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Madman opens with a camp-fire scene. A spooky tale is told by way of song by T.P. (Tony Fish) to some rather lifeless kids who couldn't look more uninterested if they tried. In fact T.P's tune only appears to be of interest to the other camp counsellors. The song is rather awful introduction and doesn't bode well for what's to come, especially as there are clips hinting as the counsellors' fates cut into the scene. You have the urge to turn off there and then. You've seen what's coming so why endure more? After all there maybe more dire songs (and there are).
There's also another story to be blabbed out, this time courtesy of senior counsellor Max (Carl Fredericks). He recounts the urban legend of the aptly named Madman Marz (Paul Ehlers) a local guy who killed his whole family, even his kids! It just so happens that close to where our bunch are mindlessly recounting the guy's tale is Marz's home, now dilapidated. We learn that If you say his name out loud Marz will come and kill you and probably anyone else to hand too.
This weekend sees the annual FrightFest take place in London's FrightFest. My Bloody Reviews are unable to attend this year, unfortunately, however we have received this interview with horror icon Barbara Crampton to share with you from our friends at the festival. Enjoy!
Horror Queen Barbara Crampton FrightFest Interview
On the eve of Film4 FrightFest 2015, Barbara Crampton talks about part of the 'horror club', scary scripts, still doing the laundry and why Abner Pastoll is one to watch.
Q: Welcome to FrightFest Barbara. What was your initial reaction when told you were this year's special Icon guest?
A: First of all, I want to say thank you for having me. The importance of these film festivals for young directors to get their work seen and recognized is of the upmost importance in today's film market. The competition to be included in one of the major genre film festivals is extremely high. When I was a young actress there were a handful of festivals where people could showcase their work. Today, there are many genre festivals across the globe that introduce the hungry audiences to their deepest fears, anxieties and monsters in the bedroom. That being said, to be invited to one of the best genre festivals around today, to be remembered for my past horror movies and to share some of my recent work, to support the new young film makers that I have had the wonderful opportunity to work with is very meaningful to me. I have worked in this genre for a long-time but only recently have come to realize how important these movies have been to me and continue to be for so many people. Finally, I feel like I am part of a club I didn't realize I have been in for a long-time. To be this year's special guest is an honour and one for which I am truly grateful.
Q: You have four films at FrightFest. You seem busier than ever. What is the secret to your career longevity?
A: My longevity is a complete surprise to me. About 15 years ago when I moved up to San Francisco with my husband I thought I was done. I got married, I had two kids back to back; that was something I felt was really missing from my life. So the years with my growing family were very precious and important to me. I completely lost myself in being a mom, happily so. When I got the call to appear in YOU'RE NEXT, I thought it would be a brief diversion from family life. Little did I know how much fun I was going to have playing with all of these burgeoning, creative film makers and that I would easily be lured back a few more times. Currently, I am able to balance my home life and work life. I do have a few other acting jobs coming up and I am producing one movie and have another in development. My family has been incredibly supportive and I, in turn, keep coming back to do their laundry, shop for their back to school supplies and organize their after school activities. I am even planning a get-a-way vacation with my husband! I think for me the longevity is about doing all of these things that I really love, leaving space for all that comes up in life.
You may think that you have had bad days. Imagine this, being stuck in a small Alaskan town with no sunlight, not just for one day but for THIRTY during its winter period. For those affected with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) this would be bad enough. Factor in a bunch of vicious vampires making the most of the darkness offered and chances are things couldn't really get much worse.
Not everyone chooses to stay around in Barrow during this period of extended darkness, with most of the small town's five hundred population heading south, leaving just 152 willing to brave it out. Into this community comes a stranger (Ben Foster) who sets about stealing and burning all mobile phones (rather improbable), trashing the only helicopter and ((SOB)) offing all the doggies.
There would appear to be a revival of sorts for horror flicks of a Nazi soldier bent. With both the Outpost and Dead Snow franchises doing reasonable business, especially in the retail market, it was inevitable that others would look to tap into the same lucrative vein looking to reap similar rewards. Earlier this year we were treated to the retail release of Backtrack: Nazi Vengeance. This British flick, again using Nazi's as its primal force, was a bit of a mess. With that still playing in the back of my mind I approached this feature debut for former TV, commercial and music video director Mark Nuttall, with some trepidation.
Fortunately both Nuttall and screenwriter Nigel Horne have fashioned a tale that manages to feel both familiar yet fresh at the same time. Soldiers of the Damned is fresh in the way that it doesn't completely cover the same tracks as the aforementioned movies, although there are some similarities - the Nazi's interest in the occult for example. It also impressively manages to capture the period it is set in. Both the production design and hair and make-up teams are to be applauded for their work on the film within such a limited budget.
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- Madman (1982) Review
- 30 Days of Night (2007) Review
- Soldiers of the Damned (2015) Review
- La Grand Bouffe (1973) Review
- Videodrome (1983) Review
- The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959) Review
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- The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the 8th Dimension (1984)
- The Voices (2014) Review
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- The Possession of Michael King (2014) Review
- Contamination (1980) Review
- The Happiness of the Katakuris ("Katakuri-ke no kôfuku") (2001) Review
- Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (2015) Review