Zombies After Dark

Toronto After Dark Festival 2008 Picks

Since losing the beloved Fantasia Film Festival, it can be hard to find a decent offering of fresh horror, sci fi and cult action films in Toronto. Thankfully we have the Toronto After Dark Film Fest. Just as Halloween is creeping up on us, so too is this year's wickedly demented film festival line up!

Paris Hilton, Canadian curling, a rock opera, and office vampires are just a sample of what this year's After Dark has in store.

Here are a few films I'm looking to for my annual dose of twisted cinematic pleasure. Video trailers are included, so viewer discretion is advised.

Idiots and Angels, Bill Plympton

One of my all-time favorite animators gets my first pick here, especially given that his extremely dark sense of humour will fit right in with the festival. I know this Oscar-nominated director from So I Married A Strange Person, but here Bill Plympton returns with what looks to be an even more bizarre/beautiful concoction. (Oct. 18 - 4pm)

Repo! The Genetic Opera, Darren Lynn Bouseman

Winner for 'Most Groundbreaking Film' at Fantasia, this post-apocalyptic rock opera stars a handful of notable actors. Paul Sorvino, Nivek Ogre, Paris Hilton and others are set up for a gory yet romantic tale of plastic surgery addiction and organ repossession. (Oct 18 - 8:45pm)

4BIA, Thongkonthun, Pisanthanakun, Wongpoom & Purikitpanya

From Thailand (with subtitles, complex plotlines and plenty of bloody gore), comes the latest from the directors of the original Shutter and last year's Alone - a quadrilogy of horrific goodness that I hope I can follow despite the convoluted character profiles.
(Oct 20 - 9:45pm)

Netherbeast Incorporated, Dean Ronalds

In what promises to follow in Shaun of the Dead's footsteps, this film plays on the hilarity of vampires instead of zombies - and in an office no less. It also has some star power; Darrel Hammond stars, along with Jason Mewes, Dave Foley and Judd Nelson. Surely at least one of them will enjoy a hilarious death.
(Oct 21 - 7:00pm)

Tokyo Gore Police, Yoshihiro Nishimura

I think simply having Tokyo and gore in the title makes this film a shoe-in for me, but just in case, this bloodfest is also winner of 'Best Asian Film' at Fantasia. In the words of the TAD website, "Eihi Shiina [is] a cop who must hunt down and kill the deadly Engineers: mutant creatures that sprout bizarre weapons from any injury. ...may very well be the bloodiest film ever made." (Oct 23 - 7:00pm)

Home Movie, Christopher Denham

Following in the steps of Cloverfield and [Rec], this film also plays on the use of amateur video. This time, a father making a home movie (Adrian Pasdar of Heroes fame) winds up documenting his twin daughters' transformation into creatures of evil. The Shining taught me how scary twins can be, so I figure this should be good. (Oct 23 - 9:45pm)

Finally, there are a handful of Canadian After Dark Films being featured at this year's festival, with one paired with each screening. I'm certainly checking out Bum Rush which screens with Tokyo Gore Police. Also Deadspiel, which plays on the day of the Zombie Walk on Oct. 19, promises "zombie curling", which has a certain Canadian appeal.

There's plenty more packed into the 8 nights of the After Dark Festival, with movies playing at Bloor Cinema for $12-15. I'll let you know if these picks turn out to be as good/gruesome as hoped!

Photos: Wordfreak (top) and Toronto After Dark


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