Starburst Media City Festival

Starburst Media City Festival

Starburst Media City Festival

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Feature Film: American Guinea Pig: Song of Solomon

Dir. Stephen Biro, USA, 85 mins

Following on from the infamous Japanese Guinea Pig movies of the ‘80s, the American Guinea Pig series has brought a new range of exciting extreme horror into the modern era. STARBURST International Film Festival is proud to present the UK premiere of the third entry in the series, Song of Solomon, an exorcism movie unlike any that has come before it. With a cast including cult icons Jessica Cameron and Jim Van Bebber, brace yourself for authentic exorcism rituals with 100% practical effects and lashings of gore.

Film Gutter says: The second American Guinea Pig movie, Bloodshock, is a masterclass in modern extreme cinema, and I can’t wait to see what the series has to offer next. If you’re sick and tired of the lame Hollywood takes on the exorcism, Song of Solomon is going to be the perfect antidote. While the series as a whole has never shied away from visceral content – and there’s no exception here – that is always complemented with clever film-making and a great understanding of the horror audience.  It’s a real privilege to be able to present this movie to a UK audience for the first time as well.

Guest: Brian Gorman

Brian Gorman: ‘ONE MAN BOND: Every Bond Film In 60 Minutes’

Brian Gorman is a Manchester-based writer, artist and performer. His new one-man show, ONE MAN BOND: Every Bond Film In 60 Minutes covers over half a century of the cinematic 007, and every one of the 24 official James Bond movies. From Sean Connery in Dr No through to Daniel Craig in Spectre, Brian will bring to life classic scenes involving Goldfinger, Scaramanga, Blofeld, Max Zorin, Red Grant, M, Q, Moneypenny, and hundreds more.

Brian is a life-long Bond fan, having read all the Ian Fleming novels as a child in the 1970s, and seeing every movie dozens of times. His recent published work includes the graphic novels EVERYMAN: A Celebration of Patrick McGoohan & The Prisoner (adapted from his stage play, and also available as an audio drama on CD), and BORDERLINERS: True Realities (Invisible Six Publishing). His highly-acclaimed stage play, NEW DAWN FADES: A Play About Joy Division and Manchester has toured nationally for the last 4 years, and played to capacity audiences and standing ovations. He is currently drawing a new graphic novel, ANIMUS, written by SM Worsey, and due to be published this autumn.


‘ONE MAN BOND’ is written abd performed by Brian Gorman, directed by Ronny Worsey, and produced by Invisible Six Ltd.

Brian Gorman signs books at Portmeirion 2016 Brian Gorman launches 'Everyman' at Portmeirion 2017 Brian Gorman at Number Six's home in Portmeirion Brian Gorman Borderliners

Guest: Rob Sellers


Rob is an author and writer of several biographies of some of the biggest icons in cinema including Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Sigourney Weaver, and Tom Cruise. His popular book Hellraisers: The Life and Inebriated Times of Burton, Harris, O’Toole, and Reed has been adapted into a graphic novel.

Rob will be discussing The Battle for Bond, based on his controversial book that covers the infamous Ian Fleming plagiarism trail over the production of Thunderball and outcome that resulted in the ‘remake’ Never Say Never Again – well known not to be an official film in the Bond canon.

A fascinating chap, Rob also published books on Lew Grade’s ITC production company and Handmade Films (who made Life of Brian and Withnail and I) and we’re looking forward to hearing from him.

Guest: Vic Armstrong


Vic is a world-renowned stuntman and stunt coordinator, who has appeared and worked on some of the greatest films of all time and some of the most iconic genre offerings.

Among his filmography is several stints in James Bond films – including On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, You Only Live Twice and Live and Let Die (in which he doubled for the late Sir Roger Moore). He doubled for Christopher Reeve in Superman: The Movie and Superman II and Harrison Ford in the first three Indiana Jones movies and in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.  How often can you get to meet someone who was Bond, Indiana Jones, Superman AND Han Solo?

We’re delighted to have Vic with us discussing his varied career.

Check out this showreel of just some of the films Vic has worked on:

Find out more about Vic at

Vic Armstrong with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Taurus award

Feature Film: Melancholie Der Engel (2009)


Dir. Marian Dora, Germany, 158 mins

One of the most renowned extreme horror films of all time, delivered by one of the genre’s most elusive directors, Melancholie Der Engel is a brutal exploration of the nightmares that mankind can unleash upon itself. The story follows two old friends – one of whom is dying – who meet by chance and the two women who gravitate towards their nihilistic orbit. When the four return to a place the two friends knew well, far from civilised society, all limits are removed and nothing is too taboo…

Film Gutter says: For all its beautiful shots and a powerful message about the human condition, Melancholie Der Engel features some of the most disturbing scenes ever captured on film and covers practically every filmic – and indeed social – taboo. That is all part of what makes Melancholie both so loved and hated, depending on your viewpoint, of course. To its detractors, it is a vile piece of exploitation – to its many fans, a gloriously original, energetic and incredibly crafted masterpiece that pushes far beyond the usual boundaries. In my eyes, this is one of the best transgressive films ever put on celluloid and a must-see for anyone who considers themselves an extreme horror fan.

Feature Film: Revisiting Melancholie Der Engel

Dir. Magnus Blomdahl, Sweden, 60 mins

In 2009, Marian Dora’s Melancholie Der Engel horrified and fascinated viewers in equal measure. A perennial feature on ‘most disturbing film’ lists, this enigmatic and transgressive film from an infamous and reclusive director has carved out a place in extreme horror folklore. Revisiting Melancholie Der Engel is a unique documentary exploring this singular film, looking at the places, stories and processes behind its production.

Film Gutter says: Anyone familiar with Melancholie Der Engel will know that is is a complex, dense piece of film-making that isn’t instantly easy to unpack – and that’s before we come to the more outlandish, shocking content featured with the movie. As such, Magnus Blomdahl’s Revisiting Melancholie Der Engel is a much-warranted deeper look at one of the most talked about features of all time, and a rare chance to hear more from Marian Dora himself – rarely interviewed and practically never seen in public – about his ideas and working process. It’ll also be a great complement to Melancholie itself, whether it’s a movie you’re already familiar with or not.


Feature Film: Scrapbook (2000)

SCRAPBOOK (Unrated), 2000

Dir. Eric Stanze, USA, 95 mins

When Clara finds herself abducted by deranged serial killer Leonard, a twisted trial ensues that will test her endurance to the limits. Will Clara find herself just another entry in Leonard’s scrapbook, or can she triumph in a game where survival is the only victory she can achieve? Eric Stanze’s movie has been stunning audiences for nearly twenty years and remains an impactful, powerful piece. Starburst International Film Festival will be presenting the full unrated cut – not for the faint of heart!

Film Gutter says: In a subgenre that has become tired and overloaded, Scrapbook was – and remains – a breath of fresh air. Grimly realistic, utterly believable and completely unflinching, this is one of the best serial killer features you’ll ever see, only enhanced by its more extreme content. The two lead actors have an incredible chemistry that really lifts this above the usual ‘trap and torture’ feature. I’m delighted to be able to present the unrated cut here at SIFF, which is far superior the very severely censored 18 version you’d be able to get hold of elsewhere.

Guest: Jörg Buttgereit


The controversial director will be joining us for the whole weekend and will be taking part in a Q&A introduction for his classic piece of extreme cinema Nekromantik (1987).

Jörg Buttgereit, born 1963 in Berlin, has been called a ‘Tash Poet’, ‘Punk Surrealist’ and ‘Underground Icon’ by the press. He is the director and author of arthouse-horror-movies (Nekromantik, Der Todesking, Schramm), TV- documentaries (Monsterland, Into the night with…), stageplays (Captain Berlin versus Hitler, Gabba Gabba Hey! – The Ramones musical) and radio dramas (Green Frankenstein, Sexmonster!). He also works as a film journalist for books and magazines.

Away from the extreme side of things, Jörg directed an episode of TV series Lexx in 1999.

We’re delighted to have Jörg with us to give us an insight into his work.

Feature Film: Nekromantik (1987)

NEKROMANTIK (18), 1987
Dir. Jörg Buttgereit, Germany, 75 mins

One of the most infamous of the ‘video nasties’, Nekromantik follows a love triangle between young lovers Rob and Betty and a corpse that Rob steals from his work as a ‘cleaner’. However, the third party in their relationship soon leads to difficulties between the couple, and terrible consequences in turn…

Transgressive, shocking and artistic, Nekromantik is a cinema experience not to be missed for any fan of extreme horror. Still banned in numerous counties, the movie was finally approved uncut by the BBFC in 2014 and is brought to you in all its glory today.

The movie will be preceded by a Q+A with director Jörg Buttgereit, in conversation with Film Gutter writer and reviewer Alex Davis.
Film Gutter says: For all of its disturbing subject matter – and some truly shocking visuals – Nekromantik remains a strangely beautiful movie. It’s a darkly hypnotic piece, and the title is perfect – there’s an unusual air of romance that sits alongside the necrophilia aspect of the film. It’s the kind of adventurous, dangerous, low-budget feature that was a hallmark of the era and it’ll be a pleasure to welcome Jorg to talk about the film – his output throughout the #80s and again more recently has been fascinating, and this one is an essential for any lover of cult horror.


Guest: Tom Paton


Filmmaker Tom Paton came onto our radar with his debut movie Pandorica, which we screened at the 2016 STARBURST International Film Festival. We’re delighted to have Tom with us with his follow-up film, Redwood. As well as directing both movies, Tom also wrote and edited them. Redwood will be screened in its new theatrical cut, prior to the film’s official release.

We’ve been lucky to have set visits to both of Tom’s films, and have featured them heavily in the print edition of the magazine.


tom paton filmmaker