Why Horror? (2014)
Writer Rob Lindsay
Directors Rob Lindsay and Nicolas Kleiman
Producers Bob Culbert, Colin Geddes, Rob Lindsay, Lucy Stewart, Kevin Wallis
Executive Producer Don Ferguson
Horror in entertainment either attracts or repulses audiences. And yet, it's a global phenomenon. Millions of people love it, but horror fans are often misunderstood. Tal Zimerman should know. He's one of them.
Tal is a journalist for renowned horror publications, a comedic-actor and a full-fledged fan of everything deep, dark, and disgusting. But lately he's been asking himself: why? Why are millions of people obsessed with horror? Why do we need it in our culture? What happens to us when we experience it? Why is it so polarizing?
Tal is on a journey to understand why he is disturbed by gruesome imagery showcased in the news, but thrives on blood and guts found in movies, graphic novels, and videogames. He meets with the genre's leading filmmakers, writers, historians, psychologists, and sociologists, to discover how horror looks in different cultures, why it's so popular, and how it affects our minds. Tal wants to know: Why Horror?
Why Horror? had its world premiere at the Feratum Film Festival in Mexico, and played the Sitges Film Festival in Spain, and Toronto After Dark where the film won the Bronze Audience Choice Award. The film also had its Canadian broadcast premiere on Superchannel in October 2014.
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Director Jason Bognacki
Writer Jason Bognacki
Producer Aline Bognacki
Executive Producer Colin Geddes
Associate Producer Katarina Gligorijevic
A phantasmagoric chiller that follows Jordyn, a young woman who explores the dark recesses of her soul when she learns she may be the devil's kin, in this stylistic mix of giallo and Hammer horror.
As the movie opens, a mysterious figure wearing a black robe holds aloft a baby. Eighteeen years later, Jordyn Ames is celebrating her birthday when strange and gruesome things start to happen. She learns that she is a descendent of a long line of witches, and she may have a dark twin who is performing horrific acts. As Jordyn, Paulie Rojas seems delicate and fragile when the movie opens, but as the demon within (or maybe it's her twin) starts taking over, she takes command of the screen. Director Jason Bognacki perfectly captures the nightmarish feel of Italian giallo films, where the main character can't tell the difference between nightmare and reality, and the audience is right there with her. The movie looks and sounds so good that you'd never know it was pieced together with a small crew and a slim budget. With confident direction, unsettling music stings, and a subjective storyline that never lets you out of its dream logic, Another builds up a creepy feeling that compounds all the way through its demonic tale.
Another had its World Premiere at the Seattle International Film Festival in May 2014 and its European Premiere at FrightFest in London in August.
Devil's Mile (2014)
Director Joseph O'Brien
Writer Joseph O'Brien
Producers Mark Opausky (Grovers Mill), Joseph O'Brien (Grovers Mill)
Executive Producers Motek Sherman, Colin Geddes
A black Cadillac roars through a rural landscape drained of colour. In the driver's seat is an excitable criminal named Toby (David Hayter); his passengers are his accomplices Cally (Maria Del Mar) and Jacinta (Casey Hudecki) plus a couple of "packages" in the trunk, being delivered to feared crime boss Mr. Arkadi (Frank Moore). But there's more to be scared of in their immediate future: after it comes out that there's a serious problem with one of their captives, their attempt to take a shortcut leads them past a discarded "Road Closed" sign and onto a stretch of blacktop traversing into supernatural territory. Soon they are encountering bloody and ghostly apparitions, one of which delivers a warning that proves to be a promise: "The road will never let you go…"
As Toby, Cally and Jacinta confront the ever-more-frightening consequences of their actions, O'Brien leavens the jolts and outbursts of bad attitude with occasional fillips of black humor, while Fangoria editor Chris Alexander's music twangs and hums ominously under the surface. As the trio attempts to escape the Devil's Mile, they succeed only in plunging themselves deeper into the heart of darkness, and all the audience can do is hang on and enjoy the ride.
Devil's Mile is the directorial debut of screenwriter Joseph O'Brien (Robocop: Prime Directives, Revolution On The Planet Of The Apes, Cutthroats Nine) and stars David Hayter (writer of box office blockbusters X-Men, X2, The Scorpion King and Watchmen; "Solid Snake" in the long-running hit video game franchise Metal Gear Solid).
Devil's Mile is having its World Premiere at the Fantasia Film Festival (Montreal, Canada) on Saturday July 26, 2014. For more info or tickets, click here.
The Demon's Rook (2013)
Director James Sizemore
Writers James Sizemore and Akom Tidwell
Producers James Sizemore & Tim Reis
Executive Producers Colin Geddes, Katarina Gligorijevic, Michael Bremer, Ashleigh Jo Sizemore, Josh Gould, Akom Tidwell, Jimmy Campbell
A young boy named Roscoe finds a portal to another world where he is taught magic by an elder demon known as Dimwos. Dimwos raises the boy into manhood, revealing to him many things, except for one dark secret.
When Roscoe discovers what Dimwos has withheld from him all these years, his anger inadvertently unleashes three malevolent demons. Roscoe flees the demons' wrath by escaping through the portal, drawing the demons into our world. Once they pass through, a nightmarish foray of monsters is unleashed. One demon possesses the minds of all whom she crosses, another transforms a man into a murderous beast, and the third summons an army of the dead to do his bidding …
"Relentlessly entertaining from beginning to end … Destined for midnight movie immortality," says Bloody Disgusting.
The Demon's Rook had its world premiere at the 2013 Fantasia (Montreal, Canada) and has since had successful screenings at Fright Fest (London, UK), Sitges (Sitges, Spain) and Scream Fest (Los Angeles, USA), with more festival dates to come. Distribution plans are in the works and we will soon have exciting announcements to make about the film's release on DVD and VOD in North America and beyond.
Half-man, half-cyborg: Manborg. Killed while battling the forces of hell, a super-soldier is brought back from the dead in order to fight an army of Nazi vampires and demons led by the nefarious Count Draculon. There's an Australian punker, a knife-wielding anime chick, a kung fu master (voiced with deliriously pitch-perfect stoicism by Kyle Herbert, the narrator from Dragon Ball Z), and of course the titular Manborg, a literal cinematic Frankenstein of pulp sci-fi pop culture references.
Manborg is directed by Steven Kostanski, the special effects prodigy of Winnipeg's filmmaking collective Astron-6 (Father's Day), who deftly juggles co-writing, editing and directing duties on a micro budget of below $2K with the ambitious creation of an extraordinary barrage of elaborate miniatures, iconic costumes and delirious stop-motion creatures. Most impressively, despite drawing from so many sources, Manborg's universe remains unmistakably original, and as a director, Kostanki's vision is unquestionably unique and his talent impossible to deny.
Executive-produced by TIFF Midnight Madness guru Colin Geddes (Ultra 8 Pictures) and Toronto After Dark's Peter Kupowsky, Manborg celebrated its world premiere at Austin's 2011 Fantastic Fest, and also impressed fans at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival and Fantasia. It has played more than 30 major film festivals worldwide including Whistler, Lund in Sweden, Boston Underground, U.K. Sci-Fi, and Neuchatel in Switzerland. Also playing with Manborg is Kostanski's brand-new short film Bio-Cop, an epic emulation of 80s-era cop movie trailers, meticulously recreating the experience of watching VHS-era cheese with full-tilt gonzo gusto.
"Manborg is an incredible achievement," says Don McKellar, and FilmThreat.com calls the film: "A glorious mixture of claymation, computer graphics, practical effects, make-up, and a DIY ethic that's above and beyond most science fiction movies being produced. Manborg is a total hoot."
Manborg will have an official Canadian release on DVD in 2013 by Anchor Bay Entertainment Canada and Raven Banner Entertainment. The film is also being distributed by MPI Media Group (USA), Monster (Australia), ION (Germany), and Rockstone (UK).