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Live for Films at Film4 Frightfest 2015: Day 3 – Deathgasm, Another Me & more

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So, Day Three, Saturday, excellent. I’m still thinking about how bloody good We Are Still Here was, but there was a whole heap of new, cool features to see today: Frankenstein, Another Me, Remake, Remix, Rip-Off and Deathgasm; and I was going to check out some shorts too.

I didn’t think I was going to make the Short Film Showcase, due to Southern trains inflicting their annual Bank Holiday weekend suck – but, Overground to the rescue, I was sat ready for a bevy of shorts with time to spare.

Invaders was the snappily written story of a hilarious and disastrous home invasion.

A Favor was also very funny – and about a botched body disposal.

They’re Closing In was dark, moody and achingly John Carpenter-esque.

Johnny Vegas turned up for more laughs in the very British Dark_Net.

Ex-Hobbit Billy Boyd excelled in the hyper-intelligent The Alpha Invention.

Movement and dance were used to startling effect in black and white, body-popping, body horror You Will Fall Again.

Buffy alumni Amber Benson helmed a Whedonesque triptych of female revenge fantasises in the stylishShevenge.

Stranger In The Night was the surprisingly sweet story of a farmer trying to get a banshee to kiss him before dawn to save his granny’s life.

Badguy #2 was more big laughs and bigger spurts of blood as a polite henchman works his way up the ranks.

We then finished up with the Spanish rom-com Tuning Oscar.

The selection was impeccable, with not a duff film in the bunch, and I really got the feeling throughout that those responsible weren’t far off showing us their forthcoming full-length film work on the Main Screen in the next few years.

The short film thirst sated, I headed back over to the Main Screen in the Vue for Frankenstein. Director Bernard Rose got me jazzed for his take on Mary Shelley’s tale when I interviewed him a little while ago – so I was keen and curious to get a load of his interpretation of a literary horror classic.

Disappointed I was most definitely not, and you can read my full five star review of this quite excellent new telling of Frankenstein here.

Then it was BACK to the Prince Charles for what I hoped would be another Discovery Screen gem – Pod and Final Girl had proved to me on Friday that taking a risk outside of the Main Screen can reap dividends, and makes a nice break.

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Another Me is a doppelgänger movie starring Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), and upsettingly broke my Discovery Screen streak.

Another Me is based on a recurring nightmare of the writer, where she has been replaced by a sinister copy of herself. But you would not always know that, as for a large swathe of the film this interesting concept is largely ignored.

When, ten minutes from the end, we do come back to the central conceit it is too little too late, and too much like a one-shot knockoff Black Swan. Sophie Turner is plucky and plummy throughout, but needs a better vehicle – Another Me simply doesn’t know what to do with itself.

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Then it was time for a quick dinner pitstop, before seeing out the remainder of the day: Deathgasm, and Remake, Remix, Rip-Off, in what looked to make a wild double bill of metal and Turkish copyright infringement. I was most definitely ready to rock. And then have my mind blown by a crazy Turkish cine-counter-culture I didn’t even know existed.

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THE MAIN EVENT. DEATHGASM. I had been not-literally-dying to see Deathgasm ever since I first caught wind of it, and it was high on my Must, Must See List, so this was huge. I downed a jack and coke, threw up my devil horns, and got ready to shout, shout, shout at the devil.

In Deathgasm, outcast metal head Brodie makes a new best friend in the form of hardcore nutter Zakk. The pair form a band with Brodie’s geeky Dungeons and Dragons buddies, christen themselves DEATHGASM (“all caps – lower case is for wankers”), and proceed to literally wake the dead when they play a song that is actually a demon summoning spell.

All killer, and no filler, the film is full to bursting with metal and D&D jokes, as well as constant, brilliant physical effects based sight gags. Deathgasm is epic and brutal. It’s a heavy metal Evil Dead with a double-ended dildo demon smackdown.

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I had to bail on the Q and A for Deathgasm, which was frustrating, but I also needed to eat so I wouldn’t die. And what a depressing express dinner it was – running through a storm to Chipotle, sucking down a barbacoa burrito in five minutes, then pegging it back through the rain and “colourful Saturday night characters” swarming through London’s theatreland.

I have been a devout attender of the awesome Duke Mitchell Film Club since busting my cherry with a first visit at the start of this year. If you haven’t been before, then you simply must check it out. Curated by Evrim Ersoy and Alex Kid, The Duke is a monthly journey into the weird, rare and amazing. Mind-destroying clips, shorts, ads and films abound – all to be disbelieved in the cosy, boozy confines of The Phoenix Artist’s Club. And, after an insanely enthusiastic reception at last year’s Film4 FrightFest, the boys were back to close out the Saturday night in sanity-bending style, with another film, and a party.

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Remake, Remix, Rip-Off: About Copy, Culture and Turkish Pop Cinema is an incredible film that lifts the lid on the golden age of Turkish film production.

At it’s height, Turkey was churning out three hundred films a year, but, with only three writers, the stories had to be “borrowed” from elsewhere: Hollywood. The makers would see a new American film on the Monday, then commence banging together a loving, yet copyright infringing, remake of it on Tuesday.

There were no copyright laws in Turkey until very recently, so everything was fair game, and the film delights in showing clips of some of the best worst offenders. The Wizard of Oz, Dracula, ET, Rocky, Rambo, Laurel and Hardy, and even The Exorcist, were put together by crews low on training but skilful in the art of realising grand visions with no crew, food or money – barely a step above “sweding”.

The other common output was films that mashed elements of existing big movies together to create something new, and I will now never be able to un-experience witnessing a cardboard robot enter the frame to The Imperial March from Star Wars, and then proceed to fight a remixed superhero who has The Phantom’s mask, the Superman symbol on his chest, and a Batman logo on his belt – nor would I want to.

Remake, Remix, Rip-Off is an unforgettable documentary by Cem Kaya, that is by turns, hilarious, eye-opening and poignant. A must see.

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Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay until the end, and the party – being the last train home’s bitch is a drag – but I guesssss I needed sleep and fortification for Day Four. And what a Day Four. The FrightFest selection committee had again scoured the circuit for rockin’ shockin’ delights to terrify and entertain us with, and I had a planned line-up of: Road Games, Inner Demon, Your Vice Is A Locked Room And Only I Have The Key (amazing), Scherzo Diabolico (also amazing), and either A Christmas Horror Story or They Look Like People.

You can catch up on previous Film4 FrightFest 2015 coverage here:

Day One report

Stung review

Day Two report

See you tomorrow!

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