By MICHAEL GINGOLD
Highly awaited new movies and upgraded classics are part of the lineup at North America’s top genre festival.
Below is the complete scoop on the final round of features for the 26th Fantasia International Film Festival, which runs July 14-August 3 in Montreal (with the Frontières International Co-Production Market taking place July 21-24). Screenings of the more than 130 features and 200 short films, along with panels and special events, will take place at the Concordia Hall and J.A. de Sève cinemas, with additional screens at the Cinémathèque Québécoise, Cinéma du Musée and the McCord Museum. See the first-wave announcement here and the second wave here. (For more information, head over to the festival’s official website.)
Among the presentations will be the awarding of the Prix Denis-Héroux to producer Pierre David, whose decades-long career encompasses early David Cronenberg films, OF UNKNOWN ORIGIN, PIN, VISITING HOURS (screening at Fantasia) and many others. Leading off the latest announcement is a pair of closing-night films:
In NEXT SOHEE, Sohee (Kim Si-eun), a bubbly and tenacious high-school student, spirals into fatal depression when pressured by her school to work for an abusive call center. Enraged by this tragedy, Detective Yoo-jin (Bae Doona) begins a crusade against all those who exploit vulnerable teenage girls. This powerful and essential work received a seven-minute standing ovation at Cannes, where it closed Critics’ Week 2022. NEXT SOHEE is a true masterpiece and an absolute must-see, masterfully directed by July Jung and featuring wonderful performances by newcomer Kim Si-eun in a career-defining turn and South Korean film icon Bae Doona (KINGDOM). North American Premiere.
Also screening as part of Fantasia’s closing-night events will be Halina Reijn’s wildly entertaining and gloriously twisted BODIES BODIES BODIES (pictured above). A party game leads to murder when young and wealthy friends gather at a remote family mansion in this instant-classic comedy-horror joyride that maintains a taut balance of uneasy tension and wicked humor. Starring Amandla Stenberg (THE HATE U GIVE), Maria Bakalova (BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM), Myha’la Herrold (INDUSTRY), Rachel Sennott (SHIVA BABY) and comedy superstar Pete Davidson. Special Screening.
An octogenarian named Manuel (Zorion Eguileor) falls into a state of dementia after the sudden suicide of his wife, sparking a series of paranormal events that will put his family’s lives at risk. Starting as a grounded drama exploring the indignities of old age, THE ELDERLY gradually snaps off one guardrail after another, building to a crescendo of sheer terror with imagery that can never be unseen. This chilling new vision in Spanish horror from directors Raúl Cerezo and Fernando González Gómez (THE PASSENGER) features a heart-stopping lead performance from Eguileor (ALL THE MOONS, THE PLATFORM). World Premiere.
The curse has mutated, spreading at great speed via the Internet, and there are only a few hours left for skeptical TV personality Ayaka to solve the puzzle. Returning to the world of RINGU, which kicked off the Asian horror renaissance of the ‘90s, director Hisashi Kimura’s SADAKO DX isn’t afraid to laugh a little at the quirks of the franchise it emerges from while still bringing the horror that hardcore fans crave. From the meta jump scares to the bizarre new appearance of our favorite wraith, SADAKO DX delivers shrieks and chuckles alike. World Premiere.
After opening this year’s Cannes, FINAL CUT (COUPEZ!), Michel Hazanavicius’ riotous remake of Shinichiro Ueda’s ONE CUT OF THE DEAD, is coming to North America. Starring Romain Duris, Bérénice Bejo, Grégory Gadebois, Finnegan Oldfield, Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz, and Yoshiko Takehara reprising her beloved role from the original film as a producer, this hilarious ode to the do-or-die spirit of filmmaking is a joy to behold. It is especially noteworthy for the film’s North American journey to be starting at Fantasia, as the festival was among the first to popularize the original Audience Award-winning ONE CUT OF THE DEAD in the West. Poetically, Ueda’s latest, POPRAN, will also be having its North American Premiere at the festival this year. Bet your viewfinder that FINAL CUT is going to bring the house down in cheers. North American Premiere.
Hirako Waka’s powerful web manga finally arrives on the big screen. With MY BROKEN MARIKO, director Yuki Tanada (MOURNING RECIPE) merges past and present to perfection in a faithful, visually rich live-action adaptation. Mei Nagano (OFFICE ROYALE) delivers a visceral performance, showing incredible versatility in portraying the many facets of Tomoyo, who is driven to a revelatory pilgrimage by the suicide of her childhood best friend. Emotionally challenging but never despairing, the film sketches adorable characters in all their humanity and gentle eccentricity. World Premiere.
Disgraced cop Jun (Lau Ching-Wan) and pregnant police detective Yee (Charlene Choi) must solve cases new and old to bring a crew of killer vigilantes to justice in DETECTIVE VS. SLEUTHS, the new film from Hong Kong filmmaker Wai Ka-Fai, whose idiosyncratic brilliance has been absent from screens for more than a decade. This characteristically intense and gritty film reconnects Wai with Lau, the star of his second-to-last feature before his hiatus, 2007’s MAD DETECTIVE, which, like many of Wai’s films, was co-directed by Johnnie To. This time, however, he steers the ship by himself, writing, producing, and directing a distinctive and wholly engaging crime thriller that once again explores the line between genius and madness. North American Premiere.
Ten years after their groundbreaking masterpiece VANISHING WAVES, Lithuania’s Kristina Buozyte and France’s Bruno Samper have returned with the immersive fungal world of VESPER. After the collapse of Earth’s ecosystem, Vesper (Raffiella Chapman), a 13-year-old girl struggling to survive with her father (Richard Brake), must use her wits, strength and bio-hacking abilities to fight for the future. This breathtakingly expansive sci-fi/thriller vision was built with years of painstaking detail. Also starring Eddie Marsan, Rosy McEwen and Melanie Gaydos. Official Selection: Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 2022. North American Premiere.
Meebo (Non) loves fish. Scratch that, she’s a certified, card-carrying “fish-a-holic.” As her aquatic obsession develops and follows her into the beginnings of adult life, her passion will convince you that fish make for quite a fascinating life! Based on the memoirs of celebrity ichthyologist, illustrator and “fish ambassador” Sakana-kun (imagine a cross between Jacques Cousteau and Nardwuar), THE FISH TALE is the unexpected feel-good film of the summer. It further cements Shuichi Okita’s (THE STORY OF YONOSUKE) ability to bring a teary-eyed smile to his audience’s face. World Premiere.
With his latest film, THAT KIND OF SUMMER (UN ÉTÉ COMME CA), the great Denis Côté (SOCIAL HYGIENE) explores the links between sex and trauma in an intimate, transgressive drama. Far from the overstimulation of the city, three women–Léonie (Larissa Corriveau), Eugénie (Laure Giappiconi), and Geisha (Aude Mathieu)–are being treated for their “hypersexuality.” In a beautiful cabin by a lake, the women search for healing with the help of a soft-spoken therapist, Octavia (Anne Ratte-Polle) and a by-the-books social worker, Sami (Samir Guesmi). Côté’s film draws the audience into a world of pleasure, nightmares, and fantasy as time collapses and vivid imagery blurs the line between real and unreal. Official Selection: Berlin International Film Festival 2022 (competition). North American Premiere.
Jang is an ace driver of unmatched sangfroid, but when she finds a kid in the back seat of her car with the key to a corrupt cop’s illicit stash in his pocket, she is swarmed by a gang of murderous henchmen. Getting the kid (and herself) out of this mess alive will mean pushing her vehicular skills to the absolute limit…and beyond! SPECIAL DELIVERY riffs on DRIVE and BABY DRIVER but takes the automotive action, the hand-to-hand combat, and the emotional stakes to new heights. Having helmed the period pieces PRIVATE EYE and SEONDAL: THE MAN WHO SELLS THE RIVER, director Park Dae-min is no stranger to comedy-infused crime thrillers, and shifts gears to the modern era with ease. The entirely enjoyable cast is led by Park So-dam (PARASITE) in the driver’s seat. North American Premiere.
Jolts of high-voltage tension crackle along the lines between past and present, right and wrong, science and the supernatural in DOBAARAA. Director/screenwriter/producer Anurag Kashyap, beloved by international audiences for his no-nonsense approach to the crime drama (India’s first Netflix Original series SACRED GAMES, the epic GANGS OF WASSEYPUR), this time infuses his trademark thrills with a twist of science fiction. This high-stakes drama is led by a gripping performance from Taapsee Pannu (GAME OVER, NAAM SHABANA). North American Premiere.
Rich in the Celtic folklore of northern Portugal, MY GRANDFATHER’S DEMONS is the country’s first-ever stop-motion feature, an engrossing drama about the push and pull of family ties, how roots can both nourish and entangle, told with inspired technical flourishes and a luminous sense of magic. This feature-length debut from award-winning animator Nuno Beato tells the tale of urban professional Rosa, who inherits the farm that was her childhood home and discovers that it’s littered with demonic ceramic figurines and clues pointing to troubling secrets buried in the past. North American Premiere.
Almost a decade after THE ADMIRAL: ROARING CURRENTS sailed into the history books as the most-watched and highest-grossing film of all time in South Korea, director Kim Han-min returns with HANSAN: RISING DRAGON, the long-awaited second chapter in this trilogy telling the story of naval hero Admiral Yi Sun-sin. Surrounded by a cast of notable Korean stars, Park Hae-il (DECISION TO LEAVE) portrays Yi in this spectacular epic of wood-on-water warfare. There are few things in life as satisfying as a well-executed big-screen demolition derby between battleships, and they don’t come any bigger, better, or wetter than HANSAN: RISING DRAGON. North American Premiere.
Pregnant with her first child and consumed by terrifying visions, Valeria (Natalia Solián) believes that she may be cursed by a supernatural entity. A brilliant and frightening breakout debut as important as Jennifer Kent’s THE BABADOOK, HUESERA firmly announces Mexico’s Michelle Garza Cervera as one of the leading new voices of the genre. A scorching personal vision that asks complex questions with ferocious honesty, this profound, nightmarish blessing comes to Fantasia hot off its award-winning Tribeca launch, and is already one of the most talked-about genre works of the year. Canadian Premiere.
In a realistic future, Ken has decided to give up his dream of becoming a doctor following the tragic death of his father. When his wife throws him out of the house, he is stuck with Tang, a clunky robot who follows him despite his annoyance. But this droid has way more value than he lets on. Kazunari Ninomiya (GANTZ), the leader of the J-Pop behemoth Arashi, teams up with the cutest robot in recent years, a kind of a rusted Baby Yoda, in the beautiful feel-good movie TANG AND ME, directed by Takahiro Miki. International Premiere.
Few know the hell of social integration better than Anna (Ioana Iacob), the beloved security officer of an exclusive, “curated” apartment tower in the German countryside, who soon finds herself in an imbroglio. Her daughter grows convinced she harbors an ancient evil, a dog disappears, and a panic spreads across the building like wildfire. Natalia Sinelnikova’s chilling debut WE MIGHT AS WELL BE DEAD is a carefully observed dystopia reflecting on modern-day xenophobia and antisemitism in Germany. Canadian premiere. Camera Lucida section.
In THE KING OF PIGS, homicide detective Jong-suk (Kim Sung-kyu, HANSAN), must catch his childhood friend Kyung-min (Kim Dong-wook, ALONG WITH THE GODS) who is on a rampage, hunting and killing the bullies responsible for their misery when they were beaten and humiliated at school. Adapted from TRAIN TO BUSAN director Yeon Sang-ho’s masterful animated film THE KING OF PIGS and produced by Studio Dragon, this live-action K-drama by director Kim Dae-jin a impresses not only with its narrative and cinematography, but also with the relevance of its discussion of school bullying, lifelong trauma, and class struggle. North American Premiere.
When asked, 17-year-old Sarya (Lina Arashi) would prefer to say she’s German. It’s a convenient answer, less complicated than explaining she is a Kurdish minority from Turkey whose family immigrated to Japan. When she learns that her father’s refugee status is being declined, Sarya is put in the difficult position of providing for her young brother and sister. A superb debut from Emma Kawawada (produced by Hirokazu Kore-eda), MY SMALL LAND is an exceptional breath of fresh air in the context of Japanese cinema and its notable lack of diversity. North American premiere.
Through the groundbreaking technology discovered by Dr. Stevenson (Karen Gillan, OCULUS), deceased persons can now be identified and tracked in the afterlife. When a call goes out for volunteers to further her research, two strangers, Rose (Katie Parker, THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE) and Teddy (Rahul Kohli, MIDNIGHT MASS), each struggling with personal demons, choose to sign up. Fate has them splitting a rental car, and they embark on a drive across America to meet their destinies. Equal parts ghost story, misfit road movie, speculative science-fiction and tragicomedy, NEXT EXIT is a phenomenal debut from writer-director Mali Elfman. International Premiere.
Briskly paced, elaborately ornamented, and surprisingly bloody, the Taiwanese feature film DEMIGOD: THE LEGEND BEGINS is the latest from Pili International Multimedia. Led by generations of the Huang family of puppeteers, Pili has maintained and modernized the centuries-old tradition of budaixi–Chinese opera by way of glove puppetry–which remains alive in Taiwan to this day. Director Huang Wen-Chang’s wuxia epic of intrigue, horror, martial arts and mysticism is above all an exquisite ocular feast for fans of the fine art of miniature figurine sculpture and costume design. North American Premiere.
A Korean folkloric belief dictates that parents should never venture down a taboo path when their child is born, as this could lead to a curse called Seire. Woo-jin decides to ignore the danger and attend the funeral of a former lover, which brings chaos to his family. With his first directorial effort SEIRE, a masterful and oppressive psychological horror film, Park Kang proves that he can work miracles with a limited budget. A tight script, minimalist music, nuanced acting, and meticulous direction all come together to create this stunning nightmare. North American Premiere.
Horror author Craig Davidson’s 2007 novel THE FIGHTER comes to the big screen in THE FIGHT MACHINE. Two young men from different walks of life face their families and destinies on the dusty floor of an underground fighting ring. Director Andrew T. Hunt, who co-wrote the screenplay with Davidson, delves into family obligation, toxic masculinity, and the intertwining fates of a kid from a working-class background and a spoiled rich boy. This gritty noir contains a touch of the fantastical, with earnest performances by lead actors Dempsey Bryk and Greg Hovanessian and the star power of Michael Ironside, Natasha Henstridge, Greg Bryk and Noah Dalton Danby. World Premiere.
It’s all fun and games until the world is in jeopardy and goofy time traveler Casper (Rhys Darby, WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS, OUR FLAG MEANS DEATH) is the only one who can do something about it in RELAX, I’M FROM THE FUTURE. When he stumbles into Holly’s (Gabrielle Graham, POSSESSOR) life, a nutty plan unfolds involving a cartoonist and a nasty time-travel agent. Director Luke Higginson’s first feature film is a charming and quirky take on unlikely friendships and unwavering optimism. Comedic chemistry bubbles between Darby and Graham, and no unhinged plan would be complete without a juicy villain, played with merciless fervor by Janine Theriault. Fans will also get Canadian genre vet Julian Richings, who adds his gravitas to this zany caper. World Premiere.
Berkley Brady’s first horror feature DARK NATURE is a suspenseful and gory journey into the darkest corners of our minds. When Joy (Hannah Emily Anderson, JIGSAW, X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX) escapes an abusive relationship, her friend Carmen (Madison Walsh, DON’T SAY ITS NAME) talks her into a retreat for women surviving trauma in the Rocky Mountains with the acclaimed Dr. Dunnely (Kyra Harper, ORPHAN BLACK). As they move deeper into the wilderness and their treatment, Joy thinks her violent ex-boyfriend is out there somewhere, or perhaps something even worse. A part of Cannes’ Fantastic 7 for 2022, DARK NATURE tackles classic survival horror with a modern approach, aided by a terrific ensemble cast. World Premiere.
In his feature debut, THE FIFTH THORACIC VERTEBRA, South Korean filmmaker Park Syeyoung tells the story of mold left behind on a mattress after a couple splits. Structured around a countdown to a mysterious birth, the film follows the life of the mold as it slowly grows into a creature that steals the vertebrae of humans who inhabit the bed. A unique monster movie that embraces soft-romanticism and new lifeforms’ fuzzy strangeness, THE FIFTH THORACIC VERTEBRA imagines a world of sounds and textures from the perspective of another life form. International Premiere.
With his feature debut SKINAMARINK, director Kyle Edward Ball plunges us into those endless childhood nights in this expressionistic and experimental horror vision. Two children wake up in the middle of the night to find their father is missing, and all the windows and doors in their home have vanished. In SKINAMARINK, childhood memories become the backdrops of terrible imaginings, and the landscape of increasingly disturbing incidents. World Premiere.
In FRÁGIL, a group of disillusioned youths in Lisbon are consumed by the promise of the “club.” Irreverent, alien and playful, the film takes the audience on a trip through the underground of Portugal’s capital as its young characters get high and unleash their unpredictable energy on the streets. In his feature debut, Pedro Henrique’s chaotic style uses voice-overs, dance sequences, animation, and elaborate sets to create a uniquely adolescent and ecstatic experience. Canadian Premiere.
In the heat of summer, somewhere remote in the countryside, a group of young women leave their lives behind to inhabit an abandoned cabin surrounded by infinite open fields. The young hive’s social experiment is at first idyllic, though soon “rules” arise and the bad trip begins. A masterclass of DIY cinema that achieves stunning shots with a gritty and powerful aesthetic, HONEYCOMB, from Canada’s Avalon Fast, is a melancholic sensory experience, a fascinating nightmare in the style of LORD OF THE FLIES. Come and join her highness of bees! Quebec Premiere.
Dima Ballin and Kat Ellinger’s years-in-the-making documentary ORCHESTRATOR OF STORMS tells the story of one of Eurocult cinema’s most singular voices, Jean Rollin, recipient of Fantasia’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. Deeply misunderstood and widely misrepresented during his decades-long career as a film director, Rollin’s works were unlike any others. Once you dig into his life and passions, what emerges is a strong connection to the French surrealists, to symbolist art, to the poetry of Tristan Corbière, to the French anarchist scene in the ’60s and counterculture. Working closely with Rollin’s family, ORCHESTRATOR OF STORMS attempts to elevate the director’s work by exploring it in depth alongside these major influences, presenting the filmmaker’s story as never seen before, with the help of some of his key collaborators, close friends, and experts in both film and cultural history–including Fantasia’s 2022 Canadian Trailblazer Kier-La Janisse, who also co-executive-produced. A miracle of a documentary achievement. World Premiere.
Found-footage enthusiasts will adore the crowdfunded documentary A LIFE ON THE FARM, which is equal parts morbid and hilarious. Sixteen years ago, filmmaker Oscar Harding’s grandfather, who lived in rural England, passed away. Amongst his possessions was a dusty VHS tape from his quirky farmer neighbor, Charles Carson, who enjoyed documenting his everyday life in a wildly imaginative fashion. Between cat funerals, skeleton tractor races, and lessons in cow birthing, Carson’s film was oddly endearing. A tribute to all the aspiring filmmakers whose work remains in the shadows, A LIFE ON THE FARM celebrates the legacy and surprisingly deep teachings of a true undiscovered artist. Quebec Premiere.
Additional third-wave titles include:
ALIENOID (South Korea; Dir. Choi Dong-hoon): Alien infiltrators and a portal between modern times and medieval Korea unleash a whirlwind of blades, bullets, and brutal arcane fury! This first half of the epic new two-parter from Choi Dong-hoon (ASSASSINATION, THE THIEVES), a reliable source of smash-hit South Korean blockbusters, will have you on the edge of your seat. Canadian Premiere.
CHILLI LAUGH STORY (Hong Kong; Dir. Coba Cheng): Get ready for a spicy comedy about family, entrepreneurship, and a special hot sauce called Chiu Chiu Chiu that starts to sell like hotcakes. Hot off its Hong Kong release, don’t miss Coba Cheng’s first feature. Canadian Premiere.
CONFESSION (South Korea; Dir.: Yoon Jong-seok): Yoon’s joyride of a murder mystery, which was the closing film at Udine Festival, is elevated to new levels by its cleverly reconstructed flashbacks and great performances by So Ji-sub (ALIENOID) and Yunjin Kim (LOST). Canadian Premiere.
DARK GLASSES (Italy; Dir: Dario Argento): A blinded sex worker (Ilenia Pastorelli) finds herself targeted by a psychopath in Dario Argento’s first feature in a decade. Back in the giallo genre, the maestro–who scripted DARK GLASSES with his frequent writing partner Franco Ferrini–eschews the complex plotting of his past murder mysteries to deliver a more stripped-down and focused story of survival in the face of madness. Co-starring Andrea Gherpelli and Asia Argento. Official Selection: Berlin International Film Festival 2022. Canadian Premiere.
FREAKS OUT (Italy; Dir: Gabriele Mainetti): Rome, 1943. A pack of sideshow performers with supernatural powers face off against occupying Nazis in the most unusual superhero film you will ever see. This fantastical and gutsy celebration of the different walks an electrifying tightrope between blockbuster filmmaking and edgier, more subversive genre work. From the director of THEY CALL ME JEEG. Winner of the Leoncino d’Oro at last fall’s Venice Film Festival. Canadian Premiere.
THE KILLER (South Korea; Dir: Choi Jae-hun): A retired assassin regains his murderous instincts following the abduction of the teenage girl he’s babysitting in this brutal and thrilling actioner, reminiscent of the JOHN WICK saga and TAKEN, directed by Choi Jae-hun (THE SWORDSMAN). Canadian Premiere.
LEGENDARY IN ACTION! (Hong Kong; Dirs. Justin Cheung & Li Ho): Shaw Brothers legend and real-life kung-fu champion Chen Kuan-Tai shines in a rare role that celebrates action stars of the golden era of the ’70s and ’80s. This is a true love letter to the genre, but also to the crazy behind-the-scenes drama that comes with mounting a film. Canadian Premiere.
ONE AND FOUR (China; Dir. Jigme Trinley): Jinpa, a forest ranger, has his hangover interrupted by a bloody man who enters his cabin in this wintertime Tibetan film that blends the Western genre with the huis-clos. Official selection: Tokyo International Film Festival 2021. Canadian premiere.
THE WITCH: PART 2. THE OTHER ONE (South Korea; Dir. Park Hoon-jung): The saga of transgressive science, secret organizations, and superpowered, telekinetic teenage sociopaths returns! The first film set a new standard for teen superhero movies, and this new burst of horror, action, and thrills only raises that bar further. Quebec Premiere
The impressive lineup of restoration premieres includes:
ACCIÓN MUTANTE (Spain, 1993; Dir. Álex de la Iglesia): In a futuristic Spain lorded over by the rich and surgically enhanced good-looking, a group calling themselves Accion Mutante (Mutant Action) starts a violent uprising. Álex de la Iglesia’s outrageous debut, produced by Pedro Almodóvar, changed Spanish genre cinema forever. Witness the beginning of one of cinefantastique’s great careers. World Premiere of Severin Films’ new 4K restoration.
BLUE SUNSHINE (USA, 1978; Dir: Jeff Lieberman): Bad acid taken years ago sees people suddenly losing their minds across the USA. Director Jeff Lieberman (SQUIRM) takes the premise of delayed reactions to ’60s drug-taking and runs with it, through a scenario that blends moments of brutal violence with political commentary and social satire. Fans can flash back to their discovery of this acid-horror opus, and newcomers can take their first trip at our screening, hosted by Lieberman in-person. North American Premiere of new 4K restoration, courtesy of Jeff Lieberman and Synapse Films.
THE DEADLY SPAWN (USA, 1983; Dir. Douglas McKeown): It’s a typical day in the life of a New Jersey family–until Mom and Dad are devoured by a creature with three heads, no eyes, and a million sharp teeth. An exemplar of the kind of practical-effects creature features that thrilled drive-in audiences and VHS viewers in the 1980s, effects creator John Dods’ low-budget bestiary impresses early and often, chomping its way through the cast. World Premiere of Synapse Films’ new 4K restoration.
DR. LAMB (Hong Kong, 1992; Dirs. Danny Lee & Billy Tang): An abnormal taxi driver (Simon Yam) lusts for blood every rainy night. The notorious Category III shocker that started Hong Kong’s based-on-a-true-story serial-killer craze of the ’90s, DR. LAMB returns to Fantasia, where it dumbfounded unsuspecting audiences in 1999. This new restoration includes footage cut from the original Hong Kong release prints. Co-directed by co-star Danny Lee (INFRA-MAN, THE KILLER). World Premiere of Unearthed Films’ new 2K restoration.
THE HEROIC TRIO (Hong Kong, 1993; Dir. Johnnie To): Three queens of Hong Kong screens–the late Anita Mui (DRUNKEN MASTER II), Wong Kar-Wai regular Maggie Cheung (IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE) and of course Michelle Yeoh (CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON)–ignite like dynamite in this bonkers Hong Kong classic from the great Johnnie To. THE HEROIC TRIO mashes up wuxia, superheroics, a TERMINATOR homage, insane stunts, pyrotechnics and a touch of horror into one wild ride. An audience favorite during Fantasia’s first year, this classic is now heroically restored from the original camera negative and ready to thrill a whole new Fantasia crowd. Quebec Premiere of new 4K restoration, courtesy of Janus Films.
KID WITH THE GOLDEN ARM (Hong Kong, 1979; Dir. Chang Cheh): The merciless Golden Arm and his kung fu buddies are wreaking havoc in old China. Imagine Sam Peckinpah meets John Woo with loads of blood and hints of Chinese opera brilliantly infused. Director Chang Cheh (FIVE VENOMS), a pioneer in Hong Kong action cinema, elevated the wuxia and grindhouse kung-fu genres to new levels of innovation during the Golden Age. World Premiere of Arrow Films’ new 2K restoration.
MERCENARIES FROM HONG KONG (Hong Kong, 1982; Dir. Wong Jing): An avalanche of non-stop gunfire, pyrotechnics, wild motorcycle stunts, and barrels of bloody excitement from Wong Jing, in true ’80s style. Starring some of the most famous Shaw legends: Ti Lung (THE DUEL), Lo Lieh (FIVE FINGERS OF DEATH), Wong Yu (DIRTY HO), and Wang Lung-Wei (HONG KONG GODFATHER). Unseen on Canadian screens for over 35 years. World Premiere of Arrow Films’ new 2K restoration.
SHRIEK OF THE MUTILATED (USA, 1974; Dir. Michael Findlay): “On the prowl, hear him howl, here comes the Yeti now!” This gem of ’70s exploitation sees a group of college students heading into the woods with their crackpot professor in search of the Yeti. Much carnage ensues. His wife, infamous filmmaker Roberta Findlay (TENEMENT, A WOMAN’S TORMENT), serves as the film’s DOP, guiding the camera through dense woods and electric bathtubs while Michael Findlay directs through furry twists and turns. Monster hunters and conspiracy theorists alike won’t want to miss it. World Premiere of Vinegar Syndrome’s new 4K restoration.
SPACE MONSTER WANGMAGWI (South Korea, 1967; Dir. Gwon Hyeok-jinn): Alien attackers drop a gigantic, remote-controlled cosmo-creep through our stratosphere in South Korea’s oldest surviving homegrown kaiju flick! All but unseen outside of archival screenings for decades now, WANGMAGWI (“Big Devil”) has a legendary reputation. Its Seoul-stomping B-movie delirium is now unleashed on the world once again. North American Premiere of SRS Cinema’s restoration.
WHAT’S UP CONNECTION (Japan/Hong Kong, 1990; Dir. Masashi Yamamoto): When Hong Kong teenager Chi Gau Shin wins a trip to Japan, he unleashes a chain of events that bring him from his secluded fishing village of Po Toi O to Tokyo, by way of the so-called slums of Osaka…and finds his family of resourceful counterfeiters on the verge of expropriation. From director Masashi Yamamoto, this is a rarely seen bilingual Japan-Hong Kong co-production from 1990 that unfolds as part unhinged globalization mini-epic, fringe documentary and portrait of a crazy family. International Premiere of new 2K restoration.