Thursday, 10 January 2019
It’s full scream ahead as Arrow Video FrightFest, the UK’s favourite horror fantasy event, returns to Glasgow Film Festival for a 14th fearful year, from Thursday 28 February to Saturday 2 March, 2019.
Presenting a stunning and resonating two days of trauma, terror and tantalising thrills, this year’s line-up, once again housed at the iconic Glasgow Film Theatre, embraces the latest genre discoveries from around the world, spanning four continents, with two world, two European and six UK premieres.
Alan Jones, FrightFest co-director, commented: “Currently at its most vibrant and popular, the horror fantasy genre is constantly garnering critical acclaim, pushing boundaries and asking tough questions of audiences by reflecting relevant political and social issues. The genre isn’t just about escapism but a key tool to make sense of the chaos and confusion swirling around our everyday lives and FrightFest has known this for 20 years now, so it’s fantastic the rest of the world has finally woken up and smelt the coffins.”
The bloodiest of violence and the heaviest of Black Metal make for an incendiary mix in LORDS OF CHAOS, FrightFest’s special Thursday night presentation, courtesy of Arrow Films. This is a shocking, true to life portrait of the band ‘Mayhem’ who were at the vanguard of the underground Norwegian music scene in the late 1980s.
We have lift-off on Friday with the UK premiere of LEVEL 16, a skin-crawling dystopian thriller by up-and-coming director Danishka Esterhazy and the first of three Canadian entries. This is followed by the European premiere of THE DEAD CENTER. Billy Senese’s acclaimed slow-burning indie creeper, co-produced and starring Shane Carruth (Primer, Upstream Colour). Next up is the World premiere of HERE COMES HELL, described as ‘Downton Abbey meets The Evil Dead’. So be prepared for caviar, cocktails and plenty of carnage in Jack McHenry’s debut pitch-perfect horror comedy. Jack and the main cast and crew will be in attendance.
The 8.30pm presentation is the UK premiere of Adrián García Bogliano’s BLACK CIRCLE. The celebrated South American auteur returns with a hypnotic supernatural nightmare starring Swedish exploitation icon Christina Lindberg. Lindberg was Quentin Tarantino’s inspiration for the Bride in Kill Bill through her startling role in the 1973 Scandinavian cult classic They Call Her One Eye and we’re pleased to announce that Christina will be with us, alongside one of the film’s producers, Rickard Gramfors.
Rounding off the evening with an irresistible dose of sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll and humungous insects is the UK premiere of Ron Carlson’s DEAD ANT. This is Spinal Tap meets Them! in a fabulous blast of creature feature horror hilarity.
Getting the Saturday programme off with a mighty splash is the UK premiere of Perry Blackshear’s expressive and atmospheric mermaid terror, THE RUSALKA. It is hoped that the They Look like People director can make it to Glasgow. This is followed by the World premiere of AUTOMATA. FrightFest has been proud to support the work of Scottish auteur Lawrie Brewster through The Unkindness of Ravens and The Black Gloves. So we are delighted to present his latest work, a subversive, brooding Gothic chiller. Lawrie, writer Sarah Daly and the cast will be in attendance. As will Søren Juul Petersen, the director of sizzling Danish shocker, FINALE This will be the UK premiere of’ Peterson’s dark exploration of deviant sexual fantasy.
The evening programme kicks off (literally) with I Saw the Devil writer Hoon-jung Park’s Korean smash hit THE WITCH PART 1: THE SUBVERSION, which reinvents the action genre in thrilling and chilling ways. Following this is the much anticipated UK premiere of FREAKS, Zack Lipovsky and Adam Stein’s genre-bending psychological sci-fi thriller, which is laced with energy, innovation and imagination. The film is made even more memorable by some fiercely brilliant performances, including a rejuvenated Bruce Dern. The directors are hoping to attend.
This year’s feast of fearsome fancies ends on a horror comedy high with the UK premiere of spooky spoof THE HOARD, the latest from the talented team behind Pontypool and The Hexecutioners.
FrightFest Passes are £75 and available from noon on Mon Jan 14, 2019. Passes cover all films on Fri 1 March and Sat 2 March ONLY.
Tickets for LORDS OF CHAOS, plus individual tickets for the Fri/Sat films are on sale Mon Jan 28 from 10am. Price: £11.00. £8.80 concessions.
To book tickets:
+44 (0)141 332 6535 / www.glasgowfilm.org/festival
THURS 28 FEBRUARY – GFT Screen 1
21:00 LORDS OF CHAOS (Special screening)
The loud, up-tempo, Satanic hard rock genre reached its height of expression in Norway in the late 80s when the band Mayhem took the bleak movement to extremes of arson and murder to prove themselves its most authentic adherents. Filtering the explosive psychology of adolescent angst through horror movie aesthetics, this incredible true story of head-bangers who really lost their minds is an unrelenting trip through the minefields of clique and celebrity at any danger or cost.
Director: Jonas Åkerlund. Cast: Rory Culkin, Jon Øigarden, Emory Cohen. UK/Sweden 2018. 112 mins. N/C 18+. Arrow Films.
FRI 1 MARCH – GFT Screen 1
13:15 LEVEL 16 (UK Premiere)
Sixteen-year-old Vivien feels trapped in The Vestalis Academy, a prison-like boarding school, keeping to herself and sticking her neck out for no one while being indoctrinated in the feminine virtues of cleanliness, obedience and sweetness. Until she is reunited with Sophia - the former friend who betrayed her - who has stopped taking her prescribed medication and now has so many questions about their clearly rundown institution. Together the girls embark on a dangerous search to uncover the horrifying truth behind their submissive incarceration.
Director: Danishka Esterhazy. Cast: Katie Douglas, Celina Martin, Sara Canning. Canada 2018. 101 mins. N/C 18+. MPI Media.
15:35 THE DEAD CENTER (European Premiere)
An unidentified suicide victim has come back to life in Metro General Hospital morgue. Medical examiner Edward Graham knows the John Doe’s real name but has no idea where the reanimated body went. Psychiatrist Daniel Forrester can answer that question since a catatonic amnesiac mysteriously turned up in his ward, except he doesn’t know he’s the missing, previously dead man Unaware they are separately unravelling the same strange case, the two professionals enter a mind-bending shock corridor of supernatural suspense and macabre moodiness.
Director: Billy Senese. Cast: Shane Carruth, Poorna Jagannathan, Jeremy Childs. USA 2018. 93 mins. N/C 18+. Arrow Films.
18:30 HERE COMES HELL (World Premiere)
THE OLD DARK HOUSE style mystery thriller gets an affectionately murky makeover in director Jack McHenry’s Agatha Christie-meets-Lucio Fulci feature debut. In stunning Black & White, with cut-glass British accents and a dodgy American in the cocktail party mix, a sophisticated 1930s soiree at an isolated country mansion descends into carnage, gore and demonic possession as rivalries and old friendships are put to the test when a gateway to Hell opens up.
Director: Jack McHenry. Cast: Margaret Clunie, Jasper Britton, Timothy Renouf. UK 2018. 73 mins. N/C 18+. Trashouse Films.
20:30 BLACK CIRCLE (UK Premiere)
When her sister Isa recommends she listen to the B-side of an old 1970s vinyl album she swears changes lives, Celeste is sceptical to say the least. But deciding to go along with Isa’s request she plays the ‘Magnetic Hypnosis’ record just as slumber hits only to realise she has released a ghostly doppelganger desperate to replace its original.
Director: Adrián García Bogliano. Cast: Christina Lindberg, Felice Jankell, Erica Midfjäll. Sweden/Mexico 2018. 101 mins. N/C 18+. Salto de Fe Films.
23:00 DEAD ANT (UK Premiere)
The 1989 ‘one-hit-wonder’ glam-metal band Sonic Grave embark on a trip to the No-chella rock festival with their long-suffering manager in the hopes of a comeback. Making a detour to Joshua Tree to score some peyote, their carefree psychedelic pit stop soon upsets the balance of desert nature and they find themselves fighting an army of flesh-eating ants. Worse the antsy bugs keep increasing in size as the band hurtles towards their last desperate gig.
Director: Ron Carlson. Cast: Sean Astin, Jake Busey, Tom Arnold. USA 2018. 87 mins. N/C 18+. FrightFest Presents.
SAT 2 MARCH – GFT Screen 1
10:45 THE RUSALKA (UK Premiere)
Tom falls in love with a mysterious woman who swims in a lake at night where far too many people have recently drowned. Drawn to her almost immediately upon arrival at his holiday cabin, he must deal with the man out to revenge his late wife’s ‘accidental’ death. Unfolding in quiet restraint but with an ever-deepening intensity that explodes in an outburst of violence and monstrosity, Blackshear’s tale of doomed star-crossed lovers is a wonderfully elegant nightmare.
Director: Perry Blackshear. Cast: Evan Dumouchel, Maragret Ying Drake, MacLeod Andrews. USA 2018. 80 mins. N/C 18+. FrightFest Presents.
13:00 AUTOMATA (World Premiere)
Antique expert Brendon Cole is summoned to authenticate a 300-year-old clockwork doll with a notoriously dark history known as The Inferno Princess. In the remote Highlands mansion where it has recently been uncovered, Brendon soon finds himself the victim of the automaton’s legendary curse as the malevolent forces surrounding it are terrifyingly awakened.
Director: Lawrie Brewster. Cast: Erich Redman, Alexandra Hulme, Nick Ford. UK 2019. 95 mins. N/C 18+. Hex Studios.
15:30 FINALE (UK Premiere)
Denmark has reached the finals of the European Championships and everyone is glued to their TVs. The small petrol station on the edge of town is yet to open. This is where Agnes, on her final shift, before heading to Germany to start a new life, and Belinda work. They’re hoping for a quiet night but they have been chosen as players in a gruesome game and no customers means no witnesses.
Director: Søren Juul Petersen. Cast: Anne Bergfeld, Karin Michelsen, Damon Younger, Kristoffer Fabricius, Mads Koudal, Kim Sønderholm, Gustav Scavenius. Denmark, 2018, 100 mins. N/C 18+. 2 Feet Entertainment
18:15 THE WITCH: PART 1 - THE SUBVERSION (Scottish Premiere)
A government experiment to augment certain children with superpowers ends in bloody massacre. But Koo Ja-yoon escapes to become a simple farm girl trying to help her adopted family through financial hardship. An appearance on a TV talent contest for prize money blows her cover, putting her once more in the sights of the sinister organisation responsible for her undercover plight with devastating, shocking and spectacular results.
Director: Hoon-jung Park. Cast: Woo-sik Choi, Min-soo Jo, Da-mi Kim. South Korea 2018. 125 mins. N/C 18+. Signature Entertainment
21:00 FREAKS (UK Premiere)
Seven-year-old Chloe never leaves her ramshackle suburban home unless under the watchful eye of her paranoid father. Instead, he trains his daughter to adopt an assumed identity if she’s ever separated from him, or to hide in a well-provisioned panic room if he should not return from one of his infrequent forays outside. However something clearly isn’t quite right with this weird family dynamic and Chloe is determined to find out what exactly lies outside the door her father is so frightened of.
Directors: Zach Lipovsky, Adam B. Stein. Cast: Emile Hirsch, Bruce Dern, Lexy Kolker. Canada 2018. 104 mins. N/C 18+. Well Go USA Entertainment.
23:25 THE HOARD (European Premiere)
The ultimate reality show turns into a deadly nightmare, as a crew of TV personalities, including a professional organiser, a psychologist, two ghost hunters and a team of junk removers attempt to reform a legendary hoarder who owns four condemned and haunted properties. It’s the pilot episode for their comeback series 'Extremely Haunted Hoarders.’ What could possibly go wrong?
Directors: Jesse Thomas Cook, Matt Wiele. Cast: Lisa Solberg, Tony Burgess, Barry More, Ry Barrett, Elma Begovic. Canada. 98 mins. N/C 18+. Foresight Features.
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Tuesday, 8 January 2019
When did your interest in horror films begin?
About the age of 11 or 12, I started enjoying watching horror films, after my parents had gone to bed. I remember watching Child’s Play with the volume turned off, sitting directly in front of the TV so I could quickly turn it off if my parents came in.
Tell us about your first horror film role
In my first film role, I played The Girl in The Reverend I found myself working alongside the legendary Rutger Hauer who was cast as the Devil. He had his own private room but in fact he chose to come out and be with us most of the time, which was lovely. My first lead role was as Gabby in Deranged. This was a major step for me as I was also the producer and English was actually my third language at the time!
Who are your genre inspirations?
I truly admire Clare Higgins. I worked with her on Heretiks and she delivers an amazing performance. I was very impressed with her preparation too. I ‘m also a big fan of Milla Jovovich, especially in The Fifth Element and Resident Evil.
What was your role in Brit horror comedy IBIZA UNDEAD?
I played Mari, a kick ass promo girl for a bad guys' nightclub in Ibiza. Maria hates her job and her gangster boss Karl. Finally she quits but Karl won't allow that so easily. She's destined to become the next "undead" attraction in Karl's club. Maria's a feisty, take no shit, girl and I loved that.
You were the lead producer on Paul Hyett’s HERETIKS. What was that like?
Heretiks was originally a script called The Sisterhood, written by Gregory Blair, that I found with my business partner Keven Kane. It's an English period chiller and we fell in love with the whole idea of it. Templeheart came on board, then Paul (Hyett), who re-wrote the script with Conal Palmer. The executive producer, Lyndon Baldock, then brought Michael Riley on board to co=produce the film with me. We had a fantastic cast with Clare Higgins, Hannah Arterton and Michael Ironside and discovered some amazing new young talent too.
You recently finished playing the lead role in a new supernatural thriller, QUAIL HOLLOW. Spill the blood please.
I play identical twin sisters Sunny and Mila. They have paranormal powers that leads one to suffering and torment and the other to shun her abilities. Separated at a young age, Sunny ends up institutionalised, while Mila tries to lead a normal life. Now, 10 years on, Mila goes to Quail Hollow to bury her sister. Mila stays around to investigate the circumstances of her sister's death and uncovers a shocking truth about her sister and her own powers.
My father was also a twin, unfortunately his brother died very young. So, I’ve always had a very strong curiosity in identical twins and their unusual relationship.
What scares you?
Elevators. Given a choice, I always prefer to walk up and down the stairs. There was a point in my life when I was searching for a school where I could go learn about elevator repair, just in case I ever got stuck in one. On a trip to Israel I did get stuck in one. The help button didn't speak English, Portuguese or Spanish. I lost my mind and opened the door with my bare hands breaking one of my nails. The funny thing was the elevator was on the same floor. It hadn't moved at all.
What’s your horror film weapon of choice?
An Oscar. It’s heavy and you could carry it around without being arrested.
Favourite horror film of 2018?
It's not a film but The Haunting of Hill House has blown my mind. Delightfully scary! Heretiks is my favourite film of the year, of course…
What’s next for you?
Quail Hollow is now in post-production and I’m really looking forward to seeing the final product. We have a reality TV series called Loft Studio Miami also in post-production. Then there's the amazing puzzle like horror movie called The Foreseen with directors Anthony Melton and Ben Franklin, which I’m producing with Mark Sandell and Templeheart Films. I'm also Exec Producer on a fabulous new female driven and led sci-fi thriller with producer Rebecca Clare Evans and directed by Natalie Kennedy. We shoot early 2019.
Marcia stars in IBIZA UNDEAD, which has its channel premiere on Horror Channel, Sat Jan 12, 9pm.
Wednesday, 2 January 2019
Ahead of the Horror Channel’s UK TV premiere of Attack of the Adult Babies, on Jan 5, 9pm, director Dominic Brunt and actor / producer partner Joanne Mitchell unpin the nappies…
On the 5th of January, ATTACK OF THE ADULT BABIES will receive its UK TV premiere on Horror Channel. Are you both excited?
DOMINIC: I’m over the moon. As a fan of horror, I’m also a fan of the Horror Channel. It’s an honour to have our work premiered with one of our favourite channels. The Horror Channel (along with Fright Fest and Metrodome) took Before Dawn under its wing when that was released as our debut feature film. It marked our transition from horror fen geeks to horror film makers and we were well looked after indeed.
JOANNE: We’re delighted and incredibly excited that the film will get its TV premiere with the brilliant Horror Channel. We’ve always been massive fans and the channel has always been incredibly supportive of us and our movies as well as so many other film makers.
What would you like TV viewers to take away from the film?
DOMINIC: We’d like viewers to watch it first and foremost as entertainment but to hopefully take time to reflect on any wider meanings and intentions. We’ve really enjoyed the fact that the film has been embraced as a roller coaster of gore and insanity!
JOANNE: Primarily I’d like viewers to just enjoy themselves and give in to the crazy ride. We dared to make something totally different from anything else we’ve ever made and are proud that it has been called a stand out horror movie. It’s a lot of fun, and was to make too!
Dominic, do you think your Emmerdale fans will be surprised / shocked to find you’re directing full-bloodied horror films?
I think they’ll either ignore what I’m up to, in regards to horror films, or they go along with the idea and support what we have “out there” on Netflix and Amazon etc. I’ve been involved in genre festivals in Leeds for over a decade and Before Dawn was made almost eight years ago. We’ve had clips shown on day time TV from a couple of the films so I’m not sure there’s any shock at what we do any more (although hopefully the content of our films is willfully so). Before Dawn and Adult Babies are pure fantasy without any spite, and you can’t argue that we weren’t sincere with our intentions regarding Bait.
Joanne, you’ve played four characters in Emmerdale and you’ve recently appeared in a lead role In Coronation Street. How does soapland compare with splatterland?
Oh my goodness, they couldn’t be more polarised! However, each genre is a great platform for stories and characters, just that soaps are much quicker and very slick. With indie horror films though you can take more risks!
AOTAB, underneath all the satirical fun and gore, deals with some pretty dark issues. Was it always your intention to make a politically-motivated horror comedy?
DOMINIC: I do believe you can make an allegorical, political point without being dull or boring or preachy. Bait is incredibly political but it is clothed and presented as a thriller and (hopefully) a gripping story first and foremost. I don’t think we’ll ever make a film that isn’t a metaphor or allegorical of something other than the surface story.
JOANNE: Yes, it was our intention – the idea of big adult babies making important decisions within our society tickled us – such a great terrifying image. We wanted to see how far we could take it – and I think we succeeded in taking it pretty bloody far!
Class issues rear their ugly head. Dominic, do you feel they are just as embedded in UK society as they were in the past – hence just as topical?
DOMINIC: Always were and always will be. For one single instance, look at the laws on hunting as a microcosm of the whole of society and the laws imposed on the working classes. Who adheres to what, and who carries on regardless? Who turns a blind eye, and in some cases actively supports the breaking of the laws passed in the same parliament supposedly enforced by the same police force created for “all of us”? The anger is hidden but it is there. I’m 48 so I’ve seen the unions crushed, raves stopped, films banned, ancient monuments cordoned off and football monetised to the maximum, traveler friends assaulted and stigmatised for living an alternative lifestyle.
The movie certainly caught the attention of reviewers, Hey You Guys called it “…the sort of deranged, balls-to-the-wall grossness that only ever seems to show up once in a generation”. How confident were you that you that the film could chime with audiences?
JOANNE: To be honest, you just never ever know. Audiences can be so different. The FrightFest audience, for example, are always very supportive, but then it went down a storm with the regional festivals too, as well as abroad. The French audience for example (Paris) was a surprise – the film had subtitles and I really wasn’t sure if it would translate well, but they had a great time watching it and really got it. We knew it would work well within the genre festivals though as I think horror fans are open to seeking and watching something different, it is a wonderful exciting platform to keep telling stories. So hopefully the fans of the Horror Channel will enjoy it too.
DOMINIC: Well it’s hardly the new Star Wars but within its own little niche, I’m absolutely delighted. We have to be thankful for a good release in the form of distribution through Nucleus and AMP supporting us, and then people like FrightFest and The Horror Channel being there to broadcast our ideas and stories. Otherwise you’re shouting at a wall.
Its chaotic sexual anarchy made it felt quite Orton-esque in some media corners. Was Joe Orton an inspiration? Who did inspire you? Were there any films that were particularly influential?
DOMINIC: I LOVE Joe Orton but he wasn’t on our minds at all I don’t think. It’s more a visual representation of the old EC horror comics from the 50’s which I like reading. We tried to make them flesh around Jo’s story and Paul Shrimpton’s script.
JOANNE: There was a mass of influences really, both from myself and Dominic, especially regarding political figures, exploitative male bosses and various scandals from the society we live in, with movie influences including the Blob, the stuff, all the saucy Carry On and Benny Hill farcical kinky humour too
Joanne, it was your idea to centre the film around the world of infantilism. How did you first discover this clandestine world?
It was an amalgamation of things really. I’d spent talking to a very intelligent and articulate young woman who was a dominatrix. She ran her own dungeon and was very successful doing so. She fascinated me. She spoke fairly discreetly about what her job entailed – from what I could glimpse of that world it was pretty bizarre and interesting: Businessmen who wanted nothing more than to spend the day regressing as an infant or baby, relinquishing all the pressures and stresses of their high powered jobs. It piqued my interest and my imagination.
Dominic, the acting was very strong and the casting of cult TV comedian Charlie Chuck particularly stands out. Was it difficult to get the actors you wanted?
I think at our level you have to cast and audition for the part rather than fill your film with faces and names. We were lucky to have Kate Coogan, Sally Dexter, Jo, Andy Dunn, Nicky Evans, Thaila Zucchi, Seamus O’Neil, Laurence Harvey, Charlie Chuck etc who are all character actors of much experience, but we are limited by a budget so you have to cast smart. They liked the script first and foremost (fortunately) and not necessarily the budget.
Your production company Mitchell-Brunt Films has been going for seven years and you must be proud of what you’ve achieved so far (feature films BEFORE DAWN & BAIT) What plans do you have for the future?
DOMINIC: Several folders FULL of stuff. Also, 101 films are looking to re-release Before Dawn and Bait on BluRay, with lots of new extras. They’ve only been previously released on DVD, so we’re very pleased and flattered about that.
JOANNE: We’ve more ideas for films in the future and currently have one film in development, Lost Dogs by Jeff Lemire. I’ve also just directed my first short film, SYBIL, which is currently doing the rounds on the festival circuit.
Following the success of the LE Blu-ray edition, Nucleus Films is releasing a standard edition Blu-ray on Jan 28, 2019.
Buy from Amazon by clicking here (Opens in a new window)