Sometimes we here at the Underground like to give shout-outs to some of our good friends who are currently doing events in other venues that are not our glorious underground cinematic bunker. And with it being Halloween and all, we know there is a lot of different people vying for your time and hard earned money. In that respect, let us help you make some hard earned decisions.
Our good friend Colin Geddes, programmer for TIFF's Midnight Madness and the man who helps us program our Son of Kung-Fu Fridays, has a truly awesome selection of midnight movies coming up at the TIFF Bell Lightbox (a zombie killing spear throw away from us at the corner of King St. and John St.) this Friday and Saturday. He also has an amazing double bill (co-presented by Splice director and all around awesome dude Vincenzo Natali) of Mario Bava's Planet of the Vampires (shown in super rare 35mm) and Ridley Scott's Alien that we gave a mention to earlier in the week. The midnight screenings are this coming Friday and Saturday, just after the witching hour and showcase 4 films from TIFF's past that haven't been seen on the big screen since their initial release, if at all, on the big screen in Toronto.
First up is director Neil Marshal's Dog Soldiers. Genre fans might better know Marshall as the director of the genuinely unsettling The Descent and the film Doomsday, which is quite rightfully gaining the cult audience it deserves. Dog Soldiers was Marshall's debut and oh what a first film it is. An action horror hybrid that doesn't skimp on either and moves at a breathless pace, Soldiers focuses on a group of soldiers who find themselves stranded and under attack from a band of blood thirsty werewolves. As a huge fan of werewolf films, I can safely say that this is the best film of its kind made in the past 2 decades.
A lot of people these days, critics and fans alike, like to use the term "throwback" to describe a film that conjures up nostalgic feelings of films from their childhood. The term has never and probably will never be put to better use than when describing Ti West's House of the Devil. The film, a 1980s period piece that looks not a day over 30 despite being a 2009 release, centers around a university student who takes a babysitting gig (sans an actual baby) at a creepy mansion in the middle of the woods. A lunar eclipse hits. Shit gets crazy. Watching House of the Devil is exactly like renting a random schlock film at the local mom and pop video store and being pleasantly surprised and probably emotionally scarred before having to rewind the tape. This is one of my personal horror movie favorites of all time; not just the past few years.
But the film you will most likely catch me at, since I haven't seen it and have been meaning to for quite some time now, is the Australian film The Loved Ones. While I can not personally vouch for the film, I can safely say that I have rarely had a film in any genre more highly recommended to me. Director Sean Byrne's audience award winning Midnight Madness film at TIFF '09 plays like a cross between The Evil Dead and a John Hughes film about a grieving stoner high school student trying to get his life back together before the prom; all while dealing with his date's incredibly twisted stalker. I look forward to this one with utmost anticipation. As apparently, should you.
Dog Soldiers: Friday October 29th at 11:59pm, Saturday October 30th at 12:30 am
House of the Devil: Saturday October 30th at 12:30am
The Loved Ones: Friday Octover 29th at 12:30am, Saturday October 30th at 12:15am
Planet of the Vampires/Alien Double bill (for only $12!): Saturday October 30th starting at 8:00pm.