The Toronto After Dark film festival has left it’s claw marks all over the Big Smoke and in the fallout, audiences were floored by two feature length delights by Canadian film collective ASTRON-6. Father’s Day, a revenge tale about a vigilante group tracking a “father-rapist,” and Manborg, a lo-fi, sci-fi epic about a cybernetically altered soldier facing the forces of Hell in the future, both made their Canadian theatrical premieres at TAD and have been receiving not but rave reviews since.
These 5 lads (Steve Kostanski, Jeremy Gillespie, Adam Brooks, Conor Sweeney & Matthew Kennedy) have made appearances on this site two times previously:
When the dust settled I thought it might be interesting to get the reactions to said premieres from all five members, instead of your standard preview article.
Writer/Actor/Director Matthew Kennedy proclaimed: “It was a great experience all around. Scary and awful when the movie played because I can never stand a screening of my work, then surreal when the movie went over so well. the amount of support from friends and family from Winnipeg and Kenora was also incredible. It felt like a family reunion. The next morning, it was all over.”
Still shaken from the events, Writer/Actor/Editor Adam Brooks echoed much of Kennedy’s feelings as he stated, “I was drunk on endorphins all night. It couldn’t have gone better. My hero Dan Bern (William’s Note: Dan Bern also contributed a song to the Father’s Day soundtrack) was there. Adam Lopez (curator of the festival) was as kind, generous, cool in person as he’d been in correspondence. We felt like celebrities, and then the next day it was all over.”
Writer/Director/Special F/X expert Steve Kostanski, told me: “It was an exhausting few days, but the fantastic crowd responses at both screenings made it all worth while. The Toronto After Dark staff, as always, were super accommodating and it was nice finally getting Astron-6 together in one room again to celebrate everybody’s hard work.”
Writer/Actor/Director (are you sensing the recurring themes here yet?) Conor Sweeney was perhaps a bit dumbstruck by the celebrity like attention he received as he bluntly asked “We had a premiere?” Oh, what a caution that lad can be.
Writer/Actor/Graphics Expert Jeremy Gillespie was not as inclined to have fun with me as he stated: “It’s nice to finally have them done and in front people. And, judging from the reviews, it’s also nice to know that there’s an audience for the stuff we’re doing. Sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of that. It will be interesting to see where it goes from here. Also, according to IMDB we’re huge stars now (Jeremy is referring to the fact that their “Star Meter” on said web page rose by well over a million points for “Astron-6” since last checked, which is actually quite astonishing and wonderful for them). So that’s cool.
Father’s Day is a gore soaked adventure where you cannot swing a topless, chainsaw wielding stripper without hitting a topless angel. Somewhere within the body parts being removed, eaten and sexually violated, there manages to be a heartfelt story of friendship, penance and self-discovery…but then that all goes to Hell…literally…
Manborg, on a budget of roughly $1000 (according to Kostanski), is an hour long love letter to cheesy sci-fi vhs films from the 1980s. The musical score is impeccable, the action is potentially seizure inducing, the monsters are extreme, and it also happens to be flipping hilarious, in an utterly purposeful way.
TROMA entertainment will be releasing a compilation DVD of Astron-6’s short films and will be distributing Father’s Day to select theaters January of 2012.
Get familiar with these gentlemen now because you’ll only have the end of this year to earn credibility with all of your hip Astron-6 knowledge before they leave they become a household name horror and comedy fans world wild.