Thursday, November 26th, 9pm
A German-Russian co-production drenched in a surreal, fever dream atmosphere, this is a post-apocalyptic, mystical drama unlike anything you’ve seen or felt. The emotional and psychological weight bears down on you as the tenebrous dream-like imagery, grotesque and beautiful in equal measure, tears at your sensibilities. III takes no prisoners.
One of the most brilliantly evoked oneirdynia I've seen in years, director Pavel Khvaleev, who co-wrote the elliptical, haunting narrative, has conjured some of the most startling images of the year. Charismatic performances and a powerful sound design and score make III a darkly delightful enigma worth succumbing to, especially in the cinema.
Landmine Goes Click
Friday, November 27th, 9pm
This is the low-budget shocker of the year, and another from Eastern Europe. Georgian director Lavan Bakhia’s second feature (his third is set on a super yacht, so he knows a thing or two about keeping your locations minimal, yet interesting), Landmine Goes Click (a great title) is the predicament from hell. Buddy with his engaged friends finds himself treading on a live, leftover landmine, whilst on a tourist jaunt. Infidelity is revealed, betrayal exposed, and revenge dealt most cruelly.
But that’s just the beginning. Through an unhinged local into the mix, and a more dangerous fuse is lit. This is one movie I can bet you won’t be able to predict the nasty third act. Great performances from the small cast, especially ex-Neighbours and Aussie Idol star Dean Geyer as spurn fiancé Daniel, and Kote Tolordava (who passed away earlier this year) as Ilya, the spanner in the works, some cracking dialogue, and some very brutal violence. You’ve been warned.
Saturday, November 28th, 5pm
A Canadian arthouse actioner, The Demolisher is an extended act of vengeance, a study of rage and psychological damage, punctuated by extreme violence. The lines of ethical behaviour and justice, and the disintegration of sanity blur the boundaries of who or what is actually the truth. The fabric of the fragile mind is torn asunder.
Bruce (Ry Barrett) is a handiman who has taken it upon himself to be the punishing vigilante desperately seeking those responsible (and there is much collateral damage!) for the injuries that crippled his policewoman wife Samnatha (Tianna Nori). In the process young Marie (Jessica Vano) is caught in Bruce’s crosshairs, and must fight for survivial, just as Bruce and Samantha fight for their sanity.
The Demolisher is ambitious, wayward, at times confused, but very driven. There is definitely a wild beast in there somewhere bristling to cause utter chaos. The dialogue is minimal and in some ways, even less might have worked in the movie’s favour (a silent revenge movie has a certain ring to it), but it does pull together for an oddly satisfying end.
Monday, November 30th, 7pm
Mexican director Isaac Ezban is a man possessed. His wonderful short, Nasty Stuff, won Best Short at A Night Of Horror Film Festival five years back. Ezban is already at work on his third feature. The Similars (Los Parecidos) is his second, a nightmarish tale concerning a very strange phenomenon that appears during a rainstorm. A group of strangers are trapped in an isolated bus station and must deal with an extreme case of xenophobia and mutant familiarity.
Ezban cleverly utilises a small budget, creating a theatrical environment, but shot with a very cinematic eye. The hazy, green-blue palette and early 60s production design reminds the viewer of shows like The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits. The atmosphere and special effects are excellent, the tone and mood unique (even with the heavy references), and the overall vibe lingers like a strange dream.
The Second Coming
Saturday, December 5th, 5pm
Melbourne maverick and provocative raconteur, oh, and the director of the Melbourne Underground Film Festival, Richard Wolstencroft unleashes his latest endeavour, a fusion of exotic travelogue and ode to the poet Yeats, in particular the author’s fascination with the occult. The Second Coming - Volume 1 is an acquired taste, a meandering, curious muse on the darkness summoned by dark magick practitioners and those that take that sweaty, slippery bull by the horns.
Shot over a period of several years the wandering, beguiling narrative follows Michael Tierney, who was the subject of Wolstencroft’s porn lament The Last Days of Joe Blow, and Gene Gregorits, gonzo subversive arts and culture author, as they stumble lecherously around the desolate City of Angels, the beach bars and urban sprawl of Thailand, the United Kingdom, and Australia, making dodgy deals and indulging in vice. Wolstencroft himself pops up from time to time as a shady dealer of rare literature.