As you know, if you’ve been following my Facebook and Twitter pages, I’ve been spending the weekend in Nottingham at the “Mayhem Horror Film Festival”, which is taking place at the Broadway cinema.
Friday 16th Oct saw day 2 of the festival kick off with the extremely bizarre Ethiopian post-apocalyptic sci-fi story “Crumbs” (2015). Which is a film so damn weird, I had absolutely no idea what it was I had just watched after the credits rolled.
Set in Ethiopia at some point in the distant future, it seems there’s been some sort of apocalyptic Third World War, the population has dwindled to virtually nothing and scavengers wearing Nazi uniforms and Mickey Mouse gas masks go around looking for old plastic toys in the ruins of the old towns, as they are regarded as valuable antiques
Anyway, the film follows the adventures, and many pitfalls, of a man named Candy (Daniel Tadesse), who has a deformed back and lives in an old bowling alley with his partner Birdy (Selam Tesfaye), who goes on a quest to find Santa Claus in the ruins of an old city
Confused? You will be. There’s also this strange spaceship that is constantly hovering in the distance, its purpose for being there is never really explained, and an antiques dealer who looks a bit like Morgan Freeman.
Shot using a local film crew and talent, but directed by Spaniard Miguel Llanso, I really have no idea what to make of the film as it was just so damn unreal, and seemed to have the audience in a state of total confusion too.
You can view the trailer on YouTube to see what I mean.
This was followed by another somewhat bizarre film “Nina Forever” (2015) from dual directors Ben and Chris Blaine. An everyday love story of a young couple being haunted by the corpse of the lads former girlfriend.
Former Hollyoaks actress Abigail Hardingham plays medical student Holly, who strikes up a relationship with a young lad named Rob (Cian Barry), who’s previous girlfriend died in a car crash some time ago.
Unfortunately, their first night of passion is interrupted by the sudden appearance of the mangled corpse of Rob’s ex-girlfriend Nina (Fiona O'Shaughnessy - TVs "Utopia") who emerges “Hellraiser” style from the mattress beneath them, covered in blood and clearly disapproving of Rob’s new choice of girl.
Perhaps more of a bizarre black comedy, than a horror, as the film follows the couple as they try to deal with these unwanted intrusions into their love life. With Nina periodically popping-up whenever the couple try to get physical. A very strange, but fun, film, it certainly lives up to its tag line “A F****d up Fairy Tale” and I was very surprised to see David Troughton (son of the legendary Patrick Troughton) in this, particularly given some of his lines of dialogue.
The film was well received by the audience, and Directors Ben and Chris Blaine and producer Cassandra Sigsgaard came on stage afterwards for a Q&A session (footage of which I hope to upload to my YouTube channel shortly.
After that we were treated to a screening of “Howl” (2015) from Director Paul Hyatt. Completely different in style to his previous film, the extremely bleak “Seasoning House”, the film could essentially be called “Werewolves on a Train” as the staff and passengers on a late night train find themselves under attack from werewolves, after their train breaks down in the middle of a forest, miles from the next station.
Ed Speelers (Love Bite) plays a downtrodden ticket inspector who’s forced to lead the fight against the creatures along with a fellow co-worker, played by Holly Weston (Splintered) and the passengers, headed up by "The Descent"s Shauna MacDonald, with Sean Pertwee (Dog Soldiers) making a brief cameo as the first victim (who director Hyatt, who’s better known for his SFX work in these films, asked to be involved as he wanted another opportunity to kill him off in another one of his films).
Great fun and action packed, this was another film that was well received at the festival and Director Paul Hyatt was in attendance for a Q&A session afterwards (again, I have footage, it just takes time to edit all this stuff together).
Day 2 of the festival closed with the feature film directorial debut of Benni Diez’s horror comedy “Stung” (2015). In which a couple, Paul (Matt O’Leary) and Julia (Jessica Cook), are providing the catering for a fancy garden party. Only for the events to be gatecrashed by giant mutant killer wasps which, get progressively larger as the film goes on.
Also featuring Lance Henricksen (Aliens, AVP, Terminator) I found the film extremely funny and action packed, and was another favourite with the audience.
After that it was back to the Hotel to prepare for Day 3.
I’ll be posting stuff from the festival live on my social media pages, you can follow events on my Facebook and Twitter pages
For more info on these films visit.. http://www.broadway.org.uk/mayhem