For 2015, Cine-Excess IX considered the extent to which the cult image acts as an uncomfortable mirror of wider social concerns with this year’s theme ‘Historical Trauma, Hysterical Texts: Cult Film in Times of Crisis.’ With concerns about radicalization, government monitoring of digital communication and increasing crack downs on public protest occupying the media, this year’s conference encompassed a wide range of papers which address how cult cinema reflects these issues. Panels at this year’s Cine-Excess included explorations of the trauma of the surveyed mind-set, the zombie as a metaphor for social disintegration, the legislation of the pornographic body and many more.This year’s featured director is Canadian film-maker William Fruet. Best known to children of the 1980s as a director of the majority of the TV series Goosebumps (1995-1998), which is about to enjoy a big screen remake, Fruet made is name in the 1970s and early 80s as a director of low budget thrillers including Wedding in White (1972), Search and Destroy (1979) and Cries in the Night a.k.a Funeral Home (1980).
At this year’s festival, we were delighted to be showing his 1976 classic slasher film Death Weekend (a.k.a The House by the Lake) with the director joining us for a skype Q&A after the screening on Thursday 12th November between 6.30pm-8pm. Cine-Excess IX also welcomed a comic book strand into the fold this year, in association with the University’s annual festival celebrating sequential art: Graphic Brighton. This inclusion is not only because increasing numbers of films are adapted from this medium – including overlooked gems such as Dellamorte Dellamore (1994), G-Men from Hell (2000) and A History of Violence (2005) – but because of the effect that comic books have had as an influence on cult cinema and entertainment as a whole. Our comic book guest of honour is writer Pat Mills, a veteran of the British comics industry since the early 1970s, Mills is best known as the co-founder of “The Galaxy’s Greatest Comic”, 2000AD (1977-present) and wrote the first instalment of Judge Dredd as well as creating such memorable strips as Nemesis the Warlock (1980-2001), Sláine (1983-present) and ABC Warriors (1979-present).