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    “SAVAGES CROSSING” (DVD Review)

    When WOLF CREEK came out back in 2005, it proved to be one of the most riveting and raw horror films in a long time. The main attraction that tied it all together was the central villainous performance by then-unknown actor John Jarratt. The promise of another horror film starring Jarratt, set in his native Australia, gave rise to great hopes and anticipation—which, unfortunately, are quickly shattered by SAVAGES CROSSING.

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    Contest: Win the very limited “THE REVENANT” Vinyl Soundtrack Box Set with Fango-approved extras!

    Director Kerry Prior’s deranged and witty horror comedy THE REVENANT found its cult on the festival circuit and continues to amass its serious legion of admirers on home video. It’s a fantastic amalgam of Bob Clark’s DEAD OF NIGHT and every great 80s buddy movie ever made, driven by a diverse, atmospheric soundtrack.

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    “OCULUS” (TIFF Movie Review)

    Mike Flanagan’s debut picture ABSENTIA was something truly special: a quiet, slow burning indie horror film that betrayed its budgetary cramps at every turn and used an existing location—in this case, a creepy suburban tunnel—and made it into something nightmarish. Slow zooms, quiet spaces, ambiguity and minimalist music all coupled with better than average performances and the result was a work of practical nickel and dime perfection. If you haven’t seen it, do so immediately and watch in the dark…

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    Franz Ferdinand’s gory new clip looks Shot-on-Video, references “NEKROMANTIK” and more

    Music video affords so many possibilities. Most are performance-based, or utilize some sort of short form storytelling in reference to the song, but often the best are stream-of-consciousness images fueled by the fever of music and free from worrying about any bit of structure. Veteran director Diane Martel (of this year’s massively popular “Blurred Lines” video for Robin Thicke and much more you’ll recognize) has helmed the latest from Scottish band Franz Ferdinand and steeped it very much in shamelessly bloody madness. Titled, “Evil Eye,” the video goes for a shot-on-video look and features dismemberment, necrophilia, a seeming Fulci nod, poolside instrument playing and a strange face attached to a dude’s giant gut. Fun stuff!

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    “AFFLICTED” (TIFF Movie Review)

    Each year, TIFF’s Midnight Madness program provides a home for hungry genre buffs where blood is spilled for adoring crowds to squeal in delight. Pretty well all of the iconic horror directors of the last 20 years have premiered at least one of their features as part of the program, but the finest treat is probably the discovery of new filmmakers bursting onto the scene. This year, the big breakout just might be for first-time Vancouver filmmakers Cliff Prowse and Derek Lee. The duo made the leap from shorts to features with AFFLICTED, their impressive new schlocker that manages to wring a little extra life out of the tiresome found footage genre and even a classic creature as well.

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    Eli Roth’s “THE GREEN INFERNO” (TIFF Movie Review)

    Six years after HOSTEL PART II and a host of acting and producing gigs later, Eli Roth has finally returned to directing. To celebrate, he came back to TIFF’s Midnight Madness program where he enthusiastically debuted his fourth feature for the first audience outside of the post production crew. As you’ve undoubtedly heard by now, it’s a cannibal movie, just like those lovable Italian rapscallions Ruggero Deodato and Umberto Lenzi used to make. Though Roth’s fingerprints are all over his addition to the indigestion-favoring genre, he plays true to the form both in terms of the graphic gourmet content and the themes of civility vs. civilization. It’s both throwback and something disturbingly new that is sure to be controversial for some, beloved by others, and impossible for anyone with a weak stomach or bleeding heart to forget. 

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