Cine Excess Cult Film Festival kicks off its tenth year with the UK premiere of TAX SHELTER TERRORS (UK, 2016), a new hour-long documentary in which leading filmmakers and scholars consider the social and historical significance of a generation of Canadian cult films that launched the careers of David Cronenberg and kick started the 1970s slasher film craze. The rising popularity of horror TV shows and issues around genre film distribution also form centrepiece panel discussions In addition to a whole host of daytime seminars and evening screenings. The annual international celebration of cult cinema, takes place in Birmingham from 10th to 12th November.
TAX SHELTER TERRORS investigates the controversial Tax Shelter scheme, which was launched by the Canadian government in 1974 as an incentive to fund and develop a new era of ‘quality’ national cinema. Politicians and cultural commentators were dismayed to discover that the schemes was actually used to create a rush of mad scientists movies, backwoods horror films, home invasion narratives and urban siege dramas, all of which were roundly condemned at the time.
Directed by Xavier Mendik, Professor of Cult Cinema Studies at Birmingham City University, the film received its world premiere at Toronto’s Horrorama Film Festival in October. It’s the sixth documentary on global cult film traditions that Professor Mendik has completed, and the project resulted from collaborations with film crews working across Toronto and Montreal. The documentary is part of a wider international research project that will explore the cultural importance of Cinepix Films, the most prolific creator of Tax Shelter cinema productions.
Other films being screened at Cine Excess include the UK premiere of Agoraphobia director Lou Simon’s latest thriller ALL GIRLS WEEKEND (US, 2016), where a high school reunion weekend goes horribly wrong. It stars Jamie Bernadette (I Spit On Your Grave: Déjà Vu) and Kate Carpenter (TV’s Maid To Order). Mexico comes under focus with Adrián García Bogliano’s SHERZO DIABOLICO (2015), introducing us to a frustrated accountant who turns into a vengeful killer, and Diego Cohen’s HONEYMOON (Luna De Miel, 2016), where an infatuated neighbour invites Isabel to stay forever in his basement.
KILL OR BE KILLED (2015) is the UK theatrical premiere of blood-soaked gothic Western directed by Duane Graves and Justin Meeks, who also plays outlaw leader Sweet Tooth, whilst Argentinian director Luciano Onetti finds two detectives chasing a serial killer that’s linked with an unresolved missing girl case from 15 years earlier in FRANCESCA (2015).
In addition to its usual cult film focus, the 10th Cine-Excess also considers the rising popularity of The Walking Dead, Penny Dreadful, American Horror Story, Supernatural, to assess what could be seen as a new golden age of horror TV. The issue is debated by a panel of academic experts. Other Topics discussed over the three days include the films of John Carpenter, It Follows, alchemy in film, Baise Moi and Grindhouse cinema, as well as a special panel on distribution examining changes in traditional and online programme delivery.
Student filmmakers from Birmingham City University itself are taking the new annual Tales of Terror challenge by creating their own Found Footage fears short film, which is being judged by cult director Jake West (Evil Aliens, The ABCs of Death). This year, the festival also launches the Film Ripped Open contest where students are encouraged to test their journalistic skills as horror critics.
Cine-Excess X: Cult Genres, Traditions and Bodies, runs 10th to 12th November, combining a three-day academic conference with visiting filmmaker awards, UK theatrical premieres and student media mentoring sessions. Full details of guests and filmmakers in attendance will be announced shortly.
Events are held at Birmingham City University, Millennium Point, Curzon Street, B4 7XG, and Mockingbird Cinema and Kitchen, Custard Factory, Gibb St, B9 4AA
Cult film screenings
Thursday 10th November: Birmingham City University
7pm – TAX SHELTER TERRORS (Xavier Mendik, UK, 2016) – UK Theatrical Premiere
8.30pm – ALL GIRLS WEEKEND (Lou Simon, USA, 2016) – UK Theatrical Premiere
Friday 11th November : The Mockingbird Cinema
6.30pm – SHERZO DIABOLICO (Adrián García Bogliano, Mexico, 2015)
8.30pm – FRANCESCA (Luciano Onetti, Argentina, 2015)
Saturday 12th November: The Mockingbird Cinema
6.30pm – KILL OR BE KILLED (Duane Graves & Justin Meeks, USA, 2015) – UK Theatrical Premiere
8.30pm – HONEYMOON (Diego Cohen, Mexico, 2016)
Conference details and bookings available here whilst cinema tickets are available from Mockingbird Cinema and Kitchen on 0121 224 7456