The UK’s premiere horror festival kicked off in style with Chucky masks, zombies and added Bobcat Goldthwait.
Last night [Aug 22] saw Film4 FrightFest commence its biggest-ever edition in its usual inimitable style.
Alongside the giveaways - among them, Chucky masks because who doesn’t want to look like a serial killer doll? - filmmaker Bobcat Goldthwait took to the stage to introduce this year’s event.
Goldthwait, whose Willow Creek screens on Aug 24 and 25 at the festival, was in fine form as he outlined his own unique take on the horror genre. “All stories are horror pictures, they’re all about death and rebirth, even the most pedestrian thing. Maybe there’s some of that in Grown Ups 2, I don’t know, but to me that’s a truly, truly frightening movie.
“What I’m trying to say is, we’re not babies. Lincoln, right, is a guy getting his brains blown out, but they cut away before the really good part.”
With jokes involving Mel Gibson and why women handle gore better than men that are probably too risqué for republishing, Goldthwait wasn’t beyond mocking himself either.
“Some of you thought I was dead. Some of you are trying to figure out who I am. I was very big in the 80s. You don’t look the same either by the way. They’re actually rebooting the Police Academy series, they’re going to do what they did with 21 Jump Street and make it a comedy this time.”
But the opening night wasn’t all about Goldthwait. Of FrightFest’s 51 films, ten are world premieres, one of which opened proceedings: the Ford Brothers’ ambitious The Dead 2: India [pictured].
The Ford Brothers held a brief Q&A following the premiere, along with cast members Joseph Millson, Meenu, Anand Goyal and Sandip Datta Gupta.
Jon Ford let the crowd into a taste of the unique challenges facing them filming the sequel on location. “We literally got stoned in India, but more in the Life of Brian kind of sense. And I got hit with a dog. It wasn’t a small dog either, someone dropkicked it at me. But it wasn’t all bad… actually it was all bad.”
“A lot of the stunts are for real. [There’s a] car that comes off the cliff, the stunt went wrong and we had to try and push it off. Joe [Millson], who’s actually not that great with heights, did a flying kick at the car when it got stuck and off it went,” added Howard Ford.
Millson, though, had nothing but praise for the filmmaker siblings. “Making a movie with the Ford brothers is a bit like hacking your way up the Amazon with just a rusty penknife. There is no one else I’d rather do it with.”
And Gopal, who wasn’t allowed to watch the film as he was too young, put an early marker down for FrightFest 2013’s most endearing moment when he described his experience. “It wasn’t tough to make the film because everybody was supporting me. I was kept busy and my family members kept paying me visits. It just happened…”
The Dead 2: India is also one of the first films to benefit from FrightFest’s new Extra strand for sold out screenings. The sequel also screens on Aug 24 and is among a handful of films that have already sold out, including Wither, Stalled, Willow Creek and The Borderlands.
Christian James’ Stalled is shaping up to one of the festival’s biggest hits, as it sold out both of its screenings, with an extra third screening put on for the festival’s closing night [Aug 26].
With the opening night rounded off by the hugely entertaining combo of the European premiere of Curse of Chucky and a London preview of You’re Next (which opens theatrically via Lionsgate UK on Aug 28), the biggest-ever FrightFest also looks set to be one of its most successful yet.
Bring on the blood.