Wylie Writes @ Hot Docs 2014: A Doc with Braaains

Just as other festivals offer a “Midnight Madness” selection, Hot Docs hopes to bring in the same crowd with its Nightvision screenings.

These documentaries feature brazen topics and massive cult followings;  films that are certainly unlike any other.  An added bonus is the discounted price of films screening after 11:00 p.m.  For a cool $7, treat yourself to some of these neat docs.

If you’re into horror, you should give Alexandre Philippe’s doc a shot.

Doc of the Dead (DIR. Alexandre Philippe)


By: Addison Wylie

I feel comfortable recommending Doc of the Dead to anyone looking for a fun ride at the festival.  That is, if they don’t mind the sight of gore.

That grisly evidence is, of course, shown from other popular staples in zombie culture.  Everything from George A. Romero’s vintage filmography to more modern mainstream fare.

Alexandre Philippe’s doc drops viewers in various periods of popularity.  Philippe also straps us in and guides us through each step of the lore and loves behind the undead;  though it can be argued that the film itself is out of order.

Philippe gets interesting perspectives from anyone else who finds a hint of fascination with horror’s sub-genre.  My personal favourite encounters happened with Cabin in the Woods’ Fran Kranz and Shaun of the Dead’s Simon Pegg.  Both men offer a lot of funny opinions and observations.  Another highlight is an impromptu zombie wedding officiated by none other than Bruce Campbell.

On a side note, it was a slight let down to see how fond Zombie Survival Guide author Max Brooks is of himself.  That fella lacks humbleness.

Doc of the Dead crowbars comedic segments into the flick, I suppose, to change the pace and keep a light attitude.  While they’re amusing (I’ll never say “no” to a cameo by Red Letter Media’s Mr. Plinkett), the transitioning to the goofier scenes is awkward.

Doc of the Dead had me sucked in nonetheless.  The discussion debating slow zombies versus fast zombies has a lot of different angles that are all substantial, and the dissecting of how zombie flicks act as social commentaries and allegories for tragedies is compellingly detailed.  There’s even a recurring argument about whether 28 Days Later is  actually a zombie movie or not.

Alexandre Philippe has made a movie that speaks to the built-in geeky crowd it’s intended for, while nicely inviting outsiders into a movement that will forever stay relevant.

Catch Doc of the Dead at Toronto’s Hot Docs International Film Festival on:

Saturday, April 26 at 11:59 p.m. @ Bloor Hot Docs Cinema

Sunday, April 27 at 9:30 p.m. @ Hart House Theatre

Saturday, May 3 at 9:45 p.m. @ Royal Cinema

Click here for more details and to buy tickets.


Doc of the Dead hits Toronto on July 11 at Cineplex’s Yonge-Dundas theatre!

Other upcoming listings:

July 25 – August 1 @ Calgary’s Globe Theatre
July 30 and August 1, 2, 3, 6, 7 @ Winnipeg’s Cinematheque
July 31 – August 7 @ Vancouver’s Rio
August 30 and 31 @ Waterloo’s Princess

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