Free crap from the Sci-fi Film Festival

11th May 2008 – 11.15 am

I forgot to mention in my review of last week's Sci-fi Film Festival that I managed to get a handful of DVDs thrown or handed to me during the screenings. As I mentioned, the festival director, Louis Savy, introduced each film personally. During these short introductions a whole bunch of free goodies was thrown in to the audience, mostly consisting of DVDs, t-shirts and caps, but with the occasional more interesting item. There were also a few competitions of sorts where a question was asked and whoever thrust up their hand quickly enough and answered the question correctly won something a bit more special, including Archos media players and a few Xbox 360 consoles.

I wasn't in a screening where an Xbox was given away, but an Archos player could have been mine during the screening for Chrysalis. The question we were given was 'When is Chrysalis set?', to which I was quite tempted to answer 'the future', but I resisted the urge to be my literal, flippant self. The answer is, of course, the year 2020. Even so, I managed to act like a DVD magnet and attract a fair few free DVDs, even if the first one I caught was ripped from my hands by someone sitting in the row behind me in a bizarre display of selfishness.

The first DVD I snagged was Phantasm II, which we thought was a sneaky way to get people to buy the first DVD in the set. This view was reinforced when the next DVD I got was Phantasm III, although that DVD was apparently accidentally left behind in the cinema when we left for the night. I also got volume 11 of the TV show The Professionals, although I don't think that programme relies so much on knowing what came before it, even if it is still an odd choice to give away.

Other DVDs thrown my way were Number One, starring Bob Geldof as a snooker hall hustler in a British hustler film, and Messages, a supernatural thriller with the enticing tag line of 'victims are crying out from the grave but the only one who hears them may be their killer'. I got two more DVDs from the MST3K all-nighter goodie bag given out to everyone who attended the screening. I got the anime Cashan: Robot Hunter as a two-disc deluxe set, which contains the original Japanese four-part series on one disc and the American film edit on the other, and a three-part miniseries called The Triangle, which could be interesting.

I haven't done particularly well in watching any of the DVDs that have been gathered from previous Sci-fi Film Festivals. One of them is Witchcraft starring David Hasselhoff, and I'm not sure if it's going to be simply awful or hilariously crap, but appear to be too chicken to find out by myself. Just about everyone who attended a screening in one year got Maniac Cop 2 that although stars Bruce Campbell and therefore cannot be all bad also has the tag line 'You have the right to remain silent... ...FOREVER', which hints at there being a touch of cheese to the film.

Maybe there are some films here that are best inflicted on a group of friends, and will be played at future film nights.

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