Each year, purveyors and geek-lovers of horror and fantasy swarm to Film4′s FrightFest Festival for a morbidly fascinating insider look into some of society’s more twisted (and brilliantly entertaining) offspring.
So it’s like watching The Jeremy Kyle Show.
Only much more fun and with the added wish-fulfilment of actually seeing a crazed killer/alien/giant squirrel bounty hunter go nuts and wipe the annoying plebs out.
Long Story (and my waffling)-short, it’s the premier film festival for anyone interested in anything fantasy-y or horror-y, and it’s bloody brilliant.
While the actual FrightFest isn’t for a few months yet, the organisers have announced the dates for the ‘Spring Awakening’ – a tasty little warm-up that’s debuting a number of big-name films, including some potential cult classics you may not have heard of.
Seven new films are set to be shown across the day, including ‘Repo! The Genetic Opera’ (starring Paris Hilton and Buffy’s Antony Head in a Glam-rock/jet-black comedy/all-singing, all dancing/gore extravaganza – which, for the sake of my now typed-out fingers, is worth going to see for the genre alone), ‘Shuttle’ (like Taxi Driver, only more disturbing), ‘Not Quite Hollywood’ (an incredibly funny and faithful grindhouse documentary all about Australian movie exploitation – with added Quentin Tarantino) and a SURPRISE FILM which anyone with even a passing interest in horror or comedy should be able to work out what it is.
We’re not exactly Angela Lansbry, but we’ll do our best here.
It’s described as ‘One of the most eagerly awaited British offerings of the year. Prepare to scream and laugh!’
Hmm, let’s see. Hugely anticipated British horror-comedy. While we can’t guarantee anything, let’s just say ‘Sapphic Nosferatu Homicid-ers’? (Read: Gavin and Stacey’s Matthew Horne and James Corden’s much awaited movie debut).
With a whole host of stars and directors guaranteed to turn up, any worthwhile horror and fantasy fan needs to get themselves down to the Prince Charles Cinema (just off Leceister Square) on Saturday March 7.
Tickets are available from the cinema’s box office on 0870 811 2559. Individual tickets are £7.50, while all-day passes are only £30.
Or check out the website here!
WATCHMEN: On general release from Friday 6th March
23 years in the making, tossed about Hollywood like a rag doll, Watchmen looked like it’d be doomed never to be seen. The wait has been tortuous, but I am glad that this film could only be made now.
The graphic novel of Watchmen is a perfect story board for a special effects film, but it was not until now that it could be done justice. Dr Manhattan, for example, would have looked terrible even a couple of years ago but, big glowing…man bit and all, he looks fantastic.
There are undeniably corny moments in Watchmen – it is, after all, a superhero film – and a lot of spandex and capes, but that shouldn’t distract from the fact that this is one hell of a hard hitting movie, fully earning its 18 certificate. The violence gets bad enough at times to make our editor hide behind her hand, which is kind of understandable as blood splatters across the 3 storey high IMAX screen. It’s gratuitous, but Snyder is merely being loyal to the novels – just as he is right up to, but not including, the ending – and the fight scenes are done incredibly well, never overcooked but always forceful and not too camp. At times, Watchmen is literally frame for frame with the graphic novel, including the death of the Comedian at the very start. Read more and understand the wonders of the Watchmen!
Freida Pinto, the ex-model and travel TV presenter from Mangalore in India, broke into international recognition for her part as Latika, the lead female in Slumdog Millionaire, which has been cleaning up at the awards season. Danny Boyle likened his discovery of her during the audition process to finding Kelly Macdonald when he was casting Trainspotting, and it seems that Pinto is going to be living up to her hype.
Apparently, the sultry actress has caught the eye of Woody Allen. To be fair, which hot blooded male’s eye hasn’t been caught by Freida Pinto? Unfortunately most of us aren’t enormously influential, Oscar winning filmmakers who can basically validate an actress’s career. The buzz is that she’s set to star alongside Josh Brolin, Antony Hopkins and Naomi Watts in an as yet untitled London project. Excitement city!
Movie star Kate Beckinsale is to have a flavour of Pot Noodle named after her. In what is one of the most ludicrous stories we’ve come across this year, this privilege stems from Elton John’s post-Oscars party (where else?). Apparently the star of Underworld, The Aviator and Van Helsing was heard saying “I’m just looking for a Pot Noodle and a cup of tea”.
On hearing the news, Pot Noodle’s flavour development director said that they are “always on the lookout for ideas for new flavours, so when Miss Beckinsale announced her love for Pot Noodles we just had to make one in her honour.” He went on to explain the new flavour, saying that “Steak & BeckinsALE is just like Kate – classically British and a tasty little number.” Looks like Pot Noodle’s becoming more like a girl rather than girls being more like Pot Noodle.
We haven’t really been subtle in our school-girl crush and excitement for the Hollywood’s latest superhero movie Watchmen, and tonight our squeals will be reaching fever-pitch as the stars and film make their London Red Carpet premiere in Leicester Square.
In celebration, we here at OTB have got the latest rather groovy MTV spoof documentary and a super-spanky Watchmen competition for you to enter and win tons of Watchmen goodies – including film companions, hoodies, watches, torches and sunglasses!
Once you’ve done that, check out the latest bit of viral greatness below. This is going to be huge.
The winners of this year’s Oscars have been announced, and while the apple cart wasn’t completely rocked, at least there was a little nudge to keep us awake.
While the majority of the announcements were predictably underwhelming, Sean Penn’s surprising nabbing of the Best Actor Award for his role in Milk served to make the night at least momentarily intriguing. With a whole heap of pre-Oscar awards, comeback interviews and nights out on the town, it was obvious that Rourke was expecting to win as much as we all thought he would.
But don’t worry Mickey. The way you’re going, you’ve only got another 20 years to wait for your next chance. …Read On for More Oscar Goodliness
You guessed it. It turns out that what started out as an arguably one film gag has now successfully blossomed into a whole trilogy of Focker-goodness, with the announcement of Little Fockers – the follow up to Meet the Fockers.
Universal announced that while the cast list has yet to be tied down, the plot will focus around the (no doubt demonic) spawn of Ben Stiller and Teri Polo, and will feature returning roles from both Robert De Niro and Owen Wilson (in what could be a noticeably expanded arc for his newly ordained character).
Depending on your view, it’s either relieving or worrying to see that director Jay Roach will not helm the project, as he’s preparing to start filming Donner For Schumcks for Dreamworks.
What do you think? ‘Thank Fock for that!’ or ‘Not Another Focker’?! Post your feedback and share in the joy of cheap gags!
PUSH: On general release from Friday 20th February 2009
With the popularity of Heroes and the film realisations of some of Marvel comics’ greatest creations coming to the big screen (X-Men, Iron Man, Hulk); interest in the paranormal, of humans with “abilities” is at an all time high. And so we come to Push, a sci-fi thriller which ticks all the usual supernatural boxes but offers nothing new to say about any of them.
In the opening narration we’re told that there exist people born with special powers that they don’t necessarily want. Watchers can see the future, Movers can use their powers to move objects, Sniffers can track where you’ve been by smelling an object you once used (ahem), and Pushers can infiltrate your mind, create false memories and make you do things you don’t want to do.
Nick is a Mover, hiding out in Hong Kong from the Division, a shady government organisation bent on capturing and militarising their abilities led by Henry Carver (Hounsou), a powerful Pusher. He’s visited by a little girl called Cassie, (Fanning), a Watcher, who tells him that he needs to find a woman. The woman is Kira (Belle), another powerful Pusher who has escaped from Division’s clutches and will lead them to a suitcase of money. …Read more
OTB’s Rob Pearson celebrates the beauty of the short film…
Picture the scene: it’s a rainy Sunday evening in Covent Garden. You’ve walked down the red carpet, gazed at Gemma Arterton a bit, hobnobbed with the brightest and best of the film industry… and Sharon Stone… and you settle yourself down into a comfy velvet seat at the Royal Opera House. You skipped lunch, of course – that tingle of anticipation in your stomach was too much to bear.
The nominations are announced, and now it all hits you like a freight train – the nerves, the fear, the excitement, and above all, the hunger to win one of those beautiful trophies. Time stops as the envelope is peeled open. “Come on, come on! Open it! Hurry up! Is it me?!”
It’s you. Dumbfounded, you stumble out of your seat, make your way down the aisle and accept the BAFTA for… Best Short Film.
This year’s winner was September, directed by Esther Campbell. I’d like to congratulate her on her wonderful film, but there’s one small problem: I’ve not seen it. I probably never will see it. As of right now, the film has accumulated a mighty 15 votes on imdb. Putting it into perspective, the Godfather has 340,000 votes. Hell, even 1920s German expressionist films can get 20,000 votes. Perhaps now that the BAFTA is in the bag, September can be propelled to the heady heights of hitting the 20s, but a century of votes seems a long way off.
The short, you see, is drastically under-represented. “Short films have got their own poetry which is very separate from feature filmmaking,” quoth Campbell, and, of course, she’s bang on the money. But despite being honoured – in animated and live action form – by every academy and every festival panel from here to Timbuktu, shorts rarely ever find a decent audience. It’s taken as read that directors graduate from shorts on to features – here’s a couple of formative efforts by some big names:
…Watch some short films
It seems everyone wants to get a piece of that recession chic.
Confessions of a Shopaholic premiered in Leicester Square this week, and star Isla Fisher and novelist Sophie Kinsella were put under the spotlight of the $64,000 question – “how is this relevant in our straitened times?” The two acquitted themselves well, stumbling through winding declarations of economic morality, saying that not only will a fun film give people who have lost their jobs something to smile about, but also that it teaches the lesson of resisting the temptation of credit. If only we’d known! Robert Peston and Vince Cable are as nothing to the Kinsella/Fisher/P.J Hogan (who?) dream team.
And now Sex and the City is hitching its apple wagon to the Shopaholic car, with Sarah Jessica Parker et al. confirming that whilst they have signed on for a second big screen adaption of the hit TV series, it will have to address the global economic crisis to succeed. Confusingly, though, she went on to say that it ought to be a “romp” after the first film’s heartbreak. So a “romp” with the word “Sex” in the title which will tackle the global economic crisis. Sounds…fun?