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Monster Fest 2016 Final Wave Films Announced

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If you live “Down Under,” as they say, you should be well aware of Monster Fest, which returns to Melbourne for its 6th edition this year, running November 24-27. We previously provided you with the early details (click here in case you missed them), and now we’re back with the final wave announcement.

Monster Fest takes place at the Lido Cinemas, 675 Glenferrie Road. Click here for ticketing info.

From the Press Release:
In a fitting complement to this most sinister season, Australia’s premier genre festival, Monster Fest, has unveiled its final wave of films for the 2016 festival, which is set to take place November 24-27 at the Lido Cinemas in Melbourne.

The team of programmers – which include festival director Kier-La Janisse, Monster Pictures co-founder Neil Foley, Boston Underground Film Festival Director of Programming Nicole McControversy, and writer/programmer/punk legend Chris D. – vetted over 600 features in selecting the 2016 Monster Fest lineup, which includes new crime films DOG EAT DOG and THE HOLLOW POINT from Paul Schrader and Gonzalo López-Gallego, respectively, gory slasher throwback THE WINDMILL MASSACRE, the hometown premiere of epic period western THE LEGEND OF BEN HALL with cast in person, and acclaimed TIFF selections PREVENGE and INTERCHANGE alongside Fantastic Fest faves such as the Aussie-made yuletide thriller SAFE NEIGHBOURHOOD and the devastating – and polarizing – PLAYGROUND. Brief descriptions of all films in the final wave follow below.

Select panels for the Swinburne University Media and Communication Monster Academy – Monster Fest’s two-day industry component running November 23 + 24 – have also been announced, including a panel with director Geoffrey Wright and producer Daniel Scharf about the making of Aussie cult sensation ROMPER STOMPER, a panel on the Golden Age of Ozploitation featuring producer Antony I. Ginnane (PATRICK, TURKEY SHOOT) and cinematographer Vincent Monton (ROAD GAMES, LONG WEEKEND), a case study panel on ‘The Westbury Faery’ as an example of international multi-platform storytelling, panels on festival strategy, the opportunities and obstacles facing women working in the genre space, and more to be added. The full lineup for Monster Academy will be announced in the coming weeks.

See the final wave of Monster Fest 2016 films listed below along with a few images:

A DARK SONG
Director: Liam Gavin | Ireland 2016 | 100 mins | Australian Premiere
Driven by an all-consuming desire to make contact with her murdered child, Sophia hires an occultist named Solomon (Steve Oram) to conduct a black magic ritual that would grant her wish. As they delve deeper into the tedious, trying ritual, Sophia and Solomon find their bond of trust and sense of sanity pushed to the very limit as a sinister presence makes itself known.

darksong

AUTOHEAD
Director: Rohit Mittal | India 2016 | 97 mins | Australian Premiere
This Man Bites Dog take on a Mumbai taxi driver follows a documentary crew as they shadow an auto-rickshaw driver named Narayan. The slice of life angle soon skews into dodgy voyeuristic complicity as the film crew documents the unraveling of a man’s humanity, culminating in a chilling, bloody climax.

autohead

DOG EAT DOG
Paul Schrader | USA 2016 | 93 mins | Australian Premiere
Based on a 1995 novel by acclaimed crime writer and ex-con Edward Bunker, the latest from the writer of TAXI DRIVER and ROLLING THUNDER and director of MISHIMA, HARDCORE, CAT PEOPLE, and so many other now-canonized films, is a pitch black, uncompromisingly brutal, and at times highly theatrical crime thriller about three ex-cons (Nicolas Cage, Willem Dafoe, and Christopher Matthew Cook) who team up for that fateful ‘one last job’ only to have everything go horribly – and hilariously – awry.

GUYANA: CULT OF THE DAMNED
Director: René Cardona Jr. | Mexico 1979 | 90mins
When over 900 Americans were made to commit mass suicide by drinking cyanide-laced Kool Aid in the middle of the steamy Guyana jungle, exploitation filmmakers couldn’t wait to cash in on the tragedy, and Mexican filmmaker René Cardona, Jr. (TINTORERA: TIGER SHARK) was the first on the scene. Hypnotically sleazy and enjoyably lurid as only Cardona, Jr. could make them. Co-presented by the Morbido Film Festival.

THE HOLLOW POINT
Director: Gonzalo López-Gallego | USA 2016 | 97 mins | Australian Premiere
Patrick Wilson stars as Wallace, the new sheriff of a small town in Gonzalo López-Gallego’s full-blooded take on the western genre. Building on the best of B-movie westerns and not skimping out on the gore, Gallego crafts a tale of one man investigating the aftermath of a drug cartel deal gone wrong – cleverly filling all the roles with terrific actors including Ian McShane, John Leguziamo, Jim Belushi, and more.

hollowpoint

INTERCHANGE
Dain Said | Malaysia 2016 | 102 minutes | Australian Premiere
In this Malaysian ritual thriller and TIFF Midnight Madness selection, a forensics photographer is lured into a world of shamans and mystic creatures while helping his detective friend investigate a series of macabre murders.

interchange

THE LEGEND OF BEN HALL
Matthew Holmes | Australia 2016 | 134 mins | Victorian Premiere
In this epic period western based on the true story of one of Australia’s most famous outlaws, Ben Hall is drawn back into bushranging by the reappearance of his old friend John Gilbert. Reforming the gang, they soon become the most wanted men in Australian history.

MAXIE DIABLO AND THE FUNKY FUNKY SEX MURDERS: A LIVE RADIO PLAY BY MYSTERY RADIO THEATRE
From the makers of Man Bites God and the Theatre of the World podcast, Mystery Radio Theatre is a comedy/murder mystery performed in the style of old-timey radio theatre. There will be sound effects. There will be silly voices. There will be live ad reads. There will be a special musical guest. And there will be blood.

MY FATHER DIE
Sean Brosnan | USA 2016 | 102 minutes | Australian Premiere
The debut feature from Sean Brosnan (son of Pierce) about the vengeful path of a man left mute since childhood following a family tragedy straddles the border of nihilistic revenge tale and brutalist Southern Gothic redemption with a poetic, even romantic sensibility, recalling at times sleeper hits WINTER’S BONE and COLD IN JULY.

PLAYGROUND
Bartosz M. Kowalski | Poland 2016 | 81 mins | Australian Premiere
Certain to be the most controversial film of the festival, acclaimed documentary director Bartosz Kowalski issues his first narrative feature, the stark tale of two pre-teen budding sociopaths and what they do on the last day of school. A devastating film in the vein of NOTHING BAD CAN HAPPEN and THE TRIBE.

playground

PREVENGE
Alice Lowe | UK 2016 | 88 mins. | Australian Premiere
This brilliant first feature from actress/director/writer Alice Lowe (SIGHTSEERS) channels Lowe’s comedy background to create a completely unique horror comedy about a woman who is seven months pregnant and full of homicidal fury.

PSYCHONAUTS, THE FORGOTTEN CHILDREN
Director: Alberto Vázquez, Pedro Rivero | Spain 2015 | 80 mins | Victorian Premiere
Based on the graphic novel of the same name, PSYCHONAUTS is a gorgeous, haunting animated allegory that follows rebellious teen Dinky and the silent, drug-addicted outcast Birdboy as they attempt to escape life as they know it from an island ravaged by an industrial accident.

SAFE NEIGHBORHOOD
Chris Peckover | Australia/USA 2016 | 85 mins | Australian Premiere
On a quiet suburban street tucked within a ‘safe neighborhood’, a babysitter must defend a twelve-year-old boy from strangers breaking into the house, only to discover that this is far from a normal home invasion. A great new yuletide terror film from the director of UNDOCUMENTED (2010).

THE WINDMILL MASSACRE
Nick Jongerius | Netherlands 2016 | 85 mins | Australian Premiere
Windmills, they’re those things you see in storybooks surrounded by daffodils right? Think again! THE WINDMILL MASSACRE is a freakishly ferocious slasher reboot about unsuspecting tourists who awaken a mysterious evil in the Dutch countryside after their tour bus breaks down, stranding them at an abandoned barn beside a sinister windmill where a miller used to grind the bones of locals.

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Ash Faces His Greatest Challenge Yet in the Ash vs Evil Dead Season 3 Trailer: Parenthood!

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The first trailer for the third season of STARZ’s incredible horror comedy series “Ash vs Evil Dead” has been released and it’s full of balls to the wall Evil Dead goodness! You’ve got creepy dolls, obscene amounts of gore, vicious iPhone cases, and a Deadite that just so happens to be as tall as a building! Oh, and you’re also introduced to Ash’s daughter, Sandy? Mandy? Oh, yeah! Brandy! You can watch the trailer below. Thanks IGN!

“Ash vs Evil Dead” season three premieres on Starz on Sunday, February 25th.

Synopsis:
Ash, having gone from murderous urban legend to humanity-saving hometown hero, discovering that he has a long-lost daughter who’s been entrusted to his care. When Kelly witnesses a televised massacre with Ruby’s fingerprints all over it, she returns with a new friend to warn Ash and Pablo that evil isn’t done with them yet. But evil will learn to never get in between a papa bear and his cub.

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Brennan Went to Film School: Unlocking the Hidden Meaning in Insidious: The Last Key

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“Brennan Went to Film School” is a column that proves that horror has just as much to say about the world as your average Oscar nominee. Probably more, if we’re being honest.

WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS DETAILED SPOILERS FOR INSIDIOUS: THE LAST KEY. READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.

Blumhouse had quite a year last year, didn’t they? In addition to having three number one hits on their hands, the racial satire Get Out is their first horror entry to get awards traction thanks to its deeper themes. Now that everyone is starting to take the company and its work a little more seriously, it’s time to bring out the big guns and dive right into some deeper analysis into a much more unlikely subject: Insidious: The Last Key. The fourth entry in their tentpole haunted house franchise might not seem like it at first glance, but it’s the Get Out of the Me Too era, telling a story of women’s struggles while predicting the downfall of powerful, abusive men that started to occur during its production process with eerie accuracy.

No, seriously. Let’s start by taking a look at the villain. Unusually for this franchise, the baddies are both paranormal and human: halfway through the film it is revealed that the haunting victim who has called Lin Shaye’s Elise and her crew is also a sadistic killer who has chained up a woman in his basement. This is also revealed to be the very same thing Elise’s father did many decades before. The film implies that both men are being influenced by the key-wielding demon that inhabits the house.

Key imagery is very important to the film as a whole (I mean come on, it’s literally in the freakin’ title), and its themes of Elise arriving to her childhood home to unlock the secrets of her past. But there’s more than one meaning to that imagery, and understanding those meanings is the key to unlocking the subtext of the film, if you’ll allow me a really obvious pun.


The demon KeyFace might be influencing the men, but they’re still receptive to the idea. That’s because he’s awakening something that was already inside them. Keyface represents the pure male id; the unconscious, animalistic desires and drives that lay buried in the psyche. He’s not forcing them to behave in this way, he’s just unlocking their darker impulses.

It’s no coincidence that the demon’s lair is the bomb shelter basement. The house has now become a road map of her father’s mind, with his strongest emotions (and the literal place where he keeps his abused women secreted away) hidden in a sublevel that isn’t visible from the surface. This is the very same basement where he locked up Elise while punishing her for insisting that her visions were real. He wanted her to keep her psychic gifts locked away, probably so she wouldn’t discover his own submerged secrets.

Elise encounters a variety of keys during her journey that allow her to penetrate deeper and deeper into The Further, the house, her past, and the hideous truth about the men in her life. These keys unlock doors, suitcases, chains, and cages, but the most important unlocks the truth… and turns the attention of the evil upon her and her two nieces.

The probing of these women ignites the fury of Keyface and he takes her niece Melissa into the basement (another buried sublevel that must be unlocked), inserting a key into her neck and rendering her mute, then stealing her soul with a second key plunged into her heart. He is only vanquished when Elise and her other niece Imogen team together and use a family heirloom – a whistle – to summon Elise’s mother’s spirit.

On the surface, this seems like an inspiring story of three generations of women helping each other to face a great evil. This is certainly true, but now we have the key to understanding exactly what’s happening here. When a young woman discovers the abuse being perpetrated in her house, the figure of pure, wicked male desire literally steals her voice, silencing her. In order to restore that voice, another woman who knows the truth must very literally become a whistleblower.

…Did I just blow your mind?

At its heart, Insidious: The Last Key presents a world where women must rely on other women to provide them a voice and their very survival in a world dominated by powerful men and their ugly, dirty secrets. Secrets that they will do anything to keep locked away. There may be slightly more ghosts in Insidious than in real life, but that’s a frighteningly close parallel with the ugliness currently being revealed in Hollywood – as well as the world at large. It probably won’t tear up the Golden Globes next year, but this film is just the next important stepping-stone after Get Out in Blumhouse’s use of the genre to dig deep into the real life horrors plaguing our society.


Brennan Klein is a writer and podcaster who talks horror movies every chance he gets. And when you’re talking to him about something else, he’s probably thinking about horror movies. On his blog, Popcorn Culture, he is running through reviews of every slasher film of the 1980’s, and on his podcast, Scream 101, he and a non-horror nerd co-host tackle horror reviews with a new sub-genre every month!


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The Evil Dead Trilogy Cuts a 72-Minute Super Cut in Black and White

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Evil Dead Ash

While we wait on pins and needles for the third season of STARZ’s “Ash vs Evil Dead” to hit airwaves in February, we can take a moment to appreciate the original trilogy that led us to this incredible show. Starting in 1981, Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead, which Stephen King hailed as, “The most ferociously original horror film of the year,” began the journey of Bruce Campbell’s Ash Williams, an everyday kinda guy who gets caught up in a battle with demonic entities known as Deadites. Packed with humor, gore, and scares, the Evil Dead series has since become a cult classic and is a gem in the horror community.

Jorge Torres-Torres decided to pay his respects to the Evil Dead trilogy by creating Evil Dead Revision, where he took the first films and revised them, “…into a 72 minute, black & white ballet of gore.

If you need to catch up on the foundations of the Evil Dead universe before the return of “Ash vs Evil Dead”, this seems like a great place to start! Oh, and then make sure to binge the show on Netflix.

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