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614Dead By Dawn 2012

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  • scrofulous_peasant
    Feb 28, 2012
      Hi guys,
      More details of this year's fest for those who haven't seen them yet:


      Another good reason for a stonking WOOHOO is that we've just added another gorgeous film to what promises to be a sublime festival...

      Thanks to Arrow who'll be releasing the Blu-Ray in April, we'll be screening a preview of Lamberto Bava's 1985 classic DEMONS.

      Like I said, WOOHOOO!!!!!

      It's a total joy to put this film up on the big screen where it belongs :)

      34 days and counting, people...see you soon!

      Adele
      -----
      Adele Hartley
      Festival Director, Dead by Dawn


      And for anyone who needs a wee reminder of what else is going on, and how to buy tickets, here you go...


      Huge thanks to all of you who've already bought your Pass for Dead by Dawn or Ticket for Spawn of Dawn - you got our sales off to a flying start!

      Well, for a few months now I've been promising you a sublime line-up and I wasn't kidding :) We're still adding films to the programme every day, but for now, here's a tasty selection of some of the joys that'll be on the big screen at this year's fest.

      Two of our classics this year will be John Boorman's DELIVERANCE (1972) and Richard Donner's THE OMEN (1976).

      Also in our line-up...

      BELOW ZERO
      Jack the Hack is a screenwriter with a writer's block to end all writer's blocks. He has a concept for a film, and that's about it. His agent has the idea to lock him in a freezer (the plot of his concept), and not let him out until he has a script. As the five days pass, the line begins to blur between what's reality and what's in his head. The movie says it best in the opening sequence: There's nothing scarier than a blank page.

      Below Zero does a great job setting up its simple premise. The idea of a guy locked in a freezer forced to come up with an idea isn't a particularly complex one – and it's because of this that the audience is completely unprepared for the suspenseful, emotional roller coaster that writer Signe Olynyk sends us on. The seemingly simple story twists and weaves in and out of multiple time lines and scenarios that unfold in rapid succession, leaving you constantly wondering which reality is reality.

      Not one for cheap thrills and shock tactics, Below Zero keeps the gore to a minimum and instead scares the audience with "What Ifs." But what I loved the most about the movie is how self aware it is, almost to an indulgent sense. The writer isn't shy about her influences, or her love of the horror genre in general, and calls out clichés and loopholes by name. It's the most in-your-face homage I think I've ever seen, but it's also the most clever.

      A great movie filled with great performances, and witty, biting dialogue, Below Zero sets out to redefine the horror genre – putting emphasis on character development and a well crafted story, instead of just seeing how many nude and busty women they can slaughter in an hour and a half. It's truly a remarkable film that will stick with you well after the credits have rolled, if there is a screening near you, I urge you to see it as many times as you can.

      Review by Philip Kirsner for theyayornay.com

      We're delighted that producer Bob Schulz and writer/producer Signe Olynyk will be our guests this year, hosting this premiere screening.

      *

      JUAN DE LOS MUERTOS aka JUAN OF THE DEAD There is certainly an argument to be made that the horror comedy has played itself out, however, every few years something fresh pokes its head out of the mire, and we all rejoice.

      Cuban cinema is nearly as mysterious as everything else on the island. Very few Cuban films make it out, and the one's that do typically don't make much of a splash. Ostensibly this is because any state funded film (and most are) that leaves the island must be seen by the powers that be in the still communist government. It is miraculous, then, that Juan of the Dead has made it this far.

      In Juan of the Dead, the title character is a shiftless petty thief who has made bad decisions in his life that have led to the severing of many potentially very rewarding relationships, specifically one with his now grown daughter. He does, however, have a heart, and as he approaches middle age, he attempts to reconnect with her and turn his life around. Juan is nothing if not determined, and his resolve to make himself whole again is noble. There's just one problem: the zombies.

      Bruges takes the time to set the scene early on, introducing us to his Havana; a city populated by myriad different types, mostly working class, who bring a depth to the film that is necessary to make Juan of the Dead work. The director clearly takes great pride in Cuba as his home, but does not condone it's past, and does fear for it's future. He pictures its residents as scraping for every peso, and he stands firmly against the current regime. The zombie as metaphor for the downtrodden is not subtle, but it is effective, and if there is any complaint to be made it is that the politics are perhaps alienating to non-Cuban audiences. The film doesn't suffer from these digressions for long, though, and clearly has more than a political statement in mind.

      Filled with clever dialogue, plenty of solid gore and the blackest of black humour, the film doesn't shy away from blood, guts, sex, bad attitudes, foul language, also managing to fit in some very inventive zombie kills. The effects are all exceptional, the cinematography is inventive and beautiful, and the script is wonderful – wry and funny.

      Perhaps the greatest surprise that Juan of the Dead has to offer is heart. This is where the politics come in, but really this film is about people, normal people, who just happen to be fighting zombies to save their own lives. In that regard it is very similar to Shaun of the Dead, and in fact it cribs a couple of scenes almost directly from that film, however I would argue that Juan of the Dead makes a deeper emotional connection with the viewer. The fact that it takes the time to build characters with real emotions in the midst of the explosions, gut-munching and other insane action is encouraging and really works to its benefit.

      Polished and heartfelt, Juan of the Dead brings a new voice in genre filmmaking from a land hamstrung by politics for decades. Maybe if we're lucky, this film will usher in a new renaissance of Cuban filmmakers making genre films.

      From a review by Josh Hurtado for twitch.com

      *

      HAUNTERS
      Cho-in wasn't the healthiest or happiest child, with a sickly build, a prosthetic leg and, worst of all, a fearful and abusive family. He has one strength, though, albeit a carefully hidden one – he has instant control over the mind and actions of anyone who fall under his gaze, be it his violent father (who Cho-in deals with one overcast day in a quick but shocking manner) or complete strangers.

      Today, Cho-in is quite comfortable financially — mind control has its obvious advantages — but is still a gaunt, brooding loner. Kyu-nam, on the other hand, is the polar opposite. He's boyishly handsome, outgoing, cheerful and a good buddy to his two best friends, a pair of immigrant workers from Turkey and Ghana with whom Kyu-nam kids around and whiles away the hours at the scrapyard where they work. He also seems surprisingly resilient, bouncing back quickly from accidents that might leave others in pieces. It's by pure chance that Cho-in and Kyu-nam cross paths, and while Cho-in's powers, and the extent of his malice, are already quite apparent, it is then that Kyu-nam's abilities truly surface. Not only is he resistant to physical damage, he is also the only person who Cho-in can't dominate with his mind. And as Cho-in soon discovers, Kyu-nam is that type of guy who'll stop at nothing to right a wrong and protect those he cares for.

      No capes, masks, leotards or other fancy apparel here. HAUNTERS is a superhero film that never explicitly announces itself as such, despite its perfectly counter-balanced champion and villain. In fact, at first blush, it seems to owe more to the Asian horror wave, not only in its grim and washed-out aesthetic but in its absolutely heart-stopping moments of supernatural violence. Moreover, thanks to a clever script and astute direction by Kim Min-suk (no stranger to inspired genre-blending, he wrote the awesome "kimchi Western" The Good The Bad The Weird), the occasional narrative quirk and oddball joke (watch for a subtle poke at da Vinci's Last Supper in the junkyard), and the underlying thread of solid friendship as life's true treasure, never distract from but in fact only enhance the impact of this distinctive and intelligent film.

      Review by Rupert Bottenberg

      *

      RED TEARS
      There are movies so good that by the time the credits roll, you've already whipped out your phone and texted everyone you know that they absolutely have to watch it. And then there are movies so bad, they border on the hilarious and become cult classics. Red Tears aka Monster Killer is not quite cult classic material, but it's not too far off either.

      Directed by Takanori Tsujimoto and produced by veteran Asian action star Yasuaki Kurata, Red Tears is a campy horror-influenced action film. The film follows two detectives – one a cynical veteran hell-bent on revenge, and the other a young, idealistic straight shooter – as they try to catch a serial killer whose calling card is the decapitated heads of his victims. As the detectives follow the killer's trail, they find that what they're dealing with involves the supernatural and is somehow tied to a young woman and her invalid mother.

      Fast-paced and bloody, Red Tears is your typical B-horror movie fare. The acting is overdone and the characters are bland stock types from various crime procedurals. The tone of the film is set early on; in the opening sequence, the killer captures a young man and literally folds him like a pretzel before stuffing him into a suitcase. However, the first third of the movie then seems to zigzag from B-movie camp to serious attempts at a suspense thriller – tonal whiplash, if you will. Around the halfway-mark, the movie throws all semblance of `seriousness' out the window and it's here that the film begins to build up a nice rhythm of bloody, over-the-top action sequences. While the fight scenes in Red Tears aren't particularly jaw dropping, they are entertaining with a couple of memorable bone-popping scenes.

      From the cheesy midi-music to the copious amounts of squirting blood, Reds Tears is one of those films where you turn off your brain and just have fun. The film's plot is basically there to give context to the action sequences – think too hard and you're setting yourself up for a miserable time. For all its faults, it'd be easy to write Red Tears off to the hordes of terrible horror films that seem to be flooding theatres these days, but for some reason, there's a definite charm to it - the actors – Kurata in particular – seem to be having fun and their enthusiasm translates onto the screen. You could do much worse than Red Tears.

      From a review by Victoria at JapanCinema.net

      *

      LOBOS DE ARGA aka GAME OF WEREWOLVES
      This gorgeous werewolf comedy from Juan Martínez Moreno is that rare thing - a funny film that doesn't stint on either the horror or the laughs.

      Thomas Marino, a mostly failed writer, goes back to Arga, his home village in rural Spain, when the locals decide to honour him for his small amount of success. Arriving in town he realises all eyes are on him, and not necessarily because of his literary accomplishments. His childhood friends are still there, and one of his uncles seems to have appointed himself mayor and priest without much of a murmur from the locals.
      Arga hasn't changed for 100 years, but there's a reason for that, and Thomas is about to discover some unpleasant truths about his family.

      *

      Our shorts programmes are: CUTTING EDGE for debut and emerging film-makers, WHAT YOU MAKE IT for films which aren't a traditional or expected take on horror but which definitely have an aesthetic or sense of humour that we know will appeal to fans of the genre, 2D & DERANGED for a selection of the finest oddest darkest animation you can imagine (happily with several film-makers in attendance), DREAM A LITTLE DREAM for films which are chosen specifically to ruin a good night's sleep and of course a short film screening before pretty much every feature.


      All-inclusive festival Passes costing £70 are on sale now!
      You can buy at Filmhouse in person, or over the phone or through the Filmhouse website (please register on the site first)
      88 Lothian Road / 0131 228 2688 / www.filmhousecinema.com The box office is open every day from 10am

      If you need to know anything about the fest, feel free to get in touch

      info@...

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