And now, in its fourth year, Grimmfest is getting ready to open its bloody doors again!
The festival starts up proper at the Dancehouse Theatre in central Manchester from Thursday 4 October to Sunday 7 October, but will actually open with a preview night on Wednesday 3 October. This will see Grimmfest, for the first time, extend to another city, the neighbouring town of Stockport, with the Stockport Super Plaza hosting what sounds like an impressive double bill:
SINISTER, the new haunted house thriller starring Ethan Hawke, which isn’t released nationwide until the following week. From the press release by Momentum Pictures: ‘A True Crime author, researching a new book, moves his family into a house in which several murders were committed. A box of Super 8 film reels discovered in the attic reveals that there is something a whole lot darker at work than he anticipated…’
And if that’s not enough to whet your appetites, there’s also AMERICAN MARY, the new film from Jen and Sylvia Soska, the talented twins whose previous work, DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK, was met with well-deserved acclaim at the 2010 Grimmfest. From their press release:
‘Impoverished medical student Mary Mason gets pulled into the shadowy underworld of illegal body modification surgery after she performs a few questionable procedures for a local mobster. Here she finds the respect and creative fulfilment the conventional medical world had denied her, as well as the opportunity for gruesome revenge on her tormentors…’
If you’ve read Scott’s previous articles on the Soska Sisters, you’ll know they’re a force to be reckoned with, and if you’ve not seen DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK, find it (read Scott’s review here)! There’s also the preview of a short film, DYSMORPHIA, the first of three short “body horror” films from Glasgow-based horror journalist Andy Stewart, whose love of horror led him to start the popular horror blogsite, AndyErupts.com, last year.
Thursday night brings us a truly gala Opening Night, with the preview of COMEDOWN, from the director of KIDULTHOOD, and is said to do for slasher movies what ATTACK THE BLOCK did for the alien invasion genre.
Of even greater interest for me is the much-anticipated zom-com COCKNEYS VS ZOMBIES. Essentially boiled down to SHAUN OF THE DEAD meets LOCK STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS, this high-energy tale stars Michelle Ryan (from the ill-fated BIONIC WOMAN remake) and ex-Avenger Honor Blackman as a foul-mouthed, gun-toting pensioner. Both Ryan and Blackman will be making an appearance, along with the director for a Q & A session after the showing. There will also be a late-night showing of the fabulous SOME GUY WHO KILLS PEOPLE (see Scott’s review here).
Friday night offers an extra special event: a celebration of Clive Barker’s 60th birthday, with a showing of the Cabal (and longest) Cut of his cult classic NIGHTBREED, alongside a special Q+A with cast members and FX experts. There’s also a showing of Greg Olliver’s DEVOURED, a bleak psychological thriller capturing the 70s urban scuzz of films like TAXI DRIVER and DRILLER KILLER. There’s also a showing of the Irish monster movie GRABBERS (see my review here) and a repeat showing of SOME GUY WHO KILLS PEOPLE.
Saturday is an all day and night affair, offering us a a little bit of the old and a little bit of the new, with WAKE UP AND DIE, ‘a bone-chilling study of sexual paranoia and ever-darker narrative possibilities’; the classic Hammer film THE DEVIL RIDES OUT; the marvellously-titled Argentine anthology CURSED BASTARDS; the gory and funny Spanish tribute to Paul Naschy and John Landis ATTACK OF THE WEREWOLVES; and the claustrophobic Australian monster movie CRAWLSPACE.
And Sunday night will close the festival with, among other gems, a reshowing of the classic BASKET CASE, BELOW ZERO with Edward furlong and Michael Berryman (my review is here), and STITCHES, a slasher comedy starring stand-up comedian Ross Noble as a clown who returns from the dead (and anyone who’s seen his easy-going routine onstage might be surprised by his performance here). He will be making an appearance following the showing.
You can buy tickets for the individual showings and nights, but a weekend pass for Grimmfest will set you back £60. But, as shown above, there’s plenty to get your fangs into, and the pass also grants you half price entry to the preview night (full price £8), and free entry to the opening gala, and opening and closing parties. There’s also some fantastic competitions every night of the Festival.
Simeon Halligan, director of the festival, has said, “We’ve got some great guests and some great premieres. This is undoubtedly our best line up yet!”
For tickets, scheduling, and more information on Grimmfest 2012, visit the official GRIMMFEST website.