July is soon upon us and that means it’s time to dust off the Ouija board and commune with Birmingham's annual Shock & Gore horror and fantasy film festival. This year’s festival has a distinctly ghostly theme. Kicking off on Friday, July 8th is a special screening of Kubrick’s haunted hotel masterpiece The Shining (1980). Taking place in the spooky environs of Highbury Hall, just outside of the city centre, this promises to be an ‘interactive’ screening (especially considering that Highbury Hall is reckoned to be haunted) with Conjurer’s Kitchen along to provide a sensory experience of edible delights inspired by the movie.
Assuming festival goers survive the night, there follows at Birmingham’s Electric Cinema a week-long run of Jacques Tourneur’s creepy classic Night of the Demon (1957) - screening from June 15th to 21st. New films showing at this year’s Shock & Gore include Anita Rocha da Silveira’s arresting Kill Me Please, Stephen Dunn’s dazzling Closet Monster, the Ghostbusters remake, the James Wan-produced Lights Out, Alex Ross’s disturbing Queen of Earth. There’s also the chance to experience one of the weirdest and filthiest comedies of the year months before its official release, as The Greasy Strangler comes to Shock & Gore on Thursday, July 21st.
Retrospectives include Argento’s giallo classic Deep Red, the Nicolas Roeg masterpiece Don’t Look Now, a 30th anniversary showing of Michael Mann’s original (and best) Manhunter (1986), Alan Clarke’s weird ‘n’ wonderful Billy the Kid & the Green Baize Vampire, David Bowie in The Hunger, and Alan Parker’s stylish 1987 horror Angel Heart. On Saturday, July 16th there’s a twentieth-anniversary screening of teenage witch terror The Craft, introduced by director Charlie Lyne (who recently worked with Fairuza Balk on his teen movie doc Beyond Clueless) and Lyne’s dreamy doc on horror movies, Fear Itself, also shows on the 16th.
Other highlights include: 90s Horror Party Night: Scream vs The Crow on the 16th; The Shock & Gore 2016 Short Film Showcase on Tuesday 19th, and Trash Film Night presents The Howling II: Your Sister’s A Werewolf on Thursday 21st. This year’s ghostwalk takes a tour of Birmingham’s streets for tales of gravediggers, poltergeists and spectral figures before ending up in The Electric for a series of short films adapted from the author M.R. James – The Mezzotint, The Ash Tree, Wailing Well, The Rose Garden and Oh, Whistle & I’ll Come To You, My Lad. Originally broadcast on the BBC and featuring a number of supernatural tales that take in haunted pictures, witches and disturbing visions, they’ll make the perfect capper to a very creepy evening.
For info and tickets head over to www.shockandgore.co.uk.SHARE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW OR ON TWITTER @STARBURST_MAG
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