Archive for Simon Bamford

Top 5 Celluloid Screams Moments (So Far!)

Posted in Horror Attractions, Horror Festivals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 9, 2015 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

September 10th marks an exciting date for horror fans as passes for Sheffield’s Horror Festival Celluloid Screams are set to go on sale. Not only that, Rob Nevitt and his team will announce the line-up of what’s in store for 2015!

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This will be my fifth year attending Celluloid, which takes place at The Showroom Cinema. Not only does the festival put together a phenomenal programme each year with an eclectic selection of films that define the genre in different ways; and brings in a number of special guests that have made an impact on the genre as a whole. Through the festival I’ve established some great friendships and made connections with genre fans and filmmakers alike.

So as we wait to uncover the mystery of what shocks and scares we will be encountering on October 23rd-25th, here’s a list of my top 5 moments that the Sheffield Festival has offered up so far.

  1. Inbred (2011)

Inbred was the first film that I ever saw at Celluloid Screams and it ended up becoming one of my favorite horror films of all time. Certainly a cult classic in the making, Inbred was accompanied with a Q&A from a number of cast members including Seamus O’Neill, Dominic Brunt and Jo Hartley. Thanks to Celluloid and the discovery of Inbred I then went on to work with some of the cast members on a short zombie film called Ascension and led a Q&A with director Alex Chandon at my local horror festival Aberoir.

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Review & Q&A Videos of Inbred.

Alex Chandon Q&A Videos

2. Sping & Resolution (Aaron and Justin Q&A’s). (2012 & 2014)

Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson have been two of Celluloid’s most memorable special guests. Thanks to the festival I was introduced to two of their groundbreaking feature films that takes horror in a whole different direction, Resolution in 2012 and Spring in 2014. On both appearances the directorial duo have given some quirky, engaging and entertaining Q&A’s and always take their time to talk to their fans during the festival.

Resolution Review.

Spring Review.

3. Night Breed: The Cabal Cut (2012)

Since I was a young horror fan, Clive Barker’s NightBreed was always a film I desperately wanted to see. Packed with unusual imagery, the tale of creatures living underground in a whole undiscovered world from our own was something that greatly appealed. I’m glad my first experience of Night Breed was on the big screen with the restoration making it the film that Clive Barker had always intended rather than the slasher-style version the studios cut it down to on its original release. Switching between the grainy unused footage and the polished existing footage was an interesting cinematic experience. Through Celluloid and Night Breed I met the lovely Nicholas Vince, Simon Bamford (also of Hellraiser fame), Hugh Ross and Russell Cherrington, the restoration director and still keep up to date with all their upcoming projects.

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NightBreed Review & Q&A Videos.

4. The Editor and Astron 6! (2014)

Again, if it wasn’t for Celluloid I never would have discovered the Canadian Collective that is Astron-6. Last year’s festival was literally an Astron-6  takeover as we were treated to a screening of The Editor, a bizarre and hilarious homage to the giallo sub-genre as well as a showcase of their exceptionally cool short films, Cool Guys, Bio-Cop and Breaking Santa being personal highlights! Adam Brooks, Connor Sweeney and Matthew Kennedy were special guests and gave us an insight into their weird and wonderful career so far.

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Short Review of The Editor

5. Der Fan (2013)

Without Celluloid Screams I would never have discovered this little gem. Der Fan is an obscure 80s German film that prior to the screening, Caitlyn and I thought it was going to be a recent film! Der Fan is one of those films where you won’t believe what you’re watching! It begins innocently enough as badly-dubbed exploitation film then it turns into completely something else! Der Fan has to be remembered for the longest sex scene in horror cinema history! We still hold out hope that Der Fan with its timeless theme of obsessive fandom would be ideal for the remake treatment!

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Celluloid Screams Review of Der Fan.

Women in Horror Month: Der Fan.

So that’s it for now, my highlights of the festival so far! So fellow Celluloid Screamers, what have been your favorite moments from over the years? Comment, facebook or tweet to @HayleyR1989 with #CelluloidScreamsMoments.

Bring on 2015!

Hayley Alice Roberts.

Hayley’s Horror Reviews.

Halloween Month: Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)

Posted in Halloween Month, Love Horror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2014 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

Hellbound: Hellraiser II, was the second instalment in Clive Barker’s imaginative Hellraiser franchise. This sequel is highly regarded among fans and considered the strongest film within the series due to Barker’s unique vision and the return of most of the original cast; including Ashley Laurence as final girl Kirsty Cotton, Clare Higgins as the wicked Julia,  Doug Bradley as the iconic Pinhead and Nicholas Vince and Simon Bamford as the cenobites the Chatterer and Butterball. Author/Actress and woman of horror Barbie Wilde took on the role of the female cenobite which cemented her as an icon within the genre. Barker came up with the hellish story while Peter Atkins wrote the screenplay and Tony Randel, noted for his experience on the first film directed. In fact, this sequel had already received the green light while the original was still in its production stages. New World Cinema certainly capitalized on the fact Hellraiser was emerging at the height of horror during the 1980’s which saw the creation of some of the most memorable monsters that still hold impact today, with Pinhead and his group of diabolical demons as no exceptions.

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Following the nightmarish events of the first instalment, poor Kirsty Cotton is institutionalized, but something is still not right. At the hospital, Kirsty is treated by the enigmatic psychiatrist Dr. Channard (Kenneth Cranham) who unbeknown to her has been searching for the gateway to hell for years. Kirsty still remains in hope of saving her father from the dark underworld, however encounters more than she bargained for when Channard summons evil stepmother Julia from the confines of hell and she encounters the cruel cenobites all over again. This time round Kirsty is accompanied by a mute young girl named Tiffany (Imogen Boorman) who has a talent for solving puzzles. Channard uses Tiffany’s skills to his advantage as he instructs her to solve the Lament Configuration and open the portal to hell.

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Hellbound is an extension of the original story and picks up where the first one left off. The sequel was an opportunity for Barker and his team to explore the characters in greater depth and to emphasize to the audience that all along the cenobites were once human too and became the demons we all recognize due to indulging in the unruliest of pleasures. Barker intended this underlying plot point to coincide with Frank and Julia’s story from Hellraiser as well as his inventive novel The Hellbound Heart. The initial plan was to transform Julia into the iconic villain of the series. In the novel and 1987  film, Pinhead is not a primary character and has a short screen time however when anybody thinks of Hellraiser the image of the demonic monster with spikes through his head comes to mind. This was due to Pinhead becoming more popular with the viewers than was planned therefore centralizing him in future films within the series. Even though Julia is a pivotal character to the films, in terms of merchandising and promotion for the Hellraiser brand, her presence is understated. Actress Claire Higgins also expressed interest in seeking out different roles away from the genre despite relishing in her time playing evil Julia, therefore the creators were free to go on and capitalize on brand Pinhead.

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What makes Hellbound a strong sequel is its storytelling and exploration of the established characters. Kirsty is emotionally broken from her horrific experience as well as the unjustified death of her father Larry (Andrew Robinson). She is however extremely headstrong and determined, proving to be an active final girl who takes matters into her own hands and seeks out to defeat the monsters herself. This came at a time when roles for women in post-modern genre films were becoming more interesting. It became the final girl’s job to fight, not wait around to be saved or more than likely killed! Kirsty embodies the traits of a courageous role model similarly to Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) in the Elm Street films of the same era. Higgins’s character Julia could be described in the same vein but on a completely opposite spectrum. Julia is also determined but driven by her own selfish interests. The tension between Kirsty and her former step-mother/enemy is ramped up even more this time as neither one wants the other to scupper their individual agendas. This time round Julia comes across as much more self-assured as she is no longer bound to do the evil bidding for ex-lover Frank and quite satisfyingly has her revenge.

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An interesting aspect that was touched upon in the film was Pinhead’s origins. In some of the opening moments we see a human Captain Spencer (Doug Bradley) opening the Lament Configuration then in a painful sequence see him transform into the recognizable demon, there’s skin tearing, slashing and impalement to transform Bradley’s character into Pinhead. Its certainly a gut-punch of an opening moment. There had been plans to expand on this further however unfortunately due to budget restraints had to be dropped from the script at the pre-production stages. Luckily for fans this backstory was not wasted and played in integral part in the following third instalment Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992) which unlike Hellbound is more of a mixed bag but does well with exploring Pinhead’s human history.

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The film that unfolded on screen was actually slightly different to what was originally intended. The inclusion of Kirsty’s father Larry Cotton (Andrew Robinson) had to be changed following the actor’s decision to not reprise the role. Scripts had to be hurriedly re-written to accommodate the changes. Despite the well-crafted storytelling surrounding the remaining characters and hints towards Pinhead’s past, the gap Robinson’s character left brought in criticism that the film was a structural mess which will be discussed further in the article.

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As well as incorporating an engaging and visionary piece of storytelling, its the make up department that must be applauded for their work on the film in bringing the demonic cenobites to life with mesmerizing visual detail. Simon Bamford who played Butterball had dialogue written for his character, however due to having to wear fake teeth as part of his costume, it made it difficult to speak therefore his lines which are said to be “perhaps we prefer you” and “impossible” were instead given to the female cenobite. In an interview with Barbie Wilde earlier this year for the Love Horror site, she discussed how applying the make up took around 4 hours while the costume took thirty minutes to put on. After waiting for a number of hours before shooting their scenes, Barbie described that once herself and her fellow cenobites emerged onto the set, accompanied with dry ice and wind machines, the scene was set for when Tiffany solves the Lament Configuration. Barbie stated that even though it was a film set the atmosphere was “magical” and that is certainly how Hellraiser II feels when watching it on screen, it transports the viewer into another dimension and invests us in this horrifying yet extraordinary world. For cast and crew to achieve this effect on its audience is exceptional.

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An air of mystery surrounds a supposed deleted scene. On the original VHS cover of Hellbound, an image on the back cropped up of Pinhead and the Female Cenobite donning surgical clothing however it was never featured in the final cut. Fans remained curious about what this scene added to the beloved film and came up with a rumour of a ‘famous deleted surgery scene’. Doug Bradley eventually confirmed that the scene was incomplete as on the day of filming the effects unfortunately did not work, resulting in an abandonment of the sequence.

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When Hellbound was released in December 1988 critics were less than impressed with their second outing into hell. Roger Ebert among others criticized it for its disorganized story construction but as previously stated this was problematic due to quick re-writes following Andrew Robinson’s departure as Larry Cotton. “But this movie violates more rules than the First Rule of Repetition. It also violates a basic convention of story construction, which suggests that we should get at least a vague idea of where the story began and where it might be headed” were Ebert’s thoughts.

The film was commended by other critics for its well-crafted set design and special effects on such a low budget. Fans demonstrated disappointment at the fact that the film saw Channard easily defeat the cenobites resulting in screenwriter Peter Atkins obtaining hate mail! Atkins justified his decision by conveying to the audience that it must be understood that the cenobites were once human however to defuse the fans outrage he ensured them that in full demon mode Pinhead could easily defeat Channard.

With strict guidelines via the BBFC during the decade, Hellraiser II didn’t escape the cutting room floor in both the theatrical release and VHS version. The run-time has fluctuated between 89 minutes to 99 minutes depending on cuts. During Julia’s resurrection scene, a maggot slicing moment occurs, emerging as  the biggest casualty losing 55 seconds of screen time. Every gory scene was trimmed down, including the opening flashback to part one of Frank’s demise. Finally in 2004 an uncut version the film was distributed onto DVD thanks to Anchor Bay.

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Following Hellbound: Hellraiser II, seven more sequels emerged, mostly direct-to-video. Doug Bradley continued to reprise his iconic role in all but the controversial Hellraiser: Revelations (2011).

The Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser II legacy continues in an upcoming and eagerly-anticipated documentary, Leviathan: The Story of Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser II, following a successfully funded Kickstarter campaign. Directed by K. John McDonagh, the documentary features interviews with cast and crew that were involved in both productions.

From the Facebook Page:

 “Following the story of the films from their inception through production to release and the their subsequent lives and growing fan base, we aim to show fans and those less familiar with the films both the technical skills, the creative idea, the symbolism and the legacy of these movies.”

Its essential to take a trip to Hell this Halloween with one of Horror’s most inventive sequels and one of my personal favourites or it’ll tear your soul apart!

Hayley Alice Roberts.

Hayley’s Horror Reviews.

 

Celluloid Screams 2012: Day One Coverage

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2012 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

Robert Nevitt has once again put together a diverse and entertaining festival at the Showroom Cinema located in Sheffield. Accompanied by a very friendly and welcoming atmosphere, the standard of Horror that was selected to play at the festival was absolutely exceptional, we had plenty of zombies, blood, guts, gore, laughs, a ginger faced man, some cenobites and surgery plus much much more. In the coverage I have put together some vlogs as well as additional footage of Q&A’s. I hope you can enjoy and endure the horror to come!

**Note: Apologies for some of the video quality!**

A brief video summary from me!

Certified (2011) (UK Premiere)

Celluloid Screams opened up with this quirky little short which depicted a sense of paranoid horror and how effective the words from an “innocent” child can be as well as the naivety of adults. A bumbling postman encounters a frightmare of a first day when he enters the home of a young girl and her Aunt. While the Aunt is out of the room the girl begins to tell the horrifying tale of her family’s demise down the mines, however not all is quite as it seems. The short was a very light-hearted and a very enjoyable way to kick things off; it received lots of laughs from the audience. Certified also gave a nice little nod to 1950’s horror comics and with a reminiscence towards Creepshow and Tales from the Crypt.

Sightseers (2012) + Q&A with Director Ben Wheatley

Sightseers is a darkly humored, black comedy about a seemingly introverted woman named Tina (played by Alice Lowe) who escapes the clutches of her “invalid” mother to take a caravaning holiday with her new boyfriend Chris (Played by Steve Oram). Love is in the air as the couple set off into the picturesque Yorkshire countryside, however events soon take a dark turn when Chris’s neurotic behavior turns deadly!! Steve Oram and Alice Lowe played their roles superbly as the strange couple with very naturalistic performances and it is clear they had a lot of fun getting into their characters. The strength of the film comes from their acting as well as the hilarious comedy elements in the dialogue. The film displayed some interesting and unique cinematography and editing that creates an outstanding effect and really brings out its typically British style. As for the horror, its brutal and bloody but laugh out loud at the same time, there’s also an unexpected cameo from Seamus O’ Neill (Jim in INBRED) which was a welcome treat! “He’s a nice man” one of the characters remarks, which came off as very tongue in cheek! Sightseers truly captures the essence of what its like being in a new relationship, and depicts all the highs and lows with a goretastic horror metaphor in the background! There’s romance, sex, jealousy, murder and dog-napping! Sightseers has plenty of unexpected twists and turns to keep the audience on edge, an infectious 80’s soundtrack and outstanding direction from Ben Wheatley. Perfect for fans of horror, Brit Flicks and romcoms!

Odokuro (2011) (UK Premiere)

Narrated by Gary Numan, Odokuro is a visually intriguing stop-motion animation which sees a skeleton of a rat-monkey come to life in a room full of cursed objects.  The short is a hybrid between notions of horror and sci-fi and is labelled as having a “Sci-Fi twist”. Its mesmerizing to watch and cleverly made with a delicious gothic tone to it. A definite highlight from the selection of shorts that screened this year.

NightBreed: The Cabal Cut (1990/2012) + Q&A with Restoration Director Russell Cherrington, and Actors Nick Vince and Simon Bamford

Finally gaining the opportunity to view NightBreed was a real treat. Its no secret that the project had a shaky time during it’s production where the initial release bared hardly any resemblance to the wonderful master of Horror Clive Barker’s original novel. Scenes had been removed by the film’s producers at the time twenty years ago as they allegedly wanted to market the film as a “slasher”. But now thanks to the amazing work of Russell Cherrington, NightBreed: The Cabal Cut has finally been unleashed onto the big screen so that genre fans can get to see the piece of film they deserve. NightBreed is a devastating and profound tale about prejudice and how one person is capable of destroying the lives of others. A horror metaphor is used once more to convey the subject matter and it incorporates some wonderful imagery, the make up on the mutants of  Midian is truly unforgettable.

The story focuses on a young man named Aaron Boone (Played by Craig Sheffer) who is haunted by nightmares of an underground city known as Midian where the monsters lurk and become accepted into a way of society. Boone takes the advice from his girlfriend Lori and attends meetings with the psychotherapist Dr Phillip K. Decker. Decker possesses some dark secrets and convinces Boone he is responsible for partaking in some horrendous murders. Boone runs into some of the breed and is subsequently killed by the police, however due to his encounter he is brought back and joins them in their underground world, now Lori is determined to find Boone again and begins to explore the dark wold of Midian for herself. Following viewing the Cabal Cut, it is almost impossible to imagine how the story would have transitioned without those vital scenes. The footage is very dark and difficult to make out in parts, although the team are working hard to alter this but they have seriously done so well with what they have achieved through reviving all the old footage from VHS format and bringing it in. Russell Cherrington and the crew have done a tremendous job in breathing a new life into the film and ensuring its seen how Clive Barker always intended. A future DVD and Blu-Ray release would be fantastic.

Day Two and Three coming to terrify you soon….!

Hayley Alice Roberts.