The Editor

editorposterThe Editor

Directors: Adam Brooks & Matthew Kennedy

Writers: Adam Brooks, Matthew Kennedy and Conor Sweeney

Back in the 2011 Abertoir schedule a little midnight movie caught my eye – that movie was Manborg and became my first exposure to Astron-6. Shamefully, despite Manborg making me laugh heartily including one line that I still quote with alarming regularity I never sought out any of the Astron-6 shorts that were available online. It was only really at Celluloid Screams in Sheffield that I really realised how brilliant they were and most of that realisation is down to The Editor.

The Editor follows Rey Ciso (Adam Brooks) whose editing work on a low budget feature takes a more sinister turn as members of the cast are found murdered, with a calling card of chopped-off fingers seemingly to point directly to Ciso as the culprit. As the investigation starts and filming continues Ciso is forced to confront his own sanity to absolve himself of guilt.

editorhandIt is almost too easy to pitch The Editor as The Beyond meets Airplane!, but that seems to do the film a disservice – to take away in some part the layers, thought and hard work that has obviously been put into this. I’ve been lucky enough to see the film twice now (at Celluloid Screams and Abertoir) and while at first being struck by how funny the film is on a basic, broad level during the initial viewing, the second opens up all the little jokes I’d missed the first time around. While I wouldn’t by any stretch call myself a giallo expert I did feel a certain level of pride in recognising some of the homages.

The film’s direction is strong, with lots of attention paid to small details that immerse you not only within the world of The Editor, but the Astron-6 canon itself (including a small cameo by Father’s Day’s Chris Fuchmann in the opening scene). By the very nature of the plot and the way the film is designed, writing a plot synopsis is damn near impossible but there’s so much to enjoy within this piece, including films within films that rather than pull you away from laughs, actually introduce more. In keeping with a giallo tradition it is hard to praise it for a coherent plot, but this merely adds to the charm and links to how ridiculous those films could be.

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Strong, funny and frankly, manic performances by Kennedy as detective Peter Porfiry and Sweeny as ambitious actor Cal Konitz play well against Brooks’ more restrained Ciso. The supporting cast too are incredibly enjoyable, with Laurence Harvey’s Father Clarke whose interactions with Porfiry provide the most instantly quotable lines of the film and also Samantha Hill as Bella, the fragile editing assistant to Ciso who seeks to prove herself in both her profession and personal life. My personal highlight is Paz de la Huerta, however, who in her role as former actress Josephine steals near enough every scene she is in with a pout and whispery delivery.

Overall, The Editor feels like a group of film-makers and actors really hitting their stride and producing a thoroughly enjoyable and unique film despite its debts to giallo. What is also wonderful about Astron-6 is even though they heavily lean on and pay homage to other genres (in particular, bad VHS films) they always leave you feeling that you’ve seen something original, even though the trappings are familiar. My only complaint is having to wait to see it again and to show it to other people, so for the time being I’ll mainly be watching Breaking Santa and Inferno of the Dead on a loop. I suggest you do the same by going here.

Abertoir Day One

First off, Merchandise Monday will return next week.  Circumstances beyond my control (mainly my laptop and car being stolen) meant that there was no way I had time for an entry.  Still, things are slowly getting back on track so things will be back to normal.  Also this entry is two days late *slaps back of hand*.  So today I’ll be posting my personal highlights from Day One and Day Two of the Abertoir Horror Festival (website here) and then tonight it’ll be Day Three highlights, even though I’ve not seen any films as yet today.  So on with the highlights for Day One!

 

As mentioned before on the blog, the Abertoir Horror Festival this year is in honour of the wonderful Vincent Price, so it was only fitting to begin the festival with a screening of short The Pit and The Pendulum, followed by The House of the Long Shadows.  The House of the Long Shadows is perhaps best known for being the film where Vincent Price, Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing all appeared and interacted with one another in one film.  Sadly and surprisingly this is not available on DVD, although the reasons were unknown.  If anyone does know, please get in touch and let me know.  This was my favourite film of the day with some great lines such as Price’s “Don’t interrupt me when I’m soliloquising.”  It was also nice that the first film of the event actually concerned Wales…even if it wasn’t in the most flattering way.

 

Following this there was a debate on censorship, particularly concerning the BBFC.  All the more fitting since star of recently banned, then overturned film The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence), Laurence R. Harvey was a part of the panel.  He also stuck around for a Q&A after the film, in which he described his character Martin as a ‘problem solver’ and detailed how fun the shooting of the film was, meaning he had no idea how dark the material was until he saw it all put together.  Also on the panel was festival organiser Nia, researcher of the BBFC and extreme cinema Emma Pett and Martin Barker (who you may recognise from the Video Nasties documentary).  Barker began the debate by barging in, dressed as Mary Whitehouse, which meant that while there was a serious discussion it was also kept light and fun for the audience.  There are some attempts at photography below, although I’m still getting used to a new camera so the quality isn’t great unfortunately.

 

Mary Whitehouse interrupts proceedings

 

Laurence R Harvey, Nia and Martin Barker on the panel. Emma sadly off-screen.

 

It was in this discussion that I was convinced to stick around and watch The Human Centipede 2, despite being very cautious of the content.  You can read my review over at Altered Realities Radio by clicking on the picture below.

 

Also, follow me on Twitter (@caitd5) for more frequent, little updates.