Attention Canadian genre enthusiasts! The Saskatoon Fantastic Film Festival is gearing up with another round of high-quality feature films. The festival’s 8th edition (November 15-18) is a four-day event that simply overflows with genre goodness.
The 2017 program opens with Tyler MacIntyre’s Tragedy Girls, a surefire crowd-pleaser that is equal parts winking slasher spoof and skewering of social media obsessed millennials. High-octane action from South-Korea is sure to leave viewers gobsmacked as The Villainess makes her way to the Broadway Theatre. Miike Takashi’s Blade of the Immortal will step in to slice and dice any and all remaining pieces while Bad Black brings levity and a distinctly African approach to filmmaking in unison with its hail of bullets.
On the more bizarre end of the spectrum we find Rainer Sarnet’s November, a fantasy drama based on an Estonian bestseller (Rehepapp), and Marianna Palka’s feminist satire Bitch. Teemu Nikki’s The Euthanizer – an offbeat thriller that speaks out against animal cruelty in surprising ways as it condemns utterly misguided notions of manhood – is a discovery that shouldn’t be missed.
Read on for the press release and full lineup, but rest assured: if you're in Saskatchewan, looking for something fun to do, Saskatoon Fantastic has you covered.
8th Annual Saskatoon Fantastic Film Festival
Festival Favourites Fill the Line-Up of Diverse Genre Films
Saskatoon – October 23rd, 2017 - Saskatoon Fantastic Film Festival, Saskatchewan’s only genre film festival had announced its film lineup. The 8th edition of the festival returns to the hallowed hall of the Broadway Theatre from November 15th through 18th. This year’s lineup features a diverse selection of genre films pulled from some of the best film festivals around the world.
This year’s festival will open with Tyler Macyntyre’s gory comedy horror “Tragedy Girls” which has been bringing terror and laughs across the festival scene since it first premiered at SXSW.
Closing this year’s festival is surprise festival hit “Lowlife”. Director Ryan Prows’ love letter to crime films from the 90s blew everyone away at Fantasia.
“Every year we really want Saskatoon Fantastic Film Festival to be its own beast. The programming team loves films that strive to push some boundaries and elevate genre film. Our goal has always been to help our audience develop and grow as film fans by experiencing something different. We’ll give them some crowd pleasers but we’ll also keep them thinking about us long after with the films that challenge and stick with deep in their memory.” said festival founder and Director John Allison.
Some of the other films at the festival include the Quebec made French zombie film “Les Affamés” film from Robin Aubert, the ridiculously fun German action flick “Plan B”, the divisive anti-horror horror film “The Honor Farm”, the challenging look into what makes a serial killer, “My Friend Dahmer”, one of the best art designed independent films of the past few years in quirky offbeat “Dave Made a Maze”, the epic 100th film from Takashi Miike “Blade of the Immortal”, as well as 11 other films pulled from the best festivals around the world.
More information is available concerning the Saskatoon Fantastic Film Festival at www.skfilmfest.com.
Feature Film Line-Up
Les Affamés (The Ravenous) – Canada
In a small, remote village in upstate Quebec, things have changed. Locals are not the same anymore – their bodies are breaking down and they have turned against their loved ones. A handful of survivors goes hiding into the woods, looking for others like them.
Bad Black – Uganda
The story of a ruthless crime boss whose reign is challenged by an army of police, a kindly American doctor, and a scrappy local boy named Wesley Snipes who teaches commando-approved kung fu. Bad Black is filled with prison riots, motorcycle chases, gun fights, poo-poo, and insanely entertaining hype-man narration.
Beyond Skyline - Canada, USA, Indonesia, Singapore
Los Angeles Detective Mark Corley thought bailing out his eighteen-year-old son, Trent, was the worst part of his day. But on the subway ride home, the skies above fill with a strange blue light. Within moments, the entire city’s population is vacuumed up into a massive alien ship. In the aftermath, father and son lead a band of survivors to the marina. But when Trent is abducted, Mark relentlessly storms after his son onto the nightmarish warship. As the aliens move across the planet, feeding off the remnants of humanity, the resilient Mark battles through the bizarre environment, uncovering their horrific secrets. Before long, he forges an alliance with an unlikely ally. Together they are able to crash the ship and rescue several abductees, including an infant girl who holds the key to defeating the aliens’ power. Landing in Southeast Asia, they encounter a highly skilled resistance force, led by the deadly Sua. In a race against time, these warriors from different sides of the world must unite to save their families and take back the planet once and for all.
Bitch - USA
Jill, a lonely, distraught housewife with four unruly children, paces on her dining room table with a belt around her neck, contemplating a desperate end to her wretchedness. Her husband, Bill, focused on his identity as breadwinner and an affair with a lusty co-worker, is as oblivious to Jill’s growing terror that she will do something destructive as he is to the panic at his unraveling company. Meanwhile, dogs bark and howl through the night, as one persistent mutt continually stalks the family’s yard. When Jill’s psyche finally breaks, she takes on a vicious new canine persona.
Blade of the Immortal - Japan
Manji, a highly skilled samurai, becomes cursed with immortality after a legendary battle. Haunted by the brutal murder of his sister, Manji knows that only fighting evil will regain his soul. He promises to help a young girl named Rin avenge her parents, who were killed by a group of master swordsmen led by ruthless warrior Anotsu. The mission will change Manji in ways he could never imagine…
Dave Made a Maze – USA
Dave, an artist who has yet to complete anything significant in his career, builds a fort in his living room out of pure frustration, only to wind up trapped by the fantastical pitfalls, booby traps, and critters of his own creation. Ignoring his warnings, Dave’s girlfriend Annie leads a band of oddball explorers on a rescue mission. Once inside, they find themselves trapped in an ever-changing supernatural world, threatened by booby traps and pursued by a bloodthirsty Minotaur.
The Endless – USA
Following their acclaimed debut RESOLUTION and their follow-up, the Lovecraftian modern cult classic SPRING, writer/directors Moorhead and Benson star as brothers who receive a mysterious message inspiring them to pay a visit to the cult they escaped as children. As unsettling events and phenomena begin to occur, the brothers are forced to question whether the cult’s supernatural beliefs might not be entirely made up – and if, now that they’ve returned, they’ll be allowed to leave again.
Euthanizer – Finland
Euthanizer is a violent summer noir. It tells the story of Veijo Haukka, a 50-year-old mechanic, whose second job is to put sick pets to sleep. But what happens when he decides to save the wrong person’s dog? The themes revolve around animal rights, suffering and death. But the real story is not about good or evil – it’s about the stupidity of absolute men.
The Honor Farm – USA
When Lucy’s prom night falls apart, she finds herself jumping into a hearse headed for a psychedelic party in the woods. Looking for a thrill, the party wanders deeper into the forest, to a haunted prison work farm. A secret wish and a summoning of the dead sends the group on a mind-bending trip that may be a dangerous trap.
Housewife - Turkey
Holly’s mother murdered her father and her sister when she was only seven years old. Two decades later, now an adult who has problems telling reality from the nightmares that are haunting her, Holly will meet a famous mentalist, who claims he’s destined to help her. With Housewife, Can Evrenol delves deep into the psyche’s domains with the savageness that characterizes him.
Lowlife – USA
The sordid lives of small-time criminals collide when an organ harvesting caper goes very, very wrong.
My Friend Dahmer – USA
Jeffrey Dahmer murdered 17 men and boys in the American Midwest, becoming one of history’s most infamous serial killers. This is the story before that story. Jeff (Disney Channel’s Ross Lynch) is an awkward teenager struggling to make it through high school with a family life in ruins. His bizarre behavior at school attracts unexpected friends, a group of band-nerds who form The Dahmer Fan Club, headed by Derf Backderf (Alex Wolff, “Patriots Day”). But as they near graduation, Jeff’s depravity continues to take hold, and he spirals further out of control. Based on Backderf’s critically acclaimed 2012 graphic novel and written for the screen and directed by Marc Meyers, MY FRIEND DAHMER is the haunting, sad, funny, true story of Jeffrey Dahmer in high school.
November - Estonia
In this tale of love and survival in 19th century Estonia, peasant girl Liina longs for village boy Hans, but Hans is inexplicably infatuated by the visiting German baroness that possesses all that he longs for. For Liina, winning Hans’ requited love proves incredibly complicated in this dark, harsh landscape where spirits, werewolves, plagues, and the devil himself converge, where thievery is rampant, and where souls are highly regarded, but come quite cheap. With alluring black and white cinematography, Rainer Sarnet vividly captures these motley lives as they toil to exist—is existence worth anything if it lacks a soul?
Plan B – Germany
When three young action stunt men go on a hunt through Berlin to free their friend from the clutches of an unscrupulous gangster, they are involved in a conspiracy that takes them to the underworld of Berlin.
Poor Agnes – Canada
Agnes Poelzl is a vicious psychopath. She lives in a state of dreamy contemplation, her powerful mind twisted by insanity. Mike Mercer is a private investigator researching a cold case. When his investigation leads him to Agnes, he has no idea what he’s getting himself into. Agnes seduces, captures, and locks Mike in her basement. She then begins a regimen of brutal psychological torture meant to brainwash him into a state of total compliance.
Tragedy Girls – USA
Sadie and McKayla are two social media-obsessed best friends who will stop at nothing to build their online following. The self-titled “Tragedy Girls” kidnap Lowell, an unambitious local serial killer, and force him to mentor them into modern horror legends by committing murders to blow up on the internet. As the bodies fall, the girls become national news and panic in their small town hits a fever pitch – just then, Lowell escapes! Now with the local Sheriff closing in and their relationship on the rocks, the girls must rethink their plan before they find themselves the latest victims of their own killing spree.
The Villainess – South Korea
Bloody revenge is at the heart of this stylish, kinetic action-thriller that gives a welcome shot of adrenaline to the classic femme fatale story. Honed from childhood into a merciless killing machine by a criminal organization, assassin Sook-hee is recruited as a sleeper agent with the promise of freedom after ten years of service – and she jumps at the chance for a normal life. But soon enough, secrets from her past destroy everything she’s worked for, and now nobody can stand in her way as she embarks on a roaring rampage of revenge.