Wednesday, January 21, 2015



It's that time of year again when hundreds of horror geeks plus half dozen sweaty, high waisted folk who live at home with their disabled mums (who will never die!) descend on my fair city ready to soak the streets (and seats) with the unmistakable smell of sweat, shame, semen and tears.

Which can only mean that our lovely pals at Frightfest have announced the line-up for sunny Glasgow.

And it looks a good un!

So without further ado, here's the list:


Director: Chris Sparling. Screenwriter: Chris Sparling. Cast: William Mapother, Rya Kihlstedt, Rob Kerkovich. 92 mins, USA 2015.

"Shite in mah mooth!" - Sorry couldn't resist.

Back in the early 70's brainy clever clogs Dr. Henry (no relation to Herbert or Fred) West set up The Atticus Institute in order to study telekinesis, clairvoyance, E.S.P., the books of Colin Martin and other unexplained psi-related phenomena.

But not the film Phenomena obviously because that wasn't released till 1985.

Literally thousands of folk were tested using a variety of seriously scientific with some of them actually showing spooky abilities that defied any rational explanations. 

Except probably that wolves did it.

Unfortunately just after West published the promising results of his research work, the small facility was mysteriously shut down in November 1976 by a concerned US Government. 

The reason? 

A woman named Judith Winstead whose supernatural abilities tested far beyond anything ever before witnessed. 

We're promised that won’t believe your eyes whilst watching the shockumentary of the year from director Chris Sparling, writer of BURIED.

The film script that is, not the word.

Director: Matt Winn. Screenwriters: James Handel, Matt Winn, Chris Denne. Cast: Mischa Barton, Robert Knepper, Charlotte Salt. 84 mins. UK 2015.

"Mischa Barton? I'm sure she's around here somewhere!"

When Ella (Mischa Barton) discovers that her Wall Street banker (in more ways than one) boyfriend is renting a secret storage unit, she suspects he’s using it to hide an affair.

But seeing as this is Frightfest she's probably wrong.

Anyway enlisting the help of her best friend Molly (High headed star of The Inbetweeners Emily-Mars-Atack....yes I've just realised that it lack an S to work) she breaks into the facility only to discover something more terrifying instead. 


Director Matt Winn isn't telling.

Now trapped in a darkened building with a group of neurotic strangers who start disappearing one by one, Ella soon uncovers even worse horror in the dank depths. 

A dozen wolves?

Who knows? But her life or death battle to escape eternal enslavement (possibly by animals like wolves) is about to begin…

Director: Kiah Roache-Turner. Screenwriters: Kiah Roache-Turner, Tristan Roache-Turner. Cast: Jay Gallagher, Bianca Bradey, Leon Burchill, 98 mins, Australia 2014.

"Laugh now!"

In the midst of a post-apocalyptic zombie invasion - caused this time by a wayward comet - an Oz (as in Australian, he's not a Munchkin or anything) mechanic must attempt to rescue his dusky eyed sister from a group of sinister gas-masked soldiers who are scouring the land for fresh victims to participate in the bizarre flesh-eating experiments being conducted by a fairly mad scientist. 

Mixing Mad Max style designs, an absurd sense of humour, new and outrageous zombie lore and KC and the Sunshine Band, this new spin on an old favourite promises black comedy galore, catastrophic carnage, over-the-top splatter and probably a few mullets.

Director: April Mullen. Screenwriters: Tom Doiron, April Mullen. Cast: Katharine Isabelle, Christopher Lloyd, Michael Ironside, 88 mins, Canada 2015.

88: Two fat ladies not shown.

From the team behind DEAD BEFORE DAWN 3D, and starring friend of The Arena Katharine Isabelle, comes a glorious, gory and fast-paced homage to cult exploitation revenge thrillers. 

Gwen arrives dishevelled at a mysterious roadside diner with no idea where she is or how she got there in such an anguished state. 

Split between two time lines, Gwen gets taken on a violence-fuelled journey into death and destruction and becomes the most wanted woman in Tennessee seeking out the person responsible for her lover's murder.

Raucous redhead action with American Mary herself. 

Honestly what more could you ask for?

Except wolves maybe?

Director: Marcus Nispel. Screenwriters, Marcus Nispel, Kirsten Elms. Cast: Stephen Lang, Brett Dier, Brittany Curran, 90 mins, USA 2015.

Holly Valance, up the casino, Wigan, 1998.....YESCH.

From Marcus Nispel, 'director' of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW and FRIDAY THE 13TH re-imaginings (but let's not hold that against him) comes a curious case of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll possession. 

Which is nice.

Six teens throw a party in a rundown building and find an old record (ask your mum) and decide to play it backwards for a giggle.

As you do.

But the vintage vinyl holds a subliminal message and soon a seemingly malevolent entity has infiltrated the group, wreaking havoc and eggy farts. 

However the spirit is actually trying to convey a message and the real source of horror is something - or someone - much closer to home.

Your dad perhaps?

Come on, you've seen the way he looks at me.

Director: John Watts. Screenwriters: Christopher D. Ford, John Watts. Cast: Peter Stormare, Eli Roth, Laura Allen, 102 mins, USA/Canada 2014.
"Those badges on your jacket smell....they must be onion bhajis!" - Seriuosly a clown I was working with once made this joke.

FrightFest Glasgow’s special 2013 guest Eli Roth sends in the clowns but forgets the money he owes me with this terrifying tale of an unreliable childrens entertainer.

 When the balloon twisting funny fella hired for his son’s sixth birthday party is a no-show, doting father Kent dons a clown outfit himself but after the festivities, he finds he can’t take it off – the bulbous nose is stuck to his face, the frizzy wig glued to his hair and the make-up permanently etched on his features. 

Too late he learns the costume is the skin of an ancient demon and his family must race to break the curse before the transformation into a homicidal killer with outsize shoes and the mysterious stench of warm milk is complete. 
Director: Mario Bava. Screenwriters: Mario Bava, Giuseppe Barilla, Marcello Fondato. Cast: Cameron Mitchell, Eva Bartok, Lea Lander, 88 mins, Italy 1964.

A Bava classic....blood or black lace not soon.

Mario Bava’s visually stunning, elegantly mounted and erotically charged proto- giallo presented in all its restored glory.

Nuff said.

Director: Russell Gomm. Screenwriter: Russell Gomm. Cast: Edward Sanchez, Daniel Myrick, Gregg Hale. 84 mins. UK 2015.

In October 1997, a group of filmmakers ventured into the Maryhill woods to produce a low budget independent horror movie. 
That disappeared without a trace but across the pond a different lo-fi shocker,  
THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT would become a global phenomenon and began the ‘found footage’ genre that remains a potent, if sometimes stinky  force today. 
Now for the first time you can see how that record-breaking groundbreaker came into being. 
From never-before-seen recordings of pre-production meetings, audition tapes and test footage to the actual shooting, first preview screenings and marketing at the Sundance Film Festival, all the key personnel guide you through the discussions and decisions that minted a shock sensation classic.  
Director: Hans Herbots. Screenwriters: Mo Hayder, Carl Joos. Cast: Geert Van Rampelberg, Ina Geerts, Johan van Assche. 125 mins, Belgium, 2014.

"I can see you house from here Peter".

Nordic Noir turns frighteningly Flemish (yesch!) in Belgium’s top-grossing film of 2014.

Based on the chiller by acclaimed British author Mo Hayder and gut-wrenchingly harrowing to an unprecedented degree, nerves of steel are required to watch this truly shocking, emotionally jarring, viciously gritty, serial killer thriller. 

Inspector Nick Cafmeyer is haunted by the unsolved disappearance of his younger brother. 

A known sex offender (based, I'm told partly on your Uncle John) was questioned but quickly released and now takes fiendish pleasure in tormenting Nick by sending him unmarked postcards featuring wolves dressed as famous sportsmen. 

Now another spookily similar case comes to light involving a missing juvenile and Nick’s real nightmare begins.

Director: Jaume Balagueró. Screenwriters: Jaume Balagueró and Manu Diez. Cast: Manuela Velasco, Paco Manzenado, Héctor Colomé, 96 mins,.

Manuela Velasco: I love her AND she follows me on life is complete.

After unleashing the original [REC] onto unsuspecting audiences, Frightfest Glasgow is hosting the UK premiere of the shattering visceral conclusion to the global horror phenomenon.
Picking up the intense action immediately after [REC] 2 - expanding on the mythos from all three predecessors, plus referencing cult genre classics - TV reporter Ángela Vidal is extracted from the cursed apartment building and taken to a high-security quarantine facility aboard an oil tanker. 
There, in the bowels of the dark and desolate ship, Dr. Ricarte is experimenting with the infectious virus to find a cure before another living dead outbreak occurs.  
And finally we have....
Director: Jay Dahl. Screenwriter: Jay Dahl. Cast: Matthew Amyotte, Jason Daley, Michael Ray Fox, 96 mins, Canada 2014.
"Aye hen!"

Monsters are taking over the world, slowly, quietly and efficiently, but you won’t see them coming until it’s far too late! 
Four film students embark on a road trip to obtain promotional interviews for their college, however en route they witness a series of odd events, strange behaviour, shocking actions and what seems to be surplus of twins (not mine). 
Their well-ordered universe literally changes before their camera lenses uncovering a terrifying secret lurking just under the seemingly calm urban landscape.  
With a promise to scare us out of our wits right from the start, there'll be slashed seats if this isn't the case.

And if that wasn't enough to get you moist don't forget there's still time to place a bet on which movie will make the wheelchair bound man walk out in disgust this year.
See you then!

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