Little Terrors Relaunch Wednesday Sept 19th (Kirk Haviland)

Little Terrors Relaunch Sept 19th, 2012

We here at Entertainment Maven have been following Justin McConnell’s Little Terrors Short Film series for quite a time now. Examples can be found herehere and here. For the last couple of months the series has been in limbo, not holding as many events as in the past, due to legal wrangling and smaller foot traffic leading to financial constraints. Ultimately Justin was faced with a decision that would impact the existence of the series all together. He could shut the series down and file away the knowledge and experience gained for a possible revival down the road, or he could move out of the friendly confines of the Projection Booth East, move into a more central location in Toronto, bring on additional programmers and go for broke. Fortunately for us Justin is a bit of a gambler and has gone for option number two.

Bringing aboard programmers Christian Burgess from The Toronto After Dark Film Festival, April Snellings from Rue Morgue Magazine and Michael Pazst from Raven Banner Entertainment, Justin has moved into the Magic Lantern Cinema Carlton at College Subway station right in the heart of Downtown Toronto. The series re-debuts this Wednesday Sept 19th with a line-up of all new shorts for the Toronto public:

Through the Night (11 minutes, Ireland, premiere) – IMDB

DIR: Lee Cronin

Every night, around the world, couples fall asleep side by side – trusting they know what lies beside them. Tonight, in this apartment, something evil is about to show it’s true face.

SuckaBlood (7 minutes, UK) – IMDB, Trailer

DIR: Jake Cuddihy & Ben Tillett

A gothic tale of a girl scared to suck her thumb – lest the monstrous Suckablood should come.

Undying Love (11 minutes, Iceland, premiere) – IMDB

DIR: Omar Hauksson

The lengths a man will go for love when the world crumbles around him. Current selection of Sitges.

The Congregation (12 minutes) – IMDB

DIR: Michael Foulke

John Christner returns from war to find that he has been shunned by his Amish family and friends for violating their beliefs. However, when a mysterious plague threatens the community, John may be their only hope for survival. Featuring Bruce Davison and Daniel Roebuck.

The Gate (12 minutes, UK) – IMDB

DIR: Matt Westrup

A new virulent strain of rabies is thought to be responsible for a number of horrible deaths in the city of London. It soon becomes clear that the cause of the condition has a much more sinister origin.

Billy & Chuck (15 minutes, Ireland, premiere) – IMDB, Trailer

DIR: Lee Cronin

A tale about a young boy who sets out on an adventure deep into the forest to face his fear, guided only by a voice at the end of his walkie-talkie.

Animal (5 minutes, UK) – IMDB

DIR: Ross Peacock

A man on his way home from work late one night is set upon by two vicious thugs, but as the moon rises in the sky it becomes clear that this man may be more than he seems.

The Angel (7 minutes) – IMDB

DIR: Paul Hough

A little girl visits her dying grandmother in the hospital, unaware a battle will be waged for her very survival.

Eel Girl (5 minutes) – IMDB, Trailer

DIR: Paul Campion

A scientist becomes obsessed with a strange half-eel, half-human creature. From the director of ‘The Devil’s Rock’.

Casting Call of Cthulhu (9 minutes) – IMDB

DIR: Joseph Nanni

A very unconventional casting session is held for a new H.P. Lovecraft film. From the director of Little Terrors favourites ‘Black Goat’, ‘The Necronomicon’ and ‘Elder Sign’.

Day Of The Living? (11 minutes) – IMDB

DIR: Mark Stevensen

The last three zombies on earth are trapped inside a cabin, while an angry mob of humans lingers outside.

So if you are into genre films and like the compact storytelling that short films can offer, then get down to the Carlton Cinema on Wednesday Sept 19th for the newest incarnation of Little Terrors. Justin is an approachable and knowledgeable host, being a short and feature film director himself, and the Carlton has a cozy atmosphere that’s inviting. Also make sure to follow the Facebook Page of the series for info on further events

Till Next Time,

Movie Junkie TO

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Fan Expo 2012 Coverage (Kirk Haviland)

Fan Expo 2012

So another Fan Expo is in the books and it’s time to do some reflecting. This year was my first time with a media pass for the fest and thus I attended two of the four days, Thursday night and Sunday afternoon. Thursday became my walkabout day as the main hall was pleasantly less crowded and easy to maneuver, while Sunday was a work day as I attended some panels and conducted some interviews. The interviews will be along very shortly but for now we’ll start by focusing on Day 1.

My first stop after attaining my pass was to go directly to visit my great friends at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival and find out what their first 10 films announced for the 2012 festival would be. The announcement should be live online at the link above by the time you read this, but at this time it was still under wraps. I’ll simply state that this is an extremely strong first wave lineup, and it contains a lot of films that I’ve been tracking for a while. Adam Lopez and company have not failed to raise the bar once again. On top of this, Toronto After Dark has released a limited edition T-Shirt/Poster by renowned artist Gary Pullin. It’s a beautiful poster and since Gary was gracious enough to sign all copies for free I managed to get an autographed copy that I’m sure will end up framed on my wall at some point.

Next stop was the Anchor Bay booth where I acquired some goodies: a walking dead bag and some mini posters. It was there that I bumped into Justin McConnell, director of The Collapsed and curator of the Litttle Terrors Monthly Series that until recently was held at the east end rep cinema house, The Projection Booth.  But as of September 19th the series will be re-launching in its new home in the heart of downtown, the Rainbow Cinemas Carlton. To celebrate they have instituted a ‘Best Of Little Terrors’ tour that launched at Fan Expo with two sold out standing room only showings on Friday and Saturday. I will have more on this tour and the films associated with it in the near future.

Next I wandered through the multitudes of displays and vendors with standouts including the Frankenweenie exhibit, the free pic on a comic book cover from the DC booth and free Lego Darth Maul figure from, of course, the Lego booth. Along with running into some friends and getting my picture taken behind the wheel of an exact Back To The Future replica Delorean it was a fun day.

My second day started off with the Dead Before Dawn 3D panel with cast members, including Christopher Lloyd himself. Along with being fun and informative it was also research for what would come later. After another quick stop in at the Toronto After Dark booth to check in on the boys and the Underground Peep Show gang across the way, I was back on my way to Anchor Bay. After arriving there, and managing to snag a sweet full sized copy of the amazing Excision poster, I was lining up with some other critics to interview the cast and director of A Little Bit Zombie. The interviews were great fun and featured Casey Walker, Kristopher Turner, Shawn Roberts and the stunning Crystal Lowe. All of them were really great to talk to. Ending it off with a signed poster from the gang minus Crystal, who had taken off to go do her own shopping for graphic art (love this woman!), it was off to my next interview of the day.

Upon reaching the Dead Before Dawn 3D booth I noticed a very long line for autographs, probably spurred on by the film’s other star, Devon Bostick, autographing for free. Initially I was unsure how we would be able to fit the interview in. But the Writer Tim Dorian and Director April Mullen were very accommodating in talking to me as I had the interview booked with them but still managed to get in a few words from another cast member to boot. You should be able to read both those interviews very soon here on Entertainment Maven.

After some more roaming around and picking up some more schwag, I ended the day by sneaking into one of the smaller panels to get off my feet and hang with some friends. Earlier in the day I was almost bowled over by a passing Lou Ferrigno, so it seemed only fitting that my day would end standing shoulder to shoulder with Christopher Lloyd himself as he passed by. And with that my adventures at Fan Expo 2012 came to an end.

Till Next Time,

Movie Junkie TO

Make sure to keep up with what’s going on at Entertainment Maven by liking our Facebook page and having updates delivered right to your Facebook News Feed. It’s the only way to stay on top of all of our articles with the newest blockbusters and all the upcoming films, festivals and film related events in Toronto.

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TIFF Bell Lightbox – Candyman 35mm Review (Matt Hodgson)

TIFF Bell Lightbox

Rue Morgue

Candyman (1992)

Starring Virginia Madsen, Tony Todd, and Xander Berkeley

Written by Clive Barker (story) and Bernard Rose

Directed by Bernard Rose

Candyman, Candyman, Candyman…Candy – I can’t even make it to four times on a freaking written review! That’s the kind of impact this nightmarish slasher had on kids growing up in the 90’s. For a while Candyman was one of the movies often talked about in between classes, but few had actually experienced the fear and the violence elicited by the gory hook which had replaced Candyman’s right hand. I hadn’t seen Candyman for years, but thanks to Rue Morgue, the TIFF Bell Lightbox and Fan Expo, fans had a chance to watch a 35mm print of the beautiful and talented Virginia Madsen opposite one of the most iconic killers in the history of horror cinema. And that’s not the end of the story: Tony Todd, the Candyman himself, would be present for a Q&A after the screening. If this doesn’t excite you and strike a little bit of fear into your heart at the same time, then you may not be familiar with the story of the Candyman.

Based on The Forbidden, a short story by the prolific and talented horror author, Clive Barker, Candyman is the story about two graduate students trying to complete a thesis about the origin and transmission of urban legends. Helen (Madsen) and Bernadette (Kasi Lemmons) are having a difficult time coming up with an urban legend that hasn’t already been investigated ad nauseam. However, while conducting a series of recorded interviews Helen comes across the legend of the Candyman. In the poorer areas of Chicago the residents seem to attribute horrible killings to a murderous ghost or vengeful wraith with a bloody hook in the place of his right hand. Once a slave, the Candyman experienced an unfathomable amount of pain in life and a little over a century later looks to share his horrible past with the living. Despite the horror of the urban legend, it seems easy enough to avoid the Candyman – don’t say his name five times while looking into the mirror. Unfortunately, the curious and incredulous Helen can’t help herself, and after chanting his name her horror begins.

SPOILERS

Despite a couple of issues, Candyman holds up remarkable well after an unbelievable 20 years since its release. The movie feels incredibly violent and bloody, yet there isn’t a lot of onscreen violence. I can’t help but think that this feeling is elicited by the great practical effect of Candyman’s gore-covered hook. Rose uses many close-ups of this weapon throughout the movie and as a result it becomes embedded in the viewers brain. This sort of psychological skill seems hard to find in the current crop of slasher movies being made, and it’s really a shame as it is much more effective than having a high body count.

The chemistry between Tony Todd and Virginia Madsen is incredible, with Madsen turning in a particularly amazing performance as an intelligent and adventurous graduate student who gets a little too attached to her research as many graduate students are apt to do. During the Q&A Todd told the audience that he and Madsen practiced fencing, horseback riding, and other elegant sports or activities in order to ensure that their chemistry was as close to genuine as possible when they finally shot the film. Another interesting story brought up during the Q&A involved the amazing ‘bee’ scenes in the film, in which bees crawled all over Todd or Madsen. One scene in particular had a few dozen bees crawling over Todd’s face and open mouth. He assured us that this was in fact REAL. The shot was made possible by placing a device in Todd’s mouth which would prevent the bees from crawling into his mouth and down his throat. The filmmakers also hired a ‘bee wrangler’ for the set with the focus on using young bees, as they don’t develop the ability to sting until they have reached the 12-hour milestone in their lives. Despite these precautions, Todd was still stung 26 times while shooting the movie, and collected a cool $26,000 in the process as he had a ‘$1,000 a sting’ clause in his contract thanks to a savvy lawyer.

There were only two issues that really bothered me about Candyman: a particular costume and a bit of sloppy logic in the story. Firstly, why in the hell does Candyman wear chef pants and a fur coat? Maybe this worked back in 1992, but it was a little distracting in 2012. Last time I checked Candyman was not a pimp. I also found myself waiting for Flavor Flav to jump onto the scene and start a public enemy music video. Secondly, when Helen gets arrested for the first time the police think that she has beheaded a dog, attacked a young mother with a meat cleaver, and finally kidnapped a small child and is the only one who knows his whereabouts. Of course they promptly let her out on bail and allow her to go back to her apartment. I can’t believe that this seemed logical in 1992, but I don’t recall having a problem with it then.

It was a great night out at the Lightbox; Candyman looked great on 35mm, and Tony Todd had a hugely entertaining Q&A with local film critic, Richard Crouse. I can’t wait until Rue Morgue and TIFF screen another classic horror film like this and really make it an event. Todd also told the audience about another screening in Toronto that he is attached to later in the year, although he was not clear if he will be present for it. More news on this in the near future.

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Henry Rollins Wants You! – Grindhouse Edition of Fright Nights at the Projection Booth

Just check out this video message if you don’t believe me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVPToTIIfsE

Henry Rollins wants you to support the ‘Drop in the Bucket’ charity on Saturday, July 7, 2012 at Projection Booth with a special Grindhouse Edition of Fright Nights featuring “Kill” and “If a Tree Falls” from Black Fawn Distribution.  Tickets: http://guestlistapp.com/events/109065.

Info from the press release:

FANGORIA PRESENTS FRIGHT NIGHTS is giving genre fans two films for the price of one this Saturday, July 7, 2012 with home grown grindhouse flicks IF A TREE FALLS  and KILL from directors Gabriel Carrer (IN THE HOUSE OF FLIES starring Henry Rollins, Ryan Barrett) and Chad Archibald (NEVERLOST).  Half the proceeds collected from the evening will go to the Henry Rollins fronted international charity “Drop in the Bucket.”

This one night only event will mark the Toronto theatrical debuts of both films.  “This is the ONLY time the public will get to see this pair of films on the big screen, and they will be shown in the way they are meant to be seen: as a double bill at Projection Booth – a real grindhouse cinema!” says Archibald.

Both Gabriel Carrer and Chad Archibald will be in attendance alongside cast and crew. Hosted as always by Fangoria and Planet Fury scribe Kelly Michael Stewart and generously supported by Fangoria and Suspect Video, the evening promises prizes, beverages and lots and lots of blood.

Proceeds from the event will go directly to charity in support of efforts to bring safe drinking water to war ravaged countries. “Drop in the Bucket is a Los Angeles based water and sanitation charity with field offices in Uganda and South Sudan. I had the pleasure of directing their spokesperson Henry Rollins on my next feature “House of Flies” and I was really impressed by what they are accomplishing under very difficult circumstances,” explains Carrer.

Tickets can be purchased in advance at Projection Booth or online at:

http://guestlistapp.com/events/109065

CONTEST: Win Tickets for Father’s Day, Fright Nights at the Projection Booth in Toronto

It’s barely been 24 hours since the launch of our first contest at Entertainment Maven, free tickets to End of the Night (part of the Shinsedai Cinema Festival in Toronto), but we have some more exciting news – another contest! This time, the kind people at the Projection Booth in Toronto have given us three, count ’em, THREE double-passes to give away to the June 9th (9:00pm) Fright Nights screening of the disgusting, exploitative, and downright hilarious Toronto After Dark hit, Father’s Day. Astron-6 has put together one of the most exciting experiences you can have at the cinema these days, and you would have to be clinically insane not to try out for this contest. Did we mention that some of the filmmakers will be in attendance and that there will be prizes? Commit yourself to the nearest mental institution or follow these three easy steps to win:

Please note that the contest is only open to individuals who are at least 18 years of age and who are able to be in Toronto for June 9th. Only 1 entry per person. Winners will be chosen at random from a pool of entrants who have completed the three steps. The contest will close at 12pm on Saturday, June 9, 2012.

1. ‘Like’ our Facebook page by clicking this link and then ‘like’, or by going directly to www.entertainmentmaven.com and clicking ‘Like’

2. Follow us on Twitter @entertainmaven

3. E-mail us at entertainmentmaven@gmail.com, putting Father’s Day as the subject, and tell us YOUR name and the name of the holiday that could use an Astron-6 revision!

Winners will be contacted at the e-mail address used to enter the contest.

 

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