Toronto After Dark 2013 Journal: Day 1 – We Are What We Are (2013) / Bounty Killer

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It’s that time of year again… The leaves are changing color and falling to the ground, every single product has a pumpkin scented/flavored option, the stores are filled with monster masks and skeletal decorations, and horror fans all over are rejoicing and counting the days until our version of Christmas; Halloween. While I love all of these things just as much as all of you, there is one other reason that I look forward to October each year, and that is the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, which kicked off last night.

For more comprehensive info on exactly what the festival is all about, you can either check out our previous coverage of past years’ fests, or you can visit the festival’s official website. However, the short and skinny of it is that it is a genre fest specializing in horror, sci-fi, action, and cult films that runs for nine nights in Downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada each year. Not only is it home to some great films, but the festival’s staff and audience are like one big family. In fact, this latter point is my reason for going each year. Simply put, TADFF is a wonderful experience.

Anyhow, with that quick sell out of the way, last night was the kickoff night for this year’s fest. Sadly, I was unable to attend, due to some travel delays, but that isn’t going to stop me from filling you folks in on what went down!

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The festival opened with Jim Mickle’s We Are What We Are, a remake of the 2010 Spanish-language film by the same name about a family of cannibals. While I haven’t seen the original film, our Editor In Chief, Shawn Savage has, and he loves it. In fact, he’s such a fan of it that Mickle’s version nabbed the top spot on his Most Anticipated Films of TADFF 2013 ListPlus, Director Mickle made some very impressive films previously in Stakeland and Mulberry Street, so the man clearly has a knack for genre cinema. Furthermore, I’ve been hearing quite a bit of great buzz around the film, so you can bet that I am going to seek this one as soon as possible! In the meantime, you can check out the trailer below:

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Following the opening film was the new post-apocalyptic sci-fi/action flick, Bounty Killer, from Henry Saine. Again, I have yet to see this one myself, but it is available in various VOD outlets in the States, so Shawn checked it out, and he reported that it’s a lot of fun. You can read his review here. Personally, I didn’t know much about the movie, but once I realized that Henry Saine was behind it, I got interested. His previous film, The Last Lovecraft: Relic Of Cthulhu (which opened TADFF 2010), was a ton of fun, and he’s a super nice and genuine guy to boot. As such, I will definitely be watching this one soon. If you are looking to find it, you can Rent It Or Pre-Order It through Amazon now for a pretty low price. Here’s the trailer:

Once the screenings wrapped, everyone headed over to The Office Pub, home of this year’s Pub After Dark events, for the opening Gala party. For the uninitiated, these social events are held every night after the screenings, and fans gather for food, drinks, music, and discussion of the festival’s films. If you listened to the live podcasts that we did from last year’s festival – which you can find HERE and HERE - then you probably also know it’s very common for filmmakers to be in attendance and hang out at these events (that is actually where I bumped into Henry Saine back in 2010). From what I hear, last night’s event was a smash success, and with last call extended until 4am for this year’s festival, you can bet there will be at least one or two new podcasts in store, so keep your eyes here!

Well, that about wraps it for Day One of the festival… Be sure to check back each day for new coverage and reviews from the festival. Tomorrow’s update will include thoughts on Director Mike Mendez’s (The Convent, The Gravedancers) giant-insect-run-amok feature Big Ass Spider! and the Indian import, Eega, about a murdered man who is reincarnated as a fly and seeks revenge on his killer (yeah, I know, I have to see this…).

Until tomorrow… Stay Undead!

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