Welcome to the official blog of the "PIFF After Dark" series of the 34th Portland International Film Festival! This series will focus on new genre films that push cinematic boundaries. The series is programmed by Dan Halsted, organizer of the Grindhouse Film Festival and founder of the 35mm Shaolin Archive. Here is the official lineup:
Rubber - On a quiet desert landscape, a car approaches and rolls to a stop. A man climbs from the trunk, and tells us that this is a movie that exists for no reason. Then, a group of people paralleling the film's audience watch through binoculars...as a tire slowly comes to life. This is Quentin Dupieux' film Rubber. A surreal tale of a psychotic tire out on a telekinetic murderous rampage. No one is safe: small animals, police officers, and innocent bystanders all fall victim to the tire's violent fury. Between head explosions, a beautiful brunette becomes the object of the tire's affection, and one character asks the question that has surprisingly crept into every audience member's mind: "Is the tire going to get laid?"
Outrage - Takeshi Kitano is back in top form with this ruthless and violent yakuza thriller! Kitano stars as Otomo, a stoic mid-level yakuza boss. When two top mob bosses form an alliance, the entire yakuza world is in danger of erupting in a war, and Otomo is instructed to keep the criminal families in balance by any means necessary. What follows is an intricate web of betrayal filled with sudden bursts of realistic violence. This modern Japanese Godfather is masterfully directed by Kitano (Violent Cop, Fireworks), proving himself once again to be one of the great Japanese directors of our time.
Mutant Girls Squad - Rin is a Japanese high school girl living a typical teenage life. This all changes on her 16th birthday, when her father informs her that he is a mutant, and she has inherited his mutant gene. Moments later, government special forces break into her home, and blow both of her parents to bits. Suddenly Rin’s dormant mutant abilities are awakened, and her arm transforms into a sharp, knife-encrusted claw! Fleeing and fighting her way though her hometown, she discovers a group of girls who were also born as mutants, calling themselves the “Hiruko". The girls all wear sexy outfits, and have different special abilities: one can transform her arms into swords, one can grow tentacles from her fingertips, and another can grow a chainsaw out of her body. The team hone their skills under their demented leader for one purpose: to take revenge on the humans who have persecuted them for ages. Action packed, hilarious, and outrageously violent, this is Japanese splatter cinema at it's finest.
The Revenant - When Joey's best friend Bart is killed in action in Iraq, Joey is unsettled at the funeral, but not nearly as much as when Bart shows up the next night undead on his doorstep. Not knowing how he has come back to life, the two friends discover that Bart is a "Revenant", somewhere between a zombie and vampire, and needs blood to survive. To keep him "alive", they start preying on the dregs of society, and inadvertently start cleaning up the neighborhood, becoming modern vigilantes. This all works well and good until the criminals and drug dealers they've killed begin to come back from the dead with only revenge on their minds. Reminiscent of Shaun of the Dead, this is one of the best horror films to come along in a decade.
The 34th Portland International Film Festival is presented by the Northwest Film Center. Full program, party details, and tickets can be found HERE.