festivals

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Canuck Style Horror At The Second Annual BITS Festival

Published December 3, 2013 by rmpixie

This past weekend, I attended the second annual Blood In The Snow Canadian Film Festival:  a 3 day showcase of all Canadian content, all horror, all weekend!  It was my first time attending and I had a great time, in fact, the festival renewed my faith in this city of mine.  Toronto can be cold at times, but at BITS, there were so many great fans and volunteers who were willing to chat about the films and were just as excited as I was to be there.  I really liked the venue, the Carlton Cinema, in the heart of downtown Toronto; and even though the theatre was a good size, it had a cozy feel and had great seating.  There was also a “vendor’s village” in the lobby where you could find unique horror-themed gifts, and dvds from independent distributors and my favourite rental shop Suspect Video.

The selection of films was pretty diverse.  From body horror to killer puppets; shorts and feature-length films alike, there was something for everyone.  After the last screening each night, movie-goers and festival organizers headed to local haunt The Marquis of Granby, where they could meet with cast and crew from the featured films for some tasty libations.  I was actually able to make the final pub night where I mingled with new friends and chatted with a couple of directors.  Did I mention how nice everyone was?  This made up for the schmoozing I missed during the Toronto After Dark Festival.

I’ve got lots to report, so over the next few days, I will be posting about my favourite films and ones that got fans talking!

The Toronto After Dark Film Festival Is Almost Here!

Published October 2, 2013 by rmpixie

The 8th annual Toronto After Dark Film Festival countdown has begun!  The movie line up has been announced, and we are a couple of weeks away!! 19 great films selected and screened on theme nights for crazy horror fans like myself, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I’ve got my all-access pass, and plan to see as many films as I can this year, but here are some of my top picks:

I am really excited for the Opening Night’s film We Are What We Are, directed by Jim Mickle.  I’ve seen the original 2010 Mexican film about a gruesome family secret, and can’t wait to see Mickle’s interpretation.  Director of Stakeland and Mulberry Street, I think he is smart and has a great eye, so I am over the moon that I get to see his latest contribution at my favourite film festival!

Eega, an entry from India, is another film I’m looking forward to.  As a diehard fan of Bollywood films, this looks like a cool sci-fi man vs. fly addition to the line up on Bug Night.  I also can’t wait to see the Zombie Appreciation Night films, Stalled and The Battery, and check out all the zombies in attendance.  I don’t think this festival would be complete without Stephen McHattie, who co-stars in  the sewage filled Septic Man, one of the features on Gross-Out Night.  He is Canadian horror royalty in my eyes, and I hope he makes it out to the screening.

The Canadian short films that will be screened before each feature are always a treat and bring new directors to the spotlight.  Add the Shorts After Dark screening, where short films from around the world will be showcased, and you have the inside scoop on up and coming talent.

If you are looking for a great festival with unique genre films, Toronto After Dark Film Festival should be at the top of your list.  And now with the Scotiabank Theatre as the new venue, it will be hard to stay away with the great seating and central location.

Check out the full line up here, along with Toronto After Dark Film Festival trailers, ticket prices and general info for this year.

TADFF,see you next year!

Published October 24, 2012 by rmpixie

I am so sad!  Due to, well, quite frankly, my life, I have not been able to attend the Toronto After Dark Film Festival this year.

I became a fan in 2010, seeing a few films here and there.  My faves were Heartless and The Last Exorcism.  And of course that was the year the unforgettable Human Centipede premiered.  Scarred me for life, and I would still like the hour and a half back please…

Determined not to miss the boat, I purchased an all access pass last year.  It was a good value and you got first dibs on seats.  Along with my only horror-loving gal pal, we decided to tough out the pass holder’s line and see as many films as we could.  We did pretty well, even though my friend had a terrible cold and the temporary location was less than desirable.  The 2011 TADFF was screened at the now defunct Toronto Underground Cinema.  The size of the theatre was great, but for people 5’3 and under, it sucked. The seating didn’t have much of a slope, and it seems that a lot of male horror fans have large noggins.  Like, really big.  And they all sat in front of me.  I got a little tired of craning my neck around massive craniums to see the action on screen.  Despite that minor inconvenience, I had a blast!  My faves were Midnight Son, The Divide, The Woman, Monster Brawl and Father’s Day.

Now back at the freshly renovated Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, I can only imagine the great view from my favorite seat in the balcony, gazing lovingly at scenes of terror with a beer in hand.  Because I hear you can do that at the Bloor now without hiding a sixer in your purse.  Just sayin’…

Anyway, the 2012 line up looks great!  My watch list includes: Grabbers, Inbred, Grave Encounters 2, Doomsday Book, Resolution and My Amityville Horror, just to name a few.  I guess I will have to wait until the films are released in regular theatres or on dvd.  Sigh!

As a horror fan who has attended a couple of the TADFF’s, I am very impressed and inspired by the team that runs the show.  Adam Lopez is their tireless leader, and his enthusiasm for the genre is a marvel and a testament to horror fans in the G.T.A.  The volunteers always seem to have heart and excitement at the events, and their hard work is evident in the long line-ups and packed house every year. Nex year, if all goes well, I plan to be the first in the pass holder’s line!

http://torontoafterdark.com/2012/

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