Monday, March 1, 2010

weekend at wee burnies.

Well, with Glasgow's very own Frightfest well and truly over and having (almost) recovered from what felt like my first anal raping ever by a movie I reckoned it was about time I started pretending that this was a real film-type blog and write a little report, even giving a wee synopsis of the films and stuff, just in case you fancy any of them.

Don't worry tho' I wont give too much away.

So I think I should start with a little bit of scene setting.

Welcome to Glasgow, a city of smoke and fog, science and superstition, of shite football teams and track-suited, piss stained neds (two of which will later be ejected from the cinema for attempting to steal a Kit Kat from a girls bag, inadvertently causing something interesting to happen during Peter A. Dowling's snoozefest Stag Night).

Glasgow, birthplace of Taggart, heroin, Irn Bru and Bible John.

And for the last weekend in February, home to Frightfest, an off-shoot of the larger London event held at the world famous (and oft mentioned around here) Glasgow Film Theatre, a quaint and perfectly preserved 850 year old cinema and gladiatorial complex slap bang in the heart of the cities underground mining area.

Entering the building via one of it's many utility lifts I arrived at the screening suited, seated, clutching a flask of weak lemon drink and a bag of Wine Gums, ready and waiting for some blood drenched fun.

First up (after a bizarre yet instantly forgettable Curling/zombie short) was Adam (Hatchet) Green's latest snowbound chiller.

Frozen (2010)
Dir: Adam Green.
Cast: Kevin Zegers, Shawn Ashmore, Emma Bell, Adam Johnson, Ed Ackerman, Rileah Vanderbilt, Chris York and Peder Melhuse.

Best buds 'Steeley' Dan (Zegers - tall dark and hunky) and Kenny Lynch (Ashmore - blond and geeky) are all set to hit 'ver slopes' (as you youngsters say) for their traditional boys only ski weekend but much to Lynch's chagrin Dan has invited his harsh faced, piggy eyed (and non ski-ing) girlfriend Parker (Bell) along as well.

now there is a mooth made for shite-in in.

After a wee bit of character defining/building bitching, Parker shows her worth by conning a fat, bearded resort employee out of a cheap chairlift ticket and our teen trio head up mountain for a day of ski-ing, sexy banter, snowboarding, silly hats and cool MOR sounds.

After retiring for pizza and man-chat (which is overheard by Parker - oops), Dan decides to make it up to Lynch by joining him on one last run on the big boys slope before bed.

Parker, feeling guilty for making them hang around all day with a safety helmeted girl who keeps falling over offers to come too.

Rushing over to the bearded man (who even after a few hours has got considerably fatter) the pals persuade him to let them have one more ride to the mountain top before bedtime, slowly heading upward toward ski-central, excitedly preparing to race each other all the way back down.

And this is where the fun begins as due to a series of unfortunate misunderstandings and events beyond anyone's control, our merry trio inadvertently end up stuck halfway up the mountain when the lift is shut down and all the employees head home for the week.


Rum, sodomy and the lash.

Trapped on a windswept chairlift and in desperate need of a toilet, Dan, Lynch, and Parker face a fight for survival against not just the biting cold and the local wildlife below but also the fears and prejudices the hide from each other...

Adam Green's second feature Frozen is a gem of a movie to be relished and a truly inspired choice to open the festival.

Never has a movie set in such an open and wide environment had such a crushing sense of foreboding and claustrophobia, the three actors (almost constantly on screen for the films entire running time) are totally believable, eliciting a real emotional response to the situation as the bickering, bitchy buddies, always staying just the right side of punchable.

I can't really say much else except see it.

Next up was a film from a man of such standing, talent and general niceness that after a few minutes of speaking to him a lame man was able to walk for the first time ever and a leper was cured just by standing next time.

And I'm not just saying that cos he's commissioned artwork from me.

Ladies and gentlemen I give you Lord Tim of Sullivan's...

2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams (2010).
Dir: Tim Sullivan.
Cast: Bill Moseley, Lin Shaye, Christa Campbell, Kathryn Le, Katy Marie Johnson, Asa Hope, Ahmed Best, Andrea Leon, Nicola Rae, and Trevor Wright.

Sick of having to make excuses every time a group of Northerners get themselves killed whilst visiting Pleasant Valley, the local sheriff decides to close the detour used by the cannibalistic townsfolk to ensnare victims into their twisted revenge plan.

Obviously Mayor GW Buckman (Moseley) isn't too pleased with this turn of events so, after first despatching the aforementioned law enforcement agent in a big spike-lined barrel decides to take the towns special brand of hospitality on the road like some twisted, (even more) inbred Partridge Family.

Nice firm breasts, face of utter fuckness.

Meanwhile, airheaded heiresses Tina and Rome Sheraton (Johnson and Hope) plus their (motley) Teevee crew are ready to kill (and in some cases shag) each other as a result of spending weeks trapped in a semen stained, hash stinking van whilst travelling cross country making the hit reality series Road Rascals.

But thanks to a miss timed blow-job and a burst tire, our Hollywood pals end up surprise guests of Buckman's celebrations.

Celebrations that will culminate in an orgy of sex, blood, cannibalism and political in-correctness gone mad.

I'd scream if my bra and pants didn't match too.

What can you say about Sullivan's Looney Tunes inspired sequel to his earlier love letter to Herschell Gordon Lewis apart from that it's crude, lewd and drop dead funny featuring as it does more taboo breaking bits (and general bits breaking) than any movie since, well the first 2001 Maniacs.

Plus this time we get added bestiality, some studly hunks for the laydees plus the wonderful Lyn Shaye delivering a doozy of a masturbation tip.

As the director himself so eloquently put it:

"If the original didn't secure me a warm spot in Hell, this one sure will!”

Which leads us nicely to Stag Night, which will no doubt get director Peter Dowling a one way ticket to Hades.

Just not for the reason he was expecting.

Stag Night (2008).
Dir: Peter A. Dowling.
Cast: Kip Pardue, Vinessa Shaw, Breckin Meyer, Scott Adkins, Karl Geary, Sarah Barrand and Rachel Oliva.

New York nice guys Karl Mike and Joe (Pardue, Geary and Adkins) are enjoying a drink fuelled (yet very polite, I mean these are modern men) stag night when ne'er do well sibling (I can't remember who to) Tony (Robot Chicken stalwart Meyer) gets them chucked out a nite club due to his loutish ways.

Heading home for bed via the subway, Carl decides to try and chat up a lovely laydee (well, drunken whore type) he met earlier that evening but his chances of true love are dashed by Tony who not only offends her pal by calling her a bitch (oooh he's a bad 'un) but gets the group pepper sprayed for their trouble.

Vinessa Shaw realises too
late that this isn't Deathline.

For no other reason than to further the plot the group force open the train doors and end up standing around arguing on an abandoned platform that hasn't been used since the '70's.

Round about the same time this plot first surfaced.

To everyone's (except the viewer and the two drunks fighting down the fronts) surprise the train pulls away leaving this merry band stranded and bickering.

All that is except that is for Nick who's finally managed to finally pull the aforementioned drunken whore.


Leaving the loved up pair behind so they can rut in peace on the filthy, shite encrusted platform ( romantic) the others (as in other ciphers/characters not the Christopher Eccleston movie) make their way down the subway tunnel in the hope of finding help.

Or a half decent plot.

Breckin Meyer, up the casino, 2008.

Eventually coming across a couple of tramps raping a drinks machine, the pals (and the nice non whore) are horrified to then witness the long haired, fish bearded pikeys slaughter a subway guard using nothing but some rusty tins and their sharp rat like teeth.

Yup our heroes soon realise that they're about to be hunted down like (and with) dogs by a crusty, subway dwelling cannibal clan.

Shaky-cam, scrappy editing and shoddy plotting ensues.

The directorial debut from Peter A. Dowling, the writer of the Jodie Foster film Flight-Plan (of which he seemed uncomfortably proud), one audience member remarked that the movie came across like Creep (the Chris Smith snoozefest that managed to make the yumsome Franke Portente look plain) on steroids.

I beg to differ.

It was more like Deathline with Alzheimer's.

Cliche riddled, lazily plotted with a been there done that attitude that showed nothing but contempt for it's audience, the director deciding that migraine inducing camera work is an acceptable substitute for a good story or scares.

Oh and that surprise shock ending (one of them is still alive!) was rubbish too, tho' director Dowling seemed to be under the misapprehension that it had never been done before.

Bless him.

Contemplating the next days viewing.

Saturdays feast of fun began with what was advertised by Optimum releasing as the first ever showing of their remastered, complete and uncut (and not to say definitive) version of the Lucio Fulci giallo classic A Lizard In A Woman's Skin, tho' as it turned out this was a lie of Suspiria showing proportions.

As the wee girl from Optimum pointed out, between her homework and paper-round she'd not had time to finish putting it all together yet and add to that she'd run out of glue to stick the subtitles onto it.

Or something.

Then proceeded to show a DVD copy of a VHS rip of a puppet show version of the film before promising that the new version would be better and come in a box with a picture on the front and everything.

If they could scrape the money together for photocopying that is.

"The new print fell aff a beanstalk!"

A Lizard In A Woman's Skin (1971).
Dir: Lucio Fulci.
Cast: Florinda Bolkan, Stanley Baker, Silvia Monti, Jean Sorel and Leo Genn .

Saucy socialite Carol Hammond (bouncy bad girl Bolkan) is suffering from sixties style, sleazy sex dreams centred around her decadent neighbour Deborah (Monti).

Her psychiatrist (who, if he isn't cracking off a few to her sordid fantasies should be) insists that there's nothing to worry about but when the nymphomaniac neighbour is murdered during an LSD fuelled sex orgy things start to get complicated.

You see Carol had already dreamt that this would happen.

And the she herself would be holding the knife.

"Is it in yet?"

Is Carol really capable of murder?

Is she being framed by her wandering eyed husband?

Or by someone else?

And what secret does the ginger hunchback hold?

A perfect piece of giallo goodness that sets out to do exactly what it says on the tin.

But if you read this blog you'll already know that.

Next up was the film that everyone had been waiting for, Helene Cattet and Bruno Forzani’s loving tribute to the giallo genre that perfectly recreates the age of the classic Italian thriller.

A virtually dialogue free fable of sexual obsession and black, leather gloved murders played out to a classic soundtrack score of Eurohorror themes.

The one, the only Amer.

Unfortunately I was in the bar so I missed it.

Unlike the Spanish spook sequel [Rec]2, Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza's follow up to their real-time roller-coaster of terror [Rec] (obviously).

Pay attention, here's the science part:

[Rec]2 (2009).
Dir: Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza.
Cast: Manuela Velasco alongside Leticia Dolera, Ferran Terraza, Juli Fabregas, Pep Molina, Oscar Zafra and Alejandro Casaseca.

Beginning seconds after the original movie ended with toothsome cutie Manuela Velasco being dragged kicking and screaming into the darkness by a giant possessed child, whilst down in the lobby a small group of anti-terrorism police are charged with taking a government scientist into the building to discover the cause and maybe even a cure for the outbreak.

But how do you cure a virus borne of evil itself?

"Oh no! it's the Ninky Nonk!"

Whilst never reaching the dizzy heights of the original (but did we think it would?), [Rec]2 is still a thrill-a-minute, non-stop suspense ride that packs more imagination and scares into it's first ten minutes than in the whole of the next movie.

I still feel violated.

Splice (2009).
Dir: Vincenzo Natali.
Cast: Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley, Delphine Chaneac, Brandon McGibbon and diddy David Hewlett.

Groovy science types Clive and Elsa (the obviously skint Brody and pretty Polley, still paying penance for the Dawn of the Dead remake), after genetically engineering a big brown turd that can be harvested for aspirin or something, decide to go one better and splice together human and animal DNA in order to create a new life form that may hold the cure for cancer.


After messily popping out of a huge birth sac in a flood of KY jelly and warm milk, Dren (as she/it will come to be known) rapidly grows from a little pink and floppy CGI mong-headed cat thing into a bald (and still pink) CGI chicken child (with a cleft palette throw in for good measure).

"Laugh now!"

So far so po-faced.

Anyway whilst all this super accelerated growing is going on there are some boring sciencey type things happening whilst Brody (in a Patrick Troughton wig and wee boys clothes) talks endlessly about ethics, in between trying to kill Dren and trying to have sex with a positively middle aged looking Polley.

The Jade Goody clone was finally revealed.

It's not too long tho' (it just seems like it) before Dren has morphed into a saucy (yet still bald) CGI augmented winged chicken woman with a poisonous tail and long thin turkey legs.

Oh, and shiny plastic nipples.

Not too surprisingly, Brody decides not to try and kill it but to have sex with it instead.

It was at this point that I started shaking uncontrollably and sobbing like a baby, which was a little unfortunate seeing that I'd been mistakenly seated in the 'reserved for guests' section and had found myself in a very drunk and totally incoherent state, sat next to one of the films producers.

This may have come about after my impromptu art signing session at the main guest table the night before so if anyone was wondering who I was can I just apologise and say a nobody.


She mistook my alcoholic state for sheer terror at the movie unfolding before me and leant over to ask if I was OK.

This had the effect of rousing me from my nightmarish slumber and caused me to inadvertently soak her with Lucosade whilst shouting 'Mum! what is it?' in a child-like voice.

Suffice to say she wont be offering to produce Anne Frankenstein any time soon.

I really don't have the words to sum up how utterly arse clenchingly bad Splice is, just that I haven't been this upset by a film since waking up during a midnight showing of Communion just in time to see the aliens were bum raping Christopher Walken.

Is that a recommendation?

Who knows?

Gunnar Hansen: Mmmmmmm Bop!
(or is that Ssssshite mooth?).

It'd be nice to say that they saved the best till last but unfortunately  Harpoon: Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre was saved for us instead.

Harpoon: Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre (2009).
Directed by Júlíus Kemp.
Cast: Pihla Viitala, Nae, Terence Anderson, Miranda Hennessy, Aymen Hamdouchi, Carlos Takeshi, Miwa Yanagizawa, Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir, Guðlaug Ólafsdóttir, Snorri Engilbertsson and Gunnar Hansen.

A group of (one dimensional) tourists, so cardboard that it's a wonder that they don't blow off the pier in the wind and float away to sea, embark on a sightseeing trip aboard an ex-whaling vessel captained by the Santa-like Pétur (Gunnar - Leatherface, leatherier balls - Hansen) and co-piloted by a would-be rapist bad boy who you can tell is a bad 'un as we see him punch a disabled man in the films opening scenes (the rapist angle tho' is only there so that the director has an excuse to include some shots of Pihla Vitala's breasts later on which is nice) to go see these magnificent creatures in their natural environment.

But the merry bands plans go awry thanks to a drunk passenger (Hamdouchi) who manages to spear Pétur to the deck and causes Johnny Rapist to sail away in the boats rubber dingy.

But not before smashing the radio and spunking in the sugar bowl.

Shite in mah, well shite everywhere really.

Luckily (well for the plot I guess) it's not too long before the day-trippers are rescued by a local fisherman who (due to a big storm approaching) doesn't take them to port but to his hidden whaling vessel where his brother and mum are lying in wait to kill the whole damn party.


Something to do with Greenpeace and tourism or something.

The plot may be wafer thin but it's an excuse for poor old Pihla Viitala to get her tits out again.

And this time they're covered in fish oil and paint.

Iceland's first foray into horror movies (not counting those Kerry Katona ads) has all the hallmarks of an exploitation classic yet its unsure tone, wildly random subplots and lack of any real meaning torpedoes the idea somewhat leaving it dead in the water.

Twelve year old boys will love it but for the discerning horror fan it came across as lacking in depth, leaving it scuppered and listing heavily toward starboard.

And yes, I do realise the last bit makes no sense.

Saying that tho' you have to give kudos to a director who decides that although he obviously can't afford to film the movies Killer Whale versus American screamer on a life-raft ending, that he's going to do it anyway.

Even if the effect is achieved by an all too obvious wooden fin and grainy stock footage.

Hang on did I say kudos?

I meant a kicking.

So there you go, Glasgow Frightfest 2009.

Where else on Earth can you get eight films, dozens of trailers, sneaky peeks and the unforgettable sight of a former Oscar winners pale buttocks thrusting upon a computer generated chicken for only £40?

Cheaper than your mum and twice as much fun.

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