Saturday, 22 October 2011

Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2011 Day 2: Friday October 21, 2011

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Day 2 at the festival was the first double bill night (of different movies, after Opening Night's unprecedented added screening of the sold out Monster Brawl) and it was cool to see the back-to-backness of how things will work out, and in the pass line that's a bit of a zigzagging cue that reminds me of many a day lining up for roller coaster rides at Cedar Point when you get to pass by the same people over and over filing in. Fun times! At least we are inside, which is a thankful thing for October. The night started out with the zombie apocalypse western Exit Humanity and then World Premiere of Father's Day which was brutal, brilliant and so awesome I broke my own rules and actually swore on my daily festival vlog. I was also very impressed with both of the shorts of the night: Prick & My Main Squeeze were both delightfully dark treats.

Rather watch than read? Check out my Day 2 Vlog! See also videos from festival Intros and Q&A's over at the Movie Moxie Facebook FanPage.

Prick
Dir: Colin Berry
Canada, 8 Minutes

I really enjoyed this darkly toned short that with brilliant and strong storytelling that proves that works aren't needed for the audience to enjoy a tale into the strange and bizarre. The atmosphere is mysterious and delicious and allows the viewers to work their way thorugh interpreting who, or what, we are seeing. Fabulous.

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Exit Humanity
Writer/Dir: John Geddes
Cast: Mark Gibson, Dee Wallace, Bill Moseley, Stephen McHattie, Brian Cox (voice), Ari Millen
Canada

A historical chronically of zombie apocalypse set during the US civil war, Exit Humanity goes into the darkness of loss of love, desolation and despair. This wasn't one that really worked for me, but I though Mark Gibson did a great job with a strong emotional range in the tortured role of our protagonist Edward Young. As a zombie film, we certainly get a lot of zombies action and some new spins of the genre, but with very little contrast to the pre-zombie world I wondered where they all came from plus it's from the future perspective looking back to this tale for insight into a current time that isn't shown. Oddly, it make it confusing at some moments and very clear with others. But, it was great to see the always awesome Stephen McHattie and I also enjoyed the performance by creepy rebel Ari Millen who was also in last night's Monster Brawl as the fantastic Dr. Igora.

See Exit Humanity's Official website, Trailer & IMDb Page

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Cast & crew of Exit Humanity

My Main Squeeze
Dir: Chris Nash
Canada, 7 minutes

Wow. Wow. What do you say about My Main Squeeze? How about that it feels like it should be totally annoying when in fact it's totally awesome? Yep. I think that's it - it's totally awesome, even though I kept thinking "You can't do that! You can't get away with that!" but you can. A fantastic example of how when you know what you are doing, breaking all the rules works brilliantly. All that in a gory, gooey, romantic story to boot. Loved it.

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So, that pic turned out a little fuzzier than I expected...., although perhaps that is fitting giving the low-fi awesomeness of Father's Day

Father’s Day (2011) ** World Premiere **
Dirs: Astron-6 (Adam Brooks, Jeremy Gillespie, Matthew Kennedy & Conor Sweeney)
Cast: Adam Brooks, Mackenzie Murdock
USA/Canada

Going into Father's Day I wasn't actually expecting to enjoy it as it's been a while since I've enjoyed an over the top exploitation films, but I adored Astron-6's Laser Ghosts 2: Return to Laser Cove so I was more than willing to give it a chance, and oh Nelly I'm glad I did! Father's Day was fan-freaking-tastic. The perfect blend of style and substance that delivers over and over and over again. The gore is out of control, there were doing thing that I didn't even always understand what I was seeing but even the hint of figuring it out was horrifying. The story follows a re-occuring serial killer/mystery of father's who are raped and murdered - so that gives you a sense of how brutal it is going in, and it doesn't let up. But one of the things I loved about it was it goes past sensibility in all directions, no one is safe, not topic is unbroached, no taboo untouched, it's mayhem from start to finish. And, a refreshing thing in the world of the extreme - it has... a ridiculously strong story, great performances with emotional ranges and characters with depth - even if it is often played for humour and it's stock character referential it always works because these guys really know their stuff. I actually cared about the characters - seriously! Darkly enjoyable and hilarious to boot, I was over the moon impressed on all levels and would oddly, bizarrely, happily see it again. What a way to end Day 2 of the festival, with the formidable Father's Day with Astron-6 delivering us another bloody bombastic genre gem. Fantastic.

See Father's Day Official Film Site, Trailer, IMDb Page

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Father's Day intro with Astron 6's Matthew Kennedy and Conor Sweeney with Rue Morgue Editor Dave Alexander

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Fathers Day Q&A with Astron-6's Steven Kostanski, actor Amy Groening, Conor Sweeney, Jeremy Gillespie, Adam Brooks and Matt Kennedy

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Fathers Day Q&A with Astron-6's Steven Kostanski, actor Amy, Conor Sweeney, Jeremy Gillespie, Adam Brooks and Matt Kennedy

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Fathers Day Q&A with Astron-6's Steven Kostanski, actor Amy, Conor Sweeney, Jeremy Gillespie, Adam Brooks and Matt Kennedy

The 6th Annual Toronto After Dark Film Festival runs for 8 Nights of Horror, Sci-Fi, Action and Cult Movies at the Toronto Underground Cinema in Toronto, Ontario, Canada from October 20-27, 2011.

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