GORE gluttons can get their fix at the tenth annual Fantastic Films Weekend as the bloodbath kicks off on Friday at the National Media Museum in Bradford.
The festival offers gore hounds and sci fi fanatics a rare chance to watch a mix of new, favourite, retro, cult and classic movies on the big screen instead of watching a crappy DVD on TV.
This year’s event celebrates the 100th birthday of Vincent Price, one of the most enduring icons of 20th century horror cinema, with a ‘Vincentenary’ tribute of his work, including Bloodbath at the House of Death - Friday 10 June, 1pm - and Tim Burton’s beautiful Edward Sissorhands - Sunday 12 June, 11am.
The festival officially launches on Friday night with the acclaimed new South African zombie movie, The Dead at 9.30pm. The Ford Brothers’ take on the walking dead sees Rob Freeman as a soldier who finds himself alone and on foot in an African wilderness with hundreds of miles of harsh scrubland – and thousands of ravenous zombies.
Those who don’t scare easily can stay for the festival’s ever-popular Midnight Screamer - the director’s cut of William Friedkin’s all-time horror classic The Exorcist, This is a rare chance to wince at the best ever projectile vomiting captured in all its glory on the big screen.
“Fantastic Films Weekend aims to bring audiences closer to some of their favourite scary movies, and we encourage people to get the real horror experience by watching these films in the cinema, especially if they’ve only ever seen them on DVD before,” Tony Earnshaw, artistic director of Fantastic Films Weekend, told Confidential.
Fantastic Films Weekend will honour the memory of two industry favorites who died last year. Director Roy Ward Baker, and legendary Hammer horror actress Ingrid Pitt, will be remembered with several screenings of their work, including cult classic The Vampire Lovers - Saturday 11 June 2.30pm - which stars Pitt and was directed by Baker.
The Vampire Lovers is the first of Hammer’s Karnstein Trilogy and will be followed by screenings of Lust for a Vampire and Twins of Evil.
Sci-fi fans will be queuing up to see the original Clash of the Titans (1981) featuring the unique skills of stop-motion animation and special effects genius Ray Harryhasuen. His fans will be in for an extra treat as models created by Harryhausen, including Medusa from Clash of the Titans and a skeleton from Jason and the Argonauts, will be exhibited outside Insight, the Museum’s Collections and Research Centre.
Schlock fans can check out Hobo with a Shotgun - Saturday 11 June, 9pm - which was a big hit at Bradford International Film Festival earlier this year. The film follows a homeless vigilante as he blows away crooked cops, paedophile Santas, and other scumbags with his trusty pump-action shotgun.
Equally barmy is Let’s Scare Jessica to Death - Sunday 12 June, 11am - telling the creepy tale of a recently institutionalised woman and her bizarre experiences after moving into a supposedly haunted country farmhouse where she fears she may be losing her sanity once again. Director John D. Hancock has provided an introduction.
Special live gore guests are Peter Sasdy, director of Countess Dracula, Hands of the Ripper and Nothing but the Night, and Jonathan Miller, the man behind Whistle and I’ll Come to You, still regarded as the best televisual rendition of any M.R. James tale. They will be taking part in exclusive Screentalk interviews and answering questions from the audience.
Peter Sasdy’s unique adaptation of the Jack the Ripper story, Hands of the Ripper, will be screened at 7pm prior to his on-stage interview on Friday 10 June.
Jonathan Miller takes part in a Q&A and interview on Sunday 12 June with Professor Sir Christopher Frayling, an authority on British gothic horror, following a free screening of Whistle and I’ll Come to You at 5.30pm. Other Miller works in the programme include the all-star Alice in Wonderland from 1966 - Sunday 12 June, 2pm - and the long-lost TV play The Drinking Party from 1965, Sunday 12 June, 4pm.
For festival passes, day passes or individual tickets visit nationalmediamuseum.org.uk/fantastic or call the Museum box office on 0844 856 3797 Weekend pass £60 / (£50 concs), day pass £25 (£20 concs) (passes do not include IMAX titles). Single tickets £6.75 (£5.00 concs), Imax DMR £9.50 (£7.25 concs) - FFW pass holders receive £1 discount on IMAX films. Screentalk interviews with guests are priced at £6.50 (£4.50 concs).