SHOCK’s Howard Gorman picks his top five flicks for Film 4 FrightFest 2016!
Glasgow Film Festival’s Film 4 FrightFest strand is fully primed and promises to raise the terror landscape bar once again this year with a record-breaking 13 feature films on the menu; all garnished with a savory selection of choice shorts and disgustingly talented guests to pander to your horror hankerings.
Staying true to its tried and tested winning recipe, FrightFest guarantees a celebration of “the ground breaking, the innovative, the unexpected, the unique and the extreme, and with the main event lingering on the horizon, Shock’s here to help plan your visit with a list of five ground breakers we sternly suggest you check out if you happen to be in the neighborhood…
PATCHWORK (UK Premiere)
Forget every Frankenstein movie you might have seen before! Fans of ’80s midnight movie mayhem are in for a real treat with Tyler MacIntyre’s brash riff on Mary Shelley’s legend replete with excruciatingly sore gore and waggish one-liners that’ll have you in stitches.
‘Frankensteining’ three disparate young women in the same body turns out to be the perfect vehicle for examining contemporary female relationships as the Femmekenstein trio learn to put differences aside and join forces to exact brutal revenge on their creator. All three leading ladies put in sterling performances, but triple helpings of kudos go out to Tory Stolper who prevents anything from falling apart at the seams with an absolutely unhinged performance of a lifetime.
In case you missed it, Shock’s David Bertrand recently caught up with MacIntyre for a chat over HERE.
SOUTHBOUND (UK Premiere)
Last August, FrightFest embraced anthology horror with open arms, screening TALES OF HALLOWEEN and A CHRISTMAS HORROR STORY, and Glasgow will be no different. This February finds SOUTHBOUND on the menu, an exciting compendium of five interlocking tales from the creators of the V/H/S franchise that cunningly integrates all the pieces of the puzzle before coming right back on itself to seal a shuddersome circle of death and destruction.
SOUTHBOUND tells the terrifying tales of ill-fated travelers who make the drastic mistake of taking a very wrong turn along a hellish stretch of desert highway that has nothing but deathly desires. Aesthetically astounding, boasting buckets of blood and The Gifted’s sinister score that brings Disasterpiece’s recent IT FOLLOWS soundtrack to mind, and most importantly, not a dud segment in sight, we might just have the anthology of the year on our hands already.
BASKIN (UK Premiere)
Landing high on my list of favorites at last year’s Sitges Film Festival comes Can Evrenol’s arthouse Turkish trip to torment, BASKIN: “The most walked out of, grossed out, psyched out movie in Turkish box office history. so the helmer says.
Equal parts character-driven dramedy/ritualistic torture porn, this visceral eulogy to Clive Barker, H.P. Lovecraft, et al. finds a police squad summoned way out of their depth when they stumble across a Black Mass being performed by a sadistic cabal of freaks with a penchant for blood ceremonies of the absurdly grotesque kind. Buoyed by a hauntingly hellish aesthetic, excruciatingly feral torture tactics and perturbing perversity, BASKIN forges a genuinely uncomfortable cinematic oubliette of grotesquerie and is sure to cement Evrenol’s place on the genre map.
An extra bit of good news for FrightFesters is that Evrenol will be on hand to provide an intro.
SHOCK also caught up with the helmer himself recently in celebration of the Turkish release. You can read that interview HERE.
THE HEXECUTIONERS (UK Premiere)
Ritualistic terror doesn’t end with BASKIN as director Jesse Thomas Cook (SEPTIC MAN), and scribe, Tony Burgess (PONTYPOOL) have concocted a sordid and bloody treat going by the name of THE HEXECUTIONERS.
A tale of sanctioned euthanasia and vengeful spirits, Tony Burgess’ penchant for socially sentient satire adds so much extra clout to this supernatural shocker, steeping it in metaphors aplenty as it raises a massive mocking middle finger to the tighter-fisted fortune-hunters of the corporate world we live in.
Cooks Gothic tale of terror is easily one of the most innovative and aesthetically impressive supernatural tales Ive seen in yonks and impresses all the more thanks to an absolutely compelling and inextricable relationship between the two leading ladies (Liv Collins & Sarah Power) that injects the film with a lethal shot of sensuality and sexuality.
THE MIND’S EYE (UK Premiere)
Whilst THE HEXECUTIONERS serves up plenty of fodder for the old gray matter, Joe Begos violent revenge thriller, THE MIND’S EYE, will give FrightFesters a chance to lie back in a telekinetic bloodbath and revel in the weapons-grade firework display.
Planting both feet firmly in the VHS era, Begos tale of telekinetic fugitives seeking vengeance against a miscreant medic is the ultimate action-packed revenge rendition of Cronenberg’s SCANNERS, sans social commentary, this side of the ’80s. The huge ensemble cast of genre regulars absolutely embraces the retro vibe thing our helmers got going on here too, putting in stainless parodical performances without ever crossing over into send-up territory.
Begos’ previous splatterfest, ALMOST HUMAN, went down an absolute treat at FrightFest Glasgow 2014 and theres not a doubt in my mind’s eye that hell receive an even warmer welcome this year when he attends the screening to get the party started.
Prepare yourselves for plenty more FrightFest coverage from Shock but, in the meanwhile, feel free to share your thoughts…