Grim Pickings for Cinema & Home Entertainment this week…

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GRIM PICKINGS this week includes key dates to dismember with a couple unlikely pairings. A gossip girl goes toe-to-fin with a shark in cinemas and a punk rock band head-to-skinhead with an army of raging neo-Nazis on home entertainment. Here’s what’s releasing locally this week…

In Cinemas

Thursday August 18th
In the taut thriller The Shallows, when Nancy (Blake Lively) is surfing on a secluded beach, she finds herself on the feeding ground of a great white shark. Though she is stranded only 200 yards from shore, survival proves to be the ultimate test of wills, requiring all of Nancy’s ingenuity, resourcefulness, and fortitude.

HIGH RISE (Limited Release)
Tom Hiddleston stars as Dr. Robert Laing, the newest resident of a luxurious apartment in a high-tech concrete skyscraper whose lofty location places him amongst the upper class. Laing quickly settles into high society life and meets the building’s eccentric tenants: Charlotte (Sienna Miller), his upstairs neighbor and bohemian single mother; Wilder (Luke Evans), a charismatic documentarian who lives with his pregnant wife Helen (Elisabeth Moss); and Mr. Royal (Jeremy Irons), the enigmatic architect who designed the building. Life seems like paradise to the solitude-seeking Laing. But as power outages become more frequent and building flaws emerge, particularly on the lower floors, the regimented social strata begins to crumble and the building becomes a battlefield in a literal class war.

Kubo and the Two Strings is an epic action-adventure from acclaimed animation studio LAIKA. Clever, kindhearted Kubo (voiced by Art Parkinson of Game of Thrones) ekes out a humble living, telling fantastical stories to the people of his seaside town. But his relatively quiet existence is shattered when he accidentally summons a mythical spirit from his past which storms down from the heavens to enforce an age-old vendetta. Now on the run, Kubo joins forces with Monkey (Academy Award winner Charlize Theron) and Beetle (Academy Award winner Matthew McConaughey), and sets out on a thrilling quest to save his family and solve the mystery of his fallen father, the greatest samurai warrior the world has ever known. With the help of his shamisen – a magical musical instrument – Kubo must battle gods and monsters, including the vengeful Moon King (Academy Award nominee Ralph Fiennes) and the evil twin Sisters (Academy Award nominee Rooney Mara) to unlock the secret of his legacy, reunite his family and fulfill his heroic destiny. The all-star cast also includes George Takei, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa and Academy Award nominee Brenda Vaccaro.

BULLETS FOR THE DEAD (Event Screenings)
Australian independent genre cinema is alive and well, there’s no better example than Queensland-made zombie western BULLETS FOR THE DEAD. Produced on a shoe-string (or at least a cowboy boot string…?) budget by a combination of students and pros, this Aussie genre gem punches way above its weight. Currently being sold around the world, it’s about to make a big impression on the Aussie market.

A beautifully-lensed horror western out of Queensland that puts a gang of thieves in the charge of a bounty hunter as they attempt to avoid zombie cannibals while traversing the Old West. With the feisty and outspoken Annie Blake (played by Vanessa Moltzen) chewing the scenery as much as the zombies are munching on the cast, the eye-patched bounty hunter James Dalton has more to contend with than just forming a zombie hit squad. Cathy Rodda (IRON SKY) and Norm Wilkinson (TIME GUARDIAN) produced BULLETS FOR THE DEAD in league with Griffith University as a way to give new graduates a leg up into professional production.

If you’re a filmmaker looking for insights on how to launch your project, or if you’re a punter who adores exciting and innovative new cinema, or if you happen to be wandering around with a notion to fill your pockets with a plethora of goodies and giveaways, this is a night not to be missed!

Come along and watch one of the key films of the Aussie genre new wave, meet the filmmakers and join in on the conversation as your host, Screen Space founder and Editor-in-Chief, Simon Foster asks what it takes for a low budget Aussie film to make its mark in the international market place. Guests include Director Michael Du-Shane, Actress Vanessa Moltzen, Co-writer Joshua Birch, Costume Designer Maddy Overett and Producers Cathy Rodda & Norm Wilkinson. Weighing in on the conversation will be Monster Pictures co-founder, Head of Acquisitions and Head of Development, Neil Foley, who’ll be on hand at the Q&A and in the bar post screening, to answer any of your queries about the state of play in the international genre world.

That’s not all… additional to one of the coolest new genre films to emerge from this part of the world in years and the precious industry insights, there will also be giveaways and door prizes, including a VIP weekend pass to the Sydney Underground Film Festival for lucky punters – what more could you possibly want?

Thursday August 18th
Dendy Newtown, Sydney
$20 | Tickets >>
Facebook Event

Hometown Red Carpet Premiere!
Join Monster Pictures, Griffith University, Director Michael Du-Shane, Producers Cathy Rodda and Norm Wilkinson and many more cast and crew to the highly-anticipated Brisbane debut of BULLETS FOR THE DEAD! Monster Fest Director Kier-La Janisse will, be on hand to moderate the Q+A and to meet any emerging filmmakers who have questions about Monster Fest and the international genre festival circuit at large.

Friday August 19th
Newfarm Cinemas, Brisbane
Doors: 8:30pm | Film 9:00pm
$19 | Tickets >>
Facebook Event

Home Entertainment

Wednesday August 17th
Down on their luck punk rockers The Ain’t Rights are finishing up a long and unsuccessful tour, and are about to call it quits when they get an unexpected booking at an isolated, run-down club deep in the backwoods of Oregon. What seems merely to be a third-rate gig escalates into something much more sinister when they witness an act of violence backstage that they weren’t meant to see. Now trapped backstage, they must face off against the club’s depraved owner, Darcy Banker (Stewart), a man who will do anything to protect the secrets of his nefarious enterprise. But while Darcy and his henchmen think the band will be easy to get rid of, The Ain’t Rights prove themselves much more cunning and capable than anyone expected, turning the tables on their unsuspecting captors and setting the stage for the ultimate life-or-death showdown.

SunSkye, a global technology and pharmaceutical corporation, have created an all new revolutionary drug that is now ready for human testing. They recruit a group of eight strangers for the trial offering a large sum of money. The conditions are simple: they are locked in an observation room, required to take a pill, and be observed for eight hours. The subjects begin to feel their bodies change. The effects are unlike anything a human has ever experienced? they are developing superpowers. Can they control their new found abilities and work together to escape the room? Or are superpowers not for everyone?
Available exclusively on MOD Blu-ray at the Monster Shop.

An anthology feature film that puts a uniquely dark and original spin on some of the most iconic and beloved holidays of all time. The film challenges our folklore, traditions and assumptions, making HOLIDAYS a celebration of the horror on those same special days’ year after year.

When projectionist Stuart Lloyd is made redundant by the multiplex cinema he gave his life to, he seeks revenge on a generation that no longer requires his skills. Trapping a young couple inside the cinema during a midnight screening, he sets a deadly plot in motion to make them the unwitting stars of his own chilling horror movie. As they struggle for their lives, the pair are unaware that the CCTV cameras are rolling and that the stage is set for a fatal finale.

When a bored young woman in a sleepy country town receives a series of photographs of viciously murdered women, the Police can’t tell whether they are real or staged. There are no bodies or any evidence to match these “crimes”. Are they the work of deranged mind or of a serial killer? It doesn’t matter to sleazy celebrity photographer Peter Hemmings, who’s been inspired by their “artistry” and comes to town to investigate. What develops then is a macabre thriller with a sense of style, a sense of humour and a brutal body count.

A young woman survives a brutal attack and tries to piece together the clues and its similarities to a series of recent murders, before she becomes the next victim.

Married, and heavily pregnant, couple Claire and Ryan, along with their dog Baron, move into a new apartment. Claire takes an instant dislike to their new Landlord Gerald purely down to his unappealing appearance and stench but as the film progresses it becomes clear that Claire’s gut feeling was right.

Canada’s remote wilderness becomes a chilly catalyst for terror as a group of archaeologists uncover a strange structure buried in the snow. As paranoia and mistrust take hold, the researchers turn on each other, encouraged by visions of a mysterious figure lurking at the fringes of the woods. Is the terror real or a hallucination? Whatever they’ve unleashed is a powerful force they may never comprehend, if they survive.

In a wintry small town, the body of a teenager named Jamie Marks is found by the river. Adam, the star of his cross-country team, becomes fascinated with Jamie-a boy nobody really knew or interacted with, except occasionally to bully him. When Jamie’s ghost begins to appear both to Adam and Gracie, the classmate who discovered the body, Adam is caught between two worlds. He has a budding romance with Gracie, but he also feels a deep connection to Jamie, who brings him closer to the world of the undead.

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