(eX-Fest poster by Justin Miller of HaunteLove)
Yesterday Exhumed Films hosted their Second "eX-Fest" Event, the eX-Fest has become sorta of a companion piece to their famed "24 Hour Horror-thon" that takes place every October around Halloween Weekend.
I been anticipating this show since it was announced cause the very 1st eX-Fest (May of 2011) was a Mind Blowing mix of Obscure Movies that most people have never heard of ,and even had a hard time trying to track down any info on them after the event was over! Before I get into my recap of what I saw yesterday, here's a quick rundown of last year's line to give you an idea of how hight the bar was set with First eX-Fest!
2011's Show included "Cut-throats Nine" a 1972 Western, My favorite film of the day was "No Way Out" an Italian Revenge film from 1973 stared Alain Delon of "Le Samouraï", "The Face with Two Left Feet" which is hard to explain besides saying the main actor looked like John Travolta's Clone and the makers of the movie use that to their advantage in every way possible! Also featured was "Savage!" a Blaxploitation Movie via The Philippines, "Redneck Miller" which many people thought was the highlight of the show; "Five Fingers of Death", and to close out the show was the 70s Adult Version of "Cinderella"! That was a pretty stacked line up and I was sure how they were going to be able to top them self's this time around but I am very happy to report that they did and the show lived up to the HYPE!
The doors to show at the I-House were already open when I got there around 9:30 am, the ex-Fest Event was scheduled to start around 11am, but if you are about to spend 12+ sitting in a auditorium all day it's wise to get there early to make sure to get a Great seat and not just a seat. Even though this show was Sold-out much like the the "Horror-thon", the crowd waiting inside the I-house when I arrived was a lot smaller then what I am use to seeing on that October Morning . . . Not that I'm complaining mind you!
Getting there early and waiting in line is also a great way to catch up with friends I usually only see at other Exhumed shows or a local Horror Convention, I chatted it up with my buddy Scott, Sean, and Nick who I hung out with at Chiller most of Friday. You never know what movies you are going to see at these Fests but there's usually a schedule posted on the walls with a vague description of the movie that always leads to some fun guessing games that kill some time!
When the Exhumed Crew gave us our wristband and we were able to claim our seats I but my jacket towards the top row and went back out in the lobby to peruse the Diabolik DVD Table! Though I order off their website as much as I can, I always prefer grabbing my movies off them at these shows cause Joe and Jessie's witty remarks and recommendations are unmatched! I asked Joe to put aside "The Burning Moon" VHS that they received a small stock of and rather to put them on Ebay for $50 or more, they sold it to me for $20! While I was there I also picked up "Frightmare" that I first see at last year Horror-thon, "Dressed To Kill" on Blu-ray, and a VHS Clamshell of "The Nail Gun Massacre"!
My Friend Chris was running a tad late to the show but called me as he was done parking his car, I waited for him back in the lobby and he got there around the time the famed Exhumed Door Prizes!
The Wristbands that they give you at the door at the door have about 5 numbers on it, and if you number is called you win the prize. Prizes at past shows included Mondo Posters, DVDs, Shirts, and Tickets to the Hudson Horror Show. A Man by the name of James (didn't catch his last name) donated 6 Mondo Posters to give out as prizes, if you collect posters like I you know how hard these things are to come by! In the nine years I been going to these shows I never won anything by all that changed yesterday cause I my number was called out for this very awesome poster of William Lustig's "Vigilante"! Thank you James, I love all things Lustig and this will go very nicely next to my "Maniac" poster!
Soon after the show started, here's a look at what played at the 2nd eX-fest and my take on each film . . .
01: The No Mercy Man aka Trained to Kill (1973)
"The No Mercy Man" was a great way to kick off the show, it had tons of violence and was filled with familiar faces including Sid Haig and Rockne Tarkington!
The story is about a gang of Carnies who were in the midst of killing and raping a Family until their Son returning from the Vietnam War intervenes.
The movie did a really good job at fleshing out all the characters and had a some nice plot pacing, but the Vietnam/Combat Flash Backs our main character "Olie" suffer from were the best scenes of the movie. I want to own this on DVD, but below you re-watch the film's climax, it's Bloody Awesome! (Spoilers Obviously)
02: Fear Is The Key (1972)
I really wasn't sure where "Fear Is The Key" was heading story wise, I was in Awe of some of the driving stunts from the first act of the movie, but after things settled down from the Car Chase scene, I was having troubles following the plot. That's not to say the acting wasn't great though, besides Cult Star Barry Newman the movie also featured John Vernon, Dolph Sweet, and a young Ben Kingsley (with hair mind you!) When everything finally comes together in the third act I felt bad for having my doubts about it, and the end was about as high tension of an ending I ever seen!
03: The Man From Hong Kong (1975)
I first heard of "The Man From Hong Kong" from watching the documentary "Not Quite Hollywood". After watching N.Q.H. I made a list of all the movies featured on it that I wanted to see and "The Man From Hong Kong" was at the top of that but I wasn't able to track it down anywhere! Maybe it was for the better cause getting to watch it in 35mm with my friends only added to the how Bonkers this movie truly was! I loved seeing George Lazenby (of the criminally underrated On Her Majesty's Secret Service) play a sleazy Drug Lord and Jimmy Wang Yu as the title character was a total BadAss who came off overly silly at times . . . but not as silly as some of the Musical choices the movie featured (See below)
I was glad I finally got to see this one, it's wasn't as great as I was hoping for but still fun none-the-less!
04: Death Weekend (1976)
Chris and I headed to Chili's for some food and beers after "The Man From Hong Kong", so we returned to "Death Weekend" already in progress. From what I gathered it was a "Rape & Revenge" Film but since we came in late and didn't see any of the Rapes actually happen I looked at it as Five Guys who liked to drink a lot visited a Cabin and were killed by a Hot Lady who likes to set Shit on Fire! All kidding aside from what I seen looked pretty pitch-perfect for an R&R Film, so I got to track this one down to see the pivotal scenes I missed!
05: Wipeout! (Il Boss)
"Wipeout" staring Henry Silva starts out with a Frank Castle/The Punisher style Massacre of High Ranking Mafia Men in a Porno Theatre. . . From there I knew I was going to love this Film! Lanzetta (Silva) uses every crazy weapon in the book as a Hitman and his character says everything Deadpan and Lacking any sort of emotion you would think he was the prototype for the T-800! I didn't like this as much as "No Way Out" last year's Italian Revenge/Crime Drama, but this one had a lot humorous moment that I soon won't forget!
06: Vice Squad (1982)
Up to this point in the day I never seen any of the movies that were programed for eX-Fest 2, but the next film "Vice Squad" I've see about a dozen times. I heard rumblings that this was on the lineup and I my anticipation grew as the day went on!
Once the opening credits song "Neon Slime" hit the crowd ERUPTED! There's not much more I need to say about "Vice Squad" besides saying that seeing this in 35mm was a Dream Come True and the Print was Immaculate! Team
RamRod 4 Life!
Vice Squad (Trailer)
"Neon Slime" aka the Best Song Ever!
07: Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS (1975)
Much like last year's eX-Fest, things ended with a Sleze/Sex-Ploitation Film, but unlike "Cinderella", "Ilsa" is a lot more Notorious! A good amount people started to filtered out when the movie started, not sure if it's was because they were uncomfortable with what there were seeing or because it was close to Mid-night on a Sunday . . . Either I stayed cause I haven't see this one is quite some time, so it was a rare treat and a good movie to Close things on! When else was I going to get to see a 35mm Print of the She Wolf again? Probably Never!
Well that's the rundown of the 2012 Edition of the eX-Fest . . . A Very Special Thanks again to Joe, Harry, Dan, and Jessie for Running One Hell Of A Show As Always . . . Can't Wait How You Guys Top Yourselves Next Year!
- Tom Bryce