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FrightFest 2017 Day Three – Mountain Fever, Victor Crowley, Inside, Cold Hell, To Hell and Back: The Kane Hodder Story and more

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Kane Hodder and me!

I am having one of my best FrightFests. Days One and Two have been a blast, with Chucky, Radius and 68 Kill my current faves, but Day Three also had me super excited. There was Mountain Fever which I knew little about, was very intrigued; the American remake of Inside, which I HAD to witness; a documentary about this year’s King of FrightFest: Kane Hodder; creepy old dudes in nappies; a serial killer vs. a kick boxer thriller; and finally Adam Green’s secret Hatchet sequel: Victor Crowley.

Also, I was going to spend the majority of the day trying out a slightly different FrightFest experience at the Prince Charles Cinema. With all those horror movies the festival has spread across the square to one of my favourite cinemas in London. A smaller, more intimate and old skool venue, FF at The PCC was very chill and a nice little break from the wonderful wall-to-wall madness at the main venue. It helped that two out of three movies rocked too.

Mountain Fever

Written and directed by first-time feature director Hendrik Faller, Mountain Fever stars Anya Korzun (Post Human: An Event) and newcomer Tom Miller, with film-stealing background work from Jake the one-eyed cat.

An un-talked about viral outbreak has decimated the world’s population and pockets of survivors are doing what they can to stay alive. Jacques (Miller) turns up at his father’s French ski lodge to hunker down with the fam and ride things out, but he finds the house and village deserted. That is until Kara (Korzun) arrives and takes over.

Proper tough, Kara takes the food and makes Jacques a captive in his own home. But when her sick ex-husband arrives to take her – and some money she stole – back, Kara and Jacques must work together to not get killed or freeze to death.

Mountain Fever is a gripping and chilling snowbound apocalyptic outbreak siege survival thriller, with stand out performances from Korzun and Miller. The pair’s burgeoning relationship feels real, and the danger of the cold and starvation being just as – if not more – deadly than the virus itself, makes the film grounded and relatable.

Faller has a great eye, and the freezing mist encircling the French resort looks beautiful and threatening. Budgetary restraints are smartly worked around so as to not even seem an issue, and the brilliant central location is utilised expertly. And you know, the one-eyed cat is gorgeous.

Mountain Fever does not currently have a UK release date

Inside

Ten years after the original French extreme horror cult classic of the same name terrorised and queased, comes the new English language remake of Maury and Bustillo’s Inside, written by Jaume Balaguero ([REC]) and directed by Miguel Angel Vivas (Extinction). The film stars Rachel Nichols (Star Trek) and Laura Harring (Mulholland Drive).

Following a brutal car wreck that kills her husband, a young mother (Nichols) hunkers down at home on Christmas Eve as she awaits her contractions to start and her mother to arrive. Instead, a terrifying stranger (Harring) appears at her door demanding to be let in to get “what is hers”.

“The Woman” has her eyes – and butcher knife – on the unborn baby, and is willing to kill any interrupting interlopers to get her hands on the child. Mum locks herself in the bathroom and so begins a stabby slicey game of cat and mouse.

Laura Harring does not match the sexy scary of Beatrice Dahl in the original, but is still the best thing about the remake, which lacks the original’s power and ruthlessness, and is a home/womb invasion horror film that feels painful and laboured in delivery.

Inside does not currently have a UK release date.

To Hell and Back: The Kane Hodder Story

Directed by Derek Dennis Herbert (The Toy) and loosely based on Michael Aloisi’s book “Unmasked”, To Hell and Back obviously stars Kane Hodder (Friday the 13th Part VII, Hatchet), and features talking heads contributions from Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street), Bruce Campbell (The Evil Dead) and Cassandra Petersen (Elvira: Mistress of the Dark).

To Hell and Back begins by attempting to put its finger on the appeal of horror films, before zeroing in on Kane and his contribution to the genre. Covering his entire life from bullied child, to the event that made him realise he wanted to be a stuntman, to the real story behind his burns, and the painful lifelong repercussions of that accident, to getting and losing the role of Jason Voorhees in the Friday the 13th movies, before making a new slasher icon – Victor Crowley (Hatchet) – his own, and finally moving on and upwards.

Kane’s humble no bullshit way of talking about his experiences and to the people who have enriched his life and career provides plenty of huge laughs, which go a long way to break up the agonising stories of his past, which are carefully and quietly told. To Hell and Back: The Kane Hodder Story is funny sad tragic and triumphant, and confirms Kane as not just an icon but a true legend.

To Hell and Back: The Kane Hodder Story does not currently have a UK release date.

Attack of the Adult Babies

Attack of the Adult Babies is directed by Dominic Brunt (Emmerdale), and tells the tale of a mum and her two kids who must steal some documents from a country mansion full of powerful old white dudes dressed as babies.

All title and no worthwhile content, Attack of the Adult Babies is sleazy, silly and dull. It’s a tacky and tasteless mutated Carry On, with a full nappy in place of any jokes, and is an oft-incomprehensible comedy antidote.

Attack of the Adult Babies does not currently have a UK release date.

Cold Hell

A kickboxer is pursued by a sadistic serial killer in Cold Hell (Die Holle). The film is written by Martin Ambrosch (The Dark Valley), directed by Stefan Ruzowitsky, and stars Violetta Schurawlow and Sammy Sheik.

Özge (Schurawlow) is a stubborn monosyllabic Thai-boxing taxi driver who one night witnesses a sick serial killer’s latest murder. The maniac’s MO is to skin his female victims alive and then pour boiling oil down their throat, so having him on your tail is bad news. UNLESS you are an MMA fighter with severe anger issues and a taste for ground pounding the living heck out of your opponents. As the killer (Sheik) gets closer to Ozge, she must use taxi driving knowledge and her elbowing skills to stop the maniac before she becomes his next victim.

Scuzzy and gory, Cold Hell kicks high and hard, and watching Ozge mission to knee evil in the face is excellent fun. Ambrosch’s script is unpredictable and always goes hard, while Ruzowitsky creates a dirty 80s feeling hellscape where death could be around every corner. Schurawlow is awesome, and I really hope we can somehow get more face-breaking crime adventures with Ozge soon.

Another Best of the Fest, Cold Hell is a no-holds-barred scalding and bone-breaking chilling thriller that demands to be seen as soon as possible.

Cold Hell does not currently have a UK release date but will be on Shudder SOON.

Victor Crowley

What was originally billed as a tenth-anniversary screening of Adam Green’s slasher film Hatchet turned out to be a secretly shot surprise sequel starring Kane Hodder (You know Kane), Parry Shen (Hatchet), Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp), and Laura Ortiz (Holliston).

Hatchet 1 survivor Andrew Young (Shen) is scraping by on the residual fame from the events of ten years ago, and attempting to cash in further with a book about the slaughter in the swamp. However, everyone still thinks it was him who murdered everyone, and that Victor Crowley – aka Hatchet Face – is just a myth.

When his publicist (Rose) convinces him to return to the crime scene in the swamp, Andrew reluctantly goes along on the promise of a million dollar pay day, but their plane crashes just as a documentary crew’s producer Rose (Ortiz) plays a YouTube clip of the curse that reawakens the ghost of Victor Crowley. The documentary crew and the plane crashes hide in the fuselage as the huge and hideously deformed Crowley (Hodder) picks them off in disgusting and incredible fashion.

Hatchet IV is a horror hound’s dream movie. Full of cameos from horror icons and geeky references, the film barrels through comedy and kill set pieces that produce big laughs and spectacular practical FX kills – sometimes at the same time. Kane’s inhabitance of the role shows through six inches of prosthetics, and he instils a pure rage in Hatchet Face that puts the fear of Zod into his victims and audience.

The cast are all a hoot, clearly loving smashing through Green’s lively clever and literally and figuratively side-splitting script, honed through his sitcom Holliston. Laura Ortiz stands out as MVP though – casually tossing out dry delivery with her girlish twang, her character is tough as nails but secretly sweet, and she steals every scene she is in – even managing to add humanity and romantic pathos to a hyper-realised character in a gloriously OTT situation.

Victor Crowley is the funniest sickest and best Hatchet yet, and a terrific roof-raising showcase blend of Adam Green’s comedy and horror chops.

Victor Crowley does not currently have a UK release date.

Another great day that had me still annoying people by constantly telling them that I was having the best FrightFest ever, Day Three truly encapsulated all the things that make this event one of my favourite times of year: the friends, the unpredictable nature of the films, and the opportunities to chat to your horror heroes – who are there having just as much fun as you are.

Another slightly different day tomorrow. I’ll still be seeing some movies – but not as many – as I will be sitting down to interview some very interesting and cool talent: the star and director of Replace, Barbara Crampton and Norbert Kiel; and the director of Wrong Turn 2, Knights of Badassdom, Everly, and his latest – Mayhem, Joe Lynch.

Replace and Mayhem I will be reviewing for you too, as well as Korean ass-kicking extravaganza, The Villainess. Keep it Live for Films, and keep a look out for pics and hot-takes right as the films screen on our Twitter .

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