And so the end is near and so I face the final curtain, the curtain that is in Screen 1 of the Empire Leicester Square as Bank Holiday Monday 29th began the last day of FrightFest 2011.
Exciting and unexpected things always happen at FrightFest with surprise guest appearances, free gifts and films changing at the last minute and the last day was no exception with the additional screening of Rabies announced due to such massive demand and the replacement of Guinea Pigs with A Night in the Woods as the first film of the last day.
Staring Monster’s Scoot McNairy and The Descents Part 2’s Anna Skellern this found footage fear ride saw three people camping in Dartmoor’s Wistman’s Woods and encountering a lot more than just the local wildlife.
Borrowing heavily from Blair Witch with a pinch of Peeping Tom it may not have been high on originality but it was definitely big on jumps and scares and good way to start the day and a guaranteed way to wake myself up.
The last day of FrightFest is always great for giveaways and 2011 was no exception as I noticed a gaggle of FrightFest helpers brining out boxes filled to the brim with DVD’s and putting them at the front for the crowd to help themselves.
Soon as the horror handouts hit the floor the audience descended upon them as if infected with the rage virus massing together to see what goodies they could grab in an orgy of opulence resembling a bunch of starving vampires who had just broken open a blood bank.
As I watched on awaiting the start of the next film I was suddenly aware of four familiar faces walking up the aisle checking the seats towards me. It turned out this quartet of actors was in fact the Deadheads themselves Michael McKiddy, Ross Kidder, Markus Taylor and Natalie Victoria.
Having flown all the way from America to attend the UK Premiere of their movie they had sought me out to say hi and thank LoveHorror for our recent interviews. I chatted to them for a long while finding out how excited they where to see the film on the big screen and mocking Ross Kidder for being as undressed as I was at his own premiere.
Promising to see them after the film to tell them what I thought the ever so friendly foursome headed to their seats and the stage was lit for the Pierce Brothers to introduce Deadheads to the eager audience awaiting this zombie comedy horror.
Following two unlikely friends Mike and Brent (played excellently by McKiddy and Kidder) who find themselves thrown together after being turned into the walking, talking living dead they set about on a road trip to reunite Mike with his long lost high school love played by Natalie Victoria.
Meeting a bunch of brilliant characters along the way while running from the shady side burned government goons including their undead sidekick Cheese (Markus Taylor) the laugh a minute script is packed with one liners and modern cultural references building up an superb story packed with gag’s, gory action and genuine heartfelt emotion all wrapped up in an old school adventure movie with added zombies.
After an entertaining Q and A I went up to the cast and crew who where busy signing autographs to congratulate them chatting to the movies composer Devin Burrows and telling the amiable and extremely excited actors what a great film it was and how proud they should be which they where very happy to hear.
Up next was the unpronounceable and unexpectedly involving Sennentuntschi: Curse of the Alps introduced by director Michael Steiner this multilayered chilling thriller was not only the first Swiss genre movie but a very well directed and plotted mystery telling a twisting twisted tale of murder, sexual enslavement, past crimes and bloody revenge.
Director Michael Steiner returned to the stage after the film with one of the starts Andrea Zogg to talk about the original myth the movie is based on as well as the harsh landscapes they filmed in where the only way to avoid being hit by giant failing stones was to make sure you where standing under a bigger stone.
A bunch of retro trailers including The Dead are Alive and The Swappers heralded the coming of Inbred a British made gorefest which proves every city dwellers true fears about country bumpkins and their rural warped ways.
Introduced by writer and director Alex Chandon the world premier was about to start when I saw another familiar face coming up the stairs towards my seat. It was FrightFest favourite and noticeably pregnant Emily Booth who had a cameo in Inbred and was looking for her seat which was right in the middle of the row I was sitting in.
Knowing that my seat buddy was away for the last day of the festival I offered her the aisle seat which she thanked me for sitting down to treat her unborn baby to their first dose of horror something I approved of one hundred percent, start them young I say.
The movie was a gross out journey into the warped ways of country folk who don’t take kindly to the group of young urban offenders and their two care workers which turn up in the wrong village at the wrong time. Un-PC and full of gruesome and unusual torture this bad taste British horror had the FrightFest crowd laughing and cheering all the way through enjoying every mucked up minute.
The cast and director returned to the stage for a Q and A where most of the actors admitting they had never done a horror but loved making it and Chandon discussed how the full on gross out effects where achieved.
A Lonely Place To Die was the sold out final film of FrightFest 2011 another British movie and the perfect way to end a wonderful FrightFest 2011 with the director Julian Gilbey and the cast all in attendance.
Staring Melissa George as one of a group of mountaineers who go climbing in the Scottish highlands and find a small girl trapped underground this survival shocker has action, stunts and plenty of scares.
FrightFest 2011 had been bigger, bloodier and even better than last year with a whole host of amazing horror films giving the gore obsessed crowd frights, thrills and so much more.
But as they say all good things must come to an end and FrightFest being one of the best horror festivals on the planet was no exception. I bid a fond farewell to my sacred and oh so comfortable seat in screen 1 of the Empire cinema and goodbye and a huge thank you to the organisers and the staff who had put on such an amazing slate of scary movies and made me feel so welcome all weekend.
With 5 days and over 35 films FrightFest is truly horror heaven and 2011 had upped the ante well above all expectations… until next year that is!