Despite last night's screening of THE EXORCIST, tonight was actually the real opening of Monster Fest. Today was a typical Friday for me, except I was itching to wrap up work and head into the city. For a minute I thought I was going to miss it. I had to drop my son off at Southern Cross Station at 6:30 and then race across to Nova. Of course everything stood in my way - closed roads, fire trucks, accident. Nevertheless I arrived with time to spare and made my way to the Monster Fest table. My name was on the door list and I was given a purple entry bracelet for the after party later in the evening. Tonight's feature was the world premier of Daniel Armstrong's roller-derby slasher MURDERDROME. The foyer was quickly filling up with all sorts of strange and wonderful people. The roller-derby crowd was out in full force to see their sport exploited in all it's glory on the big screen.
The film was split into two cinemas. One screening had sold out and the spill-over crowd almost filled the second cinema. It was a brilliant turn-out. Neil Foley welcomed the audience with a humble gratitude and introduced the film's director, writer and producer. These guys were exhausted having just hopped off a plane after shopping the movie around in Hollywood... but their fatigue was barely noticeable and their nervous anxiety for their debut screening was masked by excitement. The audience was right behind them and equally as excited to see the movie
The lights dimmed and MURDERDROME whipped-it good. I have a habit of getting overly excited about movies that impress me and this one was fucking rad. I loved every second of it. It's a tested and true formula slasher film, harking back to the classics of the 80s. A group of roller-derby chicks start getting picked off one-by-one by a vengeful psycho roller chick. What had me hooked was the fact that it was a generic type of film. Who doesn't love a slasher movie? And being set in the subculture world of roller derby made it a unique and refreshing take on the genre. Watching it took me back to movies like THE PROWLER and MY BLOODY VALENTINE and it's bright fluro tones reminded my a lot of Brian Trenchard-Smith's classic DEAD END DRIVE IN. There were a few nit-picky technical issues but nothing worth criticising and I'm sure the makers are already aware of them. I have no doubt they haven't finished fine tuning it anyhow. The sountrack was stellar, the cinematography was sharp and the entire aesthetic was of an international standard. With fucking cool editing, great special fx and a wicked title sequences I can see MURDERDROME becoming a cult film, easily. Oh and it was an added neato-factor seeing an old mate of mine in the film as one of the roller-derby commentators (he does that for rizzle).
So after the film wrapped everyone made their way to the LuWow bar in Fitzroy. I had already caught up with Brisbane brothers Duncan & Martin Cunningham, the guys behind FORESIGHT KILLER INSTINCT. Two super nice guys in Melbourne for the first time (come and along and support their film tomorrow). With another filmie with us (apologies for forgetting your name) we all drive up the road to the bar. Upon entry we discovered that the alcohol was on the house and free flowing thanks to Monster Pictures (again outdoing themselves). This is when I cursed the fact that I had to drive home because I was definitely in the mood to get hammered (I mingle well when Im shit-faced). So I had a couple of drinks and worked my way around the room. I caught up with a lot of people and was introduced to a whole heap more. Damn, the horror community is such an awesome crowd. Similar to last night I was told that I'm quite well known amongst many of them. Ben from Monster jokingly told me that i'm sort of famous. Talk about a mind-fuck. lol
One of the more amusing aspects to my night night was realising how tall everyone else is - actually strike that - how damn short I am. LOL. I felt like Ronnie Corbett at a Richard Kiel convention. I damn near cracked my neck just talking to people... and to add injury to insult, the fucking bar was at chest height. I didn't know whether to ask for a beer or a fucking phone book.
But I digress. MURDERDROME was a really solid movie. It impressed the shit out of me and I can't wait to own a copy. The after party was buzzing with cinephiles and the atmosphere was brilliant. To those of you I met for the first time, It was a privilege and I'll see you again soon. To those I am yet to meet please don't be shy.
On with the festival...