by GREG KING.
Monsterfest hits the cinema Nova on November 20, with an impressive line up of almost forty horror films from here and overseas. There are lots of special guests, including Ashley C Williams, the star of The Human Centipede; Bill Moseley from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2; Canada’s twisted twin sisters Jen and Sylvia Soska, who have two films in the festival this year; and Lloyd Kaufman, the legendary head of Troma Studios. The opening night film is Charlie’s Farm, a slasher film from Queensland filmmaker Chris Sun. There are also five days of master classes, presentations and panels from filmmakers working in the horror genre.
There is also a Friday The 13th marathon on Friday November 28.
For more information and screening times and details head to the website at www.monsterfest.com.au
LAST UPDATED NOVEMBER 22.
The debut feature from Leigh Janiak is Honeymoon, a low budget psychological horror film that is a slow burn exercise in suspense and uneasiness. Bea and Paul (played by Game Of Thrones‘ Rose Leslie and Harry Treadaway, from tv series Penny Dreadful, etc) are a young couple who head off to a cabin in the woods for their honeymoon. Things go smoothly for a while as the couple enjoy their idyllic but remote setting. But one night Bea goes sleepwalking and encounters something strange in the woods. Paul finds her naked and disoriented in the woods. After that her behaviour changes dramatically , and she seems possessed by something. Slowly her relationship with Paul turns sour. Janiak eschews the usual gore and special effects of the genre for a more moody build up of suspense that proves quite effective, claustrophobic and unsettling, and you find yourself wondering what will happen next. Honeymoon is essentially a two hander, and both Leslie and Treadaway are convincing in their roles. There is a level of emotional engaghment with the characters and you empathise with them, which is a rarity in most horror films.
What we have here is lots of gratuitous sex, nudity and gore. The Editor is the new film from the filmmaking collective known as Astron 6, well known for their trashy genre cinema. Their previous film Father’s Day was banned from Monsterfest a couple of years ago. Their new film is The Editor, a black comedy/horror offering that works as a homage to the Giallo style of Italian cinema popular in the 60s and 70s. Directors Matthew Kennedy and Adam Brooks certainly know the tropes of exploitation cinema. They capture the absurd plot twists, the heightened colour palette, the bad dubbing, and the nasty violence and gore typical of the surreal Giallo genre. The spirit of Dario Argento also suffuses the look and feel of the film. A crippled film editor Rey Ciso (played by Brooks) finds himself embroiled in a nasty string of murders while editing the latest schlocky Italian cinematic nasty. The bodies are mutilated and missing the fingers of their hand. Investigating the case is the hard boiled detective Porifry (Kennedy), who suspects Ciso, who once suffered a mental breakdown, is the killer. The cast includes veteran Udo Kier, who loves making weird movies, and Laurence R Harvey (from The Human Centipede 2, etc), who is largely cast against type here as a priest, as well as many regulars from the Astron 6 stable. The biggest criticism here is that the film goes on too long and crumbles under the weight of some extreme weirdness.