Starburst International Film Festival

Starburst International Film Festival

Starburst International Film Festival

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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.






Short Film: Hell’s Bells

Hell’s Bells

Director: Luke Jeffery. Starring: Magda Cassidy, Charlie Coldfield, Richard Feltham, Marie Cassidy.

Morris dancing: quirky British pastime or sinister secret society? Hell’s Bells explores the dark underbelly of this ancient folk tradition.

Made with the support of Creative England via the BFI NET.WORK.

Continuing the ‘folk horror’ tradition of the likes of The Wicker Man and The Blood on Satan’s Claw, this quirky short lifts the lid on the evils of one of Britain’s strangest traditions.




Hell's Bells short film

Short Film: FTL


Director: Adam Stern. Starring: Ty Olsson, Aliyah O’Brien, Karin Konoval. 

A lone astronaut testing the first faster-than-light spacecraft travels farther than he imagined possible.

A breathtakingly emotional space ride with dazzling effects and true heart. The second film by Adam Stern, who was nominated for an Emmy for his work on Almost Human and was VFX supervisor on dozens of shows and films with Artifex Studios.




Short Film: The Stay

The Stay

Director: Frazer Lee. Starring: Daniela Finley.

A young woman checks into a secluded holiday cottage and discovers that some vacations stay with you… forever.

A creepy and claustrophobic chiller much in the vein of the classic Tales of the Unexpected series, which draws you in and doesn’t let you go.

the stay poster




Short Film: Bragging Rights!

Bragging Rights!

Director: James Atkins. Starring: Nikolas Salmon, Marcus Massey, Francesca Louise White, Clare Aster.

Three superhero housemates try to out brag each other with their accomplishments.

Much in the fashion of the famous ‘Four Yorkshiremen’ sketch originally performed on At Last the 1948 Show (but made immortal by Monty Python), this is a fun low-key ‘behind the scenes’ look at superheroes.



bragging rights posterBragging Rights! Behind the scenes

Short Film: CONNIE


Director: Cat Davies. Starring: Catrin Stewart, David Puckridge.

Wannabe stand-up Dolly Diggs suffers from stage fright. To overcome her fear, she plans to become a ventriloquist and thinks she’s found just the puppet to help. Enter bold, brassy, sassy and sickening, the sequinned killer under two feet tall, Connie. But Connie is no ordinary puppet… She’s a living doll. As Dolly and Connie take the London comedy scene by storm, Connie begins to take over Dolly’s life. Meeting fellow ventriloquist, Ollie Bloom, Dolly is encouraged to leave Connie behind and go solo, making it a supernatural bitch fight to the end.

A comedy horror with a foul-mouthed, loud-mouthed, felt-mouthed star.

Connie has already taken festivals worldwide by storm so we’re pleased to have her on our schedule and making her Northern Regional Premiere. Producer James Moran (writer of Cockneys vs Zombies and Doctor Who) and director Cat have also released their latest short Blood Shed, which we’ll also be screening.




The Landing