Gorezone International Film Festival Day 2

After Cut and Slash experienced Day 1 of the 3rd Gorezone International Film Festival – all of which you can read Here – it was Zombie 2’s turn to take over and head to The Prince Charles Cinema in London’s Leicester Square for a sunny Sunday well spent in a dark room full of fanatic horror fans watching scary movies…

Opening early at around 10 am I arrived just in time for Gorezone girls and our festival hosts Emily Booth and Christa Campbell to take the stage. Christa Campbell has stared in many horror movies including three recent remakes Day of the Dead, The Wicker Man and 2001 Maniacs and Emily Booth, who has strong links with Gorezone and FrightFest, has also appeared in horror films including Evil Aliens, Cradle of Fear and Pervirella.

Booth is perhaps better known as a presenter working on the Horror Channel meaning she was the perfect choice to run proceedings during the festival introducing each movie and running competitions throughout the day offering signed DVD’s and subscriptions to Gorerzone to the egger audience.

After a brief intro and the showing of the Saw 3D trailer (which amusingly accompanied every film shown much to the hilarity of myself and the audience) we started Sunday’s shocking schedule with Cyrus: Mind of a Killer.

Written and directed by Mark Vadik it had an all star cast including cult icon Lance Henriksen, Charmed’s Brian Krause and Danielle Harris in her second film of the festival. Like Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer before it the film follows a small TV crew trying to uncover the back story of a psycho stalking innocent girls in a small town.

Telling Cyrus’s story from his abusive upbringing to the betrayal that warped his mind and made him a killer the film is a nasty insight into the world of a murderer with a great cast and some truly nasty moments.

Another journey into the mind of a maniac followed with New Terminal Hotel a twisted tale of a Hollywood screenwriter who lets art and reality blur as he slowly becomes a murderous vigilante hell bent on revenge and retribution.

Slow paced and surreal this grimy tale of hookers, drugs, debauchery and death is also a critique of Hollywood and is most notable as one of the last performances of the tragic Brat Pack star Corey Haim who was as much a true life victim of the failure of the Hollywood dream as the fiction characters that inhabit the movie.

Uwe Boll has made his name as a dreadful director of direct to DVD dire video game films so it came as somewhat of a shock to see his new movie Darfur a disturbing and very real documentary style story about the 2003 massacre in the region of the same name.

Staring Edward Furlong, Billy Zane, Kristanna Loken and David O’Hara at times the direction slipped into cliché looking more like a charity advert than a feature film. However it was good to see Boll take on a serious subject which challenges its audience to confront a historical event that everyone should understand. A harrowing film about a horrific event, this may not be a horror film but it is definitely Boll’s best work.

As we moved towards Sunday evening I noticed a sudden surge of smart dressed folks flooding into the cinema. Feeling slightly underdressed I popped outside to see what was up and saw an invasion of English celebrities all arriving for the screening of Brit horror Devil’s Playground.

In attendance was director Mark McQueen and lead actors Craig Fairbrass and Craig Conway as well as their co-star Jamie Murray’s father English actor Billy Murray best known for his ‘Injury Lawyers for you’ ads. With TV stars from Emmerdale and Hollyoaks along with Abi Titmuss, and Martin Kemp it felt like a proper premiere albeit a very English one.

The film itself was an entertaining zombie movie very much in the vein of 28 Days Later, following the decimation of London after a chemical company unleash a performance enhancing drug on the British population. This transforms them into flesh hungry free running killing machines.

With Danny Dyer, MyAnna Buring and a moustachioed cameo from Sean Pertwee, this is a violent horror full of Fairbrass cracking undead skulls. This kept the crowd happy as they laughed and cheered, prompting McQueen to comment in his Q and A with the two Craig’s afterwards that he was ‘surprised how funny the audience found it’ as he hadn’t known his movie “was a comedy.”

The trio talked about the shooting which took place over 5 weeks and was great fun for all, and the low budget which was only 1.2 million. Craig Fairbrass, a massive horror fan, said that he had turned down Brit gangster film Bonded by Blood to do this as he loved the script so much. Asked by a member of the crowd if ‘after fighting zombies in this movie and vampires in Dead Cert was he doing a werewolf film next’ Fairbrass laughed and said he would love to given the opportunity, so here’s hoping.

After such a starry screening it was time for something completely different as Mark L. Lester, director of the amazing Arnie action epic Commando, brought a cautionary tale for any wannabe rock stars to the screen with Groupie. Sex, death and rock n’ roll feature highly as cursed band, The Dark Knights, see their comeback tour deteriorate as a series of unexplained murders take place.

Staring Taryn Manning, Hal Ozsan, Betsy Rue, Mitch Ryan and gravel voiced Eric Roberts this is a thriller packed with gore, guts and guitars which shows that you should always put your band before broads or things get bloody.

For those hardcore enough to not heed the threats of the irate, irritating and insufferable transport workers (and stay past the start of the tube strike), there was a treat in store in the form of The Prometheus Project.

A modern re-imagining of Mary Shelley’s fantastic Frankenstein, the film centres around a group of scientists experimenting with illegal stem cell research who stumble on the potential to regenerate dead tissue. As the doctors conduct their gruesome tests on human flesh the results take gore to the extreme, but then again what would you expect from a film featured at Gorezone.

The day ended with what felt like the 1 millionth showing of the Saw 3D trailer and a movie match-up which brought the festival to a fitting end. After Freddy vs. Jason, Godzilla vs. King Kong, Megashark vs. Giant Octopus we where treated to Dhama Vs Gacy. Two of the most sadistic serial killers finally face off to answer the unanswered question on everyone’s lips – who would win if Jeffrey Dhamer and John Wayne Gacy had a fight? A comedy horror with enough of both to keep the crowd entertained it was a rip roaring end to a day of fiendish fun.

It had been a brilliantly brutal day of dark deranged entertainment, but sadly Gorezone was over for another year. And as I headed out into the cold, dark night away from The Prince Charles Cinema I was already excited in anticipation for what next year would bring.


Alex Humphrey

Alex studied film at the University of Kent and went on to work for Universal Pictures in their Post Room gaining an inside look at the movie industry from the very bottom. Constantly writing reviews in everything from local magazines to Hip Hop sites Alex honed his critical skills even spending a brief period as a restaurant critic. Read more

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