Thursday 22 October 2015

Mayhem Horror Film Festival 2015 (Part 1): Day 1

Now in it's 11th year, Mayhem Horror Film Festival had a slight change in date (you can blame the release date of Spectre for that!). But that didn't matter as the line-up and guests are always impressive and the atmosphere is always welcoming. Here's what happened on Thursday night...

Day 1: Thursday 15th October 

The film that kicked off the festival was Emelie...

After their regular babysitter can't make it, the Thompson family turn to the highly recommended Anna to supervise the children while they go out to celebrate their anniversary.

Sound simple enough? Well, it wasn't. Fuck my ass, what a way suitably fucked up way to start the proceedings!
Sarah Bolger stars as Anna, or is it Emelie?! She gives a outstandingly creepy, yet subtle, performance as the babysitter from, erm, well, somewhere very strange and messed up. The trio of child actors, Carly Adams (Sally), Joshua Rush (Jacob) and Thomas Bair (Christopher) are fantastic in their roles baring in mind how young they all are.

Both direction and script are strong and what that delivers on the screen is disturbing and unsettling in absolute bucket loads!

Emelie gsts 4 Stars
Check out the trailer below...

Up next was the documentary Future Shock - The Story of 2000AD... "
A long overdue documentary that tells the story of 2000AD, the unsung cult hero of the comics industry" with special guests Paul Goodwin, producer Sean Hogan and 2000AD writer and artist D’Israeli (Matt Brooker)...

I for one was looking forward to this as 2000AD was the only comic I ever really read as a kid. The documentary itself was well made. Learning how the comic came about and is still going strong today despite all the ups and downs over the years from various people that have worked and still work on the comic was extremely interesting. The interviews are very frank, open and honest. I highly recommend this to fans of 2000AD! A link to pre-order the DVD can be found further down the page.

Here's D’Israeli and I after he signed my copy of Leviathan.


The DVD is now available to pre-order on Amazon HERE. Check out the trailer...

The last film of the evening was a French remake of Mario Bava's Rabid Dogs...

"After a bank job goes badly wrong, three desperate criminals take a young woman and a father and child hostage, which is the beginning of a frantic and violent road trip that not all of them will survive."

Éric Hannezo makes his directional debut with this tense and violent thriller with a twist.

Solid acting from all the cast and a great script gives this French film the edge over a lot of modern English language thrillers.

Standout performances come by way of Guillaume Gouix and Lambert Wilson.

Rabid Dogs gets 4 Stars

Check out the trailer below...

It was an absolutely perfect way to start Mayhem! Look out for Part 2 soon...

Nina Forever (2015) Review

Showing at Mayhem Horror Film Festival, Nina Forever was the second film of day 2. I missed the first film due to work and not being able to finish early, but that really didn't matter, as this film delivered in spades.

This "fucked up fairy tale" follows Rob (Cian Barry) shortly after he attempts to commit suicide on his motorbike due to loosing his girlfriend in a car crash. Working in a dead end job, he meets fellow co-worker Holly (Abigail Hardingham), who has a huge crush on Rob.

Rob deals with the loss of Nina by visiting Nina's parents once a week. In the meantime, Rob and Holly start dating and fall head over heals for one another and on the first night they sleep together, something extremely strange happens.

While in the throws of passion, a spot of blood starts to seep through the bed sheets. Of course, neither of the young lovers notice at first, but as they are gripped in sexual heat the blood spot soon becomes a pool, drenching the bed. Out of the blood grows hands, arms, legs. When these hands of the body rising out of the blood pool starts to get involved in the couples sexual exploits, Holly and Rob notice and, to say the least, are shocked! 

Rob's ex-girlfriend Nina (Fiona O'Shaughnessy) is now lying on the bed next to them in full naked glory, covered in blood with all the wounds she received during her fatal car crash. As if this isn't bad enough, Nina is in full blown conversation with both Rob and Holly.

The new couple find themselves trying to deal with what happened. Holly actually deals with this better than Rob does. They try having sex again and sure enough, Nina makes a grand appearance, but this time Rob and Holly try to get Nina involved with the bedroom antics. However, this doesn't last and Holly finds herself being pestered by Nina outside of the sexual activity causing Rob and Holly to split up and go there separate ways. Holly soon realises that this hasn't solved anything...

The first thing I'll say about about this film is this... These types of films are why I attend horror film festivals. Once again, we're treated to a fantastic British horror at Mayhem. In 2013 they had The Borderlands and last year Mayhem showed the Irish film The Canal. Both brilliant movies.

The first thing about Nina Forever that stood out was the cinematography which features some very British scenery that captured the rather bleak but beautiful essence of the surrounding area where the film is set. This bleak beauty was also present within the entire feel of the film.

With solid support from David Troughton (Dan) and Elizabeth Elvin (Sally) as Nina's bereaving parents, both Abigail Hardingham as Holly and Cian Barry as Rob were fantastic in their roles. Both so very natural in what was sometimes a very awkward relationship in the film. Both faultless in their performances. But, it was Fiona O'Shaughnessy portrayal of the living dead girl Nina, that stood ever so slightly above all others. If, like me, you watched Channel 4's Utopia (the only British show I've ever watched religiously!), then you're familiar with how great Fiona is. Her performance as Nina can only be described as weird and wonderful. Possibly the hardest role in the movie, looked executed with ease.

Chris Blain, Mad Mike, Cassandra Sigsgaard, Ben Blain
During the Q&A after the screening, directors Ben Blaine and Chris Blaine revealed that O'Shaughnessy had no interest in doing the film after reading the script and it was a friend that got sick of hearing about "this film" from Fiona who told her that she obviously thought the script was good as Fiona never shut up about it! So thankfully Fiona O'Shaughnessy took the part and in my humble opinion turned out to be perfect for it.

Written and directed by Chris and Ben Blain, besides a TV movie and a handful of shorts, this is their first feature. However, this is not noticed in any way shape or form. After watching the film you'd think they've been doing this for years. It simply is that damn good. The script, while diving into darker issues of dealing with death, personal loss and how that affects those around you, was absolutely hilarious in some places with some extremely British humour. With flawless directing from such a bold script, the film crosses the boundary of multiply genres. The attention to the creaking and twisting of Nina's blooded up and broken body was horror perfection. Some of the sex scenes were extremely erotic and sensual, but cultivated with taste. The humour, quick-witted and brazen. As if all of that wasn't good enough, we're given a very cool soundtrack too.

In fact, the whole film is so fucking cool, that I'm even contemplating getting a Nina Forever tattoo. That how much I loved this movie! Anyway, as normal, I digress...


Nina Forever gets 5 Stars

Check out the trailer below...


Sunday 4 October 2015

Mayhem Horror Film Festival 2015

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, then you'll know I'm always banging on about Mayhem Horror Film Fesltival in Nottingham. Why, I hear you asking? Because it's awesome! I first went in 2012 for just the one film, the Soska sister's American Mary. 2013, I managed one whole day. 2014, I attended the whole weekend. This year, I booked my weekend pass nice and early.

Besides the fact it's only about 14 miles away from where I live, the film choice is always good, there's always special guests and the atmosphere is fantastic. Check out my blog posts from last year's event...
Day 1 & 2. Day 3. Day 4. 10 Years of Mayhem.

There's just over a week now to Mayhem, but there's still tickets left. This year's event will run from Thursday 15th to Sunday 18th (October). Hit up the click for more info and tickets...

The full line-up and schedule for Mayhem 2015 is available below:

Thursday October 15th

Dir. Michael Thelin, 2015 (USA) with Sarah Bolger and Robert Bozek.

8.45PM FUTURE SHOCK! THE STORY OF 2000AD + special guests Paul Goodwin, producer Sean Hogan and 2000AD writer and artist D’Israeli.
Dir. Paul Goodwin, 2015 (UK).

Dir. Eric Hannezo, 2015 (FRA/CAN) with Lambert Wilson and Laurent Lucas.

Friday October 15th

Dir. Miguel Llanso, 2015 (ETH/SPA), with Daniel Tadesse and Selam Testayie

6.30PM NINA FOREVER + special guests Ben and Chris Blaine and producer Cassandra Sigsgaard.
Dirs. Ben Blaine & Chris Blaine, 2015 (UK) with Fiona O’Shaunghnessy and Cian Barry

9.00PM HOWL + MAKING MONSTERS masterclass with Paul Hyett.
Dir. Paul Hyett, 2015 (UK) with Sean Pertwee and Ed Speleers.

Dir. Benni Diez, 2015 (GER/USA) with Jessica Cook and Matt O’Leary.

Saturday October 17th

Dir. Takashi Yamazaki, 2014 (JAP) with Shoia Sometani and Eri Fukatsu.

Dir. Jason Krawczyk, 2015 (USA) with Henry Rollins and Jordon Todesey.

Dir. Various, 2015 (International).


Dir. Brian Yuzna, 1989 (USA) with Billy Walrock and Connie Danese.

Sunday October 18th

Dir. Jason Hei Howden, 2015 (NZ) with Milo Cawthorne and James Blake.

1.45PM GERMAN ANGST + special guest Michal Kosakowski.
Dirs. Michal Kosakowski, Jorg Buttgereit and Andreas Marschall 2015 (GER).

Dir. Robert Eggers, 2015 (USA) with Ralph Ineson and Kate Dickie.

6.45PM AAAAAAAAH! + special guest Steve Oram.
Dir. Steve Oram, 2015 (UK) with Toyah Wilcox and Julian Rhind‐Tutt.

Dir. Karyn Kusama, 2015 (USA) with Logan Marshall-­‐Green and Tammy Blanchard.

Full Festival passes, day passes and individual tickets for Mayhem Film Festival 2015 are also available from

The Unquenchable Thirst of Dracula is made possible thanks to Hammer Films, CATH (Cinema and Television Research Centre) and the De Montfort University.

Mayhem Film Festival takes place on 15-­‐18 October at Broadway, Nottingham with the support of the BFI Film Festival Fund, awarding funds from The National Lottery.

Check out the trailer for the event below...