We’re delighted to announce our full lineup for the 9th Abertoir Horror Festival, promising a massive selection of high profile UK premieres, screenings, talks and events.
Abertoir's main theme this year is that of the 1980s, commemorating 30 years since the passing of the Video Recordings Act, which was the result of the heavy-handed and shameful 'video nasties' campaign. This year's festival guests of honour are director Luigi Cozzi and actor Ian McCulloch, who join the festival for a screening of their former video nasty, Contamination. The festival will also be screening Mario Bava's A Bay of Blood from an original pre-certification VHS tape, in honour of the ground-breaking director's centenary. Professor Martin Barker will be informing and entertaining with a talk about his experiences during the early 80s battling the likes of Mary Whitehouse in defence of the films deemed 'sick filth'. To complement this, journalist Gavin Baddeley will explore moral panics which occurred prior to the twentieth century, while Johnny Walker and Mark McKenna explore the enduring legacy of those films which were dubbed ‘nasties’. It's not all nasty, though, as the festival also hosts a 30th anniversary screening of Gremlins, followed by an 80s disco – including light-up dance floor - but naturally, it'll be a disco with a twist...
The festival isn't just about nostalgia, though, with some of the best new horror films screening, including four UK premieres. The festival will host the first UK screenings of brand new Japenese films Over Your Dead Body (Takashi Miike), Fires on the Plains (Shinya Tsukamoto) and Live (Noburu Iguchi), as well as the chilling Dutch film The Pool (Chris R. Mitchell). Other new films include the hotly anticipated anthology film ABCs of Death 2, Canadian giallo-throwback The Editor, Kevin Smith’s brand new film Tusk, and Nazi zombie sequel, Dead Snow 2.
Silent film features as well, with pianist Paul Shallcross performing the world premiere of his new scores to some short film gems from cinema’s earliest beginnings.
The festival will also host the European premiere of the first three episodes of the second series of cult Australian TV show Danger 5, with its co-creator Dario Russo in attendance. Other guests include Steve Oram, star of the festival's audience-voted best film of 2012, Sightseers, who appears in this year's atmospheric chiller The Canal.
Indeed, the festival isn't just about the films either, with talks, Q&As and a pub quiz featuring in the schedule. This year's theatre show is the H P Lovecraft adaptation The Temple, devised and performed by actor Michael Sabbaton. The festival’s short film competition features brand new short horror films from across the globe, with the festival audience voting for their favourite and the winning European film receiving the coveted Melies d’Argent award.
In what is probably the most ambitious event ever organised by the festival, Abertoir is this year working with the Vale of Rheidol railway to truly bring to life the experience of watching the Peter Cushing/Christopher Lee classic Horror Express, a monster movie which takes place on the Trans-Siberia railway. First, our steam train will take the audience to the small station of Capel Bangor where local storyteller Peter Stevenson will entertain with local ghost stories - with mulled wine on hand to keep everyone warm! Then, upon return to Aberystwyth, the film will be screening on the platform itself. This promises to be a unique event which is not to be missed.
Take a good look through our schedule for the plans for the full festival. And at £58 for the whole six days, we’ll be seeing you here soon! Hurry though, there’s not many passes left!