Progress Report Three for the 12th Festival of Fantastic Films
August 24th to 26th, 2001.

Publishing Date: August 2001


L'ALTROVE ( THE DARKNESS BEYOND) and its sequel IL FIGLIO DELL 'ALTROVE (THE UNKNOWN BEYOND) will be screened for the first time in the UK at the Festival of Fantastic Films. Mike Simpson describes the first film as "A cracking Italian indie horror based on HP Lovecraft, very Fulci-esque, very good, never been screened in the UK. It's directed by 28-year-old Ivan Zuccon, who has made a lot of shorts and worked with Pupi Avati."
Right now, Ivan is trying to sort out an English dub and is talking with Fangoria about releasing the film in the States.

We will be screening the original Italian language versions with English sub-titles. A quick look at the producer's website enables us to extract the following stoy-line for THE DARKNESS BEYOND (L'Altrove), "philosopher Al Caleb is asked by Dr. John Dee to translate some pages of the "Necronomicon" from ancient Arabic. Arkam 500 years later: a copy of the Necronomicon, the terrible book written by Abdul Alhazred, able to stir up the most obscure forces of darkness, is still in the hands of men. Survivors of the human race, on the brink of extinction, are fighting a war without time against the creatures of darkness embodied by their dead compainons.
The movies are inspired by the visionary genius of H.P. Lovecraft, say the producers with many themes and ideas incorporated from The History of the Necronomicon, The Statement of Randolph Carter, The Descendant (completed by Frank Thierney), The Book, The Nameless City, and others... L'Altrove was born as a short movie, but the director decided to realise new sequences necessary to transform the short into a feature film.

JENNIE LINDEN has regrettably had to cancel her visit to Manchester, An earlier arrangement to attend a European function had to be called off at the height of the foot and mouth outbreak. Her arrangement was to attend the event at a later date and unfortunately that date has clashed with ours but she has to make good her promise to fulfill her obligation at the European function. Hopefully, Jennie will come and join us next year.

RAY HARRYHAUSEN says he's very pleased to be coming up to Manchester again and delighted at the prospect of seeing his old pal Forry Ackerman. The KING KONG EXPERIENCE is obviously another event that Ray is very pleased to be involved with. He spoke at length about the sensational music that Max Steiner wrote for films. Not just for KONG but some of the other great fantasy classics like THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME and SHE. That version of the novel feels Ray was the best; and our audiences at last years Fest will agree as it was one of the films long talked about in the lounge-bar last year. Ray has an impressive collection of Max Steiner's film music and is a member of the UK branch of the Max Steiner Appreciation Society that was original started in the USA by Al Bender.

JOHN SCOTT could be a last-minute addition to our Guest line-up. The film composer is currently working in Los Angeles but if all goes well with the task he's involved in he could be with us in Manchester for the Sunday of the Fest. But it is dependent on John getting here direct from the USA. Should his 'plane arrive in time he'll hot-foot it up to Manchester, and so we have penciled in an interview spot for him on the Sunday morning. Norman J. Warren will be on red alert to do the honours having been a close friend of John's for many years and of course used John's distinctive music on a number of his own movies.

We are also delighted that JANINA FAYE will be attending again, despite pressure of work that had threatened a miss-out for this year. Janina has been a fabulous addition to our event since her first visit four years ago. Her website is now up and running (thanks to our own webmaster Bill Burns for helping out in this department) and you should pay a visit next time you're on the net. The URL is and the site is packed with info of her film, stage and television appearances. Lots of pictures from her very busy career. The delightful Janina will arrive in Manchester late on Friday evening but has already booked her trip to the KONG EVENT!

PAUL NASCHY will be travelling to us along with his wife and son and we now have an excellent short film to start the proceedings. THE TELL TALE HEART is by Spanish director ALFONSO S. SUÁREZ who finished the movie earlier this year. The film features Paul Naschy in the main role and was inspired by the Poe story. Paul's 1973 film LA VENGANZA DE LA MOMIA (Vengeance of the Mummy) which he penned under the name Carlos Aured has him playing two parts - Amenhotep and Assad Bey. This Spanish remake of the Karloff version of THE MUMMY will be one of the Paul Naschy feature films that we'll be screening.

Unhappily we have to inform you that STEPHEN LAWS is awaiting surgery for a long-standing problem and has recently undergone some pre-op preparations that he found "horrendous". His hospitalisation dates look like being very close to the Fest and Steve would certainly not be in shape to join in the weekend. He says it really is a downer that he can't be with us. Steve, you will seriously be missed. The stage just won't be the same without your wonderful enthusiastic introductions. We wish you the very best for a successful operation and a speedy recovery.

STEPHEN GALLAGHER has volunteered to step into the breach left this year by his good friend Stephen Laws and take on the interviewer and introduction roles for us. Steve G's association with the Fest of course goes way back to our first event in 1990 when he brought a documentary on his television mini-series CHIMERA for us to view. He became heavily involved again at our second Fest and did many of the interviews, helped judge the amateur film contest before television work swallowed him up to do PAID work for them! So we were very pleased when Steve's lovely daughter Ellen dragged dad back to the Fest with his feature length print of OKTOBER in tow at the final Fest at Sacha's Hotel and he's stayed a firm supporter ever since!

STEVE BARKETT is another special guy who is having a set back with his health. He writes to say "I was only going to be in Oklahoma City for one month, and now it looks like I will be here for two. I came down with a major asthma attack, which is surprising because I have only had two recurrences since childhood, one in 1973 and one in 1994 after the major LA earthquake. I have been out of commission for a month and it has truly devastated my plans while here in the states. I actually do have a pre paid ticket to London for the convention, but it seems I can't fly again until I get these stupid random coughing attacks under control." Steve says it would be safest not to programme him into any spots but adds "I will still try to come as an attendee, because I will be truly and seriously upset if I miss the 35mm KONG showing with Forry and Ray Harryhausen." We have conveyed our best wishes to Steve and hope he is fit enough to join us.

FORREST J ACKERMAN is counting down the days to the time he boards the big jet and heads our way. Forry has a long, long haul ahead of him to reach us, for despite approaching his 85th birthday later this year, he plans on coming to Manchester and then on the Tuesday after our event, blasting off in the direction of Philadelphia for the 5 day-long World SF Convention. If you want to brush up on Forryfolklaw, take a visit to his website at You be in company with the 242,200 fans who have taken a look ahead of you at the cyberspaced Ackermuseum.
For the Fest Forry will be talking to us about his fan and professional life in science fiction and we have suggested a chat on stage with 4e and Ray H to look back for us at their early days in Hollywood and the many meetings with famous folk including the one that brought Ray Bradbury into their lives. The film quiz may also have more than one session this year with an Ackerman section being provided by our guest.

JOEL DENNING is likely to be a name you may not be too familiar with. Joel is the producer of the Don Dohler science fiction monster movie ALIEN RAMPAGE which we are pleased to present as a World Premiere. Joel also wrote the music for the film and is very keen to come over to England with his wife and be with us for the weekend. If that is possible, we'll talk him into a Q&A session at the screening.

Delighted to say that Tom and Diane Dougherty of Clawmark Toys in Florida are bringing a selction of their stock of Godzilla goodies and other stuff to this year's Manchester Fest - all the way from the USA! Now here's a dealer combo with faith in us BritMonster fans!
Obviously they have to watch the weight for the airplane flights, so it would be a great help if you would visit their website and email them with any requests you have and they will do their best to bring specific items over for you. We just received the following email from them thanks to their laptop as they drive back home from Chicago. Tom writes: "Sorry for the delay (in replying) but we are still driving in our van back from Chicago to FL. We expect to get there in about 2 days. (they are home by now!) Please check out our website at We also carry many more Japanese theatrical posters of American sci-fi in addition to our Godzilla, Gamera and other Japanese "Monster" posters. We will be bringing some movie programs, vinyl figures, Japanese theatre exclusive Godzilla items, in short a variety of Godzilla goodies-but again we will also bring some items other than Godzilla-such as the Rat Bat Spider figure from Angry Red Planet - Also we would love to receive email requests from any members before we leave about the 21st of August if anyone wants us to bring certain items. We'll be in touch. Zilla Ta Ta, Tom and Diane

Speaking of monsters - our trip to the 1930's Super Cinema on Sunday August 26th is well supported and we have only a couple of seats left on our double-decker bus as we write this section on August 4th. There will be plenty of seats at the theatre itself of course, but The Plaza Trust are planning big local publicity for the event and we suggest that if you want to make your own way to the show you book your ticket through us to be sure of a seat in the theatre. Seats for the show (NOT including the bus trip and souvenir programme) are £5. Contact Tony Edwards at 95 Meadowgate Road, Salford, Manchester M6 8EN. PLEASE include a stamped, self addressed envelope for return of your tickets.

We look on course to be able to stage a nice exhibition or artwork, sculptures and photography this year. Contributions have been promised by a number of fans and there will be plenty of space for them in the dealer room section of the hotel's Grand Ballroom which is next door to our main convention hall.
Programme Schedule
As usual at this 3 weeks to go point in time, we'll give you a good idea of the way we have planned the programme for you. But remember that some items may not happen and we cannot be sure all the events etc will take place exactly as laid out here. But we'll try and keep pretty close to the following plan-of-a-tack…..

FRIDAY: Early arrivals can watch either JUST IMAGINE, SILENT INVASION, ZOMBIES ON BROADWAY or Q-THE WINGED SERPENT before the OPENING CEREMONY at 7.30pm. We have a special short film THE TELL TALE HEART which stars our Guest of Honour PAUL NASCHY. His interview will follow the showing of one of his films (to be announced). The movies on the Friday continue with the 50th Anniversary of THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD plus the start of The Films of George Pal with DESTINATION MOON, and WHEN WORLD COLLIDE. THE GREAT GABBO and the World Premiere of Don Dohler's ALIEN RAMPAGE plus a few suprises make up our Friday feast.
SUNDAY: Live items: NORMAN J. WARREN interviews composer JOHN SCOTT (subject to John's work-flow commitments). RAY & FORRY IN HOLLYWOOD, SF JOURNALISM Panel, DEAD DOG PARTY AND QUIZ-NIGHT. Films: THE BUBBLE in 3-D, ALIEN RAMPAGE, SILENT INVASION, THE DARKNESS BEYOND, UNKNOWN BEYOND, 70th Anniversay of FRANKENSTEIN plus a selection of INDEPENDENT FEATURE LENGTH & SHORT FILMS and other films to be announced.
Also on Sunday of course is the EXTRA EVENT - a visit to The Plaza Super Cinema in Stockport for a re-creation of a 1930's screening of KING KONG. Our programme at the hotel during the KONG event will consist of repeats of six films (to give non Kong-goers a choice) in three programme slots during the afternoon. Sunday night runs later than usual this year with our closing session at 9.30 followed by the dead dog party and prize quiz.

Full Attending Membership is now £70. This entitles you to Progress Reports, Programme Booklet, Badge and Attendance to any of the events and films of your choice in the Festival Hotel over all three days of the convention.
Supporting Membership is £30 and entitles you to the above, but attendance on only ONE SINGLE DAY of the convention. You must specify which day you wish to attend.
Children: Full Attending Membership is £20 up to age 12 and £30 up to age 16.
Register now by using the form enclosed and mailing to 95 Meadowgate Road, Salford, Manchester M6 8EN. Or you can ring 0161 707 3747 (evenings) to book by credit card.

Once you have registered, a hotel booking form will be sent to you. Bed and Breakfast rates at The Renaissance are £55 per night for Single or £75 for a twin or double room.
You do not have to stay at The Renaissance to be a member of the Festival. There is plenty of alternative accommodation available in Manchester City Centre. Manchester Visitor Information Centre can be reached on 0161 234 3157 and can help with your enquiries.

Time then for our annual guide to getting there... The Festival of Fantastic Films takes place at The Renaissance Hotel which is situated on the corner of Blackfriars Street and Deansgate, close to the new city centre Marks and Spencer Superstore.
TAXI FROM STATIONS: If, on arrival, you want to jump into a Taxi, you'll find these at the railway stations and a black cab will cost around £3 to the hotel from Piccadilly and £2 from Victoria (which takes about 1 minute and you'll get scowled at from the driver as he's probably been waiting in line for hours and just got lumbered with your short trip!)

If you arrive by train at Piccadilly Station you need to go directly down Market Street, pass The Arndale Centre, into St Mary's Gate and across Deansgate to reach the hotel. That's about a 10 to 15 minute walk. If you arrive at Victoria Station you will need to walk down the station approach, turn left onto Victoria Street and walk past the Cathedral. You'll see the Renaissance towering 12 storeys upwards on your right.

FROM THE SOUTH OF MANCHESTER: (Note: Junction 17 on the M60 - turning right after leaving the motorway - (Prestwich) will give a more direct route down into Manchester via the A56 but takes a little longer - see directions below under "NORTH")
Travellers by car should come in towards Manchester on the M6 / M62 motorway from the south, onto the M602 to the roundabout at the end. Take the first left at the roundabout (which also has traffic lights) onto Albion Way (A5063) and follow it to the end, moving into the right-hand lane. Take a right turn at the T-junction (traffic lights) and you are on the A6. Travel down onto The Crescent passing Salford University on your left and go through the next three sets of traffic lights (which are in close proximity to each other). At the next set of lights turn right, (New Bailey Street B5221) under the railway bridge at Salford Station and at the second set of traffic lights turn left into St Mary's Parsonage. (Folloow the orange signs for MARKET PLACE CAR PARK). This will lead you directly to the T-junction with Blackfriar's Street. A careful right turn (there's an entrance/exit to Market Place car park directly opposite you) will bring you to the front doors of The Renaissance and pointing the correct way to get to the hotel car park (which is underneath the hotel) after checking in and asking for a car park key. The car park is free to residents subject to available space. Last year was great and we all had parking space without problems. There is a direct passenger lift from the car park to the hotel.

If you come in from this direction (across the Pennines) you'll be on the M62, changing briefly into the M60. Come off at Junction 17 and turn left onto the main road into Manchester (A56) which is Bury New Road. Just keep straight on this road and it will bring you into Manchester and directly onto Deansgate. You'll pass Manchester Cathedral on the left and see the 12 storey hotel on your right.

From Manchester Airport there is a direct Metrolink rail service into Manchester. This comes in at Piccadilly Station, or you can transfer to a connection and ride through to Victoria Station (the nearer station to the Festival hotel). Then follow the above instructions.

There are bus services and the Metrolink running close to the hotel.

Manchester has been undergoing a transformation for the past few years leading up to next year's Commonwealth Games. New building work around the Renaissance Hotel area is progressing with many new entertainment complexes finished. This means you'll have lots to look at and perhaps you'll want to use some of the bank holiday Monday to take a walk around our city.
The Printworks Complex is now up and running and is not only crammed with restaurants and night-clubs, but the amazing 3-D IMAX and 20 Screen state-of-the-art Multiplex (The Filmworks) is well worth a visit. Nice new bookshop here for your fix of movie-related reading.
Manchester's Science Museum in Castlefield has a marvellous exhibition called BACKYARD MONSTERS and 50's Bug movie-fans will love this. Lots of giant working models of insects and stuff!

If you were with us last year you'll already know that the hotel layout is excellent for our festival. All our function space is on one floor and each of our three main rooms and the big lounge and bar are within a few seconds walking distance of each other. The whole area is on the Mezzanine floor.
From the hotel reception area and lobby take the lift to the Mezzanine floor and you'll come directly out of the either of the lifts into our Festival Registration Desk which is in The Fairbairns Lounge. Turning left here will bring you to all the function rooms, the main convention hall is in the first half of The Grand Ballroom. Our dealer and exhibition area is in the second half of The Grand Ballroom - amazing how many people didn't realise there was anything beyond the convention hall until the dead dog party last year!

The Festival has it's own bar for members, situated in the Fairbairns Lounge on the Mezzanine floor. We have negotiated reduced bar prices for Festival Members on draught beers and soft drinks. Bottled beers and spirits are at normal hotel prices.

The Festival ID Badge, which you'll find in your Convention Pack when you register at the Festival Desk, must be worn at all times during the event in order to gain entry into any of the function rooms. You must also wear your Festival Badge when ordering drinks. Wearing your badge on your shoe is not a good idea, please display it where it can be seen!

We really do welcome any assistance from any of you good folk who would like to volunteer to help with the running of the Festival over the weekend. From a rota for security checking that everyone in the event are wearing their ID Badges to looking after video players etc. Contact Tony Edwards prior to the Fest is possible on 0161 707 3747.

Should you like to take any of our guests for a meal during their free time, please contact Gil Lane-Young as soon as possible. You can ring Gil on 0161 929 1423.

Harry Nadler would like to hear from anyone with 16mm or video projection skills to help take the load from us this year. Stalwart Steve Hill is unable to attend due to work commitments and so we do need volunteers in these areas. Harry would like to hear from you preferably BEFORE the Fest so he can work out a rota. 0161 792 0991 for Harry any evening please.

We should point out that we have a NO SMOKING policy in ALL function room areas. Smoking is allowed in the public areas of the hotel.

We have not asked the hotel to lay on snacks this year as the general opinion was that there are more than enough eateries within easy walking distance of the hotel. The Moon Under Water is only half a minute from the hotel and they do excellent cheap meals all day. (The building is also an ex-cinema and worth a look inside!) But Deansgate is full of places to eat and drink at reasonable prices.

We really are in desperate need of some auction material this year. We need donations in order to raise funds for the Festival costs. These are in need of topping up as registration numbers are down on last year - the Bank Holiday weekend not agreeing with everyone it would seem. If you can just bring ONE nice item, that would be really great. If you can ring Gil Lane-Young and advise him, we can list your item ahead of the Auction. But do try to find something that might raise some funds for us this year.
The irony is that we seem to have an influx of American members this year - which is terrific to see and already fan Jeff Roberts from New York has mailed us a number of items for the auction which include US One Sheet posters for Ray's CLASH OF THE TITANS and SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER. Jeff has also supplied some signed photos including two by Hammer ladies... German fan and perennial Fest attendee Uwe Sommerlad rang Gil to tell him he has an item in the mail, so come on gang, find an item to donate and get your contribution to us.

If you'd like to sell your own unwanted film related stuff - you can book a fan-table in the dealer room for just £10 and man it when you feel like. You could use a table to promote your own appreciation society or group etc. You must be a registered member of the Fest course to take up this offer.


Festival Chairman Gil Lane-Young has been looking at the Indy films submitted for this years Fest and we will be programming these excellent movies around the weekend.

Independent Short Movies

Jed's Beard - Adam McAlavey UK 15 Mins
A Monty Pythonesque movie based arond a monstrous beard It has to be seen to be believed.

Creepy Crawly - John Carr UK 10 Mins
John returns to this years Festival with a very black comedy set in a graveyard

The Rebel - Chris Finn UK 3 Mins
We all rebel against something but are we all that different

Playing Truant - Jason Wilcox UK
A request from a pretty lady, who would not help if they could - but should they?

Avenging Angel - Gary Andrews UK 27 Mins
Another returning director Gary's movie covers revenge, maybe even, from the grave after all SHE WAS DEAD!

In My Grave - Paula Pollacchi Arg 15 Mins
Awaking in her grave, Nancy wants to know how she got there and why.

My Legendary Girlfriend - Philipp Koenig Fra 2 mins
A slight movie about an unusual girlfriend.

Encounter at Black Ridge -Andrew Harrison Nth Ireland - 20 Mins.
A group of people await a late comer to their pub meeting, unaware of events occuring outside.

Leatherface Speaks - Jim Moran UK 21mins
An informal interview with Gunnar Hanson.

SadoMannequin - Jim Torres USA 13 mins
An eager security guard spends his first night at the Morningside Securites Warehouse… and soon learns that he is not alone.

Independent Feature Movies

Le Rat - Christophe Ali & Nicolas Bonilauri Fra 61 Mins
In the shadows of the appartment,the rat watches the old man at life. today is a fine day. The old man can come out to complete his masterpiece

Nowhereland - Ted Mills USA 100 Mins
On a distant planet where women areoutlawed a worker recieves signals from another world, from a woman. In a vision he meets her and the story begins....

Alien Rampage - Don Dohler USA 85 Mins
In a small American town the police discover a force field has suddenly appeared around the local woodlands. Soon they find themselves head to head with a ferocious alien monster.

893 Pike Street - Jonathan Ameli - USA 24 Mins
Late Shift - Clifton Stewart - UK 2 Mins
Time - Ben Campbell - UK 10 Mins
Jesabelle - Bryn Jones - USA 13 Mins
Eden - Tamara Maloney - USA 13 Mins
The Sandman - David Teale - USA - 56 Mins


Norman J. Warren and F.G.S. Productions in association with Reynolds & Hearn, will present a one-day film festival to celebrate the work of Jimmy Sangster and to launch his new book, "Inside Hammer" on Saturday, 3rd of November 2001.

This very special event will take place at the Cine Lumier in London and will feature a selection of "Sangster Films.

Jimmy Sangster will be on hand to sign copies of his book. Freddie Francis and a host of Hammer celebrities will also be attending throughout the day.

A very special event which no true Hammer fan should miss!

More information about the programme and booking details will be announced very soon, and of course you can always e-mail Norman J. Warren at <[email protected] > or phone/fax him on 020 8579 3674 and he'll be pleased to answer questions and give information about the event as it becomes available.


We have a number of Festival T-Shirts from previous years for sale at special rates. Here is our complete stock list - when they've gone ..... they've GONE!

10th Festival 1999
Classic Icons White on Black
2 only XL Sweat Shirts. £13.50p each.

9th Festival 1998
Festival Logo Silver on Black T-Shirts
1 Med. 1 Large. 2 XL £6 each 2 Medium Sweatshirts. £12 each

8th Festival 1997
Multicoloured Gothic Castle on Black
T-Shirts 8 Med. 8 Large. £5 each. Sweat Shirts 2 Med. 7 Large. 5 XL £10 each.

7th Festival 1996
Rocket Logo on Blue
Sweat Shirts 4 Med. 1 XL. £10 each.

6th Festival 1995
Bride of Frankenstein on Grey
T-Shirts 8 Small. 16 Med. 1 Large. £5 each. Sweat Shirts 1 Med. 1 Large. £10 each.

5th Festival 1994
Harryhausen's Medusa Multicoloured on Black.
T-Shirts 23 Med. 13 Large. £4 each.

4th Festival 1993
King Kong White & Green on Black.
Sweat Shirt 1 only £12.

3rd Festival 1992
Man from Planet X White on Black.
T-Shirts 4 Small £5 each. Sweat Shirts 2 XL £10

2nd Festival 1991
Fantasy Icons Multicoloured on White.
T-Shirts 4 Small. 6 Med. 4 Large. 3 XL. £4 each.

1st Festival 1990
Night of the Demon Festival Logo Black & Yellow on White.
Sorry Sold out.

Available from Tony Edwards,
95, Meadowgate Rd. Salford.
M6 8EN. England.
Please make cheques payable to The Society of Fantastic Films and include £1 towards post and packing.

Send Festival e-mail to Harry Nadler: mailto [email protected]

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