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Toronto After Dark Film Festival – A Look Back

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It can be said that every film, director, actor, actress, producer…etc. needs a launching point – somewhere they can get their work out there for the masses to soak in and enjoy, and one of the horror genre’s biggest film festivals has been going strong since 2006 – it’s Toronto After Dark, and with its 12th annual gala upon us (October 12th-20th), we’re going to dive into this pool of up and coming chills and see what movies made their mark with fans and critics alike in years past.

The festival kicked off in 2006 with a relatively small crowd of a little over 43 hundred attendees, and one of the more notable presentations was Behind The Mask: The Rise And Fall Of Leslie Vernon – this black comedy/horror product has maintained a fairly heavy cult following since its release, and remains director Scott Glosserman’s biggest film to date.

Behind the Mask

The second annual festival launched in October 2007, and with a broader extension of films that were on display, more than a few of them reeled in the crowds, including the complete insanity that was Troma’s Poultrygeist: Night Of The Chicken Dead and Mulberry Street, which gained inclusion into the short-lived After Dark Horrorfest 8 Films To Die For. Director Jim Mickle parlayed his directorial entry into further projects, leading to other movies such as 2010’s Stake Land and We Are What We Are in 2013.

2008’s festival included a three-headed monster of films that garnered some seriously heavy praise (and awards won) – Let The Right One In, with director Tomas Alfredson moving onto much larger projects such as Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and the upcoming The Snowman. Yoshihiro Mishimura’s blood-soaked Tokyo Gore Police was an underrated hit, as well as I Sell The Dead from Glenn McQuaid.

Let The Right One In

Rolling into 2009, the festival shifted its dates from October to August, but it didn’t diminish the level of fantastic movies that were presented to even larger crowds, and the biggest title to come out of the show was Trick ‘r Treat, and it’s managed to hold down a colossal cult following amongst its supporters. Another notable was the pregnancy-gone-wrong flick, Grace – directed by Paul Solet, and produced by Adam Green.

trick r treat

With a much higher attendance than its first year (now over 9000 attendees), the 2009 festival marched out the film that’ll make you think twice about overeating ever again: The Human Centipede. Alongside it ran the possession frightshow, The Last Exorcism starring Ashley Bell and the remake of 1978’s I Spit On Your Grave with each film ringing up awards and accolades alike.

Returning to a more horror-friendly month like October, 2011’s festival most notable presentation was the absolutely off-the-wall Father’s Day from Astron-6 and Troma. Following up was Ti West’s creepy The Innkeepers and Lucky McKee’s disputatious feature, The Woman starring Pollyanna McIntosh.

2012 ushered in two of the festival’s more prominent entries, with the first being the anthology piece V/H/S, boasting directorial efforts from names such as Ti West and Adam Wingard. The second film was the Soska Sisters’ body-modification chiller, American Mary – this marked their second directorial go-round, and they’ve been tabbed to helm the remake of David Cronenberg’s Rabid. The rest of the lineup really did offer some decent sequels as well, with Rec 3: Genesis and Grave Encounters 2 also getting some screen time.

2013 brought in some underrated little gems that were focused upon, and Jim Mickle followed up his 2006 film Mulberry Street with the best proposition for going vegan with We Are What We Are. Other notable submissions included Big Ass Spider!, zombie flick The Battery, Bobcat Goldthwait’s found-footage film Willow Creek and a film that still manages to give me the heebies, Banshee Chapter.

The festival that took place in 2014 cranked out more than a handful of fun features, including the visually striking Hellmouth, starring Stephen McHattie, followed by the undead/Mad Max blender Wyrmwood, Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead (Tommy Wirkola’s work) and the “sequel” to the 1976 film The Town That Dreaded Sundown. The one product that came out with both mitts swinging, and still manages to act as a conversation piece of “you either loved it or you hated it” – The Babadook, a first time directorial effort for Jennifer Kent, and to this day the film has become somewhat of a symbol for the LGBT community.

The roster for 2015 and 2016 was a bit lackluster as far as more notable films were concerned, but still managed to pop out a few decent watches, with movies like the anthology piece, Tales Of Halloween, Deathgasm, Train To Busan (honestly one of the most solid zombie flicks I’ve seen in moons), From A House On Willow Street and a movie that has become a huge hit on the Blu-ray market, The Void.

There are so many more fantastic films that I’ve left out of this 11 year span, and trust me it’s not for lack of caring – there’s only so much that can be covered, but all you need to do is check out the roster of all the films that have been screened over the years, and I’m sure that you’ll find some unwatched gems that beg to be released, even to this day. This year’s festival promises to showcase some fantastic flicks, and while I can’t list them all, here’s just a condensed list of what’s up for viewing: Marc Meyers’s peek into the teen years of one of America’s most notable cannibals: My Friend Dahmer – the newest entry into the Hatchet movie series, Victor Crowley, and the latest hijinx from that little red-headed bastard-doll, Cult Of Chucky. Everything that I’ve mentioned is only covering the first day/night – seriously, guys – if you’ve got the time and a little traveling dough, I HIGHLY recommend making the jaunt to this year’s festival, and all the pertinent info can be found at Torontoafterdark.com – they’ve got a full schedule of films to be seen as well as tickets for the screenings. This full-blown assault on your horror and sci-fi senses takes place October 12-20th, so don’t miss it!

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Eibon Press goes BLACK FRIDAY with free Fulci Comics!

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Us guys over at Eibon Press have lost our fucking minds.

AGAIN!

We’re running a Black Friday special that’s totally insane, giving away comics for free!  It’s a THREE LEVEL spacial that allows you to own up to two FREE POSTERS and TWO FREE COMICS, and that’s saying a lot because our comics and posters are all kinds of awesome.  Check out the latest issue of LUCIO FULCI’S GATES OF HELL, guys:

This one is a fucking beauty, based on the classic Fulci film City of the Living Dead, and containing all the incredible set-pieces that made that movie the notorious eye-gouging, gut barfing 1980s horror spectacular it is!  And our comics are extra amazing because they come in a special album liner sleeve, packaged in shrink wrap and sealed with stickers and extra features, just like a high-end collectible record album. You get two amazing covers and all starts of extras!

We also just came out with this bad boy:

Laserblast????  Somoen made a comic book outta that movie?

Hell yes we did.  And it’s one of the best movie adaptations ever done.  This was a film featured on Mystery Science Theater 300 and so what better way to beat the post Turkey Day blahs, yes?  We’re giving this incredible issue away for FREE also in our nutty Black Friday Special.

We’re also giving away these TWO FREE MINI-POSTERS:

Yeah, we kinda blew the horror word’s mind when we announced “Maniac Vs. The New York Ripper,” and it’s coming soon, along with “Bottomfeeder”.  Meanwhile, you can have this awesome cover poster.  For free.  Plus it it’s double sided and has a cool preview page from BF #2 on the back!  Can’t beat that with a stick, man.

Check us out at eibonpress.com and hit our social feeds too for all the info.

BLACK FRIDAY just got blacker, kids!

S

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Class of 1999 Graduates to Blu-Ray in 2018

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Coming to blu-ray in early 2018 will be Class of 1999, which was originally released in 1990 and designed to be an unofficial sci-fi sequel to 1982’s Class of 1984, which itself received a special edition blu-ray in 2015. Confused yet?

In 1982, writer-director Mark L. Lester made Class of 1984, a slightly futuristic action thriller about teachers contending with teenage gangs in an inner-city high school. Lester would go on to grace us with Commando and Firestarter before returning to the premise in 1990 to give us the very futuristic Class of 1999. This time the action takes place near the turn of the millennium when gang violence overruns inner-city high schools to the point that the government steps in and replaces the teachers with reprogrammed military-grade battle androids. The super soldier cyborg faculty revert to their militaristic ways, naturally, and rack up quite a body count as they declare war on the student body leading to teenage gangs putting aside their difference to lead an anti-robot uprising in the halls of the school.

The time is the future, and youth gang violence is so high that the areas around some schools have become “free fire zones” into which not even the police will venture. When Miles Langford (Malcolm McDowell), the principal of Kennedy High School, decides to take his school back from the gangs, robotics specialist Dr. Robert Forrest (Stacy Keach) provides “tactical education units.” These human-like androids have been programmed to teach and are supplied with weapons to handle discipline problems. These kids will get a lesson in staying alive!

Boasting a screenplay by Full Moon stalwart C. Courtney Joyner and a cast including the likes of Stacy Keach, Pam Grier, Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Kilpatrick, and Traci Lind; Class of 1999 and its unique Stand and Deliver meets The Warriors meets The Terminator premise has garnered a loyal cult following over the years. We won’t mention the sequel. Forget I even brought it up. Sequel? What sequel?

Lionsgate Home Entertainment has announced Class of 1999 will be the next title getting a blu-ray release as part of their Vestron Collector’s Series in the first semester of 2018 with a fully loaded edition guaranteed to please fans and those that have yet to be educated on this enjoyable early Ninties b-movie extravaganza.

Disc extras will include:

Audio Commentary with Producer/Director Mark L. Lester
Interviews with Director/Producer Mark L. Lester and Co-Producer Eugene Mazzola
Interview with Screenwriter C. Courtney Joyner
Interviews with Special Effects Creators Eric Allard and Rick Stratton
Interview with Director of Photography Mark Irwin
Trailer & TV Spot
Still Gallery
Video Promo
Optional English, English SDH, and Spanish subtitles for the main feature

Class of 1999 graduates to blu-ray on January 30th.

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Buy Stuff From Eibon Press, Get More Stuff For Free

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Eibon Press have announced that they’re starting Black Friday a day early and will be running their specials for almost a week, through November 28th. This year, they’re doing something a little different, a little more interesting. Rather than reduce prices on their inventory, they’re doing a deal where depending on how much you buy from their store, you’ll get a certain amount of free swag in addition to your order.

The first tier sees anyone who makes a purchase getting two double-sided mini-posters featuring art from their upcoming Bottomfeeder and Maniac and The New York Ripper series. The second tier sees anyone who spends at least $30 getting a free copy of their VHS Comics titles Laserblast plus the mini-posters. The final tier is for those who spend $50 and more and that will net the mini-posters, the #1 issue of Laserblast, and a free copy of Lucio Fulci’s Gates of Hell #2.

Lastly, five random people will receive an extra bonus gift, which they won’t reveal but promise that, “…you’ll love it!

All order cans be placed via Eibon Press.

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