Grindhouse at its finest: The Rio Grind Film Festival

Dec 19 2017, 2:33 pm

The Rio Grind Film Festival is ready to rock Vancouver with some of the biggest and most acclaimed titles from the international genre film festival circuit.

“We are thrilled to be featuring an incredibly diverse line-up of 10 new horror, sci-fi, action, fantasy, cult, erotica, grind house and documentary features and over 15 short films from seven different countries in our very first line-up.”

Vancouver’s RIO theatre has always been known for going above and beyond bringing us Vancouverites cutting edge out-of-the-box entertainment. Following the ongoing success of the Rio’s Horror Nights film series, it seemed like a no-brainer.

“We always have such amazing, enthusiastic response from our audiences with everything from Dead on Film and Horror Nights that we knew it was time to bring them something bigger. This festival is going to be all about the fans. This is our chance for us to bring them the best of the best from around the world,” says Corinne Lea

With features such as; Bring Me the Head Of The Machine Gun Woman, Dead Sushi, The American Scream, Vanishing Waves, The History Of Future Folk, Nightmare Factory, Manborg, and great shorts like; Dysmorphia, Spacewrecked, Dead Crossing, Monkey Mania, amongst others — this is an event that no film buff should pass up.

Grindhouse has been around since the early 40’s, theatres that mainly played exploitation films were often depicted as a “Grindhouse”. The films characteristically contain large amounts of sex, violence or bizarre subject matter. One genre of film featured were “roughies” or sexploitation, a mix of sex, violence and sadism. Quality varied, but low budget production values and poor print quality were common. Critical opinions varied regarding typical grindhouse fare, but many films acquired cult following and critical praise. Double, triple, and “all night” bills on a single admission charge often encouraged patrons to spend long periods of time in the theatres.

Grindhouse has made a comeback in pop-culture, thanks to the Robert Rodriguez film, Planet Terror and the Quentin Tarantino film Death Proof, (which were released together under the title Grindhouse). Many more feature films and spin-offs were created as homage to the genre, films such as Machete (also by Rodriguez), Drive Angry and Hobo with a Shotgun.

“Dark, edgy films are often excluded from mainstream film festivals and genre filmmakers need an outlet to get their films out to fans like ours, who are hungry for it. The Rio Theatre wants to bring these fans and film makers together. We want to give them the best of the best indie films we can find, and we’re going to do that with The Rio Grind Film Festival.” – says Lea

Grindhouse, Indie films, and “b-flicks” have always been something I admire. Thus, when I was asked to participate as a judge in The Rio Grind Film Festival inaugural year, I was ecstatic. The glory days of movie theatres have long gone, there once was a time that each individual theatre had its own theme and charm. If you wanted to catch your favourite film, you had to go to that particular theatre to do so. In recent months Vancouver theatres like the Ridge, Denman, and Granville’s Empire, have closed down. These days it’s mostly multiplexes owned by corporations.

The Rio Theatre has been a part of the community since 1938 and still going strong. It takes a lot of work to organize and pull off a festival like this and I would hope that as Vancouverites and film enthusiasts a-like, you will go out and support your local theatre and independent film makers at the festival this weekend.

For additional information and a full listing of films, check out The Rio Grind Film Festival website and stay up to date by visiting their Facebook Page or — advanced tickets are $2 cheaper than at the door.

Felix Kay,
Hang with Felix on Twitter: @TheFelixKay

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