Thursday, 18 October 2018

NIGHT TERRORS : BLOODY MARY - augmented reality game launches

"Paranormal Activity" Creator, Oren Peli, and Imprezario Entertainment resurrect one of the most notorious urban legends in NIGHT TERRORS: BLOODY MARY an augmented reality horror mobile experience, which will be available on both Android and iOS on October 12th.

“Night Terrors” pioneers state-of-the-art technology to immerse users into a survival horror game. The player’s environment is filled with terrifying creatures – demons, souls and other petrifying entities. The phone’s camera, LED light, 360 audio, and other system features create customized scares by using unique AR captured content in order to truly immerse players in an experience unlike anything else.

“Throughout my career, I’ve prided myself on storytelling and exploring innovative perspectives to deliver some of the most electrifying moments in film. ‘Night Terrors: Bloody Mary’ is enabling me to work with a new creative medium that will bring the narrative to users in their own homes, this time through their mobile device. I can think of nothing more horrifying, so I could not be more thrilled to be at the forefront of this emerging entertainment technology,” said Oren Peli, Executive Producer. 

"Night Terrors: Bloody Mary" will be the first of two new AR app experiences developed by Imprezario Entertainment over the next several months, and we plan to continue increasing our AR gaming presence each year moving forward,” said Bryce Katz, Imprezario co-founder. “Our goal is to create a vast array of new adventures in a variety of genres incorporating high quality characters and immersive storylines for all ages.” The new “Night Terrors” experience brings to life the urban legend of Bloody Mary and the terrible fate she inflicts on those foolish enough to summon her. 

The horrifying tale has been shared for hundreds of years. Unwanted at birth, Mary Tudor was the daughter of the notorious King Henry VIII, who beheaded any queen that failed to give him a male heir.

Sustained by her vanity and the mirror that was never far from her side, she rose above all rivals to become England’s first reigning queen. Answering to no man, she ruled alone and the tyranny of Queen Mary’s reign matched her father’s as did her obsessions which lead to hundreds dead by her command.

It was this bloodshed that earned her the moniker that would last forever - Bloody Mary.
 
For more information, visit www.NightTerrorsApp.com.

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New Horrors on Rakuten TV in time for Halloween

Rakuten TV is bringing horror to your home, direct to your smart TV, this October.

You can join Toni Collette in her gripping case of twisted family drama in the critically acclaimed Hereditary now. From the 26th October you’ll be able to crawl into the world of Possum starring Sean Harris and if those aren’t enough to make sleep a distant memory, you can pick from the fantastically frightful selection of horror films on Rakuten TV including: A Quiet Place, IT, The First Purge (from 29th Oct) and The Strangers: Prey at Night. 




Rakuten TV – “Your cinema at home” - is one of the leading Video-On-Demand platforms in Europe providing the latest movie releases with the latest technology in a true cinematic experience available on Smart TVs. Rakuten TV is currently distributed in 12 countries and it is part of the Internet and e-commerce Japanese giant Rakuten, now sponsor of FC Barcelona, The Golden State Warriors and Shakira’s El Dorado Tour.



Interview with Julian Richards, dir. REBORN & DADDY'S GIRL

Ahead of the World premiere screening of REBORN at Arrow Video FrightFest Halloween, Julian Richards discusses the torturerous challenges of DADDY’S GIRL, why he wishes every actress was like Barbara Crampton and future plans, including directing the English language remake of RABIES.


Q: After six years away from directing, you have two films, REBORN and DADDY’S GIRL poised for distribution. Why these two very different films now?

 My previous film SHIVER was completed in 2012 and it took longer for me to get back into the directing saddle because of commitments I had to my sales company Jinga Films. The company was growing quickly and needed more of my time and energy. We had grown from handling three films a year to handling ten films a year and our titles were getting stronger. At the same time my wife and I decided to have a family and in 2016 we became parents to twins. I think we both underestimated how demanding parenthood would be, and understandably, I lost momentum with the directing projects that i was developing.

But I had no intention of giving up on directing and was always on the lookout for new opportunities. The first, DADDY’S GIRL came from an unexpected source; an Indian broadcaster Zee Studios, based in Dubai who approached me to help them put together a slate of three horror films that they planned to shoot in Eastern Europe. I sent them three scripts from which they chose DADDY’S GIRL for me to direct and OPEN 24 HOURS for Padraig Reynolds to direct. My sales company Jinga Films represents two of Padraig’s earlier films RITES OF SPRING and WORRY DOLLS, so I was happy to share this opportunity with him.

The next opportunity came during Cannes when I was asked by John Penney and Brian Yuzna to recommend directors for REBORN, a feature they were planning to produce in Los Angeles. I recommended myself,  gave feedback on the screenplay and was quickly hired for the project. Of course, the idea of directing two feature films in 12 months whilst raising twins was daunting, but I had lost time to make up for, and with the support of my wife, Rosana,  I (we) somehow managed to do it.


Q:  DADDY’S GIRL is a contentious, challenging film, to say the least. Did you have reservations about the storyline, given the way the film industry is shifting morally and sexually?

The screenplay for DADDY’S GIRL that went into production is different from the original screenplay. The original had a Haute Tension-esque twist whereby several characters in the story turn out to be the same character, the protagonist, with many events taking place inside her mind. It was this deeply psychological context that attracted me to the script, but the producers didn’t like it and so it was removed. Without this twist, and with the torture scenes actually happening rather than being the machinations of a deranged mind, the project was in danger of becoming just another torture porn film, and being a sales agent as well as a director, I was acutely aware of the problems this might cause, particularly post #metoo. So, I introduced a new theme to the story, making both the killer and the cop Iraq war veterans and linking the torture to Abu Ghraib, turning the film into a metaphor for the anxieties of post Iraq war America. When I directed the torture scenes, I panned away or cut away from anything too extreme or degrading, focusing instead on the protagonist as she watches. Re-action is stronger than action, and horror is more effective when left to the imagination. The producers did question my direction, they wanted less clothes and more torture, but I did not want to make an exploitation film and personally I felt uncomfortable taking the material in this direction. Ultimately DADDY’S GIRL is not a film about a bad guy torturing women, it is a film about a captive women staving off the desire to commit suicide and choosing to survive instead.


Q: Jemma Dallender puts in a brave, compelling performance. What she your first choice for the role?

Actually, we first cast Jemma as the vigilante, but when two of the actresses cast to play Zoe pulled out we had to re-shuffle our cast and offered Jemma the lead. She jumped at the opportunity because she had never played a character like that before.


Q: You extract an equally commanding performance from Barbara Crampton in REBORN. What was it like working with such a genre legend?

When I read the script for REBORN, Barbara was the first actress I thought about for the part of Lena, so I was really pleased when she agreed to board the project. Actually another actress was already attached to the project but had to leave just before we started shooting, so when Barbara arrived she only had a couple of days to prepare. It was a fraught start to the production but she was like the cavalry coming to the rescue.


Barbara gives commanding performances in all her films, so all a director has to do is cast her and provide her with a good script with good dialogue. Occasionally I would step in and ask for a little less or a little more, but generally speaking, you just roll the camera on Barbara and often you get what you need in one or two takes. Working with Barbara is therefore a director’s dream. She comes fully prepared and is willing to go above the call of duty to get the best result for the film. I wish every actress were like Barbara...


Q: Even though REBORN is a violent supernatural thriller, at heart it’s a moving story of a young woman’s search and reunion with her birth mother. How did you find balancing the emotional narrative with the brutal tone of its visual effects?

It was the mother, daughter reunion aspect of the story that attracted me to REBORN. The script had a strong, dramatic, emotional through-line which reminded me of Frankenstein. Most horror scripts don’t have such a strong dramatic ingredient, so I knew that this was something special. However, the script was lacking in strong horror beats, so I did a directors pass, ramping up the kill scenes in which Tess uses her electro-kinetic power. The Omen franchise became an influence here, dramatic family scenes intercut with inventive murder set pieces. Of course, Carrie was also an influence, as was The Fury and Scanners. The film has a strong sense of nostalgia for the genre, so I introduced a meta-horror ending to give it a contemporary twist.


Q: Juggling a career as a film director with that of running an established sales and distribution company (Jinga) must be a constant challenge. How do you do it? Do both give you equal satisfaction?

I moved into sales after making THE LAST HORROR MOVIE. I put a lot of my own money into that film and needed to make sure that I got it back. I also wanted to learn more about the business side of films and sales seemed to be the most immediate and accessible way to do that. I never intended to switch career, but I did need to do something that would provide me with a more reliable income. Jinga went from strength to strength and by the time we released A SERBIAN FILM in 2012, we had established ourselves as one of the key genre companies in the World. It was, and still is, an incredible learning curve and it compliments my film-making in many ways.

I think the opportunity to direct DADDY’S GIRL and REBORN came because of my experience in sales, so although Jinga initially diverted me away from directing, it ultimately provided opportunities that I might not have got going through the conventional employment channels such as agents and managers.


Q: You made a massive impact with THE LAST HORROR MOVIE and many people are still hankering for a sequel. Is this on the cards?

I did toy with the idea, about doing something with Max on Facebook and Twitter etc., but technology and social habits are evolving so quickly that I was concerned that any script that we came up with would be dated by the time it got made. Also, the market has changed. There is not much of an appetite for found footage, and crime films are less popular than supernatural. If somebody out there has a viable idea and wants to write a sequel to THE LAST HORROR MOVIE, I would certainly consider making it.


Q: When you look at the Jinga library, are there any films you would have liked to have made?

Well, A SERBIAN FILM does spring to mind, but actually no, I don’t think I’m capable of that level of transgression. The three films I would choose are STILL/BORN, OUR EVIL and THE HOUSE AT THE END OF TIME. All have a strong family drama at their core which gives them a greater sense of reality, despite the supernatural events wreaking havoc elsewhere in their stories.


Q: You come from Wales but your last film shot there was the BAFTA Cymru award-winning SUMMER SCARS. Do you plan to return to your homeland to make more movies?

The first opportunity I got to direct a feature came from Wales, when I received lottery finance from Film Agency Wales to make DARKLANDS, which is arguably the first Welsh horror movie and which has been credited as kickstarting a new wave of UK genre production which continues to this day. Film Agency Wales also supported SUMMER SCARS, and without this support I may not have been able to achieve the level of success that I have obtained, so I owe them and Wales a huge debt of gratitude. I would love to make more films in Wales, particularly films that focus on Welsh history, myth and folklore. If any writers out there have a script that I could shoot in Wales, please send it my way and I would be happy to read it.


Q: Finally, what’s next for Julian Richards?

I am in talks with Israeli production company UCM to co-produce and direct the English language re-make of RABIES and I am also developing  an action thriller based on the terrorist attack on British holiday makers in Tunisia. I am also involved as a co-producer with the English language re-make of THE HOUSE AT THE END OF TIME which is currently in development at Good Fear.

REBORN has its World Premiere at Arrow Video FrightFest Halloween, Cineworld, Leicester Square on 8 Nov, 10.40am.






 

THE CASE OF THE BLOODY IRIS slices its way onto UK BD 19 Nov

First they brought you THE STRANGE VICE OF MRS WARDH and then ALL THE COLOURS OF THE DARK. Now, Shameless proudly presents giallo’s own royalty, the iconic Fenech-Hilton dream team, in their third sensuous outing: THE CASE OF THE BLOODY IRIS.

After two beautiful women are murdered in an apartment block, Jennifer (Edwige Fenech) and Marilyn (Paola Quattrini) move into the flat of one of the slaughtered girls. But before long, the unknown predatory pervert soon turns his salacious attentions to the gorgeous Jennifer. The list of suspects includes a woman and her deformed son, a crazy lesbian and even Jennifer’ s own lover.

Serenaded with Bruno Nicolai's enrapturing score and featuring lush cinematography from Stelvio Massi, this long-sought-after 70s sleaze gem, directed by Giuliano Carnimeo (RATMAN), is now available for your delectation. You are invited you to solve THE CASE OF THE BLOODY IRIS, on Shameless Blu-ray in this 2K restored special edition for the first time ever.

SPECIAL FEATURES 
• A new candid chat with the amazing George Hilton 
• A new scintillating chat with star Paola Quattrini

Shameless presents THE CASE OF THE BLOODY IRIS on Blu-ray & DVD 19 November 2018 

Pre-order direct from Shameless 

POSSUM - in UK cinemas Oct 22

POSSUM is the debut feature film from writer/director Matthew Holness, co-creator and writer/star of the cult TV series Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace.

The story follows disgraced children’s puppeteer PHILIP (Sean Harris), returning to his childhood home of Fallmarsh, Norfolk, intent on destroying Possum, a hideous puppet he keeps hidden inside a brown leather bag. When his attempts fail, Philip is forced to confront his sinister stepfather MAURICE (Alun Armstrong) in an effort to escape the dark horrors of his past. 

Starring Sean Harris (Mission: Impossible, Southcliffe) and Alun Armstrong (Frontier, Get Carter), POSSUM is a distinctive psychological thriller which pays homage to the British horror films of the 70s. The film’s unique and stylish exploration of a man’s isolation and abandonment is accompanied by a compelling soundtrack from the legendary electronic BBC music studio The Radiophonic Workshop. 

Following its successful World Premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival and Irish Premiere at the Galway Film Festival, POSSUM screened at Frightfest in August and will be released in UK cinemas on 26 October.

View the trailer on YouTube 

 

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Mayhem Film Festival Report 2018 - Day 4

Sunday was the fourth and final day of Mayhem, a sad day, but then all good things must come to an end.



INUYASHIKI

The day got off to a cracking start with the UK premiere of Shinsuke Satoh's absolutely bonkers Japanese action/superhero film "Inuyashiki". In which a downtrodden middle-aged buisiness man, Inuyashiki Ichirou, who is berated by everyone, including his family and co-workers, becomes an unlikely superhero, after being abducted by aliens, who give him an "upgrade".

After being dumped back on earth he finds he's no longer the man he used to be, having been transformed into some sort of android. And now possess all manner of high tech gadgetry and weaponry hidden under his skin. But whilst he choses to use his powers for good, it seems someone else who was also taken and transformed on that same night, seeks only to use his powers for his own ends and when the police try and stop him a series of violent battles ensue and only Inuyashiki seems to be the one who can stop him.

Based on the popular Japanese comics of the same name, this was a wonderfully wacky film, and is typical of the sort of movie only the Japanese can get away with. There were some great action scenes and wonderfully dark humour (wouldn't everyone like the ability to take out internet trolls?). This was definetely one of the best films of the day and a great way to start the festival.

View the trailer on YouTube


THE FIELD GUIDE TO EVIL

The next movie of the day, "The Field Guide to Evil", sadly proved to be my least favourite film of the day. This was one of those anthology films, produced by the people behind "The ABC's of Death" and featured a series of 8 short tales based on various mythologies from around the world, each by a different director.

Now I can't remember where each one was set exactly, 6 of the tales were from Europe, one was from the US and another from India. Which all seemed to be about various unfortunate folk falling foul of some strange supernatural being from that countries folklore. Whose reason for being there is never explained and the ending to pretty much all the segments ended rather ambiguously, with the viewer left to make his own mind up as to what really happened.

Myself and many other festival goers that day just seemed  bemused and distinctly underwhelmed by it all. As the segments just seemed to lack any real point. 

The 8 short segments were as follows.

"The Sinful Women of Höllfall" (Austria)
“Al Karisi” (Turkey)
"The Kindler and The Virgin" (Poland)
"The Melon Heads" (USA)
"What Ever Happened to Panagas the Pagan?" Greece)
"Palace of Horrors" (India)
"A Nocturnal Breath" (Germany)
"The Cobblers Lot" (Hungary)

Personally, I think the title of the last segment summed up the film as a whole, because I thought it was just a "load of old cobblers". But that's just my opinion of course.

Visit the official Facebook page


THE WITCH IN THE WINDOW

Third film of the day proved to be another one of my favourites, director Andy Mitton's chiller The Witch in the Window, which sees a handyman having his estranged son stay with him for the weekend whilst he fixes up an old house. Only to discover there's a reason he picked it up so cheaply.

The longer they stay there the more they begin to realise that something is definitely not right and there's a reason the building has been vacant for so long and the locals don't go near the place, as it seems the house's previous occupant may not have actually left....

A genuinely creepy haunted house film, with a few modern day twists. This was another festival crowd pleaser, which boasted a number of scenes that made the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

I believe this one is being screened on Shudder UK later this month, so if you're a subscriber. be sure to check it out.

View the trailer on YouTube.


Following  this, it was time for the Mayhem Festivals annual quiz "The Flinterogation" in the cafe bar, hosted by David Flint (our team failed to win). Then it was back to the films.


THE NIGHTSHIFTER 

An interesting horror film from Brazil, in which a nightshift worker at the local morgue is able to communicate with the dead bodies that pass through his autopsy room and pass messages onto their loved ones. Which keeps him rather busy, given the high levels of gang violence in the city.

But when he discovers his wife is having an affair with a guy who runs the local cafe, he uses information from the various gang members he's autopsied to frame the cafe owner for the death of a local gang leader. But it seems you should be careful what you do with the secrets of the dead and a veangeful spirit is now after him and his family.

Directed by Denison Romalho, whilst I liked the idea of being able to communicate with the dead, and using the info they give to your advantage. I wasn't so keen on how the film  shifts direction, following the botched gang hit, and essentially becomes a rehash of "Drag Me to hell". It would have been much better if the film continued to focus on him using the info he got from the dead to play people off against each other.

So whilst I enjoyed this, I felt it wasn't as good as it could have been.

View the trailer on YouTube


WHAT KEEPS YOU ALIVE

The final film of the festival, Colin Minahan's "What Keeps You Alive" was a film I had mixed feelings about. The plot basically revolves around a young female couple, who go away to a remote woodland cabin to celebrate their anniversary.

But it seems one of the girl's isn't all she appears, and once it becomes clear to her partner the REAL reason she wanted them to go to this cabin in the middle of nowehere, a deadly game of cat and mouse ensues.

An interesting idea, but starts off way to slowly. It then takes an interesting twist, when we see a different side to one of the characters and the pace quickens. But then things slow down again and the plot quickly began to feel "padded". 

Plus there were a lot of very stupid plot holes, which just seemed to make no sense, although the film did somewhat redeem itself with the very final twist right at the very end.

So overall I would say I was 50/50 on this one.

Visit the official WebsiteVisit the official Facebook page
View the trailer on YouTube.


And that concluded the Mayhem Film Festival for another year. 


 I must say a huge thanks to Chris Cooke and Steve Sheil for organising this, and Melissa Gueneau for sorting out my press pass and of course the entire staff of the Broadway Cinema Nottingham for hosting this.

The Mayhem festival runs each October, at the Broadway Cinema - Nottingham.

For more info visit 




Monday, 15 October 2018

Mayhem Film Festival Report 2018 - Scary Shorts (Day 3)

As always, Saturday’s programme at the mayhem Festival contained the annual “Scary Shorts” section.


This years collection consisted of 13 titles, plus there was an addition short film which was shown later on in the evening, which I've reviewed here.

 
Dick and Stewart : I Spy with My Little Eye.

Done in the style of a 70s children's cartoon, schoolboy Dick and his friend Stewart (who is basically a disembodied eye) seem quite happy living in their walled up town, until they are approached by a strange man who asks them to spy on their parents. 

But when Dick refuses, strange things happen at the hands of the government.

Director Richard Littler was clearly having a dig at the dangers of modern Goverment surveilance with his 12min cartoon, though was done in such an abstract manner the point may have been lost on some. 

For more info Visit... 
Hunted

A couple stranded in a remote forest, find themselves being stalked by strange neanderthal like people in director Owen Tooth's 5min short. Which echoed the likes of "Hills Have Eyes" and "Wrong Turn", but set somewhere (presumably) in England

Visually very impressive, which plunges you straight into the action with some real "Ouch" moments, this appeared to have been filmed like an intro for a much larger feature. 

As we had no idea who these characters were, where the were, or what they were doing there. Only that they were on the run and the fate that befalls them.
 
Would be interesting to see this developed into a much larger feature.
 
For more info Visit...
The Blue Door

The new home helper for an eldery lady, who's confined to her bed, is surprised to notice a strange blue door in the corner of the room which didn't appear to be there earlier. 

Even stranger, is when she goes into the next room, the door appears there too. But attempting to find out whats behind it may prove fatal...

This 9min feature from director Paul Taylor takes its time to get going, but proved the be an effective creepy little film, although I wasn't sure about the ending.

For more info Visit...


TiCK

Set in some sort of Dysotopian society, not everyone is as they seem, as we see a mother and her young daughter being hunted by sinister government forces. But after the mother is captured her daughter battles to stay one step ahead of them.

Director Ashlea wessel's 13min short film seems to borrow a few ideas from "Underworld Awakening", in which the Government appear to be looking for Vampires hiding amongst them, 

It had some interesting ideas but it was like watching a scene in the middle of a film, so it took a little while to figure out what was going on.

For more info Visit...

A young office worker, struggling to climb the corporate ladder, does away with her overbearing boss so she can be the one to give an important presentation, in the hopes of impressing the other company executives. 

But when she starts getting flashbacks about the murder, her presentation starts to go awry and comically dark antics ensue.

Loosely based on the old Edgar Allen Poe story "The Tell Tale Heart", Director Kevin Sluder's 12min feature was quite an amusing story, with some interesting gore. Though if you weren't familiar with the original tale you may be left wondering why she acted this way. 

For more info Visit...

A young mother, played by Alice Lowe (Sightseers) is forced to battle demonic apparitions which have over run her house. Their only defense being to encircle the demons with a ring of salt, which traps them inside. 

But although the salt works, when she and her daughter attempt to flee outside, the weather may not be their friend

Director Rob Savages feature was not only the shortest of all the short films, clocking in at a mere 2mins, but actually proved to be the best of the bunch in my view. Which packed a hell of a lot of action inside its extremely short run time, with some very good effects.

For more info Visit... 
Coyote

Definitely the most bizarre film in the short film section (and that's saying something), Lorenz Wunderle's 9min feature was a very weird, trippy cartoon about a Coyote who is mortally wounded by a pack of wolves, but then encounters a demonic buffallo, who brings him back to life.

He then takes on more human characteristics, gets drunk at a bar and starts a fight with a group of bikers, who appear to be the same wolves from earlier. 

Really didn't know what to make of this, very pschedelic. Not sure what meds the director was on, but perhaps he should reduce the dosage?

For more info Visit...
And the Baby Screamed.

A father is unable to sleep as his baby son continually wakes up screaming throughout the night, only to settle down once he enters the room. But then resumes minutes later once he's left again. 

Unable to rest, he eventually turns off the baby monitor, thinking his son will eventually settle down by himself. Which is when we discover the REAL reason the child was screaming hysterically everytime his father left the room....

Dan Gitsham's 8min feature was most definitely the darkest in the short films section and as a result was my least favourite. Not that there was anything wrong with it, just I didn't like it. Impressive effects though.

For more info Visit...
Ulises.

An old fisherman heads out to sea in his boat and proceeds to lure a mermaid in, who are really not the cute characters they're portrayed as in Disney cartoons. 

However, it seems he hasn't got a death wish, but has found an interesting way of catching fish.

Director Jorge Malpica's 8min film was like a breath of fresh air amongst all the other short films in this section, which starts seriously, then takes a darkly comic twist.

The audience clearly loved it and following the dark subject matter of the previous film, provided some much needed levity.

For more info Visit... 
Catcalls 

A creepy guy trawls the streets at night in his BMW, flashing at young ladies (and I don't mean his headlights). 

But it seems he's picked the wrong girls to expose himself to, as they promptly show up at his door and he finds that he wasn't the only one out hunting that night.

Not sure if director Kate Dolan was trying to say that the female of the species is deadlier than the male, or simply that BMW drivers are w***ers, in this 8min short. But it was an interesting film, none-the-less.

For more info Visit... 


Crying Bitch

A Japanese buisinessman gets a major shock, when his wife finally gets sick of his philandering following a string of affairs, and proceeds to beat the living daylights out of him and his current mistress in Reiki Tsuno's  14minute feature.

The audience loved the cartoonish use of gushing blood and there was some real "ouch" moments in this exceptionally violent and darkly comic tale which proves "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned".

For more info Visit... 


Milk

A young lad gets up in the night to get a glass of milk, only to find his mother is also up and about the house. But if this is his mother he's talking to in the next room, who is that calling out to him from her bedroom?

Director Santiago Menghini's 14min short was a bit of an odd one. From a technical viewpoint it was well made, but it didn't really come to any conclusion and the ending was just wierd. 

However, I have read that James Wan (Saw) is looking at adapting this into a full length feature, which might be interesting.

For more info Visit...  


We Summoned a Demon.

One of the funnier short films, a couple of high school losers perform a satanic ritual. Hoping the spell will make them cool. Instead they end up summoning a demon, who proves to be just as bad as the high school jocks they seek to engraciate themselves with.

Featuring plenty of slapstick humour and buckets of blood. Chris McKinroy's 6min short proved to be a crowd pleaser and the perfect film to end the short film showcase on.

For more info Visit... 
Chowboys : An American Folktale

This one was screened later on in the evening, prior to the showing of Demons, but decided to review it here with the other short films.

4 Cowboys sit around the campfire bemoaning the cold and lack of food. Unless they can find something to eat soon, they may have to consider resorting to cannibalism. Plus there's a whole sub plot about Santa Claus actually being an evil person who you probably wouln't want to meet on Xmas eve.

If this all sounds very bizarre, that's because it's by the notorious Canadian film crew Astron-6 (the guys who gave us The Editor), and is just as weird and wacky as their other short films. 

Needless to say, the audience loved it. This has been touted as being their final film. I certainly hope it isn't.

For more info Visit...

The Mayhem festival runs each October, at the Broadway Cinema - Nottingham.
For more info visit:

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Mayhem Film Festival Report 2018 - Day 3

Saturday, which marked the third day of the festival was a bit of a mixed bag (though that's true of most days) featuring a number of zombie, sci-fi, supernatural fillms and thrillers, as well as the traditional "scary shorts" showcase.


 ONE CUT OF THE DEAD

The fun kicked off at midday with what is arguably the most innovative zombie film I've seen all year, with a screening of the Japanese zombie film "One Cut of the Dead". In which a film crew, shooting a zombie film in an abandoned factory, find themselves battling real life zombies when an outbreak of the undead invades the set, all done during a single 38min take.

However, all is not as it seems, as following the end of the film within a film. We then get to see what REALLY happened behind the scenes, in a hilarious and very clever twist. Although the opening scene just looks like a typical, dumb, badly acted zombie movie, you need to stick with it to get all the jokes as it moves into its third act.

Wish I could tell you more about this, but that would ruin the plot. You really need to check this one out. It should be on UK disc by the end of the year, so be sure to pick it up and remember. 

Don't be put off by the slow start, it's all part of the set up. The audience loved it and were clapping and cheering througout the entire third act

Visit the official Twitter page

View the Theatrical Trailer on YouTube


PROSPECT

Next up was the sci-fi film "Prospect" from writer/director duo Chris Caldwell and Zeek Earl, in which a father and his daughter head on down to a remote planet to look for some sort of organic compound, which commands a high selling price.

Unfortunately, their pod crash lands way off course and are forced to hike to their destination. Hoping they can get there in time to do the job and get back to repair their ship, before the freighter they're travelling on leaves orbit and they miss their ride. 

Kind of like a western, but set in outer space, in which they encounter other prospectors  looking to strike it rich, and do each other in at the same time. Whilst the film was well made, I personally found it rather boring and seemed to lack any real point.

My main problem was trying to work out what they were actually up to, as nothing is really explained, plus there didn't seem to be any point to it all. This was apparently based on a short film they made back in 2014, though I haven't seen that to comment. But in any case, I can only really reccomend this to people who like dramas set in outer space.

Visit the official Facebook page.

View the trailer on YouTube


NUMBER 37

Another one of my favourite films of the day was the South African thriller "Number 37". In which a small time theif named Randall, who is now confined to a wheelchair, witnesses a murder by a local drug dealer, who resides in the apartment complex opposite his.

Being unable to work due to his injury and heavily in debt to a lone shark, he comes up with a plan to get his hands on some of the dealers money to pay him back. But things predictably go awry.

Putting it's own spin on Alfred Hitchcok's "Rear Window", there's not many films that have me holding my breath, but this was certainly one of them. As Randall's predicament, being sandwiched between a drug dealer, loneshark and a bunch of corrupt cops, just spirals out of control and things come to a head during a very heated climax.

The film is in Afrikaans with English subs, but don't let that deter you from seeing it. This is seriously gripping stuff.

Visit the official Facebook page.

Visit the official Twitter page.

View the Theatrical Trailer on YouTube.


After "Number 37" was the Mayhem "SHORT FILM SHOWCASE", which in the interests of brevity I shall be reviewing seperately.


THE DEVILS DOORWAY.

Aislinn Clarke's supernatural thriller "The Devil's Doorway", which marked our fourth feature film of the day, was a film I wasn't initially sure I was going to enjoy, being a "found footage" style film, which is a sub-genre I'm usually not too keen on. BUT, I'm pleased to say, turned out to be a surprisingly enjoyable, creepy little film.

Set in Ireland in the early 1960s, 2 priests are sent to investigate reports of a statue of the Virgin Mary crying blood at a Magdalene asylum (essentially "workhouses" run by the Catholic church, Google it). Unfortunatly, what they discover is far more sinister than just the brutal treatment the Nuns dole out to the young women there.

Sinister forces are at work and the longer the priests stay and investigate, the more they become convinced the strange incidents captured on their cine camera are not the work of tricksters. As strange noises can be heard in the corridors at night and something is very wrong with one of the girls who resides in the old psychiatric section.

Filmed on actual 16mm film stock for genuine authenticity and presented in its original filmed 4:3 aspect ratio. It would be unfair to simply dismiss this as a cross between "Blair Witch" and "The Exorcist", even though parralels between these can be seen. This really is an effective little chiller and a great film to watch on Halloween.


Director Aislinn Clarke was in attendance to introduce the film and field questions from the audience. Footage of which will appear on my YouTube channel shortly

Visit the Director's official Twitter page

View the Theatrical Trailer on YouTube.


DEMONS

The day's events drew to a close with a screening of Lamberto Bava's cult 1985 horror pic "Demons". In which a group of cinema patrons, attending a special screening of a new horror film, find themselves trapped inside the building whilst members of the audience start transforming into hideous demonic creatures, like the ones in the film they were watching.

Produced by Dario Argento and featuring fellow director Michael Soavi as a creepy guy in a mask. This is a film that all fans of cult 80s horror should be familiar with (and if not, why not?), a faced paced and gory action film, which puts a whole new spin on zombie lore, with people being transformed into demons, rather than the undead.

This film has been a firm favourite of mine ever since I saw it on VHS back in the 80s and has certainly lost none of its charm over the years. So it was a terrific treat seeing this on the big screen

Here's the Theatrical trailer on YouTube

And that concluded Day 3

The Mayhem festival runs each October, at the Broadway Cinema - Nottingham.

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