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.


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


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


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.


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.


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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