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Last month we took a trip to Nottingham, England’s cinephile haven Broadway Cinema for four days of eclectic genre programming at the 2013 Mayhem Horror Film Festival. Check in right here for a look at some of the sights and reviews from the East Midlands’ premier horror fest.
The festival kicked off on Thursday 31st October with a special screening of director Nicholas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now and Puffball, taking place in the special environs of St. Mary’s Church with Roeg himself in attendance to introduce and officially open this year’s event.
Topping off the evening was Vincenzo Natali’s underwhelming Haunter (review here).
While we weren’t around for that particular evening’s events, the following three days saw a schedule packed to the gills with guests, impromptu trivia-based giveaways, and screenings unfolding before and behind the Broadway’s gorgeous red curtains, including:
– The cinematically sumptuous, but disappointingly perplexing The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears (review here)
– The excellent Delivery (review here) with director Brian Netto in attendance.
– Renaud Gauthier and Marie-Claire Lalonde’s Discopath (review here)
– Gory low-budget 80s throwback The Demon’s Rook (review here)
– Plodding, Euro-styled vampire melodrama Kiss of the Damned (review here)
– Elliot Goldner’s unsettling and tense The Borderlands (review here), with director, cast, and producer Jen Handorf in attendance.
– Caradog James’ dystopian techno-thriller The Machine (review here), with director James and producer John Giwa-Amu in attendance.
– Juan Carlos Medina’s Painless (review here)
– A special BAFTA-sponsored screening of Jeremy Lovering’s In Fear (review here) with cast and crew in attendance.
– This year’s breakout festival success, Israeli filmmakers Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado’s astounding Big Bad Wolves (review here)
Amidst the new screenings, attendees of the festival were also treated to big screen renditions of re-mastered classics such as Ted Kotcheff’s Australian masterpiece Wake in Fright and Tobe Hooper’s classic space vampire yarn Lifeforce. Most surprising, and impressive, of all was the choice this year to present a screening of Tod Browning’s silent 1927 classic The Unknown, starring the legendary Lon Chaney. Rather than taking the route of a canned or pre-recorded soundtrack for the film, Mayhem’s organisers saw fit to enlist the services of local musicians ‘8MM Orchestra’ to provide a live score for the entirety of the runtime – something which proved to be one of the most memorable, and remarkable, presentations seen at any of the UK’s genre festivals this year.
On top of this, the Broadway’s impressive bar also became the arena for counter-culture website Strange Things are Happening‘s David Flint to present his annual horror-themed quiz, ‘The Flinterrogation’, sporting a number of challenging queries to test the knowledge of those dedicated to the genre and looking to win a pack of thematic goodies.
Spread throughout the main features across the weekend was a plethora of short film offerings, including highlights such as Adrian Cardona and David Munoz’s hilarious Fist of Jesus, Claymation master Lee Hardcastle’s An Alien Claymation, Jordan Shankman’s Tightening Our Belts, and Andrew Zuchero’s head-popping The Apocalypse — all of which are presented below for your entertainment!
All in all, 2013 proved an extremely strong year for Mayhem – a festival that we’re hoping continues to go from strength to strength, and to which we shall definitely return! Keep your eyes on the Mayhem Horror Film Fest Facebook page for updates. Many thanks to both the organisers and the Broadway Cinema for having us along.
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