UK Festival of ZOMBIE Culture

Zombie Ed7th UK Festival of Zombie Culture!Zombie Ed R
Date: Saturday 16th November, 2013
Day tickets: £25 – BOOK NOW

Phoenix Square, Leicester. LE1 5TE

Festival Preview

Now Zombie Ed will be a familiar sight to many of us, ardent zombie apocalypse survivors as a man who brings us the best in zombie entertainment and culture, bringing us the fantastic The Zombie Times and, the UK Zombie Festival (of should that be feastival) of culture, which is now celebrating it’s seventh year.

On a personal note, I have been to five of the previous six festivals and they really have been fantastic, from the opportunity to converse not only with fellow zombie fans but also film makers and authors, to discovering new and exciting zombie films and short films from across the world, many of which you would struggle to find in your local HMV let alone cinema and Zombie Ed deserves a lot of respect for not only setting up the first festival all those years ago but also improving on his previous efforts year on year to make, in my mind, the definitive festival of zombie culture.

It is with great pleasure that Zombipedia had the privilege of catching Zombie Ed in-between his daily bouts of flesh eating.

> So, Zombie Ed, for those people who have managed to miss all the emergency survival bulletins who are you and why zombies in particular?

Ed: I am simply someone who obsessively loves horror in all of its forms and ended up taking it perhaps a step further… About 10 years ago I ran a few zombie events for groups of friends and this spread (like a virus) to become a whole pile of zombie related events such as zombie fests, make up demos, zombiewalks and, of course, the UK Festival of Zombie Culture which is now in its 7th year…

I just love zombies, I think it is the fact they are a tangible form of horror, Jason Vorhees, Werewolves, Killer Diseases, you are always gonna die, but zombies are quite unique in that they are survivable… All you have to do is not be a dick and perhaps most importantly don’t trust anyone… It will always be someone else that leaves the door to our secure house open, or hides the fact they’ve been bitten or decides that everyone should risk their lives looking for their fuckin’ Labrador…

Zombie Ed and Celebrity pals

Ed with Dominic Brunt (Inbred, Before Dawn)

> What things have you been involved in? Has Leicester or yourself got a fool-proof zombie plan?

Ed: Leicester unfortunately does not have a fool proof zombie plan, there was the zombiewalk a couple of years ago as a protest against leaving the city so vulnerable against an incursion of the living dead. I did submit a realistic plan to them, but this was rejected based upon a risk assessment (allegedly) proving that fortifying the city centre against an undead apocalypse was less likely than congestion.

> How did the UK Festival of Zombie Culture start and what have been the highlights been so far?

Ed: The Festival started as an idea that there were enough folks around that would love some zombie films and to watch them with a whole pile of similarly minded folks too, this started 7 years ago at the original Phoenix Arts Centre in Leicester, where we could show films and have one trader and someone signing books… When the Phoenix Arts closed down, we moved to the new Phoenix Square Digital Media Centre and this meant that we could have a pile of authors, traders, make up artists, video games and tonnes of zombie related madness to make the festival an amazing 13 hours of zombie related craziness…

I think there are three main highlights to the festival… the first being bringing movies to the festival that either people would not normally have seen or even that may not be screened anywhere else… Having directors from Canada and the US proud to be screening their films at our festival feels simply awesome… secondly, I love the authors, traders and make up artists that come to every event, these peoplBrainse simply come to the event and love meeting folks that love what they do… These people I suppose are the eyeball on the big gory cocktail of our event…

…Some festivals simply have a bar and let you sit down between the films, but at our event between the films you can do a pile of things including chat and get your books signed by your favourite zombie authors. The third and final highlight must be our guests, we have had some folks that come to every event and new-comers too, but everyone seems to simply tell us that we are doing something right and they love the event… This is the kind of thing that makes us run it every year…

> You seem to find films from all around the world, such as Hell’s Ground, Muralim, Last of the Living as well as a healthy dose of British madness, how do you find all these films and what is your screening process?

Zombie EdEd: There is one simple rule that I use to select the films for the festival, nothing fancy, and this has upset people that have wanted me to screen their films… I will only show a film at one of our events that means that I can look people in the eyes and know they enjoyed it.  We have turned down weak films, that in turn have been picked up by much bigger horror events who simply screen them for the sake of it rather than taking into account what the audience may think of the movie or the event.  A couple of years ago we were offered a full cast and crew turn out for a World Premiere and to be honest I was amazed… until I saw the film… I knew that people would not have liked it and so we did not screen… boy, were they upset…

> Additionally, there’s always been a healthy presence of zombie literature at the festivals are you just keeping the festival fans brains active ready for some feeding or do you see this as an important part of the zombie genre?

Ed: I think there are tonnes of ways to ‘get in to’ the genre, some love the movies, some love the games completely exclusively, but by coming to the events and meeting up with significant and prolific zombie authors (like David Moody, Adam Millard and Wayne Simmons) and survival experts (like Sean Page). I think zombie literature is an excellent addition to the zombie genre, but to be honest I have never met anyone that exclusively loves zombie fiction, who has never seen Dawn of the Dead, I do think the genre will always be led by films…

> What can zombie fans look forward to at this years event, held at the Phoenix in Leicester on 16th November?

Ed: This years event has some stonking films from the truly amazing and atmospheric The Battery from the US and the World Premiere of the dark Wasteland to Dolph Lundgrens violent Battle of the Damned, the very surreal, toilet set Stalled… Apart from this we have Gavin Gores make up team, tonnes of games, authors, Zombie Shop, a zombie toy maker and the return of the 3 minute zombie killing challenge on a cinema screen… and the usual offers at the bar and themed food…

Zombies

You may not escape the festival alive

> If the apocalypse happens and you only have enough power for three films, what three would you pick?

Ed: Without a shadow of a doubt, the three opposed corners of the genre they would have to be the original Night of the Living Dead, Dead Snow and Zombie Lake…

The good, the awesome and the ugly…

> Before we go, have you got any survival tips for the fans out there?

Ed: As far as my own survival plan is concerned it would have to involve lots of chocolate raisins and hiding, I mean if there is one thing worse than the zombie apocalypse would be being constipated during the zombie apocalypse, so forget the cricket bats and assault rifles, both will be useless if you are dying for a shit… Plus they give you energy, are readily available and taste good anytime of the day…

Does this make it sound like I have been thinking about this far too much…

Thank you so much for your time Zombie Ed, and more importantly for not eating me.

Zombie FestivalAnd now onto the main event, the films!

12pm
THE BATTERY / 18
USA 2012, 1hr 41mins
Dir
: Jeremy Gardner
Cast: Jeremy Gardner, Adam Cronheim
Two former baseball players, Ben (Jeremy Gardner) and Mickey (AdamCronheim), cut an aimless path across a desolate New England.  They stick to the back roads and forests to steer clear of the shambling corpses that patrol the once bustling cities and towns.  In order to survive, they must overcome the stark differences in each other’s personalities—Ben embraces an increasingly feral, lawless, and nomadic lifestyle—while Mickey is unable to accept the harsh realities of the new world.

This is a film that has met with a great worldwide reception and Zombipedia cannot wait to check out this film. The trailer has slow zombies, drama and what sounds like a fantastic score. We actually tried to interview the guys behind the film but sadly got no response….but regardless you will want to get down to the festival early to ensure that you see this sure-fire hit.

2.15pm
METELETSA / 18 – Russia’s First Zombie Movie!
Russia 2013, 1hr 30mins
Dir
: Nikolai Pigarev
Cast: Michael Borzenkov, Aleksandr Abramovich
Russian Winter is a terrible thing,  especially if it arrives in mid-July. Along the street a snowstorm sweeps, behind the snowstorm … something ghastly creeps! A Russian zombie – senseless and merciless! Konstantin – a Moscow journalist, hides from the onslaught with the daughter of a local tycoon in a hardware store. Captain Igor Knyazev kranks up the only working tank, as priest Father Michael gets out his trusty axe…

We made a brief blog post about this before, tagged as the first ever Russian zombie movie Zima mertvetsov. Metelitsa aka Winter of the Dead. Meteletsa looks very promising. Made on a budget of approximately $1m, we can see that CGI was used significantly but thankfully it looks used well and in conjunction with always superior practical Fx and make up. For something different this film looks like it could be the suprise star hit of the festival as long as it can push the pace for its full running time.

4.15pm
ZOMBIE HOOD / 18 + Director Q&A
UK 2013, 1hr 31mins
Dir
: Steve Best.
Cast: Edward Nudd, Jade Blocksidge, Tom Murton
Zombie Hood begins on the eve of a worldwide zombie outbreak with a small group of survivors escaping the city. After gathering in a nearby forest and with food being in short supply, the survivors must risk visiting populated areas in an effort to avoid starvation. With a child and an elderly man in tow and with the undead waiting at every turn, the group attempt to put aside their differences as they battle to survive a nightmare scenario.

Now you should all be familar with this after our previous blog post and interview with writer/director Steve Best, this tale of survival looks very promising and represents British horror well. Make sure you check it out.

6.15pm – BRAINS FOOD BREAK!

7.15pm
WASTELAND / 18 – World Premiere Screening + Q&A!
UK 2013, 1hr 32mins
Dir
: Tom Wadlow
Cast: Shameer Seepersand, Jessica Messenger, Mark Drake.
Survivors of a deadly virus that has turned people into the walking dead try to hide and keep a low profile, carving out a living by scavenging for useful items left over from the previous world. We find Scott Miller, alone and waiting for his beloved Beth to return from London where she went in search of her family. Scott is still clinging to hope that there is a chance that the world can return to its previous state. That faith is continually shaken by events in this wild and dangerous world until Scott is forced to face his fears and decide whether he is to stay where he is or seek other survivors.

Another future UK classic? Maybe, like Zombie Hood this is another East Midlands shot zombie flick, being filmed in Derbyshire and with a Q&A thrown in what better time to discover what it takes to make a low-budget feature length zombie film.

9.15pm
BATTLE OF THE DAMNED / 18
USA / Singapore 2013, 1hr 28mins
Dir
: Christopher Hatton
Cast: Dolph Lundgren, Melanie Zanetti
Zombies. Robots. Dolph Lungdren. Our penultimate film is a belter. On the outskirts of civilization, a remote test facility lays ruin following a catastrophic viral outbreak that left hundreds dead or mutated. Now the infected walk the land, stalking the few that stayed alive. Led by private military operative Max Gatling, our heroes have learned to fight against the infected, in hopes that rescue will soon come from the outside world. What they weren’t expecting, though, was the emergence of another deadly threat…

Dolph! What more is there to say, I don’t know much about this film but it has the potential to be the best or worst film of the festival, but whichever it is I think we can all guarentee it will be bloody entertaining…oh and killer robots. What. The. Fuck!

11.15pm
STALLED / 18
UK 2013, 1hr 24mins
Dir:
Christian James.
Cast: Dan Palmer, Antonia Bernath, Tamaryn Payne.
It’s Christmas Eve. A down-on-his-luck janitor is cleaning cubicle in an office block. Unfortunately for this forlorn floor-sweeper, he becomes trapped in the washroom the very second a zombie outbreak occurs. Will he be able to hit the emergency alarm with severed fingers and a catapult bra? Has he met his Waterloo? Will he just go potty? Or will he simply remain…STALLED? Consistently hilarious, brilliantly executed, cleverly constructed and visually imaginative, director Christian James’ remarkable comedy horror is THE EVIL DEAD meets PHONE BOOTH in a toilet. For more info visit stalledmovie.com

Yes! Yes! Yes we have been looking forward to this FrightFest hit since discovering the tailer and speaking to writer/actor Dan Palmer, who turned out to be a bloody nice chap. One thing I will say is go to the toilet before this film, you may not be so brave after.

On a more serious note, this film genuinely has the most potential to live up to and be as big as Shaun of the Dead, possibly a reason why Fangoria have held screenings of it in the USA. If your still not convinced, it also stars the gorgeous Tamaryn Payne. Thought that might convince you.

As Zombie Ed mentioned, this festival not only gives us a cinematic treat but also includes video games, books and more! In total, zombie fiends will find:

•    13 hours of Zombie Films
•    The Arcade of the Dead – Retro Zombie Games to die for
•    Best dressed Zombie Award – Come Dressed to Impress
•    Zombie Killing Challenge – Kill the Undead on a Cinema Screen
•    Make Up Artists – Make you look like your favourite cadaver
•    Zombie Authors – Signing books and talking about zombies
•    Horror Traders – Zombie Shop & Terror4fun open all event

So what are you waiting for, book your tickets now!

You can keep in contact with Terror4fun, Zombie Ed and the festival at:

Their Website: www.terror4fun.com
Facebook Group: Terror4fun: UK Zombie Events
Twitter: @ZombieEdUK
Email Zombie Ed at: ed@terror4fun.com


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