Happy October, weirdos! If you're looking for something different to watch in celebration of the spookiest month of the year, here's a strange and smart animated full-length horror film for you to check out.
I first saw To Your Last Death last year at the 2019 NOLA Horror Film Fest on a whim; it's not often that I get to see weirdo animated horror films, especially those that are feature length. (Obviously, it takes quite a long time to create an animated film.)
Anyway, To Your Last Death has won more than 30 awards on the festival circuit, and if you watch the film, it's easy to see why. The writing is sharp and mult-layered; the same script could easily have been adapted to a video game format, and that's because of the structure and format of the film.
To Your Last Death was directed by Jason Axinn and written by Tanya Klein and Jim Cirile, with an animation style similar to Archer and Metalocalypse --- created by a worldwide animation team that took five years to complete.
You see, it's basically a bloody game to begin with, and there's even a celestial entity, the Gamemaster (Morena Baccarin, Deadpool, Gotham), pulling the strings and toying with the characters constantly. I can see this series as a bloody, bizarre, and action-packed franchise; To Your Last Death is exactly that.
Synopsis from the press release:
After emerging as the sole survivor in a deadly revenge game set up by her father to punish his children, Miriam receives an offer from a supernatural entity to go back in time and try again. Now, Miriam must survive both her father's blood lust and the Gamemaster's ever-changing rules to save her siblings as she relives the worst night of her life.
Miriam (Dani Lennon, The Love Witch) runs a non-profit centered on peace, in pure opposition to her war-mongering, sociopathic, profiteering father Cyrus (Twin Peaks, RoboCop). Along with her siblings, Miriam's called to Cyrus' headquarters after closing on a Friday night, and the carnage begins shortly after that.
Evil Cyrus intends to destroy his adult children in a violent, revenge-filled night --- only he doesn't count on how resourceful Miriam is --- and of course, there's that meddlesome Gamemaster who keeps rewinding time and putting thoughts in characters heads that change the outcome of their fates.
It's a bloody good time.
Other voice actors include the legendary William Shatner (Star Trek), Bill Moseley (The Devil's Rejects, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2), and Florence Hartigan (Zooming, Phoenix Forgotten).
The images on the Blu-ray are extra crisp and clear due to the animation, and sound is great as well, particuarly in the gruesome sound design.
Unfortunately for me at the time of this writing, the extras are not available until the Blu-ray's release date, so I cannot comment on them, but the film's team has put together a whopping four hours of them, and they seem fun. Check them out in the list below.
Each Blu-ray purchase comes with a redemption code (the code is on the sticker on the plastic wrap packaging) to over 4 hours of digital extras, including:
An audio commentary with director Jason Axinn
A Zoom panel with Axinn, star Dani Lennon and others
An interview with star William Shatner
Interviews and behind the scenes with stars Morena Baccarin, Ray Wise, Bill Moseley, Dani Lennon and Florence Hartigan
A behind-the-scenes reel
An animation demo with lead animator Mohammad Ali Sharifpour
Unused artwork and animation, crowdfunding highlights
Featurettes on the development of the film, and more
To learn more about To Your Last Death, visit the film's website here --- and don't forget to check out the trailer below! The Blu-ray will be released on October 6th here in North America, Alternately, you can rent or buy a digital version from Amazon, iTunes, and Vudu.