Where: Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Wales
£: A festival pass costs £58 and gets you in to all the film screenings and events, including Horror Express on the Vale of Rheidol. Individual tickets are also available.
What is it?
The 9th annual Abertoir Horror Festival will take place from 11th to 16th November 2014 at Aberystwyth Arts Centre, with a mix of premieres, screenings, talks and events.
Abertoir’s main theme this year is that of the 1980s, commemorating 30 years since the passing of the Video Recordings Act, which was the result of the heavy-handed ‘video nasties’ campaign. This year’s festival guests of honour are director Luigi Cozzi and actor Ian McCulloch, who join the festival for a screening of their former video nasty, Contamination. The festival will also be screening Mario Bava’s A Bay of Blood from an original pre-certification VHS tape, in honour of the ground-breaking director’s centenary.
Professor Martin Barker will be informing and entertaining with a talk about his experiences during the early 1980s battling the likes of Mary Whitehouse in defence of the films deemed ‘sick filth’. To complement this, journalist Gavin Baddeley will explore moral panics which occurred prior to the twentieth century, while Johnny Walker and Mark McKenna explore the enduring legacy of those films which were dubbed ‘nasties’. It’s not all nasty, though, as the festival also hosts a 30th anniversary screening of Gremlins, followed by an 1980s disco – including a light-up dance floor – but naturally, it’ll be a disco with a twist…
This year’s Abertoir won’t be just about the 1980s though. The festival will also be screening the best new horror films, including four UK premieres. The festival will host the first UK screenings of brand new Japenese films Over Your Dead Body (Takashi Miike), Fires on the Plains (Shinya Tsukamoto) and Live (Noburu Iguchi), as well as the chilling Dutch film The Pool (Chris R. Mitchell). Other new films include the hotly anticipated anthology film ABCs of Death 2, Canadian giallo-throwback The Editor, Kevin Smith’s brand new film Tusk, and Nazi zombie sequel, Dead Snow 2. Silent film features at Abertoir as well, with pianist Paul Shallcross performing the world premiere of his new scores to some short film gems from cinema’s earliest beginnings.
In addition to film screenings, Abertoir will have talks, Q&As, and a pub quiz. This year’s theatre show is the H P Lovecraft adaptation The Temple, devised and performed by actor Michael Sabbaton. The festival’s short film competition features brand new short horror films from across the globe, with the festival audience voting for their favourite.
The quirky highlight of this year’s Abertoir Horror Festival will be a special screening of the Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee classic Horror Express, a monster movie which takes place on the Trans-Siberia railway. First, the Vale of Rheidol steam train will take the audience to the small station of Capel Bangor. Here, local storyteller Peter Stevenson will entertain with local ghost stories, while guests can enjoy mulled wine to keep warm. Then, upon return to Aberystwyth, Horror Express will be screened on the platform itself!
More info: www.abertoir.co.uk