Saturday, 7 July 2012

Frighten Brighton

At the time of writing this, some media sources are reporting that tickets for the Wimbledon final are selling for £15,000 with the possibility of history on the cards. However, just 0.1% of that price though will buy you a ticket to experience history in it's own right.

Just £15 will get you a day pass to 
Frighten Brighton, the classic horror film festival.

The festival brings you 5 films, from 5 decades crammed into 12 gory hours on the 11th August at Brighton's Komedia.

If that wasn't enough, the devious little, sultry archangel atop of the horror tree is none other than presenter, B-movie starlet and horror icon 
Emily Booth. The event starts at midday and ends just before the witching hour. 

The first film is 1930s Mad Love, aka The Hands of Orlac, a tale of mutalation, death, lethal obsession and maniacal doctors. It marks the American film debut of Peter Lorre and claims Citizien Kane borrowed heavily from it.

From the 40s is a personal favourite of mine, Cat People. A stylish, slick noir/horror produced by the legendary Val Lewton and containing the original Lewton Bus. It uses Serbian curses and metamorphosis to express the repressed sexuality of it's female lead.

It's seminal classic Them! next. A 1950s creature feature that kick started the "big bug" sub genre that reflected the pre cold war era and picked up an Oscar nom on the way.

It wouldn't be 60s horror without Hammer and so Plague of the Zombies is the representative. A big influence on the zombie genre with it's themes of colonialism and exploitation.

Then, in the dead of the night, the festival draws to a close with 70s low budget, cult classic Phantasm. A strange and weird tale from the mind of Don Coscarelli. The film contains the infamous antagonist The Tall Man, flying spheres and zombie dwarves.

The festival allows you to view not only some great works of terrifying horror but history itself. History in style and techniques, but also because each reflects the era in which they were conceived. All five films give us a looking into the views and perceptions of the society that produced them. Whether it be the sexual repression of women or cold war paranoia, the evolution of thoughts and fears of people through the ages are evident throughout.

Henry Ford once said, "history is bunk" but he never went to Frighten Brighton.

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