LEFT’s Horror Fest is the Right Choice


By: Addison Wylie

It’s terrific news to report that Lost Episode Festival Toronto (or, LEFT) is back!

Some of you who have been following me since my time at Film Army may have seen my coverage of the weekend-long festival last year.  It was a neat experience and certainly a film festival unlike any I’ve attended.

For those who need a brief introduction, LEFT is a film festival run by fearless leader Johnny Larocque.  It was a collection of shorts that felt fleeting over its run, but it also didn’t overstay its welcome.  Stationed at Toronto’s Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, the artist-run event invited filmmakers to submit their work paying tribute to television’s noteworthy programs as well as some twisted, original “shows”.

The special thing about last year’s LEFT was that it legitimately felt like viewers were channel surfing.  It’s Robot Chicken-esque approach to its programming was a hoot, and gave just the right amount of time to headlining acts.

Another cool element about LEFT was that you could always appreciate what you were seeing on screen, even if you didn’t necessarily like what you saw.  Let me explain.  One of the bigger flicks to screen last year was a replica of a Star Trek episode.  I’m not a fan of classic Star Trek, so the short was a bit of a bore for me.  That said, the production quality and the capable performances still had me transfixed.  It was an unforgettable feeling of disinterest and impressed awe.

This year, LEFT has a different theme.  The festival wishes to make you squirm and shriek with Horror Fest – this is where the challenge unfolds.


In a city with festivals like the incomparable Toronto After Dark and the modest Blood in the Snow Film Festival, a horror festival really needs to find a distinct voice in order for it to stand out.  LEFT’s exciting sizzle reel (found on their Facebook page) proclaims that the festivities will have lots of zombies – they’re going to need more than that.

It’s more than likely horror fanatics and gore hounds will come out in droves to partake in LEFT.  If you can count on one compound of movie lovers, horror aficionados hardly disappoint and will always show support no matter how big or small the film is.  If Larocque takes on the same assembly LEFT’s debut took on, it’ll add that much needed stamp that makes the festival linger after its busy weekend.

A film that should ride on your anticipation is Naked Zombie GIrl – which is sure to bring some schlocky good laughs and action.  However, those sweded fan shorts and those absurd commercials are the bread and butter of the festival.  Expect to see covers of A Nightmare on Elm Street  and Halloween.

Lost Episode Festival Toronto hits Toronto’s Bloor Hot Docs Cinema on July 5 and July 6. Visit the official webpage for more details including the festival schedule and ticket info.

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