Celluloid Screams And The Act Of Seasonal Viewing

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I’m fairly sure that I’ve mentioned before how I treat Horror films like Christmas movies. Seasonal viewing reigns, with the genre one I only tend to visit in the Autumn months, in and around the Halloween festivities.

This Halloween I’m diving in head first, with a trip to Sheffield’s Celluloid Screams. I’ve attended the festival in the past, but only on a casual basis, for the odd film (last year I caught the infamous Cabal Cut of Clive Barker’s Nightbreed). This year that changes though, with coverage of the whole weekend lined up. Including an all-nighter.

I’ve been newly reintroduced to Basket Case director Frank Henenlotter via Rewind This!, the recent documentary on the VHS era. Henenlotter is a major contributor to that film, and it’s given me an extra contextual understanding with which to appreciate the man’s work. I look forward to seeing him in conversation and presenting the likes of Basket Case and that film’s sequel.

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The aforementioned horror all-nighter is probably my most anticipated portion of the weekend. I cut my teeth at these kind of events, and while I’ve drifted from the horror genre in general, the memories of packed all-night long screenings at the Hyde park picture house remain important ones. The line up for this one is impressive, with the organisers opting for stone-cold classics of the genre with which to entertain. Henenlotter’s Frankhenhooker kicks off the evening, which sees Return Of The Living Dead, The Beyond and Braindead punctuated by a number of short features.

Such is my relative ambiguity towards genre cinema that my musings on the particulars of the films chosen to screen over the weekend probably mean very little. Based on a cursory glance over the confirmed features a couple ring the bell of familiarity. Big Bad Wolves played well at Fright Fest earlier this Summer, while The Battery sounds like an interesting spin on the well worn Zombie genre (a particular favourite strand of my own). But that’s a part of the joy of this kind of thing. It’s about getting in to the spirit of the occasion, and celebrating the kind of thing one wouldn’t ordinarily cross paths with.

The full programme can be found here.

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