A few weeks ago, Montreal’s Fantasia Film Festival revealed their first wave of films and events that will be taking place between July 13th and August 2nd. Today, the second and final wave of films has been announced and it’s got some absolutely incredible gems!
From the Press Release:
Horror highlights in our final announcement include the North American Premiere of the ultra-dark Cannes sensation GOOD TIME, with directors in attendance; a Lifetime Achievement Award for Mexican luchador film legend Mil Máscaras; a Special Screening of ATOMIC BLONDE; Canadian Premieres of the ultra-brutal BUSHWICK, Dick Maas’ killer lion movie PREY, and the splatter comedy sequel ANOTHER WOLFCOP; the Quebec Premieres of the acclaimed Pyscho doc 78/52 and the Christmas horror classic in the making BETTER WATCH OUT; the North American Premiere of TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY 3D; the World Premieres of the female-driven exploitation films BLOOD HEIST and BLOOD RIDE (both produced by James Franco!); and the World Premiere of Synapse Films’ long-awaited 4K restoration of Dario Argento’s legendary SUSPIRIA.
We’ve also got “Paperbacks from Hell”, a hotly-anticipated multimedia presentation by best-selling author Grady Hendrix that ties into his new novel; Spectrumfest, an amazing new short film block made completely by youth on the Autism spectrum; a sneak peek at the TV series Untold Horror, which chronicles unmade genre films throughout the years; and Claymation Horror, an in-person appearance by the UK-based stop-motion animator Lee Hardcastle, who will take audiences on a journey through his incredible process.
Fantasia Film Festival takes place in Montreal, Quebec.
A tense, nocturnal odyssey of poor decision-making that escalates to a nearly unbearable pitch, the Safdie brothers’ Cannes Competition sensation GOOD TIME is a high-wire exercise in intensity, starring Robert Pattinson in a career-best performance. Tipping their hats to ’70s thrillers, the Safdies’ new film also builds beautifully on their previous effort, HEAVEN KNOWS WHAT – here’s another maddeningly bleak vision of New York City’s underbelly, nonetheless beaming with humanity and authenticity. North American Premiere. Directors in Attendance.
Directed by David Leitch (JOHN WICK, the upcoming DEADPOOL 2), ATOMIC BLONDE, screening in our Action! section, is a blistering blend of sleek action, gritty sexuality, and dazzling neon-drenched style with a cast that includes Charlize Theron, John Goodman, Til Schweiger, and Sofia Boutella. The film boasts one thrilling fight sequence in particular – set in a stairwell and with no cuts – that has already entered the annals of action film history.
Fantasia’s Camera Lucida section is back! Dedicated to the most original and singular visions, at the outer edges of genre cinema, it will close this year’s selection with the World Premiere of Robert Morin’s LE PROBLÈME D’INFILTRATION (INFILTRATION), also screening during the festival’s closing night on August 2, 2017. An experimental film and formal experiment only Morin could have made, LE PROBLÈME D’INFILTRATION (INFILTRATION) is a unique, angst-ridden portrait composed of a series of distinctive, surrealistic long takes, that brilliantly convey the existential crisis and downward spiral of Dr. Louis Richard (Christian Bégin), a plastic surgeon specializing in burn victims. A bold film that simultaneously evokes German Expressionist art and avant-garde video.
The big-screen return of one of Polish Cinema’s national treasures, Agnieszka Holland (EUROPA EUROPA, THE SECRET GARDEN), still such a vibrant filmmaker at nearly 70 years of age, SPOOR took home a richly deserved award at the Berlinale earlier this year. Unconventional, poetic and beguiling, it is a genuinely radical film – some have even called it dangerous – that is one part fantastical murder mystery, one part eco-thriller. A retired teacher who speaks truth to power to protect the region’s wildlife finds herself at the center of a surreal series of happenings, with hunters and authority figures found murdered, various animal tracks near the bodies. Could the animals be having their revenge? One of the most subversive genre works we’ve seen in years.
Following the 2015 International Premiere of Sion Sono’s Red Light District-set yakuza/talent agency action-drama film SHINJUKU SWAN, Fantasia is proud to unveil the International Premiere of its sequel, SHINJUKU SWAN II! Reuniting maverick filmmaker Sion Sono (TAG, LOVE EXPOSURE, the upcoming Amazon series TOKYO VAMPIRE HOTEL) with superstar Go Ayano (RAGE, LUPIN THE THIRD), this sequel adapts the arc “Yokohama Kingdom” from Ken Wakui’s popular seinen manga series of the same name, and finds our titular, energetic talent scout going head-to-head with a rival Yokohama agency, led by boss Taki (the one and only Tadanobu Asano of SURVIVE STYLE 5+, JOURNEY TO THE SHORE, and ICHI THE KILLER)!
Fantasia audiences may best remember him from THE MAN WHO SAVED THE WORLD (aka TURKISH STAR WARS), but to international audiences, Cüneyt Arkın is a legendary icon whose career spanned 50 glorious years and nearly 300 films. He’s done every conceivable genre from grand historical epics and martial arts to romantic comedies, westerns, and hard-boiled crime flicks. He’s played an Ottoman warrior, cop, heartbreaker, pirate, and even a Turkish Davy Crockett. Over his five decades in cinema, the incredible Arkın was his country’s Jackie Chan – acting, writing, directing, and performing his own stunts!
Fantasia is thrilled to present a Lifetime Achievement Award to Mr Arkın, and will celebrate his extraordinary career with special repertory screenings of THE MAN WHO SAVED THE WORLD, Çetin İnanç’s WILD BLOOD (aka the Turkish FIRST BLOOD!), and the ninjasploitation head-exploder DEATH WARRIOR.
These events, in addition to our World Premiere screening of Emir Mavitan’s NOMAD and a free outdoor projection of Ceyda Torun’s documentary sensation KEDI are presented with the support of the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Luchador films hold a special place in Fantasia-goers hearts. In the early editions of the festival, screenings of numerous luchador films were held in front of sold out crowds at the 900-seat Imperial Theater. This year marks a very special occasion, as the fest will be graced by one of lucha libre’s most famous heroes, the legendary Mil Máscaras. With Blue Demon and El Santo, this legendary masked wrestler was part of a trio of athletes who, in the 60’s and early 70’s, turned this unique brand of Mexican superhero film into a worldwide phenomenon.
Mil Máscaras will be awarded a Fantasia Lifetime Achievement Award for his extraordinary career as a Mexican film icon and one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time. The award will be presented before the presentation of a double bill of two features starring Mil Máscaras: 1972’s LAS MOMIAS DE GUANAJUATO, arguably the most famous luchador film of all time (co-starring El Santo and Blue Demon), and AZTEC REVENGE, Aaron Crozier’s recently-produced American feature from writer Jeffrey Uhlmann, who will be in attendance.
A sensation on the 2017 festival circuit – first unveiled at Sundance, then swerving by SXSW, and recently closing the prestigious Director’s Fortnight (Quinzaine des Réalisateurs) section of the Cannes Film Festival – PATTI CAKE$ now stops at Fantasia for its Canadian Premiere! Starring the amazing newcomer Danielle Macdonald in the lead role of Patricia Dumbrowski, a.k.a. Killa P, a.k.a. Patti Cake$, this is a first feature film from acclaimed music video director Geremy Jasper. Reminiscent of films like LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, 8 MILE, and 2016 Fantasia discovery SOME FREAKS, PATTI CAKE$ is a brilliant cult classic in the making; an empowering outsider story told with unparalleled heart and conviction.
Following a mysterious car crash, a man with no memory of his past becomes inexplicably lethal to anyone in his path. His bizarre death force only appears to be neutralized when in the very close vicinity of Jane, a woman who suffers a similarly clouded memory. Together, they’ll try to recall their past and understand the tie that that seems to bind them. But they can’t ever be more than 50 feet apart or people will die. Directed by SANS DESSEIN filmmakers Caroline Labrèche and Steeve Léonard, RADIUS is the latest project seeing the light because of Frontières, Fantasia’s international co-production market. It’s our pleasure to present the World Premiere of this unique Quebec-made genre work.
Beloved director Takashi Miike (AUDITION, ICHI THE KILLER) may have received a Lifetime Achievement Award at last year’s edition of Fantasia, but he won’t stop delivering over the top crowd pleasers! Reteaming with screenwriter Kankuro Kudo, who also directed last year’s Audience Award winner TOO YOUNG TO DIE!, Miike delivers a crazier and funnier sequel to THE MOLE SONG: SECRET AGENT REIJI loaded with unambiguous sex jokes, strange action scenes, crotch injuries and gorgeous set pieces. Actor Toma Ikuta (THE TOP SECRET: MURDER IN MIND) delivers an incredible physical performance in the role of the libidinous mole Reiji who is now tracked down by the police, the yakuza boss he work for, and a lethal Chinese gang. Miike is back in all his mischievous glory with the Canadian Premiere of THE MOLE SONG: HONG KONG CAPRICCIO!
During one of his many Asian adventures, Patrick (François Arnaud), a visual artist who specializes in Chinese art, encounters a mysterious man who makes him discover his latent gift for time travel. Stunningly directed and compellingly intimate, ORIGAMI is a UFO on the landscape of Quebec cinema that succeeds in applying sci-fi genre markers to a primarily human story. World Premiere. Directors in Attendance.
Fantasia will be presenting the World Premieres of Jenna Cavelle’s BLOOD HEIST – about DIY filmmakers who simultaneously commit a star-crossed armed robbery and shoot a vérité film of it – and Melanie Aitkenhead’s BLOOD RIDE – which depicts the violence and avenging of a ferocious female biker gang lead by Pollyanna McIntosh – as a special rip-roaring indie double bill. Both femme-made, revivalist – nay, revisionist – exploitation films were spearheaded by producer/co-star James Franco and producers Vince Jolivette (SPRING BREAKERS) and Jay Davis. Get ready for blood… and more blood!
After slaying Sundance at its debut and knocking out Cannes (where it had its European Premiere in Director’s Fortnight), BUSHWICK will be making its first Canadian stand at Fantasia 2017! The couldn’t-be-more-timely sophomore feature from directors Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott (Fantasia 2015’s COOTIES) sees Bushwick, New York erupt into a war zone as Southern nationalist militia forces attack the city. Starring Dave Bautista and Brittany Snow, BUSHWICK almost never stops moving, as Murnion and Milott employ long, fluid takes (shot on real Brooklyn locations) that follow its characters from one hoped-for sanctuary to the next, punctuated by bursts of startling, caught-on-the-fly violence.
To reward himself for his new teaching gig in Sapporo, 29-year-old Manabu decides to celebrate New Year’s Eve with a little treat at a local sex club. On the verge of… climaxing, he’s struck by a brain hemorrhage and ends up buck naked at the hospital surrounded by his worried family who want to know how this happened. Based on the autobiographical manga from Manabu Nakagawa, ALMOST COMING, ALMOST DYING is a funny and endearing independent film from first time filmmaker Toshimasa Kobayashi. With its witty dialogues delivering family interactions worthy of WHAT A WONDERFUL FAMILY! and its creepy bat-wielding giant teddy bear (?!?), Kobayashi perfectly transposes the blend of everyday life situations and weird creativity that made Nakagawa’s manga so popular.
MAGIC IS EVERYWHERE. THE UNVEILING OF SYNAPSE FILMS’ DEFINITIVE 4K RESTORATION OF ARGENTO’S SUSPIRIA
As part of our closing night events, Fantasia will be showcasing the first public screening of Synapse Films’ long anticipated 4K restoration of Dario Argento’s SUSPIRIA, just in time for its 40th anniversary. A Grand Guignol fairy tale from the darkest recesses of creative brilliance, SUSPIRIA remains one of the most visually and sonically breathtaking genre works in the history of film, its complex aesthetics all but impossible to reproduce with accuracy on any non-Technicolor – let alone non-photochemical – medium to date. For the past three years, Synapse Films have been working on the definitive restoration of Argento’s masterpiece, with the full cooperation, supervision and approval of its celebrated cinematographer Luciano Tovoli, who spared no effort to accurately reproduce the film’s original IB Technicolor visuals. With all the love and obsession that this extraordinary film commands, SUSPIRIA has been restored from the fully uncut, original 35mm Italian camera negative and will be presented with the legendary 4.0 discrete sound mix not heard since its 1977 theatrical release.
ACTION! INTRODUCES JURIED COMPETITION, WELCOMES SCOTT ADKINS FOR TWO FILMS!
You can feel the tension rise with this year’s Action! section! From brutal martial arts madness and German slapstick to killer robots from the future, Action! is bigger and better than ever… and this year, it’s bringing in kickboxing superstar Scott Adkins!
Also, for the first time in its long-running history, the films in the Action! section will be competitive, with an esteemed debut jury comprised of Quebec director Érik Canuel, Midnight Madness programmer Peter Kuplowsky, and producer Hugues Barbier!
Bulgaria – Dir. Todor Chapkanov
Martial arts fans have waited a long time for the return of their champion, and with BOYKA: UNDISPUTED, Scott Adkins takes his beloved character to new heights, pushing the limits of action cinema. Boyka is back – and his punches connect!
BROKEN SWORD HERO
Thailand – Dir. Bin Bunluerit
Like Tony Jaa before him, Bua Khaw Bunchamek makes an unmissable, intense impact with his first appearance on the big screen. This jaw-dropping historical epic showcases all of the four-time Muy Thai champion’s talents in an action-packed and highly entertaining adventure set in1700s Thailand.
South Korea – Dir. Kim Sung-hoon
For years, Fantasia has presented the latest in exciting Korean action, and each time they raise the bar another notch. This wild Cold War thriller is no exception, featuring spectacular fights, tight urban chases, puzzling intrigue, and a stunning action turn from k-drama star Hyun Bin!
Denmark – Dir. Fenar Ahmad
Dar Salim (EXODUS, GAME OF THRONES) plays a prosperous Copenhagen surgeon who, when pushed too far, decides to avenge his murdered brother and take down the gangs that have overrun his city. A blockbuster in its native Denmark, Fenar Ahmad’s DARKLAND is both a brilliant action thriller and a thoughtful commentary on the challenges of immigration.
India – Dir. Jose Pellissery
Featuring the brothers Prithviraj and Indrajith Sukumaran, two noted Indian stars, Lijo Jose Pellissery’s DOUBLE BARREL is an action-comedy that veers wildly off the beaten track, with an ultra-inspired screenplay and visual presentation bursting with panache. One of the most delectable Indian films of recent vintage.
France – Dir. Antonio Negret
From the writers of WANTED and 2 FAST 2 FURIOUS comes an utterly bombastic actioner that runs on blood, sweat, and rocket fuel! Scott Eastwood and Ana de Armas (of the upcoming BLADE RUNNER 2049) star in this stunt-filled, explosive thriller set under the scorching sun of southern France. Director Antonio Negret has crafted a smart, sexy tale of car thieves on the run – and stuck its throttle at 4000 rpm!
Germany – Dir. Ufuk Genc and Micheal Popescu
A trio of aspiring martial artists are blackmailed into criminal activity for the Berlin mob in this near-perfect actioner featuring spectacular fights, loads of laughs, and great chemistry from its hilarious stars. With PLAN B, Germany’s Ufuk Genc and Micheal Popescu prove they have the cinematic chops to stand alongside the world’s finest action directors.
USA – Dir. Jesse V. Johnson
In this whirlwind of fists and feet that piles one relentless action sequence after another, an ass-kicking ex-con is forced back into the ring to save his new friends’ bar – and possibly their lives! Action legends Scott Adkins, Marko Zaror, and Cung Le each give 110%, and deliver 90 minutes of pure, face-smashing thrills.
TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY 3D
USA – Dir. James Cameron
He said he’d be back, and he kept his word. Twenty-six years after revolutionizing action cinema, James Cameron presents a newly-restored 3D version of his classic, era-defining science fiction masterpiece about a mother, son, and cyborg attempting to stop a visage-changing robot from bringing on a nuclear apocalypse.
BEHOLD CAMERA LUCIDA – THE OUTER LIMITS OF FANTASIA 2017!
Probabilistic Gothic horror; a metaphysical ghost story; a Beckettian Chinese crime farce; an experimental film-poem set in Tokyo; a surrealistic, horror-infused coming-of-age; a chilling Estonian folktale; a cosmic subversion of the crime thriller, and more… Fantasia’s Camera Lucida section brings you to the outer limits of genre cinema.
Switzerland-Poland-Austria – Dir. Greg Sglinski
A hybrid of black comedy, marital melodrama and surrealist horror, chronicling a couple’s disintegration and potential reunion during a retreat in the Swiss Alps.
THE HONOR FARM
USA – Dir. Karen Skloss
At the vanguard of young adult cinema, Karen Skloss’ fiction film debut is a dreamlike trip that masterfully subverts and manipulates the tropes of coming-of-age cinema, horror and psychedelic thrillers.
MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLAND
USA – Dir. Ana Asensio
An unbearably gripping drama that slowly transforms into a thriller depicting a dangerous, and unbearably tense 24-hour span in the life of an undocumented immigrant woman struggling in New York City.
Estonia – Dir. Rainer Sarnet
A deep dive into Estonian folklore, and a harsh, fascinating look at 19th-century pagan life, where spirits roam free, werewolves lurk, and souls are a valuable currency.
TOWN IN A LAKE
Philippines – Dir. Jet Leyco
Two 16-year-old girls vanish, shocking the quiet seaside town of Matangtubig in the Philippines. In this third feature, Jet Leyco unveils a magical realist subversion of the crime thriller.
NOTE: Camera Lucida 2017 is curated by Ariel Esteban Cayer, a Montreal-based film critic (24 images, Panorama-cinéma, Vice Québec) and programmer (POP Montréal’s Film POP series), with the Fantasia Film Festival since 2013.
AXIS 2017 PREMIERES THE VERY BEST IN ANIMATION FROM ASIA AND THE UK!
The accent is on Asia this year in the Axis section, assembling some truly exceptional animated films – from high-standard anime to highly unexpected twists on stop-motion.
JAPAN’S JUNK HEAD (INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE) IS A SINGULAR WORK OF STOP-MOTION CYBER-HORROR
Artist, designer, sculptor and stop-motion animator Takahide Hori expands his 2103 cyber-horror short film into a full, independent feature, a biomechanical nightmare tempered with unexpected twists and deft wit – imagine Fraggle Rock through the eyes of H.R. Giger and Hieronymus Bosch. The Axis section’s strangest discovery of 2017!
EXPERIENCE CLAYMATION HORROR BY BRITAIN’S LEE HARDCASTLE
Independent UK clay animator Lee Hardcastle has made over a hundred shorts, music videos, and commercials – and won a place in the feature film omnibus THE ABCS OF DEATH through their hugely-competitive public contest. CLAYMATION HORROR BY LEE HARDCASTLE is a showcase of some of his coolest creations which will also screen a segment of his long-awaited feature debut, SPOOK TRAIN (A HORROR ANTHOLOGY), an epic stop-motion animation that is scheduled to be completed by 2020.
A TRIPLE BILL OF RISING ANIMATION TALENT FROM A TRIO OF ASIAN COUNTRIES
Axis presents a trio of thematically harmonious short films from Japan, South Korea, and China – compelling visions of life in the aftermath, from indie animators to keep an eye on.
• COCOLORS (Japan, 45 min, Dir. Toshihisa Yokoshima)
• SCARECROW ISLAND (South Korea, 18 min, Dir. Park Hyemi)
• VALLEY OF WHITE BIRDS (China, 14 min, Dir. Cloud Yang)
THE SENIOR CLASS
South Korea – Dir. Hong Deok-pyo
Raw in its emotional honesty, explicit in its exploration of sexuality among South Korean college kids, an animated drama written and produced by Yeon Sang-ho (SEOUL STATION, TRAIN TO BUSAN).
Japan – Dir. Shukou Murase
An elite intelligence agent pursues a mysterious figure who may be at the heart of the genocidal fury engulfing the world. The third techno-thriller in the Project Itoh anime trilogy.
GET REAL! IT’S DOCUMENTARIES FROM THE EDGE 2017!
Fantasia’s annual doc section returns, with nine features ranging the gamut of subjects from rock band Laibach’s stranger-than-fiction gigging experience in North Korea to exorcism practices in modern Italy and nuclear fusion as a renewable energy source!
USA – Dir. Alexandre Philippe
An unprecedented look at the iconic shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s PSYCHO (1960) and the screen murder that profoundly changed the course of world cinema. Featuring Guillermo del Toro, Jamie Lee Curtis, Karyn Kusama, Richard Stanley, and Peter Bogdanovich, among many others. 78/52 was born out of Fantasia’s Frontières Co-Production Market and World Premiered to major acclaim at Sundance earlier this year.
Canada – Dir. Arshad Khan
As a gay man, Montreal Filmmaker Arshad Khan examines his troubled relationship with his devout, Muslim father. Using family archives, pictures and Bollywood movies, Khan presents his struggle with his identity and compares it to his parent’s attempts to fit into Canada.
Italy – Dir. Federica Di Giacomo
Every year, in Italy, in Europe and in the world, a higher and higher number of people affirm to feel possessed by Satan. The Catholic Church responds to this emergency training more and more exorcist priests. The contrasts between ancient traditions and modern habits, between the sacred and profane, meet in this astonishing and rather disturbing documentary.
Norway – Dir. Kristoffer Borgli
Between fact and fiction, a no-holds-barred satire of L.A. advertising culture: the story of an energy drink campaign gone wrong, told by Amir Asgharnejad, the performance artist and comedian who lived it all. An outlandishly fun film with a sharp head on its shoulders.
Canada – Dir. Gina Hara
Women inhabit a relatively hidden half of nerd culture; a world of cute dresses, professional gamers, fake names and death threats. Filmmaker Gina Hara struggles through unexpected resistance to discover and show their experiences.
LET THERE BE LIGHT
Canada – Dir. Mila Aung-Thwin and Van Royko
What if we told you there is a way to build an artificial star on Earth? LET THERE BE LIGHT takes you to the outer limits of renewable energy, and the future of mankind: nuclear fusion. A must-see for the “sci-” and the “sci-fi” minded alike.
Latvia-Norway-Slovenia – Dir. Ugis Olte and Morten Traavik
A chronicle of a surreal, subversive prank on a geopolitical scale as Slovenian industrial provocateurs Laibach become the first Western rock band to gig in the fortress state of North Korea. LIBERATION DAY captures many perfect moments of dark mirth and discomforting tension. But it also challenges our media-fed misconceptions with rare insights into North Korea.
UK-Canada– Dir. Kyoko Miyake
Idols and their pop music permeate every moment of Japanese life. Following an aspiring pop singer and her fans, TOKYO IDOLS explores a cultural phenomenon driven by an obsession with young female sexuality, and the growing disconnect between men and women in hyper-modern societies.
FANTASIA UNDERGROUND 2017 IS AS INDEPENDENT AS IT GETS!
A heartbreaking supernatural drama from the American Midwest, the latest hand grenade of inspiration from Wakaliwood, a gross-out indie comedy built on interpersonal pain, and a female serial killer’s unconventional approach to relationships. Welcome to the 2017 lineup of Fantasia Underground, dedicated to super independent outsider works that possess a purity of vision and are wholly unafraid to take risks.
USA – Dir. Peter Vack
Adah and Aaron are recovering addicts who are struggling to stay sober. After meeting in their psychoanalyst’s waiting room, they fall in love, relapse on poppers, and become the biggest assholes in New York City. Described by one reviewer as “Salò and The Squid and the Whale”, ASSHOLES literally explodes with bodily fluids and extreme behaviour as the couple explore and magnify each other’s impulses. The feature directorial debut of actor Peter Vack (M.F.A., CBGB, LACE CRATOR), ASSHOLES stars the filmmaker’s own sister, their parents, even his therapist, and it takes absolutely no prisoners.
Uganda – Dir. IGG Nabwana
Fantasia’s 2015 screening of I.G.G. Nabwana’s WHO KILLED CAPTAIN ALEX? marked the first time a Wakaliwood film had ever been shown at a film festival. Nabwana’s follow-up, BAD BLACK, a whiplashing ride between social realism and pure DIY brain-melting entertainment, has been tearing up the fest circuit over the past 10 months, and we’re extremely excited to be bringing it to Canada. Wakaliwood filmmaking is an experience like no other. A return to the origin of cinema, like watching a film for the very first time.
USA – Dir. Toni Comas
The feature debut of BAG BOY, LOVER BOY co-writer Toni Comas, this superb supernatural drama about spirit doctors in the American Midwest haunts with a seemingly simple story that unwinds with skilful complexity and compelling characters. Harkening back to a time when independent cinema meant regional cinema, the film makes Indiana itself its focus – the people who live there, the quiet lives they inhabit and the beliefs that drive them.
Canada – Dir. Navin Ramaswaran
Ambitious, cunning, and narcissistic, Agnes (Lora Burke) is a serial killer, hiding in plain sight within a rural town while defining her own systems of sport and romance. A uniquely peculiar suspense film with slow, thoughtful dialogue that moves between victimization and control as it delves into the subjective experience of a probable sociopath. POOR AGNES is a driven and endearing effort that doesn’t pander to audiences, and both Agnes and plot alike are utterly unpredictable.
A FANTASTICAL ASSORTMENT OF PHENOMENAL FREE FANTASIA EVENTS!
GRADY HENDRIX: PAPERBACKS FROM HELL (Live multimedia event)
In the early Seventies, three books changed horror forever: Rosemary’s Baby, The Exorcist, and The Other. The first horror novels to hit bestseller lists since 1940, they opened the floodgates for an avalanche of horror paperbacks to flood supermarket and drug store shelves throughout the Seventies and Eighties before The Silence of the Lambs slit the genre’s throat in the early Nineties. Fresh off last year’s one-man show, SUMMERLAND LOST, Grady Hendrix delivers a mind-melting oral history of this wild and woolly world of Nazi leprechauns, skeleton doctors, killer crabs, killer jellyfish, and killer fetuses, featuring hair-raising readings, a William W. Johnstone quote-off, and more tales of terrifying tots, tricycles, clowns, puppets, and heavy metal bands than should be strictly legal. Prepare yourself for a tour of this long-lost universe of terror that lurked behind the lurid, foil-embossed, die-cut covers of… The Paperbacks from Hell!!!
LOST GIRLS: THE PHANTASMAGORICAL CINEMA OF JEAN ROLLIN (Book launch event)
Fantasia is proud to host the World Premiere launch of the new book from Spectacular Optical, Lost Girls: The Phantasmagorical Cinema of Jean Rollin, edited by Samm Deighan and penned by all women critics, scholars and film historians. This collection of essays covers the wide range of Rollin’s career from 1968’s LE VIOL DU VAMPIRE through his 2010 swansong, LE MASQUE DE LA MÉDUSE, touching upon his horror, fantasy, crime, and sex films – including many lesser-seen titles. The book closely examines Rollin’s core themes: his focus on overwhelmingly female protagonists, his use of horror genre and exploitation tropes, his reinterpretations of the fairy tale and fantastique, the influence of crime serials, Gothic literature, the occult and more.
The launch will feature an illustrated talk on July 19th with the book’s editor Samm Deighan, contributor Virginie Selavy and publisher Kier-La Janisse, and will be complemented by a rare 35mm screening at the Cinematheque quebecoise on July 27 of Rollin’s LE VIOL DU VAMPIRE, playing in its original two-part form.
SPECTRUMFEST: FILMS FROM THE AUTISM SPECTRUM
Montreal’s Spectrum Productions sets out to empower young people on the autism spectrum through film, and the result is a truly unique experience that’s both endearing and inspiring. This collection of shorts produced through the organization gives viewers a glimpse into the creativity, talent, and originality of these incredible filmmaking youths – who are especially interested in genre storytelling!
UNTOLD HORROR LIVE: GENRE REBELS IN DEVELOPMENT HELL (Live multimedia event)
Remakes of WITCHFINDER GENERAL and THE ORPHANAGE. The MANIAC COP sequel you were supposed to see. A Tarantino collaboration that almost was. A stillborn post-apocalyptic rock opera centered around a “Breeding Festival.” Hear these and other jaw-dropping tales from the cinematic trenches in UNTOLD HORROR LIVE: GENRE REBELS IN DEVELOPMENT HELL.
Presented by Untold Horror – an in-development series born at Fantasia’s Frontières market dedicated to exploring the greatest genre movies never made – and hosted by co-creator Dave Alexander (former Editor-in-Chief of Rue Morgue magazine), this round-table discussion – with accompanying A/V presentation – will delve into unrealized projects by our favorite genre filmmakers. William Lustig (MANIAC, MANIAC COP), Richard Stanley (HARDWARE, DUST DEVIL), Gary Sherman (DEATHLINE, DEAD & BURIED), Larry Fessenden (WENDIGO, THE LAST WINTER), and Buddy Giovinazzo (COMBAT SHOCK, LIFE IS HOT IN CRACKTOWN) will reveal their fascinating projects that failed to launch, the reasons why, and what it taught them about the often-volatile film business. Plus, a sneak peek at Untold Horror!
ADDITIONAL NEWLY-ANNOUNCED TITLES:
Canada – Dir. Lowell Dean
The question of ANOTHER WOLFCOP making its way to Fantasia 2017 was never in doubt, and we’re proud to be hosting the Canadian Premiere of this most Canadian of movies. ANOTHER WOLFCOP takes everything that was fun about the first movie and amps it up big time, making this a rare sequel that outdoes the original. The laughs are bigger, the violence is bloodier, and the tone is more outrageous.
BETTER WATCH OUT
Australia – Dir. Chris Peckover
Dreaming of a red Christmas? Like the idea of a homicidal HOME ALONE? Enjoy both plots and knives that twist? Of course, you do, which is why you’re gonna love BETTER WATCH OUT (aka SAFE NEIGHBORHOOD), the latest from Chris Peckover (writer-director of UNDOCUMENTED).
DEATH LINE (New 2K Restoration of the Original Director’s Cut)
UK – Dir. Gary Sherman
A clear precursor to Tobe Hooper’s TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE, DEATH LINE sports a solid performance by the great Donald Pleasence and a cameo by Christopher Lee. Celebrating its 45th anniversary this year, Sherman’s masterpiece hasn’t lost an ounce of its power. It’s a strange, gory, socially aware and often blackly funny tale of the fringe-dwelling “have-nots” rising up to feast on the “haves” and it’s ready for a new generation of thoughtful fright fans to discover. Our screening will be hosted by Director Gary Sherman and legendary exploitation filmmaker/Blue Underground CEO William Lustig, who shepherded the film’s restoration.
DEATH NOTE: LIGHT UP THE NEW WORLD
Japan – Dir. Shinsuke Sato
The pen is mightier than the sword. At least, when you have a Death Note at hand. The wry and philosophical Japanese horror-thriller series returns under the masterful direction of Shinsuke Sato (GANTZ, I AM A HERO)! Ten years after Light Yagami’s death, the book is back in an edition of six copies this time, courtesy of the Shinigami King himself. Bodies will pile up!
Hong Kong-China – Dir. Alan Mak and Anthony Pun
Undercover agents and gangsters collide in a roaring rush of intense twists and turns deep in the drug world of the Golden Triangle. From the creative team of the INFERNAL AFFAIRS trilogy.
South Korea – Dir. Park Kwang-hyun
In the virtual world, Kwon Yu is a fearless leader, but IRL he’s an unemployed loser. When framed for a crime he didn’t commit, the gamer must rise to the task and prove his innocence. A high-budget, action-packed techno-thriller.
USA-UK – Dir. Simon Rumley
At long last it’s the return of one of Fantasia’s favourite sons, British provocateur Simon Rumley (THE LIVING AND THE DEAD, RED WHITE & BLUE), and it’s been worth the wait. Taking his inspiration from the work of another British master, Nicholas Roeg, Rumley spins a psychologically thrilling exercise in the loss of the mind and the soul in favour of the latest thing. He’s aided in no small part by star Amanda Fuller, re-uniting with Rumley and delivering one of the best performances you’ll see this year. A vivid and mind-altering experience in bravura filmmaking.
THE FINAL MASTER
China – Dir. Xu Haofeng
Director Xu Haofeng astonished Fantasia audiences with THE SWORD IDENTITY and last year’s JUDGE ARCHER. Xu is a truly unique martial arts auteur who returns to freshly shake up the kung fu genre again about kung fu masters in the tragicomedy THE FINAL MASTER.
Germany – Dir. Gordian Maugg
Far from the conventional biopic, FRITZ LANG is part fan-fiction, speculation, and biography: what if Lang was the hero of one of his own films? This is a whirlwind of images where past and present collide, exploring the myth, rather than the man – a composite image of an elusive director, in the days leading to the creation of the masterpiece, M.
GOD OF WAR
Hong Kong-China – Dir. Gordon Chan
A brilliant young general confronts an army of wily Japanese pirates in Ming-Dynasty China – an extra-large-scale battlefield epic with a cast of martial arts titans including the legendary Sammo Hung. From Gordon Chan, the director of many Hong Kong cinema classics including FIST OF LEGEND and BEAST COP!
GOING TO BRAZIL
France-Brazil – Dir. Patrick Mille
Four childhood friends are reunited at a wedding in Rio. But when they accidentally kill a young man during a party that gets out of hand, they are forced to flee the city in a crazy adventure. GOING TO BRAZIL is a corrosively energetic film that stands out from your typical French comedies.
India – Dir. Shanker Raman
An ominous noir crime thriller, Shankar Raman’s debut film GURGAON explores corruption, jealousy, and toxic sibling rivalry within a wealthy family living in the titular city in Northern India. Through clashes between blood relations and bloodshed, the film is a story of having it all and wanting none of it.
Japan – Dir. Ishiro Honda
Jellylike atomic goblins haunt the rainy Tokyo streets involving gangsters and cops! Director Ishiro Honda (GODZILLA) steps out of his comfort zone to yield a unique genre blending gem. Presented in glorious 35mm and preceded by a special career overview of the extraordinary cinematic master Ishiro Honda by Ed Godziszewski (co-author of Ishiro Honda – A Life in Film, from Godzilla to Kurosawa).
HOUSE OF THE DISAPPEARED
South Korea – Dir. Lim Dae-woong
On loud stormy night, Mi-hee wakes up to find her dying husband in the basement and see her son disappear before her eyes. Many years later, she returns to this house to solve the mystery. International star Kim Yujin (the LOST series) shines in this creepy atmospheric remake of THE HOUSE AT THE END OF TIME (which Fantasia helped launch in 2015).
Japan – Dir. Takashi Shimizu
A child’s scream pierces the quietude of a Japanese suburb – and the nightmare begins. A funhouse too atmospheric and scary to resist, from Japan’s living legend of horror, Takashi Shimizu (JU-ON, MAREBITO)!
JAPANESE GIRLS NEVER DIE
Japan – Dir. Daigo Matsui
One day, Haruko Azumi (Yu Aoi) disappears and becomes a legend. A proudly experimental, kaleidoscopic and pop-art portrait of the female condition in Japan.
KILLS ON WHEELS
Hungary – Dir. Attila Till
A wheelchair-bound hitman is assisted by a pair of disabled teenage aspiring comic artists. One part crime genre piece, one part absorbing character study, and one part total original. It’s movies like this that Fantasia was created for.
LOVE AND OTHER CULTS
Japan – Dir. Eiji Uchida
An unexpected love story, and exploration of the seedy, unexplored corners of Japanese society and youthful regional reality – from cults to gangs to idols!
MADE IN HONG KONG (4K Restoration)
Hong Kong – Dir. Fruit Chan
A gorgeous and essential 4K restoration of Fruit Chan’s youthful gangster classic, commissioned by the Udine Far East Film Festival to commemorate the 20 years of the Hong Kong handover.
France – Dir. Tony T. Datis
A bunch of friends, live wires and web addicts, decide to celebrate the New Year in an isolated manor house with no coverage: a big first for them! But as soon as they arrive, strange occurrences disturb the festive atmosphere, and the party turns into a murderous nightmare. The feature debut from celebrated music video director Datis (Skrillex’s “Bangarang” and Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake”), LE MANOIR is a well-crafted horror/comedy that isn’t afraid of opening up incendiary floodgates, and is sure to leave no viewer indifferent. Plus, in a risky feat that completely works, Datis cast his film with YouTube stars. Come discover the immense talents of its web-based stars, who are fast on their way to conquering the big screen.
MUMON: THE LAND OF STEALTH
Japan – Dir. Yoshihiro Nakamura
Despite his playful attitude, Mumon is the most dangerous ninja of his ruthless clan of assassins, but when his actions triggers an all out war with the samurais of Ise, he might finally meet his match. With an incredible cast led by J-pop band Arashi’s frontman Satoshi Ohno and the masterful direction of Fantasia favorite Yoshihiro Nakamura (FISH STORY), this breathtaking over the top action comedy will make you stealthily sneak back for more!
THE NIGHT WATCHMEN
USA – Dir. Mitchell Altieri
Three inept night watchmen, aided by a young rookie and a fearless tabloid journalist, fight an epic battle to save their lives. A mistaken warehouse delivery unleashes a horde of hungry vampires, and these unlikely heroes must not only save themselves but also stop the scourge that threatens to take over the city of Baltimore.
Netherlands – Dir. Dick Maas
From the legendary Dutch horror iconoclast who brought you THE LIFT, AMSTERDAMNED, DOWN, and SAINT comes this jaw-dropping horror thriller about a bloodthirsty lion stalking the streets (and metro trains!) of Amsterdam.
Japan – Dir. Lee Sang-il
A double homicide shakes the nation, and its perpetrator has eluded capture. Meanwhile, three strangers make an appearance. A phenomenal crime thriller about isolation and how we perceive others.
THE SHERIFF IN TOWN
South Korea – Dir. Kim Hyung-joo
When former hardboiled big-city cop Dae-ho (BIG MATCH’s Lee Sung-min) appoint himself the “sheriff” of the coastal village where he owns a humble restaurant, he has no idea how deep in troubles this is going to get him. Laughs, suspense and excitement are on the menu of this entertaining crime comedy where civic pride becomes wildly uncivil!
Hong Kong – Dir. Herman Yau
One of HK’s most prolific yet controversial filmmakers Herman Yau (THE UNTOLD STORY, EBOLA SYNDROME, IP MAN:THE FINAL FIGHT) reunites with the award winning Andy Lau playing a bomb specialist in this high-octane thriller wired with enough explosive twists ready to detonate at every turn.
Germany – Dir. Christian Pasquariello
A solitary soldier (Iwan Rheon of GAME OF THRONES) mans a watchtower, guarding against mysterious aliens in this eerie exercise in high-tech tension and primeval paranoia. Produced by Christian Alvart (PANDORUM, ANTIBODIES).
A THOUSAND JUNKIES
USA – Dir. Tommy Swerdlow
A “drug” movie with no drugs, and a “road” movie that goes nowhere, A THOUSAND JUNKIES is a dark, visceral comedy about the 9 to 5 job of being a junkie, and the strange bonds that are formed between addicts. Screenwriter of COOL RUNNINGS, SNOW DOGS, and LITTLE GIANTS, Tommy Swerdlow makes his directorial debut with a personal story, something miles away from his family-oriented comedies past, based on the three leads’ own experiences with addiction.
Germany – Dir. Jakob Lass
Escalating criminal mischief convinces wild girl Tiger that she’s made the wrong friend in seemingly straight-laced Vanilla, but will she survive long enough to learn her lesson? An unpredictable ride through modern-day Berlin, TIGER GIRL showcases brilliant rising talents in leads Maria Dragus (GRADUATION) and Ella Rumpf (cementing her place as a major new star after her acclaimed work in RAW), who deliver a pair of unforgettable performances that make TIGER GIRL incredibly fresh and exciting.
USA – Dir. Kasra Farahani
A filmmaker becomes unhinged and erratic, and begins to give in to madness. A spellbinding psychological horror film made for a time when love, sadly, does not trump fear or hate. TILT explores how quickly the most familiar person in your life can become the most terrifying. How quickly we can become terrifying to ourselves.
Japan – Dir. Kentaro Hagiwara
Ghouls live among us, look like us, talk like us… and eat us. TOKYO GHOUL is the live-action adaptation of the immensely popular urban-horror manga by Sui Ishida, a gruesome yet pensive dark fantasy in the same sinister zone as DEATH NOTE and PARASYTE.
Fantasia’s flagship juried competition, a global selection of varied genre works from new and established, groundbreaking, and unconventional auteurs.
Bad Genius (Thailand)
Dir. Nattawut Poonpiriya
Dir. Marianna Palka
Cold Hell (Germany)
Dir. Stefan Ruzowitzky
Dan Dream (Denmark)
Dir. Jesper Rofelt
A Day (South Korea)
Dir. Cho Sun-ho
Friendly Beast (Brazil)
Dir. Gabriela Amaral Almeida
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable (Japan)
Dir. Takashi Miike
Dir. Ryan Prows
mon mon mon MONSTERS! (Taiwan)
Dir. Giddens Ko
Money’s Money (France)
Dir. Gela Babluani
Dir. Patrick Demers
Spoor (Poland-Czech Republic)
Dir. Agnieszka Holland
A Taxi Driver (South Korea)
Dir. Jang Hoon
Teiichi: Battle of the Supreme High (Japan)
Dir. Akira Nagai
The Villainess (South Korea)
Dir. Jung Byung-gil
What A Wonderful Family! 2 (Japan)
Dir. Yôji Yamada
Dread Central Presents The Lodgers – Vegas Screening and Wider Release
Last weekend fans got their first taste of the next Dread Central Presents film, The Lodgers (review); and we’re not done yet! There’s another Dread Central Presents screening TOMORROW, February 22nd, at 7:00 PM at the Eclipse Theaters in Las Vegas, Nevada (tickets here); and then the flick will be opening wider the very next day!
To see if the film will be playing near you, click here for a list of cities The Lodgers will be haunting!
Directed by Brian O’Malley and starring Charlotte Vega and Bill Milner, the film made its worldwide premiere at 2017’s Toronto International Film Festival and has since won many awards across multiple festivals.
Make sure to follow and “like” Dread Central Presents on Facebook to stay in the know regarding this and upcoming titles!
In this Gothic horror tale, a family curse confines orphaned twins Rachel (Charlotte Vega) and Edward (Bill Milner) to their home as punishment for their ancestors’ sins. Bound to the rules of a haunting childhood lullaby, the twins must never let any outsiders inside the house, must be in their rooms by the chime of midnight, and must never be separated from one another. Breaking any of these three rules will incur the wrath of a sinister presence that inhabits the house after midnight.
While Edward is committed to this ill-fated life, he’s becoming more unhinged due to the fact that Rachel is not. Smitten by a local soldier (Eugene Simon), Rachel grows skeptical and begins to rebel, desperate to escape the oppression and misery of their captivity.
Exclusive Clip: Primal Rage – Bigfoot Causes Chaos!
Ever been driving in the woods and see or hear something that you cannot explain? Something so shocking that it makes your skin crawl off of your spine? Yeah, those moments, that usually chalked up to something completely innocuous, can be mucho unsettling. Such is the case with our bloody exclusive clip from the latest sliver of Sasquatchploitation, Primal Rage, which illustrates what can happen when you play with your food.
Directed by Patrick Magee, who co-wrote the film with Jay Lee, Primal Rage stars Andrew Joseph Montgomery, Casey Gagliardi, Eloy Casados, Justin Rain and Marshal Hilton. You can also catch this one of the big screen as on February 27th, Fathom (tickets here) will be hosting a one-night theater event for Primal Rage.
Enough talk! Get your Squatch on!
Lost deep in the forest of the Pacific Northwest, Ashley and Max Carr are stalked by a terrifying creature that might be Bigfoot. Soon they find themselves embroiled in a strange land of Native American myth and legend turned real. Hopelessly trying to survive, with a handful of unsavory locals, they must fight back against this monster in a desperate battle of life or death.
The Strangers: Prey at Night Set Visit Part 2: Screams and Flames
[SPOILERS] As mentioned in our earlier set visit story, The Strangers: Prey at Night maintains the same feeling of isolation as the original. Even though a full-fledged production was going on in Gatlin Lake Getaway, it is hard to shake that feeling of being totally alone once wandering away from the set lighting. The dark surround woods start to close in and threaten to swallow any who stray too close to the tree line. Then the silence is broken as a beat-up 1972 Ford Ranger’s engine revs and a scream slices through the night.
Back on the lit street, the familiar looking truck has collided head-on with the side Wagner County Sheriff’s SUV. At the driver’s seat of the Ford is a man sporting a white cloth bag as a mask. The Bagman has returned. His appearance has not changed. The empty sockets of the mask still glare ominously and the painted smile poorly hides the stranger’s murderous intent.
An air of frustration surrounds the Bagman as he attempts to free the truck from the SUV. In vain, the Ford revs and struggles to no avail. Bad news for him, but good news for whomever the Bagman was pursuing. The law enforcement vehicle, with its lights flashing, had been driven by a young woman decked out in a black Ramones t-shirt and blood-splattered jeans. Her hair is jet black. The woman’s skin is streaked with dark blood and open slash wounds. The dark punk eye makeup is running, but the wearer is not.
It is obvious that this woman has been through a lot as she limps from the wreck. The context of her current state is not clear, but the shrieking that emanates from her as she produces a lighter and throws it to the ground under the collided vehicles speaks volumes. It can only be assumed that she has been chased, slashed, and emotionally beaten for hours. The scream is packed with emotions from fear to outright spite and rage. It is so powerful, in fact, that the crew members uttered stunned laudations.
As the gasoline ignites, the flames climb and spread of the mangled metal of the two collided vehicles. The Ford’s engine still violently revs as the Bagman emotionlessly tries to break free. The young woman is slowly backing away, unaware of the chain reaction occurring. The darkness of 1 AM is broken by two giant fireballs that erupt, engulfing the metal mayhem in the middle of the street. The surroundings fall silent, cut is called and the crew erupts in exclamations at the awesome spectacle.
This powerful moment was brought to us by Bailee Madison (Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark).
The Strangers: Prey at Night was now on its twenty-second day of shooting and only eight more days remained. The cast and crew are well accustomed to their routines and the late night shoots have become second nature. When asked if the constant schedule of night shoots had been difficult, Madison elicited some of the virtues that the darkness has to offer, “There’s something very vulnerable about night shoots. You are emotionally in a different place when you’re awake and rested in the daytime. I think for something traumatic like this, you need to be able to access different emotions; at night you’re a lot more capable.”
At this point in production, Bailee’s character has seen a lot of action. A heavy amount of blood adorns the actor’s arms and a thick clotting mass of the red stuff covers most of her forehead. Keeping track of that damage for continuity from day to day looks like a grueling task, and makeup department head Jodi Byrne dropped some details about the process, “We have continuity photos and we take pictures of Bailee constantly throughout the day … We have to determine which takes are actually going to be used in the film and we move from that point.”
A family’s road trip takes a dangerous turn when they arrive at a secluded mobile home park to stay with some relatives and find it mysteriously deserted. Under the cover of darkness, three masked psychopaths pay them a visit to test the family’s every limit as they struggle to survive..
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Dread Central Presents The Lodgers – Vegas Screening and Wider Release
Exclusive Clip: Primal Rage – Bigfoot Causes Chaos!
The Strangers: Prey at Night Set Visit Part 2: Screams and Flames
Mom & Dad Review – When Parental Protection Goes Horribly Awry
Breaking: Jurassic World 3 Stomps Into Theaters June 2021!
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Hellraiser: Judgment Review – Pinhead Returns in a Truly Solid Sequel
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Silent Hill: Revelation Director Opens Up On Movie’s Failings; “It Was a Nightmare Dance”
Exclusive Clip: Primal Rage – Bigfoot Causes Chaos!
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