LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Grimmfest 2017: It's (Still) Grim(m) Up North!
By James Whittington, Wednesday 27th September 2017
It was probably intended as an insult; a means of dismissing an entire region of the UK with a few words: "It's Grim Up North". But the Grimmfest team take a perverse pride in that notion. They adopted it as a brand from the start, and still wear it as a badge of honour. Because those overcast skies, and rainy, windswept moors conjured up the doomy Yorkshire Gothic of the Brontes; the harsh post-industrial cities and dour poker-faced black humour shaped the rattling verbal patter and ultra-violent urban wastelands of Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange. It's a landscape to inspire dark dreams and dangerous narratives. Some of the country's finest writers of horror and weird fiction have hailed from the region, from Ramsey Campbell, to Clive Barker.
So it seems strange, with all of that visual and literary inspiration to draw on, that there are not more horror films set and filmed there. Sure, some of the film versions of Bronte novels have used real Yorkshire locations, but more often than not, the region is stunt-doubling for somewhere else - the Lake District standing in for the Swiss Alps, our own fair city of Manchester's Victorian and Edwardian buildings standing in for parts of London or New York. In fact, the last time Manchester appeared onscreen in a horror movie AS Manchester was over forty years ago, in Jorge Grau's The Living Dead At The Manchester Morgue. Which, after the opening five minutes or so, was mostly shot in the Lake District. Beyond that, and a few obscure films by local cult legend Cliff Twemlow, Manchester's cinematic life has mostly been a reflection of its musical history, in films such as 24 Hour Party People and Spike Island.
Grimmfest is an attempt to change that. The festival was born in part out of a desire to put the city firmly on the horror map. In their capacity as a Manchester-based Director-Producer team, festival supremos Simeon Halligan and Rachel Richardson-Jones have always filmed within the North West region, and the festival has always encouraged and showcased locally-produced work, from Simeon and Rachel's first feature, Splintered, which provided the impetus to launch the first ever festival, to Dominic Brunt and Joanne Mitchell's Yorkshire-based domestic zombie drama Before Dawn, to shorts such as NSFW, Radio Silence, and A Father's Day.
So this year they are delighted to be launching the festival with a truly, defiantly Mancunian film at last - Rachel and Simeon's third feature, Habit. Based on the cult novel by Stephen McGeagh, it's an unsettling journey into the seedier, sleazier corners of the city, to discover the sinister and seductive sub-cultures that lurk there and sample the forbidden and addictive pleasures on offer. The film captures perfectly the city's unsettling, uncomfortable ambiance; that nagging sense that behind the bright lights and bustling bars, the fancy restaurants and hipster hang-outs, there is something older and darker. Something dangerous and predatory, that has you right in its sights. Shot on location, with mostly local talent, the film has already been snapped up by numerous high-profile festivals, and will soon be flying a blood-spattered flag for the city as a location and a centre for production, all around the world. But in addition to cast and crew Q&A, this Gala Premiere screening offers something unique. Because much of the film was shot only five minutes walk from the festival venue - so this is a chance for a truly... immersive cinema experience. Always assuming you don't mind getting a few bloodstains on your clothes...
Strangely enough, sub-cultures and substance abuse seem to be a bit of a theme in this year's Northern films. There's an emotionally brutal brace of shorts, Real Gods Require Blood, and Fissure, which offer very different, but equally unsettling slices of Manchester macabre, and then, by way of contrast...
Grimmfest is also delighted to welcome back our old friends Dominic Brunt and Joanne Mitchell, for the Northern Premiere of their utterly outrageous and all-too-timely cinematic shocker, Attack Of The Adult Babies. A scabrous, scatological, splatter-satire, which skewers the British Nation's sexual hang ups and social divisions with puerile glee and savage abandon, it offers a grotesque and gobsmacking grand finale to this year's Northern strand, and brings the festival to a suitably uproarious and frenzied climax.
Featuring such cult faces as Human Centipede's Laurence Harvey, and "Uncle Peter" himself, Charlie Chuck, the film earned Producer, co-writer, and lead actress Mitchell a Screen/Horror Channel Frightfest "Rising Star" nomination. Dominic and Joanne will be joining us to introduce the film and for a Q&A afterwards.
Grimmfest runs 5th-8th October at Odeon Printworks, Manchester and for more info click here.
Related show tags: BEFORE DAWN MORE NEWS The Web Planet comes to vinyl for the first time
Posted on Monday 11th November 2019
In the vintage 6-part Doctor Who adventure, The Web Planet which was first shown on BBC TV in February and March 1965, a strange magnetic force pulls the TARDIS down to the craterous surface of Vortis. The Doctor and his friends learn that the planet has been invaded, and the parasitic Animus is slowly enveloping it in a web-like domain. The giant ant-like Zarbi are under its control, whilst the butterfly-like Menoptra are battling to reclaim their planet.
Presented across 3 x heavyweight 180g pieces of pink vinyl, this narrated TV soundtrack evokes a classic Doctor Who adventure in all its aural magnificence. The alien ambience of Vortis, the insistent chirruping of the ...SHARE: READ MORE What you can't see can hurt you! Have you seen the trailer for The Invisible Man?
Posted on Monday 11th November 2019
"What you can't see can hurt you!"
Universal Pictures has released the official trailer for The Invisible Man.
Emmy winner Elisabeth Moss (Us, Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale) stars in this terrifying modern tale of obsession inspired by Universal's classic monster character.
Trapped in a violent, controlling relationship with a wealthy and brilliant scientist, Cecilia Kass (Moss) escapes in the dead of night and disappears into hiding, aided by her sister (Harriet Dyer, NBC's The InBetween), their childhood friend (Aldis Hodge, Straight Outta Compton) and his teenage daughter (Storm Reid, HBO's Euphoria).
But when Cecilia's abusive ex (Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Netflix's The Haunting of Hill House) commits suic...SHARE: READ MORE Iconic German horror Der Golem comes to life with a new 4K Restoration
Posted on Monday 4th November 2019
Eureka Entertainment will release Der Golem; Paul Wegener and Carl Boese's classic silent horror, as part of The Masters of Cinema Series for the first time on Blu-ray in the UK, from a brand new 4K restoration on 18 November. It will be presented with a Limited Edition Slipcase [First Print Run of 2000 copies only].
An iconic early horror masterpiece, Der Golem was Paul Wegener's third attempt at adapting the Golem character for the big screen. Starring and co-directing with Carl Boese, Wegener crafted one of silent cinema's most enduring masterpieces.
In the Jewish ghetto in 16th century Prague, Rabbi Low (Albert Streinruck, Asphalt) creates a forbidding clay Golem (pl...SHARE: READ MORE 101 Films present haunted house horror Girl on the Third Floor
Posted on Wednesday 30th October 2019
WWE Legend Phil "CM Punk" Brooks gets his first starring role in Girl on the Third Floor, a bloody and demented haunted house tale from one of the strongest voices in modern indie-horror, Travis Stevens.
Bursting pipes, rotting walls, and unidentifiable slime were not what Don Koch (Phil 'CM Punk' Brooks) expected when he convinced his wife Liz (Trieste Kelly Dunn) that he could rehab their new Victorian home himself. In over his head, under duress, and tempted by his old weaknesses, Don soon discovers that the house has its own dark, sordid history and won't be so easy to renovate after all...
Having produced some of the finest indie horror gems of recent years including Horror Channe...SHARE: READ MORE Brand new trailer unleashed for Bloodshot starring Vin Diesel
Posted on Thursday 24th October 2019
Sony Pictures UK has made available the blood-splattered trailer for Bloodshot starring Vin Diesel.
Based on the bestselling comic book, Vin Diesel stars as Ray Garrison, a soldier recently killed in action and brought back to life as the superhero Bloodshot by the RST corporation. With an army of nanotechnology in his veins, he's an unstoppable force -stronger than ever and able to heal instantly. But in controlling his body, the company has sway over his mind and memories, too. Now, Ray doesn't know what's real and what's not - but he's on a mission to find out.
Bloodshot will open in the UK in 2020.SHARE: READ MORE The League of Gentlemen to release Precious Things in December
Posted on Monday 21st October 2019
Following on from the success of Demon Records' sold out 'Special Stuff' box set, we present the final installment of the characters from the fictional town of Royston Vasey in The League of Gentlemen's Precious Things.
Pulling together the original Christmas Special for the first time on vinyl ("Yule Never Leave", first aired on the 27th December 2000), and the three anniversary episodes from 2017 ("Return To Royston Vasey", "Save Royston Vasey" and "Royston Vasey Mon Amour")
"Yule Never Leave" is presented on 180g "Snow Slash" vinyl, telling the story of Vicar Bernice three unwelcome guests, and is detained from watching the boxing by stories of voodoo spells, German vampires, anci...SHARE: READ MORE Dare you experience Kraken Screamfest: The Director's Cut?
Posted on Tuesday 15th October 2019
This Halloween, London braces itself for The Kraken Rum to deliver a unique bar and horror experience like no other, commissioning legendary horror mastermind Neil Marshall to direct every detail of the night. The Kraken Black Spiced Rum is joining forces with the esteemed Hollywood Director to present 'Kraken Screamfest: Director's Cut' - promising to bestow fresh new nightmares on even the most devoted fans of the horror genre.
Neil Marshall, famed for classics The Descent, Dog Soldiers and Game of Thrones, will be terrifying those brave enough to step inside the real-world creation of his darkest imaginings. Everything from the decor and the staff to the Kraken Rum cockt...SHARE: READ MORE Superb supernatural comedy Extra Ordinary to have UK cinema release on 25th October
Posted on Tuesday 15th October 2019
Wildcard Distribution is bringing the Irish supernatural comedy Extra Ordinary to UK cinemas on 25th October. The film will play exclusively in key cities around the UK with Odeon Cinemas.
Extra Ordinary stars comedian/writer/actress Maeve Higgins (Naked Camera, Inside Amy Schumer), Barry Ward (Jimmy's Hall, MAZE), Will Forte (Nebraska, McGruber, Last Man on Earth), and Claudia O'Doherty (Trainwreck, Love, Inside Amy Schumer, Long Shot) and tells the story of Rose, a sweet and lonely small town driving instructor who must use her supernatural 'talent' to save the daughter of a local man from a washed up rock-star looking to use her in a satanic pact that will reignite his fame.
The film wh...SHARE: READ MORE "It's the most zombified time of the year!" Anna and the Apocalypse is coming to Blu-ray
Posted on Thursday 10th October 2019
What better way to celebrate the festive season than with a zombie apocalypse Christmas musical?
Anna and the Apocalypse is set for its UK Blu-ray debut on 2 December in a feature packed double-disc edition, courtesy of Second Sight.
It's Christmas time and the sleepy Scottish town of Little Haven is under threat from a zombie apocalypse, forcing Anna (Ella Hunt) and her friends to fight, slash and sing their way to survival, facing the undead in a desperate race to reach their loved ones. But even zombies can't stop the teen drama: will Anna's best friend John (Malcolm Cumming) reveal his true feelings for her, or will her smu...SHARE: READ MORE Terry Pratchett's Discworld comes to vinyl for the first time this November
Posted on Thursday 10th October 2019
Terry Pratchett's Vinyl Discworld is a 15LP vinyl audiobook box set featuring seven classic stories, which will be released on Friday 29th November.
Following the very successful Good Omens, Doctor Who and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy releases on vinyl, Demon Music Group presents Discworld featuring the following stories: Mort Wyrd Sisters Guards! Guards! Eric Small Gods Night Watch Bonus non-Discworld story Only You Can Save Mankind
41 Discworld novels were written, set on a fictional flat planet, balanced on the backs of four elephants, which in turn stand on the back of a giant turtle. It is estimated that more than 80 milli...SHARE: READ MORE Arrow Video FrightFest announces line-up for Halloween 2019 event
Posted on Thursday 3rd October 2019 Arrow Video FrightFest continues on its highly acclaimed and hugely successful Twenty Bloody Year rampage with a fear-packed journey through Halloween traditions, religious deviance, unstoppable maniacs, warped fairy tales, terrifying board games and the very rules of horror themselves.
The popular Halloween all-day event returns to the Cineworld Leicester Square on Saturday 3 November and the 12-hour monstrous marathon embraces four UK premieres, one European and one International premiere.
The day kicks off with the European Premiere of Josh Hasty's Candy Corn. With an impressive all-star genre cast (including Tony Todd, who exec-produces), an innovative iconic killer...SHARE: READ MORE Want to know all about Ghosbusters? Cleanin' Up the Town is for you!
Posted on Monday 30th September 2019
Celebrating 35 years since Ivan Reitman's cult favourite Ghostbusters manifested on the big screen, Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters is heading for cinemas in the new year. Directed and produced by the brother and sister team of Anthony and Claire Bueno, the film pays a fitting tribute to the whole creative team behind the global phenomenon that continues to enchant audiences to this day.
Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters, is the definitive retrospective documentary, resulting from twelve years of research and production. It charts the making of the original 1984 Ghostbusters, featuring interviews with director Ivan Reitman, and lead cast Dan Aykroyd, S...SHARE: READ MORE News Archive: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 PICK OF THE WEEK
Friday 22nd November
Sunday 24th November
Friday 29th November