Wednesday, July 1, 2015

MISS MEADOWS Trailer: Katie Holmes Mashes Up Mary Poppins and Ms. 45

The former Mrs. Tom Cruise is packing firearms in the upcoming satire Miss Meadows. Katie Holmes plays a squeaky clean grade school teacher that spends his off hours gunning down the dregs of society: rapists, killers, kiddie touchers and more. The concept sounds like a lot of fun, and the trailer gives a very 1950's housewife vibe ala Fido. Either way, the visual of Ms. Holmes gunning down a would-be rapist while dismissing him with a casual: "Toodle loo" sounds pretty great to me:

Beneath the perfect manners and petticoats, Miss Meadows (Katie Holmes) harbours a dark secret. When she’s not teaching at the local elementary school or tending to her garden, she’s moonlighting as a gun-wielding vigilante who teaches justice in her spare time, killing her victims if they refuse to repent.

With blood on her hands and dark secrets to hide, a local sheriff (James Badge Dale) soon becomes involved in hunting down the ruthless murderer, not knowing that the person who he is after is the woman he has fallen in love with. 

With a complicated past full of real life nightmares, Miss Meadows is anything but sweet when it comes to dishing out lessons and the town’s criminals soon learn that teachers are always right!

Starring Katie Holmes (Batman Begins, Dawson’s Creek, Phone Booth), Jean Smart (Sweet Home Alabama, 24 (TV), Fargo (TV), and James Badge Dale (The Departed, World War Z, Iron Man 3) 

MISS MEADOWS debuts on VOD and DVD July 27th. 

Kickstart This: AYLA Starring Tristan Risk

We get constant emails about potential projects looking for funding via Kickstarter with very few of them worth contributing to, let alone spreading the word about. However, every now and again, one comes along that makes us pause and say we want to see it come to fruition by any means necessary.

Ayla, The potential feature film from writer/director Elias Ganster looks to be such a project. An intensely personal project about grief, loss and "woulda, coulda, shoulda beens" that travels with a person throughout a lifetime, the project is halfway to meeting its modest $30,000 goal with a hair over two weeks to go for the funding deadline.

Billed as a supernatural thriller, The story stems from Ganster losing his own sister when she was only four years old. In Ayla, a young boy loses his younger sister when she's only two. As he grows from boyhood to adulthood, he carries the weight of this loss with him. Now a young man, Elton finds a way to bring his long dead sister back. Though she starts as something ghostly, over time she takes a fuller form while Elton begins to lose his.

The Editor's Tristan Risk has been pegged to star as the titular character. It seems like Ms. Risk is aiming to pick up the mantle of hardest working person in show business as there's no shortage of projects she's attached herself to the past year, ranging from features films to a wide variety of shorts. This fact is no bad thing as Risk is a highlight in just about anything she appears in, and a magnetic presence that's impossible to take your eyes off of when she's on screen. Starring alongside Ms. Risk are Nicholas Wilder ("Gut"), Miles Joris-Payrafitte, and Jennifer Lynn-Warren with Bill Oberst Jr and Upstream Color's Andrew Sensing also attached to the film.

The complete details for the film, casting and concept art can be found in the link below.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Trailer For Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension Promises To Show All

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After churning out three sequels in three years, the makers of the Paranormal Activity franchise looked hit the brakes and decided the next film will be the last (for now) in the series. Earlier this week the trailer for Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension hit, and if doesn't promise that the film will not be a steaming pile of pig turd like the last installment, it at least promises to offer something different.

In some respects the fact that the PA series is ending is a bit of a bummer, at least to me. I loved the first film and while it might be difficult to remember now, it came at a time when horror was at a pretty ugly place. The Saw series had bloomed into a moneymaking juggernaut, but at what cost? In the mid to late 2000's genre films were less about scaring people and more about offering up jingoistic torture affairs that served to remind audiences the world outside the US was a scary scary place full of awful people.

Oren Peri's first film took the basic idea that the scariest things often come from what we can neither see, explain or control and wowed audiences with it. Something as simple as a couple sleeping in a quiet bedroom offered more tension and frightened anticipation than the horror genre had seen in a decade.

Of course, the idea was so simple and so successful that the subsequent films had to go and muck it all up and create a convoluted backstory that stretched back decades. The tact of explaining away the history and purpose of Tobey has met with as much enthusiasm as a magician who pauses his show after each trick in order to reveal how he pulled it off. Rather than craft a series of standalone horror stories building on the suspense of the first film, the franchise decided to stuff 50 pounds of back story into a five pound bag. Instead of unseen demons, the franchise wanted us to be afraid of covens of old women and soccer moms. Each installment saw the addition of more questions without answering any of the ones that had been introduced prior.

It's too soon to tell if the series will end on a high note, but if the trailer is any indication, the final chapter of the saga looks to steer away from familiar ground. For one, the trailer says this time the film will “show” audiences the things that have lurked invisible in the dark for the other installments. It looks to trade on tension and suspense for a more carnival, jump scare type of experience. I can't say I'm too keen on a film reliant on CGI ghosts, but I do love the moment in the trailer where the little Katie starts interacting with the family watching it in the present day. Very creepy.

Trying To Unravel The Tangled History Of Halloween's Michael Myers

Last week Dimension Films announced they have hired writing partners Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton to script the latest entry into the Halloween series, with Dunstan stepping behind the director's chair. This new has been met with enthusiasm and a sigh of relief by the horror community by and large for a couple of reasons. First, the new entry will ignore the events of the ill-received Rob Zombie films from 2008 and 2009. In fact, the storyline that Dunstan and Melton leaked to the press ignores all the Halloween films after 1981's Halloween II. The new film picks up years after the events of the first two films and pits Myers against a new band of teenagers, including an 18 year old that has ties to one of The Shape's victims. Standing in for the deceased Donald Plesance will be a cop obsessed with Myers to the degree that he will put his own child in harm's way in order to bring him down.

The new story wipes over three decades of history off the books. No more little Jaime Lloyd running screaming from Uncle Mike. No more Myers stalking and tearing up a #whitepeople Prep School shepherded by a boozed out Laurie Strode. No more Black Thorn where a lunatic cult sees Michael raping his niece in order to giver birth to his successor. No more Busta Rhymes going all kung-fu on The Shape. All that history, the good, the bad and the (mostly) ugly flushed down the drain.

With that in mind, I thought I'd take a crack at untangling the brain pretzel that makes up the Michael Myers history. In this modern era where every conceivable horror icon has been through the reboot wringer at least once, it's worth taking some time to look back at Myer's twisted history that is fraught with restarts, reboots, and reimaginings.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Come see THE GALLOWS for free before it is released!

We have gotten 50 pairs of passes to give away to the upcoming preview screening of THE GALLOWS. I have not seen it yet so I cannot personally vouch for the film. In fact I will attend this screening too, so we will all find out at the same time if this found-footage slasher is any good. 

Sound like a fun night? I think so too!

Here are the details:
Go to this link and enter the code "AllThingsGALLOWS99" to claim your pair of passes.
The screening is on Monday, July 6th at 7pm at the AMC Boston Common.

Having a pass to the screening does not guarantee that you will get in to the film. The line typically starts forming in the theater around 5:30pm, and it is first come, first served. 

Here is a bit about the film:


In theaters July 10

Twenty years after an accident caused the death of the lead actor during a high school play, students at the same small town school resurrect the failed stage production in a misguided attempt to honor the anniversary of the tragedy—but ultimately find out that some things are better left alone.

The film stars Cassidy Gifford (“God’s Not Dead”), Ryan Shoos (“As Night Comes”), Reese Mishler (the web series “Youthful Daze”) and Pfeifer Brown under the direction of Chris Lofing and Travis Cluff, who wrote the screenplay.

Jason Blum (“Ouija,” the “Paranormal Activity” “Insidious” and “Sinister” franchises) produces with Guymon Casady (TV’s “Game of Thrones,” “The Expendables” franchise), Dean Schnider (“Hachi: A Dog’s Tale”), Benjamin Forkner (“The Killing Room”), Lofing and Cluff.  Dave Neustadter, Walter Hamada and Couper Samuelson are the executive producers.

See you there?

Six Men. Full Moon. No Chance. DOG SOLDIERS is now on Blu-ray!

Today Shout! Factory is releasing Neil Marshall's first feature film DOG SOLDIERS on Blu-ray. If you like werewolf films and want to know what the director of THE DESCENT and DOOMSDAY was up to before those films, then check this one out.

From the press release:
Six Men. Full Moon. No Chance. The terrifying thriller Dog Soldiers gets the Scream Factory treatment with a Collector’s Edition Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack available June 23rd, 2015.  Fans who order their copy from will receive an exclusive Dog Soldiers poster, available while supplies last.  Directed by Neil Marshall (The Descent, Doomsday, Centurion and episodes of Game Of Thrones) and starring Kevin McKidd (Rome, Hannibal Rising), Sean Pertwee (Gotham, Event Horizon), Emma Cleasby (Doomsday) and Liam Cunningham (Game Of Thrones, Clash Of The Titans), Dog Soldiers features a new 2k scan HD transfer supervised and approved by director Neil Marshall and comes loaded with brand-new bonus features, including an audio commentary with director Neil Marshall, a look at the model of the sets created by production designer Simon Bowles and the featurette The Making of ‘Dog Soldiers’, featuring new interviews with director Neil Marshall, producers Christopher Figg  and Keith Bell, actors Kevin McKidd, Sean Pertwee, Darren Morfitt, Leslie Simpson and Emma Cleasby, special effects artist Bob Keen, special effects supervisor/creature designer Dave Bonneywell, production designer Simon Bowles and director of photography Sam McCurdy. Dog Soldiers also includes Neil Marshall’s short film Combat,  theatrical trailers, and a still gallery.

A group of soldiers dispatched to the Scottish Highlands on special training maneuvers face their biggest fears after they run into Captain Ryan – the only survivor of a Special Ops team that was literally torn to pieces. Ryan refuses to disclose his mission even though whoever attacked his men might be hungry for seconds. Help arrives in the form of local girl who shelters them in a deserted farmhouse deep in the forest…but when they realize that they are surrounded by a pack of blood-lusting werewolves, it’s apparent their nightmare has just begun!

Dog Soldiers Bonus Features

·         NEW 2K scan HD transfer supervised and approved by director Neil Marshall

·         NEW audio commentary with director Neil Marshall

·         NEW The Making of Dog Soldiers featuring new interviews with director Neil Marshall, producers Christopher Figg  and Keith Bell, actors Kevin McKidd, Sean Pertwee, Darren Morfitt, Leslie Simpson and Emma Cleasby, special effects artist Bob Keen, special effects supervisor/creature designer Dave Bonneywell, production designer Simon Bowles and director of photography Sam McCurdy

·         NEW A look at the model of the sets created by production designer Simon Bowles

·         Theatrical Trailer

·         Neil Marshall’s short film: Combat

·         Two Still Galleries – photos from the film and rare photos from production designer Simon Bowles and special effects artist Dave Bonneywell’s archives

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Brilliant HANNIBAL Is Cancelled. Where Will It Wind Up?

For two seasons plus NBC's Hannibal enjoyed three strengths most television shows would kill for. Hannibal enjoyed universal critical appraise, allowing the peacock network to boast about airing the kind of prestige show one looks for on cable channels like HBO and ABC. This is no small feat for a network mired in green lighting unwatchable dreck like Undateable and Bad Judge these past years. Hannibal also cost only pennies on the dollar for NBC as it shared costs with the European studio Gaumont International Television. Lastly, the show enjoyed a ravenous and devoted fan base eager to devour every moment of the latest incarnation of Hannibal Lecter devouring his sumptuously prepared human meals.

Unfortunately, the one thing Hannibal didn't posses was the quantity of viewers NBC hoped for. The third season's first three episodes averaged just over 2.5 million viewers, down about a million from season two, which itself was down about a million from season one's number. This drop was especially damning considering NBC shifted the show from the Friday night “graveyard” slot to Thursdays in the hopes of boosting ratings.

For that reason, NBC announced earlier today that Bryan Fuller's brilliant interpretation of one of fiction's most beloved serial killers would end after the third season.

Yet in this day where millions of people don't consume their television shows through traditional television services, fans can cross their fingers and hope that fringe favorites are revived. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, hell even Yahoo have swooped in to pick up fallen favorites in the past, and with binge watching all the rage, there's a damn good chance Hannibal will find a new home sooner than later.

A show like Hannibal makes more sense on a streaming outlet than it does on traditional broadcast television as it is. For one, Fuller envisions each season of the show more like a film than a standard episodic program. Fuller has spoken in depth of the series stretching out over six seasons while incorporating bits of Red Dragon, Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal into the shows mythos. Mads Mikkelsen has breathed new life into the character of Lecter, veering away from the camp riddled caricature Anthony Hopkins reduced the character after his brilliant, Oscar winning portrayal in Silence. In Mikkelsen's hands, Lecter is an urbane monster, capable of manipulating human pawns across the chess board he's created in his mind. He is Satan in a human skin suit, devoid of emotion or empathy. It's a chilling and brave performance and in Mikkelsen's hands, Lecter has become the most compelling character on television since Walter White. Mikkelsen's performance, paired with stellar turns from Hugh Dancy as Will Graham and Lawrence Fishburne as Jack Crawford against one of the gorgeous set designs and levels of food porn unseen on TV before make Hannibal the best thing on TV hands down.

So fear not fans. If there's any justice in the world, Hannibal will find a home sooner than later. Before too long viewers will once again have the chance ogle totem poles crafted from human remains or gorgeous floral gardens harvested in the rotting organs of a cadaver. 

Watch Rose McGowan's DAWN online for free!

Rose McGowan's directorial debut DAWN played both Sundance and Etheria as a part of its festival run. It is a brilliantly directed and conceived short film, and we were quite happy to be able to screen it when we hosted Etheria last December.

Do yourself a favor and set aside the time to watch the 18 minute film. It will make you look forward to the other films McGowan is sure to bring in years to come. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Oz Bigfoot Title THROWBACK Comes Stateside June 23rd

If there's a first rule of horror it's not "Sex=Death" or "Never Say 'I'll Be Right Back." Nope, the first rule of horror is: There can never be too many Bigfoot movies. Chewbacca's second cousin, twice removed, continues to hold a special point of fascination in the minds of fans and filmmakers alike. Each year a handful of new films add to the Bigfoot collection. Aside from other classic monsters like Dracula or Frankenstein, it's hard to think of another creature that's been the subject of as many films as Sasquatch.

Now a new flick from Australia makes its way to North American shores on June 23rd. Throwback features The Road Warrior  and Commando veteran Vernon Wells and focuses on a group of Outback treasure hunters who instead stumble across the world's most dangerous game.

FANTASIA Announces Its Second Wave Of Films

The 2015 Fantasia Film Festival is taking shape as the biggest genre event of the year, and we're only two-thirds of the way through finding out the complete lineup. Taking place in the heart of Downtown Montreal, Fantasia showcases over a hundred films over the course of three weeks between July 17th and August 5th. 

Mixing horror, science fiction, exploitation, dark dramas, splatter flicks, slashers, black comedy, anime, and kid friendly fare, Fantasia runs the gauntlet, and would be an intimidating experience were it not for one of the friendliest and most inviting atmospheres you'll ever find at a fest. Fantasia should be on any horror fans bucket list of festivals to hit at least once in their life.

Today's announcement of the second wave of films contains too much goodness to highlight a handful of titles. From the press release, here's the complete list of the second wave of films announced earlier today:

Fantasia's complete lineup of programming and special events will be revealed on July 7th. To tide you over until then, we're thrilled to announce an incredible Second Wave of titles!

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Coming immediately after his OUTRAGE saga, Takeshi Kitano’s hilarious crime story stars screen legend Tatsuya Fuji (IN THE REALM OF THE SENSES) as a retired yakuza who realizes that the only way to break the monotony of his daily life by reuniting with his old gang. This is a funny and heartfelt meditation on growing old that only the master of Japanese cinema could deliver. International Premiere

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Fantasia will be presenting a special screening of Gilles Paquet-Brenner’s stylish adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s mystery thriller DARK PLACES, which reunites Charlize Theron and Nicholas Hoult following their appearance together in a certain innocuous Australian road movie. The film’s impressive cast also features Christina Hendricks, Chloë Grace Moretz, and Tye Sheridan.

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The directorial debut of Sonny Mallhi, producer of such singular horror works as THE STRANGERS and AT THE DEVIL’S DOOR. ANGUISH is a frightening and emotionally resonant film that offers supernatural explanations for debilitating adolescent mental illness, featuring a powerhouse lead performance by Ryan Simpkins (A SINGLE MAN). World Premiere

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David Keating burst onto the international genre cinema scene with his chilling 2010 occult horror film WAKEWOOD.  Now, he’s returned, re-teaming with screenwriter Brendan McCarthy (who, as a producer, was also behind LET US PREY and this year’s Sundance hit THE HALLOW) to deliver a demonic tale of desperate good intentions gone horribly, horribly bad. World Premiere.

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It’s been a long wait, but the dark god of hard-edged Hong Kong cinema is back. Alongside John Woo and Tsui Hark, Ringo Lam was key in defining the spirit of HK film in the late ’80s. Now, after a near-decade hiatus from feature filmmaking, he’s ready to show the world once again what happens when high-octane action and a hard-knock social conscience collide.  Canadian Premiere.

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The long awaited solo feature debut from Jacob Gentry, co-director of THE SIGNAL, SYNCHRONICITY is, in a word, brilliant. Chad Mcknight, AJ Bowen, Brianne Davis and Michael Ironside star in this individualistic and astonishing sci-fi Noir about a physicist who folds time, traveling into the past to prevent the theft of his invention.  World Premiere.

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A freshly unemployed worker from an asset management firm creates a website on the dark web, designed to appeal specifically to the financially obliterated. “Better than suicide”, it promises. “Trading.” One of the most blackly subversive social satires to antagonize the screen in years, TRADERS is smart, violent, empathetic and angry. The feature debut of Irish filmmaking team Rachael Moriarty and Peter Murphy, starring Killian Scott (CALVARY), John Bradley  (GAME OF THRONES), Nika McGuigan (PHILOMENA) and Barry Keoghan (’71).  International Premiere

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A captivating medieval fantasy from Denmark, directed by Kenneth Kainz (PARTERAPI) and scripted by the great Anders Thomas Jensen (ADAM’S APPLES, BROTHERS, AFTER THE WEDDING), THE SHAMER’S DAUGHTER tells the tale of a young girl who has inherited her mother’s supernatural ability to make people ashamed of themselves by staring into their souls.  International Premiere

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Directed by newcomer Victor Zarcoff and produced by the team behind the acclaimed FUNERAL KINGS (Fantasia 2010), this study in terror brings REAR WINDOW to the digital era. A young couple slowly fall apart, unbeknownst that their creepy landlord is scrupulously watching them through hidden surveillance cameras. Wonderfully acted by a cast straight out of a Tobe Hooper film, this domestic nightmare builds suffocating tension by exposing the fragility of our intimacy in today's world.

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Chad Archibald and the talented team behind such Canadian horror breakouts at THE DROWNSMAN, ANTI-SOCIAL, SEPTIC MAN, and EJECTA are back with a brand new monster, a lot of flair, and a heck of a strong cringe factor. Join us for the World Premiere of this thrilling new film from some of Canada's most striking new genre talent.


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Fantasia is proud to be showcasing the world premiere of KIDNAPPED director Miguel Angel Vivas’ English language debut EXTINCTION, an atmospheric and visceral post-apocalyptic monster movie that will blow audiences through the back of the theatre. EXTINCTION is co-scripted by Vivas and Alberto Marini (SLEEP TIGHT) and stars Matthew Fox, Jeffrey Donovan, Quinn McColgan - and some of the most astonishing prosthetic creature make-ups the screen has seen in years.

In addition to EXTINCTION (and the previously announced stop-motion feature POSSESSED), Fantasia will be screening the following Spanish productions:

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Spain  Dir: Alberto Rodriguez

A riveting period Neo-Noir police procedural thriller from the director of UNIT 7, winner of no fewer than 10 Goya Awards this year, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Actor.  Quebec Premiere.

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Spain  Dir: Javier Fesser

Spain’s cult superspy parody comic book explodes into life as a big budget blitzkrieg of slapstick 3D animation that won Goya Awards for Best Animated Feature and Best Adapted Screenplay.  North American Premiere

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Spain  Dir: Esteban Roel and Juan Fernando Andrés

Macarena Gómez gives a riveting performance in this horrific and haunting psychodrama produced by Álex de la Iglesia that’s deservedly become a major hit on the international festival circuit.  Quebec Premiere.

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Spain  Dir: Santiago Segura

The completely insane fifth entry in Segura’s blockbuster franchise. TORRENTE: MISSION EUROVEGAS co-stars Alex Baldwin and had the largest Spanish theatrical opening in all of 2014 when it was released last October. An excruciatingly funny film, packed with absurd setpieces and a rogues gallery of familiar faces.  North American Premiere.


Buckle up as Fantasia Underground’s Year Two lineup reaches across the world to bring you eclectic and uncompromising new independent visions from France, Japan, Nigeria, Uganda and the USA.

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Japan  Dir: Lisa Takeba

One day, as Haruko is  zapping, her television unexpectedly transforms into a beautiful, shirtless, TV-headed stud! Welcome to HARUKO'S PARANORMAL LABORATORY, a personal and inventive vision signaling Takeba as Japan’s new Queen of Quirk. Official Selection: Rotterdam, Hong Kong, Yubari. Canadian Premiere.

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France  Dir : Nathan Ambrosioni

One of the most talked about horror works at the Cannes Film Market this year, HOSTILE marks the impressive debut of 14 year old director Nathan Ambrosioni. A TV show host answers the call of a mother terrified of her two adopted daughters. What starts with the familiar slowly builds into a poignant horror tale. International Premiere.

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Nigeria  Dir: C.J. 'Fiery' Obasi

OJUJU is a fascinating and well-staged transposition of the flesh-eating Zombie Film, bringing the living dead to Nigeria’s slums following what initially appears to be rabid river blindness due to a contaminated water supply. Winner for Best Nigerian film at the Africa International Film Festival. Canadian Premiere.

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USA  Dir: Kevin Cline, Zach Harris, and Sean Pierce

Don’t let the quirky title fool you, this is a visceral, heartfelt and violently confrontational slice of urban hell and personal apocalypse, detailing a young man’s breakdown over the course of a single terrible night in one of America’s most segregated cities. Think a socially conscious FALLING DOWN by way of COMBAT SHOCK. World Premiere.

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“Expect the Unexpectable!” Get ready for WAKALIWOOD – DIY COMMANDO CINEMA FROM UGANDA, as Fantasia proudly presents the film sensation WHO KILLED CAPTAIN ALEX? UGANDA’S FIRST ACTION MOVIE plus a fully loaded arsenal of Wakaliwood trailers, clips from never-before-seen new films, and a live Skype to Uganda with prolific DIY director/writer/editor/producer Nabwana IGG and his superstar crew of kung fu masters, cannibals, and supa commandos!

A viral explosion – “Wakaliwood” is the nickname for Wakaliga, the slum on the outskirts of Kampala, Uganda, where Nabwana IGG and his self-taught DIY team make wild action-packed movies with home-made equipment and the commando spirit. Totally off the grid, Wakaliwood is the last true cinematic Wild West and has taken the internet by storm. Fantasia proudly presents the first ever Wakaliwood festival screening – come experience “the best of the best movies” live!

Curated and hosted by journalist and Blue Sunshine Co-Founder David Bertrand – who recently returned from Uganda, having flown there to go on a location shoot with the Wakaliwood crew and perform in a film with them, the first outsider - let alone the first Canadian - to do so.

Note that Fantasia’s exploration of emerging African Fantastica doesn’t end with our screenings of  WHO KILLED CAPTAIN ALEX and OJUJU. Also worthy of major attention is our previously announced selection of Ethiopia’s surrealist Sci-Fi oddity CRUMBS, which will be shown in our Camera Lucida section.

Additional 2nd Wave Titles:

USA  Dir: Jordan Galland

Ava is recovering from demonic possession. With no memory of the past month, she is forced to attend a Spirit Possessions Anonymous support group. Ava’s life was hijacked by a demon, now it’s time to get it back in this horror farce from the creator of Fantasia favorite Alter Egos. Official Selection: SXSW.  Canadian Premiere

Norway  Dir: Hallvard Bræin

Roy is mad about cars and is soon challenged in an illegal race across the length of Norway. Fasten your seatbelts (well, it’s the law!) for an old-fashioned action-packed car race flick, faster than Cannonball Run and funnier than Smokey and the Bandit!  North American Premiere

Denmark  Dir: Jeppe Rønde

Teenage Sara arrives with her single father to a small village in the Welsh valley of Bridgend County, which is haunted by suicides amongst its young inhabitants. She falls dangerously in love with one of the troubled boys while her dad as the new town policeman tries to solve the mystery. This powerful, shattering film (a recent Tribeca Film Festival award winner) is based on true events.  Canadian Premiere

Finland  Dir: Joonas Makkonen

You’ve surely seen the jaw-dropping trailer by now, or at the least, heard a breathless account of it. Nothing can prepare for the lunacy of the actual film. Oh, Finland.  North American Premiere.

USA  Dir: Jon Watts

A pair of kids stumble across an unoccupied cop car, hop in and take it on a joyride across town, setting in motion a tense game of cat and mouse between them and a particularly corrupt and distinctly homicidal police officer (Kevin Bacon). Official Selection Sundance, Edinburgh International Film Festival.  Canadian Premiere

South Korea  Dir: Park Hye-mi

A tough, empathic little marvel of science-fantasy without illusions, simple yet satisfyingly solid in its design and execution, CRIMSON WHALE marks Park Hye-mi as an important new talent in Korean animation.  Canadian premiere.

France  Dir : Eric Cherrière

For years, timid Pierre Tardieu has been brutally slaughtering men and women without ever getting caught. The time to obtain his long due recognition has come. Crime novelist Eric Cherrière takes us on a dark journey into the disturbed mind of a serial killer.  Canadian Premiere.  

USA  Dir: Douglas Schulze

In this visually stunning, dialogue-free, experimental thriller set on Michigan’s wintry frozen Great Lakes, a brutish serial killer imprisons his still-living latest victim in the watery depths. Thus begins a uniquely chilling story of survival and shocking revelation. This accomplished experiment in narrative storytelling tears every convention apart. You haven’t seen anything like it. Co-Starring Veronica Cartwright.  World Premiere

USA  Dir : Tim Kirk

A new lesson in cinephilia eccentricity brought to you by the team behind ROOM 237 and THE NIGHTMARE. While recording a commentary track, the director and the screenwriter of a forgotten – but authentic – Frankenstein movie recall a tragedy that occurred on set, a brutal crime that continues to terrify its witnesses decades after the fact.  International Premiere.

Germany Dir: Jörg Buttgereit, Michal Kosakowski, and Andreas Marschall

Three of German Cinema’s most ferocious underground talents have united to assault the screen with a deathly triptych of tales set against the evolving backdrop of Berlin. Featuring Jörg Buttgereit’s return to narrative filmmaking after a 22-year hiatus. Official Selection: Rotterdam International Film Festival.  North American Premiere.

USA / Argentina  Dir : Rania Attieh & Daniel Garcia

Two women sharing the same name see their lives change for the worse when a strange occurrence seems to affect a small city. Both disturbing and poetic, H. is an imaginative tour de force that left a strong impression at Sundance and Berlin this year.  Canadian Premiere.

UK  Dir: Corin Hardy

A family who moves into a remote millhouse in Ireland unwittingly enter a fight for survival with pale-skinned demonic entities living in the foreboding woods. Superb practical monster FX buoys this intensely scary film, perhaps the best creature feature out of the UK since THE DESCENT.  Official Selection: Sundance, Seattle International Film Festival.  Canadian Premiere

Canada  Dir: Jason Krawczyk

Punk icon / author / spoken-word master Henry Rollins stars as a mild-mannered reluctant cannibal who tries to keep to himself yet ends up targeted by the mob. Co-starring Kate Greenhouse (a Fantasia award-winner for THE DARK HOURS).  Official Selection: SXSW.  International Premiere.

USA  Dir: Karyn Kusama

One of the smartest, scariest and most engrossing genre films in recent years, THE INVITATION is a masterpiece of ingeniously calculated, character-driven horror storytelling. Karyn Kusama is back, and she’s never been better. Official Selection: SXSW.  Canadian Premiere.

Japan  Dir: Masayuki Ochiai

Directly following last year's JU-ON: THE BEGINNING OF THE END, this harrowing conclusion of Director Masayuki Ochiai's reboot of J-Horror's most beloved franchise generously brings all the goodies expected from fans. Prepare to squirm, screech and shudder because Toshio and Kayoko are determined to finish business with panache.  International Premiere

USA  Dir: J. Davis

Two mismatched brothers tour Hollywood’s notorious Charles Manson murder sites. One is a devoted family man and the other is devoted to The Family (yeah, that one!). When the bickering duo takes an eventful road trip, get ready for a hilarious (and kinda creepy!) “Odd Couple meets Helter Skelter” movie, produced by indie faves the Duplass Brothers. Official Selection: SXSW.  Canadian Premiere

Sweden  Dir: Alain Darborg

In this action/heist/revenge comedy, Charles Ingvar Jönsson (a character popular in Swedish films since the early ’80s) gathers three seemingly incompatible criminals to take vengeance upon the slippery creeps who killed his beloved uncle.  North American Premiere.

UK  Dir: Roger Graef and James Rogan

This love letter to Python fans goes behind the scenes of last summer’s record-setting live reunion and final tour of the Beatles of Comedy. Interviews all the surviving Pythons and special friends, plus charts the group’s history on stage. Dead parrot included! Official Selection: Tribeca Film Festival, Hot Docs.  Quebec Premiere

Japan  Dir: Sebastian Masuda

Sanrio’s 1979 stop-motion holiday movie, remixed, revamped, and rebooted by Sebastian Masuda, Harajuku’s “Godfather of kawaii.” A deliciously psychedelic pop-art phantasmagoria of super-sweet, candy-coloured cool.  North American premiere.

South Korea  Dir: Hur Bum-wook

A brooding existential nightmare unfolding within a densely detailed landscape of surreal biological monstrosity, animator Hur Bum-wook’s award-winning debut feature is an intense and troubling tale of violence and vulnerability, hope and despair.  Canadian premiere.

Turkey/Germany  Dir: Cem Kaya

Turkey in the 1960s-’70s churned out more movies than possibly any other country, often without a single page of original material! Get ready for bizarro Turkish knockoffs of E.T., Dracula, The Wizard of Oz, The Exorcist, Rambo, Superman, Star Trek and more, informatively chronicled in this thorough and uproarious documentary. Official Selection: Locarno Film Festival.  North American Premiere

South Korea  Dir: Lee Won-suk

A potent period drama embroidered with wit and wise insights, THE ROYAL TAILOR has its high-spirited mirth and heartbreaking tragedy sewn together masterfully. A great script, a great cast — and a truly wondrous array of magnificent garments! Official Selection: Udine, NYAFF.  Canadian premiere.

Mexico/USA  Dir: Adrián García Bogliano

The director of LATE PHASES, HERE COMES THE DEVIL and COLD SWEAT is back, re-teaming with Francisco Barreiro to deliver a savage black comedy / thriller that will leave audiences breathless. Official Selection: Tribeca Film Festival, Stanley Film Festival.  Canadian Premiere.

South Korea   Dir: Hong Seok-jae

Social media has scary consequences for two police-tech students and an Internet troll in this masterfully executed first feature film by Hong Seok-jae. Filled with stunning twists and keenly constructed characters, SOCIALPHOBIA ranks among the best independent Korean films in recent years. Winner of the NETPAC and DGK Awards at the Busan Film Festival.  Quebec Premiere

USA  Dir: Adam Egypt Mortimer

Ronen Rubinstein, Grace Phipps, Sierra McCormick and Noah Segan star in a bloody tale of a bullied teen sentenced to a juvenile delinquent camp that happens to be haunted by the murderous spirit of a victim of bullying. Official Selection: Stanley Film Festival.  Canadian Premiere.

Canada  Dir: Larry Kent

Director Larry Kent (THE BITTER ASH, HIGH, THE HAMSTER CAGE), Canada’s first underground filmmaker, has been making uncompromising works for 52-years. Now, he has made his first full-on horror film, a harrowing tale of organizers of a Planned Parenthood clinic under violent attack by fanatical evangelists.  World Premiere.

UK  Dir: Dominic Brunt

Two financially struggling independent businesswomen fall prey to a brutal money lender in this hard-hitting, vicious and socially conscious thriller that balances gripping drama and ferocious shock value to powerful effect. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Official Selection: Leeds Film Festival.  International Premiere

Austria  Dir: David Rühm

In 1930s Vienna, an infamous vampire count turns to none other than noted psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud to help him deal with various romantic entanglements. This delightful and sumptuously produced horror comedy evokes the Hammer Gothics of yore and Polanski’s classic Fearless Vampire Killers. A must for old-school fangbangers! Official Selection: Zurich Film Festival.  Canadian Premiere

USA  Dir: Ted Geoghegan

Ted Geoghegan’s super acclaimed directorial debut is finally coming to Canada. WE ARE STILL HERE stars Barbara Crampton, Larry Fessenden and Lisa Marie, features stunning visuals by Karim Hussain and is infused with the spirit of ‘80s Lucio Fulci. What’s not to love? Official Selection: SXSW.  Canadian Premiere.

Japan   Dir: Daigo Matsui

With films like SWEET POOLSIDE, director Daigo Matsui proved himself a leading voice in coming-of-age films with lucid and accurate portrayals of Japanese youth and a taste for bizarre creativity. So when he steers his gaze to social media's impact on two serial bloggers, expect to be disturbed, moved and amazed. Selected in Generation 14+ Section at Berlinale.  Canadian Premiere

Fantasia’s full lineup of screenings and events will be announced on July 7. 

The 19th edition of the Fantasia International Film Festival is presented by Ubisoft and Anchor Bay Entertainment. A leading producer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment products, Ubisoft has been a key sponsor of the Fantasia Film Festival since 2003. Anchor Bay Entertainment is a popular home entertainment and production company celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.