Monday, October 18, 2004

Slouching, croaking and bleating toward the IFI


This weekend, for those who are in Dublin, is the annual Horrorthon, a four day shotgun blast to the rotten underbelly of the collective unconsciousness, many interesting things will be popping up, or rather sliding out of the closet and gradually slithering their way downstairs like wounded blamanges.

For those who are interested, this demonstration of all things corrupt and nightmarish will be revealed to the waking world in the IFI (Eustace Street, Temple Bar) from the 22nd to the 25th of October, oddly enough, the weekend before Halloween - not Halloween itself.

This year, the Horrorthon brings us at least two premiers. The first of which is the Irish Zombie movie (Joy!!!) "Dead Meat" which apparently takes a quasi - humorous view of the undead in that the origins of the Living Dead are actually rooted in the recent spate of mad cow disease. The fact that a hurley stick is used to decapitate one of the fiends has been talked about to a great extent in the Irish Press as proof of our National contribution to the genre, something I am reserving judgment on. Now I have not seen this movie, nor the short that preceded it, but I get shivers of joy knowing that there is at least a small possibility of large scale zombie GAA teams, Massgoers, Schoolchildren and Farmers. I feel a tingle where I really shouldn't when I think of the "Oirish Undead" being shot at, hacked to pieces, decapitated, set on fire, and diced, in fact dispatched in any way that does not involve an EU grant. Sounds like the cinematic equivalent of a daytrip to Dundalk.

The second premiere being a "secret film" the name of which will not be known until you actually pay the ticket and take your seat, which is scheduled for, I think, sometime Saturday.

Other showings in the festival that I personally am looking forward to are:

The Grudge (directed by Sam Raimi of Evil Dead fame, an American remake of the Japanese hit Ju-On) with the usual more spooky than gory approach of the recent hits like the Ring, and the Eye (the Eye 2 is also being shown this Horrorthon). The Grudge centers on a house with some really bad vibes in its past, enough to create some more in the present.

The Grudge 2: this is by all accounts a superior Japanese sequel to the original Japanese movie, more than likely involving more unfortunate visitors to the house to be rent of all their Karma in the most disturbing way possible.

Tobe Hooper (of "the Texas Chainsaw massacre" fame) has an alleged return to form with "the ToolBox Murders" a supposed supernatural slasher flick, with little or no humor, so don't go confusing it with Dead and Breakfast. Mr. Hooper don't play no games.

The Classics also seem to be well represented being dragged beaten and bloody from the vaults are: John Badham’s 1979 Dracula (celebrating its 25th birthday), Jess Franco’s sleazy shocker Bloody Moon (1981) and Umberto Lenzi’s cannibal movie Eaten Alive (1980) (Eaten Alive is a good example of the 70's and 80's euro-exploitation flix though whether it could be considered classic by anyone who is not already a fan of this genre is debatable).

Oh and one last shot, not included in the Horrorthon, but with current cinema release

.....OldBoy - the winner of the Cannes film festival this year....don't miss at any costs, its the most kenetic, disturbing, and engaging revenge fantasy filmed. In fact it seems to be a direct challenge to the Japanese by the Koreans for the "most fucked in the head nation" award. This cannot be avoided by anyone who actually wants to see how cinema is growing....

And that my friends is all the plugging/reviews you get as the organizers of the Horrorthon threatened to disembowel me and wrap the remains round a tree if I was to let the festival go unmentioned.

After all that plugging I feel guilty enough to actually write some original horror fiction this week. So stay tuned.

Advance booking is open for Horrorthon at the IFI Cinemas, Temple Bar, Dublin 2,
Tel:+353 1 679 3477 (special weekend packages available).

Torment and Despair



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