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This Weekend, Horror Goes SXSW

Ah, spring.  That time of year when a young man’s fancy turns to love… and the phenomenal SXSW Film Festival in Austin, TX, which begins this Friday.  In a short period of time SXSW has become one of the primo independent film festivals around (with many prefering it to Sundance) with an outstanding lineup of world premieres and upcoming releases.  Add to this the great theaters in Austin (like the Paramount Theater and the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, the greatest movie theater in the entire world), the fantastic food, the wonderful people, awesome nightclubs (apparently there’s a music festival of some sort going on at the same time) and truly cool vibe of the entire city and a splendid time in guaranteed for all, as the saying goes. 

SXSW is also one of the best destinations for new genre films, in both their midnight selections and in regular competition, so for those of you who are going, thinking of going, or wish they were going (like me), here are the horror highlights of SXSW 2007.

See the lineup of viruses, zombies, sinister forces and mutant killer sheep after the jump.

Mulberry Street: NYC-shot indie about a mysterious virus taking over Manhattan. Word of mouth on this one is very good.

Sisters: Writer/director Doug Buck’s
remake of Brian DePalma’s breakthrough feature, produced by the
original’s Ed Pressman and starring Chloe Sevigny and Stephen Rae. Word
from the world premiere at Sitges last fall was positive and if you
know Buck’s earlier films then you’ll know to expect something more
than a cheap, derivative knock-off.

American Zombie:
Pseudo-documentary about zombies trying to integrate their way back
into society and the resistance they face from the living. Any
resemblance to Scooter McCrae’s Shatter Dead is purely coincidental, we’re sure.

Them (Ils):
Loosely based on a true story, a French couple living in Hungary find
their house besieged by an unknown, sinister force. We caught this one
at last year’s Fantasia Film Festival and it’s a scary, suspenseful winner; no pretense, just nothing but nice, lean scares (and short, too). Check it out!

Black Sheep:
Mutant killer sheep take over the New Zealand countryside in this
entertaining throwback to the days of early Peter Jackson.  Runs out of
steam before the end, but it’s fun for the most part and the sheep FX
are excellent.  Our sister company, IFC Films, will be releasing this to theaters later in the year.

All the Boys Love Mandy Lane: One of the big hits of the Toronto Film Festival’s midnight section last year, Mandy Lane
was sold to the Weinstein Company, which means who knows when the hell
we’ll be seeing it in theaters?  Catch it here while you can!

Undead Or Alive: A Zombedy:
SNL’s Chris Kattan stars in this zombie comedy (henceforth the title)
about a small town zombie plague. It always happens in the small towns,
doesn’t it?

Three Texas University seniors, on the eve of their graduation,
roadtrip to a Mexican border town for a final weekend of drinking and
debauchery. Their vacation becomes a nightmare as the trio run afoul of
an ancient blood cult looking for human sacrifice. Sean Astin stars.

Murder Party:
A random Halloween invitation leads a lonesome man into the hands of a
rogue collective intent on murdering him for the sake of their art,
sparking a bloodbath of mishap, mayhem and hilarity, or so the program

Trigger Man: Director Ti West’s follow-up to The Roost
(a particular favorite of Scooter’s), loosely based on a true story
about a group of hunters who find themselves the hunted. Wendigo
director Larry Fessenden co-stars.

Grimm Love:
Based on the true story of a German cannibal who sought out a willing
victim online… and found one. Word of mouth from previous festivals is
terrific and director Martin Weitz got the job directing The Hills Have Eyes 2 based on this.

A corporate retreat turns deadly when an exercise in team-building
begins to rack up a body count in this British-made black comedy.
Word of mouth is mixed, although it did screen at both Telluride and
Toronto last year.  The lovely Laura Harris stars.

We’re hoping to get a correspondent down there, so check the Monsterfest blog for more updates!

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