On October 26-28 Celluloid Screams, the Sheffield Horror Film Festival, will be delivering its fourth year of thrills, spills and chills at Sheffield’s Showroom Cinema. The folks behind Celluloid Screams have lifted the curtain on just which twisted delights are in store for the weekend. Dig in!
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26
7:00pm – OPENING GALA:
with Certified (Short – UK Premiere)
Chris (Steve Oram) wants to show Tina (Alice Lowe) his world and he wants to do it his way – on a journey through the British Isles in his beloved Abbey Oxford Caravan. Tina’s led a sheltered life and there are things that Chris needs her to see – the Crich Tramway Museum, the Ribblehead Viaduct, the Keswick Pencil Museum and the rolling countryside that accompanies these wonders in his life. But it doesn’t take long for the dream to fade. Litterbugs, noisy teenagers and pre-booked caravan sites, not to mention Tina’s meddling mother, soon conspire to shatter Chris’s dreams and send him, and anyone who rubs him up the wrong way, over a very jagged edge.
Nightbreed: The Cabal Cut (Followed by Q&A with Nick Vince, Simon Bamford, Hugh Ross and Russell Cherrington)
With Odokuro (Short)
The turbulent production of Clive Barker’s Nightbreed is the stuff of legend, and the film released in 1990 was a far cry from Barker’s original novella, with many significant scenes excised by the film’s producers. Presumed lost for over 20 years, the footage surfaced in the form of two separate workprints and has been integrated with scenes from the original theatrical version to create The Cabal Cut – a fully fleshed-out monster epic that captures Clive Barker’s original vision in vivid detail.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27
with Zombie Chic 3D (Short) and Metal Creepers (Short)
From Canadian film collective Astron-6 comes Manborg, a riotously entertaining sci-fi horror in which a soldier killed in battle is brought back to life as a cyborg to fight alongside a band of adventurers against demon hordes in a dystopian future. Though Astron-6 effects maestro Steven Kostanski throws all manner of influences into the mix (from Robocop to Mortal Kombat via the Mad Max sequels and a veritable library of straight-to-video cult movies) it’s the unbridled enthusiasm for the genre (not to mention an infectious sense of humour) that makes Manborg a truly special piece of cinema. In an age where cult films don’t really exist any more, Kostanski and his Astron-6 comrades have crafted a cult film in the truest sense of the word. It’s loud, brash, violent and hilarious and by the end of it, you’ll want to jabber feverishly about it, especially to any of your friends who were unfortunate enough to miss it.
with Yellow (Short)
For its 25th Anniversary, we bring Dario Argento’s baroque masterpiece back to the big screen. When insecure young opera singer Betty (Cristina Marsillach) takes on the lead role in Verdi’s Macbeth after the previous lead is injured in an accident, she is thrust into the spotlight and becomes the target of an obsessive psycho killer. As the murders escalate, Betty is forced to face a traumatic event from her childhood to stop the killing and unmask the murderer. Argento’s style and verve for exquisitely-realized terror are plain to see in this, arguably his last truly great film. Virtually all of his cinematic traits are present here: envelope-pushing effects shots, breathtaking cinematography and a joyful glee in the depiction of brutal murder.
Into the Abyss: The Savage Cinema of Dennison Ramalho (Short Film Retrospective followed by Q&A)
Our short film retrospective returns in 2012 with a special screening dedicated to the films of Brazilian director Dennison Ramalho. Following in the diabolical footsteps of his mentor Brazilian horror legend Jose Mojica Marins (aka Coffin Joe), Ramalho has crafted a series of phenomenal short films that delve deep into the darkness of humanity and have garnered accolades at film festivals all over the world. His films offer a window into an extraordinarily dark and often disturbing world, where innocence and purity are eclipsed by violence, sex and palpable evil. In 2008, he was instrumental in the production of the closing chapter of the Coffin Joe trilogy, Embodiment of Evil, co-writing the script with Mojica and attracting production finance, and his own directorial career continues to ascend, with news emerging of his debut feature The Hell Within, currently in development. We are thrilled to welcome Dennison Ramalho to Celluloid Screams to present this retrospective of his films (screening together for the first time in the UK) and to participate in a Q&A after the screening.
Warning: Contains scenes that some viewers may find disturbing. This screening is presented in partnership with Sheffield Hallam University.
A crew of misfits is hired by an unknown third-party to break into an old house to retrieve a specific VHS tape, but this seemingly simple task gets complicated when they discover a corpse in front of a bank of monitors and a mountain of tapes to sift through. As the group check the tapes to identify the right one, a series of stories unfold…In Amateur Night a nightclub pick-up goes horribly awry for a group of sleazy friends, while in Second Honeymoon a married couple are stalked by a mysterious figure whilst on their eponymous road trip. Tuesday the 17th takes a unique technological slant on the slasher film and The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger uses Skype to terrifying effect in a tale of a young woman determined to prove her apartment is haunted. Rounding out the stories is 10/31/98 which takes the haunted house movie to outstanding and horrific new heights. One of the year’s most highly-anticipated genre anthology films, V/H/S takes the much-missed tape format as its starting point and crafts five tales of analogue terror (plus a wraparound segment) that give a shot in the arm of the ailing found-footage subgenre.
Cell Count (UK Premiere – followed by Q&A with Director Todd E. Freeman)
with The Captured Bird (Short)
This stunning Cronenbergian body-horror is the story of Russell Carpenter, who reluctantly admits his wife Sadie into an experimental treatment facility for her life threatening disease. While locked in this prison-like surrounding they, along with six others, are unknowingly subjected to a cure that might just be worse than the disease itself. In Cell Count, director Todd E. Freeman poses a scenario that every one of us dreads having to face: a loved one suffering from a terminal illness. In reality, the offer of an experimental cure would be a godsend for many, but this being a horror movie, things go very, very wrong when the treatment begins. We welcome Todd E. Freeman to Celluloid Screams to present the UK Premiere of Cell Count and to participate in a Q&A after the screening.
with 3:00AM (Short)
The Secret Film is now an annual tradition at Celluloid Screams. Ever since we screened Paranormal Activity as our first secret screening in 2009, we’ve enjoyed handpicking a film that we think will make for the perfect mystery screening. Have we succeeded once again in 2012? You’ll just have to wait and see, but trust us, it’ll be worth the wait…
Hidden in the Woods
with The Other Side (Short)
Prepare to have your nerves shaken by this ferocious Chilean shocker, inspired by true events. Sisters Ana and Anny have endured a horrific life of forced captivity at the hands of their abusive drug dealing father, but when the girls finally expose his crimes to the authorities, they go on the run into the depths of the forest. Meanwhile, with his dealer incarcerated and unable to reveal the whereabouts of the rest of his stash, unhinged drug lord Costello dispatches his band of equally psychotic henchmen to recover the merchandise, believing fully that Ana and Anny hold the key to its location. With a world-view and life experience that begins and ends at their front door, they must fight to overcome their aggressors to finally escape their torturous situation. This pulse-pounding sucker punch of a film features some of the most universally despicable characters ever committed to the screen, and will challenge even the most jaded fan of extreme cinema. Part-funded by the Chilean government, Hidden in the Woods stands defiant as a brutally uncompromising dissection of twisted family values and the newest addition to the canon of transgressive world cinema.
SUNDAY 28th OCTOBER
Memory of the Dead (UK Premiere)
with Leyenda (Short)
After last year’s premiere of Cold Sweat, we’re pleased to present another gem from the new wave of Argentinean horror. Forty-nine days after the premature death of her husband Jorge, distressed widow Alicia gathers their circle of close friends to their home for the reading of a letter that Jorge had written to them all prior to his passing. Unbeknownst to the group, Alicia has an altogether different motive for bringing them there: namely, to use each of them as a sacrifice in order to bring Jorge back from the dead. As the clock strikes 12, the house becomes surrounded by fog and ghosts from their respective pasts descend on the group intent on exacting bloody revenge. From its surreal and gruesome opening right through to its blood-drenched climax, this magnificent horror comedy combines all manner of influences to create a familiar yet strikingly original film.
Before Dawn (followed by Q&A with Director/Actor Dominic Brunt)
with 72 (Short)
A couple in turmoil retreat to the countryside to attempt to salvage their relationship but are soon fighting for their lives as they find themselves in the middle of a zombie epidemic. Executive Produced by Marc Price (Colin), Before Dawn combines intimate relationship drama with gruesome gore and is a triumph of new British genre filmmaking. We are delighted to welcome director/actor Dominic Brunt and several members of the cast and crew to Celluloid Screams for a Q&A.
Resolution (UK Premiere)
with Familiar (Short)
When he receives a video of his best friend Chris strung out on drugs in a cabin in the middle of nowhere, well-meaning everyman Michael decides an intervention is needed and embarks on a trip to help his friend. When it becomes clear that Chris has accepted his lot as an addict, Michael handcuffs him to a pipe in the cabin and forces him to go cold turkey. Things begin to go very wrong, however, when Michael discovers that Chris never sent him the video in the first place and strange things start to occur. Objects appear and disappear seemingly at random, faces appear at the cabin window and a bizarre menagerie of characters intersect with Chris and Michael as they attempt to decipher who or what is attempting to manipulate them. A trailblazing hit from this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, Resolution is a genre-defying gem that will get inside your head and won’t let go. One of the most uniquely creepy cinematic experiences you’ll have this year.
Entity (followed by Q&A)
with The Halloween Kid (Short)
The crew of Darkest Secrets, a reality TV show dedicated to uncovering the truth behind unsolved crimes, embarks upon a location shoot in a remote region of Siberia to investigate an area where thirty-four unidentified bodies were discovered. Assisting with the expedition is Ruth Peacock (Dervla Kirwan) a psychic whom the crew hope can shed some light on the mystery, but when the group stumble across a derelict industrial site, they begin to discover the truth behind the mystery and its terrifying aftermath. Visually stunning and with an oppressive and atmospheric soundtrack by ZnO, Entity stands head and shoulders above many of its contemporaries in the low-budget horror arena. With uniformly excellent performances and a stunning standard of production design (combined with some savvy location choices) this is another fine example of new British horror done right.
The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh (UK Premiere)
with Him Indoors (Short)
After the death of his estranged mother Rosalind (Vanessa Redgrave), antiques collector Leon Leigh (Aaron Poole) travels to the house where she spent her last days; a dwelling that was the centre for a cult dedicated to the worship of angels. Leon soon comes to suspect that his mother’s oppressive spirit stills lingers within the walls and that she is using the objects in the house – particularly the numerous statues of angels – to make contact with him. As Leon becomes aware of other less-benign supernatural forces that are closing in, he must decipher the nature of his mother’s urgent message before it’s too late. With a slow-burning style that recalls the likes of Don’t Look Now and The Changeling, Rodrigo Gudino’s debut feature film is an acutely creepy and emotionally resonant examination of faith, loss and the connections that remain even after death.
with Play Dead (Short) and Other (Short)
Pauline is a troubled teen. Socially awkward and with an unhealthy obsession with surgery, she would much rather spend her days dissecting roadkill than attempting to fit in with the “normal” students that populate her high school. Her home life is similarly unfulfilling and is punctuated by frequent clashes with her overbearing mother and ineffectual father. The only comfort Pauline finds is in the company of her younger sister Grace, who is dying of Cystic Fibrosis. Pauline’s alienation leads her down a decidedly dark path, culminating in her taking extreme measures to gain the approval of her mother. Festival regulars may remember the short film incarnation of Excision from Celluloid Screams 2009…In 2012, Director Richard Bates Jr. is back with the feature-length version, a pitch-black teen-angst horror that plays like a combination of Todd Solondz and Lucky McKee’s May, including cameos from John Waters, Malcolm McDowell and Ray Wise, and astounding performances by Traci Lords and a virtually-unrecognisable Annalynne McCord (from TV’s “90210”).
Celluloid Screams takes place from October 26-28 at the Sheffield’s Showroom Cinema. For more visit the official Celluloid Screams website, “like” Celluloid Screams on Facebook and follow Sheffield Horror Film Festival on Twitter (@sheffhorrorfest).
A full pass for the entire festival costs £60 and can be booked via the Showroom Box Office on 0114 275 7727 or online here. Be sure to also check out the website for details on reduced hotel rates should you be needing to shack up somewhere for the weekend!
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George A. Romero’s Daughter, Tina, Wrote a Script For Queens of the Dead
The loss last year of director George A. Romero was a huge blow to the horror community, as well as the filmmaking community at large. The passing of the man responsible for creating the modern day zombie and whose work influenced “The Walking Dead”, Dead Alive, 28 Days Later, and Jordan Peele’s Get Out was felt far and wide but we take solace knowing that his work and legacy will live on forever.
Something that brings a smile to my face is hearing that his daughter, Tina, who DJ’s under the name DJ TRx, has written a screenplay for a zombie film that is called Queens of the Dead. And yes, it’s very gay! Romero has not only written the script but also plans on directing the film herself.
Romero tells The Saunder Blog about the film, saying, “Queens of the Dead is a fusion of two huge parts of my world: zombies and Gay nightlife. It’s a tribute to my father as well as my entrée into the genre he grandfathered. I can’t say too much yet, but what I can tell you is that this film will have all the hallmarks of a George A. Romero classic: farce, politics, heroes, assholes, and most importantly, herds of silly and slow moving walkers that you can’t help but love. But I’m doing it Tina-style, and bringing the glitter, choreography, queers & queens.”
Romero’s father always brought some sort of social message into his work, so to hear that she will continue that tradition is inspiring, especially since it comes on a topic that is so discussed and topical.
If you want to read more about Romero and her DJ career, click on the link above.
Wanna See Something REALLY Scary? Local 58 Contingency Emergency Broadcast
“Wanna see something REALLY scary?”
To horror fans who came of age in the 1980s, the line above instantly evokes memories of Dan Aykroyd and Albert Brooks in the opening scene from Twilight Zone: The Movie. Now, on a bi-monthly basis, I’ll be asking, “Wanna see something REALLY scary?” with the goal of shocking you with chilling footage plumbed from the darkest corners of YouTube.
As a child of the Cold War born in the 1970s and traumatized by films like The Day After and Threads, I remember immediately panicking every time an Emergency Broadcast broke into a TV show I was watching. That alarming tone made my stomach drop and in the moments before it was confirmed to be “only a test” I had already imagined a barrage of nuclear warheads bursting overhead.
My heart went out to the residents of Hawaii who, due to a false alarm, believed a missile attack was imminent this weekend. For almost 40 minutes, families scrambled into fallout shelters, bathrooms, and even storm drains, believing war had begun between the United States and North Korea. Even after the all-clear was announced and the warning revealed as a mistake, nerves were severely rattled. I can only imagine the potential long-term damage done to the psyches of Hawaii’s youngest residents.
For a taste of the pandemonium that occurred, check out an excerpt from CNN’s reporting below.
While the shock must have been unprecedented for most, a bizarre alert that accidentally aired in the late 1960s puts the Hawaii debacle to shame. What viewers of a local station saw just before the end of programming at 3 am was a message announcing the fall of the US Government, and included instructions for committing suicide rather than surrendering to enemy forces.
Wanna see something REALLY scary?
The message bore the seal of The U.S. Department for the Preservation of American Dignity, included a statement from President Lyndon B. Johnson, and warned that failure to commit suicide as instructed would have consequences:
“Your local law enforcement has been ordered to ensure your compliance,” the message cautioned. “It is against the law to delay.” The final instructions remind adult viewers to put down their children and pets first while promising “There is nothing to fear.” Though the station later posted a statement ensuring viewers the message was a hoax, the potential loss of life this broadcast could have inspired is staggering. Have a look:
If the Local 58 Contingency, as it’s become known, seems too outlandish to be true, that’s because it isn’t. Though the video doesn’t include an admission of fiction, it’s written and directed by Kris Straub. If that name sounds familiar, that’s because he’s the writer of the popular creepypasta Candle Cove, recently adapted into a TV series on SyFy.
Still, the vintage look of the Local 58 Contingency, not to mention the current climate of heightened tensions between American and a rogue nuclear nation, make this video a truly terrifying viewing experience.
Got an idea for a future installment of “Wanna See Something REALLY Scary?” Hit me up on Twitter @josh_millican!
The Housemaid Haunts a New Trailer
Here’s the thing… if we had the choice between cleaning up our own house or being haunted by a vengeful spectral servant of sorts, well… just hand us a friggin’ mop, wouldja already? Still, in the case of The Housemaid, it looks like nothing is gonna stop her from sensing shivers! Dig on this new trailer.
Derek Nguyen directs the flick, which stars Kate Nhung, Jean-Michel Richaud, Kim Xuan, Svitlana Kovalenko, and Rosie Fellner. Look for IFC Midnight’s release of The Housemaid coming to select theaters, VOD, and via Digital platforms in the U.S. on February 16, 2018.
A forbidden passion awakens vengeful spirits within a haunted mansion in this bloodcurdling, erotic tour-de-force.
Vietnam, 1953: Linh (Nhung Kate), a poor, orphaned young woman, finds employment as a housemaid in a crumbling rubber plantation presided over by the emotionally fragile French officer Sebastien Laurent (Jean-Michel Richaud). Soon, a torrid love affair develops between the two – a taboo romance that rouses the ghost of Laurent’s dead wife, who won’t rest until blood flows.
Submerged in moody Gothic atmosphere, this stylish supernatural saga confronts the dark shadows of Vietnam’s colonial past while delivering heart-stopping scares.
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