Wednesday, October 21, 2015


by Aaron Allen

The Toronto After Dark Film Festival draws to a close this week, so if you haven't yet got tickets to the final three nights of the fest, do so without delay. This year's fest has been a roaring good time full of fun, frightening, and fascinating films from around the world. Here's a run down of two outstanding genre movies that have already screened.

Directed by Kyle Rankin

If the unbreakable Kimmy Smidt crawled out of her bunker into a small-town zombie apocalypse, that should give you an pretty good idea of the quirky and cracked-up style of humour in Night of the Living Deb. After a night of drinking, adorably awkward and feisty firecracker Deb (the show-stealing Maria Thayer) wakes up in the apartment of the man of her dreams (Michael Cassidy), but their one night stand walk of shame becomes a madcap and hilarious fight for survival when it becomes quickly apparent that their town is in the grips of a zombie infection. Night of the Living Deb is an opposites attract rom-com with giddily gruesome zombie elements and lot of heart. The dialogue zips and stings and there is rarely a dull moment. In fact, the characters are so funny and the writing so on-point that the zombie elements are the film's least interesting merits. Burned out on zombie comedies? Give Night of the Living Deb a try; it's a joyous breath of fresh air in an overcrowded and stale genre. 

Directed by Gabriel Carrer

Want to talk about emotionally intense? Introducing The Demolisher: a throat-gripping revenge thriller about an unhinged cable repairman (Ry Barrett) who prowls the gritty streets of Toronto dealing out brutal vigilante justice on the cult-like street gang that left his police officer wife traumatized and disabled. The Demolisher is almost purely a visual and emotional journey into a heart twisted by rage, vengeance, and paranoia; there is virtually no dialogue and the film is very light on story. The narrative is a fragmented, somewhat nonlinear progression dominated by a kaleidoscope of hypnotic visuals and pulsating electronic music. Its lack of narrative definitely diminishes the dramatic arcs of the characters and produces some plot holes and far-too-convenient twists, but if you like your grindhouse with a lot more arthouse influences, you can't go wrong with The Demolisher.

Tonight, TAD hosts the dark horror-comedy NINA FOREVER followed by the sold-out premiere of THE HEXECUTIONERS. Get ready to rush or grab available tickets at

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