Oct 1 2012 – The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) offers a variety of programming categories. Our favorite is called Midnight Madness – in which movies are shown exactly at midnight every night (well actually its 11:59pm). These movies commonly known as genre films gather a rowdy crowd of “geeks” and not the typical artsy crowds found in many of the other TIFF programmes. Films from the horror, sci-fi, action and dark comedy categories are what Midnight Madness is all about. Tuesday September 11 2012 brought the premiere of the Eli Roth produced Aftershock.
Try as he may, even seasoned Midnight Madness programmer Colin Geddes could not wrangle in director Nicholas Lopez as the Costanza looking director sporting a nice glow held court before the screening of his natural disaster thriller Aftershock at the Ryerson Theatre. Dishing a flurry of side splitting stories from mild to wild, Lopez had the Midnight Madness audience clamoring for more [Ed. Note – and many writhing in their seats uncomfortably at the crudeness of the director] With co-writer and star Eli Roth as his muse, the impromptu stand up routine eventually gave way to a solid Chilean based survival movie that delivered on many fronts.
Helming his sixth feature, Lopez offered up a version of boys gone wild, as a group of tourists including American Gringo (Roth) traverse Chile chasing skirts as they club hop to the latest electronic dance music beats. Roth with his buddies in tow, Ariel (Ariel Levy) and Pollo (Nicholas Martinez) are on the verge of some serious hook ups at the club of clubs when mother nature enters stage left, with an earthquake and subsequent aftershocks decimating the countryside and changes the face of the surroundings landscape. Escaping prisoners flip this thriller into a survival of the fittest race to the end as our tightly knit group of new friends rely on each other to survive. The 3 dudes and their 3 smoking hot female companions have to race to daylight and sanity. Co-writers Lopez and Roth do a masterful job of flushing out the characters idiosyncrasies to the point where we actually care what happens to them in the final act. A rarity in many genre movies of this ilk.
In an interesting state of the industry after the showing Roth urged fans that liked the movie to Tweet about it because its financial success sorely depended on positive social media. He also asked the people that didn’t like it to “keep the f**k quiet”. Very interesting how it all works, isn’t it?
Review: 3.5 / 5 – Aftershock offers up a summer party and still hits you with the gore and tingling back story one expects in a Midnight Madness offering. This calling card will definitely make industry heads take notice of Lopez. Aftershock will shake you to the gore.
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