Lucky McKee

The Green Inferno

Pleated skirts and revenge! Jungle protests and secret societies! Whatever Rigor Mortis is! These are some of the brutal delights that programmer Colin Geddes has set up for the Toronto International Film Festival’s Midnight Madness slate. The whole thing opens with Lucky McKee‘s (The Woman) latest film All Cheerleaders Die where he teams with writer/director Chris Sivertson to remake one of his early movies. This new version tells the supernatural story of a rebellious girl who joins the cheerleading squad in order to take down the captain of the football team. There’s also new Eli Roth, Sion Sono, Hitoshi Matsumoto…The hits keep coming, and I still can’t tell what’s going on in Rigor Mortis. Here’s the full lineup to drool over.

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What is Casting Couch? It’s a casting news column that has a theory casting agents are kind of just coasting going into the Thanksgiving holiday. Bryan Cranston. For a long time he was viewed as being an under appreciated character actor, or even “the dad from Malcolm in the Middle,” but these days he’s basically the most universally beloved actor in the business. It’s amazing what cooking meth in your tighty-whities can do for your career. What a coup for the upcoming crime drama, Eye of Winter, then, that it’s landed Cranston as its lead. He’ll be playing a blind criminal who takes a struggling motel owner (Alive Eve) and her daughter hostage so that they can be his eyes while he attempts to retrieve a package from a crooked cop (Logan Marshall Green). Tze Chun (Children of Invention) will direct and has co-written alongside Osgood Perkins and Nick Simon. [Variety]

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31 Days of Horror - October 2011

They said it couldn’t be done. A fifth year of 31 Days of Horror? 31 more terror, gore and shower scene-filled movies worth highlighting? But Rejects always say die and never back away from a challenge (unless you count that time Kate Erbland was dared to walk like a man while singing “Walk Like a Man” and wearing an inflated latex glove on her head), so we’ve rounded up the horror fans among us and put together another month’s worth of genre fun. Enjoy! Synopsis: Even though it’s a sequel to a 2009 film called The Offspring, Lucky McKee’s The Woman can stand fine on its own as a super weird and super horrific tale of misogyny taken to its furthest extent. That film introduces us to a clan of cannibals who abduct and devour townsfolk somewhere in the Northeast. It details the fate of the last surviving member of this clan (Pollyanna McIntosh) and what happens when a hunter comes upon her one day when he’s out in the woods. Which begs the question, what would you do if you came across a cannibalistic woman bathing in a river? Because this creep (Sean Bridgers) decides to chain her up down in his root cellar and instruct his family through the process of trying to civilize her. And, even worse, this guy being an abusive, creepy misogynist, his idea of civilizing someone probably resembles psychological torture and sexual abuse much more than other people’s. Revenge scenarios follow.

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The Coroner

Director Lucky McKee’s most recent film, The Woman, garnered a lot of critical praise at Sundance in 2011 but gained the most publicity when some old codger decided to have a freak out that was caught on tape where he said the film was degrading to women and demanded it be burned. Luckily for the sake of art and free speech, the negative was not burned and the film has indeed been released on DVD and Blu-ray. The film follows the Cleek family and their zany adventures trying to ‘civilize’ a wild woman the patriarch finds in the woods. I put civilize in quotes back there because that’s how the film is officially described, but in my book giving someone a bath and making them wear clothes doesn’t actually amount to trying to civilize them. No, for that, one must teach them proper dining etiquette. Obviously, as this is branded a horror film, the titular woman chained up in the basement must cause some havoc, though she’s not the true villain in this story.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr gets ready to celebrate Halloween in style with some horror releases… and he’s not just thinking of Footloose. Unhappy with his life, he follows the bucket list path of Steve Martin, Owen Wilson and Jack Black, traveling to the bottom of the world where he finds himself in a small Antarctic town that has outlawed dancing. So Kevin takes it upon himself to help the people get their groove on only to discover they’ve been taken over an alien species that duplicate human form. Later, he takes a trip back to the heartland where he finds a feral woman chained in a cellar… pretty standard for some of the towns he’s been to. Finally, not being able to find a theater that is still playing Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence), he checks it out On Demand and promptly throws up.

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By now, most die-hard movie fans have seen the YouTube video of the man storming out of a screening of Lucky McKee’s film The Woman at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, but not very many people have had a chance to see the film and why this guy left in such a huff. This coming weekend, dead in the middle of October, McKee’s new and controversial film opens in limited release, the first theatrical run the director has had since May released in 2003. May helped propel McKee into horror film stardom, so much so that with just this film under his belt, he was dubbed a “master of horror” by Showtime, who invited him to direct an episode of their series of the same name. The Woman is a sequel to the horror film Offspring, about a group of cannibals who live in the woods. The leader of this group, a feral woman (Pollyanna McIntosh), returns as the victim in The Woman. While on a weekend hunting excursion, the father (Sean Bridgers) of a rural family discovers she’s living in the wild. He then captures her, chains her in his cellar, and tries to make her civilized in the most uncivilized ways. McKee took some time to chat about his new film, why it makes people so uncomfortable, and how he’s not afraid of being labeled a horror director.

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One of the best things to watch over and over and over again was the video from Sundance when a cranky, old sad person walked out of Lucky McKee‘s The Woman because it was a piece of art to get mad at or something. There’s no doubt that McKee has been a fresh voice in horror for years, and his new flick comes out on October 14th so hopefully your loins are girded. Because, according to that cranky person, the movie is way too challenging. What’s not challenging is this small group of pictures from the production. One screams poetry, another shows off some behind-the-scenes fun, and the last simply has blood all over it:

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Here’s a little experiment. Watch this new trailer for Luck McKee’s The Woman and see whether it makes you want to leave the room or not. Chances are, it won’t, but that’s not because it’s not just a little offensive. It’s because it’s a fantastic, utterly watchable trailer. Horror fans need no introduction to McKee’s work, but as an introduction for those who don’t know him yet, this is a bloody mess of wonderful that has a punk rock feel to it. What would happen if you found a wild woman living in the woods? Would you chain her up and try to civilize her? Would you slap your wife about it? Ask yourself that question and check it out:

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After getting locked out of the press screening for this year’s Grand Jury Prize Dramatic Winner, Like Crazy, I skipped over to the next theater, which sadly played the worse film I saw at the festival this year, The Ledge. Despite that mishap, there were a lot of great films at Sundance. Here are my top 5 in no particular order, alongside the best film I saw at this year’s festival (which may surprise you). I felt that each film had the most impact during my stay at the festival and introduced us to some fantastic new voices that will be coming to a cinema near you.

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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The Woman is a harrowing and often darkly hilarious horror satire about family values, feminism, and the nature of violence from the twisted minds of Lucky McKee and Jack Ketchum. A true find at Sundance for all fans who love gore and the twisting of Americana. From the beginning of the film, it’s clear that the Cleek family of Maine has a lot underneath the surface. That’s made even more prominent when head-of-household Chris (Sean Bridgers of HBO’s Deadwood) bags a feral woman (Pollyanna McIntosh) outside the family farm. Chris’ idea is to have the family train her in the ways of civilization.

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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Lucky McKee has made a career out of delivering strange horror to the small group of people who know to look out for his name. For his next trick, he’s teamed with horror novelist Jack Ketchum to co-write a sequel to “Offspring,” which was adapted for film last year. McKee and Ketchum have, of course, also turned that forthcoming novel into a screenplay for McKee to direct. They then poured blood all over the screenplay and hired cannibals to tear it to shreds with their teeth. The Woman was a character played by Pollyanna McIntosh, and you can see her here again displaying what happens when you cover Lindsay Lohan with war paint and keep her locked up in a barn for ten years.

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This week, on a very special Reject Radio, Scott Weinberg from Cinematical drops by to threaten to hit Ashton Kutcher with a sock filled with poop and suggests a few movies to make you a more rounded horror fan.

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The pair who seem destined to forever work together on grizzly horror will meet up again for the sequel to a Jack Ketchum adaptation. With plenty of people eating people.

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Brian Cox delivers a strong performance in this low-budget revenge film, but it stumbles on production value.

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published: 04.19.2014
A-
published: 04.19.2014
B+
published: 04.18.2014
C-
published: 04.18.2014
C

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