ARTICLES

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 ARTICLES
Alien invasion, English style!
Posted in News, Sunday 31st May 2020
Alien Outbreak cover

The deadliest plague has come from above!

In a rural English town, two police officers begin their normal shift but soon realise something is wrong. With residents behaving strangely and horrific events unfolding before their eyes, they learn they are under attack from terrifying alien creatures and must fight to defend their town and community.

Starring Katherine Drake and Ritchie Crane, written and directed by award-winning VFX artist and filmmaker Neil Rowe (Robot World), Alien Outbreak will be available to own on DVD and Digital from 20th July from Dazzler Media.

...
SHARE: READ MORE
There's a new reason to be afraid of the dark... Pitch Black in 4K
Posted in News, Saturday 30th May 2020
Pitch Black 4K Cover

A sci-fi/horror sleeper hit that birthed a franchise and launched the career of a new action movie icon, Pitch Black holds its own today as a nerve-shredding creature-feature in which the monsters outside finally meet their match against a monster within.

When an intergalactic transport ship crashes on a remote desert planet with no sign of help on the horizon, the survivors, led by Fry (Radha Mitchell), band together to find a way back home. Among the passengers is Riddick (Vin Diesel), a convicted murderer being transported by marshal Johns (Cole Hauser) - and now freed of his chains and on the loose. But as a solar eclipse plunges the planet into total darkness, a threat eve...

SHARE: READ MORE
Creepshow 2 coming soon to HD
Posted in News, Saturday 30th May 2020

Titans of terror George A. Romero and Stephen King deliver yet another selection of blood-curdling tales in Creepshow 2, the follow-up to the 1982 horror classic. Arrow Video will be giving this classic the release it deserves on Blu-ray on 13th July.

In "Old Chief Wood'nhead", a group of young hoodlums face retribution from an unlikely source after looting a local hardware store. Meanwhile, "The Raft" sees a group of horny teens wishing they'd read the warning signs first before taking a dip in a remote lake. Finally, an uptight businesswoman finds herself with some unwanted company following a hit-and-run incident in "The Hitch-hiker".

Retaining the same EC comic book flav...

SHARE: READ MORE
You're going to need a bigger sofa... Doctor Who - The Monster Vault opening soon
Posted in News, Tuesday 26th May 2020
The Monster Vault

Doctor Who's biggest and most comprehensive monster guide yet, The Monster Vault takes you on the ultimate tour of the Whoniverse, discovering and cataloguing every wonderful and terrifying creature the Doctor has ever encountered.

From the notorious Daleks, to the evil Stenza warrior T'zim-Sha and the ancient Thijarians, The Monster Vault features in-depth profiles on each monster, showing the Doctor's most dangerous enemies in their natural habitat and unveiling their secret histories. You will also discover how monsters were created and designed, through exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews, anecdotes, case studies and unseen artwork.

This lavish and visually stunnin...

SHARE: READ MORE
Influential and genre bending horror-comedy receives a new 2K restoration
Posted in News, Tuesday 26th May 2020
Mr Vampire cover

Eureka Entertainment to release Ricky Lau's influential Mr. Vampire, a genre bending horror-comedy, presented from a brand new 2K restoration making its worldwide debut on Blu-ray as part of the Eureka Classics range from 20 July. The first print-run of 2000 copies will feature a Limited Edition O-Card Slipcase and Collector's Booklet.

One of the most genre-defining (not to mention genre-defying!) horror-comedies imaginable, and one of the key Hong Kong blockbuster hits of the 1980s, the popularity and influence of Mr. Vampire cannot be overstated. Spawning at least four sequels and countless spin-offs and imitations, this Hong Kong horror-comedy to end them all was ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Channel brings shocks aplenty in June with star-studded Spine-Chiller Season
Posted in Features, News, Thursday 21st May 2020

There are star-studded shocks aplenty on Horror Channel in June, courtesy of the Spine-Chiller Season - a selection of supernatural mysteries to get your summer off to a very scary start. Scheduled for Saturday nights at 9pm, the season is headed by the Channel premiere of the moody and violent chiller Gothika, starring Halle Berry, Robert Downey Jr. and Penelope Cruz. Other titles include Kevin Bacon's career launcher Stir of Echoes, the gripping US-remake of The Grudge, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, and the terrifying supernatural thriller Pay the Ghost, starring Nicholas Cage.

There are also UK TV premieres for the sharply eerie Nails, starring Shauna Macdonald and Ross Noble and the deadly Viral, ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Vin Diesel comes back to life in Bloodshot
Posted in News, Sunday 17th May 2020
Bloodshot pack shot

Vin Diesel stars in the thrilling action movie Bloodshot, available to buy on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD on June 8 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Based on the bestselling comic book "Valiant" by Jeff Wadlow, 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.

Directed by David S. ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Exploitation classic Inferno of Torture to be released on Blu-ray
Posted in News, Sunday 17th May 2020
INFERNO_OF_TORTURE_3D_BD_1200

Exploitation legend Teruo Ishii (Horrors of Malformed Men, Orgies of Edo) delivers one of his most extreme visions of violent eroticism in this, the sixth in his abnormal love series. Tattoos and torture await women forced into servitude in Ishii's Inferno of Torture which is being released 6th July by Arrow Video.

Unable to repay a local lender, Yumi (Yumika Katayama) takes up an offer to serve as a geisha for two years with a promise of freedom once her debt is repaid. She quickly realises that this is less a house of geishas than an extremely cruel brothel specialising in supplying western visitors with tattooed playthings. Taken under the wing of one of th...

SHARE: READ MORE
Dirk Gently to do his detecting on vinyl in July
Posted in News, Sunday 17th May 2020
Dirk Gentleys Detectice Agency Vinyl

'Let's think the unthinkable, let's do the undoable.'

Presented in triple gatefold vinyl for the very first time, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency stars Harry Enfield as the singular detective in this full-cast BBC radio dramatisation of the novel by Douglas Adams. First broadcast on Radio 4 in 2007, these fantastically entertaining comedy sci-fi dramas are adapted and directed by Dirk Maggs, acclaimed for his dramatisations of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Good Omens, Neverwhere and many others.

Dirk Gently has an unshakeable faith in the interconnectedness of all things. His Holistic Detective Agency mainly succeeds in...

SHARE: READ MORE
A trio of Lugosi classics coming to Blu-ray for the first time
Posted in News, Sunday 17th May 2020
Lugosi_Poe_OCard_3D_pack_72dpi_V2

Eureka Entertainment to release Murders in the Rue Morgue/The Black Cat/The Raven: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations starring Bela Lugosi, on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK. Presented in a 2-Disc Limited Edition Blu-ray set (2000 copies only) as part of The Masters of Cinema Series, available from 20 July.

This trio of classic 1930s horror films-Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Black Cat, and The Raven-is also distinguished by a trio of factors regarding their production. Most notably, each film is based on a work by master of the macabre Edgar Allan Poe. Part of the legendary wave of horror films made by Universal Pictures in the 30s, all three fe...

SHARE: READ MORE
Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious from BBC Books
Posted in News, Sunday 17th May 2020
Doctor Who The Knight, The Fool, The Dead

BBC Books has revealed that it will be publishing two novels to tie into BBC Studios multi-platform Doctor Who story, Time Lord Victorious.

Time Lord Victorious will tell a new and untold story, set within the Dark Times at the start of the universe, when even the Eternals were young. Following several Doctors across space and time as they defend their home planet from a terrible race, this is a story like no other.

Time Lord Victorious will feature the Eighth, Ninth and Tenth Doctor characters, companion Rose Tyler and monsters including the Daleks and the Ood, with more to be revealed over the coming months as products are ann...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Adam Green, director of Victor Crowley
Posted in Doctor Who, Interviews, Wednesday 13th May 2020

Ahead of Horror Channel's UK TV premiere of Adam Green's Victor Crowley, the great director shares his personal tragedies, George Romero's inspirational words, the importance of genre comedy and hints that the Bayou Butcher may rise again...

HC: Adam, you're back on Horror Channel with your latest Hatchet instalment, Victor Crowley. Excited?

AG: I'm always thrilled to hear that another one of my films will be playing on the UK's Horror Channel! It's crazy to think that the US hasn't had a horror specific television channel in 6 years now, only horror themed subscription platforms like Shudder. Then again - look at the real life horror we're dealing with here as far as our current President goes...

SHARE: READ MORE
Articles Archive: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
PICK OF THE WEEK
Tremors
TREMORS
Saturday 6th June
6.35 PM
Extinction
EXTINCTION
Friday 5th June
10.40 PM
Insidious
INSIDIOUS
Monday 8th June
9.00 PM