Last November we attended the Mayhem Film Festival hosted by Broadway Cinema here in Nottingham. Over the course of four days we saw some of the best horror flicks currently making the festival circuit (and some select classics too). Day two saw three brand news films being screened, the highly surreal The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears, the chilling footage/reality TV mashup Delivery and the truly psychotic 70’s slasher pastiche Discopath.
The Strange Colour Of Your Body’s Tears
First up on Friday was Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani’s The Strange Colour Of Your Body’s Tears, a title that both reveals nothing and yet everything you need to know about the film. A frankly insane Italian mystery, we follow a confused husband’s attempts to find his wife, who may be missing within the apartment block. Giallo through the eyes of David Lynch, the plot makes little-to-no sense and on that level is bound to disappoint. However, The Strange Colour… is never not hypnotic; a painfully violent, beautifully shot fetishistic nightmare with a fantastic, driving soundtrack. Watch it as an Italian cinema fan, watch it as a horror fan, watch it before bed and ensure the most obscenely deranged dreams of your life.
The second was probably the pinnacle of the night’s screenings for the majority of the audience, Brian Netto’s Delivery. The director was present at the screening and was able to witness his baby stun to silence a riveted audience. Beginning as a cheery pastiche of the reality TV phenomenon, the film followed a young couple preparing for the most terrifying ordeal imaginable: childbirth. However, mysterious events early on caused the reality show’s production to be stopped, and the film continues by showing us the unedited, unaired footage shot in the nine months of increasing intensity that leads to the gut punch of a finale that lingers long in the memory.
Finally, after all that intensity was the heavily anticipated (by me at least) Discopath. Not to be confused with- no, wait, Discopath is a true original in all film, not just horror. Renaud Gauthier and Marie-Claire Lalonde’s 70’s slasher homage focused on Duane Lewis, an awkward, shy young man with an unfortunate condition: when he hears disco music, he is driven to kill. Unlike others in the recent trend of exploitation nostalgia (Machete, Grindhouse, Hobo With A Shotgun et al), Discopath probably works best due to its sincerity, despite its ludicrous and fantastic concept. Not really self-referential or ironic, to its benefit, the film is nonetheless very funny, very manic and suitably gory (decapitated heads spinning on 45s anyone?). It also features the best corpse-propelling hearse crash set to Kiss’ ‘I Was Made For Loving You’ in cinema. Probably.