Every year I seem to have a conversation with someone about how weak the year was for horror. Reflecting back, I think it’s more so that every year there are a few gems that need plucking from a landfill of garbage. This doesn’t mean it was a “bad year,” it just means that the goodies are to be discovered and then celebrated.
My odd scenario comes in that I attend major festivals – Sundance, SXSW, TIFF and more- thus, I see quite a bit more than the average folk…and I see everything early. This isn’t me bragging, more so just a note that, like previous years, most of the films on my list have yet to be released.
I just hope that this list, which also carries the first two ever “Editor’s Choice” tags, gives you all a few films to be excited for in 2013. Shit, you may finally get to see You’re Next this year, too! READ MORE
Even though our man on the scene, Lonmonster, has already delivered two batches of mini-reviews out of the Fantasia Film Festival (read part one and part two), I too was on hand watching dozens of horror movies.
While I’m proud to report two sellouts for our V/H/S and Under the Bed, there were a handful of excellent horror films running alongside us that I’m more that ecstatic to tell you about.
Inside you’ll find the BEST of the fest, which includes my mini-reviews for Juan of the Dead, My Amityville Horror, Sleep Tight, Game of Werewolves, Hidden in the Woods, Resolution, Play Dead, Sushi Girl and Toad Road. The WORST comes next… READ MORE
When Havana begins to fill up with zombies, two friends hatch a plan to launch a zombie extermination service after their picturesque island is overrun by the living dead in this satirical horror film from director Alejandro Brugués. Fast, fun and hilarious, Juan of the Dead, gives a decidedly latin touch to the zombie genre, along with a winking nod to the zom-com hit, Shaun of the Dead. It arrives in DVD August 14.
“It’s the anniversary of the Cuban Revolution, and as the hungry undead make an unwelcomed appearance, best friends Juan (Alexis Días de Villegas) and Lázardo (Jorge Molina) decide to parlay their skills for dispatching zombies into a professional career. “Juan of the dead killed their loved ones” is their slogan, and their mission is to help people get rid of those infected around them … for a price. As the government attempts to maintain public order by blaming the fracas on Americans who they claim are attempting to topple the current regime, Juan and Lazardo rally the troops, gather their weapons, and prepare to make a killing by ridding Cuba of zombies one shambling, flesh-eating corpse at a time.”
Extras include: Behind-the-scenes featurette, deleted scenes and interviews.
The Toronto After Dark Film Festival will make its return to its first love, the newly renovated Bloor Hot Docs Cinema for nine nights this October. The complete makeover includes better seating, a top notch digital projector and a much improved sound system. Also I really appreciated that the film intros were projected onto the screen so balcony dwellers don’t miss out on any of the action.
I can’t think of a better way to celebrate this homecoming than Toronto After Dark’s first Summer Screening Nights. It makes the wait for the actual Film Festival that much more bearable, as well as wisely keeping TAD in genre fans’ collective consciousness all summer long. Audiences got treated to two nights of four feature films. While they’re all dabbling within the horror genre, each film had its own unique flavour. To kick-off the festivities, Festival Director and Founder, Adam Lopez played one of his personal favourites, Director Peter Cornwell’s (The Haunting in Connecticut) 2003 Claymation short, Ward 13. This delightfully kooky, action-packed ride is not to be missed. If the strong audience turnout for these double bills (final showing was a sell-out) is any indication, this is a start to a more than welcome summer tradition.
Disclaimer: I will only be reviewing three of the four titles since one of them just happened to be V/H/S. While I had nothing to do with the making of the film, it would be in very poor taste to review it as a Contributing Writer on this site. Being a horror devotee like yourself, it sucks not to be able to share my thoughts with you. Oh well, it is what it is. READ MORE
“Toronto After Dark, the popular horror, sci-fi, action and cult film festival, begins a limited, two-nights only, Summer Screening series tonight, Wednesday, June 27 with Juan of the Dead, Cuba’s first-ever Zombie movie that’s been getting great buzz from fans on the festival circuit. Then stick around if you dare, to experience the Canadian Premiere of The Pact, the scary new supernatural film that shook up audiences at Sundance! TAD’s second screening night is in two weeks time on Wed, July 11, and has the pairing of sci-fi, horror, cult comedy Detention starring The Hunger Games‘ Josh Hutcherson and the Canadian Premiere of V/H/S, the terrifying new found footage film featuring the works of six different movie directors that freaked out audiences at Sundance and SXSW!”
Tickets and Passes, starting from $13, available in advance, or at the door of the screening venue. the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, 506 Bloor Street West at Bathurst, Toronto.
Complete details on TAD’s Summer Films, including detailed descriptions, trailers, images and advance tickets, all available at the festival website. READ MORE
The zombie world has yet to witness one last stand – Cuba. An outbreak hits the island on the anniversary of the revolution, so Juan and his friends set out to conquer the undead who, according to government reports, are unruly Americans continuing their quest of undermining the regime.
In theaters May 4 from Outsider Pictures is the awesome Cuban horror Juan of the Dead, which isn’t quite getting the love it deserves. Below we’ve added the official theatrical poster for Alejandro Brugués’ zombie flick that stars Andrea Duro, Luis Alberto García and Jorge Molina.
“The zombie world has yet to witness one last stand – Cuba. An outbreak hits the island on the anniversary of the revolution, so Juan and his friends set out to conquer the undead who, according to government reports, are unruly Americans continuing their quest of undermining the regime.”
It’s been a while since we posted anything about Juan Of The Dead, but Empire has landed a cool new clip that we figured we’d pass along. Judging from this tidbit, the film looks to have retained a bit of the vibe of Shaun Of The Dead (though the films are unrelated except for the titular inspiration). I still haven’t seen the film, but I’m definitely looking forward to checking it out.
In the film, “After zombies take over Havana, Juan (Díaz de Villegas) and his friends decide to conquer the marauding undead, reported by the government as being unruly Americans continuing their quest of undermining the regime.”
Outsider Pictures releases the film on May 4th. Head inside to check out the clip! READ MORE
Outsider Pictures today announced the acquisition of the international hit Juan of The Dead (review), from Guadalajara-based international film sales and distribution company Latinofusion, for US theatrical distribution in the United States.
Juan of the Dead will be screened as part of MIFF’s Gala series at the upcoming Festival, March 2 – 11, 2012, and will be the first theatrical screening of the film under the Outsider Pictures banner. Director Alejandro Brugués, actor Alexis Díaz de Villegas, and Outsider Pictures and Latinofusion executives are scheduled to attend the screening.
Focus World, the unique digital distribution initiative owned and operated by Focus Features, will release the movie later in 2012 to EST, iVOD and VOD, along with DVD and other formats.
“After zombies take over Havana, Juan (Díaz de Villegas) and his friends decide to conquer the marauding undead, reported by the government as being unruly Americans continuing their quest of undermining the regime.” READ MORE
Completely over-hyped in my opinion, Brad McHargue heads to Cuba with his review of Alejandro Brugués’ Juan of the Dead, which screened at this past weekend’s Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas. In the film an outbreak hits Cuba on the anniversary of the revolution, so Juan and his friends set out to conquer the undead who, according to government reports, are unruly Americans continuing their quest of undermining the regime.
“ ‘Juan of the Dead’ is a fun little zombie film…in a landscape where everyone and their mother are making zombie films, [it] definitely stands out as a unique little take on an often overplayed sub-genre.”
You can get Brad’s full take by clicking the title above.
John Sloss and Bart Walker’s Cinetic Media has inked U.S. and Canadian rights to Cuban helmer Alejandro Brugues’ Juan de los Muertos (Juan of the Dead), the Cuban zombie comedy that world premiered at TIFF, reports Variety.
According to “Dead’s” Spanish producer Gervasio Iglesias, the Cinetic Media deal went down after “Dead’s” first Toronto fest screening on Saturday. Avalon has Spanish distribution rights and will release “Dead” in January.
“Dead” toplines Cuba’s Alexis Diaz de Villegas as Juan, a 40-year-old slacker, who notices that people are beginning to turn violent. As a zombie epidemic spreads through Havana, Juan decides to make a quick buck, offering to slay people’s infected relatives.
But as the zombie plague reaches national proportions, with people desperately trying to leave the island, Juan has to concentrate on sheer survival.”
“‘Dead’ works as comedy, but it’s also a metaphor for Cuba’s 50 years of revolution,” Iglesias said.
Latino Review has scored an exclusive look at the trailer for the Cuban zombie horror comedy Juan of the Dead (first announced last May), a social satire which is not afraid to poke fun at the system. Alejandro Brugues’s undead romp is the first ever Cuban horror film.
“Juan is a typical forty-year-old slacker. One day Havana begins to fill up with zombies. Juan decides that the best way to cope with it is to prosper. “Juan of the dead killed their loved ones” is his slogan, and his mission is to help people get rid of those infected around them … for a price. But the situation gets worse — while everyone is escaping to sea as a means to get away, Juan is left with no choice but to become a hero, staying to defend his country and protect his own on an island that has turned into a real bloodbath.”
Cuban cinema used to win international plaudits for its imaginative art house movies built around political or social themes. But the industry has fallen on hard times and the state can no longer afford to fund such projects, reports the BBC. Now a new generation of filmmakers is emerging, raising money from abroad. The latest production is the camp Zombie horror comedy Juan of the Dead (first announced last May), a social satire which is not afraid to poke fun at the system. The BBC’s Michael Voss met up with director Alejandro Brugues on set of the $2m post-apocalyptic horror flick. Check out the video inside. READ MORE