Now in its 11th year, the UK’s premier horror, fantasy and extreme cinema festival is once again destined to bring terror and carnage to London’s West End, the Film4 sponsored Frightfest which runs for five days over the August Bank Holiday weekend at the Empire cinema looks certain to showcase the very best in genre cinema from around the world, with strong looking entries from Japan, Mexico, Serbia, South Korea, Italy, Australia and of course the UK being revealed in this years ravenous programme. Frightfest is renown for breaking a number of genre favourites over recent years, since its inauguration in 2000 the festival has secured World or European premieres to a number of genre classics – Let The Right One In, Martyrs, Wolf Creek, Ginger Snaps – as it is for it’s degenerate patrons cheering on and revelling in the gruesome on-screen activities. After last years special guest John Landis arrived to present a new print of An American Werewolf In London this year the baton passes to fellow legend Tobe Hooper who brings two surprises with him, a new print of the savagely influential The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and an ultra rare screening of his phantasmagorical-sounding debut Eggshells, a project long thought lost which receives its UK premiere on the Saturday, with an interview session for follow both screenings.
With a total of 35 films screening over the gore drenched extravaganza there will be inevitably be something for everyone but here are Sound On Sight’s most anticipated nightmares for 2010;
–Alien Versus Ninja – In the tradition of Tokyo Gore Police comes this splattery piece of Japanese carnage, the title summarises the film’s goofy trajectory as yes, well, some aliens attack some ninjas in feudal Japan. What more do you want?
The Dead – The only zombie movie of the festival has generated significant buzz from its screening at this year’s Cannes festival. The Ford brothers are taking the mini-genre back to its roots in this odyssey of a military man fighting across the African savannah to reach his family. His lethal struggle unfolds against the backdrop of a global virus that resurrects the dead. Some terrific headshots, apparently….
We Are What We Are – Fresh from the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes comes something a little different, a film that is being touted as the Mexican Let The Right One due to its crossover potential, it’s a charming, some would say heart-warming (potentially quite literally) tale of family ties and obligations amongst a family of cannibals whose sustenance is placed in jeopardy when the elder of the clan unexpectedly dies – who will be braze enough to step into the vacant hunter’s shoes?
A Serbian Film – Every year seems to produce a immensely controversial movie that laughs in the face of moral responsibility and this year the prize goes to A Serbian Film. A retired porn star finds himself financially ruined and hesitantly accepts an offer to appear in a film project, a lunatic director is attempting to make the ultimate comment on the sex industry – and it seems that not all the bodily fluids being spilled will be translucent. When a film comes with a health warning to the jaded Frightfest gorehound crowd, you know this could be quite a ruthless experience.
– John McEntee