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.