It seemed quite fitting that after a week or more of decidedly un-Scottish good weather the rain would begin to fall once again as the great, horror-filled event known as Dead By Dawn kicked off in The Filmhouse in Edinburgh.
The generous patron of Auld Reekie’s horror community, Adele Hartley, may have taken a year off and allowed a little window for people to catch some horror goodies elsewhere but she ensured everyone that it wouldn’t happen again and returned, on the strength of this superb line-up, with gusto to what she does best. This was horror programming at its finest.
And here is the material that shimmered before my eyes throughout the 4 days.
Highlights are, as ever, hard to pick out from an event that sees people meeting up with lots of other passionate fans (my good friends came over from Ireland once again and immediately befriended anyone and everyone) but I’d have to say that seeing Dead Ringers on the big screen was a fantastic treat for a Cronenberg fan such as myself and that while there was a mixed bag of movies, in terms of content and quality, throughout the days (as there should be at every festival, who the hell wants to go and see a bunch of “safe” selections?) there really is something quite wonderful about an extra-long weekend that starts off with the likes of Julia’s Eyes and Harold’s Going Stiff (see it, see it, SEE it!) and ends with YellowBrickRoad and Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil. And special mention must be made to the guests. Valerie Khoudari Ratner really threw herself into the whole experience, Alex Appel was very accessible, Michael Medaglia had time to chat to everyone and Bill Palmer was amazingly enthusiastic and also very generous to fans of his astoundingly good short film, The Living Want Me Dead.
Thanks are due, as always, to Adele and the people who help her in every aspect of the festival (from the friendly and helpful people manning the stall daily to the many film directors who got their movie in to be shown), to the magnificent staff at The Filmhouse (who were in danger of being zombiefied themselves thanks to a crowd that likes to make the most of a late bar) and to everyone who attended and made the atmosphere what it was. Same time next year?