Press Release – Abertoir – Full Programme Of Events

I cannot wait for this.  Too many events, too little time…

 

Abertoir Horror Festival Aberystwyth Arts Centre Tuesday 8th–Sunday 13th November 2011

Abertoir Horror Festival Schedule Announced Ahead of its sixth outing, the Abertoir Horror Festival schedule was announced yesterday.
The six-­day festival offers twenty five feature films, including seven UK premieres, cult screenings and classics from across the world, as well as a whole host of special guests, talks, live music, theatre and exhibitions.

Enthusiastic fans will flock to the seaside town for a programme that celebrates the best in the genre.  Amongst the most eagerly anticipated films are the world premiere of Welsh horror Devil’s Bridge, brand new prequel to The Thing, and the previously banned Human Centipede 2.  Abertoir will screen its usual accompanied silent movie, as well as hosting comedy duo Nicko and Joe who will bring their Bad Film Club to present a light‐hearted live commentary against our mystery grindhouse film, encouraging audience participation to breathe new life into a forgotten Z-­‐movie!

Having spent time searching film festivals across Europe, the organisers are also looking forward to showcasing a number of ‘discoveries’ including Spanish thriller Kidnapped, Moroccan desert horror Mirages and Serbian psychological horror The Enemy.  Marking the centenary of genre favourite Vincent Price, his daughter Victoria Price joins the festival as this year’s special guest.  In addition to offering her reflections on her father’s legacy, Abertoir will mark the occasion with three classic Price films – The House of the Long Shadows, The Haunted Palace and The Masque of the Red Death.  Outside of the festival Victoria plans to investigate her father’s little known Welsh heritage at the National Library of Wales.

In the theatre, John Burns’ one-­man play explores the life of Aleister Crowley.  One of the most controversial men of the 20th century and a self-­professed occult master, Aleister Crowley was feared and revered with equal vigor.  Crowley turned the moral attitudes of a hypocritical Victorian society upside down.  John Burns takes the Abertoir audience behind the myth and the legend in a chilling play that portrays Crowley and all his contradictions.

Saturday evening marks the Masque of the Red Death Party, with live music provided by Devilish Presley, Ghostfire and The Laze.  The venue will be transformed to pay homage to the classic Vincent Price/Roger Corman film, and features a night of excellent live music, costumes and all-­night revelry.  The
Laze will be providing covers of classic horror film soundtracks from Goblin to John Carpenter.  Ghostfire are a steampunk band who will be playing music from their brand new album The Tyburn Jig.  Devilish Presley has become a significant force on the gothic-punk scene in the UK & Europe during the last seven years.  Their live shows are legendary and they have toured with The Damned and The Meteors.  They have just completed work on their 5th album ‘The Dark Triad’ with their fabulous blend of fast and furious darkly flavoured gothic-­punk songs.

Abertoir also presents its first two exhibitions this year.  In the Gallery, we present a display of original Vincent Price movie posters and lobby cards, collected from around the world.

In the Round Studio, an immersive art installation about ghost hunting by Jake Whittaker and Kathryn Campbell, funded by the Arts Council of Wales Abertoir continues to support new filmmakers with its short film competition.  Entrants have the exciting prospect of having their films considered alongside winning short films exhibited at film festivals across Europe.  A member of the European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation, Abertoir is delighted to be awarding the winning short film a Méliès d’Argent, which will then go on to compete against winners at other member festivals at the Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival in 2012.

Festival passes are a bargain at just £55 and get festival-­goers free entry to all films and special events over the six days.  Individual tickets for screenings and events are also on sale.  To book, telephone the Box Office on 01970 623 232 or visit www.abertoir.co.uk

ABERTOIR OFFICIAL SELECTION

The House of Long Shadows Pete Walker, UK 1983, 100mins

An American writer travels to a remote mansion in the middle of the Welsh countryside after accepting a bet to write a novel in 24 hours.  Yet upon his arrival, it soon becomes apparent that there is something more sinister about to occur than he had originally planned for…
The House of Long Shadows has a number of distinctions, the most famous being that it brought horror icons Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, John Carradine and Vincent Price on screen for the first time, while also marking the last time Lee and Cushing would be in a film together.  In the UK, inexplicably, it still remains unavailable on DVD, making this rare 35mm screening even more special.

With short film – The Pit and the Pendulum.

Vincent Price has always relished in theatrical acting, and his ability to carry a story single handed is never more present than in this short film from 1970.  The Pit and the Pendulum is part of a series of one-man “stage shows” shot  for television under the title An Evening Of Edgar Allan Poe.  Told exactly word for word as Poe wrote them, Price managed to bring these classic words to life in his own inimitable way.

The Human Centipede II Tom Six, UK/NL 2011, 84mins

Previously banned by the BBFC, this is a chance to catch Tom Six’s controversial film on the big screen.  Martin, a loner working the night shift as a security guard in an underground car park, is obsessed with the film The Human Centipede.  He watches it repeatedly; losing himself in the story of Dr Heiter, the surgeon who stitched three humans together in sequence.  As we all know, watching these types of films depraves and corrupts, so it isn’t long before Martin becomes so obsessed with the film that he decides to try it himself.  But where he’s lacking in medical skill, he still has plenty of access to victims.  And superglue…..

Tomie: Unlimited Noboru Iguchi, Japan 2011, 85 mins, Subtitled

From the director of Machine Girl comes a new film based on the popular manga and movie series from Japan about the dead school girl who comes back from the grave in a flurry of typically Japanese bizarreness.  Tsukiko always felt inferior to her beautiful and popular sister Tomie.  Yet after Tomie dies in a terrible accident, Tsukiko is horrified to find her waiting on her parent’s doorstep exactly one year after her death.  Although both parents blindly accept her back into their life, Tsukiko’s nightmares are only just beginning as her sister’s true intentions are slowly revealed.  While slightly more refined and restrained than Iguchi’s other movies, Tomie Unlimited is a fabulously bizarre and twisted journey into the mind of one director who has finally realised his lifelong ambition: to feature both heads on spines in buckets, and schoolgirl-­faced centipedes tied together with hair, all in the same film.  We salute you sir!

Urban Explorer Andy Fetscher, Germany 2010, 93mins, Subtitled

A traditional slasher with a refreshing twist, Urban Explorer follows a group of people who hire a guide to take them into the mysterious underground world of tunnels and bunkers hidden under Berlin.  When one of their group has a fall, the others go to get help but they soon realise that this underground maze holds even more deadly secrets.

Some Guy Who Kills People Jack Perez, USA 2011, 97mins

Executive produced by John Landis, this heart-­warming horror film follows Ken Boyd, a lonely man fresh out of the loony bin, as he sets out to kill those he deemed responsible for his miserable life.  However a straightforward plan is never a straightforward plan, as he soon has to start juggling a new romance, an estranged daughter keen to learn more about the father she never knew, and the local sheriff sleeping with his mother.  Stars Kevin Corrigan, Barry Bostwick and Lucy Davis.

UK PREMIERE
Mirages Talal Selhami, Morocco/France 2010, 107mins, Subtitled

Five individuals are being driven through Morroco on their way to be tested for a highly sought after job.  Unaware of exactly what this mysterious test could entail, an accident leaves their transport upside down and stranded in the middle of the scorching Moroccan desert.  With no-­one around to help and the driver missing, the group find themselves fending for their own survival.  Is it a test?  Is it real?  With such varying personalities, how long before the human instinct for survival overrides everything else…  First time director Talal Selhami has crafted a film that thrives on the psychological games it plays on its protagonists, in a setting that allows us to witness what happens when people are completely torn out of the world they understand.

UK PREMIERE
Village of Shadows (Le Village Des Ombres) Fouad Benhammou, France 2010, 100mins, Subtitled

A group of friends are travelling to visit the ancient village of Ruiflec, in two different cars.  When they get close, the occupants of one of the cars mysteriously disappears, and when the others arrive at the village to get help, they find the whole village is similarly deserted.  What follows is a film less concerned with blood and guts, but more a film that thrives on atmosphere, as disappearances and reappearances slowly reveal the dark secret from 1944 that is cursing this town…..

Grave Encounters The Vicious Brothers, Canada 2011, 92mins

Lance Preston and the crew of “Grave Encounters”, a ghost-­hunting reality television show, are shooting an episode inside the abandoned Collingwood Psychiatric Hospital, where unexplained phenomena have been reported for years.  All in the name of good television, they voluntarily lock themselves inside the building for the night and begin a paranormal investigation, capturing everything on camera.  They quickly realize that the building is more than just haunted, and has no intention of ever letting them leave.  Lost in a labyrinth maze of endless hallways and corridors, they soon begin to question their own sanity, slipping deeper and deeper into the depths of madness.  Grave Encounters was designed completely in and around a real location in Vancouver called Riverview, a closed down psychiatric hospital now mostly used by film and TV production.  Stories of ghosts and apparitions have been told by film crews for many years, and the location is well known to paranormal enthusiasts.

Midnight Son Scott Leberecht, USA 2011, 88mins

Midnight Son is the story of Jacob, a young man confined to a life of isolation, due to a rare skin disorder that prevents him from being exposed to sunlight.  His world opens up when he meets Mary, a local bartender, and falls in love.  Tragically, Jacob’s actions become increasingly bizarre as he struggles to cope with the effects of his worsening condition.  Forced by the disease to drink human blood for sustenance, he must control his increasingly violent tendencies as local law enforcement narrow their focus on him as a suspect in a series of grisly murders.  This is one of those wonderful discoveries that all of the Abertoir team weren’t expecting.  What sounded like a simple vampire movie turned out to be a deeply involving and haunting independent film that really needs some serious attention.  A slow burning character study of the lengths someone will reluctantly go to in order to survive, and the effects it can have on everyone they know.

UKPREMIERE
The Enemy (Neprijatelj) Dejan Zecevik, Serbia 2011, 109 mins, Subtitled

Bosnia, 1995, the seventh day of peace: an engineering unit is removing mines from the border between the two sides who, until recently, were at war.  Each of the soldiers is burdened by experiences from the frontline; each is facing his fears in his own way.  Some are prone to self-­destruction while others are happy to be alive.  While searching a bombed out factory, the team find a man walled up in the destroyed building, calmly smoking a cigarette.  After freeing him, they soon begin to suspect this person is not who he claims to be, and as a disquieting and sinister atmosphere descends on the group their weaknesses and paranoia begin to turn them against each other.  This is another film that cleverly plays with psychological horror, proving that man’s greatest enemy is himself.

UK PREMIERE
The Selling Emily Lou, USA 2011, 90mins

A light hearted story about ghosts, demonic possession and real estate.  Richard Scarry is too nice.  He’s a real estate agent who tries to talk people out of buying houses they can’t afford.  When his business partner Dave comes up with a scheme to flip an old house for profit he only agrees because he needs to find a way to pay for his sick mother’s medical bills.  As Richard and Dave start fixing up the house for buyers it becomes obvious why they got it so quickly: disembodied voices tell them to leave, walls bleed, and a portal to the spirit realm opens in an upstairs closet.  In short, it’s a house with “character”.  Still, it’s not like they have any choice in the matter; this house needs to be sold, and the two of them plod on with the viewings regardless, trying to hide the literal skeleton in the closet….

The Divide Xavier Gens, USA 2011, 112mins

Xavier Gens (Frontiers) returns with this gripping post apocalyptic story following a group of people trapped together in an underground shelter in the wake of a nuclear attack on their city.  As the days turn into weeks, and weeks turn into months, social boundaries and rules start to break down as fear of radiation poisoning and shortage of food begins to take grip…..

Kidnapped (Secuestrados) Miguel Angel Vivas, Spain 2010, 85mins, Subtitled

You’ll never want to be alone in the house again after seeing this terrifying, adrenalin charged film about three criminals (a murderer, a rapist and a robber) who break into the home of a rich Madrid family to hold them hostage for money.  The technical style is off the wall, as director Miguel Vivas holds viewers in the action with a mere 12 shots, enhancing the long claustrophobic takes with split screen to hurtle towards an impressive and shocking finale.  All of us here were gob-­smacked by the end of this one, and it’s a great example of how a simple concept can turn into a brain shattering exercise of tension by someone who really knows how to make a film.  Don’t miss it!

UK PREMIERE
Horny House of Horror Jun Tsugita, Japan 2010, 82mins, Subtitled

What can we say about Horny House of Horror that the title doesn’t say already?  Fans of the absurd lengths our beloved Japanese cousins will go to in order to keep us entertained certainly won’t be disappointed.  The cheerfully silly story (yes, there is one!) centres around three men, Nakazu, Uno and Toshida, who let drink get the better of them and decide to visit a Tokyo brothel in celebration of Nakazu’s impending marriage.  Yet it soon becomes apparent that any damage inflicted upon them by their partners would have been nothing compared to what these girls are going to do….  There are no demons or ghosts or schoolgirl -­ centipedes with mad hair in this one, however the sharp edge of a samurai sword will be enough to make every guy in the audience cross their legs in terror!  Yoshihiro Nishimura (Mutant Girls Squad, Tokyo Gore Police) contributes the special effects, making full use of his ability to make effective body part replicas….

Four Flies on Grey Velvet Dario Argento, Italy 1971, 104mins

Roberto, a rock musician, accidentally stabs the mysterious man who has been stalking him.  Fearing prosecution he escapes the scene yet soon starts receiving threatening letters himself…. To mark the 40th Anniversary of its production, and 20 years after the film disappeared from the public eye, Shameless Screen Entertainment proudly present the world’s first HD version of Dario Argento’s Four Flies on Grey Velvet -­ with contents restored as never seen before – now remastered in full HD from the original negative.  Four Flies on Grey Velvet will be released on Blu-­ray and DVD by Shameless Screen Entertainment     in December 2011, with newly re-­inserted scenes and a portfolio of extras including an exclusive all-­revealing interview with the film’s Writer and Assistant Director Luigi Cozzi.

Masks Andreas Marschall, Germany 2011, 112mins, Subtitled

In the 70s, Matteusz Gdula invented an acting method that was supposed to make every actor “shine”.  However, this method pushed his students too far; many of them died mysteriously and Gdula committed suicide.  His method got banned.  In present day, Stella, an ambitious drama student, gets accepted at the “Matteusz Gdula“ school.  When she bears witness to some strange occurrences, she gets drawn into the bizarre and deadly web that surrounds the dark secret of the school… Exuding style, colour and sound, the giallo genre is alive and well in this brand new film from Germany.  While last year saw Amer paying tribute to the giallo, this film focuses on Argento’s contributions in what can only be described as a glorious homage to the great man’s best work.

The Masque of the Red Death Roger Corman, USA/UK 1964, 89mins

Arguably the finest of all Vincent Price’s Poe adaptations, Roger Corman’s colourful film tells the story of the cruel Prince Prospero (Price) who offers safe haven for nobility in his medieval castle while outside his country is ravaged by plague.  Prospero plans a huge masquerade ball for his guests, a night of debauchery in which no-­one is allowed to wear red, yet the actions of some of his guests could threaten to change the balance of power.  This was Corman’s first film shot in England, and remains one of his personal favourites.  Cinematography was provided by Nicolas Roeg, the influential British talent behind Walkabout and Don’t Look Now.

With short film The Cask of Amontillado

Taken from An Evening of Edgar Allan Poe, Vincent Price once again takes to the stage to recite a classic work of Poe.  This story uses the narrator as a protagonist, enacting a case of revenge upon a friend who insulted him.

The Haunted Palace Roger Corman, USA 1963, 87mins

1765: Joseph Curwen, an evil warlock, is burned at the stake, his last dying words cursing the village of Arkham who hunted him down.  Over a hundred years later, a distant relative, Charles Ward, arrives at Arkham with his wife to inherit Curwen’s castle.  They find the villagers horribly disfigured, a result of the curse, and are warned against going any further.  Nonetheless, the Wards visit their castle, and soon find the power of Joseph Curwen is far from extinguished.  This is a rarely seen entry in Price and Corman’s work, and screening in 35mm contains all of the luscious cinematography that we have come to expect.  Interestingly, distributors AIP marketed this film as part of their Edgar Allan Poe canon, taking the title from one of Poe’s poems.  Yet well-­versed horror fans will notice the story actually belongs to HP Lovecraft, from “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward”.

With short film The Sphinx

Vincent Price once again takes to the stage for The Sphinx, a tale of fear of death in a cholera-­ridden city.

WORLD PREMIERE
Devil’s Bridge plus cast and crew Q&A Chris Crow, UK 2010, 85mins

Sean takes his two friends into the rural wilds of Wales in search of an underworld specialist who can illegally revive his failing business.  Deep in alien, isolated territory, they accidentally cross William Parry, a broken and desperate farmer dangerously hateful and paranoid of all around him.  The situation spins rapidly out of control, spiralling into a horrific Heart Of Darkness spree of pointless violence and revenge as Parry hunts the three friends across the stark and unforgiving terrain…. Devil’s Bridge is the début film from Chris Crow, the director of the critically acclaimed Panic Button.  Although released in the wrong order in a way only the pitfalls of post production can bring, we present the world premiere here in Aber!

The Thing (2011) Matthijs van Heijningen Jr, USA 2011, 103mins

A brand new prequel to John Carpenter’s ice-­bound classic takes a  look at the group  of Norwegian Antarctic researchers who unearth a shape-­shifting alien buried in the ice.  With the ability to perfectly mimic any living organism the creature is indistinguishable from its human counterpart, and not knowing who to trust, the paranoia spreads like a virus through the camp as one by one they fall victim to the Thing.

The Wicker Tree Robin Hardy, UK 2010, 90mins

Young Christians Beth and Steve, a gospel singer and her cowboy boyfriend, leave Texas to preach door-­to-­door in Scotland.  When, after initial abuse, they are welcomed with joy and elation to Tressoch, the border fiefdom of Sir Lachlan Morrison, they assume their hosts simply want to hear more about Jesus.  How innocent and wrong they are.  Robin Hardy’s follow up to his cult classic The Wicker Man is a broad social satire turning themes from his original film into a study of Christian fundamentalism, laced with anarchic black humour.

UK PREMIERE
The Perfect Host Nick Tomnay, USA 2010, 93mins

David Hyde Pierce, better known as Niles from Frasier, stars as Warwick Wilson, a mild-­mannered man about to put on a fancy dinner party for his friends.  He’s showered, shaved and is in the middle of preparing the table when he is interrupted by a stranger claiming to be a friend of a friend in need of some help.  This stranger has a few secrets to hide, especially from the police, yet he didn’t count on exactly how serious Warwick is about dinner…..

Add to all this the incredible Short Film Competition (see Abertoir.co.uk for full details) and you have 6 days of splendid entertainment.

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