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Masters of Horror series from Vancouver VIFC

Vancouver International Film Centre, Vancity Theatre presents MASTERS OF HORROR
January 13-17,19

"For people who are really scary movie fans, this is nirvana."-John Landis

Shot mostly in Vancouver throughout 2005, and only seen thus far on digital cable and at selected film festivals, the MASTERS OF HORROR series brings together a baker's dozen of the genre's greatest directors. Given free reign and a limited budget, they pieced together a mini-series of B-movie throwbacks, alternately terrifying, willfully comic, or socially incisive, but never, ever ordinary. In stunning HD video presentation, the Vancity Theatre is ready to bring the Masters of Horror to life.

The concept to create this unique series grew out of a number of dinners organized by the series' executive producer, director Mick Garris (THE STAND), "I had always thought it would be great to get the guys who know the most about making horror effectively to do an anthology series." Don Coscarelli (BUBBA HO-TEP) adds, "We found out that, at heart, we were all horror geeks. To stay in this genre, you have to be a horror fan yourself."

Other directors involved include Dario Argento (SUSPIRIA), John Carpenter (HALLOWEEN), Larry Cohen (IT'S ALIVE), Joe Dante (GREMLINS), Stuart Gordon (RE-ANIMATOR), Tobe Hooper (TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE), John Landis (AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON), Lucky McKee (MAY), William Malone (FEAR.COM), John McNaughton (HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER), and Japan's Miike Takeshi (AUDITION).

The featured attraction in the series is Joe Dante's anti-Iraq War zombie satire HOMECOMING, which will screen regularly with either John Carpenter's CIGARETTE BURNS (which predominately features Vancouver's Vogue Theatre) or John Landis' DEER WOMAN. Also, on January 14th, the ten other episodes of MASTERS OF HORROR will show in a two-part, day-long marathon. Look for special guests to appear throughout the week of screenings.

HOMECOMING Director: Joe Dante
One of the best-reviewed and widely debated films of the year, Joe Dante's brilliant zombie satire finds its horror not in some fantasy otherworld, but in the here and now to the south. After being accidentally invoked back into life on a talk show (hosted by Terry David Mulligan), The Iraq war dead rise from their flag-draped coffins with one purpose in mind: to vote out the administration that sent them to fight a war sold on "horseshit and elbow grease." In this stunning, briskly paced hour of agitprop entertainment, Dante spares no punches in eviscerating Republican advisors, the religious right, and the hypocritical sanctimony sweeping across the current American political landscape.

"Jaw-dropping in its sheer directness, Homecoming is a righteous blast of liberal-left fury...At once galvanic and cathartic, Dante's film uncorks the rage that despondent progressives promptly suppressed after last year's election and that has only recently been allowed to color mainstream coverage of presidential untruths and debacles" (Dennis Lim, The Village Voice).

"Homecoming is a stunner. Written by Sam Hamm, who developed the first Batman movie, and adapted from a short story by Dale Bailey, this hybrid of zombie thriller and scalding political satire is a stroke of genius" (John Doyle, The Globe and Mail).

DEER WOMAN Director: John Landis
Native mythology meets off-beat humour (and a touch of skin) from genre impresario John Landis, here spinning a goofy play on his classic An American Werewolf in London. Brian Benben (star of Landis' Dream On) delivers a wonderful deadpan turn as detective Dwight Faraday, banished to the animal attacks desk after a shoot-up gone wrong. A bizarre murder that may or may not have been committed by a hoofed creature unwillingly pushes Faraday back on the beat, prodded by a kooky coroner and a uniformed cop who fancies himself an investigator. With eyewitness reports placing a beautiful Native woman at the scenes of the crime, all signs point to the fantastical: could the myth of the Deer Woman who preys on unsuspecting men actually exist? As in all MOH episodes, watch out for Vancouver landmarks--Faraday's hunt gives a new meaning to the phrase "Save on Meats."

CIGARETTE BURNS Director: John Carpenter
Hard up for cash to save his flailing cinema (none other than The Vogue), Kirby (Norman Reedus) is hired by a private collector (Udo Kier) to track down the only copy of a cult film that caused multiple gory deaths during its only known screening at the Stiges film festival. Despite being warned off the case by those who have tried before him-by a mad Pauline Kael disciple, a French archivist, and hatchet-wielding psychopaths-the draw of Le Absolut Fin du Monde is too tempting for Kirby to ignore. WARNING: GORE

JENIFER Director: Dario Argento
Based on Bruce Jones' classic comic (and adapted by star Steven Weber), Jenifer is a modern-day Lolita who a sympathetic police officer saves from being murdered. But Jenifer is no ordinary woman, and he's about to fall in a downwards spiral that will shatter his life forever. WARNING: SEX AND GORE

CHOCOLATE Director: Mick Garris
Jamie (Henry Thomas), a newly divorced man who creates artificial flavours, suddenly starts to experience life through the senses of a mysterious woman, and falls in love- without having met her. His quest for his beautiful possessor leads him, naturally, to a rendez vous in Stanley Park.

DREAMS IN THE WITCH-HOUSE Director: Stuart Gordon
In another H.P. Lovecraft adaptation from Gordon, a physics grad student rents a dilapidated apartment and is soon haunted by a witch and her indelible familiar, a rat with a human face. But are they dreams, or does the witch have other plans?

SICK GIRL Director: Lucky McKee
A prim UBC-grad entomologist has trouble finding a girlfriend who'll tolerate her insect collection...until she hits it off with the mysterious girl who sits by the elevator and draws pixies. But then the gigantic Brazilian bug-an anonymous gift-goes missing...

DANCE OF THE DEAD Director: Tobe Hooper
In a post-apocalyptic dystopia, re-animated corpses perform for the entertainment of the few nuclear holocaust survivors. This world is a secret to the sheltered Peggy, but she soon comes to learn about the sacrifices that were made to guarantee her survival.

HAECKEL'S TALE Director: John McNaughton
When Ernest Haeckel seeks shelter in a secluded cabin, he's given one explicit instruction: No matter what he hears, he cannot go outside. But Haeckel disobeys his host and becomes embroiled in an orgy of the undead. Based on Clive Barker's short story.

THE FAIR-HAIRED CHILD Director: William Malone
Tara, a lonely teenager is kidnapped by a strange couple and locked in the basement with their young son, Johnny, who bears the weight of a terrible, grisly secret. These two children form a special bond to find a way to battle a curse and survive the night.

The director of Phantasm and Bubba Ho-Tep places a seemingly defenseless young woman against a deformed and demented serial killer. As the story cuts back and forth in time, our heroine is revealed to have some secrets of her own.

IMPRINT Director: Miike Takeshi
VIFF fave Miike searches the corpse-strewn riverbanks of 19th-century Japan in this tale of an American journalist hunting for a lost love. Reaching an isolated brothel, he learns the danger of dredging up old ghosts. Boy, does he ever. WARNING: GORE

PICK ME UP Director: Larry Cohen
When a bus breaks down on a deserted highway, its passengers are right to be wary when not one, but two strangers with hidden agendas arrive on the scene. Especially when one is a gruff truck driver played with gusto by Cohen regular Michael Moriarty.

For more information on the series go to


Friday January 13
Homecoming/Deer Woman 4pm, Homecoming/Cigarette Burns 7pm

Saturday January 14 Masters of Horror Marathon


Sunday January 15
Homecoming/Deer Woman 1pm, Haeckel's Tale/Fair-Haired Child 4pm

Monday January 16
Homecoming/Deer Woman 4pm, Homecoming/Cigarette Burns 7pm,
Incident On and Off a Mountain Road/Pick Me Up 9:30pm

Tuesday January 17
Homecoming/Deer Woman 4pm, Homecoming/Cigarette Burns 7pm,
Sick Girl/Dreams in the Witch-House 9:30pm

Thursday January 19
Homecoming/Deer Woman 4pm, Homecoming/Cigarette Burns 7pm
Imprint/Jenifer 9:30pm

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