The 2018 Milwaukee Film Festival is exactly three weeks away. That’s three weeks to prepare for 304 films (!), oodles of events and discussions, and one horror movie-themed axe-throwing party at AXE MKE. (Sign up now!) Yes, from October 18 through November 1, the power of film and community will temporarily blot out the existential horror show that is modern life. Finally.
Speeeeeaking of horror shows, there are some doozies lined up for MFF2018’s Cinema Hooligante program. (That program, coincidentally, is brought to you by Milwaukee Record.) Revenge flicks with a feminist twist (Revenge)! Nerve-jangling cat-and-mouse thrillers (What Keeps You Alive)! Virgin Mary statues weeping blood (The Devil’s Doorway)! We can’t wait!
But the one Hooligante pick we’re most excited about is a 30th anniversary screening of Robert Zemeckis’ groundbreaking live-action/animated hybrid Who Framed Roger Rabbit. On Sunday, October 28, at 4:30 p.m. in the main room of the Oriental Theatre, you’ll be able to experience this forever-awesome classic the way it was meant to be seen: on the big screen, with hundreds of adoring fans. Marvel at the lengths pre-CGI filmmakers had to go to to have cartoons interact with humans! Thrill to seeing Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny share the screen! Dig that Daffy/Donald Duck piano duel! Appreciate Bob Hoskins! (R.I.P.) Also: Kathleen Turner as the voice of Jessica Rabbit.
Why is Roger Rabbit included in the horror-happy Hooligante program, you ask? Perhaps you’ve forgotten about this scene:
Or, good lord, this one:
Yeesh. Anyway, here’s the rest of the lineup:
The Devil’s Doorway
Ireland | 2018 | 76 min
A pair of priests are sent to investigate a potential miracle—a statue of the Virgin Mary weeping blood—at a remote Northern Irish Catholic asylum for women. What their 16mm cameras instead discover is a depraved horror show of sadistic nuns, satanism, and demonic possession. Taking its cue from actual history (the Magdalene Laundries that held “immoral” women captive in 1960s Ireland), this found-footage freakshow brings its audience face-to- face with evil, a veritable menagerie of malevolent thrills.
DIR Aislinn Clarke | Feature Debut
PROD Martin Brennan, Michael B. Jackson, Katy Jackson
SCR Martin Brennan, Michael B. Jackson, Aislinn Clarke
UK | 2017 | 98 min
A professor whose career is devoted to debunking stories of the faux paranormal is confronted with three case studies to challenge his skepticism in this unsettling omnibus of horror. A night watchman is plagued by visions in an abandoned asylum, a young man is stalked after his car stalls in the deep woods, and a father-to- be (Martin Freeman) is visited by a malevolent spirit in this trilogy of terror. Expertly crafted and impeccably performed, this throwback anthology demands to be watched in the dark with a crowd.
DIR Jeremy Dyson, Andy Nyman | Feature Debuts
PROD Robin Gutch, Claire Jones
SCR Jeremy Dyson, Andy Nyman
Let The Corpses Tan
(Laissez bronzer las cadavres)
France/Belgium | 2017 | 90 min | French with English subtitles
A brutal band of thieves attempt to lay low with their truckload of pilfered gold bars in the remote Mediterranean countryside. But uninvited guests (including a pair of cops) turn this idyllic cliffside hideaway into the mother of all shootouts—a delirious multiday bloodbath stuffed with double crosses and turns of fortune. A hallucinatory ride that plays like The Good, The Bad and The Ugly dosed with LSD, this psychedelic spaghetti western turns action cinema into an experimental fever dream that rips through your cerebral cortex like a load of buckshot.
DIR Hélène Cattet, Bruno Forzani | The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears (2013), The ABCs of Death – O Is for Orgasm (2012)
PROD François Cognard, Eve Commenge
SCR Hélène Cattet, Bruno Forzani
France | 2018 | 108 min | English/French with English subtitles
What started for Jen as a secluded romantic getaway with her boyfriend takes a turn for the horiffic upon the unannounced arrival of his sleazy hunting buddies. Raped, brutalized, and left for dead in the sweltering desert heat, Jen somehow survives with only a singular, peyote-fueled objective: revenge. Culminating with what may be the bloodiest climax in cinema history, Revenge is a razor-sharp feminist subversion of the revenge-thriller, gloriously blurring the lines of vengeance and survival while simultaneously delivering a ferocious dissection of gender and genre.
DIR Coralie Fargeat | Feature Debut
PROD Marc-Etienne Schwartz, Jean-Yves Robin, Marc Stanimirovic
SCR Coralie Fargeat
What Keeps You Alive
Canada | 2018 | 98 min
How well do you really know the person you love? Jules is about to find out, as what was meant to be a secluded anniversary getaway with her wife, Jackie, reveals itself to be something much more sinister in this nerve-jangling cat-and-mouse thriller. From the moment of their arrival, something is clearly off Jackie’s normally loving nature gives way to a heretofore unseen dark side, leading to a shocking revelation that pits Jules against the woman she loves in an expectation-defying, blood-spattered battle for survival.
DIR Colin Minihan | It Stains the Sands Red (2016), Grave Encounters (2011)
PROD Chris Ball, Kurtis David Harder, Ben Knechtel, Colin Minihan
SCR Colin Minihan