Entering its eighth year, dedfest_prog_11x17DEDfest aims to solidify itself as the premiere horror, sci-fi, and cult film festival of Western Canada. With their recently released first wave announcement, the festival organizers make a strong case for this year being the best DEDfest yet.

DEDfest 2015 is sure to please fans with its diverse range of new offerings such as Jeremy Saulner’s Green Room (2015), master of gore Takashi Miike’s Yakuza Apocalypse (2015), and the dark comedy Tex Montana Will Survive! (2015). DEDfest is not just a forum for the new; the festival will also include a 20th anniversary celebration of Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight (1995).

Keep reading for the full first wave of announced films:

Green Room
Blue Ruin director Jeremy Saulner returns with this shocking and visceral new siege film. A young punk band finds themselves the target of a bar’s white supremacist owners upon witnessing a murder after hours. High tension, dark humour, jaw-dropping gore and a villainous turn from Patrick Stewart makes this Cannes Film Fest favourite a must-see.
Starring: Anton Yelchin, Imogene Poots and Patrick Stewart

The Invitation
Eden and Will, a couple separated by the tragic loss of their son, are suddenly reunited when Will attends an impromptu dinner party held by Eden and her new husband. A warm, friendly gathering of old friends and lovers soon turns sinister, and Will soon suspects Eden hasn’t come back to “bury the hatchet”.
Directed by Karyn Kusama (Jennifer’s Body).
Starring: Logan Marshall-Green, Michael Huisman and Tammy Blanchard

The Demolisher
The classic vigilante film gets a makeover in this stunning new thriller from newcomer Gabriel Carrier. When his police officer wife Samantha is paralyzed in the line of duty by a street gang, Bruce diligently takes care of her by day, and by night dons tactical gear to seek revenge on her assailants. The overwhelming devotion to his wife and his crippling rage at her attackers warps his morality, setting him on a collision course with an innocent girl inadvertently caught up in his world.
Starring: Ry Barret, Tianna Nori and Jessica Vano

Tex Montana Will Survive!
From Jeremy Gardner, the writer/director/star of 2013’s bleak zombie tale The Battery, comes this darkly comic one-man tour de force. Tex Montana is a survivalist TV host (think Bear Grylls) who recently been revealed as a fraud. To redeem his credibility, Tex ventures out in the snowy woods with little more than a camera to prove he can survive the harsh wilderness for 30 days. But can he survive his own ineptitude?
Starring: Jeremy Gardner, Adam Cronheim and Kelly McQuade

Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight – 20th Anniversary
Back before Game of Thrones, True Detective and True Blood, HBO was best known as the purveyors behind the TV adaptation of EC Comic’s notorious horror anthology series Tales from the Crypt. With the success of the series, producers decided to venture into feature film territory with an original story idea—a battle between heaven and hell set at a run down, roadhouse motel. Gory, funny and featuring an all-star cast of genre faves, Demon Knight was the perfect antidote to the teen-centric horror flicks of the ‘90s. Join us as we celebrate its 20th anniversary with a bloody bash!
Starring: Billy Zane, William Sadler, Jada Pinkett-Smith and John Kassir

Tales of Halloween
VHS, The ABCs of Death, Creepshow… now DEDfest can add one more horror anthology under its belt—the highly anticipated Tales of Halloween! This ambitious and acclaimed 10-part anthology comes from some of the best directors in the genre—including Darren Bousman (Saw, The Devil’s Carnival), Adam Gierasch (Night of the Demons), Lucky McKee (MayThe Woman), Dave Parker (Proxy), Paul Solet (Grace), and Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers, Game of Thrones). In a usually quiet American suburb, ghouls, imps, aliens and axe murderers appear for one night only to terrorize its unsuspecting residents.
Starring: Pollyanna McIntosh, Adrienne Barbeau, Barry Bostwick, Lin Shaye, John Landis, Lisa Marie, Barbara Crampton, Noah Segan, Pay Healy, Adam Green, Stuart Gordon, Joe Dante, Mick Garris and Elissa Dowling

Yakuza Apocalypse
In the ruthless Japanese underworld, everyone is looking to take out the Yakuza’s top boss. But there’s only problem: he’s a bloodsucking vampire! When he finally gets whacked, he passes on his powers to his right hand man, who then initiates an epic taSegang war that will tear organized crime apart. Gory violence, slapstick, volcanoes, animation, giant monsters and vampire gangsters—all courtesy of the legendary Takashi Miike (Ichi the Killer, Lesson of Evil). Yakuza Apocalypse is a gloriously berserk masterpiece.
Starring: Yayan Ruhian, Pierre Taki and Rirî Furankî
“Transcendently batshit … a cartoony balloon pit of a film [where] every single element is dialled up to eleven and you can’t go thirty seconds without another three-way face-off between OTT, OMG and WTF.” – The Playlist

Bite
The latest effort from Canadian genre filmmaker Chad Archibald (director of 2014’s The Drownsman and Ejecta, and producer of 2013’s Septic Man and Antisocial) follows bride-to-be Casey on her bachelorette party gateway where she gets bit by a seemingly harmless insect. Upon returning home, Casey gets cold feet and tries to back out of her big day—but she begins to take on insect-like traits, both physical and psychological. She eventually transmogrifies into a full-blown insect and creates a hive to house her eggs—all the while feeding on the flesh of humans. As Casey’s world is flipped upside down, she discovers that things can change in a just one single bite.
Starring: Elma Begovic, Annette Wozniak and Jordan Gray