Day Four, the final day of the Mayhem Film Festival was upon us, with a stack of films that all seemed to have a theme of dysfunctional relationships underlying them..
BULLETS OF JUSTICE
The first film was undoubtedly the most messed up film of the entire festival, BULLETS OF JUSTICE from Bulgarian born director Valeri Milev (Wrong Turn 6).
Set in a post apocalyptic world, what’s left of humanity are battling mutant pig hybrids called Muzzles, who are breeding humans for food.
A former fashion model, turned bounty hunter, Rob Justice is tasked with going to New York and destroying the human farm and destroying the pig leaders. Leading to a series of highly improbable gory action scenes.
Filmed in the style of one of Robert Rodriguez’s “Grindhouse” movies, which also happens to star genre regular Danny Trejo in a supporting role, this really was such a bizarre film I don’t know where to begin.
Mutant pigs with machine guns, time travel, teleportation, robots, women with moustaches, a hero who’s having an incestuous relationship with his sister and a bad guy who looks like an extra from Zoolander.
The whole film was like a bad acid trip, which isn’t helped by the disjointed nature of the plot, and has to be seen to be believed
South-Korean thriller DOOR LOCK was up next, in which a young bank clerk seems to think someone has been trying to get into her apartment whilst she is out, as she finds her electronic door lock has been tampered with.
Not only this, but things in her apartment often seem out of place and she thinks someone might be outside her door at night.Plus she seems to be having difficulty waking up in the mornings and is constantly feeling hazy.
But after being targeted by a stalker and one of her male work colleges turns up dead in her apartment, she decides she’s had enough and moves out. But when it seems her stalker has tracked her down to her new apartment and the police seem powerless to help, she decides to track the stalker down herself. But what does the stalker want with her?
Action packed and suspenseful, with a whole stack of red herrings thrown in. Whilst I enjoyed this and it was certainly well received by the crowd, I found it was perhas a little too reminiscent of the 2012 film THE RESIDENT for my liking, with a bit of BOXING HELENA thrown in.
But in any case, it will certainly make you want to check under your bed at night.
WHY DON’T YOU JUST DIE
The third film of the day, WHY DON’T YOU JUST DIE, takes dysfunctional family relationships to an all new high in this Russian comedy of errors.
A young thug goes to kill his girlfriend’s abusive father, but things invariably go awry. Firstly he happens to be a police detective, and so is armed. His wife, who should have been out, is still at home. Plus the father happens to spot the hammer he’d secreted on him and a spectacular fight ensues.
But although the murder attempt fails, the father has a slight problem. Being a corrupt cop, with stash of money hidden in the flat, he daren’t call his buddes at the station and so tries to kill the lad and do away with the body.
But that doesn’t go to plan either, and a series of further fights and stand-offs ensue. Made all the more complicated by his daughter admitting the abuse story was a lie, and one of his police friends calling round and finding he’d conned him out of his half of the bribe money.
Filmed kind-of in the style of a spaghetti western, but set in a flat in Russia, this was clearly one of the more bizarre comedies at the festival, which the crowd seemed to love.
Very strange, but very funny at the same time.
Following a brief break, for the annual Flinterrogation quiz in the bar, it was back to the Fourth film of the day VIVARIUM which examines the perils of home ownership.
A young couple, played by Imoogen Poots and Jesse Eisenberg, are looking at moving in together, and are invited by a rather eccentric estate agent to look round a show home on a new housing estate thats just been built.
When the estate agent mysteriously disappears, having apparently driven off and left them, they decide they’ve seen enough and leave. But unfortunately, seem unable to find their way back out of the estate and keep ending up back at the same house, no matter how many times they try and drive away.
Things really get strange when a baby is left on their doorstep, with instructions that they will be released if they bring it up. But it soon becomes obvious that this is no ordinary child, growing at a rate of about a year every month and seems to imitate, rather than learn.
A very strange film, which seemed to be a cross between Dark City and Cube, in which you’re never really too sure what’s going on, who this young lad is or where they are. There are however a few clues as to why they are there at the start of the film if you pay attention.
It will certainly make you think twice about buying a new starter home in any case (or indeed having children for that matter).
Writer Garret Shanley was there to introduce the film and do an audience Q&A with afterwards, footage of which should hopefully be on my YouTube channel shortly.
View a clip from the film on YouTube.
COME TO DADDY
The final film of the day, and indeed the festival, was the bizarre horror-comedy COME TO DADDY, which sees Elijah Wood visiting his estranged father (Stephen McHattie - Pontypool) at his remote cabin by the sea, who he hasn’t seen since he was five years old.
But his father, who had written to him begging him to come visit, seems less than pleased to see him for some strange reason. Perpetually drunk, he refuses to talk about why he left, constantly berates him, calls him obscenities, and then finally tries to start a fight, before dropping down dead.
But before he can come to terms with his death, he makes a shocking discovery about his “father” who he only just met, and is now in a whole lot of danger from some very unsavoury people.
Being a lifelong horror fan, I spotted the twist in the story coming right from the start, but still thoroughly enjoyed this, as did the audience. Which contained some scenes of great wrongness, including a finale in a motel room full of semi-naked swingers, which the audience found hilarious.
Its worth noting that although Elijah Wood is best known for his acting, he also produces quite a lot of films and actually produced 2 other titles at Mayhem this year. Namely “Daniel isn’t Real” and “The Colour out of Space” so it seemed fitting that this film, which he plays the lead role closed the festival
View a clip of the film on YouTube.
And that was it or Mayhem 2019. A huge thanks to Steve Shiel and Chris Cooke who organise it and of course the entire staff at the Broadway cinema for hosting it.