Go to the outer limits of cinema with the Denver Film Festival’s Late Night Showcase. This year’s selection of nine features and a shorts package ranges from traditional horror flicks to cult comedies to straight-up mind melters. The highly anticipated The Lodge kicks things off on Halloween night, along with The Twentieth Century—surely the most bizarre biopic to ever grace our screens.
Luke endured a traumatic childhood with the help of his imaginary friend Daniel—who also helped get him into trouble. Now a struggling college student, Luke decides he needs his old buddy again—but it turns out that Daniel’s influence has gone from bad to worse in this thriller-horror hybrid.
Consider this your trigger warning. Depicting 1970s Hamburg as a lurid, squalid pit of iniquity, director Fatih Akin (Head On, DFF27; In the Fade, DFF40) brings the crimes of real-life, low-life German serial killer Fritz Honka to the big screen in unrelentingly grisly detail.
Spanish director Miguel Llansó proves that a pastiche of retro B-movie genres can, in the right hands, result in arthouse transcendence. This gonzo sci-fi spy flick has it all: romance, danger, political intrigue, scientific experiments, time travel, kung fu, holograms, and delicious pizza.
While earning numerous comparisons to Twin Peaks and Heathers, this equally creepy and charming soap opera set in a suburban high school is an oddball delight in its own right—complete with jocks, cheerleaders, misfits, wayward moms, corpses, clowns, and of course an ’80s soundtrack.
In this atmospheric follow-up to horror hit Goodnight Mommy, a troubled stepmom-to-be finds herself trapped in a snowbound cabin with her fiancé’s openly hostile children. As her instability worsens, the question of what’s driving it becomes less clear—and more ominous.
For sheer atmosphere, there’s no topping the stylized hellscape in which Kazakh writer/director Adilkhan Yerzhanov’s enigmatic yet enthralling vision of the apocalypse takes place. It’s grounded in mythology—but its parallels to the realities we currently face couldn’t be more clear.
In this visually dazzling, fabulistic work of stop-motion animation from China, a high-heeled mother shoe survives in a fascistic dystopia by disguising herself as a male shoe in order to care for her young daughter (also, you guessed it, a shoe).
Monty Python meets The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari in the art direction of this off-the-wall parody of a biopic about Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, who more than lives up to the Queen’s proclamation: “Canadians, in happy days as in sad, disappointed shall you be.”
This comedic homage to kids who documented their childhoods with camcorders charms with anthology-style snippets of young Ralph’s family life, news bytes, infomercials, and forbidden Skinemax movies. It’s a pitch-perfect pastiche of ’80-era VHS tapes that have been repeatedly recorded over.