Published on November 25th, 2020 | by Andrew Bistak

2020 MONSTER FEST Melbourne Program Revealed!

With just over a week to go before 2020 MONSTER FEST: WELCOME TO THE APOCALYPSE kicks off at Cinema Nova from December 3rd to 10th, we’re pleased to share the complete program for the ninth edition of our Melbourne festival.

Fresh from its World Premiere at the prestigious Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival is MEANDER, a nail-biting and ferociously gruelling exercise in cinematic anxiety from filmmaker Mathieu Turi (HOSTILE), that follows Lisa (Gaia Weiss, VIKINGS) who must combine her smarts and strength to survive the ultimate human video game.

From Producers David Gregory (BLOOD & FLESH: THE REEL LIFE & GHASTLY DEATH OF AL ADAMSON) & Kier-La Janisse (EUROCRIME! THE ITALIAN COP AND GANGSTER FILMS THAT RULED THE ’70S) comes the award-winning ultimate survey in anthology horror TALES OF THE UNCANNY. With over 60 essential voices in horror that range from film historians to filmmakers, TALES OF THE UNCANNY features the who’s who of the horror world discussing the many facets of anthology horror in the first feature-length documentary to be produced amidst the global pandemic.

Have you ever ridden the NIGHT TRAIN TO TERROR? What better time to board this unsung anthology horror gem than now on its 35th Anniversary and with AGFA’s stunning 2K Restoration. Presented for the very first-time on an Australian cinema screen, NIGHT TRAIN TO TERROR is comprised of three tales with a wraparound that’s to die for! Toot toot, get on board or go to hell!

If you thought that TROMEO & JULIET was the greatest Shakespearean adaptation ever committed to celluloid (yes, even above Kenneth Branagh), prepare yourself for #SHAKESPEARESSHITSTORM, as filmmaker Lloyd Kaufman and the Troma team go back to the Bard for their latest outing, a modern retelling of Shakespeare’s THE TEMPEST but with 97.4% more bodily fluids than Branagh has ever produced (on screen and in his personal life).

OCCUPATION RAINFALL is Luke Sparke’s highly anticipated follow-up to the 2018 sci-fi blockbuster OCCUPATION and sees Ken Jeong (THE HANGOVER Trilogy) and Daniel Gillies (THE ORIGINALS) join a returning cast that includes Temuera Morrison (AQUAMAN), Dan Ewing (BEAST NO MORE), Zac Garred (GENERAL HOSPITAL) and Trystan Go (THE FAMILY LAW). Picking up two years after the events of the first film, the war for earth rages on, however the alien invaders are no longer our only threat as factions have now formed between survivors too.

THE ENDLESS filmmakers Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead return with their festival darling SYNCHRONIC, that pits two paramedics (Jamie Dornan, THE FALL and Anthony Mackie, AVENGERS: ENDGAME) at odds with a psychedelic designer drug that allows its users to time travel, mystery flight style, to an unknown destination and time.

Deeply unsettling and genuinely terrifying, THE DARK AND THE WICKED, is the latest feature work of writer/director Bryan Bertino (THE STRANGERS) which follows two siblings who are at odds with an entity that is determined to end their bloodline.

Steven Kostanski, formerly of Canadian film collective Astron-6, follows up his acclaimed 2016 Lovecraftian love letter THE VOID with the light-hearted and ultra-violent slice of cosmic comedy/adventure, PSYCHO GOREMAN. This small-town tale of intergalactic proportions follows two kids who are in possession of a highly coveted magical amulet that allows them the ability to control an ancient alien overlord.

Brea Grant hits the ground running with her stylish sophomore directorial feature 12 HOUR SHIFT, a pitch-black comedy thriller about a nurse whose organ trafficking side hustle takes a disastrous turn when her unhinged cousin botches a kidney delivery.

SNL comedian David Koechner (CHEAP THRILLS) stars in ANTISOCIAL filmmaker Cody Callahan‘s eighties throwback comedy-slasher VICIOUS FUN, which follows Joel (Evan Marsh), an unlucky-in-love film critic who gets caught in a serial killers anonymous-type self help group with his unrequited love’s new boyfriend.

Heralding from Denmark, Jens Dahl‘s BREEDER is a disturbingly dystopian take on survival horror that explores the darker sides of biohacking and asks the question ‘How far would you go to stay young forever?‘

At the helm of HUNTED is Oscar-nominated filmmaker Vincent Paronnaud (PERSEPOLIS) and he weaves a wild and brutal reimagining of a childhood fable into a game of cat and mouse where the mouse proves to be far more agile and intelligent than the cats may have anticipated.

Stuntman come director John Stewart offers up every form of action imaginable in ACTION U.S.A., the greatest eighties action film that you’ve never seen! This dark horse from the turn of decade features fist fights, knife fights, gun fights, car fights, helicopter fights…if there’s a fight to be fought, ACTION U.S.A. has it in spades and there’s no better time than now to discover the film than with this glorious 4K Restoration.

Murder City’s Trash peddler, Dick Dale, presents another sordid program of the sickest, most twisted and goriest short films he could get his grubby mitts on from around the globe. Cinematic atrocities and disasterpieces sure to drive you to the depths of hell and hilarity. When it comes to TRASHARAMA, if it ain’t right, it’s PERFECT!

Of course our Monster Fest Shorts Programs return also with 2020 SHORTS and 2020 SHORTS II: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO, comprised of the finest and freshest genre short films from Australia and around the world, from film school students to the craftiest veterans about.

Finally slip on your flame-thrower, down that bottle of J&B and grab your long handled axe, as Christmas has come to Monster Fest! Join us, won’t you, for our CLOSING NIGHT CHRISTMASSACRE with a double-edged, double-featured extravaganza that is just bursting at the seams with holiday horror. Kicking the night off will be a very special, once-in-a-lifetime screening of Video Vortex’s psychotic yuletide mixtape from hell – SATAN CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN – oozing with blood, ornaments, and a shotgun wielding Mrs. Claus, this horrendous compendium of craptastic Christmas carnage features stop-motion monsters from the pits of hell, possessed children with murder on their minds and so many savage Santa slayings that you’d be forgiven for thinking the nice list was a figment of your imagination. Trust us, you won’t find anything like this under your cinematic Christmas tree ever again.

And if that wasn’t enough, following the unfollowable will be a very special Secret Santa mystery gift; a MYSTERY MOVIE from the deep, dark recesses of the North Pole. The exact nature of this silver-screen surprise will be revealed a bit closer to the date, but rest assured the tally of holiday homicides will keep increasing until the final credits roll of this Christmas chiller. So come, sit with us, as we mark the final night of this year’s festival. Who knows, maybe Santa himself will drop by to check out a film or two and bring with him a present for all the good little girls and boys!

Mathieu Turi | France 2020 | Australian Premiere

After getting a car ride from an unknown man, Lisa wakes up in a tube.
On her arm is strapped a bracelet with a countdown. She quickly understands that every 8 minutes, fire burns an occupied section.She has no choice but to crawl into safe sections to survive. To know why she’s there and how to get out, Lisa will have to face the memories of her dead daughter,

Join us for the 2020 Monster Fest Special Event ANTHOLOGY AFTERNOON EXTRAVAGANZA where you can catch the Australian Premiere of TALES OF THE UNCANNY plus a 35th Anniversary Screening of NIGHT TRAIN TO TERROR!

David Gregory | United States 2020 | Australian Premiere

What began as a modest Bonus Feature for the Special Edition Blu-ray of THE THEATRE BIZARRE became – when Covid hit – an international Zoom-enabled feature-length documentary on the evolution, challenges and all-time Top 5 greatest anthologies – and segments – in horror. Severin Films chief David Gregory and House Of Psychotic Women author Kier-La Janisse query a global roster of more than 60 horror writers, directors and scholars that include Eli Roth, Joe Dante, Mark Hartley, Mick Garris, Ernest Dickerson, Joko Anwar, Ramsey Campbell, David DeCoteau, Kim Newman, Jovanka Vuckovic, Luigi Cozzi, Tom Savini, Jenn Wexler, Larry Fessenden, Richard Stanley, Brian Trenchard-Smith, Brian Yuzna, Gary Sherman, Rebekah McKendry and Peter Strickland in a candid discussion of the very best portmanteaus in fright film/TV history.

+++ PLUS +++

John Carr, Phillip Marshak, Tom McGowan,
Jay Schlossberg-Cohen & Gregg G. Tallas
United States 1985 | 35th Anniversary Screening

On this its 35th Anniversary and restored in 2K from original 35mm film elements, Monster Fest is pleased to present NIGHT TRAIN TO TERROR for the very first-time on the big screen in Australia! Aboard a fast moving train bound for Hell, God and Satan decide the fates of three unfortunate mortals. In HARRY, a fiendish killer keeps the horribly mutilated body parts of his countless victims in a diabolical tourture chamber. In GRETTA, a young woman, obsessed with death, takes part in an unspeakable ritual of Russian roulette. Finally in CLAIRE, a young woman and a middle aged Holocaust survivor are terrorized by the son of Satan!

Lloyd Kaufman | United States 2020 | VIC Premiere
Prospero (played by director/co-writer Lloyd Kaufman), a brilliant and generous pharma-scientist, has had his life and career ruined by blind, greedy, perverted pharmaceutical execs, causing him and his very hot daughter Miranda to flee from NYC to Tromaville, New Jersey. When the evil execs and their elite guests take a celebratory luxury cruise to North Korea, Prospero uses his science, magic, and a load of whale laxative to create the titular Shitstorm, wrecking the cruise ship and causing its execs to wash up on the shores of Tromaville. Prospero’s planned a brutal revenge – with all the sex, mutations, musical numbers, and violence that Shakespeare always wanted but never had!

Bryan Bertino | United States 2020 | VIC Premiere

On a secluded farm, a man is slowly dying. Bedridden and fighting through his final breaths, his wife is slowly succumbing to overwhelming grief. To help their mother and say goodbye to their father, siblings Louise (Marin Ireland) and Michael (Michael Abbott Jr.) return to their family farm. It doesn’t take long for them to see that something’s wrong with mom, though—something more than her heavy sorrow. Gradually, as their own grief mounts, Louise and Michael begin suffering from a darkness similar to their mother’s, marked by waking nightmares and a growing sense that something evil is taking over their family.

Luke Sparke | Australia 2020 | VIC Premiere
OCCUPATION RAINFALL occurs two years into an intergalactic invasion of earth, while survivors fight back in a desperate ground war. As casualties mount by the day, the resistance and their unexpected allies uncover a plot that could see the war come to a decisive end. With the alien invaders hell-bent on making Earth their new home, the race is on to save mankind.

Steven Kostanski | Canada 2020 | VIC Premiere
Siblings Mimi (Nita-Josee Hanna) and Luke (Owen Myre) unwittingly resurrect an ancient alien overlord (Matthew Ninaber). Using a magical amulet, they force the monster to obey their childish whims, and accidentally attract a rogues’ gallery of intergalactic assassins to small-town suburbia.

Vincent Paronnaud | Belgium/France 2020 | VIC Premiere

Eve (Lucie Debay) meets what she thinks is a charming guy in a bar. Yet things go terribly wrong once she realizes she’s come across a psychopath and his puppet accomplice. They engage in a death chase until she decides to fight back. The forest will be her ally.

Brea Grant | United States 2020 | VIC Premiere
Set in 1999, Mandy (Angela Bettis – MAY, THE WOMAN), a nurse at a hospital in Arkansas, is a drug addict and an abettor in a black market organ-trafficking scheme. During a double shift, Mandy’s cousin Regina (Chloe Farnsworth – DEPARTURE) mishandles a kidney delivery, and chaos ensues as Mandy and Regina frantically attempt to secure a replacement organ before their buyers take matters into their own hands.

Cody Calahan | Canada 2020 | VIC Premiere
Joel (Evan Marsh, SHAZAM!), a caustic film critic for a national horror magazine, finds himself unwittingly trapped in a self-help group for serial killers. With no other choice, Joel attempts to blend in or risk becoming the next victim.

Jens Dahl | Denmark 2020 | VIC Premiere
A ruthless businesswoman is abducting young women as part of a gruesome bio-hacking experiment to reverse the aging process. When Mia (ara Hjort Ditlevsen, BORGMAN) goes to investigate, she finds herself trapped, branded and tortured in an underground medical facility.

Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead | United States 2019 | VIC Premiere
When New Orleans paramedics and longtime best friends Steve (Anthony Mackie, AVENGERS: ENDGAME) and Dennis (Jamie Dornan, THE FALL) are called to a series of bizarre, gruesome accidents, they chalk it up to the mysterious new party drug found at the scene. But after Dennis’s oldest daughter suddenly disappears, Steve stumbles upon a terrifying truth about the supposed psychedelic that will challenge everything he knows about reality—and the flow of time itself.

John Stewart | United States 1989 | VIC Premiere
After her boyfriend is murdered by the gangsters whose diamonds he stole, a girl (Barri Murphy, ARMED FOR ACTION) is protected by two FBI agents (Gregory Scott Cummins & William Hubbard Knight) who plan to keep her from sharing the same fate.

Shorts Program 2020
Murder City’s Trash peddler, Dick Dale, presents another sordid program of the sickest, most twisted and goriest short films he could get his grubby mitts on from around the globe. Cinematic atrocities and disasterpieces sure to drive you to the depths of hell and hilarity. When it comes to TRASHARAMA, if it ain’t right, it’s PERFECT!

2020 SHORTS &
Shorts Programs 2020
Of course our Monster Fest Shorts Programs return also with 2020 SHORTS and 2020 SHORTS II: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO, comprised of the finest and freshest genre short films from Australia and around the world, from film school students to the craftiest veterans about.

Join us for the 2020 Monster Fest Special Event CLOSING NIGHT CHRISTMASSACRE where you can catch the Australian Premiere of SATAN CLAUS COMES TO TOWN and our MONSTER FEST MYSTERY MOVIE!

Mrs. Claus | United States 2018 | Australian Premiere
On Christmas Eve, the Ol’ Saint Nick Video Store opens its doors through a haze of second-generation VHS crust to reveal . . . SATAN CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN! Oozing with blood, ornaments, and a shotgun-wielding Mrs. Claus, this psychotic mixtape was stitched together from dozens of unseen terror-blasts to create a holiday horror compilation from the depths of hell. Stop-motion beasties! Kids possessed by the devil! Many instances of Satan Claus killing people with an axe! This season, listen to your black heart and join us under the fire-breathing mistletoe for SATAN CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN.

+++ PLUS +++

Australian Premiere
A very special Secret Santa mystery gift; a MYSTERY MOVIE in fact, from the deep, dark recesses of the North Pole!

Thursday 3rd of December – Thursday 10th of December 2020


380 Lygon St, Carlton VIC 3053


Individual Sessions – Adult $20.50 Concession $16
VIP Passes (16 Sessions) $220
Mini-Pass (5 Films*) $75

VIP PASS – all access to every screening and event from Thursday 3 December to Thursday 10 December and free MOON DOG beers at the exclusive Opening Night Pre-Screening VIP Soirée.

*5 FILM PASS – access to 5 films in the program from Thursday 3 December to Wednesday 9 December with the exclusion of the Special Events ANTHOLOGY AFTERNOON EXTRAVAGANZA and CLOSING NIGHT CHRISTMASSACRE.


About the Author

When he's not trying to save the world, Andrew enjoys travel (although loathes turbulence), going to the movies, reading and being a dad to his two dogs (and now twins) with his wife.

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