For yet another year and another summer, Cinema Crazed is honored to be covering the Fantasia International Film Festival, the new edition now running from August 20th to September 2nd will screen films and various cinematic features virtually with all attendees and press being able to access the vast library of films online, thanks to COVID concerns and the continuing pandemic.
The festival is famous for featuring some of the most acclaimed and highly anticipated genre films from around the world, and this year is featuring a great and vast array of films. It’s no small feat considering the festival had to switch formats and entire platforms practically overnight. Nevertheless, here are five films premiering this year that I just can’t wait to check out.
In what sounds like an absolutely insane horror drama, John C. Lyons and Dorota Swies’s Unearth is “a fracking horror story that follows two neighboring farm families whose relationships are strained when one of them chooses to lease their land to a gas company. In the midst of growing tension, the land is drilled, and something – long dormant and terrifying, deep beneath the earth’s surface – is released.” I can’t wait to see what metaphors are used in what promises to be a crazy genre entry. It stars Adrienne Barbeau (THE FOG), Marc Blucas (BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER), and Allison McAtee (WE SUMMON THE DARKNESS), respectively.
4. Hail to the Deadites
Sadly Canada Exclusive, “Hail to the Deadites” is the long overdue “Evil Dead” documentary that covers the whole franchise and celebrates it. “Through interviews with the cast, crew, collectors, fans, freaks and geeks, it seeks to illuminate the darkest reaches of the franchise’s undying and still-growing popularity, a popularity that has spawned four films, a TV series, comic books, figurines, and surpassed even its creator’s wildest dreams. Beside meeting with fans around the world, the 80 minute documentary feature interviews with Evil Dead franchise cast members such as Bruce Campbell, Ted Raimi, Betsy Baker, Theresa Tilly, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor, Tom Sullivan, Dan Hicks, Kassie Wesley DePaiva, Sarah Berry, Rick Domeier, and Bill Moseley.” It’s hard to resist a line up that amazing. Plus with the director of the documentary noting that there isn’t a single minute of movie footage in the doc, I’m excited and even a bit intrigued.
3. For the Sake of the Vicious
Sounding like a take on “Assault on Precinct 13,” I fucking love violent invasion films like “For the of the Vicious.” Director Gabriel Carrer teams: “An innocent nurse, a tortured maniac, and a suspicious hostage face off against a wave of violent intruders on Halloween night in the Canadian nail-biter.” The guaranteed shocker stars Lora Burke (LIFECHANGER), Colin Paradine (KINGDOM COME), and Nick Smyth (COVENANT), respectively, for a “blissfully brutal powerhouse, shot in only fifteen days, loaded with practical FX and featuring rousing stunts performed by the actors themselves.” Bring it on!
2. Class Action Park
Speaking as someone who went to Action Park in the nineties and thankfully made it out without any bumps or injuries, “Class Action Park” sounds excellent. “During its 1980s and 1990s heyday, New Jersey’s Action Park was known as the world’s most dangerous amusement park. It was a lawless land, ruled by drunk teenage employees, with rides that ignored basic notions of physics, common sense, and safety. Stranger (and crazier) than fiction, CLASS ACTION PARK is the first-ever feature documentary to explore a place that has long since entered the realm of myth. Directed by Seth Porges and Chris Charles Scott III, the film peels away the trappings of nostalgia to reveal the shocking truth behind the park and its brilliant-but-mad founder – including a criminal conspiracy and cover-up that allowed a death trap to survive and thrive, even as its body count grew.” Sounds wonderful.
1. Brea Grant: The Genre Powerhouse
Brea Grant is one of the hardest working people in indie film and horror today and this year she enters Fantasia with two highly anticipated films under her belt that promise to rock the horror world. With LUCKY, Brea Grant (who also scripted) plays May, “a self-help author who suddenly finds herself stalked by a threatening but elusive masked man that mysteriously reappears every night. Struggling to get help from the people around her as she fights to stay alive, May is forced to ask if this is just paranoia, or if she’s doomed to accept her new reality?”
The sophomore feature from Natasha Kermani (IMITATION GIRL), it promises to be a spooky and psychologically unnerving horror film. Grant continues on writing and directing the film 12 HOUR SHIFT, “A gripping real-time, hospital-set thriller / black comedy taking place in the late ’90s at the onset of the opioid crisis, 12 HOUR SHIFT follows a junkie nurse through an ascension of grisly criminal happenings as she funds her habit through organ harvesting side work on the job. Along with Grant, it stars Angela Bettis (MAY), and co-stars Chloe Farnworth, David Arquette, and Mick Foley.
The Fantasia International Film Festival runs every year from August 20th until September 2nd.