Australia’s premier genre film festival Monster Fest returns to Melbourne for its 6th edition Nov 24-27, 2016 – and they’ve just rolled out their first slate of official selections.
Following on announcements that the official Opening Film will be Julia Ducournau’s controversial Raw, with Jim Hosking’s The Greasy Stranger as Closing Film and keynote speaker Ted Kotcheff presenting retrospective screenings of his films Wake In Fright, First Blood, Weekend At Bernie’s and a new HD master of cult TV rarity Split Image, Monster Fest is pleased to announce its first wave of new feature film titles, including Free Fire, the latest from visionary director Ben Wheatley; Troll Hunter director André Øvredal’s long-awaited English language debut The Autopsy Of Jane Doe; the new digital restoration of Andrzej Żuławski’s sci-fi epic On The Silver Globe; Jesse Moss’ (The Overnighters) newest acclaimed documentary The Bandit – about the legendary friendship between Burt Reynolds and stuntman-turned-director Hal Needham – and much more. Brief descriptions of each film follow below.
“Monster Fest has come a long way since its inception in 2011,” says Festival Director Kier-La Janisse. “Originally conceived as a platform for showcasing Monster Pictures’ own titles, it has since evolved into its own beast, and continues to grow each year into the kind of diverse and inclusive genre festival that we see as key to fueling support for genre film production and exhibition in this country. It’s a place for us to come together with both independent filmmakers and our colleagues in the distribution landscape to share the most exciting, challenging and acclaimed genre titles emerging each year – ranging from horror and sci-fi to documentary, animation, crime and even westerns. We wanted to create an event that could be the Australian equivalent of major genre fests like Fantasia, Sitges and Fantastic Fest – and I think we’ve made huge strides in that direction.”
MONSTER FEST 2016 FIRST WAVE:
ALWAYS SHINE – Australian Premiere
Director: Sophia Takal | USA 2016
When two competitive actresses go on a vacation to a cabin in the woods to try to rekindle their damaged friendship, tensions rise and facades crumble, causing an inevitable violent confrontation.
ANTIBIRTH – Victorian Premiere
Director: Danny Perez | Canada/USA 2016
Natasha Lyonne and Chloe Sevigny star in this psychedelic Sundance midnighter about a hard-partying gal who finds herself pregnant with a rapidly growing and increasingly hostile presence after a drug-fueled blackout.
THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE – Australian Premiere
Director: André Øvredal | USA 2016
Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch star as father-son coroners who find themselves enveloped by dark forces when they are called upon to do an urgent forensic analysis of a mysterious corpse. One of the most terrifying films of the year and winner of the Best Horror Feature Award at this year’s Fantastic Fest. (Tickets for this show on sale now at www.lidocinemas.com.au)
THE BANDIT – Australian Premiere
Director: Jesse Moss | USA 2016
Jesse Moss’ (THE OVERNIGHTERS) latest acclaimed documentary about the legendary friendship between Burt Reynolds and stuntman-turned director Hal Needham and the making of their unlikely box-office smash Smokey And The Bandit.
DEAREST SISTER – Australian Premiere
Director: Mattie Do | Laos 2016
Leaving Australian audiences haunted with her 2013 feature debut Chanthaly, Lao filmmaker Mattie Do returns with another penetrating supernatural tale about families, illness and fracturing identities.
DEAD HANDS DIG DEEP – Victorian Premiere
Director: Jai Love | Australia 2016
19-year old Sydney filmmaker Jai Love’s debut feature is the heartfelt and often grim documentary portrait of the reclusive Edwin Borsheim – notorious onstage mutilator, former backyard wrestler and frontman for extreme metal band Kettle Cadaver.
FREE FIRE – Australian Premiere
Director: Ben Wheatley | USA 2016
In his most accessible, action-packed film to date, British visionary Ben Wheatley (Kill List, High Rise) places us in the center of a shootout of absurd proportions when an international arms deal goes horribly wrong in a 1978 Boston warehouse. Starring Cillian Murphy, Brie Larsen, Sharlto Copley and Noah Taylor. Tickets for this show on sale now at www.lidocinemas.com.au
ON THE SILVER GLOBE – New Digital Restoration
Director: Andrzej Żuławski | Poland 1988
An inexhaustibly inventive and absorbing film maudit that quite literally creates a new cinematic world, Andrzej Żuławski’s sci-fi epic On The Silver Globe is perhaps the grandest expression of his visionary artistry. This rarely screened film returns in a gorgeous new digital restoration that was approved by Żuławski – best known to Monster fans as the director of Possession – only days before passing away earlier this year.
SLASH – Australian Premiere
Director: Clay Liford | USA 2016
In Clay Liford’s painfully poignant Cosplay comedy, an introverted high school freshman lies about his age to post his erotic gay fan fiction in an exclusive online forum. But he finds himself at the centre of an emotional shootout when he is invited to a live-read at a nearby Comicon. Featuring an inappropriate Eddie Munster joke.
MONDO YAKUZA – World Premiere
Director: Addison Heath | Australia 2016
Presented in black and white with a grindhouse glaze, this latest from prolific Australian filmmaker Addison Heath comes on like Chopper mixed with a Seijun Suzuki crime film of the 60s. This screening also doubles as the book launch party for Aussie genre scribe Michael Helms’ Fatal Visions Book 2.
BEYOND THE GATES – Australian Premiere
Director: Jackson Stewart | USA 2016
After their father goes missing, two brothers (Graham Skipper of Almost Human and Chase Williamson of John Dies At The End) meet at his video store to liquidate his assets. When they discover a VCR board game and the last video their father viewed, they find that it may actually open a door to a more sinister world. Co-starring genre fave Barbara Crampton.
EYE OF THE DEVIL – 50th Anniversary Screening
Director: J. Lee Thompson | UK 1966
The inspiration for this year’s Monster Fest trailer (which you can see ), this proto-Wicker Man folk horror film stars David Niven as the heir to a mysterious vineyard and Deborah Kerr as his endangered spouse, who is being increasingly terrorized by local priest Donald Pleasence and creepy siblings David Hemmings and Sharon Tate (the latter in her film debut).
THE GREASY STRANGLER – Victorian Premiere
Director: Jim Hosking | UK/USA 2016
Monster Fest’s Official 2016 Closing Film is this Sundance WTF sensation in which a bizarre father-son duo compete for the affections of a seductive woman they meet on their Disco Walking Tour, while an oily maniac prowls the streets wringing necks. (Tickets for this show now on sale at www.lidocinemas.com.au)
MADE FOR TV MAYHEM – World Premiere
The world premiere book launch of Are You In The House Alone? A TV Movie Compendium 1964-1999 with a clip-and-tell panel featuring the book’s editor and authors, and a screening of Buzz Kulik’s 1974 tele-fright, Bad Ronald. Co-presented with Cinemaniacs Film Society.
RAW – Australian Premiere
Director: Julia Ducournau | France 2016
Monster Fest 2016’s official Opening Film is the controversial, stomach-churning tale of a young vegetarian who discovers a dark appetite after she is forced to participate in a carnivorous hazing ritual. (tickets for this show now on sale atwww.lidocinemas.com.au)
SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL: THE TRUE STORY OF THE PROCESS CHURCH OF THE FINAL JUDGEMENT – Australian Premiere
Director: Neil Edwards | UK 2015
UK Director Neil Edwards will join us in person for his mind-melting doc about the esoteric and oft-misunderstood Process Church, which rose to prominence in the 1960s as a dark counterpart to the era’s new wave of spiritual experimentation.
Stay tuned for future announcements, including our second wave of feature film titles, our huge short film program (double the size of last year!) and our educational and industry component, The Swinburne University Media and Communication Monster Academy.
The full Monster Fest 2016 Program will be launched on October 31, 2016, both on our new festival website and in our collectible print guide, which will be unleashed at a program launch party and Halloween screening of Rob Zombie’s 31 at the Lido Cinema (Tickets for that event HERE:https://www.lidocinemas.com.au/Movie/31).