Saturday, 19 November 2016

Abertoir Highlights Day 4

The day kicked off with a retrospective screening of Lucio Fulci's SEVEN NOTES IN BLACK, then it was onto the new stuff! Here we go:


An Abertoir exclusive! DEADMAN INFERNO deservedly won the audience's 'Best Film' award at last year's Abertoir. This was a bit of a curiosity - an hour-long 'prequel' to the events in that Yakuza Vs Zombies picture. Because it's a prequel it features plenty of yakuza antics but no zombies. It was still extremely entertaining and came with subtitles specially translated for Abertoir by co-organiser Gaz Bailey's wife!


This hour-long documentary on the life and career of movie director Luigi Cozzi (STARCRASH, CONTAMINATION) was an affectionate look at a film-maker who, as well as having had his own career, has been intimately involved in that of Dario Argento's as well.


Luigi Cozzi's first fiction movie in 27 years is an absolute delight. Cozzi himself is the star as he gets embroiled in a hugely ambitious plot about parallel universes, the entire history of film and science fiction, and the earth in mortal peril. Shot for 1000 Euros and taking two years to make, there's a bit of a home made feel to it, but that should by no means stop you from checking this out. A serious contender for my favourite film of Abertoir 2016


A live performance in which Laurence R Harvey read the short H P Lovecraft tales FROM BEYOND and THE HOUND while Lancashire-based The Duke St Workshop provided musical accompaniment with some pleasingly retro-sounding bubbling synthesised music influenced by plenty of great movie composers including Morricone, Stelvio Cipriani and Lalo Schifrin (according to the quick word I had with them afterwards). Fans of Les Baxter's early synth work for THE DUNWICH HORROR would have spotted some similar sounds as well.


A very French look at cannibalism that could easily have the word 'Metaphor' burned into the corner of every frame, this tale of a pretty young vegetarian girl starting veterinary college and finding she has a taste for human flesh is probably going to divide audiences. Lots of people love it, I have to say I found a lot of what was portrayed faintly ridiculous, and not in a good way. It's possible it's intended to be taken a great deal more light-heartedly than I viewed it, but the words 'French-Belgian Coproduction' and 'Comedy Horror' have never been easy bedfellows.


See that poster up there? This film's nowhere near as good as that. It's about par for the course in a kind of tired Part VII of a franchise kind of way, though. There's a bit of humour in the first act, and a fun bit with a medium and her helpers twisting their own heads off, but the promised smackdown climax isn't very smacky and doesn't last very long, either. One for franchise completists and the very curious only.

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