With just over a fortnight to go until the 16th Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival gets underway, we stop to take a look at the main section of the programme, World Fantastic Cinema. 47 of the best genre films from all over the world are collected together, hailing from such countries as the UK, USA, Spain, Sweden, Canada, Australia, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, India, Finland and no fewer than 9 new films from South Korea.
To-date, representatives of Team ScreenAnarchy have seen and reviewed an impressive 25 of these films already, and links to those write-ups can be found below. Here, however, are 15 titles that I will be doing my best to check out at the festival later this month:
90 Minutes (Park Sun Uk - Korea - 2012)
Blackmail and sex tapes are the order of the day in this new thriller that gets its World Premiere at PiFan. A successful commercial director is on the verge of marrying the CEO's daughter and taking full control of the business, when a young woman emerges, threatening to expose their one night stand. Starring Joo Sang Wook and Jang Mi Ne.
Babycall (Pal Sletune - Norway, Germany, Sweden - 2011)
After the phenomenal success of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo trilogy, and her fine performance in the very dumb but still entertaining Prometheus, I'm on board for anything starring Noomi Rapace. Here she plays a young mother on the run from her violent lover, who begins to pick up strange noises on her baby monitor.
Blind Alley (Antonio Trashorras - Spain, Colombia - 2011)
The debut feature from the writer of The Devil's Backbone and Agnosia is by all accounts a thrilling survival thriller centring on a young woman trapped in a laundrette with a vicious serial killer. The premise alone has me intrigued to see just how Trashorros is going to pull this one off, and as a big fan of his previous work I'm definitely on board.
Dead Sushi (Iguchi Noboru - Japan - 2012)
As a purveyor of late-night trashy cinema, there are few filmmakers who can rival the joyful talents of Iguchi and I'm always first in line when the director of The Machine Girl and Zombie Ass has a new film out. Teaming this time with High Kick Girl star Rina Takeda, and a conveyor-load of reanimated raw fish, what could possibly go wrong?
Dirty Blood (Kang Hyo Jin - Korea - 2011)
Kang's latest is the stuff of classic Korean revenge thrillers. On the eve of In Sun's move to Spain, she learns from her mother that she is the product of a vicious rape and that her father is still alive. The girl resolves to go in search of her father, no doubt building to an emotionally complex, yet hopefully rather bloody, finale.
Doomsday Book (Kim Jee Woon/Yim Pil-Sung - Korea - 2010)
For many, the simple fact that this is the latest project from directos Kim and Yim will be enough. Add to that the fact that this is a science-fiction anthology project featuring zombies, robots and global-killer meteors and this should sky rocket pretty quickly to the top of everyone's must-see list.
God Bless America (Bobcat Goldthwait - USA - 2011)
Who wasn't a fan of Zed back in the days when Police Academy was actually considered good? Fast forward 20-odd years and Goldthwait has successfully reinvented himself as a scabrous director of pitch black comedies with a venomous wit and talent to spare. World's Greatest Dad was phenomenal, so this sweeping attack on the USA is more than welcome.
Grabbers (Jon Wright - UK, Ireland - 2012)
In what sounds like Whiskey Galore! meets Bad Taste, this Irish alien invasion comedy sees a small seaside community turn to the bottle for help when an alien invasion threatens their shores. I'm always keen to check out any new genre film coming out of the UK, and the buzz coming out of Sundance about this one was excellent.
Hi5teria (Chairun Nissa/Harvan Agustriansya/Adriyanto Dewo/Nicholas Yudifar/Billy Christian - Indonesia - 2012)
It appears you can't move for anthology horror movies these days, which is great news for aspiring filmmakers who aren't quite ready, or can't get financing for a feature length project yet. This new Indonesian project collects together 5 short films from some of the country's most promising young talent.
The Life and Times of Paul the Psychic Octopus (Alexandre Philippe - USA, Switzerland - 2012)
Yup, it's the documentary about the incredible cephalopod who managed to correctly predict every result it was asked in the 2010 World Cup and in the process became a global superstar. I gotta admit, I'm curious.
Love Strikes! (Ohne Hitoshi - Japan - 2011)
Following on from the TV drama series of the same name, this is the story of a geeky guy in his early thirties who suddenly, inexplicably, finds himself hounded after by four gorgeous girls. With no prior experience, the lad must now plough through all the delights and pitfalls of a modern romance, with hilarious and dramatic consequences.
Safety Not Guaranteed (Colin Trevorrow - USA - 2012)
Sundance and SXSW audiences raved about this one, and so I'm not missing out on what will be my first opportunity to see Trevorrow's indie comedy about a team of journalists who seek out the author of a bizarre classified ad (Mark Duplass), who claims he can travel back in time. With Aubrey Plaza on board, how can you say no?
Sound of My Voice (Zal Batmanglij - USA - 2011)
Another big Sundance title, Batmanglij's drama follows a journalist and his girlfriend as they plan to infiltrate a cult, whose leader claims to be from the future. However, things go wrong and the couple are slowly sucked in to the bizarre allure of their target.
The Tall Man (Pascal Laugier - USA, Canada - 2012)
Laugier's previous film, Martyrs, was one of the most shocking and divisive horror films in years, firmly cementing his place as one of the genre's most unflinching voices. His follow-up is this English language thriller starring Jessica Biel as a young mother searching for a supernatural entity who may have abducted her child.
V/H/S (David Bruckner/Glenn McQuaid/Radio Silence/Joe Swanberg/Ti West/Adam Wingard - USA - 2012)
If you have been paying any attention at all to what is going on in American horror right now, you should already have this film right at the top of your watch list, if you haven't already seen it. I'm a big fan of Ti West and Adam Winguard, and reports suggest that this found footage anthology might just be the scariest film of the year.
(Pal Sletune - Norway, Germany, Sweden - 2011) - Brian's review
Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal
(Boris Rodriquez - Canada, Denmark - 2012) - Peter G's review
Fairy Tale Killer
(Danny Pang - Hong Kong, China - 2012) - My review
Game of Werewolves
(Juan Martinez Moreno - Spain - 2011) - Ard's review
The Human Centipede 2
(Full Sequence) (Tom Six - Netherlands, UK, USA - 2011) - Josh's review
(Frant Gwo/Yang Li - China - 2011) - Niels' review
(Ching Po Wong - Hong Kong, China - 2011) - My review
(Ishihara Takahiro - Japan - 2011) - My review
Remington and the Curse of Zombadings
(Jade Castro - Philippines - 2011) - Oggs' review
Sound of My Voice
(Zal Batmanglij - USA - 2011) - Jim's review
The Theatre Bizarre
(Douglas Buck/Buddy Giovinazzo/David Gregory/Karim Hussain/Jeremy Kasten/Tom Savini/Richard Stanley - Canada, USA, France - 2011) - Twitch review round-up
Tim & Eric's Billion Dollar Movie
(Tim Heidecker/Eric Wareheim - USA - 2011) - Jim's review
(David Bruckner/Glenn McQuaid/Radio Silence/Joe Swanberg/Ti West/Adam Wingard - USA - 2012) - Ryland's review
Young Gun in the Time
(OH Young Doo - Korea, Japan - 2012) - My review