karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Cinema)
Saturday started with The Toxic Avenger, the Troma classic. Unfortunately, this was a museum archive print so the then UK theatrical release meaning it was cut to shreds but still enjoyable in that hammy, schlock horror way, even if some bits were a bit iffy by today's standards. Overall fun, though.
Next up, Captain Clegg, a classic Hammer feature with Peter Cushing playing a vicar but not a real horror film (despite having phantoms) but a tale of smuggling and defiance in the late 18th century. Good production values for the time, excellent acting, good story and a secret that wasn't too obvious. Deserved applause afterwards.
Then back to the Eighties with Vamp in which a group of college students get in the way of Grace Jones playing a stripping vampire (or a vampire stripper?). Very cheesy, sometimes a bit slow at times but ultimately passable.
After a look at a few pieces of the museum's Hammer collection, the next treat was Barbarella which needs no introduction but has an appalling rating of 5.8 on imdb. I think this was the first time I saw it in one piece, a great piece of cinematic history.
After a quick hop to Subway for sustenance, Grindhouse was the theme of the next film, I Drink Your Blood with a band of satanist and later rabid hippies terrorising a small town. The hydrophobia symptom of rabies was used to great comedic effect and despite the print suffering from a strong magenta cast and a breakage in between, it was rather excellent. More a proper horror film than full on exploitation.
The final bit for me today was first an interview with Harley Cokeliss, a rather prolific director, writer and producer in the genre, incl. second unit director of Empire Strikes Back. This was very interesting indeed, especially (at leaset for me) when he talked about his work on Empire which gave a fascinating insight into the making of of the film, for example in how the scenes in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon were shot (shots facing into the cockpit with no windows visible were directed by Kershner, while shots facing outwards, i.e. requiring blue screen and post processing were shot by Cokeliss). I only realised when it was over that the interview lasted almost an hour. He obviuosly also talked about Battletruck the film that was shown afterwards, anecdotes about the making of and defending some critics' opinion that it was ripping off Mad Max when both films were actually conceived independently at the same time.
Battletruck (also called Warlords of the 21st Century) is a post-war film set in a near future. The titular Battletruck is the villain's vehicle which the heroes of the film fight against. The film featured mayhem, murder, betrayal and action, the vehicles were brilliant and it was a good Saturday night romp, deserving more than the 4.5 it has on imdb. The film was scheduled against The Rocky Horror Picture Show and while that is good fun, I wanted to see a film I otherwise might not be able to and I'm glad I did because the interview was superb.
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Cinema)
First, I caught the first half our of Flesh and Blood, a documentary about the history of Hammer. This would have been rather interesting, especially with Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing narrating and it being a proper cut (not what shown on TV) but I really wanted to see Big Trouble in Little China in 70mm, one of my teenage favourites so it was good to see it on the big screen again and a cut that continued a few bits I couldn't remember having seen.
Next up was The Monster Squad, a teen horror comedy that was completely unknown to me and it was right up my street. Of course it was cheesy and played off all the stereotypes but it was good fun. Considering there is no German Wikipedia entry for the film and according to imdb it's only been released on DVD in 2011 in Germany, that might be the reason I didn't know it.
The short films are usually a mixed bag but except for Buddy Yeah! which was one of the most disturbing stop-motion animation pieces I've seen. Chomp! was a brilliant very short film about a zombie couple, Decapoda Shock was a quirky mixed media space exploration/lobster mutant film (and has a well deserved 8.5 rating on imdb), Perished was quite run-off-the mill zombie flick, Once it Started it Could Not End Otherwise was another quirky bit constructed from photos with subtitles, The Hunting Ground was a Finnish film about two men's fate in the countryside, The Little Mermaid was another rather bizarre story without dialogue and finally Bear was an Australian short about a surprise going horribly wrong. All good entertainment.
Shockingly, I forewent the original Fright Night for the screentalk with Renée Glynne (one of Hammer's continuity ladies) and the restored print of The Quatermass Xperiment. The interview was interesting and fun and the film was excellent for its age, just marred when halfway through audio and picture went out of sync more and more until the delay was over two seconds by the end. ETA: I later found out this being due to an NTSC picture with a PAL audio track.
The last film of the day was The Casebook of Eddie Brewer, a new Brtish documentary style POV film following the work of a paranormal investigator. As it wasn't in the programme, I didn't know what to expect and when it started, I thought "Oh no, not another shaky cam film" but it turned out to be excellent, so much better than any of the recent big productions like Paranormal Activity etc. and the rest of the audience shared my opinion. The director and producers were there as well and talked a little about the film. It was only the second showing in the UK (first the Flatpack Festival in Birmingham) and after this they're touring the US. Not sure if it will get a UK wide release at the cinema but there will be a DVD.

So yes, an enjoyable first day at FFW. Bring on tomorrow with lots of Troma and Hammer films and Barbarella. :o)
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Cinema)
Still rather sleepy but I'm in the office. The weekend was great (huge post from last night), the Jurys Inn was comfy, the breakfast better than at the Midland, just the haunted lift was slightly disconcerting. It was eventually put out of service properly (not just with a "Do not use" sign on the door but still operating when you pressed the call button) but not fixed in two days. No harm done and nobody got stuck, though.

It was also wonderful to see those friends again I only ever meet there these days, namely miss_s_b, @Crawther, @Avalard, James, [livejournal.com profile] pmoodie and El, Darrell, Dave and the rest of the BHF lot.

When there was a gap in my schedule, I either tried to find some food, chatted with people in the bar or wandered around the museum taking a few photos:

karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Default)
The Fantastic Films Weekend is an annual, three-day festival of horror, fantasy and SciFi films at the National Media Museum in Bradford.
I'd arrived already arrived on Thursday evening, had a good night's sleep and was ready for the onslaught of films I was going to watch.
Friday
The first film was Bloodbath at the House of Death. Only knowing that Vincent Price was in it and having cultural reference fail regarding Kenny Everett, I had no idea what to expect, not an early slasher horror, but a horror comedy, a farce even (the fact that John Fortune was in it should have been a giveaway). As soon as I had realised what was going on and switched my mindset, it was incredibly good fun. Extremely cheesy and bad but in a good way. I can only recommend trying to find this on DVD.

Then, the seminal Horror Express. Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and later in a surprise role as a Kosak captain, Telly Savalas fight an ancient evil unleashed on the Transibirian Express. This film is shown at the fest each year so most attendees know it inside out and anticipate and play along with certain lines and scenes. On your own with the DVD on your TV this might be a bad film but among a group of likeminded people on the big screen, this is glorious.

Afterwards, a Horizon special in TV Heaven (the section of the museum devoted to television) on SciFi which had interviews with the likes of Arthur C Clarke and Asimov talking about their visions. Now, 60 years on, very fascinating indeed in terms of their predictions and what has and hasn't become reality. This documentary also contains the only surviving clips of Peter Sasdy's adaption of the Asimov story The Caves of Steel. Sasdy was at the screening and it was the first time he'd actually seen any of it as he hadn't received a copy of the finished product and the BBC wiped the material (along with many other early productions).

My first film in the evening was Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires, the extremely cheesy Hammer/Kung Fu crossover with Peter Cushing as Van Helsing for the last time. This bizarre crossover of Hammer horror and Kung Fu action worked for some reason (Dracula travels to China to revive the titular Chinese vampires) or possibly because the combination was so weird. There was spontaneous applause from the audience after the first mass fight scene, for example. If I had to state one negative it would be that the final confrontation was rather rushed and anti-climactic.

Then, a quick jog to the Cubby (the other screen at the museum) for the screentalk with Peter Sasdy, veteran director of both classic TV and Hammer films. I enjoyed this immensely, not just because of the insight he gave into his work and the amusing anecdotes but also his genuine honesty and modesty. What a wonderful person. He answered questions from the audience willingly and extensively and afterwards very happily signed autgraphs and chatted to the attendees.


Then, the midnight screamer, the director's cut of The Exorcist in a beautiful print. The Pictureville screen was very well filled indeed and not just by festival attendees (all screenings are open to the public with the festival passes granting a free ticket to any film) but others who came for the chance to see this classic on the big screen. This cut isn't my favourite as it's a bit too long in places but it was still excellent and so much better on the big screen than on TV.

Saturday
First up, the original Clash of the Titans, with wonderful stop motion creatures by Ray Harryhausen. I'd seen it quite a few times on telly but never on the big screen so that was a treat I didn't want to miss.

Next, the TV version of Hound of the Baskervilles with Peter Cushing as Holmes. It was alirght, had a few good moments but was stretched too long (originally aired as two 50 minute episodes).

The first set of shorts with the subtitle Suffer The Little Children was next on my list. These were hit and miss, the first one, The Happy Children, an almost Lovecraftian account of a seaside town (filmed in Whitby) which wasn't bad at all, Darkness Within was pointless torture porn, Endless was a weird slow-motion thing with some interesting SFX, Intercambio was pseudo-artsy rubbish about cannibalism in war times but then, CLICK with a group of kids exploring an abandoned warehouse and playing with a lightswitch. This was superb, very simply made but very effective and the young actors were excellent. The last one, The Elemental about something horrible occupying the staircase of an old apartment building was also good, with some tense moments and a good, moody atmosphere. Two photos, Mark Goodall, director of The Happy Children, and William Prince, director of CLICK:
Mark Goodall William Prince


The evening began with Twins of Evil, classic Hammer fare (the third in the von Karnstein trilogy of four and in my opinion the best) with Peter Cushing (oh look, there he was again) as a Puritan witch hunter, an evil vampire lord in a castle and the two titular twins who were mostly clad in flimsy nightgowns. Very entertaining and especially the candle fondling had everyone in stitches.

To conclude the evening, I shunned Rutger Hauer's Hobo with a Shotgun in favour of the Vincent Price double bill. First, a TV interview (by David Del Valle) called The Sinister Image which was both insightful and entertaining and then An Evening of Edgar Allan Poe, four of Poe's stories, recited by Price, sitting in a set. Very good indeed.
Sunday
First film was Let's Scare Jessica to Death, a bit of a slow burner with a mostly hysterical main character but it had some OK passages. The magenta print probably didn't help.

Next up was C.H.U.D., a fun radioactive monster film with an underhanded political message but mostly fun, well paced and really enjoyable. Cheesy fun, perfect for an early Sunday afternoon, one of the highlights of the day for me.

Then, the "British Horror Revival" collection of shorts. These were divided among two filmmakers, Ashley Thorpe (who randomly happens to sit at our table right now) and Rob Nevitt.
The former showed three films (or, 2 and a half, as the second died during the screening), Hammer influenced mixed media animations. Really interesting stuff.
Nevitt's work was more conventional film work, with one being shot on one Super 8 cartridge without any post editing of a brutal picnic and the last one, Mortified being a kid's party gone horribly wrong.
Ashley Thorpe Rob Nevitt


The final Hammer film today was Countess Dracula in which the seminal (and luscious) Ingrid Pitt played Elizabeth Bathory. It was the first time I'd seen it and I really liked it. It wasn't as cheesy as the others but genuinely moving in places and well done, too.

After a quick dinner I headed into the Cubby for the last time for Herbert West: Re-Animator which turned out to be the most complete and uncut version I've seen (a print sourced from a private collection in the US). It made for a highly entertaining and thrilling conclusion to another awesome Fantastic Films Weekend, prompting spontaneous applause both during and after the film.

Before he introduced the film, the festival director Tony Earnshaw stated that due to current economic climate the future of the festival might be in danger. However, this year's was the most successful and well attended so this gives hope for the future and with increased coverage by the media, blogs and social media, we will hopefully see another one. If you would like to spread the word, contact details are on the website. Here's Tony:
Tony Earnshaw

FFW day 3

13 Jun 2011 12:22 am
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Cinema)
First film was Let's Scare Jessica to Death, a bit of a slow burner with a mostly hysterical main character but it had some OK passages. The magenta print probably didn't help.

Next up was C.H.U.D., a fun radioactive monster film with an underhanded political message but mostly fun, well paced and really enjoyable. Cheesy fun, perfect for an early Sunday afternoon, one of the highlights of today for me.

Then, the "British Horror Revival" collection of shorts. These were divided among two filmmakers, Ashley Thorpe (who randomly happens to sit at our table right now) and Rob Nevitt.
The former showed three films (or, 2 and a half, as the second died during the screening), Hammer influenced mixed media animations. Really interesting stuff.
Nevitt's work was more conventional film work, with one being shot on one Super 8 cartridge without any post editing of a brutal picnic and the last one, Mortified being a kid's party gone horribly wrong.

The final Hammer film today was Countess Dracula in which the seminal (and luscious) Ingrid Pitt played Elizabeth Bathory. It was the first time I'd seen it and I really liked it. It wasn't as cheesy as the others but genuinely moving in places and well done, too.

Having no time to go out for dinner (and it was still raining heavily), I just had some meatballs at the bar before heading into the screen for the last time for Herbert West: Re-Animator which turned out to be the most complete and uncut version I've seen (a print sourced from the US). It made for a highly entertaining and thrilling conclusion to another awesome Fantastic Films Weekend.

Really sad that it's all over again but it was good to hang out with people I only get to see once a year. Let's hope they'll find a way to keep it alive because it's quite unique.

FFW day 2

12 Jun 2011 10:46 am
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Cinema)
A bit late as I was knackered last night and my internet access had expired.

First, a little something they showed before The Exorcist on Friday night:



First up, the original Clash of the Titans, with wonderful stop motion creatures by Ray Harryhausen. I'd seen it quite a few times on telly but never on the big screen so that was a treat I didn't want to miss.

Next, the TV version of Hound of the Baskervilles with Peter Cushing as Holmes. It was alirght, had a few good moments but was stretched too long (originally aired as two 50 minute episodes).

Then the first set of shorts with the subtitle Suffer The Little Children. These were hit and miss, the first one, The Happy Children an almost Lovecraftian account of a seaside town (filmed in Whitby) which wasn't bad at all, Darkness Within was pointless torture porn, Endless was a weird slow-motion thing with some interesting SFX, Intercambio was pseudo-artsy rubbish about cannibalism in war times but then, CLICK with a group of kids exploring an abandoned warehouse and playing with a lightswitch. This was superb, very simply made but very effective and the young actors were excellent. The last one, The Elemental about something horrible occupying the staircase of an old apartment building was also good, with some tense moments and a good, moody atmosphere.

As my dinner date had stood me up in favour of a film (damn you, @Crawther! ;), I watched Twins of Evil, classic Hammer fare with Peter Cushing (oh look, there he was again) as a Puritan witch hunter (or rather repressed wanker who got off on burning innocent girls), an evil vampire lord in a castle and the two titular twins who were mostly clad in flimsy nightgowns. Very entertaining and especially the candle fondling had everyone in stitches.

To conclude the evening, I shunned Rutger Hauer's Hobo with a Shotgun in favour of the Vincent Price double bill. First, an interview which was both insightful and entertaining and then An Evening With Edgar Allan Poe, four of Poe's stories, recited by Price, sitting in a set. Very good indeed.

After that, I met the gang at the hotel bar for some chats and drinks but went to bed around midnight as I was feeling a bit rough.

FFW day 1

10 Jun 2011 11:45 pm
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Cinema)
An excellent start to the day.

First I had a look at the Great Photographers in History exhibition at the museum which was good and interesting.
Then it was time to meet up with friends for the first film: Bloodbath at the House of Death. Only knowing that Vincent Price was in it and having cultural reference fail regarding Kenny Everett, I had no idea what to expect, not an early slasher horror, but a horror comedy, a farce even. As soon as I had realised what was going on and switched my mindset, it was incredibly good fun. Extremely cheesy and bad but in a good way.

Then, the seminal Horror Express. 'Nuff said.

Afterwards, a Horizon special in TV Heaven on SciFi which had interviews with the likes of Arthur C Clarke and Asimov talking about their visions. Now, 60 years on, very fascinating indeed in terms of their predictions and what has and hasn't become reality.

After a brief dinner at a Chinese buffet I met up with @Crawther and later @Avalard for chats in the pictureville bar before heading into the cinema for Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires, the extremely cheesy Hammer/Kung Fu crossover with Peter Cushing doing Van Helsing for the last time. There was spontaneous applause from the audience after the first mass fight scene. :D

Then, a quick jog to the Cubby for the screentalk with Peter Sasdy, veteran director of both classic TV and Hammer films. I enjoyed this immensely, not just because of the insight he gave into his work and the amusing anecdotes but also his genuine honesty and modesty. What a wonderful person.

I'm writing this in a brief winddown break in my hotel room while listening to Santana improvising away on BBC4. Now I'm off to see the "Midnight Screamer", the director's cut of The Exorcist on the big screen, yeah!
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Cinema)
Note: The schedule on the website is slightly incomplete, they are showing Horror Express on Friday at 3pm as well (it's in the PDF brochure, though).
My choices )

FFW update

7 May 2011 02:00 pm
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Cinema)
The schedule is up
So many films, so many clashes. ARGH
Booked a room at Jurys Inn earlier. I'll be arriving Thursday evening, anyone else around then and up for a meal and drinks?
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Phantasm)
Yay and w00+, the website is live early this year! Still a bit barren without full schedule and hotel info (I guess it'll be the new Jurys Inn rather than the Midland).
It's the 10th anniversary this year and it looks like it's going to be a classics extravaganza.
Can't wait to see the gang ([livejournal.com profile] miss_s_b, [livejournal.com profile] matgb, [livejournal.com profile] pmoodie and El and the rest of them) again (and I have a dinner date with @Crawther :D)

Apart from the regulars, anyone else interested?
karohemd: (Photo)
The Fantastic Films Weekend is an annual film festival concentrating on Horror, SciFi and similar genres in Bradford.

Friday - Fantasma symposium, Short Films, Lizard in a Woman's Skin, Zone of the Dead incl. photos )

Saturday - Three Cases of Murder, Shadow, Horror Express, The Giant Spider Invasion, Michael Armstrong, Mark of the Devil, Birdemic, James Nguyen )

Sunday - Psycho, TV, Patrick, Stanley A. Long, Screamtime, The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue )

All in all, an excellent festival with excellent films, good friends old and new. Really sad it's over.

Note: All photos are released under a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-Alike licence which means you're free to repost them under the provision you don't make any money off them, credit me with a link (either to this post or the relevant flickr page) and release the photos on your page in the same way.
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Cinema)
Sunday started with Psycho. A new digital print combined on the big screen was perfect for appreciating the superb cinematography properly. Absolutely wonderful.

After that, I watched too bits in TV Heaven (Children of the Stones - sadly only two eps - and Dark Season - which was very 80s cheese by RTD).

Patrick was next, excellent thriller with a psychokinetic coma patient.
Is it just me or did the doctor have a rather striking resemblance to the Albino from Mark of the Devil? I checked on imdb, it's not the same actor.

Then another Screentalk with Stanley A. Long about his career, his films, difficulties with (and bribing of) censors and anecdotes of Roman Polanski and other people he's worked with. Another very enjoyable talk with a great character.

His Screamtime, a collection of three shorts was next and indeed excellent. I will never look at garden gnomes the same way again.

That ran straight into The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue which was hilariously cheesy and a fitting end to the festival.

All in all, an excellent festival with excellent films, good friends old and new (@Crawther, yay!). Really sad it's over.
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Cinema)
Yesterday was great.
First up was the excellent Three Cases of Murder. All three segments were good but the first one fitted the bill best (painting coming to life). Highly recommended and reasonably easy to catch as it's now out on DVD.

Then there was Shadow, a easonably new film, somewhere between Jacob's Ladder, 70's slasher and Hostel. Rather violent and gory so if torture porn isn't your thing, it's not for you. I didn't have many problems with it, just the luscious, deep deciduous forest that was supposed to be in Iraq(!).

Next up, the seminal and by now traditional Horror Express with Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing and randomly, Telly Savalas as a Kosak captain (not a Hammer production but an Italian one). Good, cheesy fun and hearing [livejournal.com profile] innerbrat's reactions to the pseudo science was hilarious.

Staying with low-budget cheese, we watched The Giant Spider Invasion next and that was hilarious, too. Again, mucho pseudo science about black holes and gamma radiation. The giant spider monster was one of the best props ever and the acting was on par, too. Big kudos to them for using real spiders (tarantulas etc.) for the smaller ones, though. Very good fun and everybody loved it.

After that, I had a bit of a break and a drink and nice long chat with @Crawther, which was nice.
We sat in Centenniary Square chatting away and almost forgot the time but managed to get back for the screentalk with Michael Armstrong, director of Mark of the Devil, House of the long Shadows etc. It was really interesting and entertaining, Armstrong is a very charming and funny character. He talked about The Image, his first short film (also at the FFW), obv. a lot about Mark of the Devil as that was shown afterwards and other projects as well as one (prompted by an audience member) about a planned documentary with the Sex Pistols.

The above mentioned Mark of the Devil was next and rather disappointing. Obv. a low budget affair and far from being as shocking or visceral as he wanted us to believe during his talk. A bit rubbish really but not too bad (I think I had a higher opinion of it than [livejournal.com profile] miss_s_b).
I just had to giggle when during the opening credits Herbert Fux was mentioned who I and many Germans my age and older will associate with really bad (sex) comedies during the late 70s/early 80s so to see him in a rather serious role was odd. He's done serious stuff since but I think his main image is that of being in bad comedy flicks.

We had a gap before the midnight screamer so [livejournal.com profile] miss_s_b, [livejournal.com profile] innerbrat, [livejournal.com profile] matgb, someone I only know vaguely from last year and I went for a couple of drinks.

Back in time for midnight, we briefly met James Nguyen, director of Birdemic, who signed coathangers for us (this will become important later on).
Birdemic: Shock and Terror is a remarkable, hard to describe film. It's equally the worst and best film ever made. With a budget of $10,000, rubbish actors, guerilla camera action and the worst CGI in movie history, it's a specatcle that has to be seen to pass any judgment on. It already has a cult following in the US and is somewhat of a phenomenon.
The director stayed for a chat with Tony Earnshaw which was just as unbelievable as the film. A really nice and charming guy, though, and I am looking forward to the sequel.

two photos of James Nguyen )

And now I'm off to see Psycho on the big screen for the first time.
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Phantasm)
Got up, had OK breakfast (staff cleared my table twice while I was getting stuff from the buffet, have written note for tomorrow), wandered to the NMM to find the doors locked and not being opened before 10. I also had left my book at the hotel so I wandered around and took some photos instead.
When the doors finally opened, the system was still being set up. Receiving a surprising and warm hug from @Crawther was an excellent start to the day. :D
The first event was the Fantasma symposium with talks from various experts on a variety of subjects from Italian horror films via the image of the vampire in films/popular culture and its history to musings about the fantastic in films in general. In between I had lunch at the IndiaAn veggie buffet which was nommy as usual. All you can eat for under six pounds...

My first film was in fact a selection of short films of which Arbeit für alle was the highlight. A really good and funny German film.

Next, the Fulci classic Lizard in a Woman's Skin which was clearly the product of various acid trips but still enjoyable. [livejournal.com profile] madwitch would have loved the hats. ;o)

Final bit was Zone of the Dead, a pretty run off the mill zombie film but with good production values and reasonable acting. Nothing special but enjoyable.

The BHF lot was going for food rather than drinks so we parted ways and I went back to the hotel to relax.

Lots of stuff on tomorrow, good night!
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Cinema)
Thanks to the website's misorganisation I only just spotted the Fantasma symposium on Friday morning. That sounds rather interesting and has a screening of Secret Rites (which I'll forgo for the short films) at the end.

This means I'll have a spare ticket for eXistenZ, if anyone wants one.

Then I'll also know what to do with myself. Bradford isn't that exciting and I've been through the museum a few times already.
ETA: And now I've spotted the Games Lounge. I don't think I'll be leaving the NMM at all...
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Cinema)
The website is finally live.
The film schedule is there as well. Quite a few I don't know so this could be interesting. Psycho on the big screen is not to be missed, the 28 double bill should be good and there ar two Cronenberg films. Unlike last year, only two films are shown multiple times (Psycho and the short films), which makes picking slots a little trickier.
Shame Horror Express is on so early, this should be the midnight special on Saturday night.
More oddness, "Zone of the Dead" is the same film as "Apocalypse of the Dead". Someone tell them, please, this might confuse a few people.

No sight of Wrath of Kkan, again, despite promises. Why?
Shame that Colin didn't make it, either. That would have been cool.

So, who's going? Can't wait to see [livejournal.com profile] miss_s_b and [livejournal.com profile] matgb, [livejournal.com profile] pmoodie and El, [livejournal.com profile] innerbrat?, @Crawther, the Brit horror forum crowd and other random cool people you meet at such events.
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Default)
Thursday evening I took many trains to arrive in Brighouse at 22:35 (as scheduled), wandered down to the Old Ship and had Liberal Drinks with [livejournal.com profile] miss_s_b, her dad, [livejournal.com profile] innerbrat, [livejournal.com profile] matgb and someone whose name I don't remember. After closing time, we headed to [livejournal.com profile] miss_s_b's for being enthusiastically greeted by the mad dogs of the house, a bit of chat and then an early night.

Friday morning I stopped being able to sleep rather early (a combination of the usual first night in unfamiliar surroundings and the bright light in the morning) so I went downstairs and joined [livejournal.com profile] innerbrat in playing LEGO Batman on the wii. After a quick breakfast, [livejournal.com profile] matgb kindly gave us a lift into Bradford (parking turned out being cheaper than bus tickets for everyone), we picked up our passes and had to wait for a bit for the first film because Bradford had just been declared Unesco City of Film and the announcement was made at the NMM. We also ran into the usual suspects from the Brit Horror forums.
After Flash Gordon we parted ways as we watched different films, around 10 I had late dinner at Omar's (the largest Naans in Yorkshire and they're not lying), being joined by the BritHorror crowd and then reconvened with SB and the other lot for the fun midnight showing of Shaun of the Dead. Home and sleep.

Saturday morning we went in quite early as we wanted to see the Short Films (which were very good, more in my film post). Dinner was at the Love Apple where I had some lovely griddled halloumi and then quickly back for the highlight of the day, Aliens in 70mm. No midnight film so we drove back and relaxed at SB and Mat's.

Sunday was another early morning which I started with Gnaw, being joined by the others for Call of Cthulhu. Had lunch with [livejournal.com profile] innerbrat at the lovely Vegetarian Indian buffet (really tasty dishes, one with chickpeas and paneer, the other was a veg jalfrezi. I didn't have the sweet potato one but [livejournal.com profile] innerbrat did, the fried starter bits were great as well, just the dessert was a bit too sticky for my taste (but lovely and cinnamony). Back to the NMM for a bit of wander around before I left [livejournal.com profile] innerbrat in the TV section and watched Terminal Man.
After that I listened to Mike Hodges (director of Flash Gordon, Terminal Man, Get Carter etc.) being interviewed by Tony Earnshaw which was really good and funny and I was a bit sad I had to leave before the end because I had a ticket for Star Trek at the IMAX (which was big and actually a bit too big for my taste, despite sitting rather far back).
After a nice bottle of Black Sheep and a muffin at the bar, we parted ways again, me to watch Suspiria and the others for Scar Crow with a Q&A session with cast and crew afterwards (which took quite long to finish).
Back in Brighouse, SB cooked up some fine pasta with tomato sauce and a leaf salad which was a nice end to the weekend.

Monday I got up, packed, had a quick breakfast, sad goodbye to hosts and other houseguest, wandered down to the station in glorious sunshine and had perfect train connections to Cambridge. Went shopping (which will be cooked soon) and caught up with stuff online. I really don't want to go to work tomorrow...
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Cinema)
Another good day today:
- some really good short films
- the original Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (glorious and gorgeous, well acted and all that)
- Vampyr with live music accompaniment
- Aliens in 70mm - WoW

Also griddled Halloumi for dnner and lots of chats with [livejournal.com profile] miss_s_b, [livejournal.com profile] innerbrat, [livejournal.com profile] matgb and friends.

Full report when I get home but I'll be tweeting occasionally tomorrow (on the schedule: Gnaw, the HLPS version of Call of Cthulhu, Star Trek at IMAX and Suspiria, possibly more.
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Cinema)
Black Christmas
Students in a sorority house receive "heavy breathing" phone calls and then the killing starts. The cops are clueless and remain so until the end when it's too late. It's not graphic at all (neither in terms of gore/slasher elements or nudity, of which there is none). It's a precursor to the likes of Halloween and Friday 13th and it's quite enjoyable. The acting isn't too bad for a low-budget Canadian film, either. Interestingly, most of the actors of the major characters are still going so the film seems to have been a bit of a springboard for them.

An American Werewolf in London
I don't think this needs any introduction. It was the first time I'd seen this on the big screen and it was awesome. The transformation sequence can still hold its own after 27 years and is so much more realistic than any CGI. I don't really like the final werewolf but the transformation is awesome. It's also very funny and Jenny Agutter (who played Nurse Alex) was at the event for a 40 minute interview on Saturday.

The Mist
Based on the Stephen King novella of the same name (the biggest story in Skeleton Crew). It's quite faithful to the story (as far as I can remember, it having been at least 20 years since I read it), except for the ending (which was endorsed by King).  It's photographed nicely (lots of shallow DOF work that really helped the character interaction). I really liked the film (except for the slightly dodgy CGI tentacles) but others had various issues with it. I don't think that there's a "only the faithful won't be eaten" message because that isn't in the book and it's not Stephen King's thing, either.

...And Now the Screaming Starts!
From finishing the evening with a modern film, we started the next morning with an Amicus classic from the early 70s. Very enjoyable and cheesy with heaving bosoms, murdering dodgy rubber hands, portraits of evil ancestors that go "deng", shoddy makeup and really bad fake blood but that's the charm of this kind of film from that time. The story is a family curse which is eventually investigated and uncovered by Peter Cushing's Dr Pope.

The Abominable Dr. Phibes and Dr. Phibes Rises Again in a double bill
The main reason for me watching these was that I'd never seen them in English and only on TV. The first one is just a classic and wonderful. It's hammy and cheesy but works and Vulnavia is gorgeous.
The second one in a row was just a bit too much and going from dreary Hammer era style it moved on to mid-seventies plush which didn't quite fit with the theme.

The House that Dripped BloodMagenta
(so called because of the degraded colour of the print) An anthology about a house whose tenants all go wrong in a way. A writer's character comes to life, two men find a woman they used to know at a waxworks museum, a father is afraid of his little daughter and a horror actor finds the genuine item. A little bit of personal trivia: My grandmother on my father's side was a born Hartmann. ;o)

The Thing in 70mm
Again no introduction for this Carpenter classic is needed. It was the first time I saw it on the big screen and in 70mm and it blew me away. All the versions I'd seen previously must have been hacked to bits because I don't remember that many graphic monster/gore scenes. Fantastic!

The Most Dangerous Game
Sunday morning saw the oldest film in my list. After a shipwreck a big game hunter and his female companion escape to a lone island where an eccentric Russian lives. Picking up the shipwrecked seems to be a bit of pasttime for him as another couple is already there. The gracious host soon transforms and becomes the hunter and the two protagonists have until dawn to escape from the island...

Shorts
A rather random collection from the very short and random (How to Pick Up Girls and Film Eight) via a boring bit in space a Polish artsy thing, a superb film about a killer visiting a shrink as he wants to get rid of his conscience, a rather good CG film called The Ark to another random one of a guy waking up in the middle of the road and finally a new take on Hänsel and Gretel (I loved this and Sweet Tooth is a much better title) and a variation on a werewolf/infection monster thing. The latter two were worth watching these alone.

Blood on Satan's Claw
Another British classic from the early 70s and a story of witchhunt. I'm glad this was a new/restored print as it's rather wonderfully photographed and very atmospheric. Both the writer and director were guests who joined in a "screentalk" with one of the organisers talking about the making of the film and a bit of their work since then. Very interesting.

Daughters of Darkness
Another film that caused mixed reactions. A different take on the vampire film from 1970 with two women in the villains' roles. Allegedly praised as the best European film (shot in Belgium) at the time, it was quite a bit rubbish. Lots of nudity and cheese, gratuitous violence and bad acting, random ex police inspectors on bicycles, "artsy" moments and a transsexual mother (in law). Well, it whiled away the time.

Horror Express
The festival couldn't have ended on a higher note, I think. Some of the smelliest cheese ever produced starring both Cristopher(sic) Lee and Peter Cushing who delivers the awesome line of "Monster? We're British!". A very enjoyable yarn. So much better on the big screen, too, despite or even because of the bad print, I remember seeing it on TV a few years ago, late on Friday night on the Beeb.
Oh, this was supposed to be Hell's Ground, a Pakistani zombie film but the print hadn't made it in time so Tony Earnshaw pulled this one out from the Museum archive. Best decision ever.

A rather fine festival of mostly classic Brit Horror. I'll be going back next year. Let's see what their selection will be then. We're hoping for some more SciFi.

April 2016

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