Birmingham’s Shock and Gore Festival returns to The Electric Cinema in July, with another classic and trash-tastic line-up of films and events.
The festival kicks off on Friday 25th July at 3.30pm with a screening of THE INNOCENTS (which plays Fri 25th and Tue 29th to Thu 31st), Jack Clayton’s classic adaptation of Henry James’s TURN OF THE SCREW starring Deborah Kerr as the uptight governess given charge of two creepy kids in an isolated country house. Digitally remastered by the BFI, this is a chance to witness a true classic of British cinema on the big screen. Then at 6pm, prepare yourself for R.O.T.O.R, the late 1980s bad film favourite complete with live commentary, followed at 8.15pm by a celebration of the genius of David Lynch, starting with a 35mm screening of the master’s enigmatic MUDHOLLAND DRIVE, followed by a special TWIN PEAKS related screening. Damn fine coffee and cherry pie is served in the café afterwards. Friday night is rounded off with CRONOS, Guillermo del Torro’s stylish take on vampire mythology, at 10.45pm.
Saturday 26th July starts bright and early at 12pm with the Hammer classic THE DEVIL RIDES OUT (also showing on Sunday at 1pm), one of Christopher Lee’s favourites of his own films, based on the Dennis Wheatley novel of black magic and satanic spells. Then at 2pm, Georges Franju’s Gallic art-house horror masterpiece EYES WITHOUT A FACE screens in a pristine new 35mm print courtesy of the BFI, with an introduction by STARBURST’s very own Jon Towlson, author of SUBVERSIVE HORROR CINEMA: COUNTERCULTURAL MESSAGES OF FILMS FROM FRANKENSTEIN TO THE PRESENT.
Bear witness to technology’s terrifying ability to escalate psychosis in the intense serial killer thriller, KILLERS (2014), directed by the Mo Brothers (Timo Tjhajanto and Kimo Stamboel) and produced by The Raid director Gareth Evans, showing on Saturday 26th at 7.15pm. If you saw either of Tjahjanto’s segments in recent anthology films V/H/S 2 and The ABCs Of DEATH, you’ll know this is not a director to shy away from darkness. Here he reunites with his film-making partner Kimo Stamboel for an unforgettable descent into the abyss.
Saturday’s Shock and Gore All-Nighter offers a choice of cast-iron movie classics followed by a chaotic night of music and videogames. When you buy a ticket to the all-nighter, you choose between one of two classic horror films to start your evening off. This year it’s a choice of ALIENS: THE DIRECTOR'S CUT (10pm) or THE LOST BOYS (10.30pm). After the film finishes, everybody then unites for the main party, which begins with the Shock & Gore 2014 awards (such as Best Death and Worst Nicolas Cage Movie) as well as announcing the winner of the inaugural Shock & Gore short film competition. The party then continues with music, specially designed cocktails and live Xbox gaming on the big screen (fancy dress also encouraged).
If you’re feeling a bit the worse for wear on Sunday you may (or may not) want to participate in Birmingham’s first Death Café (1-3pm, free but please book ahead), where people unite to eat cake and discuss their mortal coil. Slightly cheerier – although the subject is still death – is Dr Sketchy’s special session from 3.30 – 7pm. All artstars or scribbling newbies welcome (£7 on the door). Both events take place at the Victoria Pub, 48 John Bright Street.
Meanwhile back at The Electric at 3.30pm, Sunday 27th, Michael Blyth examines horror history through a Queer lens in his talk Queer Eye for the Dead Guy: A Brief History of LGBT Horror.
Viva VHS! presents notorious 1980s Nasty, NIGHTMARE MAKER at 5.45pm.
If the Shock & Gore festival were ever to have an official mascot, it would surely be outrageous drag superstar Divine; and new documentary I AM DIVINE tells the entire story of Divine’s transformation a bullied schoolyard fat kid to underdog royalty at 8.15pm Sunday (and 8.45pm, Monday 28th).
On Tuesday 29th at 6pm The Shock and Gore 2014 short film showcase presents a whole host of short films from filmmakers across the globe. Then at 8.30pm there’s a screening of Dennis Potter’s 1976 PLAY FOR TODAY version of BRIMSTONE AND TREACLE with an introduction from festival organiser David Baldwin.
Film Food Club presents HAROLD AND MAUDE (15) with special foodie treats on Wednesday 30th and Thursday 31st (8.45 pm). Prior to that on Wednesday at 6pm there’s a special screening of the BBC’s 1984 Nuclear War drama THREADS with a live accompaniment by Stems. Finally, on Thursday 31st July at 6.30pm Dr. Karen Oughton presents CRUCIFIXES, CADAVERS & DEMONS, her guide to Religion & Devilish Dealings in Horror Films. Expect theatrics, film analysis and silliness.
More information and tickets from the Shock and Gore website http://www.shockandgore.co.uk/
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