Rue Morgue contributors Jessa Sobczuk and Vanessa Furtado check in with a pair of reviews from this year’s Toronto After Dark Film Festival.
The Last Days on Mars (UK/Ireland)
Dir: Ruairi Robinson
Director Ruairi Robinson (BlinkyTM) walks the line between claustrophobic science fiction and white-knuckle horror in The Last Days on Mars, a slick, low-budget UK-Ireland co-production that packs a talented cast including Scream‘s Liev Schreiber and Shutter Island‘s Elias Koteas.
On the last day of the first manned mission to Mars, an international team of astronauts uncover a virulent strain of bacteria. The ground-breaking discovery soon turns deadly as two teammates are infected with the virus and mutate into violent, shambling zombies. The crew is infected one by one and the remaining astronauts must survive the night before their relief team finally arrives.
Rue Morgue contributor Liisa Ladouceur checks in with a preview of Universal Studio’s Halloween Horror Nights.
Like Disneyland for the horror crowd, Universal Studio’s Halloween Horror Nights is the ultimate playground for anyone interested in haunted attractions. If you live in California or Florida, where it’s been operating every Halloween for years, you already know this. If you don’t, well, the big-budget, high-concept event is well worth a special trip. Which is what I did this year, after hearing about it for far too long. I found in Hollywood more than just an amusement park spookified for the season, but practically a live theatre experience where horror comes to life. Halloween Horrors Nights happens in both Hollywood and Orlando until November 2. Here’s some of what you can expect.
Recently, veteran host Alasdair Stuart of Pseudopod (RMs #72 & #134) announced that Escape Artists, Inc. is currently in “serious financial trouble,” warning listeners that Pseudopod and its sister podcasts, Podcastle and Escape Pod, will shut down at the end of 2013 unless they receive the funds necessary to continue. Since its establishment in 2006, Pseudopod has published hundreds of horror-fiction podcasts, featuring authors such as Scott Sigler, AC Wise, Eugie Foster, and David Barr Kirtley. It also won a Parsec Award in 2009 for Best Speculative Fiction or Anthology Podcast. People who want to help can go to pseudopod.org and either click “Feed the Pod” to make a one-time donation, subscribe, or purchase archive discs (DVDs containing high-quality mp3 versions of the stories on the site.) New Subscribers, Subscribers, and anyone making a one-time donation of $50, before November 30th, will receive premium content flash stories in December.
Joined by esteemed colleagues LAST CHANCE LANCE (Rue Morgue), MIKE WHITE (The Projection Booth), ALEXANDRA WEST and ANDREA “HELLBAT” SUBISSATI (The Faculty of Horror), Feedback and company explore the ins and outs, and highs and lows, of proliferating in the dark realm of horror talk radio.
Unlike the baby boomer monster kids who grew up watching classic Universal Monster movies, my generation, the slasher spawn, grew up watching, well, slashers. Instead of having nightmares of Frankenstein’s Monster, Dracula or the Wolfman, it was Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees who haunted my subconscious. I remember the night I first saw The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, I wasn’t able to sleep, because every time I closed my eyes I would imagine Leatherface’s ugly mug staring at me.
It’s maybe a form of Stockholm syndrome, but despite these movies scaring the hell out of me as a kid, I can’t help but get a warm, fuzzy feeling – or a cold, sharp feeling – when I watch a slasher movie. It’s because of this mental deficiency that the slasher film is my favourite kind of horror movie.
With Hallowe’en approaching faster than a running zombie, and the beauty of the summer dying off into winter, I thought it appropriate to dedicate this BoaB to the undying homicidal villains and the fiendish films they inhabit.
Our friends at Texas Frightmare Weekend have given us the honour of unveiling the latest addition to next year’s show: a BLAIR WITCH PROJECT 15th anniversary reunion! (Or a 20th anniversary reunion, if you really want to get into the spirit of the thing.) Read on for details, courtesy of a press release unearthed by Rue Morgue under mysterious circumstances.
Rue Morgue contributors Mike Beardsall and Jessa Sobczuk check in with a pair of reviews from the Toronto After Dark Film Festival.
Silent Retreat (Canada)
Dir: Tricia Lee
The locally-shot Silent Retreat celebrated its world premiere at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival Sunday afternoon. The plot centres around Janey (Chelsea Jenish), a young woman who has recently gotten into some trouble with the law and is sent away to a meditation camp to be rehabilitated. Janey, along with her fellow campers (all teenage girls), must remain completely silent for the duration of their stay, or else incur the wrath of the camp doctor and his two sons. Escape is impossible as they’re miles from anywhere, surrounded by forest, and watched constantly by a hungry nocturnal beast that walks among the trees.
Rue Morgue contributor Charlotte Stear weighs in on the Zombie Appreciation Night selections at this year’s Toronto After Dark Film Festival.
Dir: Christian James
If you think you’ve seen everything a zombie comedy can offer, let me introduce to you Stalled, a British film about a man locked in a bathroom stall during a zombie outbreak. For an entry in a subgenre that has already seen so much, Stalled is a unique, engrossing movie that boasts one of the most interesting zombie concepts in years.
From the swamplands near Bishopville, South Carolina, come reports of a seven-foot-tall, scaly humanoid creature the locals call the “Lizard Man.” Over the years, the creature has been seen by numerous witnesses, including a teenager who claimed it attacked him one night near a remote area called Scape Ore Swamp. The young man’s testimony and physical evidence was so compelling, it not only launched a serious investigation by the local sheriff’s office but an all-out monster hunt that drew hundreds of people to the small town.
Once again, Rue Morgue is teaming up with Netflix Canada to curate a list of horror titles on the service that l’il old me, the Editor-in-Chief, has chosen (note: these are on the Canadian Netflix). I’ll be doing interviews about the films, horror movies in general and Rue Morgue in the weeks leading up to Halloween. Hit the jump for the list; I went with titles that represent a mix of old, new, mainstream and more obscure. Among the titles below, The Loved Ones, The Walking Dead, The Omen, The Blair Witch Project, Pumpkinhead, Pan’s Labyrinth and The Fly have appeared on the cover of Rue Morgue. As always, I’m excited to talk about some under-the-radar titles, some classics that deserve another look and even a few fave mainstream picks. Here’s the list; hope you find something on there worth a look.