Mayhem Horror Film Festival

25 October 10 words: Alison Emm
In its seventh year, Mayhem Film Festival at Broadway has more than gotten to grips with what makes a good fright fest

Summer is well and truly over and the coats and hankies have come out – it’s not all bad news though, Halloween is here! There’s parties galore but for the real fright fans out there, Broadway is playing host to the annual Mayhem Horror Film Festival.  Running over four days, what better excuse to cozy up in a cinema with your favorite pillow and scare yourself witless…

In its seventh year, Mayhem Festival has more than gotten to grips with what makes a good fright fest and this year there will be more fun and gore than you can weild a gleaming knife at with scary shorts, cult horror classics, nine feature film previews, special guests, competitions, some science based antics and of course, an a Polterparty to welcome in all hallows’ eve and a suitably brain frying quiz to end the weekend.   

So here’s a bit of a guide to the events and screenings taking place throughout the festival:


Straight in with a slasher, Dream Home is a brutal, black satire from Hong Kong that sees a determined first-time buyer drive down property prices in the bloodiest way. If easing yourself in isn’t your thing, the remake of I Spit on Your Grave finishes the first night. A rape revenge film, there are harrowing scenes as vengeance is inflicted upon the victim’s attackers - notorious and infamous and definitely not one for those adverse to brutal violence.

Gareth Edward's Monsters with Q&A - Saturday 2pm

Friday’s events start at 7pm with Scary Shorts, a selection of what they promise to be the scariest shorts from future fear makers. Following on, at 9.30 pm, is a special preview screening of The Reef, an Australian survival movie where there’s something lurking in the water and it’s not Jaws. It’s all about splashing about and water this eveing it seems as Piranha is getting a screening in full, glorious 3-D. Not only that, Dr. Brendan Dare is back with his Thrill Laboratory to conduct studies on the selected members of the audience during the screening. Data analysis of the experiment will be projected live outside the auditorium for all to witness. 

Doing it old school - Poltergeist
It’s Saturday, meaning that there’s a whole day of spine chilling screenings on offer. Monsters is one of this year’s most anticipated and critically acclaimed films and Nottingham is getting a first looks in. A debut directorial from Gareth Edwards, he produced the piece on a tiny £15,000 budget and proved that you don’t need millions to take on the might of Hollywood special effects.  Even better, he’ll be doing a Q&A after the screening to talk the audience through the film and answer your questions. French film Stranded is showing at 4.30 pm, a claustrophobic ghost story set in the Algerian desert where the characters are struggling to not only stay alive but sane as they encounter an unseen enemy. 

Into the evening, at 8.30pm, Tobe Hooper’s eighties classic Poltergeist will get an airing. A film made to be shown on the big screen, be prepared to be scared. Still on the retro vibe, Street Trash ends the evening’s films in a laugh-filled, low brow horror film from 1987. No Saturday night is complete without a party and especially not on Halloween, and Polterparty is dedicatig itself to be full of debauched decadence with live music from Richie Deceased and the Penny Dreadful. Starting at 9pm in the newly refurbished bar, fancy dress isn’t compulsory but there will be prizes for the best. 

Dust yourself off from the night before and get down to Broadway at 12pm for some hilarity with Alien vs. Ninja. Japanese mayhem at its whackiest; medieval ninjas take on the aliens with blood splattering consequences. From the master of suspense, Hitchcock’s Frenzy is the disturbing tale with the darkest of humour that will leave you gripping your seat. At 4pm, Belgium horror film Amer is certainly not to be missed as it has been described as being one of the most beautiful horror films ever made. 

Halloween evening begins at 6.30pm with a preview of another hotly anticipated horror film, Altitude. A Twighlight Zone style story, it’s monster is a cinematic first - a tentacled cloud creature. The final horrible horrah of the festival is more than macabre with a cannibal theme in the Mexican film, We Are What We Are. This year’s Let the Right One In? We’ll just have to wait and see if we make it through the weekend in one piece to find out. 

 Not the best place to find yourself... Altitude

Wind the weekend up by squeezing your brain for facts. If you fancy yourself as a bit of an aficionado and you think you can step up to the challenge, Flinterrogation is is being held in the café bar at 10.15pm. Quiz master for the night will be special guest David Flint, author of Zombie Holocaust: How the Living Dead Devoured Pop Culture and Ten Years of Terror. He’s not going to give you an easy ride…
Weekend passes (£50) and day passes (£9/£13.50/£20) are available. Individual tickets are also available for £6.50/£5 concessions/members.

Mayhem Film Festival runs from Thursday 28 October to Sunday 31 October at Broadway.

Mayhem Horror FIlm Festival website

Broadway website

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