THE 15th FESTIVAL OF FANTASTIC FILMS
20th to 22nd AUGUST 2004
PROGRESS REPORT No. 1
The Manchester Conference Centre and Hotel is set in The Weston Building, Sackville Street, Manchester.
Apart from a 3 star hotel the building has major conference facilities including the Weston Theatre, The Manchester Evening News Theatre and the Weston Room. All of which we will using for our Festival.
The Weston Theatre is a 300 seat cinema, and The
Manchester Evening News Theatre is a 130 seat cinema, both with comfortable
We have negotiated a special bed and English breakfast
rate with the hotel of £45 per person for single and £75
for double rooms.
GUESTS OF HONOUR
We have invited the great American character actor
Dick Miller, who has appeared in numerous fantastic films. A native
of Brooklyn, New York City, Richard "Dick" Miller served
in the U.S. Navy for a few years and earned a prize title as a middleweight
Also invited is Tudor Gates writer of such great screenplays as THE VAMPIRE LOVERS, LUST FOR A VAMPIRE and TWINS OF EVIL.
Just confirmed is actress Madeline Smith, whose credits include FRANKENSTEIN & THE MONSTER FROM HELL and THE VAMPIRE LOVERS.
Also invited is actress Yvonne Monlaur who starred in such films as Hammer's THE BRIDES OF DRACULA and THE TERROR OF THE TONGS.
All guests are subject to confirmation and work commitments.
Watch our website for the latest updates. More news in PR2.
Last year, this section attracted some of our largest audiences and so we are very pleased to announce that Gerald Price will again be presenting items chosen from a lifetime of collecting horror, fantasy and science fiction films. As usual, he will be more than ably assisted by Tony Meadows and they have let it be known they would be happy to continue screening into the early hours, subject to suitable bribes of beer etc. being offered.
In compiling the programme, Gerald has selected groups of films representing a number of different themes. As far as possible he has tried to avoid those titles which are readily available on video or DVD or which turn up regularly on Sky television. However, if this does happen he will always have more than enough substitutes.
To welcome convention members on the Friday afternoon at 4pm. he will be showing the feature length version of one of Republic's most famous serials: KING OF THE ROCKET MEN starring the wonderfully named Tristram Coffin .... no doubt Adrian James will be in the audience for this one.
In the evening we will be taking a look at a number of films from popular series of the 1940's. Many of them often displayed a leaning towards gothic horror. The Sherlock Holmes series with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce were particularly strong in that respect. THE SCARLET CLAW evoked a strong sense of foreboding by being set in fog shrouded marshland and THE PEARL OF DEATH feature the first appearance of Rondo Hatton as The Hoxton Creeper. Our examples are going to be SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE SPIDER WOMAN featuring the screen's best villianess: Gale Sondergaard.
Over at 20th Century Fox they were putting out 2 or 3 Charlie Chan movies every year. CHARLIE CHAN IN EGYPT picked up on the mummy theme and CHARLIE CHAN AT THE CIRCUS had J. Carrol Naish in a gorilla suit picking off his victims. Our choice will be CHARLIE CHAN AT THE WAX MUSEUM.
In the meantime R.K.O. were providing us with their Dick Tracey series. We will be showing DICK TRACEY MEETS GRUESOME wherin our supersleuth comes up against none other than Boris Karloff as a mad scientist (what else) who has discovered a way to freeze time and motion.
For our late show, starting at 11.30pm, a true classic frightener. We have been able to get a new copy of the Paramount ghost story THE UNINVITED. Don't miss this one.
On the Saturday morning we are going to see how gimmicks are used to add an extra dimension to horror stories. The examples shown will be MY WORLD DIES SCREAMING and CHAMBER OF HORRORS, with William Castle's MR SARDONICUS held in reserve.
We're off to the planets on Saturday at 4pm starting with the delirious CAT WOMEN OF THE MOON starring Marie Windsor (who could give Gale Sondergaard a run for her money). Victor Jory and Sonny Tufts whose name in cast lists always seems to provoke uncontrollable hysteria. Afterwards we will join Rod Taylor in WORLD WITHOUT END for a forerunner to THE TIME MACHINE. A new Technicolor print is being made available.
From 8pm until midnight we will be examining the contribution of Columbia Studios to the horror cycle. Though not a major player like Universal or Warner, they gave employment to a number of good directors who lent class and respectability to subjects which might otherwise be regarded as run of the mill. We will be looking at three films, each featuring a major star of the genre: THE FACE BEHIND THE MASK starring Peter Lorre and directed by Robert Florey, RETURN OF THE VAMPIRE starring Bela Lugosi and directed by Lew Landers and THE DEVIL COMMANDS starring Boris Karloff and directed by Edward Dmytryk.
On the Sunday morning, Gerald will be introducing a special presentation which will include previously unseen items, banned items and various oddities. The last half hour will be a session devoted to collecting memorabilia. If you have anything that you want valued - film posters, promotional items etc. bring it along and we will do our best and perhaps make you an offer you can't refuse.
On Sunday afternoon we are going to screen a rarely seen classic by one of the acknowledged masters of the genre: Fritz Lang. His METROPOLIS was the greatest of all the silent science ficton epics. He then directed the superb M which stared Peter Lorre on a career of screen villiany and in 1932 he produced his masterpiece THE TESTAMENT OF DR MABUSE in which an arch criminal attempts to control the world from within the confines of an insane asylum.
We say goodbye to this year's Festival with a special compilation: THE HORROR OF IT ALL in which extracts from classic horror films such as NIGHT OF THE DEMON, BLACK SUNDAY, THE BAT WHISPERS, etc. will be commented on by Roger Corman, Herman Cohen, Curtis Harrington and Robert Bloch.
"In every horror film there is a door, and behind that door is that which we fear the most. In the best horror films that door is opened for us. We glimpse the horror and we are able to confront it."
MODERN AND NEW FILMS
The more modern and new film programme will be
announced nearer the Festival dates.
For a Registration Booking Form click on MEMBERSHIP
INFORMATION on the main page, then click on MEMBERSHIP FORM YOU CAN
PRINT AND MAIL.
We will be having our usual Independent Movie
ALL WINNERS SHOWCASE
It is 10 years since we started the Independent
Movie Competition, and to celebrate this we will be having an All
Winners Showcase of winners from previous years.
AMATEUR FILM CONTEST
The Amateur Film Contest will take place on the
Saturday of the Festival.
Ramsey Campbell's auction performance has once
again been nominated for three BAFTA's and an OSCAR, but we need you
to find some items to donate to ensure this years auction is at least
as good as previous years.
Phil Nevitski will once again be organising the
Dealers Room on the Saturday of the Festival.
THE GREAT FANTASTIC FILMS QUIZ
Once again on the Sunday night we will be having
The Great Fantastic Films Quiz.
Send Festival e-mail to Tony Edwards: [email protected]
Return to Festival of Fantastic Films Main Page