Thursday, February 10, 2011

AICN and Twitch Present International Eye-Candy! SLEEP TIGHT (from REC's Jaume Balaguero), FRANKENSTEIN'S ARMY, the newest from Shinya Tsukamoto and More!

Ain't It Cool News

It’s a very jet lagged Todd from Twitch coming at you here just a few short hours after landing in Berlin, where I’ll be spending the next nine days at the European Film Market. It’s a rough life, I know. But what keeps me up when I’d rather be sleeping? The new Social Distortion record, for one thing. And the need to keep you entertained, for another. That’s right, it’s time for another edition of International Eye Candy and we’re bringing the good stuff! We’ve got horny, alcoholic hedgehogs! We’ve got Nazis harvesting the dead! We’ve got Donnie Yen with a big-ass spear! We’ve got lots of hot Indonesian women in bikinis! Don’t say I never gave you anything because I’m about to give you a whole lot. Here we go!

We’re going to kick things off with one of the more serious entries in this edition of the IEC, serious in this case being the trailer for French-Canadian thriller JALOUX. Largely improvised over the course of its sixteen day shoot this one sets up like a relationship drama before things veer sharply off course. JALOUX has made big waves on the festival circuit and with theatrical releases coming in France and Quebec the first trailer has just arrived. Find the JALOUX trailer here


Hands up any fans of [REC] out there! Like you I’m excited for the upcoming sequel and prequel now in preparation to wrap things up but before we get to those one half of the directorial duo responsible for the [REC] phenomenon – Jaume Balaguero – has got a little something else for you. Balaguero’s latest is SLEEP TIGHT, a dark thriller revolving around an obsessive doorman and the object of his affections. The first teaser for this one has arrived and, as you’d expect, it’s looking very solid. Find the SLEEP TIGHT trailer here


Okay, we’re starting off a one-two punch of demented European animation in Poland with JEZ JERZY. The story goes like this. George is an average guy except he happens to be a hedgehog who is having an affair with his married childhood sweetheart. Who is not a hedgehog. Life becomes complicated when a mad scientist decides he needs hedgehog DNA to complete his current experiment – a made to order clone designed to bring fame and fortune as an internet celebrity – and so he hires a pair of Neo-Nazi skinheads to get it for him while also killing the donor so he can’t speak up and spoil things for them. And also there are blowup dolls. And a lot of drinking. JEZ JERZY is a hugely popular underground comic making the jump to the big screen in March and the latest trailer is a blast. Find the JEZ JERZY trailer here


That was the left. Now the right comes from Denmark in the form of Anders Morgenthaler and Mikael Wulff’s PANDAERNE. Morgenthaler achieved some notoriety a few years back as the director of animated and Cannes selected revenge feature PRINCESS but, before that, he and Wulff were already well known in Denmark as a pair of rather vulgar cartoonists. And now they’ve jammed as much vulgarity and violence as possible into their new TV series PANDAERNE, the charming story of a family of panda bears. Yes. Charming. That’s what it is. Find the PANDAERNE trailer here


The poster says it all with Indonesian effort BEACH CREATURE: Some sort of slithery creature meets girl in bikini. Lots of girls in bikinis, actually. Lots and lots and lots of shapely girls in bikinis. It’s a simple formula but an effective one. Find the BEACH CREATURE trailer here


Here’s a short but tasty morsel from Japan. Legendary cult director Shinya Tsukamoto (TETSUO THE IRON MAN) has been commissioned by a cinema in Venice to create a brief animated ‘bumper’ for screenings there. Running twenty four seconds long it’s Tsukamoto’s first ever foray into the world of animation, it’s 100% hand drawn by the director himself, and it’s pretty fantastic. Watch Tsukamoto’s animation here


There’s another Italy-Japan connection with MEGALOMANE, an Italian produced spoof of Japanese tokusatsu (think POWER RANGERS) show MEGALOMAN. The effects are deliciously lo-fi in this one. And what does it say about the current state of Italian genre cinema that a spoof project looks better than anything original produced there in ages? Find the MEGALOMANE trailer here


Japanese animation CAT SHIT ONE has made these pages before – it’s the beautifully animated story of heavily armed bunnies at war with camels – and now, with the DVD and BluRay hitting store shelves – the creators have made the English dub version of the entire first episode available online for free for a limited time. Move fast! Watch CAT SHIT ONE here


If you think Donnie Yen looks kind of silly in that obviously fake beard, you’re not the only one. Because he does. The martial arts star definitely does NOT look silly wielding that spear, though, and thankfully there’s lots of spear action to go along with the beard in the trailer for THE LOST BLADESMAN, Alan Mak and Felix Chong’s upcoming martial arts epic. Mak and Chong’s output has been pretty wildly inconsistent in recent days but this looks like a good one. Find the LOST BLADESMAN trailer here

Prepare for Richard Ayoade to be declared the new Wes Anderson when his directorial debut SUBMARINE hits screens in the US sometime later this year. It’s pretty much inevitable that’s what’s going to happen given their shared fondness for stories of too-smart but still socially awkward young men, but labelling the big-haired British comic – you may know him from THE IT CROWD – as another Anderson is both too simplistic and not particularly fair to either. Ayoade has his own thing going on and there’s a very simple reason why SUBMARINE was the big breakout hit of the Toronto International Film Festival: Because it’s fantastic. The UK release is approaching fast and the local trailer has appeared online. Find the SUBMARINE trailer here


Do heiresses dream of erotic androids? They do in EROTIBOT, the sexy splatter film coming from the director of STACY and VAMPIRE GIRL VERSUS FRANKENSTEIN GIRL with backing from the producers of BIG TITS ZOMBIE and HORNY HOUSE OF HORROR. And from those titles alone you know whether or not you want to see this. Find the EROTIBOT trailer here


Off to Spain now for Spanish produced animated short ROSA, an amazing looking piece of work that should have fans of Square Enix, the new APPLESEED films and the like positively drooling in anticipation despite having been produced at a fraction of the cost. Pure cyberpunk action goodness here. Find the ROSA trailer here 


And, finally, we wrap up in the Netherlands with Richard Raaphorst’s upcoming FRANKENSTEIN’S ARMY. If Raaphorst’s name seems familiar to you that’s probably because you recall the stunning pair of promos he created for his proposed Nazi-zombie project WORST CASE SCENARIO a few years back. Though that project fell apart it left horror fans hungry for something from the man and FRANKENSTEIN’S ARMY is it. With backing from MPI / Darksky – and, full disclosure, myself as a producer – production starts later this year on a story built on the premise that Hitler discovered the lab notes of Dr Victor Frankenstein at the tail end of WWII and, desperate to bolster his ranks, initiated a program to reassemble and reanimate his dead soldiers. Raaphorst has created an incredible promo piece for the project in vintage newsreel style with more promised soon. Find the FRANKENSTEIN’S ARMY promo here

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