Joe Dante

Are you ready…for absolute MAYHEM? The Mayhem Film Festival descends upon Nottingham, UK, at the Broadway Cinema, October 11 – 14, 2018. Featuring some of the best of horror, sci-fi, and cult classic features and shorts, there’s going to be a wide variety of cinematic genre offerings that should keep everyone happy.

Quite a few of the menu items have been making the rounds at many of the festivals, with some of them even winning awards. You’ll find a few that have been reviewed here and some that are about to be in the very near future, including:

Mayhem Film Festival: Anna and the Apocalypse (2017)Anna and the Apocalypse : A Scottish high-school Christmas zombie musical, this one’s been getting a lot of buzz lately, and MAYHEM will also feature a Q&A with Anna and the Apocalypse’s director John McPhail.

Mayhem Film Festival: The Witch in the Window (2018)The Witch in the Window: Canadian filmmaker Andy Mitton’s follow-up to Yellowbrickroad and We Go On, this supernatural chiller is primed to bring a lot of unhappy relationships together. For those families where someone loves horror movies but hates the PG-13 ones and has yet another finicky watcher who loves horror but ONLY if it’s PG-13, The Witch in the Window is that happy medium where everyone gets what they want. With a minimum of reliance on tired horror tropes and no gore whatsoever, The Witch in the Window specializes more in classic creeps, using the slow-burn technique to come to a heart-warming, yet also heart-breaking finish.

Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich continues to advance the beloved cult Full Moon Features franchise, with both fan favorites Udo Kier and Barbara Crampton on board.

Mayhem Film Festival: One Cut of the Dead (2017)One Cut of the Dead: Asian filmmakers have had their American brethren hanging their heads in shame (or they should be) with the way they’ve been managing to freshen up the tired zombie genre, with Korea’s outstanding Train to Busan and the quirky Chinese gut-muncher Zombiology: Enjoy Yourself Tonight. Now it’s Japanese co-writer/director Shin’ichiro Ueda’s turn, and if the other two are any indication of what kind of surprises to expect, you probably want to get your tickets to this one ASAP.

Mayhem Film Festival: What Keeps You Alive (2018)What Keeps You Alive: Even if you’re not familiar with Colin Minihan’s name, you’ve probably seen one or both of the films in the Grave Encounters franchise that he launched, or maybe his zombie-apocalypse-hits-Sin-City thriller It Stains the Sands Red. Based on his past work alone, his latest, a remote, woodsy horror drama sounds like another ‘must-see’ to add to your list.

Mayhem Film Festival: Nightmare Cinema (2018)Besides these films, there are also some debuts and other goodies worth noting. Nightmare Cinema is the much-anticipated horror omnibus from genre icon Mick Garris, who gave us the unforgettable Showtime shock-stravaganza Masters of Horror. Directors on-board this time around include Garris himself, Joe Dante, David Slade, and Ryuhei Kitamura (No One Lives, Versus, Midnight Meat Train).

Mayhem Film Festival: Mandy (2018)Mandy, the plenty-talked-about horror-on-acid freakshow starring – appropriately enough – Nicolas Cage – will infiltrate the Festival as well, and hopefully have tongues wagging just as much about its writer/director Panos Cosmatos, who also created the equally trippy Beyond the Black Rainbow.

And if One Cut of the Dead leaves you ravenous for more Japanese horror-goodness, you’re in luck. Making its UK premiere will be Shinsuke Sato’s live-action adaptation of the popular manga Inuyashiki.

And if this wasn’t mind-blowing enough, there’s also going to be a screening of the Lamberto Bava/Dario Argento collaboration from 1985, the crowd-pleasing Demons, and from Finland, The White Reindeer, a rarely-seen supernatural adaptation of a Finnish folk tale, made in 1952 by director Erik Blomberg.

More information about dates, times, the features and shorts, and where to get tickets, can be found at www.mayhemfilmfestival.com.

The MAYHEM FILM FESTIVAL Brings Scares Aplenty To The UK

The MAYHEM FILM FESTIVAL Brings Scares Aplenty To The UK

Are you ready…for absolute MAYHEM? The Mayhem Film Festival descends upon Nottingham, UK, at the Broadway Cinema, October 11 – 14, 2018. Featuring some of the best of horror, sci-fi, and cult classic features and shorts, there’s going to be a wide variety of cinematic genre offerings that should keep everyone happy.

Quite a few of the menu items have been making the rounds at many of the festivals, with some of them even winning awards. You’ll find a few that have been reviewed here and some that are about to be in the very near future, including:

Mayhem Film Festival: Anna and the Apocalypse (2017)Anna and the Apocalypse : A Scottish high-school Christmas zombie musical, this one’s been getting a lot of buzz lately, and MAYHEM will also feature a Q&A with Anna and the Apocalypse’s director John McPhail.

Mayhem Film Festival: The Witch in the Window (2018)The Witch in the Window: Canadian filmmaker Andy Mitton’s follow-up to Yellowbrickroad and We Go On, this supernatural chiller is primed to bring a lot of unhappy relationships together. For those families where someone loves horror movies but hates the PG-13 ones and has yet another finicky watcher who loves horror but ONLY if it’s PG-13, The Witch in the Window is that happy medium where everyone gets what they want. With a minimum of reliance on tired horror tropes and no gore whatsoever, The Witch in the Window specializes more in classic creeps, using the slow-burn technique to come to a heart-warming, yet also heart-breaking finish.

Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich continues to advance the beloved cult Full Moon Features franchise, with both fan favorites Udo Kier and Barbara Crampton on board.

Mayhem Film Festival: One Cut of the Dead (2017)One Cut of the Dead: Asian filmmakers have had their American brethren hanging their heads in shame (or they should be) with the way they’ve been managing to freshen up the tired zombie genre, with Korea’s outstanding Train to Busan and the quirky Chinese gut-muncher Zombiology: Enjoy Yourself Tonight. Now it’s Japanese co-writer/director Shin’ichiro Ueda’s turn, and if the other two are any indication of what kind of surprises to expect, you probably want to get your tickets to this one ASAP.

Mayhem Film Festival: What Keeps You Alive (2018)What Keeps You Alive: Even if you’re not familiar with Colin Minihan’s name, you’ve probably seen one or both of the films in the Grave Encounters franchise that he launched, or maybe his zombie-apocalypse-hits-Sin-City thriller It Stains the Sands Red. Based on his past work alone, his latest, a remote, woodsy horror drama sounds like another ‘must-see’ to add to your list.

Mayhem Film Festival: Nightmare Cinema (2018)Besides these films, there are also some debuts and other goodies worth noting. Nightmare Cinema is the much-anticipated horror omnibus from genre icon Mick Garris, who gave us the unforgettable Showtime shock-stravaganza Masters of Horror. Directors on-board this time around include Garris himself, Joe Dante, David Slade, and Ryuhei Kitamura (No One Lives, Versus, Midnight Meat Train).

Mayhem Film Festival: Mandy (2018)Mandy, the plenty-talked-about horror-on-acid freakshow starring – appropriately enough – Nicolas Cage – will infiltrate the Festival as well, and hopefully have tongues wagging just as much about its writer/director Panos Cosmatos, who also created the equally trippy Beyond the Black Rainbow.

And if One Cut of the Dead leaves you ravenous for more Japanese horror-goodness, you’re in luck. Making its UK premiere will be Shinsuke Sato’s live-action adaptation of the popular manga Inuyashiki.

And if this wasn’t mind-blowing enough, there’s also going to be a screening of the Lamberto Bava/Dario Argento collaboration from 1985, the crowd-pleasing Demons, and from Finland, The White Reindeer, a rarely-seen supernatural adaptation of a Finnish folk tale, made in 1952 by director Erik Blomberg.

More information about dates, times, the features and shorts, and where to get tickets, can be found at www.mayhemfilmfestival.com.


Posted by Samuel Glass in ATTRACTIONS AND DESTINATIONS, EVENTS, HORROR NEWS, PRESS RELEASES, 0 comments
CON REVIEW: HorrorHound Weekend, Indianapolis, IN, 2018

CON REVIEW: HorrorHound Weekend, Indianapolis, IN, 2018

HorrorHound Weekend has come and gone once again. Last weekend their stop was Indianapolis. The guest list was highlighted by Bruce Campbell, Robert Englund, Shannen Doherty, Kane Hodder, Jason Patric, and Lou Diamond Phillips. Iconic director Joe Dante even made a surprise cameo. If that was not enough, Kiefer Sutherland headlined the group. The venue was new for HorrorHound as it had been moved to the JW Marriot for the first time. Fans from all over the country regardless of where they lived flocked to downtown Indianapolis to meet their favorite stars.

Celeb Photo Ops Clint Narramore

Let’s start with the negatives and get them out of the way. Do you hear that sound? Crickets… There were not very many if any negatives, so let me nitpick. I think there could have been a little better communication about where screenings of movies were going to be. The hotel had issues with keys to rooms not working (I am nitpicking with that and this no way reflects on the con, by the way). I had to find something to improve on for the show and there it is.

Sarah Gregory Sarah Gregory Sarah Gregory

Positives? Everything else. Friday night at 5:00 PM when the show opened for general admission, there was a huge line of goers trying to get in. There was also a Bruce Campbell photo op scheduled for 5:30 PM. The solution was simple and extremely effective. Allow those who had purchased a photo op for that time to enter in the VIP line. Problem solved. Celeb Photo Ops did an AMAZING job moving lines quickly through the photo ops and getting perfect shots. There are other great companies but they are in my opinion the bar when it comes to photo ops.

Celeb Photo Ops

Big guests draw big lines that can cause problems with fans. HorrorHound, however, KNEW that. Their solution was again, simple and effective. They issued time cues for people to come back and stand in line at certain times for these guests. For Shannen Doherty, they formed a line in the hall along the wall and allowed five people into her main line at a time. This avoided clutter and massive lines in the main room. These little things created a better environment for everyone involved. HorrorHound knew some complaints from other shows but instead of saying, “Oh well”, they sidestepped the landmines.

Celeb Photo Ops

HorrorHound ran one of the most effectively run conventions I have seen. They did a great job creating a smooth show however, they had time to see what problems to avoid. By setting this standard, they must now ensure all of their shows run this smooth. That is the goal of all shows, but HorrorHound proved it’s possible.

Overall Grade: A+

Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in EVENTS, REVIEWS, 0 comments

BOOK REVIEW: Step Right Up! (2010)

I'M GONNA SCARE THE PANTS OFF AMERICA

MEMOIRS OF A B-MOVIE MOGUL

By Woofer McWooferson

Step Right Up! Cover 1 new

Author: William Castle; Publisher: William Castle Productions; ISBN: 978-0-5780-6682-0; Media: Paperback; Length: 276 pages; Genre: Autobiography; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 2010

Emergo! Percepto! Illusion-O! Fright breaks, Coward's Corner, life insurance policies, punishment polls, and cardboard axes! Fans of horror movies in the 1950s and 1960s know these terms well as they are signature gimmicks of the consummate showman and director: William Castle. Even as a young child, Castle knew that he wanted to scare audiences to the same extent that he was scared during The Monster, a horror play that he attended with his father when Castle was the tender age of six. He was hooked on horror, and he knew exactly what he wanted to do with his life.

Step Right Up! I'm Gonna Scare the Pants off America: Memoirs of a B-Movie Mogul is Castle's autobiography and a captivating journey through the life and mind of the man John Waters called, "...my idol. His films made me want to make films.” Originally published in 1976. Step Right Up! contains musings and recollections that are colorful, entertaining, and educational, his descriptions weaving a tapestry that makes readers feel as if they are sharing a brandy with Castle himself in his den. With Castle as our tour guide, we accompany him backstage to meet Bela Lugosi, whose difficulty in pronouncing Castle's surname, Schloss, instantly convinced the young man to adopt the name Castle, the English version of Schloss. We watch as a young Castle bluffs his way into a meeting with Orson Welles, eventually earning the right to take over Welles' Mercury Theatre. And we thrill as a chance encounter with Vincent Price completely changed the direction of Price's career, eventually establishing him as one of the greatest horror actors in the US.

Though Castle's success undeniably sprang from his ability to sell his films as a multimedia experience – a heretofore relatively rare tactic in filmmaking. Step Right Up! gives readers an unparalleled ride through Castle's life and career at a pace that never flags and that keeps the reader entertained, wondering what will next inspire the genius that was William Castle.

Not sure if Castle is your cup of mead? Check out some of these titles at the Internet Movie Database:

Bug (1975)
Shanks (1974)
Circle of Fear (1972 - 1973)
Rosemary's Baby (1968)
Project X (1968)
The Spirit Is Willing (1967)
The Busy Body (1967)
Let's Kill Uncle (1966)
I Saw What You Did (1965)
The Night Walker (1964)
Strait-Jacket (1964)
The Old Dark House (1963)
13 Frightened Girls! (1963)
Zotz! (1962)
Mr. Sardonicus (1961)
Homicidal (1961)
13 Ghosts (1960)
The Tingler (1959)
House on Haunted Hill (1959)
Macabre (1958)

If you like horror, step right up to check out Step Right Up! You will not be disappointed.

Bonus Fact: The character of Lawrence Woolsey (John Goodman) in Joe Dante's 1993 film Matinee is based on William Castle.

10/10 claws – don't forget your "Illusion-O" handheld ghost viewer

Posted by Alan Smithee in BOOKS, COMICS, AND PUBLICATION REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments