Godzilla (dir: Ishiro Honda, 1954, cert PG) & King Kong vs Godzilla (dir: Ishiro Honda, 1962, cert PG)
In the age of relentless CGI and film budgets the size of some nation’s GDP it’s quite wonderful that one of the most effective monster movies ever created involved nothing more than a man in a rubber suit. It lends the series of original Godzilla films an irregular charm that many of today’s witless production’s could learn a lot from. Thanks to the Shock and Gore Festival we can enjoy two of the finest entries in the original Shōwa period of everyone’s favourite rampaging giant lizard. The original Godzilla is a powerful allegory of nuclear devastation produced by a nation still suffering from the horrors of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, it’s our favourite. Honda turbo charges the monster mayhem in the gloriously silly King Kong vs Godzilla, think rumble in the jungle in the Pacific Ocean.
Mon 31 Jul 6.15pm & 8.45pm at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50 www.theelectric.co.uk & www.theelectric.co.uk
Martyrs + intro (dir: Pascal Laugier, 2008, cert 18)
If ever a film could be barometer for a strong stomach then this is it. The gruelling march through its delicately executed physical mutilation aspires to a higher philosophy and art than the tepid drudgery of torture porn borealongs such as Saw and Hostel. Does it succeed? Alex Davis, who has written about the film, will introduce Martyrs and argue that it is a masterpiece of horror cinema. It’s not easily forgotten. We’d give the snacks a miss for this one. Part of the superb Shock and Gore season.
Tue 1 Aug 8.45pm at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50 www.theelectric.co.uk
Nighthawks (dir: Ron Peck, 1978, cert 15)
A groundbreaking and controversial, for the time, film whose resonance and power is afforded incredible power by the very mundanity of its narrative. Ron Peck’s docu-style peek into the life of Jim, a homosexual teacher looking for love in London’s gay clubs, is told in forensically minute detail. The repetitively cyclical nature of his, or anybody’s, existence is laid bare in sometimes soporifically realised minutiae at times. The same disco song plays relentlessly and repeatedly every time Jim visits a club as if to reinforce this. A landmark in UK gay cinema and an essential piece of film history.
Tue 1 Aug 7pm at Birmingham LGBT, 38-40 Holloway Circus, Birmingham B1 1EQ Free www.journeyfilmclub.co.uk
Closet Monster (dir: Stephen Dunn, 2015, cert 15)
The first screening from CineQ, a collaboration between SHOUT Festival, Birmingham LGBT and Flatpack Film Festival’s film programmers. Their mission statement? To satisfy hunger in the West Midlands for queer film and foreign/British film detailing a variety of queer experiences. Dunn’s coming of age is drama is a dreamy and innovative debut. Read our full preview here.
Thu 3 Aug 6.30pm at Centrala, Unit 4, Minerva Works, 158 Fazeley Street, Birmingham B5 5RT £3 flatpackfestival.org.uk
Rocky Horror Picture Show (dir: Jim Sharman, 1975, cert 15)
“Prepare the transit beam,” it’s time to dig out the suspenders, basque and high heels. The greatest B-movie musical of all time is screening at the mac this Friday. Tim Curry is uproariously camp as alien transvestite Frank-n-Furter, creating a perfect male creature and encouraging copious bed hopping between his sexually repressed guests. Kitsch with a thousand capital Ks and an obvious influence on punk fashion. Richard O’Brien’s baby is as much fun today as it was 40 years ago!
Fri 4 Aug 8pm at the mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH £9 macbirmingham.co.uk
Pulp Fiction (dir: Quentin Tarantino, 1994, cert 18)
Tarantino’s epic portmanteau pop culture masterpiece outdoors and on the big screen. If you haven’t already seen this film then you must have led the most ridiculously sheltered life. Were you locked in a box with The Gimp perhaps? A postmodern hand grenade of a film that shook Hollywood with its style and approach. Crackling dialogue, extreme violence and hilariously funny. Relive all your favourite moments and feed your faces courtesy of The Middle Feast’s delicious street food.
Sat 5 Aug 6pm at Regency Wharf, Birmingham B1 2DY (adj to the Hyatt Hotel on Broad Street) £15 inc food www.designmynight.com
An American Werewolf In London (dir: John Landis, 1981, cert 18)
The great John Landis was at the top of his game in the early 80’s producing such classics as ‘The Blues Brothers’ and ‘Trading Places’. In ‘An American Werewolf in London’ he created not only an uproarious black comedy but a ground breaking genre film that set a towering horror benchmark for others to follow. The astonishing special effects from Rick Baker still look jaw droppingly good after 35 years; David Naughton’s transformation into the titular beast is one of the cinema’s, not just horror’s, most electrifying sequences. Read our full feature here.
Sat 5 Aug 8pm at Dudley Castle & Zoo, Castle Hill, Dudley, DY1 4QF £10 www.flatpackfestival.org.uk
The Thing (dir: John Carpenter, 1982, cert 18)
A true horror classic, filled with extraordinary special effects that still look stunning today. Stay away from the defib Dr. Cooper! Paranoia so palpable you can almost touch it as Kurt Russell’s world weary MacReady attempts to sort alien from human. And just who put MacReady in charge anyway? It is an absolute blast from start to finish; the arctic setting really emphasising the isolation and dread. The only safe option is to barricade yourself indoors and never go out. “I dunno what the hell’s in there, but it’s weird and pissed off, whatever it is.” Part of the wonderful Shock and Gore season.
Sun 6 Aug 3.15pm at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50 www.theelectric.co.uk
Published on: Tue 4 Jul 2017