Now celebrating its 13th year, Nottingham’s Mayhem film festival is no stranger to the macabre and crazy world of horror movies, this is the name of a festival I hear talked about a lot on the independent film circuit, and people are always shocked when I tell them I have never attended it before, so with this being my first year present, and this being the 13th anniversary of the festival itself, I expected nothing less than a grade A experience, I think its safe to say I wasn’t at all disappointed!
Right off the bat, I could tell that Mayhem is a very well oiled machine, one that is run with unparalleled efficiency, organised by people who are obviously huge fans of the horror genre and one that is so evidently loved by everyone attending, many of which I could just tell are guys and gals that relish in the outlandish offerings that mayhem graces its top floor screen with year after year.
The festival itself like many a good serial killers blood stained butchers knife can be found right in the beating heart of Hockley, an area of Nottingham that is quite clearly thriving in independent businesses, from vintage clothing stores and tattoo studios, to art galleries and restaurants, basically if you are in Nott’s and you want to be smack bang in the middle of everything cool, artist, retro and edgy (you know I always do) this is the place to be, and it’s here where you will find the Broadway cinema, where for four days, for the past 13 years, it has played host to this fine little horror film festival.
Well I say little… from the very first night the entire picture house was literally heaving with hardcore horror fans of all ages from all over the country and I felt welcomed with open arms, so equipped with my trusty press pass, and my 20% food and drinks weekend discount, I entered the world of the Mayhem Film Festival, and what will follow over the next week are some of my favorites of the events offerings from the days that I myself was lucky enough to catch while being there.
This is a festival that although talked about as more of a horror outing, is one that also caters for those that fiend for a a little more than just the blood and gore, in fact one of my favorites of the weekend didn’t even feature one drop of that glorious crimson red claret that we are all so familiar with when it comes to horror film festivals.
Basically, I definitely got the feeling early on that the name Mayhem, is more than just a name that sounds cool, but a name that is incredibly fitting for a festival that showcases a number of movies that cross genres and blur the lines between, horror, thriller and action.
Mayhem was and is a pure bread beast of its own, and after 13 solid years looks like one blood thirsty monster that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and judging by how well it is received by its loyal attendees and how efficiently it is ran by its co founders Steven Sheil, Chris Cooke and the rest of the team that keep it going, this is one festival that is only going to get bigger and better.
Hurry up October 2018, I am having Mayhem withdrawals already!
Words by Theo Cane