Monster Pictures looks to offer producers a theatrical pathway

11 October, 2018 by Don Groves

‘Lords of Chaos.’

The organisers of Monster Fest aim to parlay the brand into a theatrical distribution gateway for Australian and international genre films.

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Monster Films has successfully trialed the concept with Mandy, Panos Cosmatos’ neo-noir horror movie which it sub-licensed from Madman Entertainment.

Next year the distributor will release Luke Sparke’s Occupation: Rainfall, a sci-fi thriller which stars Crazy Rich Asians’ Ken Jeong, Temuera Morrison, Dan Ewing, Stephany Jacobsen, Aaron Jeffery and Zac Garred.

Monster’s Grant Hardie developed a relationship with Sparke after staging sold-out special event screenings for Occupation.

“We want to turn the Monster Fest brand into a legitimate theatrical pathway with a cinema network consisting of as many locations as we can secure to build audiences,” Hardie tells IF. “Genre films are under-represented in cinemas.”

While he has no titles lined up to release apart from the Occupation sequel, he is open to talking to producers. As he points out, a theatrical release is vital for producers who want to access the Producer Offset, particularly at a time when mainstream distributors are being more cautious than ever in their approach to acquisitions.

The distributor launched Mandy, which stars Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roache and Ned Dennehy, initially as one-night-only screenings at 35 cinemas including Cinema Nova. The audience response encouraged some exhibitors to continue playing it and the film is in its third week.

The seventh edition of Monster Fest will take place at Cinema Nova from November 22-25, opening with the Australian premiere of S. Craig Zahler’s Dragged Across Concrete. The crime thriller stars Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn as old-school cops whose ill-fated plan to swipe the proceeds of a crime spirals out of control into a world of intense violence and retribution.

‘Dragged Across Concrete.’

Icon will release the film in Oz next year, tentatively in August. The world premiere at the Venice Film Festival drew positive reviews, hailed by Roger Ebert.com’s Glen Kenny for its devilish craft and as “potentially one of the most engrossing 158-minute films you’ll ever sit through.”

The closing night film is the Australian premiere of director Jonas Åkerlund’s Lords of Chaos, which is set in Oslo in 1987 and stars Rory Culkin as a teenager who forms the aptly-titled black metal band Mayhem with his equally fanatical mates. They begin burning down churches throughout the countryside and stealing tombstones for their record store, leading to violence. It has yet to find a local distributor.

The program includes the world premieres of US-based Australian filmmaker Caitlin Koller’s 30 Miles from Nowhere, a cabin-in-the-woods style thriller starring Carrie Preston and Rob Benedict; and Matthew Victor Pastor’s Maganda! Pinoy Boy vs Milk Man, the tale of a psychopathic murderer, the Milk Man, who kills innocent Asian women by creaming their faces.

Robbie Studsor will attend a Q&A screening of Burning Kiss, the saga of a detective (Richard Mellik) seeking vengeance from a hit-and-run that killed his wife and left him wheelchair-bound. He encounters a young stranger (Liam Graham), who claims responsibility for the crime.

Another Australian premiere is first-time writer David Barker’s psychological thriller Pimped , which stars Ella Scott Lynch, Benedict Samuel and Robin Goldsworthy and will be released by Bonsai Films early next year.

Directed by Aussie artist Ian Haig, The Foaming Node is a mockumentary that follows a cult obsessed with a comatose man who inexplicably leaks foam from his mouth – while they gradually fall prey to insanity and disturbing bodily transformations.

The Monster Fest Travelling Sideshow returns to Event Cinemas Innaloo from October 19-21, featuring the premieres of Lars von Trier’s The House That Jack Built and Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria, with other capital cities to follow.

For Monster Film main event tickets go to: https://www.cinemanova.com.au/events/monster-fest

 

 

 

 

 

 

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