Sunday, 22 October 2017

MAYHEM FESTIVAL - So long till next year Sunday.

It was the final day of MAYHEM and it had flown by for all of us, A breezy Sunday morning and we all needed something to blow away the cobwebs and the hangovers, So we headed to the bar for a strong coffee (I had 3 sugars in mine!) and then back upstairs to screen 1 for the first film of the day....

That film was Top Knot Detective and if anything could wake us up this certainly was it! Personally i am a HUGE fan of the Baby Cart series, Sonny Chiba, Lady Snowblood  etc.and i can honestly say the makers of Top Knot Detective most certainly must be as well. Done in a documentary style a tells the story of a failed Japanese TV series from the 90's. It has it all, The squirting blood, Dodgy sets, Laughable special FX, Some of the jokes may be lost on a few people but there is more than enough other material to make anyone laugh and we certainly did. I had to bite my lip after to stop myself having a gushing geek ramble. I personally can't wait to watch it again.Loved it!

RIFT was the next movie of the day, A slow burn creepy if slightly predictable film. There was a great video message from the director to the audience at MAYHEM before the film as well. The main premise of the movie is with main main character Gunner gets a call in the middle of the night from his ex boyfriend Einar. Worried about the state of his mind he decides to drive to Einar's parents remote cabin to see if all is well but it certainly is not. Like i said it certainly is a very slow burn and may not be to everyone's taste but it's beautifully shot and the acting was top notch.  I was especially impressed by the lead guy Gunner played by Bjorn Stefansson.

Next up was the quiz, The Flinterrogation, We usually have ago, We usally come nowhere! we were 50/50 to play or not then we thought ah sod it lets do it and we came 3rd! Got a great prize bag full of Blu-Rays and a TAG poster! We split the prizes and headed off for dinner and a couple of pints to celebrate Mikes birthday as we had pre-planned weeks before. This means we missed the reading of unmade hammer script ZEPPLIN VS PTERODACTYLS but by all accounts it was stunning as was last years unquenchable thirst of Dracula, Events like the reading really make MAYHEM stand out for me. I wonder what they will have planned for next year? Great news by the way on last years reading is that BBC Radio 4 and Mark Gattis have picked up on it and will be doing there own version, I would highly recommend that you keep your ears out for that as it was a fantastic story and fingers crossed one day it and Zepplin VS Pterodactyls will get finally made into full length movies.

We headed back for the next movie MAYHEM showing at MAYHEM! Starring Steven Yeun (Glen off of The Walking Dead) it tells the story of a world wide virus "Red Eye" that temporarily makes you lose your mind, There was a recent case where someone literally got away with murder because the were  red eyed up! MAYHEM is a non stop gore filled fun ride from start to finish, Honestly it never lets up, it's great! If you've ever had a bad day at work and would like to get back at your bosses this is your perfect fantasy movie. For me, One of the best of the festival. Like last years Dolph Lundgren film "Don't Kill It" i wasn't expecting that much was massively surprised how good it was.One you really must see.

Last but by no means least we had DEAD SHACK, Another great comedy horror to finish MAYHEM just as Double Date started it. Basic story of a Dad and his new lady decide to rent a Shack in the middle of nowhere so they and the kids can have a bit of bonding time, On arrival the kids decide to have a walk through the woods and discover another shack where they find and see all manner of gory oddness, Freaked out they run back to their place to get the Dad and prove to him whats going on, He's had a few beers to say the least but agrees to go with them.........
Its a fun ride of a movie with once again plenty of gore, No spoilers but the final kill was brilliant!

So with the final film done we said our goodbyes and jump in the taxi, yet again this year MAYHEM was superb, Weird and twisted but all in all a four day fun filled ride, I was off on the Monday, I woke up early made myself a cup of tea and thought sod it i'll put a film on! Thank you to all involved in MAYHEM, Keep up the great work and see you all again next year,
Big Love,
Jonny T x

Saturday, 21 October 2017


Saturday at MAYHEM.
So Saturday morning at MAYHEM was upon us, This year I had the flyer at work and my apprentice Joe was saying how good it looked and decided to get himself a Saturday pass and he loved it, Next year he’s going for the whole weekend pass, He’d never seen an Asian film before so he was in for a great treat with the first two films of the day TAG and A Day. Which blew him away!

So first film of the day was TAG –A film by the brilliant Sion Sono, The opening ten minutes or so had the whole audience aghast, if you’ve ever seen any Final Destination movies you get the gist! I can’t really tell you too much about it as it would give it away but the running time of just under 90 minutes was perfect, The lead character Mitsuko was played by various actresses throughout the film and all were brilliant, Just as you things are starting to calm down and get back to normality/reality your brain is twisted again.

Near the end I thought “Ah I get it know” but then another slap around the brain and I was wrong again! Brilliant throughout, Mind bending and Gory as hell, A bonus was that we came 3rd on the Sunday quiz and Emma won a poster for TAG which is currently awaiting a frame. Great stuff.

Next up was “A Day” Another brilliant Asian gem brought to us by MAYHEM, And Joe who’s first time at the festival said this was his favourite of the day. From first time director Sun-Ho Cho (South Korea) It tells the story groundhog day style of a Dr who wakes up on a plane on the way to meet his daughter but before he manages to get there she is knocked down by a Taxi and killed, During his immediate grief he wakes up again on the plane and has to hatch a plot to get to her before she is mowed down again, It may sound quite repetitive but as it pans out there are more people involved in the reoccurring nightmare that he is living. Some fantastic acting and shocking scenes, Brilliant twists keep you guessing right until the final frame, a brilliant film you really need to see as soon as you get chance. A definite highlight for me of this year’s festival.

Most Beautiful Island was up next, Another directorial debut from Spanish born Ana Asensio, She also plays the lead role of Luciana, She is struggling for money and generally in life when her friend Olga (Natasha Romanova) offers her the chance to attend a party, She has to dress smart and just do what they say, Sounds dodgy but the money is really good, What follows is a slow burn but I did really enjoy the build-up, The payoff was a little disappointing but it was in my eyes one of those movies that kept me gripped, Definitely a director to watch out for and well worth a watch. Short running time of around 80 minutes felt just right.

Next up we had one of my favourite parts each year at MAYHEM  Scary Shorts. A collection of shorts from around the globe and what MAYHEM was originally built on. You are handed a list as you enter screen 1 that contains a brief description/country and general info of the upcoming shorts. There were some superb ones again this year but the stand out ones for me were Blood Shed DIR: James Moran, A very British tale of a man who loves his possessed shed a little too much! AMY DIR: Gustavo Cooper, With a running time of just 6mins 46 sec, it was creepy as hell, The opener Don’t Ever Change DIR: Don Swaynos was hilarious with a brilliant twist, What Metal Girls Are Into DIR: Laurel Vail had both funny, Gory and brilliantly filed, Be sure to keep your eyes out for these shorts!

 PREY was up next directed by Dick Mass who was also in attendance! A lion is on the Rampage around Amsterdam, That pretty much sums it up but boy it was fun. It especially took off when the leading ladies ex turns up from the UK, One legged and equipped with a souped up wheelchair and a rifle, Full steam ahead! If you’ve ever seen any Dick Mass movies before such as Amsterdamned or Saint it has a very familiar fun feel to it.

Last up was the 4K Restoration of Suspiria, I had seen it already earlier in the year at the Cinema so decided to get an early night and be fresh for the early start on Sunday, By all counts everybody who saw it loved it, Many people I spoke to it was their first time watch and what a great place to see it. Another classic screened by MAYHEM. 

Friday, 20 October 2017

MAYHEM Festival 2017 -Thursday/Friday

Well it was Thursday 12th of October and I had arrived at Broadway Cinema for the 13th  MAYHEM festival. I went to collect my weekend pass and shot up to screen one eagerly awaiting the first movie with a pint in my hand and a end of row seat with easy access to the toilet and plenty of leg room. The first movie started without an intro which was weird, I looked around and there were probably 10 - 20 people in the whole place, very odd.
The film started, People were still  playing on their phones and a group of rowdy teenagers started throwing popcorn around. I slid down my seat thinking" oh no this is terrible, it will be back downstairs next year if it happens at all"  then, Beep Beep Beep.... 7.30 AM Thursday 12th October, it was all a terrible nightmare!! Glad to say the festival was brilliant as ever , Gets better each year, Here are our thoughts .

Met up early at Broadway which was a surprisingly warm night so we sat outside and  had a beer and awesome cake that Angela had cooked for Martyn pre-birthday , Then Natalie arrived with some Butterscotch Tarts we had talked about all week beforehand so we had them as well, Mike arrived in a cool The Thing T-Shirt and the MAYHEM gang was all back together fully loaded with sugar and ready to tackle the first movie Double Date.

Double Date was hilarious, People still go on about Shaun of the dead and rightly so but Double Date in my opinion should be up there with the best British comedy/ horrors since that. It was Gory, Sexy and Hilarious. In attendance were Danny Morgan (Jim) , Georgia Groome (Lulu) and Director Benjamin Barfoot, Incredibly it was his first full directorial feature and it was proper,  It tells the story of Jim who is about to reach his 30th Birthday and is 6FT tall, Ginger and still a Virgin. His best mate Alex (Michael Socha) is determined that his birthday night is when his virginity will be taken.When Jim gets hit on by two sexy ladies it seems to good to be true and believe me it is! All i can say is wow that fight scene and pill popping with the christian family!! I shall say no more just make sure you see it as SOON as you can.

Next up was M.F.A and unfortunately due to work commitments i had to skip this, A rape revenge movie with more than enough violence so i heard, i asked those who had seen it and this is what they said
Natalie "Rape Revenge. I really enjoyed it!! Loved the lead actress thought she did a great job, Glad they didn't overdo the rape scene. Its a very cool vigilante idea as well, Love the ending"

Angela "I thought it was very tense and as Natalie said she's an amazing actress, It's very disturbing"
So with the night over early for me and Emma we headed off home to get some sleep before work and sure to be fresh for the Friday at MAYHEM.

So today's line up was Bitch, 68 Kill, Habit and with it being Friday 13th there was a special showing off Friday 13th :Part 3 in 3D!!

On to Bitch, Now known as the weird time slot at MAYHEM because of out there films from the last few years such as CRUMBS and We Are The Flesh shown at this slot this year we had BITCH. It told the tale of a seemingly perfect house with a high flying rich husband and the perfect kids but all is not well in the world of the "perfect"housewife, One day she just loses it and has a very hard t watch mental breakdown where she takes on the persona of a dog and is locked in the basement, Naked and covering herself in excrement and barking at anyone who enters. Itis a grim watch in places but utterly compulsive, The lead character Jill played brilliantly by Marianna Palka who also directed BITCH is mesmerising and terrifying in equal measures along side Dad(Jason Ritter) who is played with a level of annoyance at times you just want to punch him! Described on IMDB  as Comedy/Drama couldn't be more wrong, I'd like to see the reaction of your average family who sit down to watch this comedy! Grim but brilliant.

Up next was 68 Kill, Pretty much non stop all the way through when a girlfriend and boyfriend rob her employee of $68,000 dollars and go on the run, The don't get far before it all goes wrong again and again and again, I did find it a little repetitive in places and it was trying to hard to wear the Tarantino tag, But in saying that it was a fun ride and definitely not short on sex and extreme violence in places, Not amazing but i would say it's definitely worth a one time watch.

Next we had new British movie HABIT, Directed by Simeon Halligan and staring Elliot James who were both in attendance. It's set in the rainy grim underbelly of Manchester, Michael (Elliot) meets up with Lee (Jessica Barden) by chance outside a job centre where she proceeds to tell him she has nowhere to sleep and can she stay at his place for a while, He agrees which in turns end up with him working for her friend as a doorman at a back street massage parlour but all is not what it seems at all. It's brilliantly filmed and retains the "Up North" dark and grim and very British feel throughout, A definite movie you should keep your eye out for, A high recommend from me.

Last up was Friday 13th :Part 3 3D. Once again sadly due to work i had to give this a miss but have seen it on the big screen before and not too long ago the Blu-Ray release, From what i heard and kind of knew it was a blast! Just really shows how different it can be seeing a film such as this in the cinema with fans. A lot of people were saying on the Saturday that having a 3D film on was a great laugh and many including myself would love to see at least another one play at MAYHEM but not Argento's Dracula 3D!
So into the Taxi we got off home again, Straight to bed to look forward to a weekend packed with many more exciting looking MAYHEM movies, Part 2 Saturday/Sunday coming soon,
Jonny T.