Toronto After Dark 2014 – Movie Review: Late Phases

LP_Posters11x17.indd‘Late Phases’ tells the story of Ambrose (Damici) a wounded war veteran, now blind who along with his guide dog is moving into a retirement community and about to begin his first night there. Upon arrival, he and his son (Embry) unload his things and at first appearance, the community seems like a wholesome and peaceful place. Even Ambrose’s neighbor is extremely friendly and welcoming, kindly welcoming him to his new home. While settling in for his first night, he begins to hear a commotion and what sounds like a possible attack next door and he tries to investigate. His guide dog (also clearly disturbed by something in the near vicinity) ends up confronting a huge beast (to us horror fans, quite obviously a werewolf) and after being severely injured, Ambrose is forced to put down his friend and guide. Soon he begins to question the goings on in the community and discovering these attacks are a steady frequency occurring nearly every month, a day which just happened to be a full moon as well, Ambrose begins to put the pieces together and try to prepare for the next month’s attack which is sure to occur like clockwork if his assumptions are correct. Continue reading

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Toronto After Dark 2014 – Movie Review: Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead

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Dead Snow 2 played to a sold-out crowed at Toronto After Dark 2014, and from what I’ve been told, the crowd loved it. I loved it too, and so did contributor Mitch Reaves. Mitch is helping me out a bit, and below is his review of the film. Jeff will be back later with more from the ground-floor of the event, and I will have a couple more reviews today myself. I  hope you’re enjoying our coverage of the 2014 Toronto After Dark Film Festival.

When director Tommy Wirkola’s Dead Snow (Dod Sno) was nearing it’s US release in 2009 after what felt like an eternity, there were some pretty high expectations for it. Horror sites had been covering it heavily, and many people, myself included, couldn’t wait for a chance to see it. When it finally did hit, as with any movie with so much hype surrounding it, it seemed to fail to meet some viewers’ expectations. It delivered the gore, there’s no denying that, but I think the comedic elements were maybe a bit unexpected for some. Fast foward to 2014 and the sequel, appropriately titled “Dead Snow 2: Red vs Dead” has arrived, and it does everything a sequel is supposed to do. There’s more comedy, more Nazi zombies, and more splatter gore than you can hurl your own entrails at. Continue reading

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Toronto After Dark 2014 – Movie Review: ABCs of Death 2

the-abcs-of-death-21At the heart of the ABCs of Death series is something I absolutely cherish about horror cinema; the ability to take a short story and convey an idea that terrifies (or if we’re lucky grosses out). It strips out the bullshit ie all those love plots and pieces of character development that are wholly unnecessary to a good horror story. Horror shorts, anthology films and portmanteaus truly are my favorite way to watch horror fiction. From Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark to Stephen King’s Night Shift. From Dead of Night to Creepshow.  Bite size stories to tell around a campfire or underneath the covers or to read on the beach, that’s the way to consume horror in small portions.

ABCs of Death was comprised of 26 filmmakers creating horror fiction based on a letter of the alphabet and the sequel follows suit. No wrap story just right on into the sequence, and I can assure you by the end of this one no one is singing, “next time won’t you sing with me”. They’re all dead.  As I did with the first collection I will rate each movie individually and give either my approval, disapproval or my “what the fuck did I just watch”. ranking. Each will be color coded, and by the end I hope to have established a basic opinion for each of the stories and percentage of good to shit segments Without quantifying it, I will simply tell you that ABCs of Death 2 is superior to the original. It has more solid entries though there are plenty of stinkers too. Again, these are not full reviews of each of the shorts, and I expect you to watch the movie. These are just feelings; general opinions.  Green is liked/loved it. Red is disliked it/hated it. Orange is what the fuck is this crazy shit? Check it out after the jump.

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Toronto After Dark 2014 – Movie Review: Zombeavers

D_qlCdPRdMimBJRPawlFi-gB5RjSC6Q81R8l7JW492AFor many horror fans, zombie movies have become too prevalent in the independent horror cinema landscape. In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising to find out that the mere mention of the subgenre makes many cringe. For whatever reason, filmmakers working with a restricted budget seem to think that their best option is to try their hand at making a film that, by it’s very definition, usually requires some sort of elaborate special effects. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. Last year’s zombie film, THE BATTERY, did a great job on super-tight budget. But that is not the standard, so you can imagine how I felt when I heard that ZOMBEAVERS was going to be a real thing…

The movie, co-written and directed by Jordan Rubin,  is a horror-comedy about a group of college students head to a lakeside house to party away Jenn’s (Lexi Atkins) boyfriend woes. Things first get complicated when her ex, Sam (Hutch Dano), and his friends show up unannounced and looking to get frisky. After a bunch of arguing, the group suddenly realizes that they have far bigger problems to deal with when they discover that the area is inhabited by mutated zombie beavers.

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Toronto After Dark 2014 – Movie Review: Hellmouth

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Hellmouth is the new one from Exit Humanity director, John Geddes. And writer of Pontypool, Tony Burgess. Hellmouth is a neo-noir horror tale, created with the usage of contrasting colors and other such visual techniques. Some would say that this is in the style of Sin City, which is helped along by the fact that the first third of the film is black and white, with a few traces of color. Personally, I would compare it to Dark Country before Sin City, but I’m one of only 5 people that bothered to see that nice little piece of horror-pulp starring Thomas Jane, so Sin City is probably a more accessible approach to explaining the style to expect. What I’m saying is, a lot of detail is focused on creating the visual style of the world, and it makes for a stunning experience. There are a few frightening scenes along the way. This is a story about a gravekeeper storming the gatets of hell to rescue the soul of a young woman, after all. And in doing so, there are scenes of demonic figures that are genuinely creepy. Never is the sake of driving the narrative forward put before the overall style of the film, though.  Continue reading

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Toronto After Dark 2014 – Day Three: Shorts After Dark / Zombeavers / Dead Snow 2

TADSaturday marked the third day of Toronto After Dark 2014, and as is customary on the weekend, there were three separate screening blocks (as opposed to the standard two during the weekdays). Saturday at TADFF also usually means Zombie Appreciation Night, so you generally know that you are going to get at least two films featuring the undead. This year, both of the feature films were completely sold out, marking a running total of six sold out screenings for the year already. Huge congratulations to the festival organizers for making 2014 such a record-breaking year (and it’s only three days in)!

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Toronto After Dark 2014 – Day Two: Hellmouth / ABCs Of Death 2

TADFriday was Day Two of Toronto After Dark 2014, and the theater was packed for both of the evenings screenings. HELLMOUTH had its World Premiere, ABCs OF DEATH 2 had its Toronto Premiere, and the sold out crowds were cheering and ready for both movies. It’s kind of a big deal that both of these screenings sold out, as that means that the first four consecutive films at this year’s festival were completely full. I believe that is a new TADFF record. The festival certainly has grown over the last 8 years, and it’s exciting to watch as more and more films sell out with each iteration.

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The Madness: Automatons Week #2

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I’m swamped with life, and movies/TV that I HAVE to watch, so my recreational October horror movie consumption is taking a hit. Slow week, for me. Oh, well, soon Exhumed Films 24 Hour Horror-Thon will be upon us, and I will be inside of a theater with movies on-film playing continuously for 24 straight hours. That should even me out. We have a mixed bag this week, including the new episode of The Walking Dead, which I am told is being counted.  Continue reading

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Toronto After Dark 2014 – Movie Review: Wolves

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Despite the goofy looking poster, and lackluster trailer, I was looking forward to David Hayter’s wolves. Sure, it looks extremely Twilight’ish, but it was directed by Hayter, and boasted “ALL PRACTICAL EFFECTS”, which is partly true. I tried really hard to enjoy this movie, but there were some things I just couldn’t get past. More about that in a second, for right now, let’s talk about Werewolf Night at Toronto After Dark. Following a screening of The Drownsman tonight, Toronto After Dark 2014 turns hairy, featuring a double feature of werewolf films, both of which I’ve seen already. One of them is Late Phases, directed by Adrian Garcia Bogliano, a name you should be familiar with by now, but if not, he’s responsible for films such as Here Comes The Devil, and Cold Sweat. We’ll be talking more about that film later, but for now, we’re focusing on the other part of that double feature, which is Hayter’s Wolves. Continue reading

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DEADtime TV: Week of 10/6/14

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Hey Dead-heads, it’s Ryne from The Moon is a Dead World. It’s getting pretty crazy this time of year, with lots of horror TV additions. This week we add American Horror Story: Freak Show to the cast. I’ll be covering that, Resurrection, and Sleepy Hollow for now. Kevin‘s taking The Strain, and Stalker.  Shawn’s got SupernaturalGotham, and Z Nation.

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Toronto After Dark 2014 – Day One: Housebound / Suburban Gothic

TADIt’s that time of year again… The weather is getting chilly, the leaves are changing colors and falling from the trees, and everyone is in full Halloween mode. Fall is my favorite time of year for all of those reasons; and also because it means that Toronto After Dark is upon us. Continue reading

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Toronto After Dark 2014 – Movie Review: Suburban Gothic (Richard Bates Jr.)

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Toronto After Dark 2014 kicked off last night, with screenings of Suburban Gothic, and Housebound. First up is Suburban Gothic, which I enjoyed quite a bit. Jeff will be chiming in later, with a recap of his first day at the festival, which he will be doing all throughout the week. I will be reviewing several of the films featured at the festival as well. It’s going to be a busy week, but there are some really great films to look forward to, so stay tuned for more coverage of the event, the attendees, and the films themselves.  Continue reading

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Scream Factory’s Collector’s Edition Blu-ray Release Of Clive Barker’s Lord of Illusions – Extras Announced, Releases 12/16

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This is finally happening, and I can’t wait. It has been a really long time since I have seen Lord of Illusions. Fresh off of the Director’s Cut of Nightbreed, I could definitely use some more remastered Clive Barker films in my life. Scream Factory have announced the extras that will be included in their Collector’s Edition of the film. We get a Clive Barker commentary, a  behind-the-scenes featurette, some rare on-set footage, deleted scenes with Clive Barker commentary, and likely more. I’ve noticed that they usually undersell the bonus content on their discs, mostly due to space limitations, I would assume. This is shaping up to be a fantastic release, with a new transfer, and what looks to be a generous amount of extras. The release hits shelves on the 16th of December. You can pre-order a copy for yourself either on amazon, or the Shout! Factory website. Check out the press release below, for detailed information.  Continue reading

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Dead Air: Episode 63 – Annabelle

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This week on the show, Jeff (@Jeff_FOTD) and James (@DrJimmyTerror) talk all about killer dolls/toys, robots, and the recent theatrical release of ANNABELLE.

Other discussion topics include: An update on the planned HALLOWEEN Retrospective, thoughts on some recent developments with the HALLOWEEN box set, why the PUPPET MASTER movies make Jeff hate himself, and a whole lot more. Continue reading

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The Madness: Automatons Week #1

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So there’s this horror movie competition that takes place on Facebook every October, and this is my first year participating. I’m still a little lost, so bear with me. I have watched more than this, but these are the movies I watched during the week of Oct 4th – October 11th, the first official week of The Madness. I hope I can squeeze some more in this week, but having a 4 year old makes that tough to do. I think I had a pretty good week considering all obstacles. Plus, I saw some great stuff this week. Some revisits that I try to do annually, as well as some new movies, not released to theaters yet. Continue reading

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DEADtime TV: Week of 9/28/14

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Hey Deadheads, it’s Ryne from The Moon is a Dead World. This week we add Resurrection‘s second season to our list of things to cover, as well as the usual stuff: Kevin with Under the Dome and The Strain, Shawn has Gotham and Z Nation, and I’ve got the rest.

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What The Hell Have I Been Doing? It’s October!

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If you’re paying attention, you would have noticed that nothing has gone up on the site since the 3rd of the month. And yeah, I’m a procrastinator, but the main reason things have been slow lately is because it’s October. I have gone into full-binge mode, and I am trying to make my way through a massive pile of horror Blu-rays and screeners that I have arranged for the month. I’ve been talking shop with my close friends in the community, discussing future events and projects, and basically just taking a full bite out of Halloween 2014.

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Reviews of recent and upcoming Blu-rays, TV shows, some editorials and such will be coming soon. The latest issue of DEADtime TV will be live today, and some reviews of some really exciting Blu-rays, such as Cult Epics’ Nekromantik release, as well as Scream Factory’s Vincent Price Collection II, Nightbreed, Squirm, The Doctor and the Devils, and much, much more. In the meantime, I wanted to show off the Halloween pile that I have assembled, and have been actively working on since the first hour of the month. Stay tuned for plenty of stuff, and be sure to check out our Halloween guides here, and here, to help guide you in choosing horror-themed entertainment for your Halloween season.

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Dead Air Episode 62: TUSK

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This week on the show, Jeff (@Jeff_FOTD) and Jesse (@DestroySuperman) sit down to talk about Kevin Smith’s latest film, the highly divisive man-gets-turned-into-a-walrus flick, TUSK. Continue reading

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Who Is Watching The Watchers? – A Review Of Nacho Vigalondo’s Open Windows (Cinedigm)

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I’m just going to come right out and say it, I am a huge fan of Nacho Vigalondo. He made one of the best “time travel” movies of all time, with Timecrimes in 2007. Since then, he has been involved with mostly horror anthology films, such as his segment ABCs of Death segment, A is for Apocalypse, and his segment titled Sins of the Father, for the STILL unreleased Profane Exhibit. For right now, we’ll focus on Nacho V’s high-tech, LSD-inspired love letter to Hitchcock’s Rear Window, Open Windows, starring Elijah Wood and Sasha Grey. I compare the film to Rear Window, because the influence is apparent. In all reality though, only the core concept of the film is borrowed, and used as a building block to form a complex, technological game of cat and mouse. The story would have you believe that this is simply about a blogger named Nick(Wood) and his adoration for a movie star named Jill Goddard(Grey). The setup is, he has won some sort of contest because of his blogs about the actress, and has been awarded the opportunity to have a dinner/interview with Goddard. When he receives a strange call on his computer, things become much more difficult than that.  Continue reading

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Toronto After Dark 2014 – Full List Of Films

 

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For at least the past few years, we have covered the Toronto After Dark Film Festival annually. Jeff Konopka attends the festival every year, and he usually brings some really good coverage back with him. I am always jealous when he’s there, because I’m listening to the footage that he has recorded, hanging out in a crowded bar talking with filmmakers, as well as other journalists attending the event. It sounds like a lot of fund, and I’d love to make the trip one year. Some of my favorite recent films were shown at Toronto After Dark. Cheap Thrills, Motivational Growth, The Machine, We Are What We Are, Resolution, The Battery, one of my all-time favorite films, Some Guy Who Kills People, and much, much more. Recently, the first 10 films for the 2014 festival were announced, and among them were some highly anticipated films. I will list them all below, but off the top of my head, The Babadook, Predestination, Dead Snow 2, Suburban Gothic, and plenty more. Today, the final films have been announced, so we have the full lineup for Toronto After Dark 2014. This year looks extremely solid, with an entire list of stuff that genre fans have been salivating over for months. Check out the full list below, from the Toronto After Dark website. They have also put together a YouTube playlist of trailers and promos, which you can find below as well. As usual, Jeff will be covering the festival again this year. I will be reviewing several of the films as well, since I was able to secure screeners for certain films that will be shown.  Continue reading

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