On Sunday 11 May, the seventh LEEDS ZOMBIE FILM FESTIVAL takes place at the Cottage Road Cinema, Headingley. Organised as always by Dominic Brunt (director/star of the magnificent BEFORE DAWN) and his Emmerdale co-star Mark Charnock, this year they’ve put together a phenomenal selection of movies including THE BATTERY, LIFEFORCE, STALLED and WORLD WAR Z. To remind yourself what I thought of each of those movies, click the posters below.
Day tickets are £15, and are available from the Cottage Road Cinema (click here). More information can be found via Facebook and Twitter. This is a chance to see a truly fine selection of films in the company of two great hosts. I can’t make it, unfortunately, but I’m jealous as heck of everyone who’s going!
If you read my post earlier this week from Grimmfest, you’ll know how much I enjoyed STALLED, a great new British zombie movie. I couldn’t find any release dates (other than VOD in the US from 20 October), but I wanted to give you a heads up so if you see the film showing anywhere, you can make sure you catch it.
Zombie movies are, as we all know by now, easy to get wrong. There’s a tendacy to veer towards clichés and gore at the expense of the story (though I accept there are a huge number of folks who just want clichés and gore…). To my mind, the same is true of both straight-laced zombie movies and comedies (I refuse to call them zomedies, though lots of people apparently do). Okay, so you can have a laugh finding endless gruesome, slapstick ways to get rid of the undead (I’m looking at you here, Zombieland), but I think all zombie stories, whether being played for laughs or not, need a solid plot and characters you give a damn about to succeed.
I’ll be honest, I went into STALLED thinking I was going to hate it, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Watch the trailer then hit the link to read more.
A quick report back and a word of thanks to the organisers of Grimmfest for having Wayne and I along again this year. Although time restrictions meant we were only there on Sunday, we got to catch up with many fine folk and take in a couple of good movies: WITHER – a passable Swedish Evil Dead-esque tale and STALLED – one of the most original zombie movies I’ve seen in a long time (and yes, people are still making original zombie movies). I’ll get a full write-up of STALLED put together in the coming days. I think you’ll enjoy it.
Highlight of the day, though, was Wayne and I hosting a Q&A with Christian James and Richard Kerrigan (director and producer of STALLED), Paul Davis (director of THE BODY – a great little short) and Dominic Brunt (director of the magnificent BEFORE DAWN and a new short, SHELLSHOCKED). A lot of fun and an appreciative audience.
It’s always great to be at Grimm, and I heartily recommend you try and make next year’s festival if you can. There’s a very cool and relaxed atmosphere, a load of excellent films, and Sim, Steve, and the rest of the guys behind the event are passionate fans of (and contributors to) the horror genre. Watch for Sim’s second feature, WHITE SETTLERS coming soon. Keep an eye on www.grimmfest.com for details of next year’s festival and other screenings and events throughout the year.
Next up for me is SCARDIFF on 27 October at the Mercure Holland House Hotel, Cardiff. I’ll be there all day, alongside a load of great guests including the mighty Bobby Rhodes – Tony the pimp in Lamberto Bava’s classic DEMONS. Ticket prices are held at £6.66 until 13 October, but get in quick because they’re selling fast. More details here at www.scardiff.co.uk.