Saturday, January 13, 2018

it'll be all fright on the night (and the following two days obviously).


Yup it's that time of year when Team Frightfest make their way oop nerth to 'sunny' Glasgow for their annual weekend of blood, sweat and fears and I recycle the last god knows how many previews so I don't have to come up with any new patter.

It's not like anyone reads this so frankly I can't see the point.

Anyway on with the show.

And by show I mean looking forward to what films are on obviously.




This year’s line-up of 13 films spanning 10 countries, four continents and 12 different hairstyles kicks off on the now traditional Thursday evening slot in a scare-tastic style with the big screen adaptation of Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson's Ghost Stories.

Adapted from the stage show of the same name it stars Martin (the man in the romantic phone ads) Freeman alongside Paul ('Brilliant!') Whitehouse and tells the sinister story of Professor Philip Goodman (Nyman), a renowned sceptic of the supernatural who is given the opportunity to investigate three case histories of baffling paranormal activity, uncovering mysteries beyond his own imagination that lead to a shockingly personal nightmare style conclusion.

Or so the official blurb says.

Expect scares, chairs and quality facial hair from Mr Nyman.



"I am not a number!"


There's just enough time for a change of underwear before we meet The Lodgers (not literally tho' it's just the films title) in this gothic tale we're introduced to (again not literally, only on screen) orphaned twins Rachel (Charlotte - American Assassin - Vega) and Edward (Bill Milner - young Magneto in X-Men: First Class) who live alone in their crumbling family estate, except that is at night when the house becomes the domain of a sinister presence that enforces three rules upon them.

Bed by midnight, no outsiders past the threshold and any solo escape attempt will put the other twin in jeopardy.

Which bizarrely is near enough the same rules I had as a kid except we had a fourth one about not wanking in the butter but I digress.

But a troubled war veteran (is there any other kind?) who is mysteriously drawn to Rachel is about to test the rules to the limit.

And hopefully get a glimpse of ankle for his trouble.


Stairs.



Friday brings us (the audience) the UK premiere of Dragos Buliga’s The Wanderers: Quest of the Demon Hunter that features Judge Dredd's evil twin Armand Assante as Louis, the most famous ghost and demon hunter in the world who, as we meet him, is traveling to the infamous Zalesky Castle in Romania alongside an Israeli journalist, a Romanian guide and a Korean television reality show team in to untangle the evil secrets lurking at the dark heart of this frightened community.

Think Dudley but with better teeth.

Fire.

Next up is Kelly Greene’s pastiche of 50's monster movies and all things Corman Attack of the Bat Monsters, where we join schlock impresario Francis Gordon as his intrepid crew as they attempt to shoot an impromptu monster movie in the three days left over from the film they’ve just wrapped.

From the Saul Bass opening title homage to its highly authentic, comic evocation of 1950s’ grade-Z grindhouse, the movie ended up lost behind the directors sofa shortly after it was made in 1999.

But ace restorer and armchair collector Mark Rance (who brought Tobe Hooper’s Eggshells to FrightFest 2010 and once bought me a pickled egg in a train station) found it when shopping for a new footstool and has lovingly refurbished it under writer/director Kelly Greene’s supervision and steely gaze.


Hands/teeth.




It's time for a quick wee and maybe a smoke before Robin Aubert’s The Ravenous (or Les Affamés as the French speakers amongst us call it) is let loose on an unsuspecting audience.

Unless that is they've read a programme and know what films are coming up.

Tho' someone may change the order for a laugh.

Who knows?

As a pesky zombie apocalypse ravages Canada (the thought of anything at all happening in Canada is scary enough) the surviving residents of rural Quebec wait patiently for any assistance from the government but as it becomes more and more likely that no-one is coming (to help that is, I'm sure a couple of the townsfolk are actually quite aroused by an undead invasion) the survivors must figure things out for themselves, even if it means risking a hideous death.

Saying that I'd risk certain death if it meant I could even lightly touch the skirt hem of the librarian-like star of the film, the pixie-like Monia Chokri so this maybe my fave movie of the whole weekend.

Monia Chokri: Smooth, milky thigh.



And how do you follow a French speaking zombie shocker I hear you cry, well with  Xavier (Frontier(s) and The Divide) Gens  love letter to HP Lovecraft and amphibious fondling Cold Skin.

Phew, glad that's sorted.

At the dawn of the First World War a young man named Friend (David Oakes who'll always be there for you) arrives at a desolate Antarctic Circle lighthouse to take up the post of weather observer but soon discovers that a race of amphibious humanoids live nearby, rising from the sea every night to attack him and his grumpy lighthouse keeper companion, Gruner (the always watchable Ray Stevenson).

I'm expecting The Shape of Water but with added gore and fish fanny if I'm honest.
And that's not a bad thing.

"She-Fish in mah mooth!"





Friday closes with the European premiere of Primal Rage.

No not the one based on the video game starring The Rock and a big monkey but a scary Sasquatch shocker from special effects icon and former Hulk hunter Patrick (Jurassic Park III, Evolution, Spider-Man) McGee.

Lost deep in the forest of the Pacific Northwest, Ashley (Casey Cagliardi) and her ex-convict husband Max (Andrew Joseph Montgomery) find themselves being stalked by a terrifying creature the locals call Oh-Mah.

Tho' not by The O Men from BBC TV's Jigsaw which is probably for the best.


Soon they find themselves forced to face not only nature’s harshness but a band of unsavory hunters (who will most likely try to touch Ashley's bum whilst leering a lot) as they become embroiled in a life and death battle against a Native American legend made flesh.

And fur obviously.

Pure ragin'.

Time for bed now as we steal 40 winks (and the shoes of the person asleep two rows in front) to prepare us for a scary Saturday starting with Paul Urkijo’s Basque fantasy fairytale The Blacksmith and the Devil.

Ten years after Spanish Civil War (well one of them), orphan Usue (Uma Bracaglia) seeks to escape from her abusive guardians and the general shittiness of the local villagers.

When her beloved doll is stolen, it ends up at the property of Patxi (Kandido Uranga) a lonely and feared blacksmith who is the keeper of a terrifying secret.

A horrible truth that Usue innocently reveals.

Which sounds good.

Laugh now.



After all that darkly disturbing subtitle reading it's back to basics with the origin story of Gillian Holroyd's cat and familiar in the film Bell, Book and Candle = Pyewacket.

Or the title may just be a reference to one of the familiar spirits of a witch detected by the Witchfinder General Matthew Hopkins.

Either way Adam MacDonald's tale of angst-ridden teenage girl (is there any other type?) Leah (Nicole Muñoz, last seen taking a bath with some aliens in Defiance) upset after the death of her dad (or is it the dad of her death?) performs a blood incantation calling on the devil to kill her mother.

As you do.

Changing her mind almost immediately she soon realizes she can’t reverse the curse and an unholy presence now stalks them both.

Spooky.

Nicole Muñoz in a bath yesterday.



 After all the demon-based badness it's time for some good old fashioned human hatred with Gabriela Amaral Almeida’s Friendly Beast, which is surprisingly neither friendly or beast based.

It's nearly closing time at a struggling restaurant and all the staff want is to go home.

As they tidy up and grab their coats the restaurant owner sits alone in the back office struggling with money troubles and a desire for more control in his life.

Enter two robbers, the catalyst for a violent situation, which the boss is initially able to contain and even gain the upper hand, unfortunately tho' the already dangerous and explosive situation takes a turn for the worse and as sides are taken all those involved begin to engage in the most abhorrent behaviour imaginable.

Which probably means lots of mooth shite-in.

I hope.

Tie me up, tie me down.



If that puts you off dining out the Adam Marcus' Christmas kill-fest Secret Santa may put you off turkey and stuffing for life, telling as it does the sorry story of  
the Pope family’s Christmas Eve dinner where everything goes horribly (and hilariously) wrong when someone puts something in the party punch causing everyone to tell the unvarnished truth at the already dysfunctional holiday reunion.

When the head of the household turns psycho, the scene is set for murderous mayhem and raw revenge as the family reveal their long-buried hatreds and festering loathings.

Just like my Christmases as a child.

Blood on mah face.


Mexican writer/director Issa Lopez brings us her magical (and disturbing) story of five young urchins making the best of their daily struggle to survive on the streets as they are caught in the unceasing cartel crossfire of the ongoing violent drug war in Mexico in her third feature Tigers Are Not Afraid next, which if I'm honest seems way too serious for me to take the piss out of with childish captions so I'll move straight on to Neil Mackay’s home-based Turkey Shoot/Running Man homage bloody Sixty Minutes to Midnight.

Tigers may not be afraid but she looks like she's about to shit herself.

It’s New Years Eve 1999 and former soldier Jack Darcy (Robert Nolan minus his singing sisters) wakes to find himself mysteriously entered into a murderous new TV game show.

He has sixty minutes to kill or be killed by a group of strange armed men who’ve surrounded his house but what his would-be assassins haven’t realised is that Jack has learnt a few tricks from his military days.

He has a hidden bunker full of weapons and he isn’t going down without a vicious fight.

Or at the very least a violent bumming.

Peow!



See you all on Thursday 1st March in Nice N Sleazy for pre-movie drinks then?

But until then here are some more pics of Nicole Muñoz in the bath.

Enjoy.









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