For the last several years, Cinepocalypse has been the single best genre festival in my hometown of Chicago, and now stands as one of the premiere genre festivals in the entire country. This year’s lineup is its biggest and best yet, offering highly anticipated world premieres, 70mm repertory screenings of genre classics, obscurities from the ‘80s and ‘90s, and appearances from both Joe Bob Briggs and GWAR. What an insane, thrilling week it’s going to be.
While I’m planning to see pretty much every movie programmed, here are the ten films I’m most looking forward to as part of this year’s festival.
1. Verotika – The world premiere of the directorial debut of Misfits frontman Glenn Danzig! Very little is known about this film except that it’s an anthology based on a series of comics he wrote and “a realization of his lifelong love of comic books and the dark arts.” I have no idea what a horror anthology directed by Glenn Danzig is going to look like, but given how many Misfits songs are about horror movies, I can’t wait to find out. (Screens Thursday, June 13 at 7 p.m.)
2. Total Recall – Ok, sure, I’ve seen Total Recall at least 25 times. But I haven’t seen it on the big screen since its release in 1990 and have never seen it in 70mm. That’s the kind of clarity you need to watch Arnold pull a giant tracking device out of his nose. As an added bonus, co-star Michael Ironside will be appearing in person to accept a Lifetime Achievement award. See you at the party, Richter! (Screens Saturday, June 15 at 6:45 p.m.)
3. The Lodge – Early word is good on this slow-burn film from directors Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala. Riley Keough plays a woman who is snowed in with her future stepchildren at a remote cabin, where strange things begin to happen. This kind of deliberately-paced creep fest isn’t always my bag, but the buzz has been too strong for me to ignore. (Screens Saturday, June 15 at 9:45 p.m.)
4. Bliss – The latest effort from writer/director Joe Begos, whose Almost Human and The Mind’s Eye were both cool low-budget throwbacks to the kinds of horror movies we grew up loving in the 1980s. He’s a filmmaker who has earned my curiosity for anything he makes, and this one sounds to be his wildest, most hallucinatory movie to date. (Screens Saturday, June 15th at midnight)
5. Kindred Spirits – Between May and The Woman and The Woods, Lucky McKee is one of my favorite contemporary horror directors. His latest film is reason to celebrate. This one stars Thora Birch as a woman whose life is upturned when her younger sister comes to live with her. That plot synopsis doesn’t do much to grab me, but McKee’s movies are never about their plots; they’re about their characters and their tones. I can’t wait to see what he has in store. (Screens Sunday, June 16 at 1:45 p.m.)
6. Darlin’ – Speaking of Lucky McKee, Darlin’ is the sequel to his 2012 film The Woman, this time directed by star (and titular Woman) Polyanna McIntosh. She’s reprising her role here in a film she also wrote, and I can’t wait to see her step back into the shoes of such a brutal, feral, iconic character, as well as to see what she brings to this story as a director. The Woman remains one of my favorite horror films of this decade, so naturally I’m an easy mark for a follow-up. (Screens Sunday, June 16 at 7 p.m.)
7. Satanic Panic – The second film from director Chelsea Stardust to be released in a matter of months (the first being her excellent entry for Hulu’s Into the Dark series, titled All That We Destroy). This one’s a Fangoria production, a horror comedy about a pizza girl who makes a delivery to a house full of Satan worshippers. The supporting cast includes Rebecca Romijn, Jerry O’Connell, Jeff Daniel Phillips, AJ Bowen, Clarke Wolfe, and Happy Death Day’s Ruby Modine, with a script by Ted Geoghegan and Grady Hendrix, who previously collaborated on Mohawk. It all sounds like a bloody blast. (Screens Sunday, June 16 at 9:15 p.m.)
8. Tammy and the T-Rex – This oddity from 1994 from the director of Mac & Me has to be one of the craziest, most inexplicable movies ever made just on its face: high schooler Paul Walker is beaten into a coma and has his brain placed in the body of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, which proceeds to romance Denise Richards. Making this “comedy” all the more baffling is that it was apparently originally shot with a bunch of bloody gore and dino mutilations, which have been restored for this premiere of the movie’s “Gore Cut” at Cinepocalypse. There may be no better audience event this year. (Screens Monday, June 17 at 7 p.m.)
9. The Lurker – A group of high school theater students start getting killed off after a production of Romeo and Juliet. love a good slasher film, particularly one that’s shot and set in my hometown of Chicago. We tend to get the shaft when it comes to slashers. I blame the weather. (Screens Monday, June 17 at 9:15 p.m.)
10. Achoura – One of my favorite novels of all time is Stephen King’s IT, so it makes sense that I would be excited about this Moroccan horror film that sounds very similar, about a group of North African adults who reunite after 25 years to take on a monster after one of their friends resurfaces. I’ve never seen a Moroccan horror film, which is reason enough alone to put this on my list of most anticipated titles at the fest. That it might be anything like my favorite Stephen King book is just a bonus. (Screens Saturday, June 15 at 11:45 p.m. and Wednesday, June 19 at 5 p.m.)
Stay tuned for reviews of many of these titles and more throughout the festival, which runs June 13-20 at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago.
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Author : Patrick Bromley
Publish date : 2019-06-12 21:58:48