Abertoir's BFI Gothic events
We’re dead pleased at Abertoir to be in partnership with the BFI Gothic season. A celebration of the dark heart of cinema, those of you familiar with the festival will be well aware of our love for the lush history of horror and the delights it offers.
Below you'll find the full selection of the events taking place throughout the festival that tie in with the BFI Gothic season.
Tuesday 5th Nov
THE HAUNTING (Robert Wise, 1963)
with very special Q&A with RICHARD JOHNSON
We’re incredibly excited and proud to open this year’s festival with a screening of Robert Wise’s The Haunting. A favourite horror film for a lot of people, and beloved by many, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the film’s release. We’re even more delighted to welcome one of the film’s stars, Richard Johnson, to take part in a Q&A after the film. Famous for playing the paranormal investigator Dr. John Markway, he might also be familiar to horror fans for his part in Lucio Fulci’s Zombie Flesh Eaters (also screening at the festival!), and a numerous roles in film and television, as well as on the stage.
Wednesday 6th Nov
CUSHING CENTENERY: MADHOUSE
(Jim Clark, UK/USA 1974)
We at Abertoir are pleased to present the unfairly and much-maligned Madhouse, which sees our patron saint, Vincent Price, starring alongside Peter Cushing. Price plays an aging horror star coaxed back into the business following the traumatic death of his fiancée. Working alongside his former script-writer Cushing, the pair resurrect his most famous character Dr. Death…on the screen and, it seems, in reality.
THE GOLDEN AGE OF BRITISH HORROR: CULT STARS
Join the scholars and horror fans of Aberystwyth University’s Theatre, Film and Television department and Northumbria University’s Film and Television department as they make the case for the biggest, best and brightest cult stars of the Golden Age of the British horror film. Judge Gaz will be on hand to take the verdict from you, the jury.
Thursday 7th Nov
CUSHING CENTENERY: THE MUMMY
(Terence Fisher, UK 1959)
Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee star in this classic example of Hammer at its best. A British archaeologist discovers the tomb of an Egyptian princess, accidentally unleashing the mummified body of her High Priest (Lee), where it begins a terrifying revenge on those who desecrated the tomb. Screening in a newly remastered digital restoration, this Hammer classic is not to be missed.
CUSHING CENTENERY: THE MANY FACES OF PETER CUSHING
A TALK BY PETER HUTCHINGS
Renowned film scholar and Hammer Horror expert Professor Peter Hutchings joins us again this year, to help us celebrate Peter Cushing’s centenary. This talk looks at the career of Peter Cushing from his early days as one of Britain's first television stars to his latter days as all round national treasure. In between are the horror films, of course, and a series of performances that are much more varied than is sometimes supposed. The talk discusses some classic Cushing moments both in terms of technique and artistry and in the way they show a performer who is much more than the 'gentleman of British horror'. Morecambe and Wise will feature….!
ABERTOIR PUB QUIZ
The Abertoir pub quiz returns this year, and there will be more than a brainful’s worth of Gothic horror questions involved. Get your thinking caps on, because there will be prizes…
Friday 8th Nov
CUSHING CENTENERY: HAMMER HOUSE OF HORROR: ‘SILENT SCREAM’
(Alan Gibson, UK 1980)
Hammer House of Horror was the television series that replaced Hammer’s theatrical output. Running for 13 episodes, this was the only one to feature their most beloved actor, Peter Cushing. Cushing gives a memorable performance as a sinister pet shop-owner. Also starring Brian Cox.
‘TELL ME STRANGE THINGS: IN PURSUIT OF THE ORIGINAL GOTHFATHER’
A TALK BY GAVIN BADDELEY
Slip on those fishnets, dust off your hair crimpers, and black nail polish at-the-ready! For, in keeping with the somewhat Gothic flavour to this year’s festival, author, mal viveur and Abertoir veteran Gavin Baddeley goes in search of the definitive prince – or indeed princess – of darkness. Leaving no gravestone unturned, Baddeley’s hunt takes him from the lofty peaks of academia’s ivory towers to the sweaty depths of the most depraved fleshpots, his ‘Gothdar’ attuned to all things spooky. Identifying all of the unusual suspects, our intrepid guide leads us through a bat-infested rogues gallery of perverts, poets and priests, each a pioneer in exposing the world to all things dark and hideous, before identifying his candidate for history’s ultimate creature of the night. Anyone care to guess who ends up as Gavin’s candidate for Gothfather?
Sunday 10th Nov
EARLY SHORT HORROR FILMS WITH LIVE PIANO ACCOMPANIMENT
Specially commissioned scores composed and performed live by Paul Shallcross
Four short horror films from the early 20th century, with the world premiere of brand new scores commissioned by Abertoir and performed by regular festival performer Paul Shallcross. The films are La Légende Du Fantome (1908), Frankenstein (1910), Le Spectre Rouge (1907) and The Jest (1921).
THEATRE OF THE DAMNED PRESENTS: THE GHOST HUNTER
Starring Tom Richards
Dick runs a ghost tour, and he’s got a great story to tell. It’s the one they all go home talking about. The headliner. It’s about a Ragged School in old York. About something terrible buried beneath the cobbles. It’s about the past. It’s about ghosts. And it’s about to catch up with him. The Ghost Hunter is a gripping one-man show that takes you into the mind of a lonely Ghost Tour guide as the stories of his profession reveal some frightening truths…. ‘keeps you on the edge of your seat right up to the final line.’ - The Stage
Ongoing throughout the festival…
SCREAM AND SCREAM AGAIN: The Golden Age of British Horror
Original International Movie Posters (Gallery 2)
The 1950s to the 1970s saw a dramatic change in British horror. Casually referred to as horror’s golden age, the period saw actors such as Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing become household names, while the British horror film studio became a major influence worldwide. From the early gothic style to the infiltration of pop culture in the 1970s, this exhibition takes a look at films from this period and how they were marketed abroad, through a collection of rare original lobby cards and posters from around the world. With thanks to Aberystwyth Arts Centre Exhibitions; this exhibition has been curated by Abertoir Horror Festival.
Following the immense popularity of Dr. Phibes, our first Abertoir Ale, last year, we’ve teamed up again with Felin Foel brewery to offer up Cwrw Cushing – Cushing’s Beer! Look out for the label design, by our wonderful poster artist Peter Stevenson. With immense thanks again to the Arts Centre bar for their help in making this happen.
Be sure to also check out our warm up for the festival, as part of Wales Goes Dark, featuring a double-bill of Peter Cushing films and a special talk on gothic cinema, all on October 19th!
Check out www.bfi.org.uk/gothic for details on the BFI’s mammoth 4-month season of films and events celebrating some of the best traditions in horror.