For the fourth year, the San Francisco Film Society celebrates films that go to the extreme and beyond with Dark Wave, the series of international horror, fantasy and cult cinema, Friday, October 18 – Sunday, October 20 at the Roxie Cinema, 3117 16th Street, in the Mission District of San Francisco.
The slate of films this year are as follows:
Intacto – Max von Sydow plays a master gambler presiding over a futuristic casino on a desolate island in this genre-defying supernatural thriller. A frustrated disciple searches for someone who might be desperate enough to beat the master at his chosen game, an elaborate version of Russian roulette and the unlucky recruit (Leonardo Sbaraglia) must run a diabolical gauntlet of elimination rounds to save his girlfriend from death. Director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo fashions a shocking film about good fortune and human nature. Spain 2001, 108 min. Dir. Juan Carlos Fresnadillo.
Dark Water – In this unnerving new psycho thriller from the director of “Ring” and “Ring 2,” its chilling first sequel, an attractive divorcée and her six-year-old daughter are up against the demonic forces gripping a creepy, old Tokyo apartment building. Based on an original story by Koji Suzuki (the Stephen King of Japan), this deeply unsettling film firmly establishes its director at the forefront of the Japanese cinematic New Wave. Japan 2002, 101 min. Dir. Hideo Nakata.
Dog Soldiers – A squad of soccer-obsessed, hilariously foulmouthed British soldiers on a training mission in the Scottish Highlands find themselves stalked by enormous werewolves. After a disastrous encounter in the woods, the soldiers hole up in an abandoned farmhouse. Then the fun really begins, as various members of the squad start to transform, an enigmatic local girl (Emma Cleasby) turns up and the hero, Cooper (Kevin McKidd from “Trainspotting”), is forced to perform emergency surgery with Super Glue. Don’t ask, just watch. United Kingdom 2002, 90 min. Dir. Neil Marshall.
Inugami – In a remote mountain village on the island of Shikoku, the women of the Bonomiya family are duty bound to watch over the Inugami (wild dog) gods. When Miki Bonomiya, a lonely woman in her 40s, falls for a young stranger, the village is soon cloaked in an eerie fog, suspicions arise and strange events disturb the community, awakening the spirits. Japan 2001, 105 min. Dir. Masato Harada.
Kat – When Maria thinks that her boyfriend is cheating on her, she starts to develop a psychic connection to a series of bestial killings that are always committed close to a place she has just been. Her obsession with the killings slowly takes her further and further away from real life until finally the truth about her boyfriend, her girlfriend and the murders can no longer be repressed. “Repulsion”-style paranoia slowly but surely grabs the audience by the throat. Denmark, 2001, 90 min. Dir. Martin Schmidt.
Teenage Hooker Became Killing Machine in Daehakro – When a teacher discovers one of his teenaged students is a streetwalker, he blackmails her into becoming his sex slave. When she becomes pregnant, he hires hit men to off her, then slice and dice the corpse. A twisted Dr. Frankenstein fashions what’s left into an unstoppable cyborg and soon RoboHooker is hot on the trail of her killer. Wide-angle shots, gore, weird lighting and guns – “Teenage Hooker” has it all and more. South Korea 2001, 60 min. Dir. Nam Gee-Woong. Preceded by the short: “Gridlock” Belgium, 2002, 6 min. Dir. Dirk Beliën.
The Unknown – This “Dogma”-Meets-“Blair Witch Project” effort effectively provides scares and thrills without relying on frenetic camera movements. Five biologists travel to a remote area to explore a forest that burned down a few years ago. On the first day of exploration they find something strange. This begins a week marred by horror, paranoia and a steady erosion of common sense. Against their will the biologists have taken a step into the unknown. Suddenly the way back to civilization seems very far away. Sweden 2001, 90 min. Dir. Michael Hjorth.
Versus – Japanese director Ryuhei Kitamura’s “Versus” is a high-voltage zombie yakuza action fest. Tak Sakaguchi stars as a moody, pretty-boy convict who finds himself trapped with a nasty crew of gun-wielding hoodlums in an ancient, evil-infested forest where the dead come back to life. Japan 2001, 119 min. Dir. Ryuhei Kitamura.
For schedule and ticket information, visit the San Francisco Film Society website.