Grimmfest 2019 Festival Report – Day 1

grimmfest 2019

It’s been 4 years since I last covered Grimmfest so it’s great to hit Manchester this year to catch up with some old friends and check out some brilliant contributions to horror cinema.

The festival once again is being hosted at the Great Northern; an impressive building housing many other little businesses, not just a cinema. It’s central location makes it within easy walking distance from public transport with plenty of parking nearby. It’s also the best venue I’ve ever seen Grimmfest hosted at, with the festival banners and posters plastered everywhere, from artwork outside the building and throughout the foyer, straight through to the screens on the upper level. Grimmfest want you to know they are here and how you should be spending your weekend instead of watching The Joker (that can wait!). Seeing the walls papered with horror posters made this film fan’s heart swell with delight. Now, onto the movies!

Kicking off Grimmfest 2019 film festival was British horror-comedy TALES FROM THE LODGE. The first feature film from Abigail Blackmore, TALES FROM THE LODGE is a portmanteau movie featuring some familiar faces in British comedy such as Mackenzie Crook and Johnny Vegas. They, along with the rest of the fantastic cast, are brought together for the sprinkling of their friend’s ashes at the lake where he passed away. Yeah, a bit grim, right? Each of the five friends decide to tell tales, just like their deceased pal Jonesy did, in a bid to entertain those around them. They span from ghostly hauntings to the zombie apocalypse, the latter of which provides some truly laugh out loud moments as Johnny Vegas models himself on Kiefer Sutherland or someone similar…

A British comedy shot in Newcastle and Northumberland, TALES FROM THE LODGE has a particular charm to it and has much more interesting humour to it than Shaun of the Dead. It’s like having banter with your mates and feels a lot more straight with black comedy moments and natural wit rather than playing it for major laughs. Using similar storytelling techniques as in her short film Vintage Blood, Abigail has a style that certainly sets her movie apart from the rest and I look forward to what else she has planned. Johnny Vegas, Kelly Wenham, Abigail and producer Richard Wylie were present for a post-screening Q&A with Vegas reducing the audience to giggles with his witty outlook on life and his own film career. I also got to speak with Abigail and Richard about the film prior to the screening which I’ll be publishing in the coming weeks.

Having adored HE NEVER DIED after watching it at 2015’s Grimmfest festival, I was eager to see what the sequel would have up its sleeve for us. It didn’t disappoint. Aggressive from the get-go, SHE NEVER DIED very rarely comes up for air and when it does it’s only to give you a moment’s peace before it faces the bone-crunching violence once more. Discovering Lacey’s character and who she is felt like my sole objective, as well as seeing the incestuous Terrance receive his comeuppance in grisly fashion. Actress Olunike Adeliyi is more than capable in her role and brings an awesome savagery to what can be perceived as a very awkward persona in Lacey. Read my full review of She Never Died.

Chelsea Stardust’s SATANIC PANIC closed the night with its tale of a pizza delivery girl who gets more than she bargained for after delivering in an affluent neighbourhood. Seems these folks are into more than just mindless orgies and poor Sam finds herself in the middle of a sacrifice on her first night at her new job. The rockin soundtrack, exceptionally witty dialogue and jaw-dropping visual moments certainly left their mark. Almost comic book style in nature, SATANIC PANIC is a bucketload of fun, more fun than worshipping Baphomet I would imagine, with some truly intense, nail-biting scenes and an introduction to one of the scariest dildos I’ve ever laid witness to! Without a doubt my favourite film of the night with tremendous performances from the entire cast to boot. An outstanding effort from Stardust in what is her debut feature film. If SATANIC PANIC is anything to go by, she has a bright future indeed. More, please!

That’s it for the opening night of Grimmfest. Roll on the beginning of the early morning screenings tomorrow with Quiet Comes The Dawn at 10.3oam.

Tickets still available for Grimmfest 2019 at

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About Bat 4442 Articles
I love practical effects, stop-motion animation and gore, but most of all I love a good story! I adore B-movies and exploitation films in many of their guises and also have a soft spot for creature features. I review a wide range of media including movies, TV series, books and videogames. I'm a massive fan of author Hunter S. Thompson and I enjoy various genre of videogames with Kingdom Hearts and Harvest Moon two of my all time favs. Currently playing: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Yakuza Zero and Mafia III.

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