Friday 14 October 2016

Mayhem Festival (2016) Report - Day 1

On Thursday the 14th of October I attended the opening night of the Mayhem film festival, at the Broadway Arts Cinema in Nottingham. 

As always the entertainment is a very mixed bag of horror and cult movies from around the world and this year was no exception.

But this year, the festival did something completely off-the-wall for the opening night, by starting not with a film, but a live musical performance from Electronic group The Duke Street Workshop, who were joined on stage by cult film actor Laurence R Harvey (Human Centipede 2 & 3, The Editor) performing tracks from their concept album “Tales of HP Lovecraft”. 

Now, I hadn’t heard of The Duke Street Workshop before, but their material is best described as early 80s horror film inspired, electronic music. Their “Tales of HP Lovecraft” performance consisted of the musical duo performing their music, over which Laurence Harvey narrated various HP Lovecraft stories.

Those who are familiar with me will know that when it comes to music, I much prefer rock/metal to electronic. But I do like my film soundtracks and certainly liked the John Carpenter/Fabio Frizzi vibe to their tracks and the performance was certainly well received by the audience. 

For more info on the Duke Street Workshop and their music, visit their official Website, Bandcamp, and Facebook pages.

You can also checkout their work on YouTube
Then it was on to the first film of the evening, "Raw". A French language film from newcomer Julia Ducournau.

A young veterinary student, Justine (Garance Marillier), begins to develop strange cravings during her first week in university which are at complete odds with her strict vegetarian lifestyle.

With it being her first week, the older students are constantly hazing her and the other new students. But as the practical jokes and bizarre rituals intensify, so do her cravings and after hooking up with her older sister, who’s studying at the same Uni, finds she might not be the only one.

A very, VERY messed up film, featuring murder, cannibalism, borderline incest, near necrophilia and even a hint of beastiality (college was never like that in my day). Apparently this one had audiences at other festivals walking out and being ill, though not the Mayhem lot, who found it all hilariously funny. 

Gorehounds will love it, but it’s not the sort of film you’d want to watch when grandmother pops round for tea and biscuits.

Check out the following clips on YouTube Clip1, Clip2. 

This was followed by the UK premiere of "Headshot", from the Mo Brothers (Killers, Macabre). This extremely bloody, Indonesian action film revolves around a man who’s found close to death on a beach, with a gunshot wound to his head.

Nicknamed Ishmail by the hospital staff, as he is unable to remember who he is. He soon finds that he has a very dodgy past, as he's subsequently hunted down by a ruthless crime boss, whereupon he finds he has a lot of very deadly skills, and a series of virtual non-stop shoot-outs and martial arts fights ensues.

I was sort of reminded of The Last Kiss Goodnight, if John Woo had directed it. This was a pretty intense movie, which kicks off with a brutal jail break and finishes with a bloody martial arts battle. 

I was however a little confused by the language continually switching between Indonesian and English, then back again. But it was still a high octane thrill ride, if you liked The Raid, you’ll love this.

Checkout the trailer on YouTube

For more info, visit the official Twitter 

And then it was back to the hotel to prepare for Day 2, read my reviews from Day 2, Day 3, the Scary Shorts section and Day 4.

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

For more info visit

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