Monday, September 04, 2006

FrightFest Day 4 - Monday

Outside the OWE (photo by Ian Rattray)

And so to the final day of this year's festival! Monday began with a short film Missed Call which was about infidelity and was pretty decent. The first feature of the day was the Spanish serial killer drama H6: Diary Of A Serial Killer which was quite unpleasant to watch but didn't really take the viewer anywhere... it just got boring in the end. Loads of us ended up chatting outside in the interval and Ian was doing the rounds with his camera getting some more snaps for the FrightFest website. With the Pang Brothers' new film Re-cycle turning up without subtitles a last minute change to the schedule was made, with Thai chiller Ghost Of Mae Nak stepping in to take its place. I think I was probably the only person to have heard of this one, let alone seen it (twice!) but I was quite pleased as it gave me the opportunity to catch up with director Mark Duffield who I'd previously spoken to about the film last year. Before Mark introduced the film we were treated to Deadly Tantrum, the short which we'd been given a copy of on DVD - thankfully this comedy/slasher was a hoot and went down very well with the audience! We also saw the new trailers for Transformers and Pulse.

Mark Duffield with Paul McEvoy

I wasn't sure if I'd sit through Ghost Of Mae Nak for a third time, but after ten minutes it had drawn me in and I stayed with it until the end. Crowd reaction seemed mixed, but at least it was something a bit different and in fact was first Asian film of the weekend. You can read my haiku here and my review for Eat My Brains here. Mark returned for a short Q&A with Paul McEvoy so I helped out by asking the first question. As I walked out of the cinema for the next break I spotted a familiar figure by the ticket desk - P director Paul Spurrier who I'd spent quite a bit of time with when I was out in Bangkok in February. He told me about the work he had lined up here for the next couple of weeks and discussed the ongoing saga of P getting a DVD release and the latest happenings with P2 - basically the script is now written but the film all hinges on securing a financing deal, and if that happens then he hopes to begin shooting in February 2007. Back inside we had the surprisingly tasty trailer for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning and the Puritan crowd turned up to introduce their film.

Puritan (l-r): David Soul, Georgina Rylance, Nick Moran and Hadi Hajaig

Puritan wasn't a disaster, in fact many people liked it, but it just wasn't my kind of film. To be honest it's something I'd like to see again and perhaps re-evaluate. Alan Jones conducted the Q&A afterwards with director Hadi Hajaig and actors Nick Moran, Georgina Rylance and David Soul and that was certainly a lively affair; one American lady was desperate for Nick to name the American studio movie he'd been shooting in Russia which he loathed (he wouldn't) and another guy simply voiced his opinion that he didn't believe the story which was a bit harsh and uncalled for. David was also presented with a huge card which we'd all signed as it was his birthday, much to his embarrassment! I'd been planning to get a decent meal during the next break but with Paul Spurrier around that got shitcanned in favour of a quick trip to the pub and a chat about all the latest happenings in Thai cinema. We made it back just as Troma's Poultrygeist trailer was playing, and then settled down for more of Ian's Trailer Trash - Red Sonja actually broke in the projector, but once that had been fixed we got a bit of Amin: The Rise And Fall and the always entertaining Death Race 2000. It's a shame director Scott Glosserman couldn't make it for the screening of Behind The Mask: The Rise Of Leslie Vernon (he'd broken his leg, or similar...) as this part-
documentary, part-slasher film was an ideal choice for FrightFest and went down a storm. I managed a quick run to Subway and then it was back for the final film of the festival - and a welcome second showing of the Charley Says FrightFest trailer. Korea's mega-box office hit The Host was a fine closing film and sported an amazing first half hour as the creature goes on the rampage (no slow build up in this one) but then settled down into a much subtler family-orientated picture. Good fun though!

Post-FrightFest party at the Phoenix Club

And that was it for another year... well, not quite, as Ian, Paul & Alan had kindly invited us all to a party at the Phoenix Club on Charing Cross Road. This proved the perfect way to wind down, relax, sink a few beers and chat to old and new friends from the weekend. I finally got the opportunity to catch up with Rachael and also had fun talking to Michael, Charlotte, Dave, Paul, Richard, Lauren and Ian. A final thank you speech from Alan and then we were kicked out onto the streets at 3am and reluctantly said our goodbyes. A fantastic end to a fantastic festival! Roll on Halloween and the mooted one day event at the ICA...

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