So if you were paying attention during our coverage of last year’s Toronto After Dark Film Festival, you know that we became fast fans of one of the stand-outs of the fest, the Soska Twins gloriously twisted American Mary. Louis loved it in his review and Ariel had a fantastic time with her interview of the directors.
The Toronto After Dark Film Festival is upon us again and back at the Bloor Cinema, which was closed last year for renovation and has reopened as the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema. Starting on October 18th through the 26th, the regularly scheduled event will be taking place. This year has 21 films, including not only a short before each feature, but a shorts program on Saturday afternoon. Also that Saturday are special discounts to the last two features of the day if one arrived dressed as a Zombie.
Beyond the usual films and features, this year also includes a hosting of a number of indie games. Also, the nightly post event meet and greet at Pauper’s Pub across the street. Tickets are $14 at the door and $168 for an all access pass, with smaller packages of either late show access pass, $84, or double feature ticket packs for $24. This year promises to have the best selection and most interesting set of films to date. Why not pick up some tickets and have some fun with the rest of the ghouls.
Highlighting this year’s events are several films that I look forward to seeing. They include…
Thursday, Oct 18th 6:45 PM Grabbers – An Irish Town is overrun by bloodsucking aliens, the locals discover the only way to keep alive is to keep drinking.
Thursday, Oct 18th 9:45 PM American Mary – A disillusioned medical student decides to ply her trade in the shady underworld of unregulated surgeries and body modification with horrifying consequences.
Friday, Oct 19th 9:45 PM Inbred – A group of British inner city kids take a trip to the country, only to discover the deadly nature of the locals. Not for the timid!
Saturday, Oct 20th 6:45 PM [REC] 3:Genesis – The latest installment in the series moves out of building where it started to a lavish wedding. Different from the first two, but very well done.
Saturday, Oct 20th 9:45 PM Cockneys vs Zombies – A bank robbery goes awry, not from poor planning, but an outbreak of zombies. What happens when tough guys fight the undead?
Sunday, Oct 21st 9:45 PM After – Two bush crash survivors find themselves in an abandoned town surrounded with an ever closing black cloud. Time to solve the riddle before those things in the cloud get too close.
Monday, Oct 22nd 9:45 PM Citadel – An agoraphobic father fights a group of feral children that are holding his daughter. Creepy and dark, this gritty film shows what bleakness horror films can conjure.
Wednesday, Oct 24 9:45 PM Dead Sushi – Sushi comes alive and begins to enact revenge upon vacation resort guests. J-splatter pioneer Noboru Iguchi (THE MACHINE GIRL) serves up a crowd-pleasing (and mouth watering) helping of gonzo entertainment.
Thursday, Oct 25th 9:45p Wrong – An absurd crime thriller about a man and the very strange things that happen to him as he tries to track down his kidnapped dog. Stylish and eclectic, it comes from director of Rubber, Quentin Depieux.
Friday, Oct 26th 6:45 PM A Fantastic Fear of Everything - Simon Pegg returns to horror with a film about a writer who’s phobias and imagination go into overdrive when he starts writing a book about Victorian serial killers.
It’s easy to get up on the craziness of TIFF12, however what I find really makes this city a great film town is the ‘smaller’ festivals that bring us the truly independent programming that really bring us the great films we crave for. One of the top film festivals in Toronto that definitely fit that bill is the Toronto After Dark Film Festival. Catering to those genre lovers that devour (hehe) horror/zombie/etc , the festival has done an absolutely fantastic job of building and programming a festival that we should be truly proud of.
This year festival the 7th Edition runs from October 18-26th, 2012. Like last year’s (and year-round) in-depth, unmatched and fun coverage brought to you by our resident horror lover Louis, Xavierpop will be there giving you the lowdown on as many films as possible.
To get us in the mood, the Festival just announced the first ten films playing as well as dropping a teaser trailer for the fest. Check them out and keep it locked here for all of your Toronto After Film Festival news and reviews.
REC 3: GENESIS (Spain) Canadian Premiere! An official selection of the SXSW Film Festival, the latest instalment of the hit Spanish zombie movie series relocates the action to a lavish wedding where the guests – including the bride wielding a chainsaw – try to survive a terrifying outbreak of the undead!
EXCISION (USA) A disturbed teenager (AnnaLynne McCord) deals with the stresses of her home and school life by escaping into a world of bloody fantasies where she performs surgeries on herself and and those around her. A major hit at Sundance, the film co-stars cult icons John Waters, Traci Lords and Malcolm McDowell.
GRABBERS (Ireland) In this Sundance audience crowd-pleaser in the mould of TREMORS, when a small Irish town is invaded by bloodsucking tentacled aliens, the locals discover that getting drunk may be their only way to survive as it gives them some resistance to the creatures!
A FANTASTIC FEAR OF EVERYTHING (UK) A dark and quirky comedy about a very nervous writer played by fan favourite Simon Pegg (SHUAN OF THE DEAD, HOT FUZZ, STAR TREK, SPACED) struggling with a slew of mental demons while working on a new novel about Victorian serial killers.
DEAD SUSHI (Japan) A vacation resort faces an attack of killer sushi in this outrageous horror comedy from the same deliciously deranged Japanese filmmakers who brought you MACHINE GIRL and TOKYO GORE POLICE!
LLOYD THE CONQUEROR (Canada) A crowd-pleasing fantasy comedy about three male college students who are roped into battle with Derek the Unholy, a dark wizard who is determined to hold onto his title as champion of the Larpers. Co-stars Mike Smith (aka “Bubbles” from TRAILER PARK BOYS), Harland Williams (DUMB & DUMBER) and Brian Posehn (SARAH SILVERMAN PROGRAM).
DOOMSDAY BOOK (Korea) Winner of Fantasia Film Festival’s Best Film Award, this trio of apocalyptic tales features the rise of sentient robots, a zombie virus outbreak and an asteroid on a fatal collision course with earth. Co-directed by acclaimed Korean filmmaker Jee-woon Kim (I SAW THE DEVIL, THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE WEIRD, A TALE OF TWO SISTERS).
SUSHI GIRL (USA) A reunion dinner for a gang of vicious criminals reopens old wounds with deadly consequences. This stylish, ultraviolent crime film in the mould of Tarantino’s RESERVOIR DOGS features a genre cast to die for including Tony Todd (CANDYMAN), Michael Biehn (TERMINATOR), Danny Trejo (MACHETE), Sonny Chiba (KILL BILL) and Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill!
WRONG (USA) A hit at Sundance, fans of David Lynch and the Coen Brothers will delight in this latest cinematic oddity from the deranged mind of Quentin Dupieux (RUBBER): an absurd crime thriller about a man and the very strange things that happen to him as he tries to track down his kidnapped dog.
UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: DAY OF RECKONING (USA) Canadian Premiere! Action legends Dolph Lundgren and Jean-Claude Van Damme reunite in the latest bone-crunching chapter of the popular Universal Soldier sci-fi action movie series. Joining them is Scott Adkins (EXPENDABLES 2). This time to survive, the Unisols must battle anarchy amongst their order, weeding out the weak, and testing their strongest warriors in brutal, life-or-death combat!
The Bloor Cinema was shut down last year for remodeling and has reopened as the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema. Toronto After Dark Film Festival has returned to the venue by hosting a pair of screenings this summer. Usually reserved for October, the Festival wanted to give those that can’t wait a chance to come out and enjoy some horror, sci-fi, cult and actions films.
We at Xavierpop love the Toronto After Dark Fest (and it shows by our reviews of every film last year) and are very happy for this summer tease. It is perfect timing as the city is alive with culture around the Canada Day Long Weekend and the fest is a perfect. So on Wednesday, June 27 and then two weeks later on Wednesday, July 11 head on over to the Hot Docs Cinema to catch some great films.
To start the festivities off, the June 27th movies are the Juan of the Dead and The Pact.
Juan of the Dead is a Cuban produced dark comedy about the island nation being overrun by zombies. Although the title closely mimics Simon Pegg‘s Shaun of the Dead, beyond having dark humor, and zombies, and being shot on an island, that is where similarities end.
The Pact is about an unsettling presence emerges in a woman’s childhood home as she tries to unravels a mystery in the wake of her mother’s death. Offering a slow burn with a strong ending, this promises to be a dark ghost story.
The second night of films (July 11th) includes Detention and V/H/S.
Detention is a genre smashing tour de force featuring a group of high-schoolers trying to catch a serial killer with the help of some time travel, all whilst stuck in detention on prom night!
V/H/S is about a group of kids that break into a house, finding a VHS tape that includes some things they did not bargain for. An anthology of five shorts uses found footage editing to tell it’s stories.
Individual Film Tickets are $13 each, with discounts for Bloor Cinema Members ($11), buying Double Feature packs ($22), or Summer All-Access (4-Pack Passes) ($39) and also come with the added benefit of Priority Seating. The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema is located at 506 Bloor St West at Bathurst.
Living in Toronto, one can easily get caught up and used to how big the film scene is here. Powered by one of the most diverse and strongest group of film festivals in the world, film nerds live in their little Utopia from March to November. While the big ones like Hot Docs, Worldwide Shorts and the grandaddy of them all TIFF garner most of the attention, it is very important that we not overlook what I like to call the micro-film festival. I use the word micro not to illustrate size but the hyper-focus of the subject matter that provides a unique situation that one cannot find anywhere. Festivals like Toronto After Dark, Toronto Korean Film Festival, TIFF Kids and the right-around-the-corner Shinsedai Cinema Festival allow a cinephile / film nerd the proper experience one needs to shape a strong palette based on a lovely diversity and deep viewing experience of film.
Of course we will continue our unmatched coverage of these festivals, however one I would like to bring to your attention is the 4th Annual Shinsedai Cinema Festival, an annual showcase of the best in new, independent and rarely seen Japanese films. Conceived of by programmers Chris MaGee and Jasper Sharp in 2009, the festival was created with the intent to expand people’s ideas of what films from Japan are and can be. Running from July 12th and July 15th, 2012 the lineup includes a list of insightful dramas, quirky comedies, hard-hitting documentaries, experimental shorts and more.
There are several ways to enjoy The Shinsedai Cinema Festival: 1. Individual tickets: All individual tickets for The Shinsedai Cinema Festival are $12.00 (*$10.00 for students and seniors) 2. A 5 Film Pass**: This pass entitles its holder access to any five ticketed slots at The Shinsedai Cinema Festival for only $50.00, an overall savings of over 15%, or $10.00. Available for purchase until Friday July 6, 2012. 3. Deluxe Pass**: This pass entitles its holder access to all ticketed slots at The Shinsedai Cinema Festival. That’s four days of great films for only $108.00, an overall savings of 25% , or $38.00. Available for purchase until Friday July 6, 2012.