So its the opening night of Mayhem, the Broadway cinema is packed full of excited movie fans donning their weekend festival passes, the night is now upon us and the first movie is about to start. A movie I could have easily missed the start of while chatting to the barman about the array of original cinema quad posters that decorate the walls throughout the building. The Broadway just bleeds that independent cinema vibe and its easy to see why this is the venue chosen to play host to Mayhem year after year.
Luckily for me i was informed by the same barman I had been chatting with about these movie posters, that one of the guests for the film was stuck in traffic and the movie would be starting a little later than scheduled, so taking full advantage of that and the twenty percent bar discount offered to weekend pass holders I grabbed myself a nice big double spiced rum and coke and quickly made my way to the front of the cinema screen.
I took my seat on the end of the second to front row, a perch I would unintentionally call my own for the whole weekend, festivals are the kind of place where people find their seats on the first night and pretty much stick with them for the whole event, so you are always in luck if you find a nice one early on, and the one I happened to get settled in was nothing short of perfect for big screen movie watching. Already a great start to what I could already tell was going to be an awesome weekend.
Like I mentioned before, this film started a little later than scheduled, to my mind the only time any of the films at Mayhem started late, but we were getting treated to an introduction by the film makers and actors from the movie themselves, and being a film director, this definitely is never a bad thing, no better way to get fully immersed into a movie than a live introduction by the dudes and dudettes that created it! So after a short introduction by festival organizers Steven Sheil and Chris Cooke, a round of applause welcomed to the stage the cast and crew of our weekends opening movie ‘Double Date’.
I instantly recognized one of the cast, Danny Morgan, the guy who played one of the two ‘Jakes’ on BBC Three’s ‘Ideal’ and not only the writer, but also the star of this movie!
Danny was joined by lead actress Georgia Groom the films director Benjamin Barfoot and a few more of the dedicated film crew.
The ‘Double Date’ team now stood center stage, and explained that this film was one very dear to their hearts, some of the cast and crew had been friends since they were teenagers and chatted about how they had always planned on one day making a fun and entertaining horror comedy that film fans could watch and enjoy.
Writer Danny Morgan also spoke about how their was a lack of chubby, ugly and gigantically tall gingers (his words not mine) being cast as romantic leads in feature films, so he wanted to try and change that with ‘Double date’ even if it was just this once.
The rest of the intro was short and sweet, as the team was desperate for us to watch the UK preview of their movie, but they assured us they would be back for a quick Q&A after the show.
Double Date 2017
Writer – Danny Morgan
Director – Benjamin Barfoot
Cast – Danny Morgan, Georgia Groom, Michael Socha, Kelly Wenham
Running time – 90 mins
From the get go, Double Date opens with a soundtrack that is truly mesmerizing, this is one of those movies that even if it was garbage bin material you would still want to buy the soundtrack to, luckily this film is far from garbage but you get what i am saying… like when a film opens up and within a few minuets you are already familiar with the movies theme, a set of keys that constantly switches up and plays in different notes and tempos, but always the same familiar melody to associate you with that movie, yeh? Well its one of those soundtracks, so straight away I was already thinking I really need to find out who produced this score, because I seriously need a Spotify playlist of this music in my life like straightaway…. Like now!
I soon found out, thanks to an incredibly high quality animated intro sequence that this soundtrack that I had instantly fell so dearly in love with was in fact created by Swedish psychedelic outfit ‘Goat’ and one that was composed specifically by the band for this movie!
We are quickly introduced to our two female leads, ‘Kitty’ (kelly Wehnham) a violent and sadistic siren who’s hobbies including murdering dudes she picks up on nights out, and punching the heads clean off freestanding martial arts training dummys and her much more reserved and timid sister ‘Lulu’ (Georgia Groom)
Little is known about the sisters, or what fuels their violent tendencies, but its clear they are defiantly on a dark and bloody mission to collect dead bodies, specifically male dead bodies and all for use in some sort of satanic ritual, its also evident that throughout the film, this is a plan embraced a lot more by Kitty than it is by her younger sister Lulu.
If anything, Lulu really doesn’t seem down to kill anyone, and every time an opportunity rises to stick her blade into somebody, she usually finds an excuse to avoid doing so.
Next up we have the dudes, ‘Jim’ (danny Morgan) 29 year old virgin recently dumped via text by a girl he was obviously way to nice and overbearing towards, and his best friend ‘Alex’ a self proclaimed player, stud, pretty boy and all that other stuff that makes so many of today’s girls weak between the knees… or at least that’s what he thinks.
Alex is played brilliantly by Michael Socha, who you might recognize as ‘Harvey’ from ‘This Is England and for me his was defiantly the stand out performance of the movie,. certainly in my opinion Alex is definable the character that delivered the most laughs and comedic moments whilst still keeping the wacky plot of Double Date nicely grounded in reality.
Alex being the typical crass ‘lad’ type with a one track mind wants to help out his best friend Alex, believing him going into 30’s without ever having laid with a women, is nothing short of a tragedy, and with Jims 30th birthday looming right around the corner that is the following day, Alex must make it his personal one man mission to ensure that his bestie Jim pops that cherry of his before the stroke of midnight.
Luckily for them, while the two boys are out at a local bar discussing their next potential pick up tactics they just so happen to run into a couple of luxurious lionesses (Kitty and Lulu) who don’t seem at all put off by Jims horrendously bad flirting techniques and agree to a big night out in London town with Jim and Alex. The boys can’t believe their luck?!
What follows is a hilariously high octane, drug induced bar crawl that features some insanely well shot super fast driving scenes, more amazing soundtrack and even an unexpected yet fitting cameo by grime pioneer Big Narsite.
Alex is determined to make this a night to remember and keeps focused on his task to get Jim in bed with one of the sisters, the same sisters who also plan on murdering the none the wiser Alex and Jim, but as the night plays out, we see an unforeseen shift in dynamic as it seems Jim and Lulu may have genuinely started falling for each other.
to give more away about the films plot points would mean venturing into serious spoiler territory, and this is a flick I would really like others to watch without too many preconceived ideas and notions floating around in their brain. I personally like to watch the majority of movies at film festivals without even reading any of the film descriptions in the festival line up program as there is something incredibly exciting about sitting back and just watching a story you know nothing about play before your eyes, it makes the whole festival experience a lot more enjoyable in my personal experience.
Double date is an outrageous, fun and gnarly little piece of work with terrific acting, great laughs and as mentioned about twenty times already, an incredible soundtrack by Swedish band ‘Goat’ that goes hand in hand with the intense vibes and editing style of the movie magnificently. The film features some great cameos from some unlikely faces, top special effects, a very hard hitting sound mix and fight scenes that rival any recent western action movie.
One particular fight scene towards the end of the film actually ended in one of my new favorite finishing moves ever, I wont give anything away, but it involves a huge wooden bookcase and a lot of double foot stomping.
The movie also features an extremely bizarre yet brilliant twist in tone as we find out what it was all along that made the psychotic sisters want to go on a murderous killing spree.
The Q&A that followed the movie, returned the cast and crew to the stage, and it was a great treat to hear how dedicated the actors where in preparing for their fight scenes and it was awesome to see how excited the cast and crew are to take their film to play in America later this month!
Overall, Double date was the perfect opening movie for Mayhem Festival, and set the benchmark extremely high from the start of the event, letting me know I was in for nothing short of an awesome line up of movies to come while attending the rest of the weekends festival.
Double Date is out in UK Cinemas now, go check that!
Click HERE for more info on Mayhem Film Festival.
Words by Theo Cane
Insta – @theo_cane_slimehouse_tv
Twitter – @Theo_cane