GRIMM UP NORTH PRESENTS: VAMPIRE SUNDAY, July 22nd, 2pm – late
This year is the centenary of Bram Stoker’s death. Much respect is due to the creator of one of horror‘s most enduring icons, the bloody count, Dracula himself – and so, as part of Manchester Fringe Festival, we’re holding a special “Vampire Sunday“, over at the decadently Deco Dancehouse theatre. Four feature films, special guests and a cheap bar – it’s a veritable Feast of Blood!
Kicking off the day in style, award-winning gothic writer and poet Sam Stone, best known for her Vampire Gene novels, will be presenting a reading from her latest work, followed by a Q&A session. So if you have any burning questions for Sam or simply want to sit back and submit yourself to her dark and deadly world, be get down to the Dancehouse for 2pm, and let the bloodsucking begin…
Following this literary introduction, we get the films rolling, with an exclusive preview of gritty new British indie THE HARSH LIGHT OF DAY, followed by a Q&A with cast and crew. When the wife of a successful occult writer is brutally murdered, and police fail to find the culprits, he is offered a chance to mete out a very different, far more brutal kind of justice… Combining vampires and vigilantism, this is Death Wish with fangs.
A more traditionally Gothic version of vampirism next, in cult classic THE VAMPIRE LOVERS, veteran director Roy Ward Baker‘s steamy adaptation of J. Sheridan LeFanu‘s seminal vampire tale, “Carmilla“. The late, great Ingrid Pitt stars as horror cinema‘s most notorious predatory lesbian, with the inimitable Peter Cushing as her implacable nemesis, and Arthur Daley himself, George Cole providing local colour – most of it blood red.
Just as LeFanu preceded Stoker, so an appearance by the infamous Mircalla Karnstein can only lead in to one by the Count himself. The tall man in the opera cape finally puts in an appearance (and we continue the Hammer Horror theme) with our third feature presentation, DRACULA: PRINCE OF DARKNESS, directed by Hammer maestro Terence Fisher, featuring Christopher Lee’s definitive performance as the Count, original Scream Queen Barbara Shelley, and Andrew Keir as the demon-hunting priest, Father Sandor, a formidable substitute for Peter Cushing’s Abraham Van Helsing.
Our final feature presentation of the day is CRONOS, Guillermo del Toro’s remarkable dark fairytale re-imagining of the vampire legend. A golden scarab turns up in an antique dealer’s store. When opened, the device stabs the person holding it, bringing them eternal life and a vampire’s lust for blood. See del Toro’s classic debut film in all its bloody glory on the big screen before joining your fellow Grimmlins in the Dancehouse bar for drinks.
PLUS: Something for you to really get your teeth while you’re eating. Screening on a continual loop in the Dancehouse café area throughout the day…BLOOD AND BONE CHINA. A blood-soaked, bodice-ripping slice of Victorian Gothic, crammed with evil industrialists, crusading female journalists, wise orphans, sinister foreigners, literary in-jokes and more vampires than you can shake a crucifix at, Chris Stone’s award-winning cliff-hanger chapter-play for the 21st Century fuses the aesthetics of classic Hammer with the lurid, fast-paced melodramatics of “Penny Dreadful” serial novels such as James Rymer’s VARNEY THE VAMPIRE.
To end the evening, the lovely people at Fab Café on Portland Street have offered all Grimm-goers free entry so hardened vamps can continue the party into the dead of night.
Tickets are £13.50 and can be bought from the Grimm Up North website, where you can also find more details on the event.