Starburst International Film Festival

Starburst International Film Festival

Starburst International Film Festival

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Guest: Dez Skinn


A genuine titan of publishing, Dez Skinn is the reason we’re here. In 1977, he created STARBURST and went on to be head of Marvel UK, launching Doctor Who Weekly (now Monthly) – the longest-running TV tie-in magazine.

Whether it’s House of Hammer, MAD UK, Warrior, or Comics International, there’s a good chance if you’re of a certain age, you’ll have read Dez’s work. The multi-award-winning Warrior also introduced the ever-popular V for Vendetta.

Dez is an ever-entertaining raconteur who we’re always pleased to welcome home.

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: 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 MediaCity 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.

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: 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.

Note: all guests appear subject to work commitments. Guests may charge for autographs/photographs at their discretion.

Feature Film: REDWOOD


Director: Tom Paton. Starring: Nicholas Brendon, Tatjana Inez Nardone, Jessica-Jane Stafford.

After some bad news back at home, musician Josh and his girlfriend Beth head out to a secluded national park in search of some clarity on the situation they’ll face when they return. But the couple gets more than they bargained for when they ignore the advice of Park Rangers and venture off the trail, coming face to face with The Redwood’s legendary wildlife. REDWOOD brings a fresh spin to a well-worn mythology to create an edge of your seat horror movie that will shred your nerves and have you thinking twice about going camping again.

We screened Tom Paton’s previous film Pandorica at last year’s festival and it’s our great pleasure to have Redwood at the festival prior to its home entertainment release along with exclusive extracts from his upcoming film Black Site. Tom will be joining us on Friday, March 16th.






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 home video release. We will also be screening exclusive extracts from his upcoming film Black Site.

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


tom paton filmmaker

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.

Short Film: BLOOD SHED


Director: James Moran. Starring: Sally Phillips, Shaun Dooley, David Puckridge, Cat Davies.

Jack loves a bargain. And he loves sheds. When he buys suspiciously cheap second-hand parts to build his very own dream shed, he and long-suffering wife Helen find they’ve got more than they bargained for: a killer shed with an appetite for blood. As the body count rises, and the shed’s ferocious appetite grows, Jack is faced with a horrifying dilemma.

A gloriously fun and gore-laden homage to the EC comics-type stories of yesteryear. We’re also screening Connie, directed by co-writer Cat Davies.




Blood Shed trailer from James Moran on Vimeo.



Director: Jason Figgis. Starring: Bill Fellows, Bryan Murray, Cora Fenton, Darren Travers.

A grieving woman targets an architect as her delusions increase to a dangerous level.

We’re delighted to have another of Jason’s films screen at the festival. Last time, Don’t You Recognise Me? gained lead Darren Travers the Best Performance award. This relatable if terrifying tale is just as absorbing.


The Landing