As LIFF enters its 30th year, here is a selection of some of the Fanomenon strand of weird and wonderful films playing at the Hyde Park Picture House:
Francesca is a beautiful and bloody love letter to the Italian giallos of the 70s. A psychopath in a red coat and leather gloves is stalking the city, clearing it of ‘impure and damned souls’. The crimes seem linked to an unsolved case from many years ago.
A Monster Calls (2016)
Based on the acclaimed novel by Patrick Ness, this dark compelling from J A Bayona (The Orphanage) tells the story of a young boy visited by an enormous, tree-shaped monster – voiced, obviously, by Liam Neeson!
Kids Police (2013)
From one of Japan’s wildest comic film creators Yuichi Fukada comes this delightful spoof of procedural cop dramas. Chief Onuma and his Special Investigative Division are transformed back into their child selves by terrorists. Can Onuma and his mini squad stop the terrorists taking over Japan? A big story about very little heroes!
Iko Uwais (star of The Raid) plays an amnesiac whose mysterious past as a killing machine takes over when he takes on the henchmen of a vengeful drug lord. A dizzying action movie through the Indonesian underworld.
In A Glass Cage (1986)
Brought to the UK big screen by LIFF for the first time in 30 years, Agusti Villaronga’s feature debut about shock, revenge and madness shocked its initial Cannes Film Festival audience back in 1986.
The plot follows an ex-Nazi sadistic child abuser who is now paralyzed and dependent on an iron lung to survive. The young man who comes to nurse him is one his former victims…. Mixing Nazism, pedophilia, torture and homosexuality this is one highly controversial film that has to be seen to be believed.
They Call Me Jeeg Robot (2015)
In a world where superhero movies are becoming mass produced and formulaic, They Call Me Jeeg delivers a dark alternative version set in the seedy underbelly of Rome’s criminal streets. When a petty thief and gang member accidentally develops superpowers, he uses his new abilities to commit even bigger crimes – unwittingly angering a psychopathic gangster. This has been a fan favourite at film festivals around the world.
The Lure (2015)
In Warsaw, a pair of mermaid sisters is adopted into a cabaret. While one seeks love with humans the other hungers to dine on the human population of the city. This kitsch, surreal, anarchic and unashamedly feminist dark musical comedy horror is the ultimate antithesis to Disney’s The Little Mermaid!
It wouldn’t be Night of the Dead if there wasn’t a zombie film in the line up somewhere! This undeniably gooey gorefest from Canada will be introduced by the film’s director, Seve Schelenz, who will give an audience Q&A after. When an infected miner turns up at a strip club and starts biting everyone, all hell – literally – breaks loose.
Tonight She Comes (2016)
After a girl goes missing, two of her friends and a set of strangers find themselves drawn to the cabin in the woods where she disappeared. They will laugh, they will drink, they will kiss, they will make love – and THEY MUST ALL DIE. This gory finale to Night of the Dead takes us deep into 70s and 80s slasher territory, but with added unusual gory twists. A film that’s tailor-made for watching with an audience of horror lovers.
The Void (2016)
Recalling monsters from classic horrors like The Thing, Hellraiser and From Beyond, The Void is quite simply a descent into hell complete with slimy things, madmen and mutilation. A police officer takes an injured figure to a nearby hospital, only to find its patients and staff transforming into something inhuman. Expect sleepless nights!