Cinepocalypse 2017: Full Lineup Announced, Opens With SWEET VIRGINIA, Close With BEYOND SKYLINE
Chicago! Cure your post-Halloween hangover with a healthy dose of fantastic cinema at Cinepocalypse at the Music Box Theatre during the first week of November. Jamie M. Dagg's Sweet Virgina, starring Jon Bernthal will the open the festival. Closing the fest is the bonkers action sci-fi flick Skyline Beyond, starring Frank Grillo and Iko Uwais, guaranteeing to fry any remaining brain cells left over from the week long event.
The tremendous selection of films from around the world includes a few circuit faves including Lowlife, Tragedy Girls, and Jailbreak. There are some really awesome retro screenings as well: Near Dark, Foxy Brown, Bullet in the Head and Maximum Overdrive.
There are other standouts from the circuit so far this year. If you liked The Witch consider Hagazussa - A Heathen's Curse. It's quieter, German cousin of sorts. If you love films that stretch the color palette and cap off with a stupendous dose of what the fuck then don't miss Can Evrenol's Housewife. If you are looking for moody and beautiful gothic horror then you should not miss Brian O'Malley's The Lodgers either.
Screen Anarchy is very proud that members of our family, Izzy Lee and Shelagh Rowan-Legg, have their films in Cinepoclypse's short film program.
The complete program announcement is below.
CHICAGO-BASED CINEPOCALYPSE ANNOUNCES FULL PROGRAMMING, GUESTS, JURIESDebut year of genre festival to award director Larry Cohen and actor Antonio Fargas, opens with SWEET VIRGINIA, closes with BEYOND SKYLINE!The Music Box Theatre is proud to announce their full wave of programming and guests for the debut year of CINEPOCALYPSE (an evolution to the program design of Bruce Campbell's Horror Film Festival), which will take place November 2 - 9 at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre. The Midwest’s largest gathering of genre films and fans, the festival’s organizers are proud to announce dozens of new features, shorts, and premieres, alongside their juries, repertory, and secret screenings.Of the over 60 films selected, highlights include the World Premiere of PRIMAL RAGE; North American Premieres of RENDEL, SNOWFLAKE, and THE TERROR OF HALLOW’S EVE; and U.S. Premieres of BEYOND SKYLINE, LOWLIFE, DOWNRANGE, and MOTORRAD! Among the guests at this year’s festival are writer/director Larry Cohen, filmmaker/guest curator Joe Carnahan, actor Antonio Fargas, actor Eric Roberts, screenwriter/guest host Simon Barrett, actress Barbara Crampton, and Suspiria star Jessica Harper - with many more to be announced!Says Cinepocalypse founder Josh Goldbloom, “This lineup represents the most twisted, hilarious, intelligent, horrifying, and no holds barred badass cinema on this planet. It’s a pummeling collection of international genre films from the world’s most creative and audacious artists. It was a pleasure for us to curate and discover these films and we’re thrilled to unleash it all in a fury of festivities unlike Chicago has ever seen!”Cinepocalypse is made possible by sponsors IFC Midnight, Bloody Disgusting, and The Onion’s A.V. Club.A LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FOR DIRECTOR LARRY COHENLarry Cohen is the sort of filmmaker who creates movie geeks. Upon discovering discover Black Caesar, It’s Alive, Q: The Winged Serpent, or The Stuff, you’re immediately tempted to see all of the director’s other movies. Between his directorial work and his (non-stop) screenplays, it’s safe to say you’ve seen and loved a few Larry Cohen movies without even knowing it. And this year, he’s here to hang out with the audience at Cinepocalypse and watch some movies!THE AMBULANCEwith writer/director Larry Cohen and star Eric Roberts in attendance!USA, 1990Dir. Larry CohenEric Roberts, James Earl Jones, and Janine Turner star in this typically colorful high concept thriller (with humor) from Larry Cohen, one of the most reliably entertaining indie filmmakers over the past 40 years. While not be as well-known as Cohen’s more regularly-screened classics, this smoothly entertaining flick about a mysterious ambulance that keeps snatching up all the women in Roberts’ life has to be seen to be believed.KING COHEN: THE WILD WORLD OF FILMMAKER LARRY COHEN - Midwest Premierewith subject Larry Cohen in attendance!USA, 2017Dir: Steve MitchellIndie film legend Larry Cohen has directed cult classics like Black Caesar, It’s Alive, Q the Winged Serpent, and The Stuff. Hollywood screenwriter Larry Cohen delivered enjoyable high concept matinees like Best Seller, Phone Booth, and Cellular - and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Fans and newcomers alike will savor every minute of this exhaustive documentary, covering virtually every piece of Mr. Cohen’s wildly impressive career.A LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FOR ANTONIO FARGASShaft. Across 110th Street. Cleopatra Jones. Foxy Brown. Starsky and Hutch. I’m Gonna Git You Sucka. These are just a few of the exploitation classics that have been enlivened by the presence of character actor extraordinaire Antonio Fargas, whose body of work stretches from the late 1960s to our closing night film, Beyond Skyline. Join us in celebrating this beloved veteran performer, as we highlight his eclectic and extensive body of work.FOXY BROWNwith co-star Antonio Fargas in attendance!USA, 1974Dir: Jack HillCult legend, blaxploitation goddess, and overall badass Pam Grier stars as a young woman out for revenge after her boyfriend is murdered by a cabal of drug-dealing, sex-trafficking scumbags. It gets gruesome and unpleasant on occasion, but Ms. Grier always brings steely class to even the campiest of moments. Cinepocalypse honoree Antonio Fargas does some fine work as our anti-heroine’s conflicted - and untrustworthy - brother.I’M GONNA GIT YOU SUCKAwith co-star Antonio Fargas in attendance!USA, 1988Dir: Keenan Ivory WayansFans of Shaft, Black Caesar, SuperFly, and Cleopatra Jones, have likely grown up with this Airplane!-style parody, but even newbies to the wonderful world of blaxploitation cinema will find much to love in Keenan Ivory Wayans’ affectionate, on-point lampoon of ‘70s street crime cinema.THE A.V. CLUB PRESENTS: BEYOND THE ROOM - GET EVENTommy Wiseau and The Room have given audiences countless hours of joy over the years, but for the inaugural Cinepocalypse, The A.V. Club is opening the door and taking you “Beyond The Room” with a special presentation of Get Even. By day, John De Hart is a trial lawyer in Los Angeles. By night, he’s the writer, director, producer, composer, and star of this DIY action-romance opus.Shot mostly in 1993 and completed in 2007, Get Even features Satanic cults, corrupt cops, hot tubs, Shakespearean monologues, Wings Hauser laying down his personal philosophy while standing fully clothed in a swimming pool, and the life-changing magic of the “Shimmy Slide,” as performed by De Hart himself. Get Even has never received mainstream distribution and is only available from the director himself, so don’t miss your chance to see this cult-classic-in-the-making that will have you asking, “Who’s Hamlet? Who gives a shit?”THE SECRET SCREENING!It’s top secret, so there’s nothing we can say other than: trust us, be here, or you’ll sincerely regret it!And don’t believe any of the rumors; this one is staying completely under wraps until the title pops up on the screen!40TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION OF SUSPIRIA WITH STAR JESSICA HARPER IN ATTENDANCE!Experience the ultimate in horror with the uncut, 98-minute version on a newly-discovered, Italian-dubbed 35mm print! Dario Argento’s classic tale of murder and paranoia inside a creepy dance academy is celebrating its 40th anniversary, and oldschool Eurohorror fans will not want to miss this special screening. Special thanks to The Chicago Cinema Society for use of their print.BLOOD. GUTS. BULLETS. OCTANE. - Presented by Joe CarnahanCinepocalypse is proud to partner with Joe Carnahan to present a special screening of the legendary writer/director’s 1997 debut, accompanied by a fearsome foursome of classic cinematic thrills, all carefully curated and lovingly hosted by the man himself!BLOOD, GUTS, BULLETS & OCTANE - Extremely rare 35mm Screeningwith writer/director Joe Carnahan in attendance!USA, 1997Dir: Joe CarnahanInspired by the independent bravery of El Mariachi, (the directorial debut of Robert Rodriguez shot for only $7000), Carnahan paved his way as Hollywood’s most badass action filmmaker with this stunning first offering, also shot for an unbelievable seven grand! Following the screening, join writer/director Joe Carnahan as he discusses the trials and tribulations of low-budget filmmaking.NEAR DARK - 30th Anniversary 35mm ScreeningCurated and Introduced by Filmmaker Joe Carnahan!USA, 1987Dir: Kathryn BigelowKathryn Bigelow’s masterful vampire ensemble may have not made much noise upon its theatrical release in 1987 but has gone up to become a true-blue genre classic in recent years. Aliens co-stars Lance Henriksen, Jenette Goldstein, and the late, great Bill Paxton star as a vampire clan who have their undead hearts set on terrorizing a small Texas town. [BLOOD]HARD TIMES - Brand New 4K Restoration PremiereCurated and introduced by Filmmaker Joe Carnahan!USA, 1975Dir: Walter HillWalter Hill director Charles Bronson and James Coburn, who gamble, booze, and box their way through New Orleans during the Great Depression. Recently restored to pristine 4K status, we guarantee you’ve never seen this one on the big screen! [GUTS]BULLET IN THE HEAD - Rare 35mm ScreeningCurated and Introduced by Filmmaker Joe Carnahan!Hong Kong, 1990Dir: John WooJohn Woo’s epic tale of three troubled friends who rise up from minor street toughs to fugitives and smugglers before being thrown into the Vietnam War is easily one of the most kinetic and exciting wartime action flicks ever put to film. Actual heart, humanity, and character elevate this action-packed bullet-fest far above all others of its ilk. [BULLETS]MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE - Rare 35mm ScreeningCurated and Introduced by Filmmaker Joe Carnahan!USA, 1986Dir: Stephen Fucking KingBuffeted by a phenomenal soundtrack by AC/DC, Stephen King’s first - and last - directorial effort is a goofy, grungy, gory tale of homicidal machines, ill-fated humans, and the greasy truck stop diner where vehicular homicide is the special of the day. [OCTANE]CINEPOCALYPSE 2017 OPENING AND CLOSING NIGHT FILMSSWEET VIRGINIA - Opening Night FilmMidwest PremiereUSA, 2017Director: Jamie M. DaggTalent in attendance!A former rodeo champ with a dark past unknowingly starts a rapport with a young man who has a propensity for disturbing sociopathic violence that has suddenly gripped a small town. Jon Bernthal (Netflix’s The Punisher), Christopher Abbott (It Comes at Night), Rosemarie DeWitt (Mad Men), and Imogen Poots (Green Room) star in this twisted, moody, modern day neo-noir masterpiece.BEYOND SKYLINE - Closing Night FilmU.S. PremiereUSA, 2017Dir: Liam O’DonnellTalent in attendance!The stars of The Purge: Anarchy (Frank Grillo) and The Raid: Redemption (Iko Uwais) team up to battle the alien apocalypse in this pulpy, colorful, and wildly over-the-top action/sci-fi/horror mash-up that has to be seen to be believed. The sequel to 2010’s Skyline, this mind-bending lunacy somehow manages to be even more insane (like, way more insane) than its infamous predecessor!ADDITIONAL SECOND WAVE FEATURES INCLUDE:PRIMAL RAGE (World Premiere)USA, 2017Dir: Patrick MageeTalent in attendance!You may have seen a few Bigfoot-related horror films over the years, but it’s safe to say you’ve never seen a Sasquatch rampage like this. Primal Rage is a tale of a young couple, a bunch of hunters, a witch, and some Native American cops who butt heads with a wildly violent forest monster, causing all Hell to break loose! From practical special effects guru Patrick Magee (Spider-Man, Jurassic Park III), this may be the goriest film you’ll see all year!SNOWFLAKE (North American Premiere)Germany, 2017Dirs: Adolfo Kolmerer and William JamesTalent in attendance!Take a dash of Tarantino, a splash of Coen brothers, a metric ton of meta-textual self-awareness, and a fast-paced series of humorously violent misadventures, and you’re halfway to grasping the magnificent madness of this bizarre German import. A gang of lowlife characters all want revenge on the others, but along the way they must contend with assassins, madmen, a blood-covered angel, and an electricity-powered superhero.THE TERROR OF HALLOW’S EVE (North American Premiere)USA, 2017Dir: Todd TuckerTalent in attendance!Timmy Stevens is socially awkward kid, obsessed with horror movies and frequently bullied. But Timmy’s about to get his revenge in full-bore fashion when he unwittingly unleashes an evil creature known as The Trickster on Halloween Night. Genre veteran Doug Jones (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy) provides an amazing creature performance, but the real stars here are the wide array of surprisingly effective creature FX and affection for old-school ‘80s mayhem.DOWNRANGE (U.S. Premiere)USA, 2017Dir: Ryuhei KitamuraTalent in attendance!A merciless sniper takes aim at a car full of college kids, disabling their vehicle on a lonely country road and methodically picking them off, one by one. This latest, nail-biting offering from genre veteran Ryuhei Kitamura (The Midnight Meat Train, Versus) contains the filmmaker’s trademark creeping tension, sudden violence, and extreme nihilism. In other words, things get pretty dark.MOTORRAD (U.S. Premiere)Brazil, 2017Dir: Vicente AmorimTalent in attendance!A slasher by way of George Miller’s MAD MAX meets Wes Craven’s THE HILLS HAVE EYES, this violence-fueled adrenaline ride will leave you absolutely breathless. In this visually stunning Brazilian import, a gang of dirt-bikers on a ride across an isolated region, find themselves being hunted by a machete-wielding band of motorcyclists intent on killing them all. Based on characters created by Marvel comic book author Danilo Beyruth, this atmospheric and suspenseful genre film also functions as an allegory to our battles within. It’s as smart as it is downright frightening, and we’re damn excited to unleash this beast into the U.S. for the very first time!APPLECART - All-New Cut (Midwest Premiere)USA, 2017Dir: Brad BaruhTalent in attendance!A gaggle of powerhouse horror veterans - including Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator), Brea Grant (Beyond the Gates), AJ Bowen (The Signal), Daniel Roebuck (At the Devil’s Door), and Chase Williamson (John Dies at the End) get together for what seems like a fairly standard “cabin in the woods” tale and then it gets weird… and weirder… and super gory. Let’s just leave it at that.CHARISMATA (Midwest Premiere)UK, 2017Dir: Tor Mian and Andy CollierTalent in attendance!A rookie female detective, struggling to find acceptance in a police department defined by a culture of bullying and intolerance, watches as things go from bad to worse as her chief suspect in a series of brutal ritualistic murders takes a personal interest in her. A game of cat and mouse degrades the detective’s grasp on reality and, as she spirals out of control, this young woman must suddenly fight for her sanity, life… and maybe even her soul.THE CRESCENT (Midwest Premiere)Canada, 2017Dir: Seth A. SmithA young widow and her two-year-old son take shelter in a massive, creepy seaside house after the sudden death of her husband. But rather than follow the tropes of standard jump-scare storytelling, The Crescent places a unique focus its child star, some truly impressive visual touches, and a consistently ominous sound design. This creepy Canadian import, which premiered in TIFF’s Midnight Madness program, is guaranteed to get under your skin.GET MY GUN (Midwest Premiere)USA, 2017Director: Brian DarwasTalent in attendance!This wonderfully executed homage to beloved and controversial exploitation classics of the past (namely Abel Ferrera’s Ms. 45 and Meir Zarchi’s I Spit on Your Grave) proves itself to not just as an imitator, but in a league of its own. After a horrible attack leaves Amanda pregnant and out of a job, she finds herself on the verge of motherhood and the target of a psychotic stalker who will stop at nothing to get her hands on the unborn child.THE LODGERS (Midwest Premiere)Ireland, 2017Dir: Brian O’MalleyThere’s been a great flood of Irish horror films over the past several years, and their latest offering is just another example of how to combine classy scares and intermittent nastiness into one good thriller. Director Brian O’Malley (Let Us Prey) brings us the tale of two young twins in the 1920s, the strange rules that govern their existence, and what happens when a handsome newcomer threatens to upset their order of things.PSYCHOPATHS (Midwest Premiere)USA, 2017Dir: Mickey KeatingProlific indie genre machine Mickey Keating (Pod, Darling, Carnage Park) returns with a tale of psychos run amok… Yes, multiple disparate psychos. The execution of an infamous serial killer somehow inspires a half-dozen maniacs to lose their collective minds and commit all sorts of nasty acts, but this is not your standard body count movie. Loaded with odd digressions, fractured narratives, and some enjoyably abstract weirdness, this is may be Keating’s strangest, creepiest movie yet.SEQUENCE BREAK (Midwest Premiere)USA, 2017Dir: Graham SkipperTo call this freaky dark romance a love letter to David Cronenberg’s classic Videodrome would be an understatement, but at least writer/director Graham Skipper has awfully good taste in influences. Sequence Break is a story of a lonely guy, a sweet girl, a deserted arcade, and a video game with insidiously biological tendencies - all of which become intertwined in a perverse, melancholic string of events that will leave all of them forever changed.Previously Announced Cinepocalypse 2017 Features include:RENDEL (North American Premiere)Finland, 2017Director: Jesse HaajaFinland’s first superhero film, Rendel is dystopian action/fantasy unlike anything ever witnessed Stateside. When a massive criminal organization takes over his town, a masked vigilante strikes back through a series of brutal attacks that leave blood spilled and cash ablaze. A dark adventure that harkens to the finest in 80s era comics, Rendel is the anti-Marvel crusader: an all-too-human superhero from the streets, driven solely by rage and revenge!ATTACK OF THE ADULT BABIES (North American Premiere)UK, 2017Director: Dominic BruntHigh-powered middle-aged men intend to refuel the world’s economy by very sinister, sick and monstrous means.* $1.00 of each ticket sale will be donated to the ACLU to assist in continuing their support of defending us from further adult baby attacks.LOWLIFE (U.S. Premiere)USA, 2017Director: Ryan ProwsThe sordid lives of an addict, ex-con, and a luchador collide when an organ harvesting caper goes very, very wrong.POOR AGNES (U.S. Premiere)Canada, 2017Director: Navin RamaswaranA female serial killer and her next victim form an unexpected relationship.ANIMALS (TIERE) (Midwest Premiere)Germany, 2017Director: Greg ZglinskiA vehicle collision with a sheep on a country road initiates a whole series of weird an unsettling experiences for a couple in this darkly comical Lynchian nightmare.BEFORE WE VANISH (Midwest Premiere)Japan, 2017Director: Kiyoshi KurosawaThree aliens travel to Earth in preparation for a mass invasion, taking possession of human bodies.DEAD SHACK (Midwest Premiere)Canada, 2017Director: Peter RicqWhile staying at a run down cabin in the woods, three children must save their parents from the neighbor who intends to feed them to her un-dead family.HAGAZUSSA - A HEATHEN’S CURSE (Midwest Premiere)Germany, 2017Director: Lukas FeigelfeldSet in the Austrian Alps during the middle ages, this morbid and visually stunning tale deals with the fine line between ancient beliefs in magic and delusional psychosis.HOUSEWIFE (Midwest Premiere)Turkey, 2017Director: Can EvrenolOn a snowy eve a young girl’s sister and father are killed by her mother. 20 years later and slowly losing her grip on reality, she runs into a celebrity psychic who claims he is destined to help her. And then things get ultra weird. From the director of Baskin.JAILBREAK (Midwest Premiere)Cambodia, 2017Director: Jimmy HendersonAn entire prison riots and they all get their ass-kicked by a special task force sent in to protect a key witness.MOHAWK (Midwest Premiere)USA, 2017Director: Ted GeogheganLate in the war of 1812, a young Mohawk woman and her two lovers battle a squad of American soldiers hell-bent on revenge. From the director of We Are Still Here.TRENCH 11 (Midwest Premiere)Canada, 2017Director: Leo SchermanIn the final days of WWI a shell-shocked soldier must lead a mission deep beneath the trenches to stop a German plot that could turn the tide of the war. But what lies beneath is way more dark & sinister than they ever could have imagined.VERONICA (Midwest Premiere)Spain, 2017Director: Paco PlazaAfter making a Ouija with friends, a teenager is besieged by dangerous supernatural presences that threaten to harm her whole family. From the director of the REC franchise.TRAGEDY GIRLS (Illinois Premiere)USA, 2017Director: Tyler MacIntyreThis twist on the slasher genre follows two death-obsessed teenage girls who use their online show about real-life tragedies to send their small mid-western town into a frenzy and cement their legacy as modern horror legends.CINEPOCALYPSE 2017 JURY MEMBERSCinepocalypse 2017’s Feature Film Jury is comprised of actress/producer Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator, From Beyond, We Are Still Here), critic and Chicago Film Critics Festival producer Erik Childress, and critic/author Mark Millar (Pirouette/Jungle Book).The festival’s Short Film Jury is made up of writer/director Gary Sherman (Raw Meat, Dead & Buried), Lisa Holmes (Director of Sales, Home Entertainment at Music Box Films and Doppelganger Releasing), and actor/producer/editor Shane Simmons.SHORTS FILMS - LADIES FIRST!Once Cinepocalypse whittled down its hundreds of short film submissions into a small pile of favorites, the realization was made that a startling amount of them were directed by women. So why not, the programmers decided, showcase all of ‘em in one wildly eclectic block?! These shorts cover a wide array of subjects, from small-town psychos to otherworldly mysteries, and all sorts of insanity in between. Cinepocalypse is donating 50% of all proceeds from this screening to The Planned Parenthood Federation of America.These year’s short films include:Beautiful InjuriesDir: Judith BeauvalletBlood ShedDir: James MoranBrown Wreck-LooseDir: Tristian MontgomeryBroadsideDir: Laura NitzBuzzcutDir: Jon RhoadsThe DollmakerDir: Al LougherDon’t Ever ChangeDir: Don SwaynosFeeding TimeDir: Matt MercerFlowDir: Shelagh Rowan-LeggFor a Good Time CallDir: Izzy LeeImbroglioDir: Christopher ZattaIncendoDir: Slater DixonLatchDir: Justin HardingOver EasyDir: Laura NitzPendulumDir: Lauren CooneyRemote ViewingDir: Robert PuccinelliThird WheelDir: Danny DelPurgatoriRoohangizDir: Elmira BagherzadahSleazy PeteDir: Frank AppacheWe Summed a DemonDir: Chris McInroyWhat Metal Girls Are IntoDir: Laurel VailYour Date Is HereDir: Todd SpenceERIC ROBERTS IS THE FUCKING MAN!With over 476 acting credits (and growing by the day), Oscar nominated thespian and just all around badass Eric Roberts (!!!) takes part in a very special live recording of Doug Tilley & Liam O’Donnell’s acclaimed film podcast ERIC ROBERTS IS THE FUCKING MAN. Though there are dozens of episodes that have been produced without the man Eric Roberts involved, Cinepocalypse is proud to introduce the parties to each other for the first time ever!We promise this will be one of the most epic events of the festival!THE CINEPOCALYPSE MIDNIGHT MOVIE CHALLENGEThe production team at Boulderlight Pictures consists of 23-year-old JD Lifshitz and 24-year-old Raphael Margules. Alongside both Contracted films, they also produced Bad Match, which received its premiere at FrightFest; the upcoming Dismissed (starring Dylan Krause); and numerous other genre titles.With their youthful exuberance and heavy output, we've issued them a challenge: produce a genre feature exclusively for Cinepocalypse 2017. There are no parameters other than it must be a feature-length midnight movie, and that they must begin production immediately upon release of our first announcement.Together, attendees of Cinepocalypse will all experience the World Premiere of this yet-untitled (and unwritten… and unfilmed) production during a special midnight slot in this year’s inaugural festival!