A horror film shot in Margate and featuring vocalist and guitarist Annie Hardy, of cult indie grunge band Giant Drag, has premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in Canada and is due to be shown at the London Film Festival next month.
Dashcam, shot at sites including Margate’s Beano café, Dreamland and Café G, features Hardy as a pandemic denier breaking the rules in a 77 minute movie, which is a mix of political satire, horror and dark humour amid the covid backdrop.
The film is shot on iPhones by director Rob Savage – who also produced film Host – and the cast.
Hardy plays a caricature of herself – deliberately loud and provocative – while livestreaming a music show from a car. She boards a flight from LAX to travel to England despite restrictions in force to stay with pals El Stretcho – played by Amar Chadha-Patel, his live-in girlfriend -Jemma Moore. The supernatural action takes place – via the dashboard camera she uses to communicate with fans who tune in to watch her perform freestyle songs as she drives – after they kick her out, she steals their car and ends up transporting frail, mute woman Angela (Angela Enahoro).
Hardy stayed at Libertines hotel The Albion Rooms for five weeks during the pandemic. Two weeks were spent using the studios to record Giant Drag’s first new album in seven years, with the help of Jamie Reynolds, formerly of The Klaxons, who acted as producer.
The other three were with crew and cast of the movie.
Albion Rooms booking boss Dean Fragile is also Annie Hardy’s manager.
Dean, who manages five bands and also heads up events such as Totally Wired and Outatime, said: “Annie was with us in the hotel for five weeks, two doing the album and three filming.
“When I met Annie we just got on really well. She had a really bad time losing her baby, her husband and a friend and I had lost my dad and was fascinated with how she was so positive about life.”
Dean, who says he is going to take his mum to the Dashcam screening in London, said: “I’m so proud of this movie! Blair Witch Project was a game changer in horror. Dashcam is another one of those ground breaking moments.”
Now The Albion Rooms and Wasteland bar is back in normal operation with the lifting of restrictions Dean says there will be a packed programme of bands and DJs for people to enjoy.
Band member Carl Barat, with chef and restaurateur, Gizzi Erskine; partner and Cruel Hearts Club’s’ front woman Edie Langley, and music industry insider Ronnie Traynor, is also due to open LOVE café in Margate.
The cafe is at the old Black Cat site in Marine Gardens and is just one of two new venues that will open. The other, downstairs in the property, will be Carl and Edie’s new live music venue, ‘Justine’s,’. The sites are expected to open their doors late October/early November
Dashcam is due to be screened at The BFI London Film Festival next month.