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Grimmfest 2022: Full Lineup Features FINAL CUT, VESPER, PIGGY And The Proverbial More

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Grimmfest 2022: Full Lineup Features FINAL CUT, VESPER, PIGGY And The Proverbial More

City’s doing as expected and United is shitting the bed (at  the very least they’ve scored a goal this year, unlike my Hammers). It’s not all bad news in Manchester, England, as our friends at Grimmfest have announced the full lineup for this year’s festival! 

The annual gathering of freaks and geeks from the Manchester area helps kick off the Halloween season in the region and there are plenty of great movies to help everyone get there. The festival opens with Martin Owen’s The Lonliest Boy in the World, what the festival calls Ed Gein (look it up) meets Edward Scissor Hands

We’re happy to see some of our faves from the circuit have made the cut, including Final Cut, the French remake of One Cut of the Dead, Vesper, The Passenger, Piggy, The Harbinger, Holy Shit! and Pussycake. We’d like to know how Cult Hero was received after its award winning bow at Fantasia last month. 

GRIMMFEST UNVEILS FULL FEATURE FILM LINE-UP FOR 2022.

 

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Grimmfest, Manchester’s International Festival of Fantastic Film is delighted to announce the full feature film line-up for 2022.

 

The festival will be returning to regular venue, The Odeon Great Northern, in Manchester on October 6th – 9th, for four high-impact, fear-filled days of the very best in genre cinema. 

 

All twenty carefully selected feature films are premieres, all are new to Manchester, and many are international or UK premieres.

 

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This year’s festival will open with the international premiere of Martin Owen’s THE LONELIEST BOY IN THE WORLD (UK). Ed Gein meets EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, as an unstable and otherworldly Mother’s boy seeks a replacement family in the local cemetery, in this darkly comic and delightfully quirky “fairy tale with Zombies”.

 

 

The closing night film is one almighty and monstrous international premiere from Thailand, Lee Thongkham’s THE LAKE is a massive creature feature extravaganza that combines awesome physical effects work with state of the art VFX to pit the inhabitants of a small town against a threat of huge proportions. This one is not to be missed!

 

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FINAL CUT (France) was the opening film at this year’s Cannes. This riotously funny re-imagining of micro-budget classic ONE CUT OF THE DEAD, from Oscar-winning writer-director Michel Hazanavicius, features A List French stars, Romain Duris, Berenice Bejo and Matilda Lutz in this hilarious take on the complexities of the film making process.

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Neil LaBute (THE COMPANY OF MENTHE WICKERMAN) offers a sly modern spin on a Gothic genre classic, as a casual pick-up turns increasingly strange and sinister. Part EC Comics morality tale, part sour comedy of sexual manners, Justin Long and Kate Bosworth star in the International Premiere of HOUSE OF DARKNESS.

 

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A young girl, struggling to awake from a coma, navigates the nightmare-freighted world of her own subconscious in the international premiere of Ryan Stevens Harris’s astonishing steampunk gothic fairy tale, MOON GARDEN (USA), which evokes the best of Jan Svankmajer, Terry Gilliam and Clive Barker.

 

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A surreal and sulphurous study of the legacy of abuse, and of the iniquities of a murderous father upon his damaged children in the UK premiere of Karim Ouelhaj’s MEGALOMANIAC (Belgium), Winner of “Best Feature” at Fantasia 2022. Emotionally gruelling, unflinchingly brutal and utterly compelling.

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Scott Slone offers a whip-smart reinvention of the Found Footage genre in the international premiere of MALIBU HORROR STORY (USA). A machine-tooled old-school thrill ride, packed with brutally effective jump scares and dark, twisted wit. 

 

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There’s weirdness in the wilderness, as a group of women on a therapeutic “outward bound” trip to the mountains must confront their deepest traumas given monstrous physical form, in Berkley Brady’s unsettling parable of the rocky road to recovery, in the international premiere of DARK NATURE (Canada).

 

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A trio of desperate criminals choose the wrong home to invade and find themselves caught in a fiendish trap, in Vincenzo Ricchiuto’s cruel and clockwork-precise study of revenge. The international premiere of THE GOLDSMITH (Italy), stars Italian cinema icon Stefania Casini (SUSPIRIA, 1900).

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Jesse Thomas Cook takes aim at Reality TV, True Crime Machismo, New Age cultism, and the contemporary internet hate figure of the “Karen”, in the gleefully cartoonish satire of self-actualisation, and self-delusion, in the international premiere of CULT HERO (Canada), fresh from its world premiere at Fantasia fest. 

 

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A teenage girl strives to protect her invalid father from a callous ruling class, and the mercenary instincts of his brother, as she works on an experiment that might just save humanity, in Kristina Buozyte and Bruno Samper’s sci-fi eco-fable, VESPER (Belgium/France). Rafaella Chapman, Eddie Marsan and Richard Brake star in this UK premiere.

 

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A rideshare road movie with a shapeshifting alien parasite on board, Raúl Cerezo and Fernando González Gómez’s THE PASSENGER (Spain) relocates the action of THE THING to the back of a moving vehicle, for a mordantly funny horror-comedy, making its UK premiere. 

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Pitch-black comedy, in the UK premiere of FEED ME (UK), Adam Leader and Richard Oakes’ study of suicidal depression, cannibalism, and emotional alienation, which dances deftly between farce and ferocity. Horrifyingly funny and at times just plain horrifying.

 

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A frightened young woman is infected by an inescapable waking nightmare and finds herself stalked by a predatory dream demon in Andy Mitton’s (THE WITCH IN THE WINDOWTHE HARBINGER (Canada), which recasts the recent pandemic paranoia as a battle for existence itself.

 

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Grimmfest favourites AJ Bowen and Brea Grant swap snappy one liners and strike sparks off one another in Jacob Gentry’s (BROADCAST SIGNAL INTRUTIONTHE SIGNAL) genre-savvy splicing of Desert Noir, freewheeling 70s road movie, and paranoid Science Fiction conspiracy thriller, NIGHT SKY (USA).

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A seemingly naive and devout young woman finds herself in the underground world of truck stop sex workers in John Swab’s (LET ME MAKE YOU A MARTYR), CANDY LAND (USA). An unflinching exploration of religious gaslighting that spirals into brutal murder. Starring William Baldwin, Olivia Luccardi (IT FOLLOWS), Owen Mitchell (X) and Guinevere Turner (AMERICAN PSYCHO).

 

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Japanese maestro, Ryûhei Kitamura (MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN) pitches vicious heist men Stephen Dorf and Emile Hirsch against Vernon Wells’ illegal organ trafficker and implacable seven-foot henchwoman Erika Ervin, then cheerfully cranks the carnage way past eleven, in the gleefully gory THE PRICE WE PAY (USA).

 

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A bullied and brutalised teenage girl is offered an opportunity for revenge against her cruel tormenters, in Carlotta Pereda’s, PIGGY (Spain), a complex exploration of female body image and self-loathing, moral complicity, retribution and redemption.

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An ambitious architect wakes up to discover he is trapped inside a filthy porta-toilet and faces a frantic race against time to free himself before he is buried under concrete. Claustrophobic tension and scatological humour combine to stunning effect in Lukas Rinker’s pressure cooker thriller, HOLY SHIT! (Germany).

 

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A honeymooning couple choose the wrong way to consolidate their marital union, as a mind-expanding experiment with unfamiliar psychotropic drugs unleashes monstrous appetites and mental and moral meltdown, in John Ainslie’s hallucinatory, hilarious, and utterly horrifying, DO NOT DISTURB (USA).

 

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Josie and the Pussycats collide with Lovecraft and Fulci, as an all-girl rock band agree to an extra gig, only to find themselves facing off against pan-dimensional alien brain parasites and a whole town full of ravening zombies, in Pablo Parés’ pyrotechnic splatterfest, and future midnight movie classic, PUSSYCAKE (Argentina). 

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The full screening schedule, along with details of the short film programmes, festival guests, and individual tickets will be released soon.

 

 

 

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Review: SAMARITAN, A Sly Stallone Superhero Stumble

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Review: SAMARITAN, A Sly Stallone Superhero Stumble

Hitting the three-quarter-century mark usually means a retirement home, a nursing facility, or if you’re lucky to be blessed with relatively good health and savings to match, living in a gated community in Arizona or Florida.

For Sylvester Stallone, however, it means something else entirely: starring in the first superhero-centered film of his decades-long career in the much-delayed Samaritan. Unfortunately for Stallone and the audience on the other side of the screen, the derivative, turgid, forgettable results won’t get mentioned in a career retrospective, let alone among the ever-expanding list of must-see entries in a genre already well past its peak.

For Stallone, however, it’s better late than never when it involves the superhero genre. Maybe in getting a taste of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) with his walk-on role in the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel several years ago, Stallone thought anything Marvel can do, I can do even better (or just as good in the nebulous definition of the word).

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The property Stallone and his team found for him, Samaritan, a little-known graphic novel released by a small, almost negligible, publisher, certainly takes advantage of Stallone’s brute-force physicality and his often underrated talent for near-monosyllabic brooding (e.g., the Rambo series), but too often gives him to little do or say as the lone super-powered survivor, the so-called “Samaritan” of the title, of a lifelong rivalry with his brother, “Nemesis.” Two brothers entered a fire-ravaged building and while both were presumed dead, one brother did survive (Stallone’s Joe Smith, a garbageman by day, an appliance repairman by night).

In the Granite City of screenwriter Bragi F. Schut (Escape Room, Season of the Witch), the United States, and presumably the rest of the world, teeters on economic and political collapse, with a recession spiraling into a depression, steady gigs difficult, if not impossible, to obtain, and the city’s neighborhoods rocked by crime and violence. No one’s safe, not even 13-year-old Sam (Javon Walker), Joe’s neighbor.

When he’s not dodging bullies connected to a gang, he’s falling under the undue influence of Cyrus (Pilou Asbæk), a low-rent gang leader with an outsized ego and the conviction that he and only he can take on Nemesis’s mantle and along with that mantle, a hammer “forged in hate,” to orchestrate a Bane-like plan to plunge the city into chaos and become a wealthy power-broker in the process.

Schut’s woefully underwritten script takes a clumsy, haphazard approach to world-building, relying on a two-minute animated sequence to open Samaritan while a naive, worshipful Sam narrates Samaritan and Nemesis’s supposedly tragic, Cain and Abel-inspired backstory. Schut and director Julius Avery (Overlord) clumsily attempt to contrast Sam’s childish belief in messiah-like, superheroic saviors stepping in to save humanity from itself and its own worst excesses, but following that path leads to authoritarianism and fascism (ideas better, more thoroughly explored in Watchmen and The Boys).

While Sam continues to think otherwise, Stallone’s superhero, 25 years past his last, fatal encounter with his presumably deceased brother, obviously believes superheroes are the problem and not the solution (a somewhat reasonable position), but as Samaritan tracks Joe and Sam’s friendship, Sam giving Joe the son he never had, Joe giving Sam the father he lost to street violence well before the film’s opening scene, it gets closer and closer to embracing, if not outright endorsing Sam’s power fantasies, right through a literally and figuratively explosive ending. Might, as always, wins regardless of how righteous or justified the underlying action.

It’s what superhero audiences want, apparently, and what Samaritan uncritically delivers via a woefully under-rendered finale involving not just unconvincing CGI fire effects, but a videogame cut-scene quality Stallone in a late-film flashback sequence that’s meant to be subversively revelatory, but will instead lead to unintentional laughter for anyone who’s managed to sit the entirety of Samaritan’s one-hour and 40-minute running time.

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Samaritan is now streaming worldwide on Prime Video.

Samaritan

Cast
  • Sylvester Stallone
  • Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton
  • Pilou Asbæk

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Matt Shakman Is In Talks To Direct ‘Fantastic Four’

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According to a new report, Wandavision’s Matt Shakman is in talks to direct the upcoming MCU project, Fantastic Four. Marvel Studios has been very hush-hush regarding Fantastic Four to the point where no official announcements have been made other than the film’s release date. No casting news or literally anything other than rumors has been released regarding the project. We know that Fantastic Four is slated for release on November 8th, 2024, and will be a part of Marvel’s Phase 6. There are also rumors that the cast of the new Fantastic Four will be announced at the D23 Expo on September 9th.

Fantastic Four is still over two years from release, and we assume we will hear more news about the project in the coming months. However, the idea of the Fantastic Four has already been introduced into the MCU. John Krasinski played Reed Richards aka Mr. Fantastic in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The cameo was a huge deal for fans who have been waiting a long time for the Fantastic Four to enter the MCU. When Disney acquired Twenty Century Fox in 2019 we assumed that the Fox Marvel characters would eventually make their way into the MCU. It’s been 3 years and we already have had an X-Men and Fantastic Four cameo – even if they were from another universe.

Deadline is reporting that Wandavision’s Matt Shakman is in talks to direct Fantastic Four. Shakman served as the director for Wandavision and has had an extensive career. He directed two episodes of Game of Thrones and an episode of The Boys, and he had a long stint on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. There is nothing official yet, but Deadline’s sources say that Shakman is currently in talks for the job and things are headed in the right direction.

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To be honest, I was a bit more excited when Jon Watts was set to direct. I’m sure Shakman is a good director, but Watts proved he could handle a tentpole superhero film with Spider-Man: Homecoming. Wandavision was good, but Watts’ style would have been perfect for Fantastic Four. The film is probably one of the most anticipated films in Marvel’s upcoming slate films and they need to find the best person they can to direct. Is that Matt Shakman? It could be, but whoever takes the job must realize that Marvel has a lot riding on this movie. The other Fantastic Four films were awful and fans deserve better. Hopefully, Marvel knocks it out of the park as they usually do. You can see for yourself when Fantastic Four hits theaters on November 8th, 2024.

Film Synopsis: One of Marvel’s most iconic families makes it to the big screen: the Fantastic Four.

Source: Deadline

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Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase Star in ‘Zombie Town’ Mystery Teen Romancer (Exclusive)

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Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase have entered Zombie Town, a mystery teen romancer based on author R.L. Stine’s book of the same name.

The indie, now shooting in Ontario, also stars Henry Czerny and co-teen leads Marlon Kazadi and Madi Monroe. The ensemble cast includes Scott Thompson and Bruce McCulloch of the Canadian comedy show Kids in the Hall.

Canadian animator Peter Lepeniotis will direct Zombie Town. Stine’s kid’s book sees a quiet town upended when 12-year-old Mike and his friend, Karen, see a horror movie called Zombie Town and unexpectedly see the title characters leap off the screen and chase them through the theater.

Zombie Town will premiere in U.S. theaters before streaming on Hulu and then ABC Australia in 2023.

“We are delighted to bring the pages of R.L. Stine’s Zombie Town to the screen and equally thrilled to be working with such an exceptional cast and crew on this production. A three-time Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award winner with book sales of over $500 million, R.L. Stine has a phenomenal track record of crafting stories that engage and entertain audiences,” John Gillespie, Trimuse Entertainment founder and executive producer, said in a statement.

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Executive producers are Trimuse Entertainment, Toonz Media Group, Lookout Entertainment, Viva Pictures and Sons of Anarchy actor Kim Coates.  

Paco Alvarez and Mark Holdom of Trimuse negotiated the deal to acquire the rights to Stine’s Zombie Town book.

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