Okay, so that title is a bit of a misnomer. The Sundance Channel is actually going Asian this fall, bringing a new season of late night Asia Extreme films to their programming line-up starting on August 7th and running through October 30th. The "festival" will feature films from Japan and South Korea, including the US television premieres of five South Korean films: The Restless, Shadows in the Palace, Tazza: The High Rollers, Voice, and The Wig.
The films aren't all horror, but I think the majority of them will appeal to horror fans -- they're all fairly violent and interesting. Each of the films will air in a midnight time slot on Saturday nights. However, should you miss one, or fall asleep, or just want to see it again, you can check out all the films via a special free On Demand channel as well. Way to go, Sundance!
Aside from the premieres, fans will have an opportunity to see other classics like Ichi the Killer, The Chaser, and Johnnie To's Mad Detective. I can personally vouch for the quality of all three of those films.
So, order in some Korean BBQ or Teriyaki and settle in for a Saturday night filled with some of Asia's greatest horror and cult films. Jump past the break for the full line-up.
The on-air schedule for the new season of Asia Extreme is as follows:
August 7 at 12:00 midnight
Tazza: The High Rollers (U.S. Television Premiere) – Directed by Dong-Hun Choi. An unsophisticated young man (Seung-woo Cho) is drawn into the dangerous world of underground gambling after he is swindled by a group of conniving card-sharps. Seeking recoupment and revenge, he apprentices himself to a master card player (Yun-shik Baek) and gains a second ally - and then some - in a seductive gambling pro (Hye-Suo Kim).
August 14 at 12:00 midnight
Voice (U.S. Television Premiere) – Directed by Ik-hwan Choi. Promising singing student Yeong-eon (Ok-bin Kim) is mysteriously killed when she stays after school one night to practice her runs. Trapped as a ghost within the walls of her all-girl high school, Yeong-eon reaches out to her best friend Jee-myun (Ji-hye Seo) in hopes of solving the riddle of her death, and preventing future murders.
August 21 at 12:00 midnight
Shadows in the Palace (U.S. Television Premiere) – Directed by Mee-jeung Kim. Palace intrigue, murder and ghosts combine in this tale set among the court women of the Joseun Dynasty. After a trusted maid to the royal concubine is found hanged to death, royal medic Chun-ryung (Jin-hie Park) is stunned to discover not a suicide but a murder, one that points to disturbing secrets.
August 28 at 12:00 midnight
The Restless (U.S. Television Premiere) – Directed by Dong-oh Cho. In the 10th Century Gawk Yi (Woo-sung Jung) fights underworld demons as one of the ruling dynasty's official demon-slayers. Poisoned by duplicitous villagers, Gawk Yi unexpectedly finds himself in Midheaven, where dead souls await reincarnation – and where a furious battle is raging between demons and Midheaven's protectors.
September 4 at 12:00 midnight
The Wig (U.S. Television Premiere) – Directed by Shin-yeon Won. Leukemia-stricken Su-hyeon (Min-seo Chae) has lost her hair to chemotherapy, and her devoted older sister Ji-hyeon (Yu Seon) gives her a luxurious black wig to boost her spirits. Though initially unenthusiastic, Su-hyeon becomes utterly dependent on the wig, which proceeds to transform both sisters' lives in bizarre and terrifying ways.
September 11 at 12:00 midnight
One Missed Call – Directed by Takashi Miike. Beloved technology turns sinister as a group of schoolgirls begin receiving mysterious cell-phone calls from the near future. When it becomes apparent that the calls were made in the midst of extremely violent and deadly circumstances, the girls realize their days are numbered.
September 18 at 12:00 midnight
Ichi the Killer - Directed by Takashi Miike. A scar-faced gangster (Tadanobu Asano) hunts down the mobsters who kidnapped his boss. Eventually, his quest ends in a showdown with the mysterious Ichi (Nao Omori), a troubled young man with razor-laced boots.
September 25 at 12:00 midnight
Cadaver – Directed by Dunyasit Niyomkul. After dissecting the corpse of a beautiful young woman in anatomy class, six South Korean medical students begin to experience identical troubling nightmares. As some fall victim to gruesome fates, it's clear that this is much more than standard first-year med-school trauma.
October 2 at 12:00 midnight
The Chaser – Directed by Hong-jin Na. Jung-ho (Kim yun-Seok), a former police detective-turned-pimp, has a problem: his women are disappearing without a trace. However, when the disreputable Jung-ho collars the obvious psychopath and turns him over to the police, law enforcement laziness and ineptitude only make matters worse, endangering additional lives.
October 9 at 12:00 midnight
Bloody Reunion – Directed by Dae-wung Lim. Sixteen years after graduation, a group of elementary school classmates reunite with their former teacher at her country cottage. But the happy reunion turns sour as old grudges and hidden truths surface, and one by one friends vanish in a series of unforgettably gruesome murders.
October 16 at 12:00 midnight
Dororo - Directed by Akihiko Shiota. Based on a classic Japanese manga, this fantasy/horror epic follows a nameless samurai (Satoshi Tsumabuki) on a quest to reclaim his missing body parts from powerful demons and solve the riddle of his father's betrayal. Along the way, he meets a callow but brave young female thief (pop singer Kou Shibasaki), who decides to take up his cause in hopes of achieving her own aims.
October 23 at 12:00 midnight
Mad Detective – Directed by Johnnie To and Wai Ka Fai. An ex-detective (Lau Ching-Wan) with psychic abilities and a shaky grasp on reality emerges from seclusion to help solve the mystery of a cop's disappearance. The prime suspect: the officer's partner.
October 30 at 12:00 midnight
Victim – Directed by Nicky Loi. A young actress, Ting (Pitchanart Sakakorn), gets a career boost when she begins portraying victims in police crime scene reenactments. But when Ting is hired to play a murdered beauty queen in movie, she finds herself suffering the same torments as the real-life victim.
For more info visit the official Sundance Channel Asia Extreme website.