Saturday 15 October 2016

Mayhem Festival (2016) Report - Day 2

Day 2 of the Mayhem Festival in Nottingham started at 4pm with, what can only be described as, the most f***ed up movie of the festival so far!

If you read my review of the film’s shown on Day 1, you’ll know that I thought “Raw” was a very messed up movie. Well, Director Emiliano Rocha Minter’s Mexican art-house film "We Are the Flesh", made that look like a Disney film by comparison.

Set in some sort of post-apocalyptic scenario (or so we think), a brother and sister stumble across a disused factory inhabited by an older man. As he seems to have an infinite food supply of eggs, they ask if they can stay there with him in exchange for helping him out. The film then rapidly goes down hill, as he gets them to perform all manner of sordid tasks for him. Including making them copulate in front of him, whilst he jerks off (and none of this appeared simulated).

Indeed, there were just so many shades of wrong in this film, I really don’t know where to start. Incest, Necrophillia, Urolagnia and more besides, it was essentially just fetish porn masquerading as art, which would have been rejected by the film censors if the material in this film were shown as part of a porn film (Arrow films are apparently set to release this). But the worst part for me was that the plot was just boring and nonsensical (the ending will certainly confuse you). 

I asked one of the festival directors what he thought was good about this film to warrant its inclusion and he said he liked it because it was subversive, thought provoking and challenging. Each to their own of course, but personally, I just thought it was shite. One of my friends nicely summed it up by saying “That was 90mins of my life I won’t be getting back”. Needless to say, I won’t be rushing out to add this to my DVD collection.

Checkout the trailer on YouTube

The next film was a much needed change of pace, with a screening of the new zombie film "The Rezort" by Steve Barker (Dir - Outpost).

Set in a world that has only just recovered from a zombie outbreak, one enterprising company has set up an exclusive resort on a remote island, where you can hunt zombies for fun. For a sky-high fee of course.

But things predictably go awry, the zombies over run the resort and for one group stuck on the far side of the island, have to try and make it to safety before the military fire bomb the place.

Action packed and full of gore, I had a blast with this one, which should be essential viewing for all zombie film fans. Dougray Scott was excellent as a sharp shooting former military vet, as was Jessica De Gow as the sympathetic female lead, whilst Clare Goose excelled as the villainous resort owner.

Director Steve Barker was in attendance to talk about the film and answer questions from the audience, footage from which should appear on my YouTube channel shortly

View the trailer on YouTube

Next up was the extremely bizarre horror-comedy from newcomer Jim Hosking, "The Greasy Strangler". An everyday tale about a father and son, Big Ronnie and Brayden, who run guided tours around their city, showing where all the stars of disco used to work or hang out.

But when the Big Ronnie starts putting the moves on Brayden’s new girlfriend Janet, it causes a serious family rift. To make matters worse, a serial killer called the Greasy Strangler is bumping off their clients and friends.

Can Brayden solve who the greasy strangler is and will Janet decide whose Hootie Tootie Disco Cutie she wants to be? 

Kind of Monty Python meets John Waters, bizarre doesn’t even begin to describe this offbeat comedy. The garish clothes, the awful hairstyles, the weird synth soundtrack, the unnecessary nudity, the inability to pronounce “potato”, the covering of everything in grease. The audience loved it, although be prepared. It’s a very VERY strange sense of humour.

View the trailer on YouTube

The day concluded with a screening of cult Italian director Mario Bava’s 1965 Sci-fi horror “Planet of the Vampires”, which has recently been restored and remastered.

A space ship goes to investigate why communication has been lost with another of their craft on a barren planet. Discovering the crew of the other ship have apparently killed each other, members of their crew subsequently start disappearing. But then to make their situation worse, the dead crew members mysteriously come back to life and start attacking them.

This was actually the first time I’d seen this one and being a fan of cheesy old B-movies, really enjoyed it. Some have claimed that Alien took a lot of inspiration from this film, but whilst there are a few similarities, to be fair, it was rather like watching a particularly bad episode of Star Trek. The ships control room basically being made up of 1960s industrial control panels, the weird uniforms, hammy acting and gaping plot holes (plus being an Italian film, the dodgy dubbing).  

Not one for the casual sci-fi fan, but definitely one that lovers of cult Italian films will enjoy (albeit possibly for the wrong reasons).

View the trailer on YouTube

And that was the end of Day 2.  
Read my reviews from Day 1, Day 3, Scary Shorts and Day 4.

The Mayhem festival takes place every October at the Broadway Cinema - Nottingham.

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