2001 Archive
(Click here for information on the 2002 Festival)


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(Graphic designed by Steve Kirkham)

The Festival of Fantastic Films 2001
The 12th Annual Convention of the Society of Fantastic Films

The UK's Celebration of a Century of Amazing Cinema

was held August 24th to 26th, 2001

at the Renaissance Hotel, Deansgate, Manchester, England

Festival Photo Album

Progress Report 3

Special Event

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The King Kong 1930's Experience is going to be a very special event for fans of stop-motion animation. This EXTRA EVENT involves a visit to a Super Cinema of the 1930's that is undergoing full refurbishment to its original splendour. We are delighted to have been able to arrange, in conjunction with The Plaza Super Cinema in Stockport, Cheshire, an afternoon visit to see a BRAND NEW 35mm print of the original KING KONG. We have organised a bus for the trip from the Festival hotel to the cinema and back after the show of course, plus your admission in and a souvenir programme - all for £10 per person. The cinema, which is open to the public, seats over 1,000 and you can choose stalls or circle seating. The BIG plus of course is that Ray Harryhausen and Forrest J. Ackerman will introduce the event from the stage of the Plaza Cinema and the cinema building itself is a delight to see. You'll experience exactly how it must have been to be at an original 1933 screening of the classic movie in this ideal setting.

Click here for more details (164Kbytes PDF file)



We are delighted that American producer Joel Denning has decided that he'd like The Festival of Fantastic Films to be the place to hold the World Premiere of Don Dohler's new science fiction feature film ALIEN RAMPAGE.
Don has directed a number of good-old monster movies over the past 20 years... and came out of "retirement" to make "just one more!" ALIEN RAMPAGE has all the ingredients of the best of the 1950s films that we love.... Small town USA, police involvement with a extra terrestrial landing, and a great monster who deals out death without thinking! The film has excel- lent photography, well directed action and looks great! We should have some pictures to show you in our next PR.... But 'fifties fans out there will love ALIEN RAMPAGE and we are hopeful that some of the makers of the film will come over to join us in Manchester.


Progress Report Two - lots of news!

Introduction to the Festival

If you are a new visitor to The Festival of Fantastic Films web pages we invite you to climb aboard the greatest weekend a science fiction, fantasy or horror movie fan could ever find on the planet.

Based in MANCHESTER, ENGLAND (just two-and-a-half hours from LONDON by rail-link) we have THREE programme streams containing a terrific range of movie-related events that include Guest Interviews, Discussions, Panels, Special Events, Presentations, Auctions, Artshow and Poster Exhibition, Dealer Room, Themed Dinner, Parties and of course an AMAZING number of movies..... the old and the new run alongside each other throughout the festival.

Please scroll down our pages to get a taste of  this 3-Day UK Movie Convention (now in its twelfth year) - and hop off on the various links should you want even more in-depth info! But DO COME BACK... we'll be updating frequently throughout the upcoming year!


Guests of Honour

Forrest J Ackerman
Click here for Famous Monsters Cover Spoof!
(PDF file, 164Kbytes)

Ray Harryhausen

Paul Naschy


Independent Films

In addition to the retrospective film programme that is the backbone of the event, the Festival of Fantastic Films has, within the past few years, become the premiere UK venue for new genre movies. We are pleased to showcase an amazing selection of Independently produced feature length and short films from all over the world. Films that you are unlikely to see anywhere else are screened alongside the new movies from major studios right through the weekend. Each year sees an increase in the number of young and highly creative film-makers, submitting their work into our International Competition and giving members of the Festival a unique opportunity to see a great range of movies. The Festival programme also screens new films outside the competition itself and although it is difficult to announce specific titles in advance, we expect to surprise members of the event with major premieres!

The Festival is also the place to meet with many of the creative people from behind and in front of the cameras. In 1998 we had director Jake West and actress Eileen Daly along with their new film RAZORBLADE SMILE. American director Tyler Tharpe came over from the USA to screen and discuss his horror film THE LAST ROADSTOP and from the UK, Jon Sorensen premiered his science fiction feature ALIEN BLOOD.  In 1999 delightful American director Joei Gharrity came from Los Angeles to screen her short film THE GRAIL and was sucked into the fannish activities and friendliness of the event

Most of the Independent movies screened at the Festival have a substantial budget behind them, whereas other equally creative genre movies are made each year by talented amateurs working on a shoestring. These films are enormously entertaining and often just as thought provoking as their Indie relatives.  The Amateur Contest entries are pre-judged by The Festival Committee with the top rated films going forward to the Festival for the final round. 1998 saw the Award going out of the UK for the first time ever, being won by Florida USA film-maker Shane Hannafey with his science fiction story THE GIFT.

The International Movie Competitions have become a very important section of the Festival of Fantastic Films.

Movie Competition Winners for 2000

Winner of the 11th Festival of Fantastic Films Independent Short Film Award:
Emmanual Jespers of Belgium for LA DERNIER REVE (The Last Dream).

Winner of the 11th Festival of Fantastic Films Independent Feature Film Award:
Harry Ralston of the USA for THE LAST MAN.

Winner of the 11th Festival of Fantastic Films Amateur Movie Competition:
Nova Jacobs and John Sinclair of the USA for SCHRODINGER'S CAT.

Special Commendation to Leo Nicholson of the UK for his stop-motion RUN MONKEY RUN.
Commendation to Katie Koskenmaki of Canada for THE WINDIGO.

The judging panels on all the movie competitions would like to congratulate the winners, runners up, and all the entrants for a wonderful selection of movies of very high standard that made this year's judging very difficult indeed.


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


Featured Events

Big retrospective Science Fiction and Fantasy
movie programme on 16mm and 35mm.  Films to be announced.



Discussions, Panels

Film Fair, Auctions

Low-price Convention Bar!

Guest of Honour Signing Sessions

Amateur and Independent Short Film Contests

Film Programme

The Films of George Pal looks all set to be an important part of the movie programme and will include most of George Pal's terrific output of science fiction and fantasy productions..

We have some of the classic Puppetoons from the 1930's and 40's to give support to many of the George Pal feature films. We are hopeful of being about to find 16mm prints of the following: THE GREAT RUPERT (1949), which has comedian Jimmy Durante and our heroine from Mighty Joe Young, Terry Moore playing alongside a stop-motion squirrel, the "Rupert" of the title.

In 1948, George was introduced to science fiction writer Robert Heinlein and the result was the movie DESTINATION MOON which kick started the Hollywood interest in sci-fi when it was released in 1950. George's WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE followed in 1951 which of course, has one of the all-time great spaceships. Two years later science fiction fans who were old enough (the film had an adults only "X" certificate in the UK) saw the wonderful WAR OF THE WORLDS.

We also hope to be able to screen ATLANTIS THE LOST CONTINENT, tom thumb, THE TIME MACHINE, ATLANTIS THE LOST CONTINENT, 7 FACES OF DR LAO and THE POWER and are waiting on confirmation of these titles as we go to press. The complete programme should make up an impressive collection of movies to represent George Pal's out- put of 14 feature films.

Our early-years-of-sound department has found even greater treasures this time around and we are delighted to be able to screen rare titles like THE GREAT GABBO (1929), a bizarre and very campy film with Erich Von Stroheim as a half crazy ventriloquist. Made at the dawn of time for sound movies, it may look a little quaint to modern audiences, but we think interesting enough, with some "standout" scenes, to include.

The 1930 JUST IMAGINE has had two previous screenings at our events. The first time was the very first Fest and then later we found a more complete print. The film is great fun and received such a marvellous reception from the audiences at both screenings that we thought it time to dust it off again, especially with Forry Ackerman being with us, as it was always one of those magic titles of early science fiction that his magazines featured in our early days of fandom!

BEFORE DAWN (1933) is directed with great flair by Irvin Pichel who in a long career was later to direct, DRACULA'S DAUGHTER, TOPPER TAKES A TRIP, TORTURE SHIP, and THE GREAT RUPERT and DESTINATION MOON for George Pal. BEFORE DAWN is a great little mystery set in a mysterious mansion and has Warner Oland playing it like Charlie Chan.

The classic MAD LOVE (1935) is the excellent Hands of Orlac movie with Peter Lorre so brilliant in this, his first American film, that Charlie Chaplin was quoted as saying that he was "the greatest living actor".

THE MAD DOCTOR OF MARKET STREET (1942) sees Lionel Atwill as a nutty professor re- fining his process for suspended animation. He has to flee the law and ends up on a tropical island and meets up with Noble Johnson still playing his native chief role from King Kong!

THE MONSTER MAKER (1944) with J. Carrol Naish as yet another mad scientist experimenting with synthetic flesh. As they do!

ZOMBIES ON BROADWAY (1946) features a couple of odd comedians but the star for us is of course Bela Lugosi who supplies the duo with some of his living-dead friends for their nightclub act. Pardon?

Rondo Hatton is The Creeper in the classic horror from 1946 THE BRUTE MAN with a storyline very much akin to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

The later years of genre movies, (which for us is anything after 1960!) will be represented by some great pictures like MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH (1964) with Vincent Price at his absolute best. Made in England it also stars Hazel Court, David Weston and Jane Asher.

It's about time we gave Q THE WINGED SERPENT an airing, especially as we have been asked to screen THE GIANT CLAW again.. Would make a good combo - yes? We'll have more of the later stuff to tell you about in our next PR,.

One of the new films we have received, straight from a very successful DEAD BY DAWN in Edinburgh and highly recommended by Dead by Dawn Fest Director Adele Hartley is a wonderful movie called

SILENT INVASION. This Canadian film from director / producer Eric Lavoie tells of a timid young man who sees his fiancée kidnapped by aliens bent on world domination and seeks the help of the police. They prove unfit to fight off zombies, robots and alien beings and so El Mascarado, a masked wrestler is called out of retirement! A tribute to silent films, Plan 9, action movies, the Living Dead and Santo. SILENT INVASION is a hell of a lot of fun.

Special Events

A humorous introduction to the Festival with Horror novelist
both of whom will be conducting Guest interviews throughout the weekend.

plus many other Q&A sessions with directors and producers of a number of
the films we shall be screening throughout the weekend.

The Auction

RAMSEY CAMPBELL puts a multitude of movie related items
under his infamous gavel... and we'll guarantee he'll keep you amused and

In Memoriam

From the NYT for 7-18-01: dead at age 75, film composer James Bernard, who scored many Hammer horror films, including THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1957), DRACULA (1958) and THE DEVIL RIDES OUT (1968).

Steve Laws writes:

Yeah, this is very sad.

I interviewed James at the Manchester Festival of Fantastic Films a few years back when he'd just returned to this country after a long time away. His partner had been murdered shortly before. James was retired, but deeply appreciative of the fan response he received on return; so much so that it rekindled his enthusiasm for composition - he subsequently composed a complete score for the Murnau NOSFERATU ( shown recently on Channel 4 and available on CD) , an independent horror movie called GREEN FINGERS and an American documentary on horror movies which required him to compose music for the 'silent' segments.

Hammer have been releasing a lot of his old material on CD (based on lost tapes, subsequently found in Phillip Martell's attic - the music director for Hammer) and he was really enjoying a revival as a result. Film director John Carpenter invited James for a 'holiday' in the States and was keen to have him on board for a new project.

With a keen interest in music for movies, I was privileged indeed to have helped James in his 'revival'. He became a good family friend (He was profoundly touched at my nine-year old daughter's love for his music for SHE - the 1965 Hammer movie).

A very gentle man, a student of Benjamin Britten - whose musical style gave Hammer a very special 'sound' - but whose penchant for lyricism (check out the Love Theme for TASTE THE BLOOD OF DRACULA, which is just too GOOD for the movie), had few opportunities for expression in the movies he was contracted to score.

Archives and Reviews

Festival of Fantastic Films 2000 Archive Website

Highlights of Past Festivals

Jonathan Cowie's 2000 Festival Report

Adele Hartley's 2000 Festival Report

Darrell Buxton's 1999 Festival Report


Festival Guest and Contributor Websites

Janina Faye - The Official Website

Ramsey Campbell - The Official Website

Stephen Laws - The Midnight Man

Festival Artist Harry Hamill's Another World Productions Site
(and click here to see Harry's artwork for the 1998 Festival)

Festival Organizer Harry Nadler's Movie Memorabilia Site

Steve Ellison's Movie Store


Other Sites of Interest

Matinee Today - Lots of 3D Posters!

"The Tingler" - the Horror Films of William Castle

3DTV - LCD Glasses, 3D Movies, & More!

Concatenation Convention Reviews

Stuart Mitchell's Ghoul Britannia Site

3D Movies in North Carolina

The Hammer Films Society

HammerWeb - Hammer Films Official Site

Film & TV Connection:
an entertainment industry school with 5,000 students worldwide
who train on-site at major film studios, video production companies,
radio and TV stations, recording studios and record labels.


Virtual Manchester
Virtual Manchester

everything you need to know
about the Festival's home city

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Site created 4 June 1997 by Bill Burns [FTL Design : Long Island : NY : USA].  Last updated 5 September 2001
All pages copyright © 2001 by the Society of Fantastic Films.