...just got in. The room is cool, the shower is odd (only half a shower door?) but refreshing washing the flight off of me. Long flight. Didnt help that SPIDERMAN 3 & THE LAST MIMZY were my only choices to watch, so i listened to some early Rollins spoken word (strange to hear him BEFORE 9/11 actually) and tried to nod off...again, and again...
Was picked up by a nice gent named Phillip (a doppleganger for actor Pruitt Taylor Vince) who took me from Heathrow to The Cavendish Hotel, located near Piccidilly Circus. Can't wait to hit there and see 'See You Next Wednesday"...and if you dont get that joke, Im sorry. Gonna meet up with Green and check out the lay of the land before hitting the Cinema and check in with the festival programmers.
Oh, if you haven't seen it, some "found footage" made it's way on the net. Curious....
you can link to it HERE.
OK Im out.
Back at the hotel. It's the next day. Im fucking destroyed. Not drunk or dismembered mind you, just tired as fuck and jet lagged like a mofo. Its been amazing here. People have been so nice and excited for the film, the organizers (Ian, Paul, Alan and all their lovely help) have been nothing short of accomidating, and Im just chomping at the bit to show the movie tomorrow night.
Last night, I got in, dropped shit off and Green & I walked over to the Odeon, where FrightFest is being held, and when i walked inside the theater, I literally gasped. It was HUGE. Like the way they used to make movie theaters before multiplexes compressed the experience into smaller rooms.
This is where some of the great classic films held their premieres, so it has a ton of history. When i went down stairs, I was thrilled to see the British actually had the sense to call the new DIE HARD film DIE HARD 4.0;
Brilliant bastards...After saying hi, doing the requisite shakes and hugs, Green and I sat down for the first film...
BLACK SHEEP: Like the lost Peter Jackson film before he got all artsy on us, BLACK SHEEP was a lot of fun. A little uneven in spots, but the WETA FX was impressive and there were some great fun moments. I'll never see a docile sheep standing still quite the same way again.
I ended up having to miss BLACK WATER (sorry guys) as I was struggling to fight exhaustion and jet lag, so we decided to go out for a bit and ended up in the New Zealand Royal Embassy, were there was a small but raucus reception. There i got to meet Jake West, who did the brilliant EVIL ALIENS, who saw WT2 early and loved it. Sweet! Then met up with Neil Marshall, who we were much less "geeky" over and shared some talk time while looking out at one of the most brilliant vista shots of London I've ever seen ...seriously, 70mm Imax wouldnt have done it justice.
As the beer flowed freely, we hung out with some of the nice ladies who were working the festival, who told us that Maurice, the owner of a cool little pub down the street (The Phoenix), so we ventured forth to our own little "Winchester" for a pint or 7. Great times, we of course grossed the girls out with mentions of "Rusty Trombones" , my new favorite word "Blube" (ask me about it) and of course, the term of the night....
Doesnt that just roll off the tounge?
Around 2:30, all of us well liquored up and Adam and I barely holding onto consciousness, we headed back to the hotel. Two new friends, Jen and Max, stuck around in my room as we geeked-out some more until I kicked them out, ichatted with Bri a bit (thank god we at least have that as my phone still doesnt work...bollocks! Wait, did I just say that?) and then hit the sack.
I woke up late, rushed out the door, missed the free breakfast downstairs so i could make the HATCHET commentary. Originally, I was supposed to be part of it, but in a wise move by Alan (who was the co-host of the recording) he said I couldnt do it for rights reasons, but honestly, hearing Adam spew about HATCHET, he needed NOONE else to bounce off of. It was great to see on the big screen again, but unfortunately, a lot of people came who didnt see it originally so most of the great jokes and character moments that make HATCHET special were lost in the conversation. No matter, they got their fill of gore so hopefully they will appreciate the script upon future screenings...but it went really well. I think Adam was pleased.
Afterwards, a nice gent named Andy took me out for a pint to talk about the movie, which I happily obliged. Free beer in my empty stomach seemed fine at the time. In retrospect...not so much. But it was great chatting with the guy, who i met on mypsace, and we gabbed about the amazingly underrated EXORCIST 3, and he showed me his amazingly under-pant leg DAWN OF THE DEAD tattoo. Very cool. Man, the British take their horror VERY seriously.
Oh! Before the commentary started, a tall drink of scary came up to me and asked me to sign something...the German one sheet for WRONG TURN 2!!!
I had never seen it before and so funny how they did it up. I love how they have completely different headliner names on the top...cause Steve Braun is HUGE in Germany!
Get back, Green's doing autographs withe the new killer HATCHET UK poster. It's gorgeous, and Adam's eyes lit up when he first gazed upon it. Im sure he was proud. But he was still busy so I went into the next flicK, which i missed the first 10 minutes but still wanted to see.
SWORD BEARER: While I missed the key reason as to why the guy has a fucking sword coming out of his arm like Wolverine, I really enjoyed this Russian Fantasy/horror hybrid. I actually liked it more than NIGHT WATCH, which i thought was cool but had way too many stylistic blasts to really get what was going on. The filmmakers here were much more subtle with the style, but it had a great look, and the love story made me miss my wife so fucking much. THAT's a good love story; when it can make you reflect on your own heart, and this film tapped into that. I love how suddenly, the Russian film industry is getting out there, and this is a solid entry. I love also how the recent Russian films I've seen have such a grand scope, and this is no different. Def reccomendation.
Then, a film I was HIGHLY anticipating...
THE SIGNAL: Prett great, compelling variation of the curent "monsters are us" genre that kicked off with 28 DAYS LATER. This is closer to King's book THE CELL, but it's told in a unique style; Three directors took 3 seperate acts and directed each, interweaving storylines as a mysterious "signal" begins to permeate through our TVs, cel phones and other electronics. It makes you "crazy" which doesnt mean you're a mindless Zombie; rather, your perception has changed which makes you hallucinate or see things in a skewed perspective, usually with violent results. In short, I thought the first part was a strong set-up with great efficency and dread (all called "Transmissions" using a Leone Freeze Frame which i loved). The second "transmission" was more skewed towards Gallows humor but it was told with amazingly deft style and great gore moments, yet the final "transmission" just couldn't compare with the first two and wasnt able to sustain the breakneck momentum for the first two acts. It's not bad, but compared to the first two, it just lacks the punch. Overall, THE SIGNAL is pretty fucking solid, a great debut. I would love to see these guys continue this formula, just find a better tonal balance.
After that, I realized i only had BEER in my stomach since i woke up, so we went back to the hotel (sorry 1408, gonna have to catch you on DVD; Im pretty bummed I had to miss it again), and of course instead of eating (aside from the kick-ass Cookies Bri made me, thanks baby!) Im sitting here writing. Love my priorities.
Be back soon, although probably not until after the World Premiere. Hopefully with some food in the belly. Tonight we're seeing TEETH (a last minute addition when P2 had to be dropped), ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE (can't wait) then possibly SHROOMS....
Let me just say that seeing all these horror films, being with great people in a city Im loving more and more by the minute, it makes me so happy to be alive, and so proud to be part of the horror family.
Wish me luck!!!