[RM contributor Patrick Dolan serves up a combo splatter platter from the Toronto After Dark Film Festival. Domo arigato, Mr., um, Dolan. Jeeze, Patrick, why isn't your last name Roboto?]
It’s a movie about killer sushi; immediately, you should know whether or not you’re going to like it. But if you’re still on the fence, allow me to set the table.
Beginning more like a hard luck tale than a hilarious horror, Keiko (Rina Takeda, High Kick Girl!, Karate Girl) runs away from the borderline abusive tutelage of her sushi chef father and takes a server job at a secluded inn. On her first day, executives from a large pharmaceutical company show up to stay for the night and pig out on sushi. Dinner is spoiled, however, when a disgruntled ex-employee of the company shows up with a serum that brings dead cells back to life (a discovery he was unjustly fired for, as it makes the reanimated subject crazy). He injects it into the sushi and, you guessed it: the sushi attack!
[Our Toronto After Dark coverage continues with Aaron Von Lupton's review of Grave Encounters 2.]
New director John Polinquin and original Grave Encounters writers the Vicious Brothers deserve some credit for taking their sequel in a whole new direction when they could have just done the easy thing and made another average found footage ghost movie. Unfortunately, as Grave Encounters 2 proves, randomly grabbing new ideas out of thin air isn’t exactly the best approach, either.
[Charlotte Stear checks in with another review from this year's Toronto After Dark Film Festival.]
Here’s another one to add to the “bat shit crazy” list from this year’s Toronto After Dark Festival and hey, that’s not a complaint.
To try and sum up what Resolution is about is a challenge in itself. Without giving too much away (actually, that may not even be possible), Michael (Peter Cilella) forces best friend Chris (Vinny Curran) to detox from his heavy drug addiction while staying in a cabin in the woods. While Chris goes through this transition, Michael begins to find a number of odd artefacts lying around the cabin. Creepy photographs and film footage seem to be waiting for him wherever he goes, trying to warn him about something.
[Aaron Von Lupton checks out Doomsday Book, which screened at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival.]
One of the stranger films at this year’s Toronto After Dark is this Korean anthology based on three possible end-of-the-world scenarios. Director Yim Pil-sung opens with “A Brave New World,” a zombie comedy that mixes romance, horror and commentary on modern food consumption. When lab technician Yoon Seok-woo (Ryoo Seung-bum) is given the task of cleaning his family’s filthy apartment, he unwittingly creates a zombie virus when a rotten apple he throws away mixes with other waste and mutates. As the only true horror segment, this one succeeds at being both disgustingly gross and sappily dramatic, but falls short in its depiction of the larger zombie apocalypse.
[RM contributor Derek Emerildo Nieto offers his thoughts on [REC] 3 Génesis, which screened at this year’s Toronto After Dark Film Festival.]
Jumping out at you in boisterous colour, it’s the prequel [REC] 3!
Wait, what? Colour? Yes. This prequel to the so far, so awesome [REC] series, which exhibited good use of the first-person camera technique and set a fine example of how to use it to good effect in the ever-more-saturated zombie sub-genre, starts off well enough and with the best of intentions, but leaves much wanting in the way of not only a prequel but as a part of the [REC] universe itself. And yeah, baby, it’s all colour, all the time. But is that a good idea? In my opinion, no.
[RM contributor Aaron Von Lupton gives us the skinny on Inbred, which had its Toronto premiere at this year's Toronto After Dark Film Festival.]
From Alex Chandon (Cradle of Fear) comes this gory and offensive black comedy inspired by the likes of Deliverance and Calvaire, with dumb humour in place of human drama. Four young offenders are accompanied by two caretakers into the British countryside for a weekend retreat, only to encounter the titular inbreds who attack, torture and butcher them one by one.
[RM contributor Patrick Dolan checks in from the Toronto After Dark Film Festival with a review of Cockneys vs. Zombies.]
With so many zombie scenarios outlined already (see Max Brook’s Zombie Survival Guide or The Walking Dead comic book series, TV show and video game), it’s easy to pick and choose your own “original” undead adventure. The challenge lies in making something that the hoards of zombie fanatics actually want to watch. Enter Cockneys vs Zombies, another entry in the long list of zombie flicks that pit the shambling hoards against England’s inner city rednecks. The setup might be familiar, but the film makes up for its lack of originality with plenty of zombie-killing carnage.
RM contributor Charlotte Stear checks in with a pair of reviews from the Toronto After Dark Film Festival. And in case you need a reminder, the festival continues tonight with Rue Morgue‘s CineMacabre Movie Night screening of Inbred!
[Film journalist and RM contributor Peter Gutiérrez contributes this piece about a pair of TV horror anthologies that have recently made their home video debuts. For more on small-screen scares, check out Rue Morgue's Rondo Award-winning feature "The Golden Age of TV Terror" by Kier-La Janisse and Dan Murphy (RM#117).]
As different as they are, the release of two landmark series on home video this past month, the thirteen-episode run of Hammer House of Horror (out now on DVD from Synapse Films) and the twelve episodes of American Horror Story’s first season (available on DVD and Blu-ray from FX), provide ample support in this regard.
As an added treat to this Thursday’s CineMacabre screening of Juni Ito’s Gyo at the TIFF Bell Lightbox Theatre (350 King St. West), a specially selected short film from the Little Terrors program will be presented: Éric Falardeau’s Crepuscule. In it, a group of angel-like creatures live in perfect symbiosis with their environment, until a man and woman break into their regimented world, shattering their lives forever. This beautiful and gory stop-motion animated short was an official selection of last year’s Fantasia Film Festival, and many more.
About Little Terrors:
Little Terrors is a monthly genre short film event, presented by Rue Morgue and Unstable Ground. The next event takes place the night before CineMacabre, on September 19th, 9 p.m., Carlton Cinema.