Abertoir Film Festival Schedule
Wednesday 10th November
Thursday 11th November
0000: Mystery Grindhouse with Nicko and Joe’s Bad Film Club
Friday 12th November
Saturday 13th November
Sunday 14th November
A unique homage to giallo, this visual trip through the aesthetics of the genre taps into its very psyche. Following the girl Ana through three phases in her life (childhood, adolescent and adult), it is a film driven by the experience of being seen. Bolstering a fabulous soundtrack taken straight from the original movies, the attention to detail is phenomenal and perfectly captures the feel and even editing style of the original classic giallo pictures.
This screening will have an introduction by renowned Giallo expert Mikel Koven.
THE CAT AND THE CANARY with live piano accompaniment
A classic silent horror film adaptation of John Willard’s 1922 black comedy play of the same name. Directed by German Expressionist filmmaker Paul Leni, this highly influential film follows the story of Annabelle and her family who must spend the night in their uncle’s haunted mansion where they are stalked by a mysterious figure. Meanwhile, a lunatic known as “the Cat” escapes from an asylum and hides in the mansion.
Director Paul Leni was known for blending expressionism with humour and this film was extremely influential in the ‘old dark house’ genre of films popular from the 30’s through to the 50’s. It was also a very early horror entry for Universal Studios and is considered the cornerstone of Universal’s school of horror.
We are delighted to welcome back silent film pianist Paul Shallcross, who will be playing a score specially commissioned by the Abertoir Horror Festival.
COUNTESS DRACULA with introduction by Dr Kate Egan
Based on the true story of Elisabeth Bathory (Ingrid Pitt), the eighteenth-century Transylvanian Countess who indulged herself in an orgy of murder and vampirism.
The ageing Countess discovers by accident that the blood of young virgins has an unnatural restorative effect on her celebrated beauty. Years later, she becomes engaged to a handsome young Hussar and is forced to repeat vile atrocities with ever-increasing regularity to hold off old age.
DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK plus recorded introduction
Set in beautiful Vancouver, four friends set out on an everyday errand and end up in a fight for their lives when they discover the body of a dead hooker left in their trunk. Lead by a sexy, impulsive Badass (Sylvia Soska), her distant Geek twin sister (Jen Soska), their bible thumping, Jesus loving Goody Two Shoes friend (CJ Wallis), and a chaotic, rockstar Junkie pal (Rikki Gagne), the group has to put aside their differences to dispose of the body before they’re next.
Thrown into their own personal purgatory, they face off against persistent police, a sleazy motel manager, chainsaw wielding triads, and a brutal serial killer. All the while they are followed by a mysterious Cowboy Pimp (John Tench) who wants to claim the corpse for his own. Will they uncover the truth behind the body and be able to stand up to their demons? Buckle up and get ready for the ride of your life filled with gun fights, extreme violence, blood, guts, gore, and goats!
Dead Hooker In A Trunk is the unexpected first feature film written and directed by identical twin sisters, Jen and Sylvia Soska. The newcomers created an impossible film that is an underground sensation, destined to be a cult classic and will make you fall in love with films again!
Sam has always been obsessed with vampires from the time he was a child. On Sam’s 21st birthday, a mysterious gentleman offers him a peculiar career choice: become an assistant to a real life Vampire. Intrigued and enthusiastic, Sam takes the job but soon realizes that it is not so cool or pleasant to serve his master’s corrupt and neurotic behaviour.
Probably the first horror film about the sub-prime mortgage crisis, this enjoyably violent film tells of a frustrated prospective home-buyer who will do anything to reduce the price of a Hong Kong apartment she has her eyes on…
Screening sponsored by the Lampter Confucius Institute
Jan Doense, Netherlands 2003, 7mins
Night has fallen. A thunderstorm approaches. In a lonely house a young woman mourns her deceased husband. In the cemetery across the street the shape of a man rises from his grave…
UK PREMIERE – EXORCISMUS
From the producers of REC, this latest film follows 15-yr-old Emma Hawkins. Restless, tired of her overprotective parents and sick of having to watch her younger brother all the time, she hopes to get away and have a life of her own. Suddenly, Emma’s life changes in an unexpected way when she starts having frightening fits. Although her parents attribute her behaviour to psychological problems, Emma senses that something much darker is hiding inside her. As the situation gradually worsens, it becomes clear that whatever is hiding inside her won’t be hiding for much longer. Starring Stephen Billington and Abertoir favourite Doug Bradley.
UK PREMIERE – FIRED
Joy Mittal, the arrogant CEO of H.W.L.S, in a hardnosed decision to repair his scandal ridden work record, and prove his ability to emerge as a pioneering leader in times of financial crisis, fires all the employees from his London office. Amongst the sacked employees is Ruby Herminson, an alluring, sophisticated, career-driven woman, with whom a married Joy is having a long affair. Joy fires Ruby along with the rest of the people he considers expendable.
After a trying day, Joy wraps up some paperwork and tries to head home, but soon realizes that the only possible way of leaving the office is the one he least bargained for. Cornered in a deserted office, Joy discovers the monstrosity of the gruesome supernatural force in the building, which is hell-bent on extracting revenge for his ruthless actions.
A film that caused controversy in India, this is a fascinating movie that plays out in real-time.
THE HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL
What Abertoir festival is complete without our unofficial patron saint Vincent Price making an appearance? A rich millionaire (Price) invites a group of people to his mansion with the promise that if they survive the night, they will receive $10,000. Castle was a fond lover of gimmicks, and frequently employed a number of surprises for the audiences who attended his films. However, we do stress that this particular screening is so frightening that you should only attend if you’re sure you can stand it, we wouldn’t want to have to remove you now would we?
A young man wakes up in a cellar with no windows, an eerie neon light and a huge vault door made of impenetrable steel. The room is empty, except for a dead rat and a mysterious rusty locker he doesn’t have the key for. The man thinks he’s the victim of a particularly cruel practical joke, but soon he realises he’s going to die of thirst and hunger if he doesn’t quickly figure out how to escape. However, it seems there’s no way out.
I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE
Not released until February 2011, this is a special advance screening of the new remake of Meir Zarchi’s controversial 1978 cult horror film. A beautiful woman from the city, Jennifer Hills, rents an isolated cabin in the country to write her latest novel. Soon, a group of local lowlifes subject Jennifer to a nightmare of degradation, rape and violence. Left for dead, she returns for vengeance, trapping her male attackers one-by-one.
MUTANT GIRLS SQUAD
Noboru Iguchi, Yoshihiro Nishimura, Tak Sakaguchi, Japan 2010, 90mins, subtitled
From Kurosawa and Ozu through to modern day directors such as Yôji Yamada, Japanese cinema has also been renowned for its subtle expression of human emotions and family drama. If you are a connoisseur of this unique heritage of cinema, then we recommend renting Rashomon and staying far far away.
Yes, this is the ultimate in Japanese splatter, teaming up three of the country’s leading gore experts: Noboru Iguchi (ROBO-GEISHA, THE MACHINE GIRL), Yoshihiro Nishimura (TOKYO GORE POLICE, VAMPIRE GIRL VS. FRANKENSTEIN GIRL) and Tak Sakaguchi (DEATH TRANCE, VERSUS, SAMURAI ZOMBIE).
Rin is a seemingly normal Japanese high school girl. Yet after witnessing her mother’s face blown into bits and her father’s severed head falling into her birthday cake, Rin’s dormant mutant abilities are suddenly awakened transforming her into a brutal killing machine. Going on the run, she encounters a group of girl mutants including one who can grow a chainsaw from her body, and another one who can grow tentacles from her fingers. The team hone their skills to take revenge on the Japanese population and transform the country into a mutants only zone.
Think X-Men with tentacles.
MYSTERY GRINDHOUSE In Association with Nicko & Joe’s Bad Film Club
A long-standing tradition in the Abertoir schedule is our extremely popular Mystery Grindhouse. A film so terrible and cringe-worthingly bad, that we have to clean our screens after showing 90 minutes of pure crap. Well, this year will be no exception, and we are delighted to welcome comedians Nicko and Joe who will provide a live commentary to destroy what little shreds of credibility this mystery film ever held.
For the first time the shackles of polite cinema etiquette are discarded as the audience are encouraged to jeer, heckle and participate with the film creating a unique interactive cinema experience. Because, as we know, nothing is as much fun as watching a bad film with friends but, then again, nothing can be more soul destroying than watching one alone…
“Taking the piss out of such movies in the rowdy, bear-pit atmosphere that Nicko and Joe encourage is, I think, a way of reclaiming some of the time we’ve lost to all those bad films. I suspect this goes to the heart of the Bad Film Club’s appeal.” Time Out
In the depths of the Korvatunturi mountains, 486 metres deep, a team of experts are drilling for something. When a herd of reindeer is brutally ripped apart and children start to disappear, it appears the Christmas stories of Santa could not be more wrong. Stylish, award-winning film with a brilliantly warped sense of Tim Burton-esque humour.
THE SILENT HOUSE
With expert direction and camerawork, this is a film guaranteed to make you jump out of your seat. Not content with a regualr setup, The Silent House goes one further, and that’s because it was shot in just one single take. With great attention paid to the production values, and a true maturity to handle the shocks, this is a technical, visual and atmospheric achievement unlike any other in horror history.
Laura and her father arrive at a remote cottage on the eve before their contract to renovate it begins. Dank, dark, gloomy and bereft of electricity – forcing the pair to rely on battery lanterns and candles – they sit and wait alone while the house owner heads out for food. He leaves them with only one instruction: Don’t Go Upstairs. When her father does just that to investigate some strange noises, Laura’s stark staring fright night commences. Strong, compelling and mesmerising, THE SILENT HOUSE is a remarkable exercise in spine-chilling terror.
WORLD PREMIERE – SIREN plus Q&A with producer Christopher Granier-Deferre
Escaping the city for a weekend away, company man Ken and his girlfriend Rachel meet up with an old friend, the exotic and worldly Marco. Their plan is simple — tour the local coast for a relaxing weekend in the wilderness. Things hit a snag when Marco spots a beautiful young girl, the sultry and seductive Silka, waving for help off the shore of one of the many secluded islands. But if anyone needs help now, it’s them… SIREN is a terrifying tale of lust and revenge set on an abandoned island in the Mediterranean.
We are delighted to welcome producer Christopher Granier-Deferre for a Q&A after the screening.
VAMPIRES plus Q&A with producer John Engel
Brilliantly funny mockumentary focussing on a family of modern-day vampires living in Belgium. Bored with immortality, they spend their time going about their ordinary lives: attending classes on blood-sucking, eating illegal immigrants, children and handicapped folk, and taking every advantage they can to suck out of the country’s social system. Samson, a seventies throwback, lives his 55th year like he’s forever 20. Grace, an eternal teenager bent on being human again, keeps committing suicide. While George, the patriarch, manages as best he can, heading the eccentric family and its on-going squabbles with the neighbouring vampires.
We are delighted to welcome the film’s producer John Engel here to Aber for a Q&A following the screening.
THE VIOLENT KIND
Troubled Cody (Cory Knauf), a second-generation member of a violent and notorious biker gang, rides out with his friends to a party at a farmhouse located deep within the redwood forest. At the end of the wild evening, things take a turn for the worse when Cody’s ex-girlfriend Michelle (Tiffany Shepis) is discovered wandering aimlessly and covered in blood, screaming and convulsing. Cody and the others desperately try to get help for Michelle while stuck in the middle of nowhere, but their plans are quickly ruined when another malicious gang turns up. But what they want is far worse than just picking a fight.
The Violent Kind is a rare film, blending genres and twisting expected storylines to give a memorable and fun film. We dare you to guess the ending.
In the Valleys of South Wales a lonley spirit lingers in the dark, searching for his lover.
UK PREMIERE – WAKE
Driving to a wedding in LA through the Mojave Desert, Paul and Adrienne pull off the highway and into Roy’s Motel and Café. This roadside artifact proves to be a strange and surreal place with an unsettling mix of travellers, who force our couple to discover the horrifying secret hidden between them. Directed by the producer of the excellent All the Boys Love Mandy Lane.
WE ARE WHAT WE ARE
Already being heralded as the new ‘Let the Right One In’, this Mexican film is a powerful and compelling look at cannibals in a modern-day society. After a middle-aged man dies in the street, he leaves his widow and three sons destitute. The devastated family is confronted not only with his loss but with a terrible challenge – how to survive. As cannibals, they have always existed on a diet of human flesh consumed in bloody ritual ceremonies… and the victims have always been provided by the father. Now that he is gone, who will hunt? Who will lead them? How will they feed their horrific hunger?
In a village in Eastern Europe, beset by soldiers, its people seek different strategies to survive. But gradually the situation is complicated to limits that were never suspected.