FrightFest 2009: Day Two

bewarethemoonpostersmallWe blame the after effects of last night’s party for not making it to this morning’s screening of The Horseman, although we hear from other FrightFesters that it was a gory delight. Our first film of the day is Beware the Moon, an enthusiastic documentary looking at the making of the 1981 horror classic An American Werewolf in London. Written and directed by Werewolf fan Paul Davis, the film brings together cast and crew for an entertaining trip down memory lane.

Although some of the film resembles a student movie, it’s perhaps all the more endearing for that and it doesn’t detract from the sheer wealth of information on display here. From make up artists to effects guru Rick Baker, from stars David Naughton, Griffin Dunne and Jenny Agutter to director John Landis, all involved are happy to share their – often candid – on-set experiences.

FrightFest09-AmericanWerewoAfter a short Q & A with the Beware the Moon film-makers, in which they expressed their absolute delight in being able to make the movie, it was time for what many viewed as the highlight of the festival. Director John Landis came up on stage to introduce the premiere of the remastered version of An American Werewolf in London, and then it was time to re-watch a classic. The high-def visuals were an absolute treat, showcasing Rick Baker’s amazing makeup and effects which still absolutely stand up nearly 30 years after they were created. Werewolf remains one of the classic horror films, a movie that you can watch time and again without ever growing tired of the story or characters. And that iconic ‘body change’ sequence is absolutely glorious to behold in high-def; make sure to get the Blu-ray when it’s released on September 28.

John Landis and his American Werewolf in London crewAfter the screening Landis returned to the stage, where he was joined by several members of the original cast and crew including cinematographer Robert Paynter and make up artist Beryl Lerman. It was Landis who, quite rightly, took the spotlight, taking questions from the audience and sharing memories from the making of Werewolf. Animated and passionate, Landis clearly revels in the huge fan following his film has achieved, and eventually had to be forced off the stage so that the next film could be set up in time.

la_horde_mb02After a spot of dinner we were ready for French zombie movie The Horde. As the film isn’t released until mid-2010 we’re not allowed to divulge too much. What we can say, however, is that this bold, breathless movie which sees a group of feuding cops and criminals holed up in a derelict tower block that’s under attack from the marauding living dead is an absolute stonker, and should be on the must-see list of any horror fan.