Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave Announced; New Images from The American Scream, Holy Motors, Sinister, and More - Dread Central
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Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave Announced; New Images from The American Scream, Holy Motors, Sinister, and More

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The second wave of films playing this year’s Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, has been announced, and all we can say is start packing your bags right now!

From the Press Release:
Two of the fall season’s most anticipated genre films, sci-fi actioner Looper and supernatural horror Sinister, are coming to Fantastic Fest along with a wide array of mind-boggling/bending/warping films from around the world. The lineup also includes the world premieres of The American Scream, from the filmmaking team behind Best Worst Movie, and Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning, introduced by stars Scott Adkins and Dolph Lundgren. Fantastic Fest will take place September 20-27 in Austin, Texas, at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar.

THE ABCs OF DEATH (2012)
US Premiere with multiple directors in person
Director – Various, 110 min
Twenty-six directors. Twenty-six ways to die. Co-produced by Drafthouse Films, and finally ready to be unleashed-see what happens when you give more than two dozen of the most brilliant filmmakers from around the world free reign to indulge their creative impulses and black humor. From A to Z, it’s got something for every genre fan and is like nothing you’ve ever seen before.

THE AMERICAN SCREAM (2012)
World Premiere with director Michael Paul Stephenson and stars Manny Souza and Victor Bariteauin person
Director – Michael Paul Stephenson, 81min
In a small Massachusetts community, three Halloween-obsessed households transform into neighbor-terrifying supernatural wonderlands in this surprisingly touching documentary from the director of BEST WORST MOVIE.

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - The American Scream

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - The American Scream

COLD BLOODED (2012)
Regional Premiere with director Jason LaPeyre in person
Director – Jason LaPeyre, 86min
Things quickly spiral out of control when a policewoman must protect her recently comatose suspect from a violent crime boss who has cornered them in an isolated hospital wing.

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Cold Blooded

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Cold Blooded

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Cold Blooded

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Cold Blooded

COLD STEEL (2011)
Texas Premiere
Director – David Wu, 107min
After 17 years spent directing television series in North America, director David Wu (a longtime collaborator of John Woo) returns to his native China to deliver the heart-pounding World War II epic COLD STEEL.

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Cold Steel

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Cold Steel

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Cold Steel

DOOMSDAY BOOK (2012)
Austin Premiere
Director – Kim Jee-woon and Yim Pil-sung, 113min
Innovative Korean genre directors Kim Ji-Woon (A TALE OF TWO SISTERS, A BITTERSWEET LIFE, THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE WEIRD, I SAW THE DEVIL) and Yim Pil-Sung (HANSEL & GRETEL) turn their imaginations to apocalyptic sci-fi with this three-part omnibus film which outlines three possible ways in which the world goes kaput.

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Doomsday Book

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Doomsday Book

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Doomsday Book

GRACELAND (2012)
Texas Premiere with director Ron Morales and producers Theo Brooks and Joshua Sobel in person
Director – Ron Morales, 84min
When a driver for a powerful congressman picks up his and his boss’ daughters from school, he’s annoyed to find himself being pulled over. But this alleged cop, far from an officer of the law, sets in motion a downward spiral of kidnapping, murder, deceit and deep depravity.

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Graceland

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Graceland

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Graceland

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Graceland

HENGE + THE BIG GUN (2012)
US Premiere
Director – Hajime Ohata, 106min
A double shot from Japanese up-and-comer Hajime Ohata. Blending elements of Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Shinya Tsukamoto with just the right amount of kaiju monster battles, Ohata is quickly building a reputation as one of Japan’s brightest new talents.

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Henge + The Big Gun

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Henge + The Big Gun

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Henge + The Big Gun

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Henge + The Big Gun

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Henge + The Big Gun

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Henge + The Big Gun

HERE COMES THE DEVIL (2012)
US Premiere with director Adrián García Bogliano in person
Director – Adrián García Bogliano, 97min
Fantastic Fest veteran Adrián García Bogliano (COLD SWEAT, PENUMBRA) returns with his latest supernatural horror. When two children who went missing while exploring a cave are found, it quickly becomes apparent something evil has come home with them.

HOLY MOTORS (2012)
North American Premiere
Director – Leos Carax, 116min
While following a day in the life of Mr. Oscar as he attends several appointments, things quickly unravel and spiral out of control, abandoning all sense of logic or sanity. Fans of Carax’s ‘Mierde’ segment of Fantastic Fest 2008 hit TOKYO! will be right back at home.

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Holy Motors

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Holy Motors

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Holy Motors

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Holy Motors

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Holy Motors

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Holy Motors

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Holy Motors

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Holy Motors

LOOPER (2012)
Special screening with director Rian Johnson and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in person
Director – Rian Johnson, 118 min
In the futuristic action thriller LOOPER, time travel will be invented – but it will be illegal and only available on the black market. When the mob wants to get rid of someone, they will send their target 30 years into the past, where a “looper” – a hired gun, like Joe – is waiting to mop up. Joe is getting rich and life is good… until the day the mob decides to “close the loop,” sending back Joe’s future self for assassination. The film, starring Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Emily Blunt, is written and directed by Rian Johnson and produced by Ram Bergman and James D. Stern.

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Looper

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Looper

MY AMITYVILLE HORROR (2012)
US Premiere
Director – Eric Walter, 88min
You’ve seen the movie; now hear the story of the Amityville haunting from someone who lived it. Regardless of the source, it’s clear there was darkness in that Long Island house.

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - My Amityville Horror

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - My Amityville Horror

NEW KIDS NITRO (2012)
US Premiere with cast Huub Smit, Wesley van Gaalen, Steffen Haars and Flip Van der Kuil
Director – Steffen Haars & Flip van der Kuil, 78min
In 2011, NEW KIDS TURBO rocked Fantastic Fest audiences with its potent brand of Dutch gross-out humor. Now, Fantastic Fest is proud to present the highly anticipated-and very offensive-sequel: NEW KIDS NITRO.

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - New Kids Nitro

NO REST FOR THE WICKED (2012)
Regional Premiere
Director – Enrique Urbizu, 104min
A dirty cop who tries to cover up a crime stumbles upon a massive criminal conspiracy. NO REST FOR THE WICKED swept the Spanish Goya awards this year with an electrifying performance by lead actor José Coronado.

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - No Rest for the Wicked

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - No Rest for the Wicked

OUTRAGE BEYOND (2012)
US Premiere
Director – Takeshi Kitano, 112min
As Japanese police launch a full-scale crackdown on organized crime, it ignites a national yakuza struggle between the Sanno of the East and Hanabishi of the West. What started as internal strife in director Takeshi Kitano’s OUTRAGE has now become a nationwide war in his latest film OUTRAGE BEYOND.

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Outrage Beyond

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Outrage Beyond

SINISTER (2012)
Special screening with director Scott Derrickson, producer Jason Blum and writer C. Robert Cargill in person
Director – Scott Derrickson, 110 min
SINISTER is a frightening new thriller about a true crime novelist who discovers a box of mysterious, disturbing home movies that plunge his family into a nightmarish experience of supernatural horror.

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Sinister

UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: DAY OF RECKONING (2012)
World Premiere with Dolph Lundgren and Scott Adkins in person
Director – John Hyams, 93 min
Surviving Unisols Luc Deveraux and Andrew Scott battle anarchy to build a new order ruled by Unisols without government oversight. To accomplish this, they weed out the weak and constantly test their strongest warriors in brutal, life-and-death combat.

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning

VANISHING WAVES (2012)
US Premiere
Director – Kristina Buozyte, 124min
A scientist with a neurological research team volunteers to experiment with a new technology which will allow him to access the thoughts of a coma victim.

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Vanishing Waves

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Vanishing Waves

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Vanishing Waves

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Vanishing Waves

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Vanishing Waves

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Vanishing Waves

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Vanishing Waves

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Vanishing Waves

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - Vanishing Waves

THE WARPED FOREST (2011)
US Premiere
Director – Shunichiro Miki, 81min
Shunichiro Miki delivers a shot of utter madness. Penis guns! Nipple monsters! A giant girl running a very small shop! This quasi-sequel to THE FUNKY FOREST more than lives up to the weird factor of its predecessor.

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - The Warped Forest

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - The Warped Forest

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - The Warped Forest

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced - The Warped Forest

Look for more film and event programming announcements for Fantastic Fest in the weeks ahead.

Fantastic Fest 2012: Second Wave of Films Announced

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Like Me – Will You Like This Dystopian Thriller?

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Starring Addison Timlin, Ian Nelson, Larry Fessenden

Directed by Robert Mockler


While Like Me is not dystopian in the classic science-fiction sense, it does aptly put the downer vibe across. If the present is abysmal, then the future is downright hopeless. We learn this as we follow an unhinged teenage loner called Kiya (Addison Timlin) on a hollow crime spree that she broadcasts on social media. At first the world “likes” her—with the exception of YouTube rival Burt (Ian Nelson), who disdainfully denounces her viral videos—but pride goes before the fall, and Kiya’s descent is spectacular.

If you’ve peeped the trailer for Like Me, then you’re probably expecting a horror movie. I mean, they’ve got the requisite menacing masked baddie and they’ve got genre icon Larry Fessenden in a major role—those are a couple of the key ingredients, right? Yes they are, but this simmering, shimmering stew of Natural Born Killers, Excision and King Kelly, it boils down to a whole lotta nothing. Like Me is sort of a drama, kind of a road trip flick, and almost a thriller. It succeeds at none yet does stand on its own as a compelling collection of cool visuals and pertinent performances. But is that enough?

While Kiya is a compelling character on the surface, there’s barebones beneath. Sure, she’s a Millennial mind-fed on random online clips and snappy soundbites—but what turned her into a psychopath? Was she born that way? Is social media to blame? We’ll never know, because not a hint is given. I don’t mind ambiguity, but even a morsel would have been welcome in this case. As Kiya ramps up her reckless exhibitionistic extremes, the stakes are never raised. In the end, who cares? Maybe that’s the point.

A word of warning: If you plan on watching this movie while chomping snacks…don’t. There is stomach-turning scene after vomit-inducing scene of orgiastic easting, binging, and the inevitable purging. I’m sure it’s all metaphorical mastication, a cutting comment on disposable consumption. I get it. But I don’t wanna look at it, again and again and again. Having said that, Like Me is an experimental film and in its presentation of such grotesquery, it’s quite accomplished. Montages, split-screens and jittered motions are scattered throughout, showing us all sorts of unpleasant things…Kudos to the editor.

I didn’t hate Like Me. But I do think one has to be in the mood for a movie such as this. It’s not an easy or entertaining watch, but it is a peculiar and thought-provoking one. There’s some style and mastery behind the camera, and I am curious to see what first-time writer-director Rob Mockler comes up with next.

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Last Toys on the Left

Funko Giving Jurassic Park the Pop! Treatment as Only They Can

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It is no secret we’re BIG fans of Funko’s Pop! Vinyl line here at DC HQ, and now they’ve announced a new series that has made our hearts just about burst… read on for a look at Pop! Movies: Jurassic Park, heading our way in February. The regular figures are awesome on their own, but wait until you see the exclusives!

From the Funko Blog:
Jurassic Park fans, get excited! To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the iconic film’s appearance on the silver screen, Jurassic Park is coming to Pop!

This series of Pop! features paleontologist Dr. Grant, Jurassic Park CEO John Hammond, mathematician Dr. Malcolm, and embryo-smuggler Dennis Nedry. (Keep an eye out for Dr. Ellie Sattler in Pop! Rides coming soon.)

We couldn’t forget the Jurassic Park dinosaurs! Featured in this line are the great T. rex, Velociraptor, and Dilophsaurus. Look for the Dilophosaurus chase, a rarity of 1-in-6.

Be on the lookout for exclusives. At Target you can find a wounded Dr. Malcolm, and the Dennis Nedry and Dilophosaurus 2-pack is available only at Entertainment Earth.

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American Psycho Meets Creep – Strawberry Flavored Plastic Review

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Starring Aidan Bristow, Nicholas Urda, Andres Montejo

Directed by Colin Bemis


Recently I wrote up an article here on Dread Central which was basically an open letter to anyone who was listening called “I Miss Found Footage.” Well, it seems like someone WAS listening, as I was then sent the link to an all-new found footage film called Strawberry Flavored Plastic from first-time writer-director Colin Bemis.

The film follows the “still-at-large crimes of Noel, a repentant, classy and charming serial killer loose in the suburbs of New York.” Basically, you could think of the flick as American Psycho meets Mark Duplass and Partick Brice’s Creep. That, or you could think of it as “Man Bites Dog in color!” However you choose to label Colin Bemis’ psychological thriller, just make sure you check out the film once it hits in the future.

As I alluded to above, the film is basically a found footage version of American Psycho. But that said, the film sports a twist on the charming serial killer subgenre that I have yet to see play out in any of the above-mentioned classics. I’m not going to go into spoiler territory here, but I will say that the film introduces an element to the tale that spins it into much more of a character drama than a straight horror film. Not that there is anything wrong with that!

Truth be told, the film’s turn from serial killer flick into a layered character study might have been its kiss of death, but this slight genre switch is rendered a minor issue as the film’s central narcissistic antagonist is played by Aidan Bristow. Bristow is an actor you may not have heard of before this review, but you will hear his name more and more over the years to come, I promise. The guy gives (no pun intended) a killer performance as the film’s resident serial killer Noel Rose, and time after time surprised me with how chilling, charming, or downright vulnerable he chose to play any given scene.

Bristow’s performance is, in the end, the major element the film has going for it. But that said, as a fan of found footage, I was smiling ear to ear at first-time director Colin Bemis’ understanding of what makes a found footage suspense sequence work.

In Strawberry Flavored Plastic director Colin Bemis is confident and content to allow full emotional scenes to play out with the camera directed at nothing more than a character’s knees. Why is this so important? Because it keeps the reality of the film going. Too many found footage directors would focus on the actors’ faces during such emotional scenes – no matter how contrived the camera angle was. In this film, however, Bemis favors the reality that says, “If you were really in this emotional state and holding a camera, you would let it drop to your side.” I agree, and it is small touches like that which make the film feel authentic and thus – once the shite hits the fan – all the scarier.

On the dull side of the kitchen knife, the film does feel a bit long even given it’s short running time, and there doesn’t seem too much in the way of visceral horror to be found within. Again, graphic blood and gore aren’t a must in a fright flick, but a tad more of the old ultra-violence would have gone a long way in selling our main psychopath’s insanity and unpredictability. But all the same, the film does feature a rather shocking sequence where our main baddie performs a brutal home invasion/murder that puts this film firmly in the realm of horror. In fact, the particular POV home invasion scene I’m talking about holds about as much horror as you’ll ever wish to witness.

In the end, Colin Bemis’ Strawberry Flavored Plastic is a must-see for fans of found footage and serial killer studies such as American Pyscho, Creep, and Man Bites Dog. I recommend giving it a watch once it premieres. If only to be able to point to Aidan Bristow in the near future and tell all your friends that you watched (one of) his first movies.

Until then, check out the film’s trailer HERE, and follow the movie on Facebook.

  • Strawberry Flavored Plastic
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Lead actor Aidan Bristow turns in a star-making performance in Colin Bemis’ Strawberry Flavored Plastic, a found footage film that plays out like Man Bites Dog in Color before introducing a new element to the charming-serial-killer subgenre and becoming more character study than a straight horror. Think American Psycho meets Creep.

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