Saturday 22 October 2022

Mayhem Film Festival 2022 Reviews - Day 2 - Friday 14th Oct

Day 2 of the Mayhem Festival provided an eclectic mix of old, new and downright weird films 
THE APPOINTMENT (1982)  Dir - Lindsey C. Vickers  
First film of the day was the seldom seen British horror THE APPOINTMENT, starring Edward Woodward. In which company director Ian Fowler (Woodward) has been summoned to an enquiry about an industrial accident, which unfortunately clashes with the date of his daughter's school concert performance.
To say that she is disappointed that her father will no longer be attending is a matter of understatement. But it seems he may have more than just his daughter's childish tantrums to contend with.
As the family beds down to sleep that night, both Ian and his wife Dianna (Jane Merrow) find themselves troubled by strange nightmares about his new car getting into a crash. Brushing it off as anxiety about his appointment and his daughter's concert, he sets off. But as his journey gets underway, it seems the nightmares may not be just dreams after all. 
A slow burning supernatural-horror, in which you're never really sure things are going to go the way you think and you're also left wondering if there was more to Ian's relationship with his daughter. Whilst this proved to be quite a tense thriller, the story seemed to suffer from a lot of padding, as if the plot wouldn't stretch to feature length, so they extended the nightmare scenes to flesh out the run time. Indeed, it felt rather like an extended episode of the old TV show Tales of the Unexpected and I wasn't the only person to mention that.
Written and Directed by  Lindsey C. Vickers, who had previously worked on a number of Hammer Horror productions as an assistant Director, he clearly knows his craft (indeed, Hammer fans may recognise Jane Merrow from Hands of the Ripper, and other horrors of the day).  But strangely, this remains his only Directorial credit.
The film was considered lost for many years, having only been available on video way back in the early 80s, and never seen again. Which was rather strange, given that Edward Woodward went on to star in “The Equalizer” only a few years after this, which was a very popular TV show back in the day. So you would have thought there would have been interest in re-releasing it back then.
As it is, the original film elements seem to have vanished without trace over the year. But fortunately, the BFI managed to locate an analogue master tape with a copy of the film on in the Sony Pictures Archives and it's this version they have since released to disc.
If  you loved Edward Woodward in The Wicker Man, you should enjoy this. Whilst it is a bit on the slow side, it's still quite a tense supernatural thriller. 
Buy the UK BD from
BIRDEMIC 3 : SEA EAGLES (2022) Dir - James Nguyen 
The second film of the day was a radical change of pace, with a screening of  James Nguyen's BIRDEMIC 3 : SEA EAGLES. If you've seen how dreadful the first two films are, you sort of know what to expect, only this film proves to be even worse than it's predecessors.
This time the film focusses on a couple of scientists, Evan (Ryan Lord) and Kim (Julia Cuthbert) who become romantically involved, after bumping into each other on Santa Cruz beach, California. 
The film then spends the next hour or so showing their romance blossom, with numerous long, drawn out scenes of them wandering around parks and beaches and even a couple of awkward dance scenes at a karaoke bar, which is padded out with people giving constant lectures about global warming and climate change. 
They then happen to cross paths with Rod (Alan Bagh), who was the main star of the previous films, and his new girlfriend Katie (Victorya Brandart). At which point, the titular sea eagles finally decide to go on the rampage and start attacking everybody. With the final half hour of the film spent showing the group trying to defend themselves against these badly animated cartoon birds, swooping out of the sky and leaving a trail of carnage in its wake. 
Bad acting, choppy editing, mismatched insert shots, crass dialogue and dreadfully poor CGI. I think the director must have spent the majority of the film's budget on alcohol. You would have thought that after 2 films, the Director would have got better at film making, yet he actually seems to have got worse!!!!  
The film's co-star Alan Bagh, who was also the lead in the previous films, was there to introduce the film and do a Q&A session afterwards. Footage of which will hopefully appear on my YouTube channel shortly. Although the most important question, as to why they thought the world needed yet another Birdemic film, still remains a mystery. 

The film is currently doing the festival circuit, but will eventually be released in the states by Severin films. Whilst this screening did produce a number of laughs from the highly inebriated audience, albeit for the wrong reasons, this is a film I can only recommend to complete masochists.
I dread to think what Birdemic 4 will be like, if it ever gets made!!!! 
View the Trailer on YouTube.
INCREDIBLE BUT TRUE (2022) Dir - Quentin Dupieux 
Next up was the extremely bizarre French film INCREDIBLE BUT TRUE (Incroyable Mais Vrai) by Director Quentin Dupieux. In which a middle aged couple, Alain (Alain Chabat - The Science of Sleep) and Marie (Léa Drucker - TV's War of the Worlds) who are buying their first house, discover it has hatch in the basement, that is actually covering some sort of portal.
Descending down the steps causes them to emerge in one of the upstairs rooms, but that is not the strangest thing about it. Although the descent took less than a minute, they find that 12 hours have since passed. Not only that, but going through the tunnel apparently makes you 3 days younger.
But whilst Alain has little or no interest in the tunnel and just wants to get on with his life, his wife Marie becomes obsessed and so repeatedly disappears for hours at a time going through the tunnel, just to become slightly younger looking. Which places a lot of strain on the relationship, as she is never there.
Whilst all this is going on, there is an even more bizarre sub-plot about Alain's boss, who has had an electronic penis fitted, that he can control with an app on his mobile phone, producing all manner of hilarious results when it malfunctions. Meaning poor Alain has to repeatedly cover for his boss whilst he's getting it fixed, on top of everything else.
Filmed in French language, with English subtitles, this was a very, VERY bizarre, offbeat comedy, in which it's hard to fathom what the moral of the story should be. Perhaps it was meant to be a comment about people wasting their time trying to look younger, and people's obsession with modern technology, but who knows?  
Quentin Dupieux also directed the equally bizarre film Rubber (2010), about a killer tyre. So if you're familiar with that, you have an idea of what to expect. The film was certainly well received by the festival audience and is definitely one I would recommend to fans of bizarre cinema. 
View the Trailer on YouTube.
Buy the UK BD from
HUESERA (2022) Dir - Michelle Garza Cervera 
The final film of the day was Mexican horror HUESERA, which is not a film I would recommend to anyone who is thinking about having children. Young couple Valeria (Natalia Solián) and Raúl (Alfonso Dosal - TV's Narcos: Mexico), who live in Mexico city, are expecting their first child together.
Although Valeria initially seems excited about becoming a mother, we soon learn that perhaps this pregnancy and indeed her marriage, is not so much what she wants, but about the expectations being placed on her by her family.
But as her pregnancy progresses, she finds she may have other worries, as she finds herself being stalked by strange demonic creatures, which apparently only she can see. This places a lot of undue strain on the relationship, as her husband and family members think it's just anxiety and begin to question her suitability to become a mother. But is it just anxiety, brought on by natal depression, or are there really some supernatural sinister elements at work?
Containing some rather harrowing scenes of child neglect, albeit in dream form, this was a rather uncomfortable viewing experience in places, and overall was a bit on the slow side. Which was made more difficult by the fact that, being a Mexican film, it was in Spanish language with English sub-titles. 
That's not to say it was a bad film, it was well shot and the acting was good. But is only really one I could recommend to fans of foreign language, arty sort of horror films.
View the Trailer on YouTube.
And that was it for Day 2

For more info about the Mayhem Film Festival and other special events they run, visit the official website at and subscribe to their social media pages on Facebook and Twitter.

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