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Mayhem Film Festival 2016: Day Four

17 October 16 words: Ali Emm, Penny Reeve, Harry Wilding
Don't Kill It, Creepy, I Am Not a Serial Killer, and The Void kept us busy on the final day
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Don't Kill It. Despite growing up in the nineties, I never indulged in the Dolph Lundgren classics such as Masters of the Universe, Universal Soldier or Rocky IV. No, not even Rocky IV. He has his place in many a heart as a cult action hero, but he has a place in mine as Jebediah Woodley – the demon hunter in Mike Mendez’s Don’t Kill It. Together with FBI agent Evelyn Pierce, they are trying to capture a rather tricky demon that has come to spill blood in a small Mississippi town, possessing anyone who kills its previous host. A man who’s seen it all, Woodley is detached and single-minded in his mission. Lundgren plays the part to a tee, his comedic timing is perfect for a film that isn’t aiming to take itself seriously. There are as many gross and genuinely creepy moments as there are laughs, the massacre in the church being a particularly brilliant set piece in the film. So yes, it’s a bit daft, but the plot is developed enough to keep your interest in between the killing and the one-liners. AE.

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Creepy. This Japanese film from director Kiyoshi Kurosawa was a slow burner at over two hours in length. It was engrossing, though, with some good characterisation and an intriguing plot. Takakura is a former detective and he receives a request from an ex-colleague to examine a missing family case from six years previously; at the same time, he and his wife have just moved to a new house with some weird neighbours. The film is a bit long, the characters often make some very stupid (and annoying) decisions, and there is one huge coincidence in there that you just have to roll with – however, it is really nicely shot and kept me interested throughout. Worth a watch when on general release. HW.

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I Am Not A Serial Killer. Based on the novel by Dan Wells, I Am Not a Serial Killer is a brilliant blend of horror, comedy, coming-of-age tale and sci-fi that was my favourite of this year’s line up.

The story revolves around John Wayne Cleaver, a teenage sociopath who is obsessed with serial killers. When a spate of murders are committed in his hometown John puts all of his efforts into finding out who is committing the crimes, even if it means breaking down the walls he’s built around his own inner monster.

I was intrigued as to how director/writer Billy O’Brien and co-writer Christopher Hyde would go about maintaining the same essence of the book, which relies on a very strong first person narrative. The strength of the acting, as well as some brilliantly written dialogue and well-adapted scenes took care of that particular problem though. Actor/legend Christopher Lloyd was predictably excellent as was the wonderful Max Records’, who you might recognise as the kid from Where The Wild Things Are. The film will be out on limited release soon, so if you get the chance I highly, highly recommend you check it out. PR.

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The Void. Having contributed to the indiegogo campaign (and very much enjoying my name on the film’s credits for doing so) I had been looking forward to this for a while after loving Manborg from filmmakers Steve Kostanski and Jeremy Gillespie. The Void was a straightforward horror, rather than their previous horror comedies, which was fine because it really looked great. The practical effects were well designed and excellently executed. The whole world created for the film felt well thought out, as if it went much deeper than what we saw with this particular 90 minutes of film.

And it was decent as a film. Good, perhaps. For however great it all looked, it lacked something. Perhaps some originality in its story? It had some decent characters with some good back stories, all well acted enough, but something felt off there, which left the film at a solid 6 out of 10, rather than the anticipated mind blowing. HW.

Mayhem Film Festival took place at Broadway Cinema between Thursday 13 October and Sunday 16 October 2016.

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