Published on September 1st, 2023 | by Adrian Gunning


Monster Fest returns to Cinema Nova October 12-22 for MONSTER FEST 2023 with the latest must-see genre and cult cinema programming from around the world along with some key repertory features.

Along with the release of our Festival Passes, we are pleased to reveal our Festival Artwork and a First Look at a selection of this year’s program.

Inspired by the monstrous hot rod art and weirdo shirt counterculture of the 1960s, in particular that of Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, this year’s sublime Monster Fest poster art was reverently designed by illustrator-extraordinaire David “Loopy Dave” Dunstan.

From the dark imagination of H.P. Lovecraft, director Joe Lynch (MAYHEM, WRONG TURN 2) and the reteaming of RE-ANIMATOR & FROM BEYOND screenwriter Dennis Paoli and producer Brian Yuzna, SUITABLE FLESH witnesses Dr. Elizabeth Derby’s (Heather Graham, BOOGIE NIGHTS) deadly and debaucherous descent into madness following her treatment of troubled patient Asa Waite (Judah Lewis, SUMMER OF ’84).

Filmmaking family trio Zelda Adams, John Adams & Toby Poser (HELLBENDER, THE DEEPER YOU DIG) triumphantly return with Fantasia Film Festival award-winner, WHERE THE DEVIL ROAMS, that follows a family of vaudevillian sideshow performers on a rampaging roadtrip to an existential hell.

Revisionist, ridiculous and hilarious does not begin to describe filmmaking trio Lisa Fineberg, John Campbell & Jay Morrissey‘s THE EMU WAR, an absurdist reimagining of Australia’s historical battle with the native Emu back in 1932, complete with puppetry, animatronics, gore and laughs galore!

Fire up the glass barbie and get ready for some transtemporal travel with Sam Odlum‘s TIME ADDICTS, a sci-fi/comedy that sees Denise (Freya Tingley, HEMLOCK GROVE) and Johnny (Charles Grounds, BABYTEETH) traverse the space-time continuum to retrieve a bag of ‘crystal’ to settle a debt with their dealer, Kane (Joshua Morton, SKINFORD).

From bouncer to the big screen and everything in-between, VIDEO NASTIES: MORAL PANIC, CENSORSHIP & VIDEOTAPE director Jake West‘s MANCUNIAN MAN: THE LEGENDARY LIFE OF CLIFF TWEMLOW is a passionately crafted documentary on the all too brief life though prolific career of multifaceted artist and seemingly Britain’s best kept secret, Cliff Twemlow.

Expertly blending the American mafia film with elements of Japanese Hagakure mythos, auteur Jim Jarmusch‘s GHOST DOG: THE WAY OF THE SAMURAI was not only a counterculture phenomenon at the time of its release with Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker in the titular role and score by RZA but now is widely considered Jarmusch’s masterpiece and Monster Fest is proud to present the Australian Premiere of a stunning all-new 4K Restoration of the film.

Dir. Joe Lynch | United States 2023
Australian Premiere

A once-esteemed psychiatrist (Heather Graham) who gets obsessed with her younger patient (Judah Lewis), who happens to have multiple personalities. After murdering one of her patients, she watches her life take a nightmarish turn as she soon encounters supernatural forces, seemingly connected with an ancient curse.

Dir. John Adams, Zelda Adams & Toby Poser | United States 2023
Australian Premiere

Follows a family of traveling sideshow performers as they traverse the harsh conditions of Depression-era America on a bloody search for eternal life.

Dir. Lisa Fineberg, John Campbell & Jay Morrissey | Australia 2023
World Premiere

Based on the infamous Great Emu War of 1932, a ragtag platoon of soldiers are driven into a brutal and bloody battle against Australia’s deadliest flightless beasts. Haunted by the kidnapping of his son at the hands of the Emus, Major Meredith leads the platoon behind enemy lines in order to kill the emus Leader the Queen Emu.

Dir. Sam Odlum | Australia 2023
World Premiere

In debt to their volatile drug dealer, best friends, Denise and Johnny, agree to a sketchy job to pay off their last hit. After breaking into a decrepit stash house to steal a bag of mysterious drugs, escape proves more troublesome, as the pair find themselves trapped inside with a madman. With no way out and not one to miss an opportunity, Johnny smokes the new drug and promptly travels into the past, triggering alarming new events in the future. Separated through time, Denise is left alone to confront her past, their dealer’s real identity, and her very own existence.

Dir. Jake West | United Kingdom 2023
Australian Premiere

Bouncer. Novelist. Composer. Screenwriter. Producer. Star. To ‘80s UK audiences, Cliff Twemlow was all of these and then some. For more than a decade, in fact, Twemlow was the UK’s most prolific indie filmmaker. But in Manchester, he was – and remains – a legend. Between 1992 and 1993, Twemlow gathered a devoted team of local doormen, martial artists, variety performers, club DJs, models, girlfriends, gym friends, family members and B-listers to create his own cut-rate Hollywood empire. Shooting on early pioneering video technology, composing all the music himself, and working on nearly non-existent budgets, Twemlow and his unlikely ensemble of misfits crafted gangster films, horror films, spy thrillers, sci-fi epics and beyond.

Dir. Jim Jarmusch | United States 1999
4K Restoration | Australian Premiere

Ghost Dog (Forest Whitaker) lives above the world, alongside a flock of birds, in a homemade shack on the roof of an abandoned building. Guided by the words of an ancient samurai text, Ghost Dog is a professional killer able to dissolve into the night and move through the city unnoticed. When Ghost Dog’s code is dangerously betrayed by the dysfunctional mafia family that occasionally employs him, he reacts strictly in accord with the Way of the Samurai. In Ghost Dog’s words, “we’re like two ancient tribes, both almost extinct…and everything seems to be changing around us“.

Festival Dates & Location

Thursday 12th to Sunday 22nd of October

Cinema Nova
380 Lygon St, Carlton VIC
VIP Pass – $330
The VIP Pass is valid for all sessions including Opening Night, Closing Night and Special Events at Monster Fest from Thursday 12th to Sunday 22nd of October 2023. It cannot be used for multiple tickets to the same session or for sessions that run concurrently.

10 Film Pass – $160
The 10 Film Pass may be used for any 10 Monster Fest film sessions from Friday 13th October to Sunday 22nd October excluding Opening Night, Closing Night and Special Events. It cannot be used for multiple tickets to the same session or for sessions that run concurrently.

5 Film Passes – $85
The 5 Film Pass may be used for any 5 Monster Fest film sessions from Friday 13th October to Sunday 22nd October excluding Opening Night, Closing Night and Special Events. It cannot be used for multiple tickets to the same session or for sessions that run concurrently.

Festival Hashtag: #MonsterFestAU

About the Author'

Adrian lives in Melbourne Australia and has a huge passion for gaming, technology and pop culture. He recently finished his a Bachelor of Journalism and is currently focusing on games journalism. When not writing and playing video games, Adrian can be found in Comics 'R' Us debating the pros of the DC Universe and cons of the Marvel Universe.

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