Having whet the appetites of the ghoulish and the discerning in recent weeks with first and second wave announcements, including stellar international and local guests, parties, World Premieres, Australian Premieres, workshops, Q&As and more, Monster Fest 2015, Melbourne’s annual celebration of cult movies and culture, has unveiled its full program and launched its brand new website at www.monsterfest.com.au, with details of how to purchase individual event tickets as well as the great value, All-Day passes.
Held over four days from Thursday, November 26 to Sunday, November 29 at Melbourne’s Lido Cinemas in Hawthorn, Monster Fest kicks off with a star-studded Opening Night gala event featuring the World Premiere of one of the most hotly anticipated Aussie horror flicks in years, the Cairnes Brothers’ (100 Bloody Acres) menacing masterpiece, Scare Campaign, starring Meegan Warner, Ian Meadows, Olivia DeJonge and Josh Quong Tart as well as Aussie legends Sigrid Thornton and John Brumpton.
Friday on the Monster Fest schedule is ‘Fred’s Friday Fantastic’ where an eclectic selection of the festival’s freakiest films will screen throughout the day, where an All-Day pass will cost students a measly $20, and where beer and popcorn will sell at a heavily discounted rates. The day culminates with two World Premieres: the brilliantly original Melbourne horror flick Cat Sick Blues followed by Krautsploitation wunderkind Nico Sentner’s, Atomic Eden, presented by the film’s co-producer and star, Fred ‘The Hammer’ Williamson (From Dusk Till Dawn). At the conclusion of Atomic Eden, audiences can strap themselves in for an all-night marathon of Fred’s finest cinematic offerings, beginning with Larry Cohen’s Black Caesar (1973) and concluding with a 9am ‘Breakfast with Fred’ screening of Hammer (1972).
Fans of Dee Wallace have plenty of opportunities to get up close and personal with the Hollywood horror icon, as she’ll be on hand at a number of Monster Fest events. Dee’s events include ‘An Evening With Dee Wallace’ on Saturdaynight, hosted by Lee Gambin (Fangoria) and presented by Melbourne film organisation, Cinemanicas. Lee will take the audience on an incredible ‘Clip and Tell’ journey through Dee’s sensational career working with some of the most influential and innovative directors of her era – Blake Edwards, Joe Dante, Steven Spielberg and beyond. This event is followed by a full moon midnightscreening of Dante’s The Howling. Then on Sunday morning, join Dee for breakfast and an all-ages screening of Spielberg’s much loved E.T. The Extra-Terrestial, before giving an acting masterclass for aspiring actors at Swinburne University.
Australia has a glorious history in cult cinema, and Monster Fest 2015 is proud to present two Aussie Masterpiece Screenings; the 10th Anniversary screening of Greg McLean’s nightmarish Wolf Creek and for the first time on the big screen, Ray Boseley’s, all but lost, underground classic, Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em.
For trivia buffs, an hilarious event not to be missed is Kooks & Spooks, a full moon trivia extravaganza, with hostess, Melbourne’s Queen of the Crypt, Cherry Bites and house band ‘The Tarantino’s’. Kooks & Spooks will see special guest panelists Dee Wallace, Butch Patrick, Fred Williamson and John Jarratt team up with audience members to battle it out for Horror Trivia Supremacy. Kooks & Spooks will take place on Saturday night at 7pm.
Sunday at Monster Fest is the day that Butch ‘Eddie Munster’ Patrick gets to strut his wonderful stuff. The day gets underway with ‘I Was a Pre-Teen Werewolf’; a ‘Clip and Tell’ retrospective journey through the iconic horror TV show, The Munsters followed by a rare screening of the Munster movie, Munster Go Home (1966). These exciting events lead into MUNSTERPOLOOZA, an afternoon of rockin’ good times where local rockers Rosie & The Mighty Kings, Coffin Carousel and Murder Rats, will perform alongside burlesque stars Madam Dreadful, Lissy Lavette and Zia Electric. Munsterpalooza will be hosted by the great Butch Patrick himself, who will be on hand throughout the day to meet fans, pose for photos and sign autographs. Punters are urged to come dressed as their favourite Munsters character to win prizes as judged by Butch.
Amongst the most popular events at Monster Fest are the two demented shorts programs, Monster Shorts (Saturday at 2pm) and Trasharama (Sunday at 5pm). Short films have been submitted from every corner of the globe and the final selection represents some of the weirdest, wildest and outright wackiest cult filmmaking on the planet. There’s something for everyone – fear, smut, gore, depravity – fun for the whole family!
The official Closing Night film for Monster Fest 2015 is horror maestro Eli Roth’s (Hostel, Cabin Fever) Knock Knock, a provocative, challenging and unforgettable cinematic experience starring Keanu Reeves (The Matrix), Lorenza Izzo (The Green Inferno) and Ana de Armas (Blind Alley).
Following the screening of nock Knock will be the Closing Night Awards Party. The party will be hosted by Melbourne’s one and only Queen of the Crypt, Cherry Bites and all Monster Fest ticket holders are welcome to party the night away to the cool movie soundtrack grooves of Melbourne rock Kings ‘The Tarantino’s’.
At the very heart of Monster Fest are the Official Selection feature films. Chosen via an extensive online submission process and from film festivals the world over, the Official Selection represents the very latest and greatest in independent genre cinema today. This year’s Official Selection include the likes of Sundance hit, Hellions from Canadian director Bruce McDonald (Pontypool), the controversial film that had SXSW buzzing earlier this year Excess Flesh, a shocking anthology with an episode by controversial German director Jörg Buttgereit (Nekromantik), German Angst, an ultra creepy supernatural horror starring iconic Australian actress, Jacki Weaver, Haunt, the World Premiere of a brilliant zombie/western from Queensland, Bullets For The Dead and many more. Several films will have their World Premiere at the festival, many others their Australian premiere, and all in the Official Selection will be enjoying their official Melbourne Premiere.
See below for Official Selection film synopses and credits.
For Monster Fest 2015 the tickets are easier and cheaper than ever before. All tickets, excluding Opening Night Gala and Party, are available as individual session tickets, but with so much on, and with an All-day pass so damn cheap, why stop at one session?
$30 – SCARE CAMPAIGN World Premiere & Opening Night Party
$20 – Single session ticket (FEATURES & SHORTS): Available for all sessions, excluding Opening Night, Munsterpalooza and Dee Wallace Masterclass.
$20 – Single Session ticket (KOOK & SPOOKS): Note – this is a stand-alone event and not available with a day pass.
$20 – Friday Student Pass: Includes all Friday sessions. Expires 11amSaturday morning. Available to holders of valid student cards only.
$40 – Friday, Saturday, Sunday All-day pass: Includes all sessions, except Kooks & Spooks Trivia, Munsterpalooza, and Dee Wallace Masterclass. Friday All-day pass is valid to 11am Saturday.
$50 – Munsterpalooza: Exact value of an All-day pass but with access to the bands on the Lido rooftop. Only 80 tickets available.
$60 – Swinburne Mega Pass: Swinburne University student cardholders only. Includes all sessions at Lido, excluding Opening Night, Kooks & Spooks Trivia, Munstapalooza, and Dee Wallace Masterclass.
$150 – Dee Wallace Acting Masterclass: 5 hour acting masterclass with cinema icon Dee Wallace, held at Swinburne University.
$300 – VIP PREMIUM PASS – Unrestricted, fully reserved priority access to EVERY SESSION at the Lido – Opening Night, all screenings, Munstaperlooza, etc. – plus exclusive merchandise packs, private Special Guests meet and greet, and much more. This does not include Dee Wallace Masterclass.
MONSTER FEST OFFICIAL SELECTION (Feature films):
OPENING NIGHT – SCARE CAMPAIGN: (AUS) – WORLD PREMIERE
Dir: Cameron Cairnes, Colin Caires (100 BLOODY ACRES)
Cast: Meegan Warner (TURN: WASHINGTON’S SPIES), Josh Quan Tart (UNDERBELLY), Ian Meadows (RAKE), Olivia DeJonge (THE VISIT), Cassandra Magrath (WOLF CREEK), John Brumpton (THE LOVED ONES), Sigrid Thornton (THE MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER)
Synopsis: Popular prank TV show, Scare Campaign, has been entertaining audiences for years with its mix of old school scares and hidden camera hijinks’. When a new breed of hard edge web series begin to rise in popularity, Scare Campaign begins to look decidedly dated, and it’s obvious to all that it’s time to up the ante. Is it possible to take things too far? and what happens if you prank the wrong guy?
Includes cast & crew Q&A & Opening Party
Dir: Bruce McDonald (PONTYPOOL)
Cast: Chloe Rose (TEENAGERS), Robert Patrick (TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY), Rossif Sutherland (REIGN), Rachel Wilson (AUSTIN POWERS: THE SPY WHO SHAGGED ME)
Synopsis: From Sundance to the Toronto International film Festival HELLIONS has been blowing festival audiences away, now it’s time for Monster Fest audiences to get on board. The plot is simple enough – a teenager must survive a Halloween night from Hell when malevolent trick-or-treaters come knocking at her door, but the thrills are real and are genuinely horrifying!
BUNNY THE KILLER THING: (FIN)
Dir: Joonas Makkonen (THE FINE ARTISTS)
Cast: Hiski Hamalainen, Ennu Ojutkangas, Vincent Tsang
Synposis: The tender story of love and hate between a group of twenty-something’s and a murderous sexually aroused man in a bunny suit. What more could you possibly want from a film than that? This twisted, utterly perverse Scandinavian abomination has been creating a major stir at festivals around the world – here’s your chance top see what all the fuss is about.
EXCESS FLESH: (USA)
Dir: Patrick Kennelly (GUYS READING POEMS)
Cast: Bethany Orr (AGORABLE), Mary Loveless (WRONG COPS)
Synopsis: One of the most controversial films from this years SXSW midnight screenings, EXCESS FLESH tells the story of Jill, a girl who becomes so obsessed by her sexy roommate Jennifer, that she violently imprisons her in a twisted attempt to bring them closer together.
Dir: Christian Hallman (THE GAME OF THE CENTURY)
Cast: Lanna Ohlsson (BEHIND BLUE SKIES)
Synopsis: Fresh from its World Premiere at Fantastic Fest, SENSORIA is one of the most haunting and affecting horror flicks of the year. Caroline has lost everything and is searching for a new beginning. She moves into an old apartment and starts to realize that she is not as alone as she thought she was. Just as she is searching for something new, something old is searching for her!
Dir: Mickey Keating (RITUAL)
Cast: Larry Fessenden (THE MIND’S EYE), Lauren Ashley Carter (PREMIUM RUSH), Brian Morvant (THE DEN), Dean Cates (RITUAL), John Weselcouch (THE PURGE), Forrest McClain (CASSETTE)
Synopsis: Another of this years crop from SXSW that left audiences abuzz. POD tells of a family intervention goes horrifically awry within the snowy confines of an isolated lake house. Mind control, conspiracy theories and the plight of America’s legion of discarded war vets, get the genre treatment in the brilliant indie shocker.
GERMAN ANGST: (GER)
Dir: Jörg Buttgereit (NEKROMANTIK), Michal Kosakowski (ZERO KILLED), Andreas Marschall (MASKS)
Cast: Axel Holst (YOU’RE DEAD), Andreas Pape (TERROR CREEK), Matthan Harris (THE INFLICTED), Annika Strauss (SEED 2)
Synopsis: Three of Germany’s most controversial filmmakers have combined forces to create one of the most extreme anthologies ever created. Monster Fest fans are in for a real treat post screening when Jörg Buttgereit, one of the most notorious filmmakers on the planet, joins us via Skype for a chat about his bizarre and brilliant career.
Includes Skype Q&A with Jörg Buttgereit
CAT SICK BLUES: (AUS) – WORLD PREMIERE
Dir: Dave Jackson (POPSTEL)
Cast: Matthew C. Vaughan (TOTALLY TALLS), Shian Denovan (SAWNY: FLESH OF MAN), Noah Moon (I’M YOU DICKHEAD)
Synopsis: When Ted’s beloved cat dies, the trauma triggers a mental breakdown. His broken brain prompts him to bring his feline friend back – all he needs is nine human lives.
Includes cast & crew Q&A
ATOMIC EDEN: (GER)
Dir: Nico Sentner (SIN REAPER 3D)
Cast: Fred Williamson (FROM DUSK TILL DAWN), Mark Mollier (RESIDENT EVIL), Hazuki Kato (SHI), Lorenzo Lamas (SHARKNADO 3)
Synopsis: Trapped inside an old mining complex, somewhere in the ruins of Chernobyl, a group of international mercenaries must band together to fight an army of mad men. 8 against 800, they just couldn’t lose.
Includes Q&A with star and producer Fred Williamson
Dir: Mac Carter (SECRET ORIGIN)
Cast: Jacki Weaver (ANIMAL KINGDOM), Harrison Gilbertson (NEED FOR SPEED), Liana Liberato (IF I STAY)
Synopsis: One of Australia’s most iconic actors, Jacki Weaver, stars in this uber creepy haunted house film. A family moves into a creepy old house which was once the scene of a terrible tragedy. When their son meets a strange local girl, they find a radio that can communicate with the dead, unleashing unimaginable horror.
DIABOLIC SHERZO: (USA/MEX)
Dir: Adrian Garcia Bogliano (HERE COMES THE DEVIL, THE ABCs OF DEATH)
Cast: Francisco Barreiro (HERE COMES THE DEVIL, CAMINO), Daniela Soto Vell, Jorge Molina (THE LOBITO)
Synopsis: Adrian Garcia Bogliano is one of the boldest voices in horror today, his new film, like last years HERE COMES THE DEVIL, is a shocking, beautifully realized, horror masterpiece. DIABOLIC SCHERZO tells the tale of Adam, an apparently mild mannered, ‘average Joe’, who plots to kidnap a teenage girl with disastrous consequences?
VIXEN VELVET’S ZOMBIE MASSACRE: (AUS/CAN)
Dir: Stefan Popescu (NUDE STUDY)
Cast: Kathryn Foran (NUDE STUDY), Nathan Bragg (URBAN TOOTH DECAY)
Synopsis: Adult film starlet Vixen Velvet wants to be a real actress – she gets her chance when the remote Canadian town she’s filming in finds itself in the grip of a zombie apocalypse.
Includes cast & crew Q&A
LANDMINE GOES CLICK: (GEO)
Dir: Levan Bakhia (247F)
Cast: Sterling Knight (17 AGAIN), Spencer Locke (RESIDENT EVIL: EXTINCTION)
Synopsis: Here’s an ultra tense revenge flick from Georgia that’s unlike any film you’ve ever seen. Trapped standing on an armed landmine, an American tourist is forced to watch helplessly while his girlfriend is terrorized and brutally assaulted by a demented local.
BOUND TO VENGEANCE: (USA)
Dir: Jose Manuel Cravioto
Cast: Tina Ivlev (DEATH CLIQUE), Richard Tyson (BLACK HAWK DOWN)
Synopsis: A unique twist on the rape revenge genre, BOUND TO VENGEANCE tells the tale young girl, chained in the basement of a sexual predator, who escapes and brutally turns the tables on her captor.
AUSTRALIENS: (AUS) – MELBOURNE PREMIERE
Dir: Joe Bauer (THE KILLAGE)
Cast: Rita Artmann (THE FLAME WARS), Joe Bauer (THE KILLAGE)
Synopsis: A brilliant Aussie sci-fi comedy tells the tale of what happens when Extra-terrestrials launch a nation-wide assault on Australia, much to the bafflement of the rest of the world!
Includes cast & crew Q&A
THE MIND’S EYE: (USA)
Dir: Joe Begos (ALMOST HUMAN)
Cast: Graham Skipper (ALMOST HUMAN), Lauren Ashley Carter (THE WOMAN), John Speredakos (FANTASTIC FOUR)
Synopsis: This film had its World Premiere at the very exclusive MidnightMadness showcase at TIFF a few weeks ago and is absolutely one of the years coolest genre flicks. An powerful 80s telekinesis throwback, complete with a gorgeous and powerful synth score, that marks Joe Begos as one of the boldest voices in indie genre today.
Dir: Adam Mason (THE DEVIL’S CHAIR)
Cast: Jeremy Sisto (WRONG TURN), Kate Ashfield (SHAUN OF THE DEAD), Ryan Simpkins (REVOLUTIONARY ROAD), Ty Simpkins (JURASSIC WORLD), Eric Michael Cole (MR. HOLLAND’S OPUS), Amy Smart (THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT)
Synopsis: An incredible lineup of acting talent come together for one of the creepiest indie horrors of the year. Returning from vacation, the Miller family find their home has been broken into. After cleaning up the mess they continue with their lives, shaking off the feeling of being that they’re being watched – little do they know the nightmare has just begun.
Dir: Paul Hyett (THE SEASONING HOUSE)
Cast: Ed Speleers (ERAGON), Holly Weston (JOHN CARTER), Elliott Cowan (THE GOLDEN COMPASS)
Synopsis: Paul Hyett is one of the UK’s top effect artists, not surprising then that he chose a werewolf film as his debut horror feature. HOWL tells the horrific tale of a group of train passengers who are attacked one stormy night by a hideous wolf-like creature. This is an old school practical effects horror that hardcore genre fiends are going to love.
BULLETS FOR THE DEAD: (AUS) – WORLD PREMIERE
Dir: Michael Du-Shane (26 BULLETS DEAD)
Cast: Christopher Sommers (THE WATER DIVINER), Vanessa Moltzen (I AM EVANGELINE), Hugh Parker (MY MISTRESS), Troy Mackinder (SANCTUM), Emma Randall (DAYBREAKERS)
Synopsis: A hardened bounty hunter, a gang of outlaws in his trust, and a preacher are forced to work together and battle their way across the wild west of the 1870s at the dawning of a zombie apocalypse!
Includes cast & crew Q&A
GODDESS OF LOVE: (USA/CAN)
Dir: Jon Knautz (THE SHRINE)
Cast: Alexis Kendra (BIG ASS SPIDER), Woody Naismith (STEALTH), Elizabeth Sandy (WHEN DARKNESS FALLS)
Synopsis: Alexis Kendra is incredible at Vixen, a mentally unstable woman begins a volatile descent into madness when she suspects her lover has left her for another woman. This is a bunny boiler film like no other – gripping from start to finish.
Dir: Chad Archibald (EJECTA)
Cast: Elma Begovic (SAVE YOURSELF), Annette Wozniak (ALL I NEED), Jordan Gray (SPEEDBAG
Synopsis: A smash hit at festivals the world over, BITE tells the tale of Casey, a bride to be who gets bitten by an insect while on a pre-wedding girls weekend away. When she returns home she begins a transformation from nervous bride-to-be, into a hideous insect!
CLOSING NIGHT – KNOCK KNOCK: (USA)
Dir: Eli Roth (HOSTEL)
Cast: Keanu Reeves (THE MATRIX), Lorenza Izzo (THE GREEN INFERNO), Ana de Armas (ANABEL)
Synopsis: When a devoted husband and father is left home alone for the weekend, two stranded young women unexpectedly knock on his door for help. What starts out as a kind gesture results in a dangerous seduction and a deadly game of cat and mouse.
MONSTER FEST RUNS FROM NOVEMBER 26–29 @ THE LIDO CINEMAS, HAWTHORN (VIC)