Saturday 21 October 2023

Mayhem Festival Reviews - Day 3 - Saturday 14th Oct


The third day kicked off with, what turned out to be, my favourite film of the entire festival. Mike Cheslik's HUNDREDS OF BEAVERS, a bizarre slapstick comedy about a hapless cider farmer, Jean Kayak, who is forced to become a fur trapper to defeat the hundreds of beavers that decimated his farm and entire orchard.

Filmed in black and white, in the style of an old silent movie, the film follows his misadventures as he attempts to learn the art of trapping, as well as win the love of his life, who works at the local trading post.

Kind of like a live action cartoon, featuring animated special effects, with people in fur costumes playing the titular beavers and other forest wildlife, the film was a laugh riot from start to finish and certainly got the loudest round of applause from the audience of any film that weekend.

The Director had previously worked on the similarly bizarre “Lake Michigan Monster”, with Ryland Brickson Cole Tews, who plays Jean the trapper in this, although I would say this film is way off the charts in terms of offbeat comedy, compared to that.

The film should hopefully be out on Disc in 2024. Checkout the trailer link before to see what you're in for.

View the Trailer on YouTube.


Next up was Matt Vesely's MONOLITH, which was a slow burn sci-fi thriller about an internet conspiracy theorist (played by Lilly Sulivan – Evil Dead Rise), who thinks she's uncovered a bizarre phenomenon regarding these unusual brick slabs that have been mysteriously appearing in peoples homes.

It seems whoever receives one of these, begins to experience strange visions and are plagued with nightmares about some guilty secrets from their past. Digging deeper it seems there may be something extraterrestrial about these, but if so, what is their purpose?

Set entirely in one location, with Lilly Sullivan's character being the only person who is seen on screen, I found the film to be incredibly frustrating, in that it raised more questions than answers, and I really couldn't get into this one at all.

If you like slow burn thrillers, you may enjoy it, but it was just too much on the slow side to me.

View the Trailer on YouTube.


Third film of the day, John and Lulu Adams arty horror WHERE THE DEVIL ROAMS was a very difficult sort of film to define, let alone describe.

Set in the 1930s, a young girl and her parents, who have fallen on hard times, are eking out a living performing at carnivals around the US. As well as turning to the occasional robbery and murder to make ends meet, whenever they encounter someone they take a disliking to.

However, when one particular robbery goes wrong and the parents find themselves on the receiving end of an axe, their daughter “borrows” something from one of the other Carnies that she hopes will save them. But not knowing how to use it properly has dire consequences for the family, although it does improve the popularity of their act...

A film that is far stranger than I could possibly describe in my review, I suppose the best analogy I could come up with, was it was like a kind of bizarre cross between “Bonny and Clyde”, “Freaks” and “Frankenstein”.

If you like arthouse horrors, you will probably enjoy this. But this wasn't really my cup of tea at all. Although it was extremely well received by the rest of the Mayhem audience. John and Lulu Adams were also the people behind the cult film “Hellbender”, so if you enjoyed that, you'll probably want to check this out too.

View the trailer on YouTube.

Checkout the film makers on Twitter.


The day concluded with a screening of Robert Rodriguez 90s Sci-Fi horror THE FACULTY, in which a group of high school teens, which includes a young Josh Hartnett (Halloween H20) and a pre-Lord of the Rings Eelijah Wood, realise there's something very wrong with the teachers at their school.

A couple of reporters for the school paper discover that alien parasites are at work, but of course no one believes them. But it seems the aliens are susceptible to the drugs being supplied by the school dealer, which are fatal to them and so the teens have to try and find out who is infected and stop the spread of these parasites before everyone is taken over.

Best described as “Scream” meets “Invasion of the body Snatchers”, this was one of many fun teen horrors to come out of the late 90s, following the success of Wes Craven's “Scream” in 1996. Whilst the film may not have aged as well as its contemporaries, it's still an enjoyable slice of 90's horror, which also features quite a good supporting cast, including Salma Hayek (From Dusk till Dawn), Robert Patrick (Terminator 2), Famke Janssen (X-Men), Piper Laurie (Carrie) and even comedian and chat show host John Stewart.

The film was an interesting choice for the Saturday night slot, but nice to see on the big screen if you didn't get chance on it's original release.

View the Trailer on YouTube.

Buy the film on BD from

And that concluded Day 3, for more information on the festival and other special events throughout the year, visit:
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