Davis, Mitch (Fantasia 2008) - Dread Central
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Davis, Mitch (Fantasia 2008)



Mitch Davis interview for Fantasia 2008!Fantasia is upon us yet again, and our own Evil Andy has thrown a batch of brain-pickers at one of the festival’s programmers, Mitch Davis, to find out what fans can and should look forward to this year.

Fantasia 2008 boasts more than 100 films and no less than 9 world premieres during its three-week run (July 3-21), which is the biggest it’s ever been. The films were chosen from a host of talented and scholarly film fans like Fangoria editor Tony Timpone, TwitchFilm editor Todd Brown, Simon Laperriere (one of the newest additions) and King-Wei Chu. Davis is the glue holding it all together, however, so it’s his gray matter we dive into.

Enjoy the chat, and be sure to hit Fantasia’s official site for all the details on this year’s show!

Evil Andy: Holy shit Mitch; this is Fantasia’s 12th year. The customary 12th anniversary gift theme is linen and silk. Does this mean we’re going to see you flitting around the Fantasia site in billowing linen pants and lustrous silk shirts this year?

Mitch Davis: And voodoo skulls. Silk ain’t nothing without voodoo skulls!

EA: Is there another Small Gauge Trauma DVD coming out this year, and if so, is it true that the craziest film of last year’s festival, “>“Gary’s Touch” (review) is on it? If so, how the hell are you ever going to get that thing across the Border?

MD: We have crates of hollowed-out dolls waiting in a warehouse for that very purpose! Actually, it’s time for everyone’s favourite game of Good News & Bad News. The good news: “Gary’s Touch” has indeed been licensed for Small Gauge II, and as a bonus feature we have Ken Takahashi`s incredible Q&A session from last summer’s screening at the fest. The bad news: several things caused a string of unexpected delays and Synapse now has such a packed release schedule that the disc won’t be out until early 2009. It will be worth the wait though. That’s a promise!

EA: Clearly the genre staples are all represented as they are each year, but one of the best parts of Fantasia is discovering a bunch of films that are harder to classify. What geographies and sub-genres are being focused on this year?

MD: Our biggest spotlight this year is dedicated to American horror films. Specifically, to the re-emergence of uncompromising, wildly individualistic American horror filmmaking. There was a time when US horror films were globally adored for their audacity, their bravery and their politically charged subversiveness. The recent history of US horror, awash as it has been with mostly sequels, remakes and sequels to remakes has all but demolished a once proud heritage. Of course, there hasn’t been a year without several standout American horrors, but it’s nothing like it once was. Last year, films like The Mist and Mulberry Street broke through and the common words of praise from international fans usually included something along the lines of ”I didn`t think Americans made films like this anymore”.

Bad Biology one of the strangest films to play Fantasia!This year, the number of truly inspired and unique American horror films – films that are made with an uncompromising singularity of vision – have continued to climb, so we’ve decided to pay tribute to this. We’re calling the spotlight “Bloody Radical: Unconventional American Horror” and it consists of From Within, Bad Biology (pictured), “>Repo! The Genetic Opera (review), The Objective, “>Midnight Meat Train (review), “>Baby Sitter Wanted (review), the utterly mad Pig Hunt, even though it’s not quite new, “>All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (review).

On the short film side, related to our US block, we’re showcasing a series of shorts from Adam Wingard. His feature film work has been interesting, but when you see the shorts he’s been making over the past year, you’re going to be amazed. He’s developed a very interesting voice and his new work ranks among some of my favourite US filmmaking of the moment. Kind of like a horror oriented nightmare fusion of David Lynch and Gus Van Sant. Really incredible, personal work.

Another, smaller spotlight is focused on the current trend of subjective-shot “reality horror” films. We call it “Playback in Black” and it’s made up of a trio of very, very strong examples of these kinds of narratives, from Spain, the US, and South Korea: “>REC (review), Home Movie and The Butcher. None are in any way comparable to the other and each are standouts. Actually, we were in hell when it came to Home Movie because it really should be appearing in the “Bloody Radical” spotlight too!

We’ve also got a showcase we’re calling “Animated Auteur Visions”, which I guess is kind of self-explanatory, and we’re finally bringing the touring Nikkatsu retrospective series No Border No Limits: 1960’s Nikkatsu Action Cinema to Canada, which I’m very, very excited about.

Last but not remotely least, we’re doing a tribute to Banjong Pisanthanakun & Parkpoom Wongpoom, who will be in town for the international premiere of 4BIA and the Montreal premiere of Alone. We were the first fest in Canada to show Shutter back in the day, the third time it was ever shown in the world, so we’re incredibly happy to be doing this. We can’t wait to see peoples skin crawling over the armrests!

Outside of any spotlight, one of the full-on must-see films at the fest is the Swedish masterpiece “>Let the Right One In (review), which I can honestly say is the greatest vampire film I’ve seen in my entire adult life. It’s absolutely extraordinary, poetic, frightening, shocking and touching. Brilliant in every way.

EA; You’ve manage to secure a pretty good group of directors attending the festival this year. What horror heavyweights have you managed to pull in, and can we expect any surprise visits?

MD: Well, the surprise visits would lose much of their electric surprise power if I were to spill them before they hit, but some of the more known guests we have coming in this year would be Ryuhei Kitamura, Bill Plympton, Gordon Liu, Darren Lynn Bousman, Frank Henenlotter, Eihi Shiina (star of Miike’s Audition), Jim Isaac, Tak Sakaguchi, David Blyth, Banjong Pisanthanakun and Parkpoom Wongpoom.

EA: What’s your pick for the goriest film of the fest?

Tokyo Gore Police the goriest of Fantsia 08?MD: That would have to be Tokyo Gore Police by a landslide! A bloody, kinky, society-violating landslide!

EA: What’s your pick for scariest film of the fest?

MD: On a visceral level, REC. Easily. That film hits such a heightened peak of hysteria and intensity that I’m almost surprised nobody’s died during a screening yet! Most disturbing would likely be a toss-up between Home Movie and the doco I Think We’re Alone Now.

EA: What’s your pick for most subversive film of the fest?

MD: That’s a difficult one. Can I give you another tie? Tokyo Gore Police is the most obvious one, but From Within goes into some very culturally un-safe places as well.

EA: What’s your pick for foreign film most likely to be badly remade?

MD: Let the Right One In. Remake rights have already been optioned, but this is a story that can’t be told in a mainstream American studio production. Studios would be terrified to go near it. Whatever we end up getting in a remake, I’d be stunned if it bears more than a passing resemblance to the original.

EA: What’s your pick for horror film most likely to inject a badly needed dose of intelligence into the genre?

MD: A three-way tie between Let the Right One In, Home Movie and The Objective. Color me indecisive!

EA: That’s it for this year, thanks again for taking the time to chat with us. And hey, can I touch your velvet coat this year?

MD: The velvet’s been retired, but we can probably work something out. Nya ha ha ha.

Thanks again, Mitch and Andy! Keep your eyeballs on Dread for our regularly updated Fantasia reports, reviews, and interviews!

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Simon Pegg and Nick Frost Are Truth Seekers Playing by Slaughterhouse Rulez



One of our favorite pairings of stars from the last twenty years is no doubt that of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Their chemistry is undeniable, and if you didn’t get enough of it in “Spaced,” Shawn of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End, and Paul, you’re about to get a bellyful of it on both big and small screens.

Variety is reporting that Frost and Pegg will be starring in “Truth Seekers,” a half-hour comedy-horror TV show about a three-person paranormal investigation team.

According to the site, each installment of “Truth Seekers” will focus on a paranormal incident, a setup with clear monster-of-the-week potential. “Each episode is going to be an adventure, a potential haunting or something,” Pegg says. “It’ll start as a very parochial idea, a very small business venture for these people, but it will expand as the series goes on to be something far more global. It’s a language everyone understands, the mystery of the unknown. Shaun of the Dead was a very parochial story set in North London, and somehow it managed to get this global reach because everyone understands the language of zombie movies.

That’s not all, though… the pair are also working on the feature film Slaughterhouse Rulez, a horror-comedy now in post-production. Directed by Crispian Mills and set in a well-to-do public school, the movie is “very satirical, very much about the U.K. selling itself off,” Pegg says. “It’s about fracking as well, and that unleashes some awful subterranean demon.

Both of these projects will be released under their Stolen Picture shingle. Stay tuned, kids! More as we get it!

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Rest in Peace – Yôsuke Natsuki



We’ve lost another Kaiju legend today as reports are coming in that famed Japanese actor Yôsuke Natsuki has passed on at age 81.

Natsuki was a familiar face in several Godzilla films including Godzilla 1985 and Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster. Born in 1936, Yôsuke has made over 100 appearances in film with the last being in 2012’s Kirin.

We here at Dread Central would like to take this time to honor Natsuki’s friends, family members, and constituents.


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NSFW Kill Clip from Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories Now Available on VOD



VOB now available on VOD!

For those who might not know, Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories is a sequel to the indie horror anthology Volumes of Blood, produced by P.J. Starks and Eric Huskisson (The Confession of Fred Krueger) and Christopher Bower (The Dooms Chapel Horror).

It features actor Moses Moseley, best known for his role as one of Michonne’s “Pet Walkers” on AMC’s “The Walking Dead”; the acting debut of WWE legend Sir Mo from Men on a Mission; and original music by Rocky Gray (drummer for We Are the Fallen, Living Sacrifice, formerly of Evanescence) and Shane Prather (Sharknado franchise, Sinister Squad, Lavalantula).

The flick recently hit VOD and to celebrate the release, the filmmakers have shared a “Kill Clip” from the movie to spread the bloody word.

You can check out the NSFW Kill Clip called “All Torn Up” in all its gory glory below and then let us know what you think.

Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories is now available on Amazon, iTunes, YouTube, Google Play, and more!


A couple plan to purchase an old home but would like one last tour before the closing. They’re guided around the estate by a creepy realtor that may have more in store than they bargained for.

Searching floor by floor, they begin to discover the remnants of its sordid and terrifying past… A popular 80’s franchise gets a modern upgrade, but at what price? On Halloween night a teen left home alone meets a trick or treater that wants more than just candy. A door to door insurance salesman makes a Thanksgiving house call with monstrous consequences. Andrew and Sara are happily married and plan on spending some quality time together, but something sinister has other plans for their evening. Carol’s Christmas Eve turns into a fight for survival when a vengeful stranger isn’t feeling the holiday spirit. Lastly, a birthday party turns bloody when some unexpected guests drop by at the wrong time.

Seven interwoven tales of terror… how many stories does your house have?

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