For Geeks of a certain bent August Bank Holiday is a time to eschew sunshine and set in a darkened room for 12 hours a day watching gruesome and gory movies.
Moving away from Leicester Square for the first time (to Shepherd’s Bush) this year’s Fright Fest has one of the most eagerly anticipated line-ups yet. Here are my Five Must Sees:
The Love Witch
Do you love those 1960s/70s erotic horror movies (think Jess Franco meets Beyond the Valley of the Dolls)? Do you though? I mean really? OK, then The Love Witch is probably for you, you sentimental old pervert you. Glossy, gory, sensual and highly stylised it looks a million dollars – a huge testament to Anna Biller who has written, directed, produced, scored, art designed this love letter to a sexier, schmaltzier time in horror.
They Call Me Jeeg Robot
This is exactly the kind of movie FrightFest was made for. It’s an Italian film about a street thief who acquires superpowers thanks to some toxic waste and who gets mistaken for the manga character Steel Jeeg. A story about becoming inhuman to learn humanity, it boasts a steely satirical edge and a view of Rome a mile-away from Sorrentino’s glossy ennui. It is also a fist-pumpingly satisfying super-hero flick.
Train to Busan
Zombies! On a runaway train! In South Korea! If that isn’t enough to get you excited then maybe FrightFest isn’t really for you? Train to Busan doesn’t really need much more explaining than that. It’s a sequel of sorts to anime Seoul Station and promises insane action sequences, fast zombies and eye-popping set pieces. Everyone loved it at Cannes. Probably.
Adam Rifkin is a writer/director/actor with a CV that takes in MouseHunt and Psycho Cop 2 (via Bikini Squad). So he just might be the right person to turn Penn Jillette (of Penn and Teller fame) meta-script into something great. Or at least festival great (festival goggles are a real and serious thing). Jillette stars as an aspiring director trying to crowd-fund a re-edit of a (fictional) Adam Rifkin movies called Knocked Off. It could be self-referential navel gazing or biting satire but I’m pretty sure it won’t be boring.
The Devil’s Candy
Everyone who saw Sean Byrne’s The Loved Ones loved it. One of 2009s break out successes it was a funny, nasty little high school movie. The Devil’s Candy is his first movie since then and sees struggling artist Jesse Hellman moving to rural Texas with his wife and daughter. Isolated except for heavy metal music and Ray, the son of the house’s deceased previous residents, the Hellman family, and particularly Jesse, start to see and hear things. Things that are not very nice at all. Byrne, who did such a great job with his take on Australian high school prom movies with The Loved Ones, should do something interesting with what sounds like a much bloodier take on Poltergeist and Amityville.
Special Mention: The Duke Mitchell Party – not a movie, more a mind-melting event of trashy trailers, re-edited information films and insane shorts. An experience not to be missed.
FrightFest takes place at the Vue Shepherd’s Bush from 25-29 August 2016. Full listings can be found at www.frightfest.co.uk.
GS Blogger: Bobby Diabolus