The Devil Made Them Do It . . .
(Poster courtesy of Haunt Love)
For 15 years Exhumed Films has been putting together amazing 35mm screenings all over the tri-state area and "The 24 Hour Horror-thon" (now in it's 6th year) has become their Super Bowl of sorts!
Attending this show (along with the Chiller Expo in New Jersey the night before) has become a Halloween weekend tradition for myself and a few friends. I left Parsippany, NJ around six in the morning so I had time to stop home for a bit. I didn't want to miss any of the show due to traffic or weather. Remember the snow from last year?
You could feel the anticipation in the air as you walked up to the iHouse. I got there around 10 AM and it was already a packed house of people waiting to get inside the theater!
Before I headed to the back on the line I went over to the Diabolikdvd table. I had a few Scream Factory Blu-ray releases ("Terror Train" and "The Funhouse") on hold and of course I couldn't help myself from buying a few others!
Halloween 4, Terror Train, The Funhouse, The Boogens, and also Demon Queen
Joseph Gervasi (1/4 of Exhumed and 1/2 of Diabolik) asked if I minded lending a hand getting everyone with tickets their wristbands. I was honored to help and it made the wait for the show go a lot faster!
After getting inside I picked a seat way up top on the far right. I planned on staying the whole event so an aisle seat was key for my long legs. It also helped that I was able to find one right near my Colonial Theatre buddies Chuck, Zach and the not yet arrived Glen and Alicia!
(The Calm Before The Storm)
Below are the 15 movies and 1 short that played including the hints given for each film for the "guess the most films correct" contest and some thoughts on each one:
001: The Gate (1987)
Hint: "An appropriately demonic movie to kick off Horror-thon Part 666"
Wow! I was happy when I saw that "The Gate" was the first movie, but also a little worried . . . It has been awhile since I last viewed the movie. I was afraid it wouldn't hold up to the memories I had watching it on cable so many times as a kid. Well "The Gate" did and didn't, but overall it was a good time. Watching the movie with a crowd I never realized how cheesetastic this film was. Good movie to start the day off.
02: Q: The Winged Serpent (1982)
Hint: "Giant monster movie, though not necessarily the type you might expect"
"Q" was another great pick for "the monster movie". This was only the second time seeing "Q" and I forgot how bizarre it was. Then again it's a Larry Cohen film so that goes without saying!
003: Driller Killer (1979)
Hint: "Sleazy 70s psychotic/sorta -slasher cinema"
I tried many times to get threw this one over the years, but always failed because I would get bored about 15 minutes in. Well Saturday I finally watched the whole thing and was glad I succeeded! It's everything you could ask for in a sleazy film and the "acting" was way out there.
P.S. I need someone out there to rip me this soundtrack!
004: XTRO (1983)
Hint: "Well regarded, nasty little horror/sci-fi oddity"
About half way into this one I went and grabbed some food, chatted with Dan Tabor (Geekadelphia) and Josh of "Lunchmeat VHS". Part of me needed a break and aside from the creature effects in the first 20 minutes I couldn't get into it. Maybe some other time. Josh had a table set up there. I picked up a few VHS tapes and stickers from him. Awesome meeting you man!
Thriller, Old School Wrestling, and Slayground!
* Right after XTRO the short film "The Captured Bird" played!
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005: Halloween III: Season of the Witch
Hint: "One of the most divisive horror films of all time - wait for the title screen, then sit back and enjoy or take the opportunity to catch some dinner"
I just caught this two weekends ago at The Colonial but I still stayed in my seat bcause I love the movie that much! There were some groans and "this movie sucks" said aloud when the title first came up, but (for the most part) everyone stayed!
006: Suspira (1977)
Hint: "Euro-Horror Classic"
What can I say about this classic that hasn't already been said? I'll just add that this was a joy to see in 35mm for the first time. The opening kill never looked better!
007: C.H.U.D. (1984)
Hint: "Cannibal movie, though not necessarily the type you might expect"
I love this movie . . . Hell I even nicknamed my cat Dexter "C.H.U.D." because of all the pics I have of him with glowing eyes, but I used this time to chat with friends, such as an old co-worker of mine named Adam, Glen and Jimmy (aka Doctor Terror) in the lobby for about an hour. That's one of the great things about coming to these shows, you can always take a break from the movies and have just as much (if not more) fun shooting the shit with friends.
Dexter the C.H.U.D.
008: Night of 1000 Cats (1972)
Hint: "Bizzaro horror/exploitation rarity directed by a infamous foreign filmmaker"
The movie of the night and maybe my favorite film I have ever seen at Exhumed, except for last year's "Night Warnings" (aka "Nightmaremaker")
The plot (and I use that word loosely) was as follows: What if you took "The Most Interesting Man in the World/Dos Equis guy", gave him a pit of a 1000 cats (that he feeds people to) and make him all creepy while riding a helicopter around town spying on girls. Best shit ever. Just watch this clip . . .
009: Vampire Night Orgy (1974)
Hint: "Sexy Vampire having Sexy Sexy"
By this time it was 2am and since I got up Saturday around 5:30 in the morning to leave from the Chiller Con I was starting to fell blah, so I took a nap in one of the rooms set up for such.
I did catch up to the point where Jack Taylor, who played "Professor Brown" in "Pieces" showed up.
010: The Hidden (1987)
Hint "Fun, underrated sci-fi/action movie"
I got back down to my seat just as the New Line Logo popped up. I'm embarrassed to say I have never even heard of "The Hidden". It turned out to be my second favorite movie of the night! Kyle MacLachlan owned in his part and there were some awesome twists in this tale of an Alien on the run using Human bodies to hide out!
*OK, now up to this point the first ten movies were all pretty good if not great . . . and then all hell broke loose at 5 AM and made staying until the end a true test of endurance!
011: Little Red Riding Hood and Tom Thumb vs. the Monsters (1962)
Hint: "A wonderful movie for children, provided that the children are all fucked up on LSD"
I sat watching this movie in absolute disbelief. My only explanation was that we all died somehow after The Hidden and were all sent to Hell!
012: Son of Blob (1972)
Hint: "Loopy, surreal sequel to a bina fide horror classic"
This was like the original Blob but on acid! All of the camp that worked so well in the first is upped to the max and it simply doesn't work. The movie that J.R. shot has one bizarre scene after another. The scene at the barber shop is something I can't fathom how someone came up with and worked it into the movie.
013: The Incredible Melting Man (1977)
Hint: "Schlocky Special Effectsploitation fin that is really just an update of the 1950s style monster movie"
This actually was fun, but also ran out of steam pretty fast since they kept running around in circles trying to find the Melting Man. It did have a satisfying ending and makeup effects.
014: Humongous (1982)
Hint: "Slasher movie that was a staple of late night HBO programming in the early 80s"
I was wishing all night that this feature would turn out being "The Prowler", "Wait Until Dark" or something of the sorts . . . What we got was "Humongous". By no means the worst slasher film, but there is nothing noteworthy about it either. A lot of off-screen kills and scenes shot in the dark that I had a hard time seeing.
015: Dr. Butcher (1980)
Hint: "Zombie movie that is ridiculously stupid, shamelessly derivative, and totally trashy . . . which is why we love it so much!"
First time seeing this one and I'm happy to say this helped end things on a high note because after movies 11 through 14 I didn't think I was staying until the end!
So this was my third "Horror-thon" in a row making it until the end. The line up was a mixed bag from the morning on, but the first half of the show ("The Night of 1000 Cats", and "The Hidden") made it all worthwhile and making it to the bitter end is something I plan to do for many years to come!
To everyone I talked too during the day (new friends and old) it was great seeing all of you!
Special thanks to Joe, Dan, Jesse, and Harry of Exhumed Films for giving us this awesome show. It truly replaces the feeling I used to get as a kid on Christmas morning!