Filmgoers should practise their cowering as Fantasia, Montreal’s freakiest, blood-soakingest festival, begins this week. Over 120 features and several hundred short films from around the world will be screened, many for the first time in the world (or at least on this continent).   

Highlights include:   

-World premiere of Herschell Gordon Lewis – The Godfather of Gore. This documentary explores how Hershell Gordon Lewis, director of cult classics Blood Feast, The Wizard of Gore and Color Me Blood Red, forever transformed the depiction of on-screen violence.  (July 9th @ 22:00)  

– The Montreal premiere of The Life and Death of a Porno Gang. This dark comedy tells the tale of a Serbian travelling theatre troupe who enrage rural audiences with live sex shows. Everything is just peachy until a mysterious foreign war correspondent offers the troupe a ton of cash to perform actual murders on stage, theatrically killing consensual victims who no longer care about living. A stark comment on Serbian live in the 1990s, the film is part of Subversive Serbia, Fantasia’s spotlight on films inspired by Serbia’s terrifying recent history. (July 10th @ 21:20; July 12th @ 15:10)  

-The extravagant Eastern Canadian premiere of Metropolis, Fritz Lang’s recently- restored 1927 masterpiece. The film will be screened at Place des Arts’ capacious 3000-seat hall, accompanied by a live orchestra performing a new score by composer Gabriel Thibaudeau. (July 28th @ 19:30)  

There’s lots more spooky-wacky-wonderful fare, so visit for complete listings.