In addition to the usual reviews and comments you would find on a horror movie blog, this is also a document of the wonderfully vast horror movie section of the video store I worked at in my youth.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Festival Of Fear 2012: The Panels

Ed- I'm sorry if this post seems a little rough, I had it all beautifully worded and ready to go when Blogger promptly erased it. What is below is my frazzled and defeated attempt to recreate it.

One of the things I am really appreciating is the Festival of Fear's recent emphasis on interesting and unique panels. I first became aware of these last year when I checked out a discussion about the Video Nasties of the home video era. This time around, the schedule was positively brimming with panels like these.

On the Thursday, was the Collectible Horror Poster Art panel moderated by Toronto Cult Paper and 27 x 41” curator Tal Zimerman.  What transpired had to be one of the funnest things I've witnessed in the nine years I've been going to the Expo. Accompanied by local artists Gary Pullin, Jason Edmiston and Justin Erickson, all collectors themselves, they spoke about their favourite posters and what inspired them to get into the business.

Even though the floor was littered with folded pieces of paper, Tal insisted this was but “point five percent of his collection” which was rather astonishing. He then showed off some of most prized pieces.

Unconquerable indeed.

Tarman & Tal.

Tal with two helpers.

Pullin then blew my mind when he brought up the 'face in the hand' on the classic Halloween poster. I will now impart this revelation onto you.

Can you see it?

Now you can't unsee it, can you? Upon further reflection, I wonder if it was a nod to Black Christmas, as it certainly bears a resemblance to the suffocated victim that adourns that poster.

The next day, was the Gore, Girls and Godforsaken Cinema which was also helmed by Tal who, flanked by a quartet of Rue Morgue writers, opened the festivities by saying;

“If you are easily offended... Fuck off!”

What followed were three compilations of the sickest, goriest and most depraved scenes ever put to film or, in some cases, video. Some choice cuts included Burial Ground, Guinea Pig, Dagon, Cutting Moments, Takeshi Miike's Masters of Horror segment Imprint as well as his Audition. I was sitting at the back, so I was able to count the walkouts during the show. The most was six during the climax – pun intended – of Jörg Buttgereit's Nekromantik 2. The blood soaked proceedings closed with a scene from a 2009 film I'd never even heard of called Maskhead, where the August Underground crew basically reenacted the inferred “Lust” crime from David Fincher's Se7en.

Yeah... that happened.

On Saturday, Schwartz & I attended the Black Museum Presents Canadian Horror Revisited. The Black Museum is the brainchild of two local scribes Paul Corupe (of and Andrea Subissati. Starting next month, they will be hosting a series of lectures on genre film at The Projection Booth in East Toronto. The best part of this panel was Corupe's rundown of the entire history of horror in the Great White North. Check it out below.

Right click to enlarge.

I also have audio of this panel, which I'll post at a later date.

Last, was the Astron 6 panel, with members Jeremy Gillespie and Steve Kostanski. If you are not familiar with these guys, Astron 6 are a filmmaker collective based out of Winnipeg. Recently, they have been burning up the indie circuit with their two latest features, Father's Day and Manborg. I highly recommend checking out their website as many of their early shorts are available for your perusal. My personal favourite is Heart of Karl.

Gillespie & Kostanski talked about their origins and overcoming the obstacles of producing films with almost no money.

Jeremy Gillespie (left), moderator Dave Alexander & Steve Kostanski.

They also have a feature length documentary in the can called No Sleep, No Surrender which was made in tandem with Father's Day. They played a bit of it during the panel and it looks every bit as entertaining as the film.

Despite that fact that one of their other members has been saying that a feature length version of their short Fireman is a go, nothing has been confirmed yet. Gillespie then commented about what's next for Astron 6.

“We have a few irons in the fire, but not really things we can talk about. One of them could possibly be a western. But we'll have to see.”

I sincerely hope Rue Morgue continues doing these panels, as they perfectly compliment the slate of celebrity guests they bring in each year.

Check back tomorrow for my last installment which details some of the events that were happening off site during Expo weekend.

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