Tobe Hooper was the star attraction this year and the first film of the day was his debut feature 'Eggshells', set in the Austin of 1969. Very much of its time, the kindest thing one can say about this is that it is a student effort which shows some promise amongst one hell of a lot of rubbish.
Switching to the Discovery Screen for the second film of the day produced 'The Clinic', another Australian effort directed by
James Rabbitts whose first film this is. Aided by a strong cast led by Tabrett Bethell, he has produced a fine effort with a
strong but simple story. Pregnant women are drugged, taken to a deserted abattoir, given a Caesarean to remove the foetus,
and then killed with the babies sold to couples who want healthy children. The horror is created by the attempts of the few
women there trying to escape, in no small part thwarted by one of their number who has been promised freedom if she is the only one of the current intake to survive. A nice twist at the end which I shall not reveal. No pyrotechnics but a solidly made
and effective film.
'Finale' directed by John Michael Elfers was also on the Discovery Screen. A mother refuses to believe her son committed suicide and investigates his death which starts to threaten both her sanity and her daughters' life. Creepy and confused but
not memorable (after the three weeks since Frightfest I had trouble recalling the film).
'Wound' directed by David Blyth was the third Discovery Screen film of the day, a shocker from New Zealand, and this was a really confusing mess of a film.
'F' helmed by Johanne Roberts had its World Premiere today in the main auditorium. Set in a 6th Form College, it deals with
the events of one evening following an opening sequence in which David Schofield, the lead, is attacked by a student whose
work has been marked F for failed. The consequences of this when the School Board do not back him (you do not fail pupils but tell them to try harder next time to avoid being sued by irate parents) are his gradual disintegration and the break-up of his marriage. On the evening in question, he has put his daughter in detention (the only false note in the film is that this is happening after 6.00pm) when the school is invaded by faceless youths who proceed to main and kill. Schofield is forced to
react to save his daughter which he does though, again, there is a final twist which leaves his efforts in question. A fine effort all round.