Why Abertoir Festival 2018 promises to be killer

Abertoir
The International Horror Festival of Wales

13 – 18 November 2018

Coming into its thirteenth year, Abertoir goes from strength to strength. Located on the Aberystwyth University campus on the Welsh coast, the team have broken out the tents and the log cabins this year for the slasher/camping theme. Complete with the offsite screening of Friday the 13th: Part 3, in old-school 3D, the unlucky number 13 is the (un)lucky number in Wales as the year draws to a close.

Running from Nov. 13-18, and starting with a drinks reception and the classic 1984 film Sleepaway Camp, the bloody celebrations will be going off with a proper bang, or flash of the knife at the very least. No doubt the festival-goers will be partaking heavily of this year’s Abertoir ales, aptly named Black Christmas and Crystal Lake, as they plough on through a slew of slasher classics such as Slumber Party Massacre and Prom Night, along with new films such as Summer of ‘84, and Blumhouse’s new thriller, Cam, throughout the six-day run.

There are three UK premieres at this year’s festival, with Occult Bolshevism, The Black Forest, and Party Hard, Die Young, all getting their first outings on the isle in the Abertoir cinema. The short film competition (with previous years seeing modern classics like The Birch being shown) promises to be top-notch once again, showing off the new blood heading towards the horror stage.

It’s not just the films, however, that makes Abertoir unique, because there’s a whole slew of other events lined up for this year’s festival. From the traditional Bad Film Club, always a crowd favourite and chance to heckle your heart out, to the fascinating presentations and live performances, Abertoir always makes sure to make it an all-rounder of a week, not simply about the films. This is the festival that hosted the European premiere of Fabio Frizzi’s live composer’s cut for Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond a few years ago, and this year’s musical masterpiece looks to be the culminating event in The Elvis Dead, a one-man retelling of The Evil Dead, through Elvis Presley songs.

But what would a festival be without a special guest? Don’t think that just because it’s tucked away on the west coast of a little, mostly rural, country, that they don’t pull in some heavy hitters. Previous guests have included Doug Bradley, Victoria Price, Luigi Cozzi, Robin Hardy, Lamberto Bava, and a booked-but-unable-to-attend-on-the-day Sir James Herbert, so this year’s guest has a lot to live up to. Thankfully, they meet the criteria. Including a Q+A, a special screening of a new project, and a three-hour filmmaking masterclass… the one and only Sean S Cunningham will be venturing out to the windy coast. As if the festival needed another prestigious name on the list.

So if you’re in the UK and happen to have a few days free next week, Abertoir Festival 2018 promises to be a week stacked with cult classics, great premieres, lots of laughter and barrels of ale. And if you can’t make it this year, well, you know where to come next year.

 

Article by Kieran Judge

 

For more information, visit Abertoir’s website: http://www.abertoir.co.uk/, and/or like them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/abertoir/

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Live Action Reviews! By Crystal Connor: Welcome to Mercy

 

Master Imaginationist and Instagram photographer Crystal Connor is the Chief Imagineer working for the Department of Sleep Prevention’s Nightmare Division. A Washington State native she loves anything to do with monsters, bad guys (as in evil-geniuses & super-villains.  Not ‘those’ kind her mother warned her about), rogue scientific experiments, jewelry, sky-high high-heeled shoes & unreasonably priced handbags.

Book Review: The Mourner’s Cradle by Tommy B. Smith

Review – The Mourner’s Cradle by Tommy B. Smith
4 out of 5 stars

By Chantal Boudreau

The Mourner’s Cradle offers up an exciting start.  After an intriguing prologue, we are introduced to the novel’s protagonist, Anne Sharpe.  The young widow confronts an unwelcome guest at her husband’s funeral and later encounters an intruder at home.  She concludes this is all related to her late spouse’s research into “The Mourner’s Cradle” and sets off to finish what he started.

Her trip to Peru, with associates, Ruben and Raul, is filled with adventure and danger, thanks to run-ins with her husband’s adversaries and hostile terrain.  The story reminded me of a dark blend of Lara Croft meets Indiana Jones, if the tale were set on (and in) a snowy mountain.

For the most part, the novel was a thrilling ride and kept me entertained.  I enjoyed it’s fast pace and plucky protagonist.  The action scenes were well written, which is important in this kind of story, but there were a couple of slow moments that seemed somewhat drawn out and repetitive, like at the airport, and the dialogue didn’t always flow well.  Those things aside, it was a positive reading experience for me, overall.  I would describe it as more of a thriller than a horror novel, but it was worth the read and I would rate it four out of five stars.

PR: Terror Films partnering with Screambox, VIDI SPACE

Terror Films.jpg

Horror distribution company Terror Films recently announced partnerships with the streaming service Screambox and new online network VIDI SPACE.

Terror Films licensed 30 films to horror streaming service Screambox, according to a company press release.

Screambox bills itself as the leading streaming service for die-hard horror fans with more than 100,000 subscribers enjoying exclusive content not available on any other subscription streaming service.

“Screambox is one of the leading streaming services dedicated to bringing a wide variety of diverse genre films to die-hard horror fans so this partnership was a no-brainer for us,” Terror Films President Joe Dain said in the press release.

Some of the films on the list include Hell House LLC, the horror anthology Patient Seven, Dead Body, and the documentary Unearthed & Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary. Newer titles on the list are The Barn and What the Waters Left Behind.

Check out the full slate of films on the website of Screambox, a TV4 Entertainment company.

“This terrific collection of Terror Films titles helps Screambox fulfill its mission to deliver the very best in fresh new horror to fans every week and on any device,” said Screambox and TV4 Entertainment executive Larry Baird in the press release.

The partnership with VIDI SPACE features more than 30 Terror Films titles with a separate slate of films released at a later date from Terror Films sister company Global Digital Releasing. Offering subscription and a la carte options, VIDI SPACE is founded by the host and executive producer of the shows “Paranormal Lockdown,” “Ghosts of Shepherdstown,” “Ghost Adventures,” and “Ghost Stalkers,” according to the press release.

“As an indie company it’s vital to not only have our content on major platforms such as iTunes, Shudder, Amazon, Vudu and so on, it’s also important for us to explore new and exciting streaming platforms such as VIDI SPACE, which will only help expand the digital footprint of our films and ideally increase revenue opportunities for our filmmakers,”  Dain said in a press release.

A popular feature on VIDI SPACE has been the live-streamed premieres of new content that allow customers to watch and interact through an integrated social chat, the press release said.

“Our partnership with Terror Films is a real first step towards spotlighting a genre in the industry that not only demands constant innovation but literally and figuratively keeps us all on the edge of our seat,” VIDI SPACE President and Co-Founder Elizabeth Saint said in a press release. “It comes at the perfect time as we focus on expanding our other channels, particularly The Horror Space. The films they are bringing to us truly set the bar to what independent filmmaking is all about.”

For additional details on the release calendar or how to participate in the live streamed premieres, visit VIDI SPACE. You can also check out the VIDI SPACE-Terror Films promo on YouTube here.

Fiction and Genre Panel – 3rd Indie Author Day Event

Moderator and horror author Brian McKinley is joined by science fiction writer William Gold, humorist Loretta Wish, mystery and thriller author J. Lauryl Jennings, dark fantasy author Kristin Battestella (yes that’s me! Your trusty Kbatz!), and urban fantasy storyteller Laura Kaighn for the Fiction and Genre Panel at the 3rd Indie Author Day hosted at the Heggan Library in Sewell, NJ.

You can see the entire 7 part video below or also view the Childrens and Non-Fiction Panel from the Indie Author Day.  For more photos and author events, visit the South Jersey Writers Conference, Facebook Page.

 

 

 

Book Review: Death Wears a Top Hat by Steph Minns

Death Wears a Top Hat by Steph Minns

4/5 stars

It was the cover that initially hooked me and I must admit to expecting a gothic type tale of murder and the supernatural set in more distant times, perhaps some sort of time-slip scenario having read the blurb. However, the initial chapters firmly set the story in the modern day so I was slightly confused at first. Once I got over this misconception and had passed the initial chapters which were very much scene-setting and introducing the characters, the story developed a natural flow which easily carried me along with it. The intermingling of the demonic top-hatted creature with modern life was drawn naturally and not forced. Crime and the supernatural mix easily and believably. The grisly murders committed in these pages are by a character possessed by a demonic entity, ‘the man in the top hat’. As the bodies pile up, DS Sue McKentee meets up with transgender psychic Alison Graves, whose initial information concerning one of the murders is initially dismissed with usual ‘nutcase’ tag. However, as the case evolves and McKentee herself encounters the top-hatted creature, she and Alison work together unofficially to capture the killer and bring him to justice. The story, however, is not just one of murder, it is also how two people reassess and rebuild their own lives. McKentee, divorced and refusing to let anyone close to her, gradually softens and becomes more open whilst Graves is almost at the end of the long journey in the transgender process to become the woman she wants to be. It is a story of acceptance of self and of others. I think these two would actually make a very good pairing for further supernatural jaunts together.

Book Review: This Ae Nighte, Every Nighte and Alle

This Ae Nighte, Every Nighte and Alle is a fascinating tome of narrative poetry and a cornucopia of dark treats. The author, Frank Coffman, is an accomplished poet, and the tales woven throughout the verse are wondrous.

This Ae Nighte, Every Nighte and Alle

Coffman’s work begins with the description of a book, one of great power. It is, like Lovecraft’s Necronomicon, bound in human skin and inked in blood. The difference is, this volume is authored by a sorcerer and augmented through the ages by seven others.

The first part of This Ae Nighte, details the sorcerer’s creation of the book and his quest to cheat the devil. (He aims to keep his soul though it is bound for Hell.) The second part concerns individual stories contained within the book. Here, you’ll find vampires, werewolves, and other horrific monsters familiar to those who enjoy dark fantasy.

 

I also enjoyed “The Killing Man,” “Convert,” and “The Strigoi.” These poems spark the imagination. I could almost see the monsters, the forests, the blood, and the hang rope in my mind’s eye.

I loved this book. Coffman’s verse is beautiful, precise, and captivating. My favorite poems involved the sorcerer’s transformation into a Lich (a creature animated by the soul of a dead sorcerer.) He is all-powerful in this form and in control of terrifying monsters. No one can stop him, save one. And, believe me, this hero isn’t what you’d expect.

Frank Coffman

As a novice poet, I appreciated Coffman’s introduction to each poem. (I didn’t know a sonnet from a strophe until I’d read this book.) For those eager to learn about poetry, he provides a “poem glossary” at the back of the book. For the more advanced reader, he’s supplied a new and interesting style.

I highly recommend This Ae Nighte, Every Nighte and Alle. Not only is it a great read for dark fantasy fans, it will also appeal to the Horror Addict in everyone.