The Ingress Tapes and Dead Celebrities are both witty, engaging and at times disturbing pieces and are effective for their conciseness. With their tight running times and often dream-like, art house aesthetic, Michael Fausti’s works act like a short sharp adrenaline shot.
‘There’s a few things I’d like to get off my mind before I go’ confesses the deep voice of an unseen man with a South London accent. Before us is a desk with three objects laid out on its surface; a reel to reel tape recorder, a telephone and an ashtray. In The Ingress Tapes we will hear the detailed and confessional musings of an unidentified criminal but intriguingly neither they nor their interviewer are ever identified, a detail which adds to the film’s overall atmosphere of ambiguity. It would appear that the tapes are first-hand accounts of a catalogue of brutal and shocking crimes.
“Fantasy, confession or evidence?”
Meet Mick, he’s a psychopath who wants to be famous and he’s found a way of achieving his dream – but Mick is no ordinary killer, he knows a secret. A secret he shares with Elvis Presley, Jim Morrison, Judy Garland, and other dead celebrities.
Dead Celebrities is misleading, with the narrator Mick seeming like he has a fetish for dead celebrities, or at the least, a conspiracy theorist with his tales of a get famous quick scheme. However, as the story unfolds there are attempts to make his tale seem credible.
“Who doesn’t want to be famous?”
This November, Indicator returns to Hammer’s vaults to compile the much-anticipated fourth volume in their limited edition box set series devoted to the iconic British film production company, Hammer Volume Four: Faces of Fear, and seeks out an often-overlooked entry in late-60s British cinema, Joseph Losey’s dark melodrama Secret Ceremony (1968), starring Hollywood superstars Elizabeth Taylor, Mia Farrow and Robert Mitchum.
“They are the lurking unseen evil you dare not face alone!”
Tattoo artist Bob has just found out he has Parkinson’s – a disease that will end his life long career. With the clock ticking, he has become obsessed with creating one final masterpiece before his body deteriorates. Just then he meets Katia, a young Polish woman with perfect, unblemished, untouched skin. He needs his final canvas, so he offers Katia a free tattoo; his final work-of-art. However, Katia likes the skin she is in and rejects his offer. The two characters collide in Bob’s tattoo parlour, with Katia’s life set to be turned on its head, in this exciting tale of creativity corrupted by madness.
“His masterpiece. Her body.”
Insecure fashion photographer Adrian decides he has had enough rejection, ridicule, and being ignored. He decides to get his revenge by concocting a photoshoot with several of the attractive models who abused him. Only in this photoshoot it’s survival of the fittest, as he pits girl against girl in more and more extreme scenarios until all of them are dead! But this demented photographer is in for a surprise… Six Hot Chicks in a Warehouse promises lots of brutal action and gore, as one man’s sick fantasy for revenge turns into a bloody, all-female fighting tournament!
“A bloody knockout.”
On 28 October, Indicator presents long-overdue Blu-ray premieres of four powerful and uncompromising films. First, two worldwide Blu-ray premieres: the tense Brit noir Time Without Pity (1957); and the epic Young Winston (1972). Next, two UK premiere editions: Badge 373 (1973), directed by Howard Koch, is based on the life of New York detective Eddie Egan; and award-winning director Alan Parker’s Birdy (1984).
“A gun in his sock, a tire iron in his belt, and no badge. The story of Eddie. The best ex-cop in the business.”
On 23 September, Indicator shines a light on a quartet of outstanding, yet little-seen films which star some of Britain’s most celebrated acting talent. First, Alberto Cavalcanti’s classic They Made Me a Fugitive (1947); secondly, Michael Winner’s The System (1964); next, Indicator proudly present their second world Blu-ray premiere – the fascinating sixties drama 90° in the Shade (1965); and last but by no means least, Indicator present another long-overdue UK Blu-ray premiere – Matthew Chapman’s Hussy (1980).
“Gangway for gangland’s blazing guns!”
Shed of the Dead is a zombie thriller, from director Drew Cullingham. One part Shaun of the Dead and one part 28 Days Later, the film follows two slackers, who whittle their days away playing Dungeons & Dragons, painting figurines, and dreaming of their fantasy hero, the battle mage Casimir the Destroyer. As life pressures build up for Trevor and his agoraphobic friend Graham, events take an unexpected turn, when the undead turn up in their little gardening spot. Now, it is a fight for survival, in a real zombie apocalypse – this May!
“An unlikely hero’s tale of blood, sweat, and shears!”
Joe Ahearne is a British writer and director whose TV miniseries The Replacement was shown on the BBC in 2017 to a warm reception. I caught up with him to chat about this and his other project, the horror/thriller film called B&B.
“This was the first time I’d written something where I was determined that the gay guys were absolutely going to be the stars, and it was sort of a genre piece as well. I was definitely interesting in doing something that had some kind of fantasy or horror.”
B&B takes as its inspiration a court case that received quite widespread publicity about six years ago for being the sort of thing that makes you go, “seriously, in this day and age?” The set-up is that a homosexual couple have fought and won a court case against a bed and breakfast that discriminated against them by refusing them a double room – a legal battle which really did take place and which was eventually decided in the Supreme Court, because there seems to be a disappointing abundance of legal funding for bigoted wankers.
“They made their bed… Now they have to die in it.”
The word ‘Epic’ has recently been devalued and just used to mean something that is striking or enjoyable, but the correct meaning of the word indicated narratives in the ‘Epic’ mould – those which surpass the ordinary in scale and reach heroic proportions – this applies to films too. I’m taking a look at some of the truly Epic movies from the early 1980s that showed extraordinary ambition in their story and spectacle.