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By midlandsmovies, May 23 2017 09:43PM

Cult Screens heads to the Midlands region for Summer 2017 extravaganza

Cult Screens is a luxurious open air cinema experience heading to carefully selected unusual, spectacular locations throughout the country, which launches Thursday 25th May with the Oscar-winning ‘Moonlight' at Oxford Castle.

But it won’t be long until the Cult Screen experience hits the Midlands with a line-up of great movies for film fans to enjoy in the coming months.

Running until late September, the highly anticipated summer schedule includes films ranging from cool cult classics like Fight Club and Pretty Woman to modern masterpieces like La La Land and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

As well as these there is a whole host of fan favourites like Top Gun and Dirty Dancing. Cult Screens hope to bring all the comforts of the ultimate cinematic experience to the great outdoors with deckchairs and beanbags scattered for the taking.

They also recommend bottles of chilled Prosecco and can offer a superb selection of crafted beers and classic cinema comforts like fresh popcorn to gourmet street food.

For the Midlands explicitly, locations confirmed for this year include Coventry Cathedral Ruins and The Arena, Lower Trinity Street in Birmingham. The full line-ups are below.

Perfect for a girls’ night out with a difference, a chilled Sunday or Saturday date night, tickets are priced from £13.95 - £45 with various seating options available from BYO blanket to deckchair and single or double beanbags.

For more information and tickets please visit www.cultscreens.co.uk



By midlandsmovies, Mar 2 2017 11:02AM

The Love Witch (2017) Dir. Anna Biller

“Do you like to ride, Elaine?”

With a camp retro-ness and grindhouse quality that only an early Tim Burton or Tarantino could dream of comes a genre-loving film of obsession and sexual politics. The Love Witch stars a brilliant Samantha Robinson as the title character Elaine, who is a lovelorn witch that dabbles in mysticism, potions and tarot cards in an attempt to find herself the man of her affections. Or is it of her obsessions? Well, the film uses Hammer horror and John Walters-style kitsch to actually deliver much more complex and deeper themes of femininity and patriarchy.

The gorgeous sets and costume design help tell the story of Elaine as she arrives in a new town, escaping her ambiguous past life, and meeting a lecturer called Wayne. She suggests he whisks her off to his isolated cabin for a clandestine rendezvous, before convincing him to take a swig from her mysterious hip-flask. From here, it seems as though Elaine has concocted a brew that appears to show the true character of those who drink it.

In this instance the steak-eating hunk of masculinity transforms into a crying man-child and what began as erotic worship ends with Elaine burying his body in the garden. Adorning his makeshift grave is a “gift” of nature that consists of a used tampon and a jar of urine. The little-seen hygiene product seemed to echo Psycho’s first ever-toilet flush in a further directorial nod to the schlock and boundary-pushing of 60s horror.

Similarly a spot-on score partly parallels Bernard Herman’s iconic strings and is complemented by a psychedelia soundtrack of harps and horror Hammond organs. This mix of influences from different eras also shows Biller having fun with thematic and aesthetic anachronisms. The 60s are invoked with Cadillac and hot rod cars as well as kinky boots and hair styles from the time, but the illusion is amusingly broken as she throws in 2016 BMWs and smart phones.

These knowing winks keep the Love Witch from becoming stale as lashings of comedy – from the actors’ monotone delivery of lines to the hilarious weeping males Elaine leaves in her wake – keep the tone bouncing between light and shade. Slightly off-kilter framing and hard cuts create a quirky and self-referential b-movie humour, somewhat akin to Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace series.

As Elaine continues her endeavours with bubbling dry-ice tonics, a local policeman (played with virility by a square jawed Gian Keys) attempts to crack the case of the missing man. Here we notice that plot is quite minimal with information sometimes delivered in streams of indelicate monologue. It’s deliberately slow-paced and edited – perhaps to a fault at times – BUT Biller has a voice that cuts through any of these tiny and ultimately inconsequential flaws.

Her stylish design sits comfortably with her comments on nature, identifying witches as outcasts and using sexuality as a positive. And Biller’s serious questions work well in a uniquely theatrical film of heightened reality. One man states that burlesque performance is “reclaiming womanhood” yet Biller keeps some of her voice ambiguous, as at times male clichés are espoused by female characters and vice versa. An “equality of difference” and other such thorny issues may seem heavy material but are entrapped in a Kaleidoscope of cut-scenes and drug fuelled images that reflect the bravura of the accomplished director who can handle the frequent shift in tones.

From “sex magic” to crimson bed sheets, the horror is never too far away as well. Literal (and metaphorical) bondage again reflects the clever but balanced topics Biller wishes to convey whilst a Renaissance Fayre has thespian-style staging and alludes to the natural medieval past of witches.

Enchanting and engaging, The Love Witch sees Biller creating a multifaceted masterpiece that, whilst on the surface tells the story of a technicolour temptress, is a far more magical experience mixing low-budget tropes with high-brow awareness.


Midlands Movies Mike

By midlandsmovies, Jan 9 2017 04:00PM

Quite simply, here is our ongoing and updated list of Film Festivals in the Midlands (2017):

• THE SHORT CINEMA http://www.theshortcinema.co.uk info@theshortcinema.co.uk Phoenix, Leicester - August 23rd – 26th 2017

• NOTTINGHAM FILM FESTIVAL - Hothouse Theatre’s Nottingham Film Festival. October 6th – 8th 2017 For details visit http://www.nottinghamfilmfestival.com

• ANON FILM FEST - No 2017 dates yet. Screened at Northern Light Cinema, Wirksworth, Derbys. https://filmfreeway.com/festival/anonfilmfestival

• INDIE-LINCS - March 16th – 18th 2017 Based at Lincoln Performing Arts Centre, and run in partnership with The School of Film and Media at the University of Lincoln http://www.indie-lincs.com

• BRINDLEY PLACE OUTDOOR FEST - 2017 dates TBC. http://www.brindleyplace.com/event/brindleyplace-outdoor-film-festival-2

• WORCESTERSHIRE FILM FESTIVAL 2017 dates TBC www.worcestershirefilmfestival.co.uk Contact Lawrence Donello‏ on Twitter @Razorpost https://twitter.com/worcesterfilm

• LEICESTER DOCFILM FEST http://www.citizenseye.org Contact John Coster 2017 dates TBC

• BORDERLINES FEST http://www.borderlinesfilmfestival.co.uk UK's largest rural film festival. Herefordshire/Shropshire - FRIDAY 24 FEBRUARY TO SUNDAY 12 MARCH 2017

• BIRMINGHAM FILM FEST - November 18th – 26th 2017 https://filmfreeway.com/festival/Birminghamfilmfestival

• BIFF FEST (Black International Film Fest) http://www.vtelevision.co.uk/biff/event.html

• SHOCK AND GORE FESTIVAL http://www.shockandgore.co.uk The Electric Cinema in Birmingham, July. Contact david@theelectric.co.uk or https://twitter.com/shockgore July 2017

• DEAFFEST http://www.deaffest.co.uk The UK's International Deaf Film & Arts Festival Wolverhampton. Contact info@light-house.co.uk 12th – 14th May 2017.

• LEICESTER ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL - 16th - 19th March www.leicesterasianfilmfestival.com

• SHOUT FESTIVAL http://shoutfestival.co.uk Birmingham Dates soon for 2017

• DERBY FILM FESTIVAL http://www.derbyfilmfestival.co.uk 28th APRIL - 7th MAY 2017

• FANTASTIQ FEST http://fantastiq.co.uk Fantasy and Horror Fest at Quad in Derby

• MAYHEM HORROR Film Fest - Halloween. Contact Broadway cinema in Nottingham http://www.broadway.org.uk/mayhem 12th - 15th October 2017

• FLATPACK FEST - Birmingham, UK. http://www.flatpackfestival.org.uk 4th - 9th April 2017

• EAST ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL http://www.eastwindsfilmfest.com 2017 Dates Coming Soon

• BEESTON FILM FESTIVAL http://www.beestonfilm.com 9th - 12th March 2017

• CAN DO FEST – Nottingham http://www.can-do-fest.com Biennial Fest currently fundraising to run a new Can- Do Film festival in 2017

• ZZUB - http://www.zzubfest.co.uk Wolverhampton - 2017 Festival TBC

• SHROPSHIRE RAINBOW FILM FESTIVAL http://www.rainbowfilmfestival.org.uk/midlands-zone 6th - 8th October 2017

• GRINDHOUSE PLANET - 2017 date TBC www.grindhouseplanet.com

Other useful Film Festival information can be find at these links:




By midlandsmovies, May 15 2016 12:00PM

Midlands Movies are pleased to have given away lots of movie goodies over the last 18 months and will continue to do so therefore please follow us at https://twitter.com/MidlandsMovies to hear about our latest prizes and competitions

Previous winners include:

2016 competitions to date include:

Aliens BluRay boxset, Big Trouble in Little China PopFunko prize, Bronson BluRay, The History of Marvel Comic book & Summer Night Film Festival tickets.

The Force Awakens competition

In Autumn 2015 we gave away a brand new Storm Trooper action figure from the upcoming new Star Wars film, The Force Awakens. The winner was @JackShelbourn

Pulp Fiction framed pic film Competition

Donated by Sali Jones of Ms Moo Makeup: www.msmoomakeup.com Pulp Fiction celebrates its 20th Anniversary this year and came in at number 1 in our 2013 Readers’ Poll of Midlands Movies readers favourite films of all time. The winner was @AmeliaK1987

"The Good, The Bad and the Multiplex" by Mark Kermode + Midlands Movies t-shirt Competition

We pulled one winner at random from the over 300+ entrants and that winner was Twitter user @ChrisBevan89

Chaplin Blu Ray Competition

Jim Peakman @Jimatay won a copy of Oscar nominated film Chaplin by Sir RIchard Attenborough

Pan's Labyrinth Competition

In September 2014 we joined forces with R B Illustrations to give away a beautifully designed Pan's Labyrinth poster drawn by Leicester's very own Ryan Button with the winner being Twitter user @Alex_Doddy

Shadowlands Competition

Partly filmed in the Midlands (at The Great Central Railway in Loughborough) and directed by Leicester legend Sir Richard Attenborough we have pulled one lucky reader out at random who was @JoshuaWilliam35

Transformers Competition

@IainKirtley won an Optimus Prime design courtesy of Leicester artist The Retrodraughtsman when we gave away a framed picture in July

LEGO Competition

To coincide with The Lego Movie's release on DVD we gave away one of the toy sets from the movie in June 2014 which was won by Shaun Jacques @ShaunJacquesUK

Anchorman 2 Competition

Our Anchorman competition ran in April 2014 and we drew out one lucky Midlands Movies reader who won a selection of prizes including a Ron Burgundy book, an Anchorman poster and a big red candle! The winner was Twitter user @boblikethebird

Once Upon A Time in the Midlands

We gave away Shane Meadows' FIlm 4 classic on DVD in February 2014 and the winner was Zoe Heslop @Zoe_Music

Retro Film Posters

We had a set of 8 glossy retro film posters to giveaway as a Christmas thank you to all our followers over a second successful year at Midlands Movies. A winner has been drawn at random on the weekend of the 7th/8th December 2013. Thanks to all who entered and the winner was Twitter user Emily Jasper https://twitter.com/EmilyJas

SuperMan Competition

We had a maxi-poster from Snyder's movie courtesy of Pyramid International (not run by Adrian Veidt!) as well as other assorted Kryptonian goodies. We had tons of entries who retweeted us at @MIdlandsMovies on Twitter and used hashtag #MMcompetition. Once we passed 1000 followers we drew one winner at random who was Rob Jones @Hulksmash1985

The Dark Knight Rises Competition

Midlands Movies Mike dressed as Bane at the recent showing of The Dark Knight Rises at Wollaton Hall where Wayne Manor was set for the movie! We gave you a chance to win 2 tickets courtesy of Derby Quad & the winner was @TommyDraper who was chosen at random for the event on Sept 7th.

800 Followers Competition

WINNER 1 - @deanne2622 (Singing in the Rain & Breakfast at Tiffany’s posters)

WINNER 2 - @Alex_H92 (The Birds & Gone With the Wind posters)

WINNER 3 - @JayIsANerd (The Wizard of Oz & Some Like It Hot posters)

WINNER 4 - @MrMilktray (Casablanca & Goldfinger posters)

500 & 600 Follower Competition

We gave away copies of the Alien Quadrilogy and Welcome to the Punch at our 500 and 600 Twitter followers mark.

By midlandsmovies, Jan 23 2016 12:03PM

Midlands Spotlight – Casuals

Casuals was the first production from legendary writer and former football hooligan Cass Pennant and was released independently in 2010. Distributed on DVD during its first release it has subsequently found a new life this year with the documentary being picked up by Metrodome who distribute film and digital content worldwide.

Pennant brings forth this extraordinary and insightful film that attempts to strip away the myths and tell the truth about a little known football subculture. But what is a “casual” I hear you ask? Well, the casual phenomenon was originally a football subgroup that had its own fashion, style and customs and one that helped revive the men’s fashion industry leaving a lasting legacy still felt to this day.

The documentary explores the trends from the people who were involved from its early days where brands & retailers such as 80s Casual Classics all formed part of the casuals’ uniform. This all happened during a time of change and upheaval but also when football and fashion mattered more than the corporate hospitality and sanitized stadiums seen nowadays.

This phenomenon has seen teenagers in cities as diverse as Barcelona, Berlin, Milan and Moscow copying fashions and a culture that developed on the streets and terraces of British cities. The documentary asks how did this specific football casual subculture come about and what did it stand for?

Using archived footage and interviews with those that were there, the doc describes how mod fashions mixed with sportswear and brands like Fila, Fred Perry, Adidas and Stone Island to show how clothing became a statement for those involved.

The film also has strong links to the Midlands region with interviews with Leicester “casuals” including Bev Thompson, who inspired Pennant’s most recently produced film ‘Beverley’. As well as being influential to the making of that film – which was shot, made and set in Leicester city – she was very much engaged with the casual lifestyle in the early 80s too. She also tells of how this gave her a sense of identity as a second-generation black woman.

Another Leicester-local is Riaz Khan who was the son of traditional Pakistani parents and who found his own identity when he adopted the 'casual' culture. He and fellow young Asians were the heralds of a hybrid youth culture as he took on board the soul-boy look of the 80s. Confounding old stereotypes and fighting racism, the melting pot of cultures saw new football-focused groups emerge from the terraces.

Directed by Mick Kelly the amazing story shows how youths set the style first with high streets catching up much later and way before the brands became vogue with famous celebrities. With over 50 interviews, the personal stories reminisce over the styles, the differences and the similarities of the elusive labels that became must-have clothing.

It also demonstrates how these British obsessions with the foreign menswear of the time have subsequently switched around with the rest of the garment-wearing globe now looking to the UK as a fashion trendsetter. To its own benefit, “Casuals” focuses on folk rather than football making the documentary a great success that chronicles the communities that made up a unique time in UK’s underground history.


Cass is also hoping the film can find a brand new audience as the rerelease includes exclusive new platforms such as iTunes, Amazon, Google, Sony, X-Box and is due to be a Netflix movie in Spring 2016 as well.

Available to own Dec 21st 2015 and on VOD from Dec 28th 2015.

See the film’s trailer here:

By midlandsmovies, Jul 6 2015 07:48PM

Killer Saurus (2015) Dir. Steve Lawson

“Why don’t you run through its legs...?”

This new Leicester creature feature from Creativ Studios is a fun b-movie inspired flick that uses a cloned dinosaur as its central theme in a story of secrets, horror and drama.

In a near future, we begin in a lab where Professor Peterson (Steve Dolton) works with his scientist colleagues to use innovative new bio-print laser technology to genetically recreate an ancient monster. We find out there have already been failed attempts by his favourite worker Kayleigh Ma (Helen Crevel) but sad news comes in the form of a telephone call in which the Professor is informed of the death of a loved one.

The film starts slowly but tension is soon ratcheted up as the project descends into chaos and heads begin to roll (literally). After an accident involving the death of a worker, we pick up 3 months later with Kayleigh and her journalist boyfriend Jed Bailey (Kenton Hall) who encourages her to return to her job in order to get some closure. However, he desperately wants to pick up an exclusive scoop to reinvigorate his career which is littered with a history of vilified conspiracy stories.

Back in the lab, they return to meet with Peterson who explains that the bio-print technology was originally developed to replace his amputated fingers before spiralling out of control. As he regales them with the previous failed attempts, we see he is working for a shady corporation who care even less about the lives they have ruined.

With laughs and silliness played off against melodramatic scenes, the film creates a great atmosphere that mocks and plays loving homage to its low budget influences. Good cinematography drenches the screen in futuristic Minority Report cool blues and blood-drenched reds whilst an intense booming soundtrack creates apprehension and worry at every turn.

Scenes increase their pace which help push the story along quickly and although the props and settings were quite sparse, they were well created and utilised. The interesting lighting choices through smoky camera shots helped overcome many gaps in the budget and the monster f/x were effective in their scope.

With more personal secrets uncovered, the film is a shaky mix of the sombre and the amusing with humorous lines vying for space with sinister scenes but the balance just about holds together and there were half a dozen or so true belly laughs as well delivered dead pan which made them even funnier.

Some lines of dialogue were cribbed from the most memorable monster movies (I spotted Jaws, King Kong and Jurassic Park) yet there’s action too. I find it easy to say that it’s genuinely great to see films come from your hometown and the talent from the Midlands still surprises me as innovative directors release films with ambition that far surpass expectations. KillerSaurus also has an impressive vibe straight from the grindhouse Planet Terror which both combine levels of daftness with disgusting make up to superb effect.

In summary, if Friday night beastly features are your thing then I can highly recommend you catching this noble and enjoyable film which hits colossal horror heights from a tiny budget.

8/10 Midlands Movies Mike

By midlandsmovies, Jun 6 2015 10:10AM

Kung Fury (2015) Dir: David Sandberg

This crowdfunded short film comes across as a mash up of bad (read good) martial arts action films and 80s side scrolling beat em-up arcade games topped off with perhaps the most insane over the top action that you will ever see. Logic and quite frankly the rules of nature are cast aside in this mad action packed fun-filled rollercoaster of a film.

Set in 1985 the plot sees city cop Kung Fury travel back in time to kill the most deadliest criminal of all time - Kung Fuerher Hitler, but to do so he needs to call on his friends; the nerd Hackerman, his police partner Triceracop the Triceratop and of course the Norse god Thor. Makes sense right?

Writer/director/star David Sandberg proves that you don't need a massive budget to make an explosive and entertaining film just a green screen, bad one liners and plenty of humour. Kung Fury is one film that will entertain anyone with a penchant for action and the open ending hopefully hints at a full feature sequel. You can watch the film on YouTube above


Midlands Movies Marek

(Editor Mike: Couldn't agree more on this one. A great idea will always overcome any budget constraints and the hilarity of the 80s iconography, OTT jokes and ingenious effects and nods to low budget films make this an entertaining one to catch. Also, its online to watch for free too!)

By midlandsmovies, May 28 2015 12:58PM

Guilty Pleasures

By Jake Stevenson

“What’s your favourite film?” A relatively easy question for most people to answer when asked. Star Wars, The Godfather & The Shawshank Redemption would be a lot of people’s responses, and you’d nod approvingly or shout excitedly in agreement.

But what your reaction be if someone said with no hint of irony, Analyse This? Or Michael J Fox’s third finest hour (behind BTTF & Teen Wolf) The Secret Of My Success? You’d probably ask them to repeat their selection in case you’d misheard them, or laugh in their faces. You’d probably then proceed to tell them why they’re wrong in many, many ways by using many, many colourful expletives. However, perhaps that person, is simply being what most people aren’t when discussing their favourite film, honest. All their doing is accepting the fact that their guilty pleasure isn’t something to feel so guilty about.

My guilty pleasure is Major League… I feel dirty in admitting that but it’s the truth. I first discovered the 1989 baseball comedy starring Tom Berenger, a pre-Tiger Blood Charlie Sheen & a young Rene Russo in the mid-nineties. I can’t recall the exact circumstances of how I came to watch it, other than it was late and it was on BBC1. I stayed awake all the way through, mildly entertained by the oh so wacky team mates valiantly trying to win a pennant in order to foil the nefarious plans of the team’s owner Rachel Phelps (the wickedly cougar-ish Margaret Whitton). “Hang on” you’re thinking, “mildly entertained? Shouldn’t you have found it a classic underdog, comedy romp if you like it so much?” Well yes I should, but I’m all too aware of how middle of the road it is. If it was that funny and that well-made, it would’ve been valued as such and therefore wouldn’t be kept out of sight, like the black sheep of my brain’s mind when discussing all things film. I like it so much due to its mediocrity, not in spite of it. Because it’s so bland, because there’s no stand out comedic set piece to rival the campfire scene from Blazing Saddles or the razor sharp patter of The Odd Couple you can watch it from start to finish pretty much completely zoned-out and not have your enjoyment of affected in any way.

To be honest, I watch it mostly when I’m ill because I can fall asleep, miss 20 minutes and not feel the need to rewind it, safe in the knowledge that I’ve not missed anything vitally important. You try watching Goodfellas or Interstellar whilst feeling the drowsy effects of Night Nurse in less than five hours, it’s impossible. Schindler’s List, City Of God & The Shining or all cold stone classics, but despite the fact you’re in awe at the varying degrees of artistry on show, you wouldn’t watch them on a wet February afternoon would you? Much better to veg out to Bad Boys.

Most people can appreciate the complex flavours of a dish like Asparagus, Pea, Broad Bean & Herb Salad on a Warm Tomato Tart Fine, with Whipped Briliat Savarin Brie, but day to day they’d always prefer a chip supper.

You shouldn’t have to feel snobby when listing your favourite cinematic dishes. For every medium-rare chateaubriand like Blade Runner, you can enjoy every once in a while, there’s the ham & cheese toastie of the original Fast & Furious to chow down on more often.

I know this may be coming across like I’m an advocate for the (further) dumbing down of popular culture but all I’m suggesting is for people not to feel so guilty about their guilty pleasures. If you enjoy it, don’t feel ashamed about it, shout it from the roof tops, embarrassment be damned!

My favourite film of all time is Major Le… Fight Club!

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