SFFF 2019 First Wave!

This just in – the Saskatoon Fantastic Film Festival has gotten bigger and bolder in 2018! This 9th edition of the festival will run November 14 to 18 and includes an extra day of programming, a Kier-La Janisse curated “Saturday Morning All You Can Eat Cereal Cartoon Party” (a past MMC! favourite), and a body horror retrospective featuring Criterion and Arrow Video title Videodrome, Arrow video classic Society, and past MMC! subject Body Melt. Festival founder and director John Allison remarks:

Adding in the extra day has allowed us to up our game with the festival. Our focus continues to be bringing in the best new genre films to Saskatoon but with the extra time available we are screening more movies than ever, adding in the Saturday morning all you can eat cereal cartoon party, and the first of hopefully many retrospectives, with this year’s subject being Body Horror.

The first wave of announced titles include a pair of MMC! favourites from the Chattanooga FIlm Festival – Trevor Stevens’ Rock Steady Row and Issa López’s Tigers Are Not Afraid – and a number of exciting movies as yet unseen by MMC!, including Joko Anwar’s terrifying Satan’s Slaves, Gaspar Noé’s delirious Climax, Tilman Singer’s diabolical Luz, and Zeek Earl and Christopher Caldwell’s tenacious Prospect.

MMC! plans on being in attendance so check back for further announcements and reports or visit our Letterboxd list for some hot takes from the SFFF itself.

Here are the Saskatoon Fantastic Film Festival’s first wave of announcements:

SUPERGRID

SUPERGRID is an upcoming feature film from the team that brought you WOLFCOP. In the near future, a young smuggler is forced to make a run on the road that took the life of his sister. He has to convince his older brother to get back on the “Grid” and help him clear the debt.

ROCK STEADY ROW

Demented chaos rules this bizarro-world college campus where the reigning gang-frats target a freshman, who dare crosses their path. Trapped between a blaze of twisted “Mad Max” style power games, he shrewdly plays both sides, fueling apocalyptic-sized battles that escalate to ensnare the school Dean who’s coming unglued.

SATAN’S SLAVES

Rini has been living at her grandmother’s in the countryside with her parents and three younger brothers since they had to sell the house uptown to get medication for her mother who has been mysteriously ill for more than three years. After her mother dies, Rini’s father goes to a faraway town to work. Evil entities haunt Rini’s house and start to terrorize her and her brothers. Rini traces back the roots of the evil and learns that her family was involved in an unholy pact in the past. She must face the horrifying truth from the past to stay alive.

HEAD COUNT

During a weekend getaway to Joshua Tree, a group of teenagers find themselves under mental and physical assault from a supernatural entity that mimics their appearances as it completes an ancient ritual.

TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID

Thousands have been murdered or gone missing in Mexico’s ongoing violent drug war. The result is many orphaned children living on the streets caught in the unceasing cartel crossfire. In her third work of immense beauty, pain, fear and joy, writer/director Issa López tells the magical story of five such urchins making the best of their daily struggle to survive. Perfectly balanced between harsh reality and the fantastic, this unflinching cautionary fable is part PAN’S LABYRINTH, part CITY OF GOD, all innovative South of the Border fairytale.

LUZ

Fleeing from the grasp of a possessed woman, a distressed cabdriver begins a confession in a rundown police station that endangers everyone who crosses her path.

PROSPECT

A teenage girl and her father travel to a remote alien moon, aiming to strike it rich. They’ve secured a contract to harvest a large deposit of the elusive gems hidden in the depths of the moon’s toxic forest. But there are others roving the wilderness and the job quickly devolves into a fight to survive. Forced to contend not only with the forest’s other ruthless inhabitants, but with her own father’s greed-addled judgment, the girl finds she must carve her own path to escape.

CAM

The horror movie is a technology-driven psychological thriller set in the world of webcam porn. It follows Alice (Brewer), an ambitious camgirl, who wakes up one day to discover she’s been replaced on her show with an exact replica of herself. As this copy begins to push the boundaries of Alice’s internet identity, the control that Alice has over her life, and the men in it, vanishes. While she struggles to regain what she’s lost, she slowly finds herself drawn back to her show and to the mysterious person who has taken her place.

CLIMAX

A troupe of young dancers gathers in a remote and empty school building to rehearse. Following an unforgettable opening performance, the troupe begins an all-night celebration that turns nightmarish as the dancers discover they’ve been pounding cups of sangria laced with potent LSD.

SATURDAY MORNING ALL YOU CAN EAT CEREAL CARTOON PARTY

Curated by film programmer writer and pop culture connoisseur Kier-La Janisse, Saskatoon is in for a real treat with 3 hours of the weird and wonderful world of cartoons from the 40s through 80s.

Body Horror Retrospective

 VIDEODROME – Canada

When Max Renn goes looking for edgy new shows for his sleazy cable TV station, he stumbles across the pirate broadcast of a hyperviolent torture show called Videodrome. As he struggles to unearth the origins of the program, he embarks on a hallucinatory journey into a shadow world of right-wing conspiracies, sadomasochistic sex games, and bodily transformation.

SOCIETY – United States

Billy Warlock (“Baywatch”) stars as a pampered Beverly Hills teen whose world is golden, until his sister’s ex gives him an audiotape of what sounds like his family partaking in an incestuous, murderous orgy. Thus begins his journey down a gore-and-goo-lined rabbit hole into the shocking underbelly of ‘high society…’

BODY MELT – New Zealand

Residents of the suburban cul-de-sac Pebbles Court receive unexpected samples of an experimental vitamin made by a strange health spa named Vimuville. When the town adds the powder to their diets, they experience strange macabre visions — and worse, their bodies mutate, ooze, and melt! As coroner visits become daily, Detective Phillips suspects Vimuville — but will he uncover its diabolical motives before the whole of Australia is subjected to BODY MELT?!?!

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