It is time for another round of winter horrors as the third annual Blood in the Snow Canadian Film Festival takes place this weekend at the Carlton Cinema. This year’s festival will feature 8 feature films and 15 shorts, which showcases independent Canadian horror. In advance of the start of the festival tomorrow, I thought I would run down this year’s feature film line-up.
Berkshire County – Friday November 28th 7:00pm CANADIAN PREMIERE (Encore Screening: Nov 28, 9:45pm)
Description: Kylie Winters, a bullied and self-loathing teen, reluctantly agrees to babysit at an isolated country mansion on Halloween night. When a small boy in a pig mask appears at the door trick-or-treating, Kylie's night transforms into a horrifying and violent cat-and-mouse game. She must go beyond what she ever thought possible if she and the children are to survive the night.
Thoughts: The opening film of BITS 2014 is a home-invasion thriller that comes off as a mix between The Strangers and You’re Next.
Queen of Blood – Saturday November 29th 4pm TORONTO PREMIERE
Decsciption: A thematic and stylistic follow-up to Chris Alexander’s first film, the award-winning experimental psychodrama Blood for Irina, Queen of Blood sees vampire Irina (Shauna Henry) reborn as a “vampiric” plague, a force of nature whose destiny is to lay waste to a fever dream vision of the Wild West. Drawing her victims to her like insects to bright lights, Irina drains their blood through her fingertips while setting her sights on a pregnant widow (Carrie Gemmell), a woman who might hold the key to Irina’s fate. Nivek Ogre of the band SKINNY PUPPY also stars as a mad preacher, dangerously obsessed with Irina whom he sees as an act of God.
Thoughts: Never seen the first film, but this film does look like it will be a bloody one.
Ejecta – Saturday November 29th 7:00pm TORONTO PREMIERE **RECOMMENDED PICK**
Description: EJECTA is the story of two men who witness an unexplainable event in the atmosphere on the eve of a historic solar storm and must survive a terrifying life form that's hunting them. An anonymous group will stop at nothing to unearth the truth behind what happened that night to the men and prove to the world that we were never alone in the universe.
Thoughts: This is the third of Foresight Features’ collaborations with writer Tony Burgess (Pontypool), following Septic Man and Hellmouth. As a big fan of science fiction, I’m looking forward to seeing what this film brings.
Bloody Knuckles – Saturday November 29th 9:30pm TORONTO PREMIERE **RECOMMENDED PICK**
Description: Travis is an underground comic book artist with a penchant for the obscene. When one of his comics offends a Chinatown crime boss, the gangster punishes Travis by removing his drawing hand. A daunted Travis retreats into a life of alcoholic misery. That is, until his hand returns from the grave...
Thoughts: Heavily influenced by films such as Evil Dead 2 and Idle Hands, this horror-comedy should be a fun watch.
Teddy Bomb Saturday November 29th 11:59pm TORONTO PREMIERE **RECOMMENDED PICK**
Description: TEDDY BOMB is the story of a beer delivery boy named Christian who stumbles upon a ticking time bomb that also happens to be a sentient stuffed animal: A talking teddy bear that can melt your face off. He can't get rid of it, he can't go to the police, and there's no way in hell he can turn it off. All he can do is hope to find a solution before the bomb decides his head would look better sprayed across the ceiling. To add insult to injury, the bomb's original owners want their property back and they'll decapitate, gut and eviscerate everyone that gets in their way. Whether Christian diffuses the bear or not – it's guaranteed that things will end in one big bloody bang.
Thoughts: This bloody dark comedy is a film that cannot be missed.
Heinous Acts Sunday November 30th 2pm WORLD PREMIERE
Description: A small town police force has examined some of the most unspeakable acts imaginable. When their file clerk breaks into the records room late at night to impress the new cleaning girl, he tells her the stories behind four of the most heinous crimes ever investigated.
Thoughts: Horror anthologies seem to be all the rage these days. Let’s see how this one turns out.
Kingdom Come - Sunday November 30th 4pm NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE (Encore Screening: Nov 30, 7:00 PM)
Description: A group of strangers wake up in an abandoned hospital to find themselves stalked by a supernatural force with sinister intentions.
Thoughts: This film looks to be a creepy creature feature.
Black Mountain Side - Sunday November 30th 6:45 TORONTO PREMIERE (Earlier Screening: Nov 30, 4:15 PM)
Description: Black Mountain Side follows a group of archaeologists after they uncover a strange structure in Northern Canada, dating over ten thousand years before the present. The team finds themselves isolated when their communication systems fail and it is not long before they begin to feel the effects of the solitude.
Thoughts: The closing film of BITS 2014 looks to be a suspenseful slow burn.
Here is a quick list of the shorts playing at Blood in the Show this year.
BITS Short Film Showcase – Friday November 28th 9:30pm (Encore Screening: Nov 29, 7:15 PM)
- Damned Selfie WORLD PREMIERE
- Malleus Maleficarum TORONTO PREMIERE
- Insane TORONTO PREMIERE
- The Makeover TORONTO PREMIERE
- Woods TORONTO PREMIERE
- Massacre at Femur Creek TORONTO PREMIERE
- Greater Than TORONTO PREMIERE
- Serpent’s Lullaby TORONTO PREMIERE (Screening with Berkshire County)
- The Table TORONTO PREMIERE (Screening with Queen of Blood)
- Uncommon Enemies SPECIAL PRESENTATION (Screening with Ejecta)
- With O Come All Ye Zombies TORONTO PREMIERE (Screening with Bloody Knuckles)
- No Pets Allowed TORONTO PREMIERE (Screening with Teddy Bomb)
- Trick or Treat WORLD PREMIERE (Screening with Heinous Acts)
- Domestic Blood WORLD PREMIERE (Screening with Kingdom Come)
- The Resurrections of Clarence Neveldine WORLD PREMIERE (Screening with Black Mountain Side)
Advanced ticket for Blood in the Snow 2014 are available until midnight tonight and will also be available at the door all weekend. Stay turned throughout the weekend as I provide reviews of most of the features and shorts playing at the festival.