Since his first film in 1969, the ‘documentary’ Mondo Sex, Sergio Martino has enthralled genre lovers, directing some of the best loved genre films of the 1970s and 80s – from the giallo, to the Western, to the police thriller. Known for his frequent collaborations with actors such as Edwige Fenech and George Hilton and screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi, Martino is a vital part of our love of fantastic cinema.
Lamberto Bava cut his teeth working on the set of his father’s films (Mario Bava), providing surely the best foundation for a career in filmmaking, covering such classics as Planet of the Vampires, Danger: Diabolik, A Bay of Blood and Shock. Responsible for one of the best Italian horror films – Demons – in addition to a plethora of gialli and thrillers for cinema and television, Bava has also worked on some of the best of Italian genre cinema as assistant director and screenwriter. While his work covers many different genres, nonetheless he is most known around the world for his work in horror, and giallo films such as A Blade in the Dark, Body Puzzle and Delirium. His most famous film, the eternal crowd-pleaser Demons, is also screening at the festival and we are delighted to be welcoming him to Abertoir for a discussion on the legacy of his father and his own extensive contribution to Italian cult cinema.
Stephen Thrower is an acknowledged world authority on horror movies, being the author of such tomes as Nightmare USA: The Untold Story of the Exploitation Independents, Murderous Passions: The Delirious Cinema of Jesus Franco and Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci. As well as his work on horror films, Stephen Thrower is an accomplished musician, a former member of Coil, his current musical project is the band Cyclobe.
Brian O’Malley has previously direct short films and commercials for Ireland’s Red Rage. He made his feature debut in 2014 with Let Us Prey, starring Pollyanna McIntosh and Liam Cunningham. O’Malley’s latest film is The Lodgers, which premiered at TIFF in September 2017.
Peter Stray was born in Swansea and trained as an actor in London. He has written and directed 4 shorts, 2 acclaimed web series (Downstage Confessions and Secludio) and has written several original screenplays. He also writes, directs and edits scenes for ReelArc in New York, as well as working as a freelance screenwriter and script-doctor. As an actor he has appeared in Lost, Mystery Of Matter and has recently shot two indie projects awaiting release. He divides his time between east coast USA and the UK, and currently has two other projects in development.
From Lower Cwmtwrch, Craig Russell is an actor, writer and producer with over 20 years’ industry experience, from regular roles in soap operas and dramas to award-winning indie movies and big budget features. He has written and produced numerous short films that have screened all over the world, a critically acclaimed web series voted in the top three funniest things on the internet and a children’s drama for the BBC. He is currently developing two sitcoms and lives in Cornwall.
For the past 25 years Kevin McCurdy has worked all over the world as one of our most respected fight directors and stage combat teachers. From Hollywood feature films to award winning television dramas, commercials and music videos to short films and soap operas. His work on the stage has seen him ply his trade with every major theatre company in the UK including the RSC, the Globe Theatre, Theatre Clwyd, the National Theatre as well as numerous West End venues.
Richard Mylan is one of Wales’ most recognisable faces following regular roles in such diverse TV shows as Where The Heart Is, Bad Girls, Wild West, Doctors, Coupling, Grown Ups and Waterloo Road, not to mention his numerous stage appearances. He is an ambassador and patron for several charities including Autism Puzzles, Snap Cymru and Active For Autism.
Ceri played the role of Selwyn Rees. By day Ceri is a respected Microbiologist. By night he’s a husband and father of two. He also happens to be Craig’s cousin which means that whether he wanted to be or not, he’s in the film.
Phillip Escott is a producer/director from Wales and the co-founder of Independent production company 441 Films. He co-wrote and directed of the acclaimed British horror film Cruel Summer and is an avid fan of cult cinema. Phillip has produced a number of documentaries and featurettes for boutique distribution labels such as Arrow Video, Eureka Entertainment, Severin Films and 88 Films.
Aled Pugh is best known for his role as Bobby in Ruth Jones’ long running Sky One comedy drama Stella. His other many television appearances include My Family, Primeval, Ordinary Lies, The Secret World of Michael Fry, Y Pris, Hinterland and Alys. He won the BAFTA Cymru Best Actor award for his role as Ryan Davies in Ryan and Ronnie. He and Canaries producer Craig Russell are currently developing a stage show with TV survival expert Ray Mears entitled Good.
Sarah Thomas is Lecturer in Media and Film in the School of Arts at the University of Liverpool. She has published the monograph Peter Lorre - Face maker: Stardom and Performance in Hollywood and Europe (Berghahn Books 2012) and the edited collection Cult Film Stardom: Offbeat Attractions and Processes of Cultification (Palgrave Macmillan 2012). Forthcoming in 2018 is a monograph for the BFI Film Stars series on James Mason. Sarah’s current research areas concentrate on film industry production and history, the labour status of voiceover actors in the gaming industry (in the context of wider film industry unionisation histories), the transnational history of Cannon Film Group, and analyses of character actors and ensemble casts.
Russ is a familiar face to most regular Abertoir attendees. A Senior Lecturer in Film & Television at Northumbria University specialising in European horror cinema, popular Italian genre cinema and film reception, he is obviously well suited to contribute his knowledge to the festival. A mine of information on cult cinema, he has published in numerous film encyclopaedias, books and reference guides, spoken at many festivals and conferences and generally been the one person to ensure you have on your team in our pub quiz.
Nicko and Joe
Nicko and Joe have been confusing, disturbing and delighting audiences with their unique brand of comedy since 2004. Their infectious enthusiasm on stage and twisted creativity in their writing has resulted in many comparisons being made to other artists. These range from the surreal group 'They Might be Giants' to 'Trey Parker and Matt Stone', creators of South Park.
As well as their live shows they already have three CD's under their belt, "Geek by Proxy", "Wallpaper" and "Auld Tartan Fudge Box", the latter proving that Joe should never be allowed to name the CDs.
Gavin Baddeley is an English writer specialising in the devilish and decadent, Gothic and macabre, with a special interest in the darker fringes of history. In addition to penning numerous books in these areas, he’s written for numerous, diverse periodicals and newspapers, ranging from The Observer and Knave, to Metal Hammer and Medieval History magazine. While researching his first book, Lucifer Rising, Baddeley was made an honorary priest by the 20th century’s leading Satanist, San Francisco’s ‘Black Pope’ Anton LaVey, and has subsequently made numerous media appearances and advised sundry bodies as a leading expert on the dark arts. He has also made annually appearing at Abertoir part of his varied career, so let's hope evil keeps giving him plenty more topics to share with us.
Dellamorte is a DJ who has been involved in more scenes and genres than we can reasonably list here. From Northern soul nights to being co-founder of long-running London breakbeat night Rocksteady, to lighting up late night radio as part of cult electronica trio Codex Machine. He runs multi-genre Internet radio station Barricade Radio and is a member of drum & bass crew The Urban Warfare Crew, and DJs at the local Swing City parties. He will be brining his unparalleled digging and selecting skills to Abertoir this year to celebrate the incredible music of the giallo.