Since this year marks the 9th annual for the Toronto After Dark Film Festival (TAD for short), we will run down 9 of the most anticipated film playing this year, in what looks to be one of the strongest overall lineups of the festival’s history.
If you haven’t already procured tickets for tonight’s opening film then you better get down there really early for the rush line! Housebound had been leaving genre fans ecstatic for months now after a wildly successful festival run. The horror comedy from New Zealand about a haunted house has been a major crowd pleaser everywhere it has played. If its half as good as What we do in the Shadows, another New Zealand horror comedy that debuted at TIFF this year, then it should be a major hit.
ABC’s of Death 2
While the first ABC’s was uneven and even downright awful in parts this new incarnation features a brand new crop of talented filmmakers, some may argue its a more talented bunch but that is for them to debate, and more importantly perhaps this time around there was clear guidelines delivered for the filmmakers. The outcome, from word of mouth coming out of Fantastic Fest, is a film that is miles above its predecessor. (more…)
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED AT DORK SHELF
Love.net follows the parallel stories of character trying to change their lives via Internet dating sites in Bulgaria. This film is about love at first (virtual) sight in all its forms – the inevitable, mystic and inexplicable love, as well as the superficial. The film tracks multiple couples trying to make their first forays into the online dating world, examining the possible dangers of underage users on sites, the anonymity of site clients, and the possibility that the person you are talking to may not be that unfamiliar. (more…)
It’s been 20 years since the corporations took over the world’s governments. Born from the ashes of the corporate wars, the Council of Nine rose as a new law and order. To avenge the corporations’ reckless destruction, the Council issues death warrants for all white collar criminals. Their hunters are known as Bounty Killers. From amateur savage to graceful assassin, the Bounty Killers now compete for body count, fame and a fat stack of cash. They’re ending the plague of corporate greed by exterminating the self-serving CEO and providing the survivors of the apocalypse with retribution. These are the new heroes.
Sudeep (Kiccha Sudeepa) is a high profile industrialist who gets whatever he wants and he has a special eye for beautiful women. To get them, he will not hesitate to do anything. That desire gets triggered when Sudeep sees Bindu (Samantha Prabhu), a micro artist who runs a non-profit organization. Bindu, however, has long flirted and been in love with Nani (played by Nani), who keeps following her everywhere. The story takes a turn when Sudeep discovers the pair is in love and in a rage he kills Nani. But 10 days later Nani is born again as ‘Eega’ (fly) and he vows to take his vengeance on Sudeep. (more…)
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED AT DORK SHELF
On the last day of the first manned mission to Mars, a crew member on Tantalus Base believes he’s made an astounding discovery – fossilized evidence of bacterial life. Unwilling to let the relief crew claim all the glory, he disobeys orders to pack up and goes out on an unauthorized expedition to collect further samples. But the routine excavation turns to disaster when the porous ground collapses, and he falls into a deep crevice and near certain death. And after yet another crew member vanishes, the survivors start to suspect that the life-form they have discovered is not yet dead.
Last Days on Mars is a great looking film that quickly devolves into “28 Weeks Later in space.” It begins with an incredibly slow pace that only picks up once the accident occurs, but it feels like an eternity to get there. Most of the talented cast are wasted in roles that barely give them anything to do, with Elias Koteas and Olivia Williams being the biggest examples, but Liev Schreiber manages to anchor the film with a strong leading performance that keeps things watchable.
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED AT DORK SHELF
Two computer programmers fall in love creating the first ever piece of self-aware artificial intelligence, designed to help humanity. But things go wrong when the MoD (the U.K. equivalent of the CIA who have been funding their research), decide to alter their breakthrough and teach it to become a robotic weapon.
The Machine benefits from some strong performances from leads Toby Stevens and Caity Lotz. The duo has an evident chemistry that crackles onscreen, especially after Lotz assumes her doppelgänger’s intelligent robot form. Playing the heavy of the piece, Denis Lawson does a very good job as a smarmy and greasy government official who never has anything but destruction on his mind. The film also features a strong look and style, matched with a scientifically intelligent script that sells the neo-futuristic world it takes place in. The pace is deliberate, but never lagging, managing to be enthralling from the outset.
A giant alien spider escapes from a military lab, inside a corpse, and embarks on a hellacious rampage of acid venom, digestion and property damage the likes of which the city of Los Angeles has never seen. When Major Braxton Tanner (Ray Wise) and his massive military strike fails, it is up to a team of scientists, the plucky Lieutenant Karly Brant (Kramer) and a clever exterminator (Grunberg) and his new sidekick Jose (Lombardo Boyar) to kill the creature before the city is destroyed.
Big Ass Spider is a film that has no pretense as to what film it wants to be. Light years ahead of films like Sharknado, Big Ass Spider derives it laughs from genuine fun writing and not just stunt casting and goofy one liners. The film features a strong lead performance from the affable Grunberg that is genuine and infectious. Matched in charm by Boyar’s Jose, the duo work extremely well with each other and quickly become the heart of the film. Even Ray Wise gets to have some fun here, and the final mid credit sequence works because of Wise alone.
Top 5 Most Anticipated film at Toronto After Dark 2013
The Toronto After Dark Film Festival (known lovingly as simply TAD to its many fans) starts tomorrow night, October 17th, at its new home of the Scotiabank Theater in the heart of downtown Toronto. As usual the festival features and eclectic mix of films and here’s the rundown of the 5 most anticipated films on my list as I prepare to partake in as many as I can. You’ll be able to find all the reviews here afterwards, but I will be posting on Dork Shelf and Addicted for the festival as well. This year will also mark the return of the now infamous PUBCasts recorded LIVE from the Pub After Dark parties after the films. Jeff Konopka from the Liberal Dead and I will sit down and discuss topics with film makers, critics and industry types, all over a beer or two! But for now, on to the picks.
The latest from director Jim Mickle is actually a remake of a 2010 Spanish film of the same name and features a family of cannibals dealing with a death in the family and whether to continue their grisly family tradition. Having not seen the original film I am not sure what to expect heading in but after director Jim Mickle’s last film, the Midnight Madness people’s choice award winner StakeLand, I have a lot of time for the Mickle and his work. Add in the work of Stake Land collaborator Nick Damici both in front and behind the camera and I’m sold. The film won raves at Cannes and Sundance and makes it Toronto Debut at TAD.
#4 –THE BATTERY (more…)
Starting an exclusive run at the TIFF Bell Lightbox this weekend, infamous director and musician Quentin Dupieux, aka Mr Oizo, the director of the movie about a car tire on a killing spree ‘Rubber’, is back with his newest absurdist comedy ‘Wrong’. With Rubber being an extremely divisive film, and Dupieux’s penchant for the bizarre, Wrong is sure to not just be simple a story of a man trying to find his lost dog, but among the other distractions and flights of fancy from Dupieux it also is simply that story. But will the director’s latest opus be worthy of a trip down to the Lightbox for the experience?
Written and Directed by Quentin Dupieux
Starting Feb 1, 2013 select Cineplex theaters across Canada will participate in the fourth annual ‘Great Digital Film Festival’. The festival runs from Feb 1 through Feb7 and is dedicated to bringing classic films back to the big screen, and often in digital format for the first time. This year the festival is also serving as the nationwide debut for last year’s Toronto After Dark Film Festival Favorite Cockneys vs Zombies.
All films are only $6 per screening with discount pricing for purchasing multiple tickets with extra Scene points for members of Cineplex’s Scene loyalty program. In the GTA the theaters participating will be the Scotiabank Theaters downtown (more…)
Opening in select Cineplex theaters across Canada for two shows only, as part of Cineplex’s ‘Great Digital Film Festival’ starting this Friday Feb 1, 2013, is the horror comedy that made a huge splash at last year’s Toronto After Dark Film Festival:Cockneys vs Zombies. The Movie Junkie was able to sit down with director Matthias Hoene to talk about his film, his influences and whether the Cockneys will make a return to the big screen.
Movie Junkie (MJ) – Hello Matthias, I must say I really enjoyed your film. Can you tell us about some of your biggest influences in putting the film together?
November 6-11 Toronto
November 16-17th Richmond Hill, Ontario
Toronto’s largest and oldest all Asian film festival, Reel Asian, will play out on screens across Toronto and Richmond Hill over the next week and a half. One of Toronto’s bigger and most recognizable festivals, the 16th edition of Reel Asian brings us over 60 films, feature length and short form, from over 13 countries. Without delving too extensively into the myriad of options available, we will simply highlight the five most intriguing reasons to attend based on what we have seen on the schedule.
Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2012
Starring Jack Plotnick, Eric Judor, Alexis Dziena, William Fichtner, Steve Little and Regan Burns
Written and Directed by Quentin Dupieux
The infamous Quentin Dupieux, aka musician Mr Oizo, the director of the movie about a car tire on a killing spree ‘Rubber’, is back with his newest absurdist comedy ‘Wrong’. With Rubber being an extremely divisive film, and Dupieux’s penchant for the bizarre, I knew this would not just be simply a story of a man trying to find his lost dog. I also knew that this was likely to be the most loved and most hated film of this year’s Toronto After Dark lineup.
Dolph Springer (Plotnick) wakes up one morning to realize he has lost the love of his life, (more…)
PUBCast 2!!!!!! Yes, Yes. Because you guys loved and responded so well to our first PUBCast, Jeff Konopka and I sat down and recorded a second one, live at the Closing Night Party of Toronto After Dark 2012!! This is from the insanely busy Pauper’s Pub where this time we were relegated to a tiny corner in the back due to spacing issues. We have another sit down with Director Juan Martinez Moreno after the wildly successful screening of his Game of Werewolves, the Director/Curators of both the Fright Nights: Blood in the Snow Canadian Film Fest and Dark Bridges Film Fest as well as friends and other fine folk from the media and such. Plus the ending is KILLER with the entire TAD CREW! Make sure to listen to the very end!!
Starring Gorka Otxoa, Carlos Areces, Secun de la Rose and Luis Zahera
Written and Directed by Juan Martinez Moreno
The closing night film from this year’s Toronto After Dark Film Festival was the Spanish horror comedy ‘Lobos de Arga’. The translation literally meaning Wolves of Arga (pronounced r-e-ah) but retitled Game of Werewolves for the international market. Game is throwback film. Wearing its influences like a badge on its chest, Game is clearly inspired by the Universal Monster films of old and more modern masterpieces like An American Werewolf in London and The Howling. The only question remaining is does it belong in the company of these classic films? (more…)
Starring Rina Takeda, Shigeru Matsuzaki and Kentarô Shimazu
Written by Noboru Iguchi, Makiko Iguchi and Jun Tsugita
Continuing a long tradition of Japanese splatter films at Toronto After Dark – past years have also brought us Tokyo Gore Police, RoboGeisha and Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl – we were treated to Noboru Iguchi’s Dead Sushi for the 2012 edition of the festival. One of Iguchi’s first films outside of the Sushi Typhoon label since that company launched, Dead Sushi has been hailed as a fun romp that returns Iguchi back to the form of Machine Girl, the film that helped launch Typhoon in the first place. (more…)
Starring Peter Cilella, Vinny Curran, Zahn McClarnon
Written by Justin Benson
Directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead
Resolution, the hit film from the Tribeca and Fantasia festivals made its Toronto debut at Toronto After Dark 2012. Another cabin in the woods style thriller in a year that has also given us ‘Cabin in the Woods’, Resolution is a smaller more compact story that strives to tell an equally intense and original story. But the question is can they succeed?
Mike (Cilella) receives a deranged video via email from his junkie friend Chris (Curran)……………………………… (more…)
Starring Steven Strait, Karolina Wydra, Madison Lintz and Sandra Ellis Lafferty
Written by Jason Parish and Ryan Smith
Directed by Ryan Smith
Making its Canadian Premiere as part of Toronto After Dark 2012’s Sunday night lineup was the fantasy thriller After. The tale of a pair of bus crash survivors who awake to an empty town hopes to harken back to a darker version of the more whimsical films of Joe Dante and Steven Spielberg back in the 1980’s. But can After live up to such a high pedigree? (more…)
Starring Aneurin Barnard, James Cosmo, Wunmi Mosaku, Jake Wilson and Amy Shiels
Written and Directed by Ciaran Foy
After receiving numerous awards at festivals around the world, including SXSW, Citadel finally makes its Toronto debut as part of this year’s Toronto After Dark Film Festival. The dark/grimy tale of a man that desperately wants to protect his family but has been so traumatized that he can’t, features a breakout performance from both its lead actor and director.
Tommy (Barnard) and his pregnant wife Joanne………………………………………… (more…)
Starring Harry Treadaway, Rasmus Hardiker, Georgina King, Alan Ford, Honor Blackman, Michelle Ryan and Richard Briers
Written by James Moran and Lucas Roche
Directed by Matthias Hoene
Another entry from the UK, Toronto After Dark presented us with the FrightFest hit Cockneys vs Zombies for its Canadian premiere. The horror comedy set in London’s infamous east end aims to take off from where Shaun of the Dead left off also uses the insular setting of an elderly age care home to stage most of the action. The combination of the care home residents and young protagonists out to save their granddad is unique, but does it work?
Brothers Andy (Treadaway) and Terry (Hardiker),………………………………………….. (more…)
Hello All. Jeff Konopka and I have a bonus surprise for you guys!! We have a live podcast straight from the Pauper’s Pub at Pub After Dark at Toronto After Dark Film Festival. You’ll get a great taste of what a Pub After Dark is really like with all sorts of fantastic guests. You’ll get to hear from the Directors and Cast members of the films Resolution, Crave, Eviction and Game of Werewolves. Plus other pub goers and fellow bloggers alike. THIS IS A HELL OF A FUN LISTEN! Enjoy 🙂 (more…)
Starring Jo Hartley, Seamus O’Neill, James Doherty, James Burrows and Nadine Rose Mulkerrin
Written by Alex Chandon and Paul Shrimpton
Directed by Alex Chandon
From the UK we get our next Toronto After Dark 2012 selection, Inbred. Taking direct influence from films like Deliverance, Alex Chandon brings us one of the most un-repentantly, vile and crude films since perhaps A Serbian Film. But is there actual story worth watching amongst the blood splatter and septic tank contents?
Inbred starts with two social workers, the overly eager Jeff (Doherty)……………………………… (more…)
Starring Katherine Isabelle, Antonio Cupo, Tristan Risk, Davis Lovgren and Twan Holliday
Written and Directed by Jen and Sylvia Soska
The Soska Sisters, better known to those in genre circles as the “Twisted Twins”, arrived at this year’s Toronto After Dark Film Festival with their 2nd feature film, American Mary. The creators of the provocative Dead Hooker in a Trunk return with a graphic horror thriller based in the world of extreme body modification. Does American Mary live up to the promise most genre fans found in Dead Hooker?
Buried under medical bills and tuition…………………………………………… (more…)