Hard Core Logo II

Bruce McDonald’s long-awaited follow-up to his cult classic mock-doc stars McDonald himself as “Bruce,” the director of Hard Core Logo, who has relocated to L.A. and scored a profitable gig as a TV director. When the show he’s been working on is suddenly put on hiatus, Bruce is at loose ends. When he hears that punk rocker Care Failure (played by real-life musician Care Failure) has claimed that she channelled the spirit of Hard Core Logo’s late singer Joe Dick while writing songs for her new album, Bruce hies to Saskatchewan, where Failure and her band Die Mannequin are recording the album under the tutelage of Dick’s idol and former mentor Bucky Haight (Julian Richings, who played the same role in the original film).

George A. Romero’s Survival of the Dead

In a world where the dead rise to menace the living, rogue soldier Crocket (Alan Van Sprang) leads a band of military dropouts to refuge from the endless chaos. As they search for a place “where the shit won’t get you,” they meet banished patriarch Patrick O’Flynn (played with zeal by Kenneth Welsh), who promises a new Eden on the fishing and ranching outpost Plum Island. The men arrive, only to find themselves caught in an age-old battle between O’Flynn’s family and rival clan the Muldoons. It turns out that Patrick was expelled from the isle for believing that the only good zombie is a dead zombie, while the Muldoons think it’s wrong to dispatch afflicted loved ones, attempting to look after their undead kinfolk until a cure is found. But their bid for stability on the homestead has turned perverse: the undead are chained inside their homes, pretending to live normal lives – and the consequences are bloody. A desperate struggle for survival will determine whether the living and the dead can coexist.

Such apocalyptic themes have long haunted George A. Romero, much to the delight of his legions of fans. He now follows Crocket, a minor character from his last film, Diary of the Dead, to present a new doomsday scenario. In that film, Crocket made a brief appearance with his militia to appropriate the heroes’ supplies at gunpoint. For Crocket’s subsequent journey, Romero does something that most horror directors have neglected to do in recent years – he uses the genre to address societal issues. Romero here creates a world in which he can wrestle with the human condition while simultaneously finding new and creative ways to exterminate lurching flesh eaters.

The film is also a sharp subversion of the western. It can be seen as a reflection of William Wyler’s The Big Country, in which stubborn clans feuded as larger troubles raged. We needn’t look further than today’s news headlines to see examples of such fracture and to understand how it prevents more significant problems from being solved.

Fear not, Romero is still determined to give you gruesome and macabre thrills, but will also serve up a bloody little parable on the side. So who are you going to side with, the living or the dead?

[Synopsis courtesy of the Toronto International Film Festival]

The Conspiracy

A documentary about conspiracy theories takes a horrific turn after the filmmakers uncover an ancient and dangerous secret society.

All Hallows’ Eve 2

A woman finds a VHS tape on her doorstep that shows a series of gruesome tales that could be real. But the true danger is the pumpkin-faced killer that’s using the tape to find his next victim.

The Rainbow Kid

Eugene, a young man with Down Syndrome, embarks on the journey of a lifetime: he’s going to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and save the day.

Patch Town

Patch Town, inspired by the award-winning short film of the same name. After years in a loving home, Jon, a toy, was forgotten, deserted and ultimately betrayed by his adoptive mother. He returns to live a sad life as a worker on the line; a life of factory work and oppression in a place where hundreds of cabbage babies are born every day. The thankless task of shucking, picking, and processing these newborns to go out into the world and to their new mothers has taken its toll on Jon. With each new birth, Jon slips deeper into sadness, lamenting the days when life was good and he was loved.

Hellmouth

Hot off the heels of Septic Man and Ejecta, genre studio Foresight Features and Pontypool writer Tony Burgess have unleashed the trailer for their third collaboration, and the company’s most ambitious film to date, the horror fantasy throwback HELLMOUTH. A visual mindwarp in the vein of F.W. Murnau meets Tim Burton, HELLMOUTH is director John Geddes’ (Exit Humanity) love letter to an era of forgotten cinema. Veteran actor in over 200 films, Hoser horror hero Stephen McHattie (300) is back, taking on two bigs roles within the film, including the leading role as a dying gravekeeper who must pass through Hell to save the soul of a beautiful woman, (Siobhan Giles Murphy). Full of gothic graveyards and monster mayhem, HELLMOUTH is based on an original screenplay by award-winning punk bard Tony Burgess. The film co-stars Julian Richings (Supernatural), Bruce McDonald (Hardcore Logo), Boyd Banks (Dawn of the Dead), and Ari Millen (Orphan Black).

Ejecta

The story of one night on earth that changed everything we know about the universe.

Septic Man

Jack is a sewage worker who’s determined to uncover the cause of the town’s water contamination crisis. But when he becomes trapped underground in a septic tank without food or water he undergoes a hideous and repulsive transformation. In order to escape the tank, he must team up with a docile Giant and confront a murdering madman.

The Colony

Forced underground by the next ice age, a struggling outpost of survivors must fight to preserve humanity against a threat even more savage than nature.

The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet

A 12-year-old cartographer secretly leaves his family’s ranch in Montana where he lives with his cowboy father and scientist mother and travels across the country on board a freight train to receive an award at the Smithsonian Institute.

Cube

The claustrophobic debut of Canadian director Vincenzo Natali takes seven strangers out of their daily lives and places them mysteriously in a deadly cube where they all agree they must find their way out. A mix of thriller and psychodrama and a small budget film that gained cult status.