poster child for taking things too far, no? She could have just sat him down and asked him, but that wouldn’t have made for very exciting television.
It is revealed that Audrey was not Piper’s accomplice (I called it). She merely begged Piper to come Lakewood and feels guilty about it since it led to the death of so many people. While her methods may have been extreme, at least her secret is finally out in the open (with Noah anyway) so we can move on past that mystery. It is still puzzling that she still wants to keep it a secret from Emma, but now that Noah and the audience knows the truth the focus can move on to the killer.
A common theory among viewers this season is that Emma is the killer. While it is understandable that one would assume that (she only interacts with the killer when there is no one else around and the emails to Emma’s dad that were coming from Riley’s email address were coming from Emma’s computer), it’s still a highly unlikely scenario. For one, Audrey saw the killer recording her in the motel room a few episodes back. Second (and here’s the big one), it would be a High Tension-level cheat if Emma turned out to be the killer. It makes sense that Emma’s PTSD will cause her to hallucinate, but to have her be the murderer and not realize any of it? No. The only reason I’m worried is because when the killer calls her this week he (she?) tells Emma that he’s in her head and she knows it. Is that a literal statement? If that is the direction this season takes it would ruin an otherwise solid season just like High Tension‘s twist ruins an otherwise fantastic film. Don’t do it writers.
Emma was all about telling people who wasn’t the killer this week (first Audrey and then Branson), which was a little frustrating. You’d think that after last season she would be a bit more suspicious of those around her. That being said, it’s nice to see her staying strong after her upswing last week. Those who have been skeptical of her (myself included) as a Final Girl may finally be coming around to Emma. This is the Emma we have been wanting to see since the series began.
The real badass of the episode was Brooke, and boy did Branson get a little more than he bargained for with her, didn’t he? What we saw this week was Brooke taking matters into her own hands and it was glorious. After getting Gustavo to go through his dad’s file on Branson, she learns that he was dating Ms. Lang (a fact that surprisingly hasn’t been brought up until now), Brooke slyly tells Ms. Lang that she was with Seth the night of Jake’s murder and then seduces Seth into a trap. The reason Brooke is and always has been a more compelling character than Emma is that she is a stronger female character. Rather than retreat back into her shell like Emma has done in the past, she unhinges just a bit and goes full-on Catherine Tramell on him, except with a pair of scissors instead of an ice pick (What did that pillow ever do to you Brooke?). I’m not defending her bender here. She clearly needs to talk to a therapist, but where Emma has frequently been stuck in a period of stasis, Brooke has always taken action. It’s not always the right action, but it’s an action nonetheless. This automatically makes her the more interesting character. If there was an MVP of “Jeepers Creepers,” it was Brooke.
The missed opportunity with the carnival setting aside, “Jeepers Creepers” continues Scream’s trend of getting better each week. I have actually found myself excited when a new episode airs and wanting to find out where everything is headed. That is not something that could be said about every episode last season.
- Scream Thinks the Audience is Stupid Moment: Noah tells the audience that sometimes no one survives a horror movie. Oddly enough, Audrey seemed not to know that fact. You’re better than that Audrey.
- Why doesn’t Noah just show Emma the GIF? That would seem to make a lot more sense in convincing her of Audrey’s guilt.
- Emma, it’s not your crime board. You don’t just get to dictate what Noah does or doesn’t put on it. Make your own.
- Brooke’s dad and Kieran’s aunt seem to be hitting it off nicely. I expect we’ll be seeing more of them in the coming weeks.
- Gustavo’s drawing were for a graphic novel. He’s not that crazy you guys! Props to Kaitlin and John of the “Do You Like Scary Podcasts?” podcasts. They called it last week.
- “I know. She’s his age.” -Gustavo, when Brooke says it “makes 100% no sense” that Branson is dating Ms. Lang. His sassiness is endearing.
- “Playtime’s over, bitch!”
- “Jake was doing that? For me? What an idiot.” -Brooke was on fire this week!
- “JK. Now I believe you and you get to keep all of your man parts. Win win!” -I couldn’t not make a GIF of that.
- Somewhere in Time is Noah’s second favorite movie. I have no room to judge. Steel Magnolias is in my Top 10.
- “You love your Murder Board it’s what you do. It’s who you are!” -I don’t think any actor could have sold this line, but damn if Bex didn’t try her hardest. It still came off as silly, but props for trying.
- Branson got his hands cut off and the killer cauterizes his bloody stumps with an iron, so I guess he’ll be sticking around.
- Did that iron ding when it was preheated? I wish my iron did that.
- Brooke was giving us all kinds of face this week. Here was my favorite (sorry Carlson):
I popped on Assassination this 4th of July weekend just randomly. I really didn’t know what it was about and it ended up being fairly fitting for the holiday weekend. While it’s not about Independence Day, Charles Bronson does stars as a Secret Service agent named Killian (yes, KILLIAN!) who just returned from leave and his first assignment back is to watch over the First Lady, Lara Craig (Jill Ireland). As you can imagine Killian isn’t too thrilled by this. He has a bit of seniority and expects to be on the Presidential watch, but hey, he has to work his way back up after being out a while.
Killian’s return from leave coincides with the inauguration of a new President, the man following Reagan, so at this point Killian has never met the First Lady. He hears stories though and ain’t none of them good. A running joke throughout the film is about how everyone misses Nancy, which is humorous because Nancy Reagan was a monster.
When Killian finally meets the Lara, he learns all the stories are true as she’s very sassy and doesn’t want anyone watching over here or telling her what to do. Their first public outing together is in a parade and the First Lady wants to ride in a convertible. Killian attempts to stop her with a reminder that they haven’t used convertibles since the Kennedy assassination. She’s having none of it though and chooses not to only ride in a convertible, but sit up on the backseat fully exposing herself. And what do you know, they get a scare as an explosion happens next to their car. Killian reacts by knocking Lara down from her perch causing her to get a black eye. Turns out it was just a motorcycle that crashed, or was it?
After a few similar “accidents” it becomes clear that someone is out to get the First Lady, but why and who? In effort to do all he can to protect her, Killian learns that the Lara’s marriage to the President is a bit of sham. They like each other just fine, but they’re not in love and just got married to further his political career. Fearing that Lara may leave him and knowing that there’s no way a divorced man will get re-elected, perhaps it is the President with the hit out on his wife? Surely a widower would be a shoo-in for re-election. Either way, Killian is on the case!
Overall Assassination is similar to a lot of Bronson films, but that’s not a bad thing at all. There’s plenty of action, plenty of one-liners and ladies throwing themselves at Bronson, as they should be. The plot does have a few interesting twists and turns, but that’s all secondary to seeing Bronson blow things up while getting googly-eyed with Ireland. This is actually one of the more charming roles for Bronson. He’s a tough guy still, but there is a bit more softness to him which is a rare treat.
Bronson and Ireland were married at this time so they do have a natural chemistry that comes across, however, they’re not really love interests in the film. They flirt for sure, but Bronson’s Killian is actually in a “relationship” with another secret service agent, Charlie Chong, played by Jan Gan Boyd. I use the term relationship very loosely because while the two sleep together it is more about Chong fawning over Killian. One morning after the two have slept together at Chong’s place she asks him why he doesn’t just move in with her already. His response, “I don’t want to die from a terminal orgasm.” Bronson, you did it again!
As far as the action goes, there’s a lot of it and a truly amazing scene involving a dirt bike. At one point the secret service is taking the First Lady out to a secluded area for protection. For some reason they are towing an enclosed trailer. I could not figure out why they had this trailer, but then they get attacked and that’s when Killian opens the trailer and hops on a dirt bike. At this point he’s fully armed with guns and a rocket launcher and heads out on the dirt bike to chase the baddies down. At one point he even jumps over a fence into a field on the bike, a solid reference to The Great Escape. At this point Killian is chasing one man that rides into a barn and what does he do? Blows the entire barn up with a rocker launcher of course because that’s the only way to properly take down one man. Awesome.
Assassination is now out on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber and it’s a pretty standard Kino Lorber Blu-ray. The picture looks solid, never great, but always very good. If I had to guess the source material available for Assassination isn’t the best, but Kino Lorber does a nice job with what is there. The opening titles credits are bit rough, the picture looks a little faded and there are a ton of scratches, but that clears up once the film actually begins. This is likely the best version of Assassination we’ll ever see and that’s more than acceptable. Just having a film like this on Blu-ray is a win. As far as special features go there are just some trailers – one for Assassination and then a few others for Bronson films also released by Kino Lorber. I do recommend that you do not watch the Assassination trailer before watching the film because it contains some spoilers.
If you like Charles Bronson and Charles Bronson films, you’ll very likely enjoy Assassination. It hits all the marks you’d like, plus throws in a few interesting and different tidbits along the way. The story is a good one but unfortunately is relegated to being more of an after thought. Had the story been more of the focus this could have been a great movie, instead it settles nicely into being a good movie that’s a ton of fun.
Assassination is now available on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber.
In 1979, a toy company by the name of Kenner released an 18″ toy of the xenomorph from Ridley Scott’s Alien. Still highly sought after, the toy is a holy grail for many collectors. While there isn’t a resurgence of these characters, Super 7 has announced that they are going to release a similar style figure based upon James Cameron’s 1986 sequel Aliens!
According to Super 7, “ The Alien Warrior figure never existed in prototype form in 1986. The backstory is that this piece is a prototype sample of the Alien Warrior for “internal review”. The package is meant to be a mock-up, with hand-written notes about what is approved, needs to be changed, or filled in during the production process.”
The site describes the figure’s details:
The Alien Warrior measures 18-inches and matches the features of the original 1979 Kenner Alien. It is articulated at the hips, shoulders, wrists, and tail, and has the same spring-loaded jaw mechanism to release the horrifying inner jaws, operated with a trigger on the back of the head. The figure can also hang from its tail just like the original.
The figure is a San Diego Comic Con exclusive. I don’t know if any will be made available for the public after the event.
Horror is pretty cliché in many regards. We see a movie and we can easily identify stereotypes and tropes with relative ease, simply because we’ve seen it before in so many different films. Nowhere is this easier to do than with the characters we see on the screen. Each person plays a predetermined role and once we know that role we can pretty much safely guess their fate.
But if you were in a horror movie, what role would you play? Which character do you most closely resemble? That’s the subject of this week’s quiz and we want to know how you’d fare!
I somehow made it as “The Survivor”. Here’s what that explains:
Also known as The Final Girl or The Virgin, you are the survivor. You are a subtly pretty girl who is smart, sweet and liked by everyone. You don’t necessarily have to be a virgin, but you are far more pure than the rest. You’re quiet and shy, but you end up finding strength you never knew you had. You’re resilient and tough. After watching all of your friends die, you are willing to do whatever it takes to defeat the killer and survive.
One, I’m not a pretty girl (no matter how much I’d be okay with that). Two, I’m definitely not a virgin (I’ve had the sex, I promise). Three, I’m kinda willing to do whatever before my friends die. Jeez…
Below is the 10-question quiz, so be sure to let us know in the comments how you did!
Affirming its commitment to specialty and foreign films, Focus World, the multiplatform distribution initiative owned and operated by Focus Features, has acquired from Wild Bunch most worldwide territories on writer/director Julia Ducournau’s psychological horror thriller Raw (Grave). Focus World has firmed global rights to the movie for Focus Features release internationally, excluding France, Israel, Czech and Slovak Republics, Benelux, former Yugoslavia, Latin America, Greece, Australia and New Zealand.
In the U.S., Focus World will debut the movie in theatrical release in the spring of 2017.
The Petit Film/Rouge International/FraKas Productions film world-premiered at the 2016 Cannes International Film Festival in the International Critics’ Week section, where it won the FIPRESCI Prize. Produced by Petit Film’s Jean des Forêts, the French-language Raw stars Garance Marillier and is the debut feature from Ms. Ducournau.
“Ms. Marillier portrays the teenaged Justine, who commences her studies at veterinary school to follow in her family members’ footsteps. Raised as a vegetarian, Justine is pressured at school to try meat for the first time. Once she does, she plumbs both the depths of her own soul and tests the limits of her darkest cravings.”
Here’s some images and clip we released earlier this year.
Catfish duo Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, who also helmed Paranormal Activity 3 and 4, as well as the upcoming Nerve starring Dave Franco, will see the release of Viral on DVD August 2, 2016 from Anchor Bay Entertainment, Radius-TWC and Dimension Films and on Digital HD July 29, 2016 and On Demand August 2, 2016 from Starz Digital.
Penned by Barbara Marshall, Viral centers on two sisters, Emma (Sofia Black D’Elia) and Stacey (Analeigh Tipton), whose humdrum lives in a suburban neighborhood are upended when their county is gripped by a parasitic virus. They find themselves quarantined and must fight to survive as others around them become infected.
“Struggling after a recent family tragedy, teenager Emma Drakeford begins a video documentary about her life for a school project. Her life is turned upside down as a terrifying virus sweeps through her small town, turning her friends and neighbors into vicious monsters. Quarantined with her family, Emma believes they are out of harm’s way but when the contagion finally infiltrates their home Emma and her family are faced with an impossible decision – if someone you love becomes a threat, do you kill them in cold blood or save them at the risk of your own life? From the executive producer of ‘Cloverfield’ comes a terrifying new twist on the monster movie that is the first in a trilogy.“
The UK’s biggest and baddest genre film festival, Frightfest, hits London once more this August 25-29 with not only a new location for the Bank Holiday weekend’s scares… but a new headline sponsor, too!
Say hello to Graham Humphreys’ badass artwork for the 2016 Horror Channel Frightfest.
This year, the action will be based at the 12-screen Vue Cinema in West London’s Shepherd’s Bush — part of Graham’s inspiration for this year’s poster.
But what’s in store when it comes to the butt-numbing banquet of brutal celluloid treats on display? We’ll let the (huge) official press release fill you in.
For showtimes and full details on individual films, check out the schedule at the official Horror Channel Frightfest website.
From the Press Release:
In its 17th year, the world renowned genre film festival will present 62 new feature films, embracing sixteen countries and bringing together established filmmakers, British first-timers and emerging international visionaries from six continents.
The opening night attraction is the European Premiere of MY FATHER DIE, Sean Brosnan’s brutal and beautiful feature debut – an ultra-stylish, uber violent revenge thriller that’s a calling card for Brosnan’s brilliant talents. And our closing night film is another breakneck paced masterpiece – the UK Premiere of TRAIN TO BUSAN, so join ‘The Commuting Dead’ as director Sang-ho Yeon takes you on a first class horror action thrill-ride, mixing slaughter, suspense and splatter with incredible visual élan.
In between these two banner titles are the scream of the crop from all over the globe, strongly represented in our line-up of World Premieres by the incredible Italian supercar tension-ratcheting MONOLITH, the gory Dutch treat THE WINDMILL MASSACRE, the stunning South African nightmare FROM A HOUSE ON WILLOW STREET, Tricia Lee’s creepy Canadian chiller BLOOD HUNTERS and three American shock absorbers KNUCKLEBONES, ENCLOSURE and the Eurotrashy radical BLOOD FEAST remake.
Reflecting a productive year for British horror, there are twelve UK World Premieres, including Shaun Robert Smith’s intensely powerful BROKEN, Jon Ford’s visceral revenge thriller OFFENSIVE, Wyndham Price’s dark fantasy CROW, Kate Shenton’s auto-satire EGOMANIAC, Ben Parker’s claustrophobic THE CHAMBER, Marty Stalker’s shock-doc HOSTAGE TO THE DEVIL and Andy Edward’s sun, sea and sex gore-fest IBIZA UNDEAD.
Five of the UK World Premieres make up the ‘First Blood’ strand, in which home-based directors are given a chance to shine with their debut efforts. These are: Phillip Escott’s harrowing CRUEL SUMMER, Brad Watson’s urban gang shocker HALLOW’S EVE, James Crow’s deadly HOUSE OF SALEM, Stewart Spark’s 666 Short Cuts To Hell entry THE CREATURE BELOW and Lawrie Brewster’s PTSD-inspired THE UNKINDNESS OF RAVENS.
Other festival highlights in the Main Screen strand include the European Premiere of Adam Wingard’s intense chiller of the moment, THE WOODS. destined to be one of the key horrors of 2016. We also have this year’s most ferocious possession movie in Cody Calahan’s LET HER OUT, as well as Todd William’s superb Stephen King adaptation CELL, starring John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson. Then there is the top box office Italian sensation THEY CALL ME JEEG ROBOT, Adam Rifkin’s tour-de-force DIRECTOR’S CUT, starring Penn Jillette, Rob Zombie’s ultra-violent grindhouse slasher 31, ‘Saw’ man Darren Lynn Bousman’s graphic novel inspired ABBATOIR, Simon Rumley’s latest visionary masterpiece JOHNNY FRANK GARRETT’S LAST WORD, Jackson Stewart’s supernatural switcheroo BEYOND THE GATES, the zombie theme park hell ride THE REZORT, the full-blooded cracker RED CHRISTMAS, the cryogenic chiller REALIVE, the home invasion twister MERCY, the darkly unpredictable PET, starring Dominic Monaghan and the beguilling THE MASTER CLEANSE, with The Big Bang Theory’s Jonny Galecki and Anna Friel.
South America is rapidly becoming a major genre player and FrightFest is proud to be presenting seven specialities from Argentina, Chile, Brazil and Mexico. Daniel de la Vega’s WHITE COFFIN is co-written by FrightFest favourite Adrian Garcia Bogliano, Laura Casbe’s BENAVIDEZ’S CASE stretches surrealist boundaries, Patricio Valladares’ DOWNHILL mines H. P. Lovecraft for inspiration, THROUGH THE SHADOW puts Henry James’ classic tale of terror ‘The Turn of the Screw’ through a south of the border filter, THE SIMILARS is pure ‘Twilight Zone’ inspiration, FRANCESCA a thrilling Buenos Aires take on giallo and WE ARE THE FLESH comes with serious artistic endorsements from fellow Mexican filmmakers Alfonso Cuaron and Alejandro G. Iñárritu.
The Discovery Screen strand is as bold as ever and includes a restored version of Shelden Renan’s controversial documentary THE KILLING OF AMERICA, Anna Biller’s gloriously art-directed THE LOVE WITCH, the cursed silent movie FURY OF THE DEMON, the Berlin Film Festival break-out, SHELLEY, the visionary sci-fi fantasy LOST SOLACE and the darkly hilarious ghost-busting ANOTHER EVIL. Then there’s Julian T. Pinder’s chilling murder investigation POPULATION ZERO, Martin Owen’s High-tec underground thriller terror LET’S BE EVIL, Tim Reis’ slimy creature feature BAD BLOOD: THE MOVIE and Michael Boroweic’s acute study of alien paranoia, MAN UNDERGROUND.
Plus, you can witness the stag party from hell in THE UNRAVELLING, the bad taste shenanigans of NIGHT OF SOMETHING STRANGE, , the viral thrills of THE EVIL IN US, the vehicular chills of PARANORMAL DRIVE, the die-hard dystopia of HERE ALONE, the eye-popping shocks of FOUND FOOTAGE 3D, and the ‘goriously’ insane ATTACK OF THE LEDERHOSEN ZOMBIES.
Ahead of its FrightFest Presents DVD release, there is an encore airing for ROAD GAMES, this time with a live interactive commentary with director Abner Pastoll and a London premiere for one of the most popular movies shown earlier this year at FrightFest Glasgow, Sean Byrne’s THE DEVIL’S CANDY.
The Duke Mitchell Film Club is back with the UK premiere of Kim Sang-Chan’s outrageously infectious KARAOKE CRAZIES and a first showing of all three episodes of the mesmerising French TV mini-series BEYOND THE WALLS.
Alan Jones, co-director of FrightFest, said today: “For seventeen years now FrightFest has led the way through landmark changes in the genre, altered perceptions of fandom and embraced the revolutions in platforms and distribution models. It continues to do so this year with a breathtaking selection of genre attractions with the widest appeal and breadth of focus. We stand out because we stand for something special – a one-stop roadmap through everything you need to see to be totally up to speed with what the next year in horror fantasy will be all about”.
Over the next few weeks, the Frightfest crew will continue to drop details on this year’s special events, guests, short film entries and retrospective programme — so keep an eye out.
Full festival and day passes go on sale tomorrow, Saturday July 2, at noon. These will only be available to buy online right here: http://www.frightfest.co.uk/tickets.html.
Make sure your body is ready.
The post Is Your Body Ready? Frightfest 2016 Full Lineup Announced! appeared first on Dread Central.
The ‘80s hold a special place in the hearts of horror fans. During the decade of excess, the genre gorged itself on new creatures and forces of darkness that managed to survive the times and became ingrained in popular culture. It is that particular vein of genre love that Netflix is looking to tap into with its new original series “Stranger Things,” a supernatural thriller setting out to be a love letter to the glory days of horror’s past.
The eight-episode series is set in a 1980’s Hawkins, Indiana. In this tiny town, a young boy’s disappearance is only the start of the thrilling events that involve government secrets and a mysteriously odd little girl.
Dread Central was recently invited out by Netflix to take a peek as filming took place during the final two episodes of “Stranger Things.” Filming was taking place both at ScreenGems Studios and around Atlanta, Georgia. On this particular trip, Dread Central was privy to the filming of a flashback scene taking place in a wooded area of Stone Mountain Park.
The skeletal branches of the heavily wooded area loomed overhead as the expansive crew busied themselves with the magic of making fiction into reality. Controlling all the commotion was the creative force that sold Netflix on the idea of this small town terror: Matt and Ross Duffer. The “Wayward Pines” scribes stopped during their packed schedule to talk to Dread Central briefly. These two have set out to create a love letter to the horror, thriller and adventure movies of the ‘80s. The series, according to the Duffer brothers, takes its roots from titles genre fans know well, including IT, Goonies, and Stand by Me. They saw an opening to explore a new avenue with the horror genre both in terms of plot and cinematography.
As far as the tone and atmosphere of the series goes, the Duffers relayed that there is an air of subtly surrounding the supernatural and horror aspects. Nothing is heavy-handed. Even the monster is shot in the style of Ridley Scott’s original xenomorph: less is more. Nothing is played for camp and the group of characters are in real, tangible danger. Traces of Spielberg and Carpenter should be easily spotted by the attentive viewer.
While the process of making a movie or TV series is taxing and stressful, the Duffers admitted that working for Netflix has allowed them an unexpected level of creative freedom, “They want to do something different. You’re not given the typical notes [expected from a regular studio].” This may explain the sense of calm surrounding the cast and crew as they prepped for a scene taking place downhill from a jogging path.
At the feet of the world’s largest exposed granite monoliths was a small fort constructed of branches, flying a proud American flag. A kid’s fort: Castle Byers. Its owner is the missing boy of the series, Will Byers. Joining Will during filming was his mother, Joyce, dressed in the attire of a working class mother and played by the incomparable Winona Ryder.
Though the fort only plays a minor role in this flashback, the Duff brothers informed Dread Central that what the structure represents in a child’s mind becomes one of the grand set pieces later in the series. Here the series takes a turn onto a much more interesting road. The real world is not the only one the characters of “Stranger Things” must contend with in the search for Will. A Nether Realm exists on a parallel plane of existence next to ours. There anything is possible, and something has broken through the barrier between the realities.
That rift was going to be revealed during the second leg of the visit and could be found at ScreenGem studios. There, the principal interiors of the Byers’ house, a basement set and the mysterious government lab still stood erect and were currently being dressed by the visual effects crew.
The Bryers’ residence, a slightly shabby home that showed signs of the characters’ tax bracket, was adorned with creeping tentacles of maroon red, complete with web-like ectoplasm. The décor, a mixture of late ‘70s and early ‘80s with a muted color palette, was a muted tone of browns, yellows and deep green was so authentic that one could easily take seat on the couch and feel at home … if one’s abode was full of meaty worms from another dimension.
Speaking of the extra dimensional horrors, the soundstage just adjacent to the Bryers’ residence was hosting the expansive set of The Lab. Here the crew was busy prepping more of those tentacles, big ones. Upon entering the set proper, there was a large corridor with one end leading to a large freight elevator and the other emptied out into The Lab’s centerpiece: a two-story set with wall-to-wall scientific equipment. Magnetic tape reels whizzed, and various electronic machinery flashed and flickered with various readings and numeric information. In the center stood a sensory deprivation tank with a clear window.
Across from this impressive piece was a huge gash in The Lab’s wall. From this laceration spread an infection of those familiar meaty fingers from the previous set. This is the tear. The point from which our world has met The Nether Realm is two stories tall, blistering and somewhat reminiscent of the Hell portal from the original Poltergeist. While everything at this point is static, on screen it will be brought to life with both practical effects and some CGI. Regardless, it brought on more than a couple of wows from those in attendance.
Soundstage #2 played host to the basement set. The air was heavy with not only nostalgia but of that familiar odor found at the house of a relative. The set felt lived-in, full of memories and storage. Board games, irons, a tape player, all exactly where you’d think they were if you brought it down to the basement to hide away until the yard sale comes a’calling. At the center of this trip down memory lane was a setup that was not unheard of during the 1980s: the fabled Dungeons & Dragons. The table top of fantasy consisted of multiple sided dice, trapper keepers full of lore and the always essential sugary soda to fuel an army of fantasy beings all night.
While taking in the sights and smells of the set, a young woman walked in and greeted the press with a distinct British accent, Millie Bobby Brown. Sporting a shaved head and a pleasant smile, Millie informed DC about her character: the mysterious escapee Eleven. The character is a troubled little girl who has called The Lab home for a very long time. She was no stranger to the dunk tank mentioned earlier and the experiences from that time at The Lab has left Eleven more than a little damaged. Though Millie’s character does not have an abundance of lines, she did state that her “actions speak louder than words.”
Eleven isn’t just one of those creepy kids horror fans have seen reused and overused throughout the years. As Eleven comes to trust the other kids and even some adults, she forms a bond in which brings out her voice. Millie also foretold that the eighth episode would have viewers “on edge,” a sentiment heard often during this set visit.
It was also on this set that DC met the young actors who play Dustin and Mike (Finn Wolfhard and Gaten Matarazzo), whose D&D binders were at the abovementioned table. Mike is the leader of the group of kids, much in the vein of Goonies’ Mikey, and Dustin is a combination of Mouth and Chunk. Both Woldhard and Matarazzo have screen and stage experience, along with a love for ‘80s film and merch. Listening to the two gush when looking at a table of reference material and props, there was a tinge of that forgotten magic millennials have been trying to recapture with the retro kitsch movement of recent years.
These newcomers have shown a rare love of adventure that adults fondly remember from youth. This will be the selling point of the series, not the monster, horror or suspense. What viewers will take away with them will be the need to venture out into the unknown with friends and face down fears, both real and imaginary, with the special kind of courage found only in kids.
All other photos – Mike Phalin
We told you yesterday that on February 23, 2018, Universal Pictures will launch Jaegers into battle in Steven S. DeKnight‘s Pacific Rim 2, which will star John Boyega, who made a name for himself starring in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Attack the Block.
As previously reported, Boyega will play the son of the character played by Idris Elba in the del Toro-directed original film.
Boyega could see Scott Eastwood as a fellow pilot, if reports of his talks come into fruition. Eastwood most recently starred in Texas Chainsaw 3D, and will be seen in Fast 8 and Suicide Squad.
In the 2013 film that was directed by Guillermo del Toro (read our review), as a war between humankind and monstrous sea creatures wages on, a former pilot and a trainee are paired up to drive a seemingly obsolete special weapon in a desperate effort to save the world from the apocalypse.
Derek Connolly, who penned Pacific Rim 2, is currently working on a script for Jurassic World 2 and wrote the script for the upcoming adventure thriller Kong: Skull Island.
There were originally rumors of Pacific Rim becoming part of the King Kong and Godzilla universe, although that’s looking unlikely at this moment.
The third annual FilmQuest Festival has just recently ended, having provided us with yet another batch of some of the best that genre-filmmaking has to offer. Some familiar names were present in this year’s official selection (including Shant Hamassian’s excellent short Night of the Slasher, which was previously reviewed here), but there are sadly not enough hours in a day to screen all FilmQuest submissions in the main festival.
Luckily, I had the chance to watch some of their most recent horror submissions, which are certainly worth keeping an eye out for. This will be reserved for short films, but features will get their own individual reviews. Most of these films aren’t available online yet, but FilmQuest’s official website will be linked below in case anyone’s interested in finding out more about this unique festival.
The first short I had the pleasure of reviewing was Izzy Lee’s peculiar Innsmouth. The film follows an investigator looking for clues regarding a horrific murder. Things take a turn for the worse when she’s led to the mysterious town of Innsmouth, and becomes part of the investigation herself. While the production values and acting weren’t exactly the best, Innsmouth had some of the best use of yonic imagery in horror since Ridley Scott’s Alien. It might not have that quasi-noir New England atmosphere that is traditionally associated with Lovecraft, but it’s still certainly worth a watch.
Next is Dawn of the Deaf, directed by Rob Savage. Dawn of the Deaf is an unconventional apocalyptic short as it presents more emotional build-up and human drama than scares during most of its runtime. The bulk of the film is spent getting to know these characters and how they deal with being deaf, substantially improving the payoff when Dawn of the Deaf reveals its true, terrifying nature. To say anymore would spoil the film, so I’ll just recommend this one to anyone looking for some substance before their apocalypse.
Dan Sunley’s Pieces was a pleasant surprise as well, featuring a poignant view on death and closure through a creepy puzzle with missing pieces. The surprise ending was a great touch, but this film’s creative premise could definitely be expanded into a full-length “haunted object” movie ala Oculus or Ouija (as long it’s more similar to the former than the latter in terms of quality).
My personal favorite of the bunch was the dark comedy Small Talk, directed by William Welch King. The film follows an unfortunate man being held captive by a deranged maniac that intends to broadcast his death over the internet. Both victim and killer soon recognize each other from their college days and clever hijinks ensue. The dialogue and performances really made this one special, with Derek St. Clair’s bumbling maniac being the highlight of the short. Anyone who even moderately appreciates dark humor will be glad to see Small Talk.
Of course, there are many other films in consideration for next year’s FilmQuest Festival, but these shorts are just a small sample of what they offer in terms of horror. I highly recommend their official selection choices as well, though competition for the coveted Cthulhu Trophy is fierce. More information on the festival is available at the official FilmQuest website, and they even stream some of their previous selections for free.
All flowing to the pulsing score by Cliff Martinez, the opening credits for Nicloas Winding Refn’s recently released The Neon Demon (read our review) are fluffy and classy with just the right amount of depth to allude to an impending darkness.
The title sequence was created by United Kingdom’s All City Media in close collaboration with Nicolas Winding Refn and CGI artist Ben Ib.
Besides the film’s sumptuous title sequence, we also have the pleasure of debuting an official and previously unreleased poster for the film that’s gloriously surreal and odd. An real eyeopener.
Related Release: Valhalla Rising
The first art has been released for Syfy’s “Van Helsing” that displays Kelly Overton as Vanessa Helsing, the daughter of famous vampire hunter and Dracula nemesis Abraham Van Helsing. She is resurrected five years in the future to find out that vampires have taken over the world and that she possesses unique power over them. She is humanity’s last hope to lead an offensive to take back what has been lost.
Overton will be joined by Jonathan Scarfe (Hell on Wheels), Christopher Heyerdahl (Stargate Atlantis, Hell on Wheels), Paul Johansson (Mad Men), David Cubitt (Ray Donovan) and Tim Guinee (Stargate SG-1, Homeland).
The 13-episode sci-fi series is from Nomadic Pictures (“Fargo,” “Hell On Wheels”). Neil LaBute serves as writer/showrunner on the drama, a new take on the Dracula myth.
“I am extremely excited to be working with Syfy and Nomadic Pictures to create a unique, character-driven action series that will move the traditional vampire tropes into bold and unexpected new territories” LaBute said in a statement. “This is a wonderful chance for us to forge great stories and unforgettable characters and throw them into a world where the stakes – both dramatic and personal – are tremendously high.”
Syfy’s “Van Helsing” is slated to premiere on Sept. 23