Boston Fantastic Film Festival

The Brattle Theatre, October 13 - 16, 2005




































































































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General Information

It's full-steam ahead for this year's third edition of our sci-fi/horror/fantasy/etc. festival here at the Brattle. As with previous years you can expect a batch of some of the best genre films from the U.S. and from all over the world. Each year we present many U.S. and regional premieres as well as a selection of some of the most interesting archival prints available today.

Previous highlights have included the Boston premieres of Saw, Infernal Affairs, Ju-On: The Grudge, Appleseed, A Tale of Two Sisters, Mamoru Oshii's Avalon, Robot Stories, and Undead, as well as special archival screenings of Robert Wise's The Haunting, Alien: Director's Cut, and the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Now Available: Download a PDF of the BFFF program, which includes all of the information available here!

>> BFFF Program (PDF)

Unless otherwise noted, tickets for the 3rd annual BOSTON FANTASTIC FILM FESTIVAL are $10 general public / $8.50 for Brattle members. Festival Passes, which provide unlimited access to screenings, are $75 / $50 for students. Tickets and Festival Passes are available here.

To be added to next year's BFFF mailing list please send an email to [email protected].

Showtimes

Thursday, October 13

Opening Night!
CREEP at 7:30pm

New England Premiere!
Takashi Miike's

IZO at 9:30pm

Friday, October 14

New England Premiere!
Insane Japanese Animation!

MIND GAME at 5:15pm

New England Premiere!
From the Director of The Grudge!
Takashi Shimizu's

MAREBITO at 7:30pm

New England Premiere!
New From Korea!

R-POINT at 9:30pm

Mormonism's Answer to Reefer Madness Remade!
TRAPPED BY THE MORMONS at Midnight

Saturday, October 15

Archival Screening!
Special Family Matinee! $5 For All!

New 35mm Print!
THE MUPPET MOVIE at 1:30pm

Archival Screening!
New 35mm Print!

THE MUPPET MOVIE at 3:30pm

Takashi Shimizu's
MAREBITO at 5:30pm

New England Premiere!
Saturday Spotlight!

REEKER at 7:30pm

New England Premiere!
Intense Thriller From Canada!

THE DARK HOURS at 10:00pm

New England Premiere!
Insane Japanese Animation!

MIND GAME at Midnight

Sunday, October 16

Archival Screening!
Special Family Matinee! $5 For All!

New 35mm Print!
THE MUPPET MOVIE at 1:30pm

Archival Screening!
New 35mm Print!

THE MUPPET MOVIE at 3:30pm

East Coast Premiere!
Indie Horror!

THE COLLINGSWOOD STORY at 5:30pm

Closing Night!
Asia's New Trilogy of Terror!

THREE: EXTREMES at 7:30pm

New England Premiere!
+ Audience Award Announcement!
JU-ON 2 at 10:00pm

 

Film Descriptions
in alphabetical order

 

East Coast Premiere!
New Indie Horror!

THE COLLINGSWOOD STORY
Sunday, October 16 at 5:30pm

(2002) dir Michael Costanza w/ Stephanue Dees, Johnny Burton, Vera Madeline [80 min]

"A revolutionary experiment in the supernatural, director Michael Costanza's tense exercise in terror is that rare example of a hyper-low budget shocker that actually manages to be creepy, scary, devilishly inventive and captivating. When his girlfriend Rebecca Miles (Stephanie Dees) went away to college garage worker Johnny (Johnny Burton) thought webcams would help them keep in touch. But chatting on her birthday idle curiosity leads to dark secrets being uncovered when they contact on-line psychic Vera Madeline. For she tells them the house Rebecca has rented was the site of horrific murder. Worse, the slaughter was all tied to a deadly ancient French cult that worshipped at altars drenched with the blood of human sacrifice. Packing more genuine fear in its short running time than a host of mega-million horror blockbusters, Costanza's inspired premise is conceptually clever and atmospherically chilling. Well acted by the very likable leads, superbly written with the accent on total believability, masterfully directed (the moody black-and-white inserts rival the visual hallucinations in The Exorcist) and expertly edited, the final heart-pounding 30 minutes is classic genre moviemaking." Frightfest U.K.

Official Site

 

Opening Night Selection!
New England Premiere!
Franka Potente in

CREEP
Thursday, October 13 at 7:30pm

(2004) dir Christopher Smith w/ Franka Potente, Sean Harris [85 min]

So this is what happens when you fall asleep in a subway station. Kate (Run Lola Run's Franka Potente) is a London party girl with big plans. Apparently, George Clooney's in town and, after knocking back a few drinks at a little soiree, she decides to seek him out. Unfortunately, by the end of the night, she finds herself with a far less attractive mate. Unable to find a cab, Kate decides to wait for the last subway of the night. Already intoxicated, she has a few more drinks and nods off in the station. When she awakes, the station is empty, the last train is gone, and Kate is locked in. Frustrated by the inconvenience, she soon learns that things are far worse than they seem. As it turns out, the subway is home to a sadistic, demonic creature with an appetite for human flesh (24 Hour Party People's Sean Harris). Stuck with only a homeless guy and a dog for protection, Kate must contend with rapists, rats, and even the occasional subway train as they join the beast in a night of torment that she will not soon forget...

Spanning a single night and roughly one location (a subway station), CREEP demands that Franka Potente sustain the panic and desperation of Run Lola Run for another 90 minutes. With a breakneck pace and virtually no lulls, this is the kind of action-oriented horror that is all too rare these days. Dark, dirty and claustrophobic, the film has a bleak view of humanity that only serves to magnify the threat of its demented villain. The beast in question is unusually disgusting and vaguely resembles SIN CITY's sadistic man-monster, Marv. He tears bodies apart and conducts himself with a minimum of moral rectitude, even by homicidal monster standards. While this diabolical fright fest won't wow you with its subtlety, if you're looking for good old-fashioned thrills and chills, CREEP will definitely creep you out. notes from the Fantasia Film Festival

Official Site

 

New England Premiere!
Intense Thriller From Canada!

THE DARK HOURS
Saturday, October 15 at 10:00pm

(2005) dir Paul Fox w/Kate Greenhouse, Aidan Devine, Gordon Currie [80 min]

In this taut psychological thriller, psychiatrist Samantha Goodman decides to spend a quiet weekend at her winter cottage with husband David and younger sister Melody. But a surprise visit from a former patient changes everything. Harlan Pyne is a violent sexual offender seeking twisted revenge for the treatment he received. With no escape possible, Harlan and his accomplice Adrian force their victims to play a series of devious games, mirroring the psychological tests Samantha subjected him to in the asylum. Unexpected secrets are forced into the light, as Samantha struggles to turn the tables on her tormentors.

"In spite of the genre reaching popular heights not seen in two decades, it has become increasingly rare to encounter a genuinely hard-edged horror film, let alone a Canadian one. With THE DARK HOURS, Paul Fox has brilliantly reworked a vicious horror subgenre that was a staple of the subversive '70s, creating an engrossing film that is equally intelligent, moving and ferocious! It is a harrowing portrait of psychological mutation in the face of physical decay, anchored with strong, authentic characters and themes of conscience and ethics. Fox infuses the proceedings with a subtly surrealistic nightmare tone that gets increasingly distorted throughout the film's duration, hitting the finale in a smoldering state of quiet, bloody dementia. The direction, writing, performances and use of sound are stellar. This film conveys a white-hot sense of trauma that few manage to achieve and, at times, it is almost unbearable in its intensity. Mitch Davis, Fantasia Film Festival

 

New England Premiere!
Taskashi Miike's

IZO
Thursday, October 13 at 9:30pm

(2000) dir Takashi Miike w/ Kazuya Nakayama, Ryosuke Miki, Ken'ichi Endo, Susumu Terajima, Beat Takeshi [128 min; in Japanese w/English subtitles]

Almost defying description, Miike's film opens with found documentary footage about sperm-production in young males and then turns to a graphically violent recreation of the execution in 1865 of the 28-year-old Okada Izo, a low-born samurai who killed in the service of the anti-shogun rebel Hanpeita Takechi. Fast-forward through 15 decades of Japanese history: suddenly Izo's spirit possesses the body of a street-sleeper in an alley of Tokyo's financial district.

The reincarnated assassin goes on a killing rampage through time and space, from the Warring States period to the day after tomorrow, slaughtering everyone from a Buddhist elder to the prime minister ("Beat" Takeshi in one of dozens of star cameos), not forgetting his own mother. Nothing can stop him, because Izo is negation itself: the contradiction spewed up by the "perfect system" that is Japan. Nothing is immune to his attack, except perhaps the godlike emperor (Matsuda Ryuhei, dishy in silk) and the maternal goddess of mercy (the ineffable Momoi Kaori). Standing to one side, watching and commenting in song, is Tomokawa Kazuki, a radical folkie from the 1960s.

So, is this the first philosophical splatter film? A demolition of Japan's body politic? Or maybe a sensitive account of the programming of male hormones? Miike's answer is up there on the screen, and my guess is that he's smiling. - notes from the Vancouver Int'l Film Festival

 

New England Premiere!
From the Director of The Grudge!
Takashi Shimizu's

JU-ON 2
Sunday, October 16 at 10:00pm

(2000) dir Takashi Shimizu w/ Yuuko Daike, Makoto Ashikawa, Kahori Fujii [76 min; in Japanese w/English subtitles]

Depressingly, for those of us who are over 30, the director of this intense, endlessly-replicating, somewhat viral franchise is only 31 years old. Takashi Shimizu's first professional job a 30-minute short cut to 3 minutes brought him to the attention of Taka Ichise, the man who pulls the strings of the new Japanese horror boom, having produced the Ring films and Dark Water. Ichise had always wanted to make a haunted house film, and Shimizu pitched him an idea about a house overflowing with homicidal rage, which pushed Ichise's pleasure buttons. The first two JU-ON projects were V-cinema releases (shot-on-video productions designed to be released straight to video it's where splatter-schtick auteur, Takashi Miike, got his start) that performed poorly. Taking a counterintuitive approach to that of most US producers, Ichise paid attention to internet sites proclaiming the JU-ON videos the scariest movies ever made, and he noticed that they always seemed to be rented out at his local video store. And so, he authorized a big screen, 35mm version of the story, written and scripted by Shimizu , and ten days before JU-ON was released, he greenlit production on JU-ON 2, a big screen extension of the franchise. The first JU-ON came out and hit big, as did the second, and a long-running gamble finally paid off.

"The theme of the first JU-ON is shadow and darkness. The theme of JU-ON 2 is motherhood," says Shimizu , and sure enough, while the first movie is a fever dream haunted house movie that's had its chronology hacked to pieces and stitched back together again with rotten flesh, the second focuses more on the plot and characters, and really goes to town with baroque set pieces involving strange knockings, the infamous throat clicks, and oceans of black, greasy hair. Besides Shimizu and Ichise, who both worked on the US remake, the only two people to make it through both V-cinema films, both Japanese JUON films, and the US remake are Takako Fuji, who plays the horrifying, silent-screamed ghost girl, and Yuya Ozeki who plays the little dead boy, Toshio, whose face has become as common a sight in Japanese video stores as the big, sweaty, hairy eyeball of The Ring.

Hailed as the scariest Japanese movies of all time, the JU-ON films don't disappoint with their disorienting, non-linear slide down a slippery slope to gibbering, surreal madness. No blood, no gore, no cheap tricks... just pure, skin-crawling, gut-tightening terror. notes from the New York Asian Film Festival (Out Of Competition Screening)

 

New England Premiere!
From the Director of The Grudge!
Takashi Shimizu's

MAREBITO
Friday, October 14 at 7:30pm
Saturday, October 15 at 5:30pm

(2004) dir. Takashi Shimizu, w/ Shinya Tsukamoto, Tomomi Miyashita, Kazuhiro Nakahara [92 min; in Japanese w/English subtitles]

A fear-obsessed freelance cameraman (Shinya Tsukamoto) investigates an urban legend involving mysterious spirits that haunt the subways of Tokyo, leading him to a disturbing discovery and a troubling new houseguest. Squeezed in before the start of production on the big-budget U.S. remake of his The Grudge, this disturbing new film by Japanese horror master Shimizu gets back to his low-budget roots shot on video in just 8 days and with fellow filmmaker Tsukamoto (Tetsuo The Iron Man) in the lead.

"Not only is it [Shimizu's] most interesting and accomplished work to date, it is also one of the finest horrors to come from Japan in a long time. Fear junkies certainly won't come away wanting! Taking his macabre vision one step further with this Lovecraftian voyage into the netherworld MAREBITO proves that you don't need big bucks to create big chills, and that a supernatural horror movie shot on video doesn't have to look like The Blair Witch Project." Jasper Sharp, Midnight Eye

Official Site

 

New England Premiere!
Surreal Japanese Animation!

MIND GAME
Friday, October 14 at 5:15pm
Saturday, October 15 at Midnight

(2004) dir Masaaki Yuasa w/ Koji Imada, Sayaka Maeda, Takashi Fujii [103 min; in Japanese w/English subtitles]

Nishi, an awkward young manga artist in Osaka, has had a longstanding crush on Myon. Thing is, Myon's got a thing for rugged Ryo. Matters come to a head at her sister Yan's yakitori restaurant, in the presence of the girl's dissolute father who happens to owe a bunch of money to a pair of creepy gangsters, who've come to collect. Things get ugly, and Nishi gets killed in a brutal, graphic fashion. End of the story? No way, that's just the start. Pulling a fast one on God (in all his/her/its infinite manifestations), Nishi hightails it back to Earth, where he replays the crime to his advantage, steals a car and grabs the girls. Under a hail of yakuza gunfire, he bails off a bridge and into the mouth of a whale. There, he and his two female companions encounter a tenacious and lively old man who has set up camp in the beast's belly, longing to someday return to human company on dry land. With no immediate exit available, the quartet make do fishing, fighting, making love, weaving tales of strange happenings on faraway planets and dreaming of life in the real world. Will they ever set foot there again?

Based on the underground cult manga series by Robin Nishi, MIND GAME is the magnum opus from Koji Morimoto's maverick anime outfit Studio 4-C and director Yuasa Masaaki. The studio's staff has previously been responsible for contributions to Katsuhiro Otomo's Memories and the Animatrix series, but MIND GAME is far more directly in line with Masaaki's work on Cat Soup, a half-hour brain-bender from 2001. Bearing little if any relation to the rigidly delineated aesthetics of anime, MIND GAME is far closer to the kaleidoscopic psychedelia of Yellow Submarine and the philosophical freak-out Waking Life. It's free-association storyline, using the most minor narrative fulcrum to spin off in the strangest directions, leaves one no choice but to expect the unexpected and expect it to be bold, brilliantly realized and bursting with music, color and creative ideas. Employing all manner of animation devices, from scratchy hand drawings and collage to complex CGI, rotoscoping and actual footage of the Japanese media personalities who provided the voices, MIND GAME is nothing short of utterly unique and unprecedented in the field of animation. notes from the Fantasia Film Festival

Official Site

 

Archival Screening!
New 35mm Print!

THE MUPPET MOVIE
Saturday, October 15 at 1:30pm ($5 for all!)
Saturday, October 15 at 3:30pm
Sunday, October 16 at 1:30pm ($5 for all!)
Sunday, October 16 at 3:30pm

(1979) dir James Frawley w/Kermit, Fozzie Bear, Ms. Piggy, Gonzo, and the whole Muppet gang + Charles Durning, Milton Berle, Mel Brooks, James Coburn, Dom DeLuise, Elliott Gould, Bob Hope, Madeline Kahn, Steve Martin, Richard Pryor, Telly Sevalas and Orson Welles! [95 min]

The original is back! After being out of release for many years, THE MUPPET MOVIE has resurfaced in this brand new 35mm print! We're thrilled to be amongst the first venues to feature the film. Now we can once again enjoy the onscreen origin of one of the greatest performance troupes ever created. Jim Henson's muppets are beloved by millions and, in this charming musical fantasy, we follow in the footsteps of Kermit The Frog as he sets out from the swamp to pursue a career in, what else, showbiz! Hooking up early with vaudvillian funny-bear Fozzie, Kermit treks across the country gathering new and interesting friends along the way on his way to a date with destiny in Hollywood!

Official Site

 

New England Premiere!
New From Korea!

R-POINT
Friday, October 14 at 9:30pm

(2004) dir Su-Chang Kong w/ Woo-seong Kam, Byung-ho Son, Tae-Kyung Oh [107 min; in Korean w/English subtitles]

July, 1971, somewhere deep in the Vietnamese countryside. Of the 18 U.S.-allied Korean soldiers sent into the area designated Romeo Point on a scouting mission, only one, struck blind and traumatized, survives. Six months later, however, the voices of the missing unit have been mysteriously picked up by the intelligence service's radios. Another team, this time eight men, is likewise sent to the ominous R-Point, around which certain uncomfortable rumors seem to circulate. At the head of the team is Choi Tae-in, himself also the sole survivor of another battle. Guilt, and a deeper, murkier sense of unease, quietly plague Choi as he and his troops pass the stone that marks the entrance to R-Point the point of no return. The stone reads, "He who sheds others' blood will not return, not even his soul." The skies darken as the men move toward the desolate, abandoned temple that they believe will provide them with shelter!

The war movie and horror film are two genres that are rarely fused together, perhaps because the heat of battle and the civilian's aftermath offer so much all-too-real horror as it is. But R-POINT explores a different kind of wartime fear, one no amount of bullets, bravado or disciplined tactics can confront. There are no Viet Cong, no snipers or booby traps in this godforsaken corner of the jungle the menace here has no name. A veteran (in every sense) screenwriter, Kong Su-chang hasn't simply fashioned a supernatural thriller in a wartime setting. R-POINT is in fact a reflection on the role of the Korean soldiers in the Vietnam war lonely, expandable, now largely forgotten and deeply unsure of their very purpose for being there in the first place. As Kong himself makes clear, it's a reflection that holds up today, a ghost that cannot be dispelled as a new generation of Koreans are deployed in Iraq. notes from the Fantasia Film Festival

Official Site

 

Saturday Night Spotlight!
New England Premiere!
REEKER
Saturday, October 15 at 7:30pm

(2005) dir Dave Payne w/ Devon Gummersall, Derek Richardson, Tina Illman, Scott Whyte, Arielle Kebbel, Michael Ironside [100 min]

When a lonely highway is inexplicably closed, five students sharing a ride to a party in the desert find themselves trapped at a deserted travel oasis. Refusing to let the new circumstances interfere with their fun, they settle in only to be interrupted by odd, haunting visions of severely mutilated travelers. Gruesome sighting may explain the sudden abandonment of the motel and diner, but the appearance of a retiree with a missing wife (cult actor Michael (Scanners) Ironside) confirms their worst fears. He too has seen the dying people victims of a killer, one that has likely taken his wife a killer trailing a dark force of decay and rot. Led by a blind grad student with heightened senses (played by not-a-kid-anymore Devon Gummersall (Brian Krakow from My So Called Life)), they must survive the night and confront what appears to be a terrifying abyss between the living and the dead. As the body count rises, the bizarre mystery deepens. Inspired by the classics Carnival of Souls, Evil Dead, and Friday the 13th, REEKER is a ferociously fun, new-school hybrid of the slasher/monster/supernatural horror film.

"A good, bloody time in the desert." Film Threat

Official Site

 

New England Premiere!
Asia's New Trilogy of Terror!

THREE: EXTREMES
Sunday, October 16 at 7:30pm

(2004) dirs Takashi Miike, Chan-wook Park, Fruit Chan w/ Kyoko Hasegawa, Mitsuru Akaboshi, Byung-hun Lee, Hye-jeong Kang, Won-Hee Lim, Miriam Yeung, Tony Leung Ka-Fai, Bai Ling [118 min; in Cantonese, Japanese, Korean and Mandarin w/English subtitles]

Exploring the outer limits of the macabre, three of East Asia's most compelling directors (Japanese cult figure Takashi Miike, Hong Kong's Fruit Chan, and South Korea's award-winning Park Chanwook) offer a triptych of horror stories. In Chan's Dumplings (shot by acclaimed cinematographer Christopher Doyle), a retired actress wants the rejuvenating effects of a doctor's "special" dumplings, but discovers they contain a horrifying ingredient; in Park's Cut, a film director is abducted by a vengeful stranger and forced to make an impossible choice; in Miike's Box, a beautiful female novelist receives a mysterious invitation to meet at the site of her twin sister's death. We're extremely pleased to be presenting the New England premiere of this highly anticipated trio of stories by three of the most exciting directors working in genre film today.

"[Dumplings] is incredibly absorbing! [Box] challenges a person's sense of perception! I was dying to see where [Cut] was going." Ed Gonzalez, Slant

Official Site

 

New England Premiere!
Mormonism's Answer to Reefer Madness Remade!

TRAPPED BY THE MORMONS
Friday, October 14 at Midnight

(2005) dir Ian Allen w/ Johnny Kat, Emily Riehl-Bedford, Monique LaForce [70 min]

We all know Mormons are evil, but, good God... this?! Isoldi Keane (New York drag kingpin Johnny Kat) is the top recruiter in all of Mormondom using his mesmeric powers to ensnare young girls into his evil Mormon web of passion, polygamy and pamphlets! Will young Nora Prescott be strong enough to resist his wicked-sexy Mormon wiles? Will Isoldi marry Nora and take her away to where the Great Salt Lake meets the Crystal Temple? Or, will there, indeed, be something darker waiting for Nora! slavery! sex orgies! Death!? Don't miss out on the fun as we present this hauntingly hip and hilarious remake of the 1922 cult horror classic, TRAPPED BY THE MORMONS.

Produced by Cherry Red Productions, a performance troupe with a nine-year history of producing horny, hoary theater in Washington DC, TRAPPED BY THE MORMONS was filmed over just four weekends at a makeshift studio built in a warehouse storage space. In the months following the shoot, the film was meticulously "aged" utilizing all the latest technology (like scraping it with dirt). Voila, a silent film for twenty first century!

"A sexy, hilarious, Grand Guignol of mesmerism, vampirism, and physical stirrings, wrapped up in a flickering black-and-white bow!" -Washington Post

"Mormonism's answer to Reefer Madness is back, in a remake ... that exceeds the original's campy silliness! Three words: Polygamous zombie vampires!" -Salt Lake Tribune

Official Site