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    “GRAND PIANO” (Fantastic Fest Movie Review)

    It is not rare to find a director appropriating, or recalling, the stylistic flair of Alfred Hitchcock, Brian De Palma or Dario Argento. Just at Fantastic Fest alone, we’ve encountered director Mark Hartley employing a great deal of split diopter throughout his remake of 1978’s PATRICK. What is rare, however, is to find such influence utilized in clever, thematically appropriate and more breathtaking than endearing manner. As you may expect, this is leading to the arrival of such a film: Eugenio Mira’s GRAND PIANO, an utter joy of high concept, artfully composed and absolutely thrilling pure cinema.

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    “WITCHING & BITCHING” (Movie Review)

    Álex de la Iglesia’s last towering horror effort, THE LAST CIRCUS, was an intensely grim (but not entirely devoid of humor), wildly bizarre look at a country he loves and the struggles that threaten to tear it apart. Being the masterful genre filmmaker he is, WITCHING & BITCHING similarly has a fair share on its mind, but on the flipside is a giddy, delightful supernatural romp, probing the way men and women treat each other.

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    Red Band Trailer Lays Out How the “HELLBENDERS” Roll

    JT Petty, the filmmaker behind fantastic, and serious-minded horror western THE BURROWERS has turned his attention to something of a rowdy horror comedy in HELLBENDERS. The tale of the Augustine Interfaith Order of Hellbound Saints and their aim to break bad so that they may attract possessing demons and set the evil straight, looks like shitty attitude-boasting, New York fun.

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    “SEPTIC MAN” (Fantastic Fest Movie Review)

    Can something with as outlandish a plot as SEPTIC MAN—one seemingly conceived in Tromaville—make an attempt at being meditative?  I’d argue yes, of course. It’s an artist’s prerogative how they’d like to present their story, and if writer Tony Burgess and director Jesse Thomas Cook saw something mellow, or melancholy, in a man covered in shit, it’s up to the audience to tune in to their fecal frequency. Does a subsequent distaste then seem worse, however, if their unexpected take misses the mark? It may be more ambitious, but is it somehow more trying than if they simply filmed a wannabe cult retread? Absolutely.

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    “PATRICK” (Fantastic Fest Movie Review)

    The suspenseful opening sequence of Mark Hartley’s narrative debut, PATRICK, deals in a time honored thriller trope. A nurse, dangerously sneaking through pitch black halls and seemingly aiming to uncover something secret, uses her camera flash to help her see. It’s a device that’s perhaps most iconic in Hitchcock’s REAR WINDOW, but has been utilized in countless films since. It’s certainly not employed to poor effect here, and once the opening titles reveal a score from Pino Donaggio and the film itself is decorated by gothic interiors (not dissimilar from the medical estate in Aussie great NEXT OF KIN) and vintage nurse uniforms, it’s immediately endearing what the filmmaker is striving toward.

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    The Most Anticipated Films of Fantastic Fest ’13

    Fantastic Fest is upon us. For many not attending, the idea of calling it “the best festival experience I have each year,” isn’t exactly detailed or specific. There’s little other way to describe it however. A contained, communal celebration of genre and all the out-there concepts such a little word can entail, Fantastic Fest is full of anticipation and discovery and like the best fests, you often leave with your favorite film the one you least expected and most especially, had never heard of.

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    First Poster: “WER”, Lycan film from “DEVIL INSIDE” director

    Just earlier, I rewatched Sofia Coppola’s still-wonderful THE VIRGIN SUICIDES. My biggest takeaway, coincidentally to what’s below, was asking what became of A.J. Cook. With little screentime, the actress was totally transfixing as Mary Lisbon and it’s nice to see her pop up in the news and on this poster for the upcoming werewolf film from William Brent Bill, the filmmaker behind last year’s found footage THE DEVIL INSIDE.

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    Horror Artist Marc Schoenbach warns the dangers of Halloween with faux vintage ads

    As I’m sure many of you remember, there’s a great moment in HALLOWEEN II (1981) where a young boy named Gary arrives at the hospital with a bloody mouth (a particularly sharp apple, we presume). It’s ghastly and cruel, and removed from the goings on of Michael Myers & Co., reminds us of the scary world out there, bogeyman or no.

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    Fecal Matters: Fantastic Fest’s “SEPTIC MAN” debuts Trailer and Phantom City Poster

    From the writer of the brilliant PONTYPOOL and the director of creature crowd pleaser MONSTER BRAWL comes something of a strange, makeup heavy, contained and contaminated thriller. SEPTIC MAN finds the plumber of  bizarre town trapped in a septic tank and the snippets of his ordeal and subsequent transformation hinted at below seem repulsive in all the right ways.

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