Now that Fan Expo has come and gone, a post that I’ll also have to get to very soon, I can finally start to focus on the next big event this year, Toronto After Dark! With the first 8 films announced, I think I’m finally rested enough to give them a better look.
First up is Dead Heads. After finally getting to see the trailer, this one is looking really good. There’s a very distinct 80′s teen feel to it, like I’m about to watch some sort of undead version of a John Hughes film. There seems to be a need to return to the kinds of films we enjoyed in the 80′s. During Fan Expo this year, Danielle Harris was speaking about Devil’s Night and the 80′s seemed to be a large part of the concept behind that film. With Harris only being a year younger than me, I have to assume that the filmmakers now are attempting to embrace everything that was so incredible about the films they grew up on. I guess I’ll find out when Dead Heads plays this year. Check the trailer again.
Alright, next up is The Theatre Bizarre. You can’t go wrong with this one at all. It’s a horror anthology, which are always some of the more fun films. Bunching a few short films together always pays off because if you don’t like one, you’re probably going to like another. This one certainly looks gruesome and for me, it’s the Buddy Giovinazzo directed segment I’ll be looking forward to seeing. Check it out.
Next is Love. There’s a huge stamp of Angels and Airwaves all over this one and that annoys me a little. The film is written and directed by William Eubank, not Angels and Airwaves, so why must everything associated with the film have their name plastered all over it? This always bothers me. I get it, they have made a name for themselves and I’m sure it will help sell tickets but they didn’t create the film. Did they craft the story? Create the vision? Hold the cameras?
Beyond that annoyance, I’m worried this one is going to be a very long music video. The trailer feels like a slick, shiny, MTV video shoot and there’s more slow motion in that 2 minute trailer than in an entire Zack Snyder movie. I love a great, isolated space flick and the story sounds extremely interesting, not to mention the film looks incredible. I just hope the two sides actually combine together to make a fully functioning film and not a 90 minute exercise in how to make things look pretty. Check the trailer.
Next is Redline. Well now, this one looks pretty freaking insane. I’m loving the old school look to the animation and the only problem with the flick is that it’s been out for a bit. Sometimes that can be a good thing though since I’ve been known to get sick during the festival before and had to take a day off. If I’m lucky, I can hold out until a film is screening that is already available or is available in the near future. It sucks to miss out on any night at TAD but being broken and destroyed during the festival is even worse.
What I’m hearing about this one is that it’s absolutely a film to see on the big screen with big sound. Thanks to TAD, I’ll be able to do just that in October. Check out the trailer. When you’re finished with that one, check out some of the other trailers and clips on YouTube. This one looks nuts.
How about some Civil War zombies now in Exit Humanity! Of the 8 films on this list, this is the one that I’m the most worried about. The second I see that Bill Moseley is in something, I get worried. He’s been in some bad films before, but he’s also been in some great ones. Also, a good zombie film can be something that is hard to find. The Civil War era twist seems good but the trailer seems to lack the right punch. I’m up and down on this one right now and won’t be able to decide how it turns out until October I guess. Check it out.
Now we’re talking! Monster Brawl will be opening TAD this year and it looks amazing. We got to see some clips and meet a large part of the team involved with the film at Fan Expo and I’m even more pumped than before. The film is basically like a pay per view wrestling event where the contestants are monsters. I’m pretty sure that this film satisfies the childhood fantasy of almost every horror fan out there.
It looks and sounds ridiculous and the clips we saw were freaking hilarious. TAD has a habit of knocking it out of the park on opening night and I think Monster Brawl may just be my favorite of the festival, if not, it’ll be damn close. Feast on the trailer.
Okay, now we hit the apocalypse with The Divide. You’ll be able to watch the opening clip for the film at their site and it certainly looks interesting. It’s not hard to see how this one will work. Basically, you have the story of a group of people trapped in the basement of a building as the world is destroyed around them. If the performances are strong and can pull you in, the film will be a winner. If you could care less about the characters, the film will fail. It’s that simple.
I think the cast is up to the task here and some of the reviews I’ve read so far have praised their performances. Writers Karl Mueller and Eron Sheean don’t have any credits to their name that I’ve heard of and director Xavier Gens happened to be behind Hitman, which was painful to watch. He did direct Frontier(s) which achieves more than Hitman ever could, but left me feeling a little violated. His varied work has me even more interested in the film though and I’m looking forward to seeing what he can deliver. Please be better than Hitman though! Check it out.
Here we are at the final film, Father’s Day. This one will be coming out of Troma and is directed by the gang Astron-6. I’ve seen some shorts from them before at TAD and plenty of their work is available on their website and it’s always incredible. Father’s Day started out as one of those mock trailers and watching the actual trailer for the film is a completely different experience. I’m not even sure where to start with this flick. Just know that I can’t wait to finally see this one, it looks even more messed up than the first time I saw it. Check it out.
There is is, the first 8 announced films at the 2011 Toronto After Dark Film Festival. This may just be the most excited I’ve been for TAD since I started going. I’m really looking forward to finding out what else they have in store for fans this year.
Passes are on sale now for TAD through their website HERE so pick one up and check out some amazing flicks this year. You do that and I’ll consider buying you a beer one night after the movies.
Under the marquee – Will