The Zombie Times, November 2016 Film Festival Issue (emag review).

November 7, 2016 | By | Reply More

Regular readers of my reviews here on SFCrowsnest may recall that I used to review issues of ‘The Zombie Times’, a newsletter on all things to do with the living dead which was published on a roughly quarterly basis. Things have been rather quiet from Terror4fun, the publishers of ‘The Zombie Times’, recently so it’s good to see another issue of the newsletter appearing one year on from the last one.

zombie-times-nov-2015-cover

The main purpose of this issue is to tell readers what will be happening at the 10th UK Festival Of Zombie Culture, which takes place on Saturday 12 November at the Phoenix Arts Centre in Leicester. I was amazed to find out that this is not only the UK’s but also the world’s longest running zombie film festival! Quite some achievement.

I was lucky enough to attend last year’s event and wrote a review of it for SFCrowsnest afterwards. Suffice to say it was an excellent film festival, showing a variety of different zombie films suitable for every undead palate. The day was hugely enjoyable and great value for money, too.

Unfortunately, I can’t make it to this year’s event for family reasons. However, a quick look at the programme as listed in ‘The Zombie Times’ is enough to convince me that it should be just as good as last year. The programme features five full length zombie films, which makes the entrance price of £25 seem very reasonable. The first is the rather underwhelmingly named ‘Night Of Something Strange’, an American comedy horror directed by Jonathan Straiton, which sounds like the gory bastard love child of ‘American Pie’ and ‘Cabin In The Woods’.

Next is a UK premiere of a low budget British film called ‘Plan Z’. This is written and directed by Stuart Brennan, who also stars as the film’s lead, Craig. When the zombie apocalypse arrives, Craig is prepared because he’s made a plan. Like all plans, though, the question is whether this one will survive contact with the enemy…

The programme then takes a detour to South Korea for ‘Train To Busan’. Directed by Yeon Sang-ho, this film portrays a zombie outbreak aboard the KTX express train from Seoul to Busan. It was screened at the Cannes Film Festival this year and has proved highly successful for a Korean film at the box office, so could be the surprise hit of the day.

Following this, the action shifts to Austria for Dominik Hartl’s ‘Attack Of The Lederhosen Zombies’, a comedy horror set in a ski resort. The final offering is also the only film not released this year, Valeri Milev’s 2015 American found footage movie, ‘Re-Kill’, which sounds like a mash-up of ‘The Walking Dead’ and ‘Diary Of The Dead’. This looks to me like a suitably bloody smorgasbord of diverse zombie films with something to appeal to most fans of undead cinema.

As ‘The Zombie Times’ makes clear, the UK Festival Of Zombie Culture isn’t just a film festival. There will also be many other people in attendance, including several authors who will be selling and signing their new books. Festival regular Adam Millard is launching ‘The Ultimate Zombie Quiz Book’ at the festival, while Duncan P. Bradshaw, whom I also met at last year’s event, is releasing ‘Chump’, a new collection of his post-apocalyptic short stories. They will be joined by make-up artists, horror merchandise traders, gamers and, of course, Zombie Ed himself. All in all, it sounds like more excitement than you can shake a stick at.

The newsletter also includes some material not related to the film festival, including information on five films, three books, a new series of zombie novellas and a podcast. So even if you can’t get to Leicester on 12 November, there’s still plenty of useful material to read here.

If you’re feeling that life has returned to normal rather too quickly following Halloween or if the political events of recent months in the UK and the USA have left you wondering exactly how long we’ve got left before the zombie apocalypse arrives, the latest issue of ‘The Zombie Times’ has everything you need to stay one step ahead. For some hands-on training in dealing with the end of the world, nothing can beat heading to Leicester on 12 November for the 10th UK Festival of Zombie Culture. Can you afford not to?

Patrick Mahon

November 2016

(pub: Terror4fun, 14 page newsletter. Price: free!)

check out websites: www.Terror4fun.com and www.phoenix.org.uk

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Category: Horror, Magazines

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