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Film4 FrightFest 2015 Preview

It’s that time again where give the batteries in our torches a quick shake to get them working, brush the cobwebs out of the cellar doorway and gingerly tip-toe through the darkness and tap-tap-tap on the lid to the coffin where we keep Mike Shawcross. Come on, Mike. Time to wake up, drink the blood of a few buxom-virgins and tell us what you’ll personally be seeing at this year’s FrightFest, following yesterday’s announcement from Film4.

by Mike Shawcross (@Shawky1969)

Another year, another FrightFest and the UK’s première genre festival continues to grow and grow. In its 16th year it continues to impress with what looks to be an incredible line up, another screen and more parties. There does seem an aspect to bring the FrightFest community together with a few more social events. The Duke Mitchell Club was fantastic fun last year and one event I will be visiting this year. We have a Karaoke party as well (not for me!)

As for the films, so many I want to see, so many I’m going to have to miss out on… bigger festival more choice, bigger headache. Over the last few years the Discovery screens have shown the breakout films, the gems people talk about for weeks to come. The Borderlands was last year’s big discovery film; I wonder what will it be this year?

turbo kidOpening night brings monster wasps with Stung, post-apocalyptic sci-fi Turbo Kid and Irish witch-horror Cherry Tree; although personally I think Turbo Kid stands out here. Friday on the main screen and highlights look like We Are Still Here, a ghost story with vengeful spirits [which Paul Field recently raved about on the Failed Critics Podcast]. James Wan delivers more horror as producer on Demonic. I do like his work so will be staying in my seat for this one. Hellions looks interesting, starring Chloe Rose as she attempts to survive from trick-or-treaters from Hell on Halloween night. In the discovery screen 1 – Aaaaaaaah! from Steve Oram looks worth a watch, starring Toyah Willcox. Horror-comedy Bloodsucking Bastards is another one I’ll be checking out. DS 2 (Discovery Screen 2) we have III, a Russian film blending religious iconography with a violent disease, which I’ve been interested in for a while, and Final Girl, which sounds fun with Abigail Breslin as a lethal assassin hunting down a gang of murderers preying on young females! Creature-feature The Sand I may be staying off the beach for…

I’ve told you there is far too much choice! In DS 3 on Friday Zombie Fright Club could be great fun! Martial arts and zombies? Of course I’m IN! Body looks a possible selection as well as three girls break into the wrong mansion. As for the Eugene McGing’s haunted house mystery thriller The Unfolding…? I’ll wait to see what people think of that one first!

Into Saturday then and Shut In might be worth the early morning watch, starring Macaulay’s brother Rory Culkin. Bait is Dominc Brunt’s (you know Paddy from Emmerdale) second feature as a director; a true-life crime thriller starring Victoria Smurfit. Frankenstein has a strong cast with Carrie-Ann Moss, Danny Huston, Tony Todd and Xavier Samuel, directed by Bernard Rose (Candyman) and I fancy this one. Black magic goes awry in Deathgasm which sounds fun and, depending on if I get in, the Film4 screen is perfect for late night horror. If you like documentaries then there is Future Shock! The Story of 2000AD in DS1. I tend to miss them as I prefer feature films, but I’ve heard extremely good things about this documentary. The Hallow sounds like a must see film; a success at Sundance and directed by Corin Hardy (who will direct The Crow reboot), set in Ireland this horror film is full of demonic monsters in the woods. I’d love to see the zom-rom-com Night of the Living Deb, featuring Ray Wise, but it will clash with Deathgasm… choices, choices, choices! DS2 shows Another Me, starring Sophie Turner (Game of Thrones) stalked by a doppelgänger, which looks good. DS 3 screens a few retro showings and the Duke Mitchell events!

Sunday and, after the success of The Babadook, Inner Demons must be worth a visit. I’ve seen these kinds of films before at FrightFest, but a Christmas horror story surprisingly doesn’t really seem out of place in August and is another to consider.over your dead body

I can’t resist a Takashi Miike film, so looks like I’ll be in the DS 1 first thing for Over Your Dead Body. More end of the world drama in These Final Hours and Summer Camp (from the team behind [REC]) may be worth viewing. Think I’ll miss high-school reunion slasher Most Likely to Die. Over in DS 2 more retro screenings with Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter, cult fantasy film Hawk The Slayer and 80’s classic Hellraiser…. All of which I’ll miss! April Mullen has a second film at FrightFest after showing 88 in Glasgow earlier this year. I liked action-thriller 88, so on that basis alone I may look at Farhope Tower, even though not much more information has been released about this yet.

Monday is the toughest day of the festival! The twisted comedy about a sarcastic ex-girlfriend coming back from the dead, Nina Forever, looks interesting – as does the UK première of Emelie. And then we have one of my highlights – Tales of Halloween, the closing film and an anthology film, with directors Adam Gierasch, Axelle Carolyn, Neil Marshall and Lucky McKee joining in the fun. Big film to end on.

DS1 presents Paul Hyett’s Howl (which I saw a trailer for in Glasgow) and sees a group trapped on a train overnight with an unknown create – and I think I’m going to give it a go. The Lazarus Effect in DS 2 has a decent cast with Olivia Wilde, Mark Duplas and Sarah Bolger (who is also in Emelie) and sounds like a modern day Flatliners. In DS 3, Banjo (from FrightFest regular Liam Regan) is showing, starring Laurence R. Harvey and Dan Palmer – this will be on my list!

This year there will be 3 short showcases. I have to mention these as (and unashamedly plugged) I have worked on three films which have been sent for selection, so I may be in a couple of these showcases!!!!

Overall a hugely impressive line-up. You can listen to me and the rest of the Failed Critics on the podcast [to be released on 3rd September] as I uncover the best and worst of the festival for 2015!

Film4 FrightFest will be held in London on 27th – 31st August 2015 and you can find more details on their website. Tickets go on sale at noon tomorrow.

The Human Centipede 3

“100% politically incorrect”, a tagline that could not only be used to describe Tom Six’s The Human Centipede 3, but quite possibly our very own Paul Field, who sets about reviewing this monstrosity of a film.

by Paul Field (@pafster)

human centipede 3 2“Fake Outrage is Britain’s Oxygen”, says Sun TV Critic Ally Ross; and you know what, he’s right. Everybody is constantly offended by everything, and now that party has well and truly relocated itself to film land. Like those unwanted dullards who stay in the kitchen at house parties, bring nothing to the party themselves, but drink all the wine. Swivel-eyed femo nazi loons writing open letters to Joss Whedon lambasting him for the sexist Avengers Age of Ultron, basement dwelling porn addicts who are bashing their steroidal shrivelled cocks into the ground over Mad Max being feminist propaganda, the Cannes high heels door policy mob are clearly all women hating rapists…and so it goes on.

Then who rings the doorbell…? Tom Six.

Now you’ve actually got something to complain about. Now you’ve got The Human Centipede 3. A truly, horrible, nasty piece of work. Its so utterly, utterly wrong all of you complainers, you can now fill your boots. This is the gift you’ve been waiting for. Brutal, humiliating treatment of women, glorified and unnecessary violence, non-stop racist language & revelling in the absolute worst of humanity has to offer.

Me, I thought it was pretty funny.

The double meta whammy of the two previous films being works of fiction to be applied to a real world environment. Dieter Laser (The Human Centipede) is joined by Laurence R Harvey (Human Centipede 2) as the Governor and administrator of a US prison. Laser, who turns in a non-stop, over the top, bat-shit crazy performance that is so awful, it has to be seen to be believed, without subtitles, this film is barely audible, so horrendous is his diction. Harvey (who is from Wigan) as his long suffering side-kick delivers possibly the worst US accent ever committed to film. Bree Olson (loads of porn movies) turns up as the secretary, there only to be humiliated and er… TV’s Eric Roberts plays the state Governor.

We’re then treated to all sorts of depraved set pieces, from jars of clits, to fantastical rape deaths, acts of extreme violence and non-stop brutality, swearing and of course Laser screaming his lines like a demented baboon…. all building to the final Centipede…and another bonus critter they make….

It’s a deliberately terrible film, the biggest trolling experiment ever done, and I can’t wait for the swivel-eyed loons to bite. And for that reason alone, I love this film. I can’t applaud Tom Six enough for this, he revels in the abuse that’s thrown his way – and I can’t wait for it all to kick off.

The Human Centipede 3 is available through VOD now, and UK cinemas from July 10th.