Fantasia 2010: Subversive Serbia Spotlight - New Stills: Life and Death of a Porno Gang, A Holy Place, and T.T. Syndrome - Dread Central
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Fantasia 2010: Subversive Serbia Spotlight – New Stills: Life and Death of a Porno Gang, A Holy Place, and T.T. Syndrome

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One of the cooler and sicker things to check in addition to the premiere of A Serbian Film at the Fantasia Film Festival 2010 is their Subversive Serbia Film Spotlight and we have got some stills from three of the films that will be weirding up the big screen!

A Holy Place Fantasia Description
“This is the version of Nikolai Gogol’s short story “Viy” that foreign audiences have barely ever seen—most have probably never heard of it. Unlike the rather benign Russian fantasy VIY (1967), the Serbian version is definitively for adults, in terms of both erotic and horrific content. The story is still about a reluctant theology student forced to spend three nights in a row locked in a spooky church, reading the Psalms over the (un)dead girl. All the while, supernatural forces are trying to grab him from the holy circle drawn on the floor. Gogol’s half-humorous story is enriched into a more complex one by the new back-story for the witch-girl and her father. They provide an unparalleled excess of perversity and terror, whose intensity is unique among other, tamer Slavic attempts at producing fear.

In Kadijevic’s version, the character of Catherine is the embodiment of the femme fatale. A number of flashbacks reveal the young woman as a true devourer of men and, in a rare example of an explicit lesbian scene in Serbian cinema, of women too. Catherine’s back-story is learned through a gradual process, with three separate stories about her (each more horrible than the previous one), heard on three successive nights. The final “turn of the screw,” completely invented by the screenwriter/director, is reminiscent of the powerful climaxes in Pupi Avati’s Italian rural gothics, suggesting the corruption and perversion hidden beneath the respectable appearances. This “Serbian gothic” is psychologically motivated. For Kadijevic, a veteran of Serbian cinema, the human condition is quite sufficient as a source of horror, and the eternal struggles of Eros and Thanatos seem to be at its core. A HOLY PLACE is most reminiscent of Mario Bava’s gothic films, both in terms of elaborate visuals and of a serious, dramatic treatment of the story and characters. Barely noticed at the time of its release, A HOLY PLACE remains a hidden gem of psycho-supernatural horror which audiences outside of Serbia have yet to discover. Since the film is not available on DVD, this is the only chance you’ll ever get to see it with English subtitles and on the big screen that its imagery deserves.”

Look for the film to be playing the festival on July 13th at 7:30PM and then again on July 26th at 1:00PM.

Fantasia 2010: A Holy Place
Fantasia 2010: A Holy Place

Fantasia 2010: A Holy Place

Fantasia 2010: A Holy Place

TT Syndrome Fantasia Description
“A group of young people in Belgrade are out to score some weed. They go to the Turkish baths within an ancient fortress to meet their dealer, but end up trapped there and mercilessly killed one by one by a mysterious murderer clad in black leather. It all seems to have some connection with the strange and very rare illness T. T. Syndrome, but will they solve the mystery before they’ve all gone down the drain? With T. T. SYNDROME, Director Dejan Zecevic creates an effective blend of classic slasher-movie shocks and Argento-style whodunit (note close-up fetishism for gloves, door handles and various sharp weaponry, plus the typical giallo motifs of a strong mother figure, childhood trauma and a haunting nursery rhyme). Relentless claustrophobia and tension in an inspired setting, at their most effective, resemble the highlights of early John Carpenter and Tobe Hooper films, while the vivid flashes of gore invoke the spirit of vintage Lucio Fulci.

In spite of its shoestring budget, T. T. SYNDROME can stand proudly next to most American indie efforts. Zecevic makes a most inventive use of his limited setting, the decrepit Turkish bath and public toilet. Through his directorial skill he creates a palpable menace within such a banal setting which, by the conclusion in the fort’s catacombs, attains an almost mythical quality. The film’s technical side is quite competent, and the same can be said for the acting ensemble, including a few veterans from VARIOLA VERA. T. T. SYNDROME became a cult film in Serbia and even managed to get into several international genre festivals. It’s the first Serbian horror film that doesn’t feel obliged to justify itself with elements of more respectable genres. It does not imply a political allegory—although placing (and killing off) its youthful cast entirely in a public toilet might have been a statement about the dashed hopes of post-Milosevic Serbia, after all! But above everything else, the movie uses motifs and style of the slasher film, plain and simple, to scare its audience. It is a horror fan’s brainchild made first and foremost for other horror fans.”

Look for the film to be playing the festival on July 15th at 7:45PM

Fantasia 2010: T.T. Syndrome (click for larger image)
The Life and Death of a Porno Gang Fantasia Description
“Timeline: late 1990s, Serbia. Young Marko lives for cinema and is desperate to make a feature film. Fresh ideas are in no shortage, but financing in post-Milosevic Serbia is next to impossible to secure. In desperation to shoot anything interesting, he ventures into the universe of porn, where financing is a breeze and profits are all but guaranteed. He assembles a colourful band of outcasts and proceeds to shoot porn as a vessel of rage against a culture that won’t let him make the movies he wants to make. Eventually, he takes things one step further, abandoning his shoots in order to assemble a travelling “porno cabaret” which goes from village to village across rural Serbia, performing live sex acts in radical framings as a means of sexual confrontation. This leads to… a lot of trouble with the locals! But trouble is just an appetizer, and things really begin to explode when Marko and his troupe are approached by a shady foreign journalist who makes them an offer they struggle against refusing—a ton of money in exchange for shooting actual murders, theatrically “performed” on willing, consensual victims who no longer care about living.

A razor-sharp and often perversely comic metaphor about the social pathologies of Serbian life in the 1990s, PORNO GANG is, on the surface, precisely the sort of work you might expect to encounter from a filmmaker who cites modern Japanese cinema, American horror, John Waters and Paul Morrissey as his influences, fused with aesthetics of the Serbian Black Wave. Scratch a little deeper and you’ll find a fiercely intelligent, wholly unique blast of ultra-explicit assault art. This is a film bursting with outrageous characters and shocking situations, yet there’s an incredible sense of loss and anger attached to it, oozing forth from the deepest of wounds. A different kind of road movie, it’s the place where MAN BITES DOG crosses paths with CAFÉ FLESH, EASY RIDER and PINK FLAMINGOS on a candy-coloured suicide bus to hell. With this film, writer/director Mladen Djordjevic joins ranks with Gaspar Noé, Sion Sono, Lars Von Trier and Takashi Miike as one of the most daring and provocative filmmakers working today. PORNO GANG is a perfect introduction to the scorching new wave of transgressive Serbian cinema, one that will make you laugh, cringe and cry tears of blood. Absolutely for adults only!”

Look for the film to be playing the festival on July 10th at 9:20PM and then again on July 12th at 3:10PM.

Fantasia 2010: The Life and Death of a Porno Gang (click for larger image)
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Fantasia 2010: The Life and Death of a Porno Gang (click for larger image)

Fantasia 2010

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SOMA Sailing to Xbox One on December 1

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SOMA (review) will be heading to Xbox One on December 1st with the addition of a new safe mode, and we have all the details you need right here!

SOMA Coming to Xbox One with New “Safe Mode”
There’s no need to be concerned. You are always safe…

Isolated, submerged in the ocean’s darkness, chaos has overtaken the halls of PATHOS-II, and the boundaries of humanity strained beyond repair. From Frictional Games, creators of the critically acclaimed Amnesia series, SOMA is coming to Xbox One on December 1st with the addition of Safe Mode.

Safe Mode introduces an optional new way to play SOMA in the Xbox One and PC releases. Protected from the hostile creatures below, let yourself sink into the mystery and atmosphere of PATHOS-II as you uncover the truth and determine the fate of the station.

SOMA is coming to Xbox One on December 1st and is available to pre-order now. Safe Mode will launch simultaneously as a free update for PC and will be available for PS4 at a later date.

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Thelma Is Fantastic and Now You Can Watch the Opening Scene

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One of this year’s most beautiful and subdued horror films is Joachim Trier’s Thelma (review), which opens in Los Angeles tonight. To give you a bit of what the film is like, The Orchard have released the opening scene, which shows a man and his daughter hunting in the bleak Norwegian winter. When they come across a young deer, the true intentions of this trip become apparent…

Having seen Thelma, I can tell you that it’s truly something special. It’s a slow burn, to be certain, but it plays out gorgeously, resulting in a film that has yet to leave my mind.

Related Story: Exclusive Interview with Thelma’s Joachim Trier

Locations and tickets for Thelma can be found here.

Synopsis:
Thelma, a shy young student, has just left her religious family in a small town on the west coast of Norway to study at a university in Oslo. While at the library one day, she experiences a violent, unexpected seizure. Soon after, she finds herself intensely drawn toward Anja, a beautiful young student who reciprocates Thelma’s powerful attraction. As the semester continues, Thelma becomes increasingly overwhelmed by her intense feelings for Anja – feelings she doesn’t dare acknowledge, even to herself – while at the same time experiencing even more extreme seizures. As it becomes clearer that the seizures are a symptom of inexplicable, often dangerous, supernatural abilities, Thelma is confronted with tragic secrets of her past, and the terrifying implications of her powers.

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Award-Winning The Child Remains Playing Tomorrow at the Blood in the Snow Festival

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The award-winning supernatural thriller The Child Remains, which has been on the festival circuit, is returning to Canada to play tomorrow night at the Blood in the Snow Film Festival in Toronto. Tickets for the screening, which is at 9:30pm, can be found at the festival’s website.

The film has won awards in festivals across Canada as well as Best Foreign Feature at the Unrestricted View Horror Film Festival in London, UK.

Described as The Shining meets Rosemary’s Baby meets The Orphanage, the film stars Suzanne Clément, Allan Hawco, Shelley Thompson, and Geza Kovacs. Directed and written by Michael Melski, who co-produced the film alongside Craig Cameron and David Miller, The Child Remains is aiming for a Canadian theatrical release in Spring 2018 and a US theatrical release in October 2018.

Synopsis:
An expectant couple’s intimate weekend turns to terror when they discover their secluded country inn is a haunted maternity home where unwanted infants and young mothers were murdered. Inspired by the true story of the infamous ‘Butterbox Babies’ and their macabre chapter in Canadian history, The Child Remains is a twisting supernatural thriller that emphasizes story and suspense over shock and gore.

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