Previously at the ICA - Films
2 Nov 2007
Following last year's hugely successful marathon session and their August Bank Holiday extravaganza in Leicester Square, the UK's leading horror and fantasy festival FrightFest returns with another exclusive five-film 'one-fright stand' only at the ICA. Running through to the early hours of Saturday morning, with four fabulous previews, one 'grindhouse' repertory classic and special guests, this is an unmissable event for insomniac horror and fantasy freaks.
In his first independently produced zombie film in over two decades, George A. Romero takes us back to the basic premise of the genre he invented – the apocalyptic day the dead began walking the earth. Jason (Joshua Close) and a small crew of college students are in the Pennsylvania woods shooting a low-budget mummy flick for their film-school project. Their faux frights are replaced with real ones when news reports indicate that the dead are returning to life. In shock and disbelief, the group embarks on a journey back to the safety and security of their homes. Meanwhile, the government first denies, then promises to quell the crisis, but they don't succeed; technology fails and communication with the rest of the world becomes impossible. Driving an old Winnebago past burning cars and shambling corpses, the crew soon learn that there is no escape from the plague of the living dead, nor is there any real home for them anymore. Attacked by ravenous walking corpses at every turn, Jason obsessively films the madness, an unflinching eye in the midst of chaos, even as his friends die around him.
Dir George A. Romero, USA 2007, 95 mins
On our must have list for August's main event, it never materialised, but we have it now. FrightFest is delighted to present a preview screening of Robert Rodgriguez half of the Grindhouse double bill Planet Terror. Set in a small town in Texas who's inhabitants are slowly being turned into zombiesque creatures. Planet Terror is a crazy/serious pastiche and a beautiful homage to the Grinhouse Z-movies, with it's stupid situations, stereotype characters, out of the blues dialogues, extremely gore and fun action scenes, and beautiful woman with gun-legs. Extremely funny and fun.
Planet Terror will be preceded by Far Out, a short film by Phil Mucci.
Dir Robert Rodgriguez, USA 2006, 105 mins
If Planet Terror is a homage to the B Grindhouse films of the late 1970s and early 1980s, then Savage Streets is most definitely the real thing. It stars a very grown up Linda Blair as Brenda, a rough-hewn teenager from the mean streets of L.A. But beneath her cold exterior, she lives for her deaf-mute younger sister Heather. When a silly prank against a gang of hardbitten drug dealing punks goes wrong, Heather and Brenda's and best friend Francine pay the price. Out for revenge, Brenda is on a mission, a mission to deliver her own brand of justice against the thugs. Savage Streets may be stereotypical and transparent, but this teen movie is interesting because it does promote a woman in a "hero" role.
Savage Streets will be preceded by Trailer Trash.
Dir Danny Steinmann, USA 1984, 93 mins
If the words "Nazis," "degeneracy" and "riots" don't pique your interest, you had better stay home and watch sitcom reruns, for the squeamish are bound to find Frontier(s) an uncomfortable ride. As the banlieues of Paris burn due to riots protesting the election triumph of an extreme right-wing party, a group of youths use the chaos as cover for smash-and-grab robberies. For Yasmina, the money is an escape from the slums she has known all her life. With the police on their tail, her gang splits up, planning to meet at an inn near the Luxembourg border. Arriving at their destination, they encounter their hosts, the Von Geisler clan, who seem to be stuck in time: a jackbooted patriarch, his savagely flirtatious daughters and his thuggish sons. Revealing themselves as neo-Nazi fanatics, they see Yasmina as a fresh bloodline for their fascistic fantasy of starting a new Aryan brotherhood. Her friends find themselves trapped in a grim abattoir as Yasmina fights against the Von Geisler's invitation to become "one of the family" in their twisted Gothic household.
Dir Xavier Gens, France 2007, 108 mins. In French with English subtitles.
Four months after the tragic car accident that claimed the life of her husband, the very pregnant Sarah is relaxing alone in her suburban house on Christmas Eve, waiting for her mother to take her to the hospital where her doctor will induce labour. The silent night is broken by a knock on the door. A woman calmly asks to use the phone. Immediately suspicious, Sarah refuses to let the stranger in and calls the police, who find no trace of the woman when they arrive. When they depart, Sarah locks the door, unwittingly trapping herself in a jealous maternal struggle for the survival of the new life within her belly. Sarah must fight back against a scissor-wielding madwoman hell-bent on taking one thing away from her. Hailed by very own Alan Jones in Fangoria as "the goriest film since Peter Jackson's Dead Alive," Inside is a fresh work of Caesarean terror that reaches beyond the current American horror trend of Saw or Hostel. Maury and Bustillo, like Haute Tension's director/writer team of Alexandre Aja and Grégory Levasseur, are die-hard genre fans – and their passion shows.
Dir Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury, France 2007, 85 mins.