Without Toronto After Dark it is unlikely that there would be a RowThree.com for y’all to hang out, talk about a wide breadth of cinema goings on and enjoy a plethora of podcasting profundity. Row Three was formed when Andrew, Kurt and John hung out in the third row (literally) of The Bloor Cinema and took in films like Funky Forest, Aachi & Ssipak, Mulberry Street and Behind The Mask. In between screenings and over copious amounts of micro-brew, we talked about starting a website that favoured user discussion and community and a general vibe of ‘shooting-the-bull’ over the typical film-nerd comic book movie casting items and/or regurgitated pop-culture focused press releases. So it is always with interest and fondness that we hold this particular genre festival which is now going strong in its sixth year of operation. Incidentally, John, who, these days mainly operates behind the scenes on the site, because he started up a similar festival in Sasktown, Dark Bridges – which sees its sophomore year festival starting tomorrow!
Narcissistic nostalgia notwithstanding, Toronto After Dark has announced its full line-up today! The second round additions are pretty darn good, thus assuring that the temporary change of venue to Toronto Underground Cinema should see a showering abundance of genre trick ‘r treating this October. Locals will get a chance to see Ti West’s follow-up to House of the Devil: The Innkeepers on the big screen, as well as Lucky McKee’s controversial Jack Ketchum adaptation, The Woman. Also, weird comic book mayhem with VS (described to me by programmer Peter Kuplowski as the marvel-superhero deconstruction equivalent to the DC-universe breakdown, Watchmen.) Also, I’ve seen the little indie vampire tale Midnight Son, and it is a work of maturity and quality in a genre that sorely needs it. Further quality titles include slick mountain chase film, A Lonely Place to Die (Kurt’s Review) and indie Science fiction epic, Love (Kurt’s Review).
For the Full Line-Up, it’s all tucked under the seat.
Official Selections of it’s 2011 film line-up are as follows: Monster Brawl – “It’s the Ultimate Fight of the Living Dead”; Exit Humanity, a zombie saga set against the back-drop of the Civil War; DeadHeads – a zombie/buddy/road-trip/comedy/adventure/horror; Redline – an intense, trippy, Japanese ANIME set in the world of car racing; The Theatre Bizarre – an terrifying horror anthology from such genre legends as Tom Savini and Richard Stanley; Father’s Day – a new, sick and twisted story from Astron-6 and Troma, in the vein of Hobo with a Shotgun and other exploitation/grindhouse films;
Love – a time-travel sci-fi drama in the vein of The Fountain, Solaris and 2001: A Space Odyssey and , about the power of human connection and interaction, powered to the soundtrack of Angels & Airwaves; and finally, The Divide, a apocalyptic descent into despair, madness and human depravity as residents of a New York City apartment building take refuge in the basement after a nuclear attack, only to face something more horrific, each other.
Closing Gala Film, the scary supernatural tale and festival circuit hit, THE INNKEEPERS, from acclaimed horror filmmaker Ti West (HOUSE OF THE DEVIL)! Fans will be also be delighted to hear that Toronto After Dark has programmed the Sundance sensation THE WOMAN, an outrageous new horror film from Lucky McKee (MAY), about a suburban family that decides to ‘domesticate’ a woman found living in the wild!
The festival is also thrilled to announced two more WORLD Premieres, bringing the total at Toronto After Dark 2011 to a record three! First off, WAR OF THE DEAD, a thrilling new war movie with an undead twist, will delight both zombie and action movie fans with its masses of undead hordes terrifying a group of soldiers trying to complete a secret mission during World War II. While fans of dark and edgy superhero films like KICK-ASS will go nuts when they get to be the first in the world to catch sight of VS which sees a despicable super-villain (James Remar best known as DEXTER’s dad) forcing a group of young costumed crusaders into playing a series of impossible-to-win games where the penalty for losing is… death!
Vampire lovers should sink their fangs into MIDNIGHT SON, a dark and gritty look at a young man’s descent into the world of drinking blood, while dark sci-fi fans should check out THE CORRIDOR, an award-winning new film about a disturbing energy force discovered in a remote forest by a group of friends on their winter vacation, and the dark implications it has for them all!
Those looking for more light-hearted fare should check out the Canadian Premiere of MANBORG, an hysterically lofi but fun homage to cult sci-fi action films of the 80s like ROBOCOP and the THE TERMINATOR. Meanwhile festival circuit hit crowd-pleaser SOME GUY WHO KILLS PEOPLE adds healthy doses of black comedy to its serial killer horror, and features a wonderful, eclectic cast that includes cult film icons Karen Black and ROCKY HORROR’s Barry Bostwick!
Finally, for pure adrenaline-rush seekers, Toronto After Dark has booked the supernatural horror film ABSENTIA, possibly the most chilling new horror film of the year, and the award-winning new mountain climbing dark thriller, A LONELY PLACE TO DIE, which has drawn favourable comparisons to another thrilling and chilling film from Britain, that wowed fans a few years ago, THE DESCENT!