Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

New genre festival Cinepocalypse descends on Chicago with its first wave of programming

For the past several years, every summer a suburban Chicago multiplex has played host to the Bruce Campbell Film Festival, a low-key younger sibling to genre film festivals like Fantastic Fest and Fantasia. Well, this year, the festival’s organizers have said, “fuck that,” and expanded it into a full-on, week-long genre film festival at Chicago’s famous (and gorgeous) Music Box Theatre. Re-dubbed Cinepocalypse, the festival will run from November 2-9, with You’re Next and The Guest (yes, and Blair Witch) screenwriter Simon Barrett serving as guest host for the entirety of its run.

The festival will also play host to Joe Carnahan, director of Smokin’ Aces, The Grey, and the upcoming American remake of The Raid, who will program a special collection of 35mm repertory films. The relentlessly prolific Eric Roberts will also be on hand for a special taping of the podcast Eric Roberts Is The Fucking Man, and The A.V. Club will be on hand for all of it as the official media sponsor for the festival.


Today, Cinepocalypse released its first round of programming, featuring the world premiere of Finnish superhero flick Rendel, the U.S. premieres of Lowlife and Mohawktwo of our favorites at this year’s Fantasia International Film Festival—new films from Pulse’s Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Baskins Can Evrenol, and REC’s Paco Plaza, a special screening of the Chicago Cinema Society’s 35mm print of Suspiria, buzzy horror-comedy Tragedy Girls, and more. You can see the complete first wave lineup below, and stay tuned for more announcements from Cinepocalypse and The A.V. Club!

Image: Cinepocalypse
Image: Cinepocalypse

Rendel - World Premiere

Finland, 2017
Director: Jesse Haaja
Finland’s first superhero film, Rendel is dystopian action/fantasy unlike anything ever witnessed Stateside. When a massive criminal organization takes over his town, a masked vigilante strikes back through a series of brutal attacks that leave blood spilled and cash ablaze. A dark adventure that harkens to the finest in 80s era comics, Rendel is the anti-Marvel crusader: an all-too-human superhero from the streets, driven solely by rage and revenge!

Attack of the Adult Babies - North American Premiere
UK, 2017
Director: Dominic Brunt
High-powered middle-aged men intend to refuel the world’s economy by very sinister, sick, and monstrous means in this British gross-out extravaganza.

$1 of each ticket sale will be donated to the ACLU to assist in continuing their support of defending the world from further adult baby attacks.

Lowlife - U.S. Premiere
USA, 2017
Director: Ryan Prows
The sordid lives of an addict, an ex-con, and a Luchador collide when an organ harvesting caper goes very, very wrong in this wildly clever - and incredibly brutal - modern LA noir.

Mohawk - U.S. Premiere
USA, 2017
Director: Ted Geoghegan
Over one very long day late in The War of 1812, a young Mohawk woman and her two lovers strike back at a squadron of American soldiers responsible for the death of her people. From the writer/director of We Are Still Here.

Poor Agnes - U.S. Premiere
Canada, 2017
Director: Navin Ramaswaran
A female serial killer and her next victim form an unexpected relationship in this intense thriller that won raves out of Montreal’s Fantasia Film Festival.

Animals (Tiere) - Midwest Premiere
Germany, 2017
Director: Greg Zglinski
A vehicle colliding with a sheep on a country road starts into motion a series of strange and unsettling events for a couple in this darkly comical, Lynchian nightmare.

Before We Vanish - Midwest Premiere
Japan, 2017
Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
In this Cannes smash, three aliens travel to Earth in preparation for a mass invasion, taking possession of human bodies and learning what it’s like to live and love in modern day Tokyo. From the writer/director of Pulse.

Dead Shack - Midwest Premiere
Canada, 2017
Director: Peter Ricq
While staying at a rundown cabin in the woods, three children must save their parents from a neighbor who intends to feed them to her undead family.

Hagazussa - A Heathen’s Curse - Midwest Premiere
Germany, 2017
Director: Lukas Feigelfeld
Set in the Austrian Alps during the Middle Ages, this morbid and visually-stunning tale deals with the fine line between ancient belief in magic and delusional psychosis.

Housewife - Midwest Premiere
Turkey, 2017
Director: Can Evrenol
On a snowy eve, a young girl’s mother kills her father and sister. 20 years later, as she’s slowly losing her grip on reality, the girl runs into a celebrity psychic who claims he is destined to help her. And then things get ultra weird. From the writer/director of Baskin.

Jailbreak - Midwest Premiere
Cambodia, 2017
Director: Jimmy Henderson
As all of Kol Kla Prison riots, a no-nonsense special task force is in to protect a key witness - and kick a whole lot of ass. Featuring a phenomenal, hard-hitting international cast, and a star-making turn from adult film star Celine Tran.

Sweet Virginia - Midwest Premiere
USA, 2017
Director: Jamie M. Dagg
A former rodeo champ with a dark past unknowingly starts a rapport with a young man who has a propensity for disturbing sociopathic violence that has suddenly gripped a small town.

Trench 11 - Midwest Premiere
Canada, 2017
Director: Leo Scherman
In the final days of World War I, a shell-shocked soldier must lead a mission deep beneath the trenches to stop a German plot that could turn the tide of the war. But what lies beneath is far more dark and sinister than he ever could have imagined.

Veronica - Midwest Premiere
Spain, 2017
Director: Paco Plaza
After making a Ouija with friends, a teenager is besieged by dangerous supernatural forces that threaten to destroy her entire family. From the writer/director of the [•REC] franchise.

Tragedy Girls - Illinois Premiere
USA, 2017
Director: Tyler MacIntyre
This clever twist on the slasher genre follows two death-obsessed teenage girls who use their online profiles dedicated to real-life tragedies to send their small Midwest town into a frenzy - and cement their legacy as modern horror legends.

Suspiria - 40th anniversary screening, newly-discovered Italian Uncut 35mm print!
Italy, 1977
Director: Dario Argento