Wednesday, 31 October 2018

MAYHEM Sunday- The Final Day!

Hi Folks,
Sorry for the delay on getting my review of the last day of MAYHEM up but it's been manic here, you know what Halloween time is like for all us horror fans!Anyway enough on my ramblings on to the final day of MAYHEM.
After the brilliant late night showing of Demons and a trip to various Nottingham bars I awoke had some coffee and headed down to Broadway, more coffee was definitely needed!
First up for the day was the UK premiere of Inuyashiki.  A live manga-amine adaptation and it certainly blew the Saturday night cobwebs away! It tells the story of an old guy and a young boy who both witness weird lights late one night in the same park then later realise that they have both somehow to develop incredible superpowers. One obviously turns out good the other bad, A proper stinker he is! The pacing was spot on and the special FX were amazing, easily equalling any big budget Hollywood movie. The characters were also superb especially the old guy who I personally was really cheering on, oh and his dog! Not sure when this will get a UK release but one you should definitely keep your eye out for.

Next up was The Field Guide To Evil an anthology of 8 stories from the creators of ABC's of death which was a great idea of all the stories being inspired by different folklore tales from around the world. This to me was very similar to ABC's of death where some worked and others I thought were really quite poor. In saying that the 117m running time went pretty quick and you could do a lot worse on a rainy day. Worth a look but don't expect to be blown away.

On to the next, For me this was definitely in my top 3 of the festival The Witch in the window.  When I read about it I thought it sounded like just another insidious/The Conjuring style movie but I couldn't have been more wrong. Yes it has jump scares and boyt did they make us all jump! But for me aside from the horror elements the thing that made it work really well was the father and son relationship. I can't really say much more but you should definitely catch it as soon as you can. I know it's available on Shudder so that's well worth it. Solid.

Unfortunately we had to skip this year's quiz as we hadn't eaten a thing all day but as usual I heard it was brilliant fun as always.

Our penultimate film for the final day was the Brazilian movie The Nightshifter, It told the story of Stenio a mortician who can  talk to the recently deceased, Basically he is their last chance of communication before going to the big man upstairs or the horny fellow downstairs. Upon his slab are various dead folk who tell him secrets of drug deals gone wrong and even things involving his ever nagging wife. I can't tell you what this leads to but it has a great and fantastic pay off. Very violent in places and I personally loved it. It's one to seek out and I will definitely be adding it to my collection.

The last film of the festival was upon us already, it seemed to go so quickly!
That film was What keeps you alive, on the eve of there 1st wedding anniversary two women go off to a beautiful forest getaway for the weekend and all is going lovingly well until.........
Yeah you know the score right? Possibly, possibly not! It has a twist,Then another! It really kept me guessing what would be the outcome right until the end. The two lead female rolls are acted superbly and the chemistry on screen between them really worked for me. Well worth a look even though a little predictable towards the end.

So that was that, Mayhem finished for 2018 but what a festival it was. Like I said in an earlier post I have been coming to MAYHEM for many years and this for me and indeed Emma agrees that this was the best one yet. Roll on MAYHEM 2019 which by the way is the 15th anniversary!
See you there!!
Thank you for reading and happy Halloween!

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

MAYHEM - Super duper Saturday!!

After quite a late Friday it was up early for us to get into town and book into our hotel and kick back and relax for the  2 final days of MAYHEM.

First up on the Saturday was One cut of the dead, I didn't really know much about this apart from the synopsis of it was a Zombie outbreak whilst a people are filming a zombie film! Now, You may just think that it sounds like yet another zombie movie but believe me that couldn't be further from the truth, I don't want to give any spoilers away as you need to see it as soon as possible! After the first 40 minutes you may think "Hey, What the bloody hell is going on???"But honestly stick with it, The pay off is brilliant and one of the most original ideas i have seen in years, 10/10 for me on this one and possible my favourite of the festival!

Next up was Prospect, A sci-fi movie about a father and daughter who visit a remote poisonous moon on the search for a rare valuable substance but come up against a fight for survival, For me personally i couldn't get on board with it, Maybe it was because it was after One cut of the dead and this felt like a long drawn out come down but i really can't put my finger on why it didn't work for me, Although saying that Emma loved it! I'll say that this would be the Marmite movie of Mayhem, Love it or hate it?

Next up was the quite brilliant Number 37, Described as a homage to the classic Hitchcock movie Rear Window and that's pretty much what it is, Set in the grim Suburbs of South Africa this really gets under your skin from the off, The premise of the story is that a a small time gangster has been paralysed in a drive by shooting and is confined to a wheelchair and his apartment. his girlfriend gets him a pair of binoculars so at least he can spend some of his time looking a the world going by, This also means he can see into another apartment block which he witness a murder, He is also in debt to a particularly nasty gangster to whom he owns quite a large amount of cash, He is given a deadline date to pay up or else, When he witnesses the murder he comes up with the idea of blackmailing the killers, Sounds like a good plan but oh no, It is a brilliant film and take on rear window. The characters are brilliantly played by a superb cast and you really feel for them  especially for his girlfriend who just wants to do the right thing by all involved, Some great plot twists along the way kept me well and truly gripped, One definitely to keep your eyes out for.

Next up was the always hugely popular Short films showcase, MAYHEM originally started out as just a short film festival and the showcase is now a regular and very welcome staple of the festival. As with every year they were brilliant, My personal favourites were Mermaid, Bitch and from the always brilliant Alice Lowe a creepy in fact VERY creepy short called Salt. Ill try and get some more information on the shorts and hopefully do a post about all of them very soon, Watch this space folks!

Next up was new found footage movie The Devils Doorway, When i heard it was yet another found footage movie i was i have to be honest not too bothered about seeing it but it was great! Set in an Irish nunnery in the 60's after an anonymous letter two priests are sent to try and explain a phenomena of statues crying blood which was being hailed as a miracle, Little known to them there was a hell of a lot more behind it and a very creepy dirty little secret that is kept in the basement! My apprentice from work Joe came for the Saturday this year and after the showing he was saying how much it freaked him out and it also made him jump so much at one part that he actually bit his tongue! It did carry quite a heavy and very poignant message as a thread throughout the film that was explained in  more detail after the showing by director in attendance Aislinn Clarke. Running at a good time of 78 minutes it felt just the right length, You should seek out, turn the lights out, Turn the volume up and try not to bite your tongue!

Last but by no means least was a screening that i had been waiting for since it was announced, An 11PM showing of the Lamberto Bava/Dario Argento classic Demons. But before that was a very special screening of what is said to be Astron Six last film(i hope not!) called Chowboys and it was one of their best ever, make more please!!!
 Along with other classics shown at this slot on a Saturday in previous years such as Suspiria, The Texas chainsaw massacre and Planet of the vampires to name but a few the announcement that it would be Demons was hugely popular and it showed by the amount of people that were in the cinema for the great late night showing. MAYHEM even had a cool Demons shrine that i had loaned my very own Gerreta Geretta Demons doll.

Filled with cheese, Puss, Gore, ridiculously overacted and a soundtrack featuring the likes of Go West and Saxon it went down a storm and a fantastic way to end a simply brilliant Saturday at MAYHEM. So it was yet again off to Brewdog for a pint that then followed a trip to the curious tavern for another beer where we spotted director of The Devils Doorway Aislinn Clarke sat on her own so we all said a quick hello then Joe headed off for his taxi and we headed back to the hotel only to discover that the bar was 24 Hours! Just another quick one? Bad head tomorrow? Ah fuck it, It's only once a year! Coming up next MAYHEM super Sunday,
Thanks for reading folks,
Jonny T.

Saturday, 20 October 2018

MAYHEM Festival - Day 1 and 2.

It's that time of year again,Mayhem!
Now in its 14th year MAYHEM film festival ran for a glorious 4 days from 11th-14th October at Nottingham's wonderful Broadway Cinema.
Me and Emma had both booked the time off work as well as a hotel in town for the weekend,We planned to do all the films every day and we made it! We also booked the Monday off of course. Here are my thoughts on Day 1 and 2 of this year's festival.
As always with MAYHEM when the films are announced I always thinks what's that? What's this? And I'm rarely disappointed and I have to say for me personally who has attended the last 7 years this year's for me was hands down the best one yet.
First up on the Thursday we had Anna and the Apocalypse. Described as a zombie musical set at Christmas the concept most certainly grabbed my attention. Now, I love zombies but hate musicals so I for one couldn't wait to see what they came up with and I was blown away, it's was 107 minutes of pure fun. I was relieved  to see that whilst there were plenty of songs in it(all apparently sung by the cast) the dialogue was actually dialogue and not singing. But never mind my grumpiness on the song front it's one I'll definitely be adding to my collection. The young cast were superb, plenty of gore and Jokes and a brilliant role of "Savage" played by the great Paul Kaye. The director John McPhail was in attendance and did a fantastic Q&A . I've linked the video here from my good friend and fellow blogger Michael Mad Mike Nagy.

Next up was Nightmare Cinema, A collection of creepy stories from directors Alejandro Brugués
Joe Dante,Mick Garris,Ryûhei Kitamura and David Slade.

The premise was great, people wandering past a seemingly empty cinema at night and being drawn in by what they had seen on the billboard. Once in it was only them in the theatre, The lights dimmed the movie started. Each individual that entered had there own nightmare story shown. The first two stories were fantastic but for me the ones after those weren't so great. Maybe it was the fact that the first two for me were so solid the others seemed a little weak in comparison. I also felt maybe if they had kept it at just 3 maybe 4 stories it would have held it's own a bit better. Still a great watch though and definitely worth your time. One of the story's was a grim one about plastic surgery then Mickey Rourke appeared in the theatre as the projectionist and Jesus Christ that face on a big screen was one of the scariest things I've seen in ages! Stay away from plastic surgery kids!!

So that was Thursday done. We headed for a quick beer at Brewdog next door then a taxi home in the hope of  getting some sleep without Mickey Rourke' s face hanging over me like Gary Oldman's Dracula! Fish lips!!


Five film Friday was upon us, Starting with the brilliant 1952 obscure The White Reindeer from Finland, Set to be finally released in 2019 this was a film i'd never heard off but it was brilliant, It tells the story of a lady who occasionally turns into a vampire reindeer!  Yes yes i know it sounds ridiculous but it wasn't one of your cheap 50's "B-Movie" it was beautifully shot and a fascinating story, If your into your obscure classics this is definitely one you should pick up as i will doing.

Up next was a big screen adaptation of the Ryu Murakami novel Piercing. Anyone who has seen the other Murakami adaptation classic "Audition" will know that this would be pretty messed up and it certainly was! Unlike Audition which had an Asian adaptation this was adapted for the cinema by Nicolas Pesce director of the fantastic Eyes Of My Mother which i will say if you have yet to see that you really should. It tells the story of a potential serial killer who calls up a call girl to have a bit of BDSM then kill her in a particularly grisly way. She arrives at his hotel room but then of course it all goes wrong, Very, Very Wrong. As with Audition it has a small but stellar cast, great locations and cinematography oh and of course violence!  Its well worth a watch and i hope that it does really well as it well deserves to and you never know fingers crossed he may well do another Murakami novel" In The Miso Soup" which would also make a fantastic movie.

So up next we had Night shooters,From director Marc Price, Most famously known for hi smash hit ultra low budget zombie movie "Colin" this was a fantastic return and for me one of the highlights of the festival. It tells the fairly basic story of a film crew making a movie in an office block that is due to be demolished so they get one night to shoot their movie, all is going well until they look over to the office block  opposite and witness a gangland killing, The trouble is that they have not only seen it but the gangsters have spotted them. The gangsters then head over and block all exits in pursuit of the filmmakers. The head gangster is hilarious, He looks like a cross between Peter Kaye and Demis Roussos!Its full of gore,Action,Humour and extremely colourful language and one of the best Kung Fu kills i have ever seen! The fights scenes are absolutely breathtaking and when you hear how it was done it's even more impressive, Thanks again to  Michael Mad Mike Nagy for a video of the Q&A with director Marc Price. All i can really say about Night Shooters is that you need to see it as soon a you can, It's fantastic!!

As far as wrongness goes i thought Mayhem had outdone themselves with a previous year showing at the festival of The Greasy Strangler but this years showing of Puppet Master:The Littlest Reich outdid that on so many levels!!!!
A reboot of the classic puppet master series it stars the always brilliant Udo Kier as the puppet master, A homophobic Nazi, Yes that's right! The gore and offensive levels are turned up to a Spinal Tap level 11, Its bloody great! The good thing about it is the fact that amongst our group there were some that had never seen a Puppet Master movie but that doesn't matter, If your easily offended maybe it's not for you but i would say turn off you political correctness radar for 90 minutes, sit back and have a blast, The reboot was superb and another huge hit at MAYHEM and i personally cannot wait for more from the Franchise.

On to our final movie of the night, 10.30PM showing of the new Nicolas Cage movie "MANDY". I had read and heard a lot of great things about this and also some bad things, In the weeks leading up to the showing the hype machine seemed to have snowballed about how amazing it was. I am a Nicolas Cage fan but for me personally it didn't like it, He was great in it but it seemed to me especially in the scene where he is downing a bottle in his underpants that he had just become a cliche of himself or maybe i have just got that wrong, I spoke to many people after the showing and during the weekend that loved it but also hated it, Either way i would say watch it and make your own mind up, In saying that it was probably one of the films of the weekend that we amongst us most talked about and it was great to see the late night showing was a complete sell out.

So the first two days were done and it went so fast! Quick pint then taxi home to pack our bags for our weekend hotel stay, Starting Saturday at 12PM with One Cut Of The Dead one of the films of the festival i was most looking forward to. Saturday at MAYHEM coming next!
Thank you for reading,
Jonny T