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

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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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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Little Terrors 9 – Altered Reality Review at the Projection Booth in Toronto (Kirk Haviland)

Little Terrors 9 – Altered Reality

May 12th 2012, Projection Booth, Toronto

For the ninth edition of Justin McConnell’s Little Terrors series, Justin had a much harder time getting the night of genre shorts to the screen. Justin had some issues with clearance and ratings from the Film Board that needed to be sorted out before they could continue along. Once all the issues had been settled and the announcements made I very happily made the familiar jaunt down to the Projection Booth for the programme, on a rare Saturday night this time out, but I was still able to meet up with and converse with all the regulars. Also, fellow blogger over at The Horror Section, Jay Clarke, was going to debut his short ‘Orange’ this evening as well. Supporting another blogger’s project was a another great reason to attend.

Justin managed to put together another great programme this evening. The standouts were the Ryan Levin penned, from Some Guy Who Kills People fame, T is for Tantrum, a hilariously demented tale of a boy losing his first tooth. Walter is a tale of a possibly deluded (or maybe not) young man who believes he is the 3rd son of god sent to earth, his job to decide the fate of everyone he meets. In Chambers is a brilliantly shot, atmospheric little mystery from Norway that features some great performances and one hell of an ending. Jay Clarke’s Orange is a fun little piece featuring real-life couple Jeff Sinasac (from previous Little Terrors short Skhiz) and Tonya Dodds as people who meet on a park bench, but is it a harmless encounter or something else? And the great Zomblies from the UK, where the UK has been divided Escape from New York style after a Zombie infestation and a military squadron sent behind the wall. Most of the squad believes they are there only to rescue another group who lost contact behind the wall, but others are on a secret mission as well. Featuring some great chase sequences and homages to films like The Great Escape, Zomblies was a great capper to the evening.

After the programme finished Justin informed us that he will be bringing back the short Familiar (from the Fright Nights Battle Royale presentation, review here) for the first selection of Little Terrors 10 next month. This is a great opportunity to see the incomparable Robert Nolan in action, so please do yourself a favor and don’t miss it. Little Terrors 10 is scheduled for June 19th, back to Tuesdays, for all information updates on the lineup make sure to follow the Little Terrors page on Facebook.

After the films a group of us headed out to the pub for a lively discussion on many topics including the night’s festivities. A good time was had by all, and I’m sure next month we will all have a great time again.

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 and festivals in Toronto.

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Little Terrors Volume 8, Hidden Worlds Review – The Projection Booth in Toronto (Kirk Haviland)

Little Terrors 8 – Hidden Worlds, March 6th 2012, at the Projection Booth in Toronto

Hosted and Curated by Justin McConnell

Hello All,

I promised a while back I would be talking about this series that Justin McConnell hosts (in the Goon review) and here I am finally following up and keeping my word. Little Terrors is a monthly collection of Genre based short films from around the world put together in a themed event by Justin. This month’s entries rallied around the concept of “Hidden Worlds” and all the things that may entail.

Good Morning, Beautiful

Starring David Tufford and Catherine Campion

Written and Directed by Todd Cobery

Good Morning, Beautiful centers around a couple (Tufford and Campion) who has just lost their newborn baby. The events of the loss are told through a masterful opening credits montage that reminds me of the emotional heft of Pixar’s Up “Death of Ellie” sequence. But things take a much darker turn as the grief and lack of sleep suffered by Dave is taking him further into a delusional state where reality starts to blur. Strong performances from the leads carry this story with solid direction from Mr. Cobery. A festival fave, this is one to look out for.

Crabs in the Dollhouse

Narrated by Annika Schlesinger

Written and Directed by Carrie Juenger

Next up is the most surreal and avant-garde piece of the evening. Is it an allegory for murder/suicide? A take on Cannibalism?  Random crabs dumped in blood puddles for no apparent reason? Whatever it may be, it was the most discussed and debated movie of the evening and had many more questions than answers at the end. So, in those regards it’s a complete success, but it leaves me completely incapable of summarizing it for you here. You’ll need to see it for yourself to decide.


Starring Raizelle Aspilla

Written by Adam Kenneth Wilson

Directed by Raha Shirazi

After that we get Within, a short film entirely based on mood and atmosphere. The audience is seeing the context from a lady who is apparently been in a struggle, as we see evidence on this all around, and  we follow her until we are interrupted by something unexpected which reveals the entire scene to be more than what it seems. While I can admire and appreciate the style and craftsmanship that went in to this, unfortunately the “payoff” does not work for me in the context of the short. However, it does have excellent technical work, and a very captivating lead performance.


Starring Ian Batt and Sarah Mitich

Written and Directed by Colin Berry

What can I say about Prick. It won me over with its visual flair and technical wizardry when I saw it back at TAD in October and was really looking forward to seeing it again. It’s a day in the life of a very disturbed man, a serial killer by trade. When something enters his world that has meaning, we see how it changes his perceptions and motivations to protect it. Excellent lead performance from Batt in this and a repeat viewing does nothing to diminish the film’s impact. Highly recommended and I will be keeping tabs on what Mr. Berry may be up to in the future, and Mr. Batt as well.

Cold Sore

Starring Saskia Burmeister and Henry Nixon

Written and Directed by Matt Bird

After a short intermission, in which Crabs in a Dollhouse was a major topic of discussion, we resumed the program with Aussie import Cold Sore. Jenna (Burmeister) sits alone in a club, apparently stood up on a date. Guy (Nixon) see this and moves in to strike a conversation, also claiming to have been stood up. The two hit it off. As the end of the night draws near, Jenna invites Guy over to her place, he unfortunately has to decline, but takes a rain check. The next morning Jenna notices a cold sore on her lip has formed. What type of person is Guy? What type of person is Jenna for that matter? Solid script and acting highlight another Festival Fave on the bill. Interesting twist on the one night stand scenario doesn’t really surprise or break new ground, but it is an effective entry.


Starring Casey Clark and Marla Johansson

Written and Directed by Adam Mason

From back in 2003 we get our next short, Prey. Spun off from true events, we get a creepy firsthand account from John ‘Bub’ Morris as he stalks his prey, all told through narration, and his prey happens to be women. We see and hear his thoughts through stills and moving pictures as he stalks and kills one of his recent prey. An effective film that shows the potential Mason would see come to fruition years later in his highly underrated feature film, Devil’s Chair.

Based on the horrific true life exploits of Alaska’s most notorious serial killer Robert Hanson.


Starring Jeff Sinasac

Written and Directed by Krzysztof Pospieszynski

Our second to last short featured our cast attendee of the evening as Jeff Sinasac was on hand to provide some feedback and answer a question or two after the screening. Both funny and disturbing and the same time, Skhiz is the only “living” member of a Zombie infested world who has grown so lonely and deluded that he uses former townsfolk, now zombified, to reenact daily conversations and activities. Eventually the townsfolk literally “start talking” as we see them through Skhiz’s perceptions. Ultra low budget production gets point for creativity and an effective lead performance.


Starring Roxanne Tirkov, Mads Althoff and Jonas Bjorn-Andersen

Written and Directed by Casper Haugegaard

Clocking in at 50 minutes, Opstandelsen (Resurrected) is somewhere between feature and short. It closes off our evening with a tale of zombie apocalypse set in the underbelly of a Danish church. Three siblings are trapped in the basement of said church after zombies crash the funeral of their other sibling, Simon. Ruth (Tirkov), Peter (Althoff), and Johannes (Bjorn-Anderson) must find a way out of the labyrinth like surroundings in hopes of escaping from the zombie horde, which now includes their own family, all while finding a way to get over their own squabbling and fighting. The tension in Opstandelsen doesn’t let up, and at 50 minutes it has very little “padding” in the script, just action. The leads do an amiable job, managing to keep you engaged throughout. The setting is inspired, even though the “basement” is completely out of proportion with the rest of the building, seemingly going on forever in parts. Some interesting character choices and a bleak ending solidify the film and make it all the more satisfying in the end. Opstandelsen manages to elevate itself from a lot of the zombie crowd, which is filled with so much crap, and produce an effective thrill ride.

So that’s a wrap on Little Terrors 8 – Hidden Worlds. Justin McConnell has done another excellent job in finding and curating some of the most interesting short films around. I would urge any aspiring filmmakers and just fans of film to get out to the next Little Terrors in April. It’s always a fun night and you get to see what else is out there from the rest of the world genre-wise. Follow Little Terrors on Facebook to keep up to date with the next lineup and screening date announcements.

Til Next Time

Movie Junkie TO aka Kirk Haviland

follow me on Twitter @moviejunkieTO

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Double Bill at the Projection Booth (Dec. 13th) – ‘Little Terrors Short Film Series’ & ‘Christmas Evil’

Hand drawn art from Kevin Hutchinson (

The next edition of Little Terrors is right around the corner. If you haven’t had a chance to check out this incredibly fun monthly series of short horror films, do not wait another month! The press release is below:

Toronto genre fans looking for a little bit of Holiday‐themed mayhem should visit THE PROJECTION BOOTH (1035 Gerrard Street East) on Tuesday, December 13th. On the docket: a double shot of terror for one ticket price! First up, Rue Morgue & Unstable Ground’s monthly short film series, “Little Terrors”, returns for it’s sixth month, starting at 8pm. Then, at 10:30pm, catch director Lewis Jackson’s cult‐classic horror film “Christmas Evil” on the big screen!

We invite you all to this licensed event!

Full Details:

Rue Morgue & Unstable Ground present Little Terrors – Vol. 6 – Holiday in Hell
December 13th @ 8pm, The Projection Booth

Christmas Evil
December 13th @ 10:30pm

Advanced Tickets (also available at door):

Little Terrors on Facebook:

Supporting links:

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