Abertoir 2012 Lineup Announced

It’s been a source of slight frustration to me that the 2012 Abertoir horror festival have kept their schedule under such tight wraps so far.  I’ve sung their praises for a while now, but unless you have attended in the past you pretty much only have my word for it.

There are many reasons to keep information from the public, not least is to avoid disappointment if it turns out that the film distributors cannot (or will not) provide the event with a copy of specific films.  Whilst such integrity is admirable, the down side is that potential new customers may simply not be prepared to fork out on tickets, travel and accommodation on a leap of faith.  They want to know what’s in store for them, and sooner is usually better.

Whether the lateness of the announcements has a negative impact or not on the 2012 festival remains to be seen, but the first official film listing has just hit their website.

You will notice there are several films with tbc written next to them.  The Full Schedule is due out on Tuesday, with days and times presumably, but until then feast your eyes and fetch your wallets.

Click on the Guests and Events tabs and you’ll see more of what’s in store beyond the cinema screen.

Now, I’ll be attending pretty much the whole festival and I reckon I’m gonna have a blast, but based on what I’m seeing advertised, here are the Top 10 events I’m excited about, and why:

10  Last Kind Words

European film premier.  A dreamy, enticing and powerful slow burner.  I’ve always rated Brad Dourif, far beyond the shlocky films he often turns up in.  It seems like he’ll have the space in this one to fully exercise his abilities, and from the description will be as beautiful as it is unsettling.

9   The Italian Horror Movie: Zombies, Tits and Cloths That Smell Like Death

I’m still very much a neophyte when it comes to cinematic horror, but I’m hungry to learn more.  Whenever I’ve heard people talking about zombie films there’s a certain manic glee that comes into their eyes when the Italian ones are brought up.  This knowledgeable chap will continue my education and show me a whole load of clips too.  With zombies and tits in, apparently.  Awesome.

8  The Rocky Horror Picture Show

It’s a bit of a cliche, I know, but the atmosphere of a cinema screening of Richard O’Brien’s daft musical horror is supposed to be quite something to behold.  I’ve only ever seen it at home, so the prospect of getting dressed up and joining in the full communal hysteria has me grinning from ear to ear.

7  American Mary

Fair cop, I have no idea what this one is about or what it’ll be like, but I’ve had so many people tell me it’s Fantastic that I’m excited despite myself.  It stars the girl from Ginger Snaps, and the Abertoir folk say it’s ‘Unmissable.’  Guess I’ll be watching it then!

6  Mystery Grindhouse

What’s not to love?  Show ‘a film so terrible, so nauseatingly rubbish that it deserves to be ripped apart where it stands’ to a late-night audience and get a funny guy to provide a live film commentary.  All that’s missing is sawdust on the floor and rotten fruit to throw.

5   Short Film Competition

Every year I’ve been to the festival the Short Film competition has blown me away.  Sometimes terrifying, sometimes funny, often wildly imaginative and always vibrant; Abertoir showcases some of the best new talent around.

4   John Dies At The End

Based on a book by David Wong, whose praises Phil Ambler sung to high heavens on our podcast, directed by Don Coscarelli, whom we have to thank for Phantasm and Bubba HoTep, and starring Paul Giamatti who is just eminently watchable in everything he’s in, this the new movie that I’m most excited to see.

3   Danger 5

Technically this Australian web-series has no place at a horror festival.  It’s a crazy sixties war spoof, with spy-schtick, Japanese monsters and Thunderbirds-style model effects.  Check out the trailer and tell me you’re not desperate to see this.  Just try!

2   Nightbreed: The Cabal Cut

The film Nightbreed was based on Clive Barker’s short book called Cabal.   With the monsters as the heroes, it was always going to be a tricky sell, but the film was treated appallingly by the studios.  They released a hacked up version on the world with a woeful marketing strategy and… it flopped.  Both beautiful and grotesque, it’s a film that my teenage-self fell in love with.  An uncut version that is much closer to Barker’s vision is finally upon us at Abertoir, and the cleaned up print will be available for the home entertainment market in the near(ish) future.  Cannot wait!

1   Oh Whistle…

A stage performance of two of MR James’ wonderful ghost stories, performed by Robert Lloyd Parry.  I was lucky enough to see Robert performing at my first Abertoir festival and have become an ardent fan since.  My review of him and his dvds can be found right here on the Geek Syndicate.  Once you’ve read it you’ll see why I am so excited that he is returning to Aberystwyth.  However brilliant the rest of the festival is, this is guaranteed to be my Number One highlight.

If any of you readers are lucky enough to be coming to the Abertoir festival this year, come up and say hello.  I don’t bite.  The code word is “Are you Dion?” and the prize is a cup of coffee and a good natter.

Until then, keep screaming…

Reporter: Dion Winton-Polak

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  1. Reblogged this on genrerama and commented:
    Just myself seen this great new cut of Clive Barker’s fantastic misunderstood fantasy horror classic, worth seeing…

    • The intricacy of the character design, coupled with the often dark-toned sets will make this a must see on the big screen. I think I’ll see a lot of details I’ve missed on the small screen, let alone all the missing footage. Should be a feast!

  2. Good selection Dion! Look forward to seeing you in November.

    Add me to the list of people saying that American Mary is very good!!

    • Thanks Rhys. Loads of films that look great, but I’ve heard nothing about. Should be a great festival. I just wish I lived in town, dagnammit.


  1. COUNTDOWN TO ABERTOIR: Full Schedule Released « - [...] already given you the Top 10 entertainments that I’m looking forward to at the Abertoir Horror Festival this year.…
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