Aug 01, 2021
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Toronto After Dark Film Festival: a special kind of twisted

by TO411 staff writer Daisy Maclean

On Friday the 13th, homegrown horror sensation, The Toronto After Dark Film Festival, kicked off its opening night, not with vampires or werewolves, or even zombies, but with fish-people. The ever-growing festival brings together new horror, sci-fi, action and cult films from all over the world to premiere in Toronto to an audience that would otherwise not get to see them on the big screen. It’s a festival by the fans for the fans and it’s possibly the most fun you’ll ever have at a film festival. This weekend I sat down with Devin McGinn and Kyle Davis to discuss their film, the festival and some of our favourite movies, like Ghostbusters, Black Dynamite and the Dark Crystal.

Horror comedy, The Last Lovecraft: the Relic of Cthulhu, takes two office workers on the ride of their lives when they find out that one of them is the last descendant of H.P. Lovecraft and the only person that can save the Earth from the horrifying doom that awaits it should Cthulhu escape his deep-sea prison. Written and produced by Devin McGinn and starring himself, and Kyle Davis (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), the film is a mad-cap romp through Lovecraft lore made with palpable love for the monster movie genre. Special mention MUST go to Barak Hardley for his hilarious, gut-busting comedic timing in the supporting role of supreme nerd, Paul, an old high school acquaintance who they drag along with them in the hopes that at least one of them will be able figure out what to do in time. 

“I originally wanted to make a serious version of At the Mountains of Madness, people wanted it so badly that we thought we could sneak in there, make something entertaining,” explains McGinn over his pint. “But we got to the production design process and we realized that it was just going to be bad, no matter what we did, because the budget wasn’t there. People expect to see a certain level of things when you’re making a serious movie and I didn’t want to be another in the long line of really horrible Lovecraft movies that tried to take itself too seriously. I thought: we’ll respect the mythos, but we’ll still make it a lot of fun. If people are laughing and having a good time, they tend to be more forgiving of budgetary constraints.”

Budgetary constraints aside, the costumes for the creatures are superbly well-crafted, including a strange sucker fish creature that, Davis told me, had each of its hundreds of teeth put in individually. “We were introduced to Kris Kobzina and Kimberly Graczyk, after we were hit with some bad luck in pre-production, and they stepped up and did some amazing work in a very short amount of time. Our deep ones are full body suit with predator-type moving jaws, we were very thankful we were able to find them,” says McGinn.

The films at Toronto After Dark are rarely studio films, often they are low budget independents that had to run a gamut of obstacles in order to get finished. What makes the festival so fantastic is the chance to screen in front of the die-hard fans of the genre. “It’s really different from a festival like Slamdance, where it’s more of a film market. It was a lot of filmmakers and people who didn’t know what to expect from film to film. This is what I love. To go out where people know what they’re in for and have a good time. Hearing the audience reaction was great.”

With gun blazing unicorn t-shirts and entire dialogue scenes about fish-rape, this film is irrepressibly entertaining. The Last Lovecraft: the Relic of Cthulhu will be showing next at the H.P. Lovecraft Festival and will be distributed in North America by Dark Sky Films and internationally via Cinemavault. McGinn has the type of boyish good looks and comedic charm that will do well for him in future and I honestly can’t wait to see what the boys make next.

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Front Page, Industry News

Toronto After Dark Film Festival: a special kind of twisted

by TO411 staff writer Daisy Maclean

On Friday the 13th, homegrown horror sensation, The Toronto After Dark Film Festival, kicked off its opening night, not with vampires or werewolves, or even zombies, but with fish-people. The ever-growing festival brings together new horror, sci-fi, action and cult films from all over the world to premiere in Toronto to an audience that would otherwise not get to see them on the big screen. It’s a festival by the fans for the fans and it’s possibly the most fun you’ll ever have at a film festival. This weekend I sat down with Devin McGinn and Kyle Davis to discuss their film, the festival and some of our favourite movies, like Ghostbusters, Black Dynamite and the Dark Crystal.

Horror comedy, The Last Lovecraft: the Relic of Cthulhu, takes two office workers on the ride of their lives when they find out that one of them is the last descendant of H.P. Lovecraft and the only person that can save the Earth from the horrifying doom that awaits it should Cthulhu escape his deep-sea prison. Written and produced by Devin McGinn and starring himself, and Kyle Davis (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), the film is a mad-cap romp through Lovecraft lore made with palpable love for the monster movie genre. Special mention MUST go to Barak Hardley for his hilarious, gut-busting comedic timing in the supporting role of supreme nerd, Paul, an old high school acquaintance who they drag along with them in the hopes that at least one of them will be able figure out what to do in time. 

“I originally wanted to make a serious version of At the Mountains of Madness, people wanted it so badly that we thought we could sneak in there, make something entertaining,” explains McGinn over his pint. “But we got to the production design process and we realized that it was just going to be bad, no matter what we did, because the budget wasn’t there. People expect to see a certain level of things when you’re making a serious movie and I didn’t want to be another in the long line of really horrible Lovecraft movies that tried to take itself too seriously. I thought: we’ll respect the mythos, but we’ll still make it a lot of fun. If people are laughing and having a good time, they tend to be more forgiving of budgetary constraints.”

Budgetary constraints aside, the costumes for the creatures are superbly well-crafted, including a strange sucker fish creature that, Davis told me, had each of its hundreds of teeth put in individually. “We were introduced to Kris Kobzina and Kimberly Graczyk, after we were hit with some bad luck in pre-production, and they stepped up and did some amazing work in a very short amount of time. Our deep ones are full body suit with predator-type moving jaws, we were very thankful we were able to find them,” says McGinn.

The films at Toronto After Dark are rarely studio films, often they are low budget independents that had to run a gamut of obstacles in order to get finished. What makes the festival so fantastic is the chance to screen in front of the die-hard fans of the genre. “It’s really different from a festival like Slamdance, where it’s more of a film market. It was a lot of filmmakers and people who didn’t know what to expect from film to film. This is what I love. To go out where people know what they’re in for and have a good time. Hearing the audience reaction was great.”

With gun blazing unicorn t-shirts and entire dialogue scenes about fish-rape, this film is irrepressibly entertaining. The Last Lovecraft: the Relic of Cthulhu will be showing next at the H.P. Lovecraft Festival and will be distributed in North America by Dark Sky Films and internationally via Cinemavault. McGinn has the type of boyish good looks and comedic charm that will do well for him in future and I honestly can’t wait to see what the boys make next.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Front Page, Industry News

Toronto After Dark Film Festival: a special kind of twisted

by TO411 staff writer Daisy Maclean

On Friday the 13th, homegrown horror sensation, The Toronto After Dark Film Festival, kicked off its opening night, not with vampires or werewolves, or even zombies, but with fish-people. The ever-growing festival brings together new horror, sci-fi, action and cult films from all over the world to premiere in Toronto to an audience that would otherwise not get to see them on the big screen. It’s a festival by the fans for the fans and it’s possibly the most fun you’ll ever have at a film festival. This weekend I sat down with Devin McGinn and Kyle Davis to discuss their film, the festival and some of our favourite movies, like Ghostbusters, Black Dynamite and the Dark Crystal.

Horror comedy, The Last Lovecraft: the Relic of Cthulhu, takes two office workers on the ride of their lives when they find out that one of them is the last descendant of H.P. Lovecraft and the only person that can save the Earth from the horrifying doom that awaits it should Cthulhu escape his deep-sea prison. Written and produced by Devin McGinn and starring himself, and Kyle Davis (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), the film is a mad-cap romp through Lovecraft lore made with palpable love for the monster movie genre. Special mention MUST go to Barak Hardley for his hilarious, gut-busting comedic timing in the supporting role of supreme nerd, Paul, an old high school acquaintance who they drag along with them in the hopes that at least one of them will be able figure out what to do in time. 

“I originally wanted to make a serious version of At the Mountains of Madness, people wanted it so badly that we thought we could sneak in there, make something entertaining,” explains McGinn over his pint. “But we got to the production design process and we realized that it was just going to be bad, no matter what we did, because the budget wasn’t there. People expect to see a certain level of things when you’re making a serious movie and I didn’t want to be another in the long line of really horrible Lovecraft movies that tried to take itself too seriously. I thought: we’ll respect the mythos, but we’ll still make it a lot of fun. If people are laughing and having a good time, they tend to be more forgiving of budgetary constraints.”

Budgetary constraints aside, the costumes for the creatures are superbly well-crafted, including a strange sucker fish creature that, Davis told me, had each of its hundreds of teeth put in individually. “We were introduced to Kris Kobzina and Kimberly Graczyk, after we were hit with some bad luck in pre-production, and they stepped up and did some amazing work in a very short amount of time. Our deep ones are full body suit with predator-type moving jaws, we were very thankful we were able to find them,” says McGinn.

The films at Toronto After Dark are rarely studio films, often they are low budget independents that had to run a gamut of obstacles in order to get finished. What makes the festival so fantastic is the chance to screen in front of the die-hard fans of the genre. “It’s really different from a festival like Slamdance, where it’s more of a film market. It was a lot of filmmakers and people who didn’t know what to expect from film to film. This is what I love. To go out where people know what they’re in for and have a good time. Hearing the audience reaction was great.”

With gun blazing unicorn t-shirts and entire dialogue scenes about fish-rape, this film is irrepressibly entertaining. The Last Lovecraft: the Relic of Cthulhu will be showing next at the H.P. Lovecraft Festival and will be distributed in North America by Dark Sky Films and internationally via Cinemavault. McGinn has the type of boyish good looks and comedic charm that will do well for him in future and I honestly can’t wait to see what the boys make next.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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