Wake up early in the morning to drive two hours to Pougkeepsie from New Jersey. You expect lines around the mall. You expect ghouls parading around in various states of Halloween costume and/or zombie regalia (no twinkling vamps here). You expect the movie theatre to have a marquee. Upon my arrival into the strip mall of Hell (so named for details soon to follow) I only knew that we’d be looking for the tractor trailer entrance for unloading. The mall is somewhat under construction and the only entrance to the Hudson Horror Show is in the rear which is only fitting for a horror movie festival I suppose.
So I go there to a giant line of boils and ghouls stacked five deep with face paint and latex masks dripping from their faces… :buzzer: NO! It was me and a buddy and one vendor who started selling to us off the bat before he even had a table up which is somewhat impressive for 11 a.m. Shortly there after the festival team arrived with a few other vendors, doors opened and the “crowd” slowly drizzled in. People, this is a festival that is showing incredible movies. I neeeeeed you to promise me that if you are within two hours of Poughkeepsie that you make it out for the next one. The VHS is worth your time. The posters are worth your time. The underground magazines are worth your time. The popcorn is not worth your time, but the audience is.
So everything ran like clockwork with only hints of winding said clock. Chris Alo and his team are brilliant and courteous and just fucking nice people all around and if you meet them you’ll know what I’m talking about. For your price of admission you get a lovely hands tamp, wristband and vomit bag full of neat o horror shit (which varied per guest). Toys are like cocaine to horror fans and barf bags are like Spanish Fly.
The festival opened with usual fodder. Announcments. Rules. Chris is a funny guy so these went over swimmingly well. Then the short reel started (from DVD which is just fine because these weren’t the features). Some note-able shorts were Black Star Warriors, The ad spot for women who like porn (and the acceptance there of), Predator The Musical (clearly a high point) and the penultimatet short, Roid Rage. This short has been getting quite a bit of press. It is a short film that seems to set up a full length release about a down on his luck guy with a bad case of KILLER HEMMRHOIDS!!! I’m pretty sure you can find all of these on the internet. Use your Google sense. Make sure not to miss Roid Rage. It’s deranged, sick body humor fun ala Henenlotter.
Short trailers reels were the preamble of the day for our features. Many a good trailer. I didn’t stick around for them all, but 7 Doors to Death, House by the Cemetery, Halloween II, Gymkata, Last House on the Left, and Revenge of the Ninja were some that I can remember from the twelve hour theatre stint. I need to bring a small notepad to the next one. I’m sure there were plenty I missed. I think the ultimate festival meal is Uncrustables. I’m testing that at the Exhumed 24 Hour Marathon this year. Save a buck and eat some PB&J with the crust cut off.
On to the features. Alligator started off the festival which is a must to see with a large group of fun loving horror freaks. Like I said before the audience was full of energy. Clapping, applauding, hooting at the screen, the works. A more courteous fun loving bunch of freaks can’t be found anywhere else as they are in the Tri-State area. I’m glad to see that they weren’t a bunch of tight lipped, tight assed film snobs. I’m glad to be one of their numbers.
Next was Bird with the Crystal Plumage, a great film to see in 35mm and an seemingly excellent print. I have strong ties to this film as its Argento and Tarantino paid some serious homage to it in Death Proof (lifted everything from certain shots to the score). Giallo is a real treat to see on the big screen.
Cannibal Holocaust followed and, with numerous warnings as to its graphicness, the theatre seats were somewhat empty. I guess no one wants to see the lives animals get dismembered. I have expected to have the fucking place raided by the police the way this one was billed up by our announcers. I almost welcomed the thought of being at a festival shutdown for public distaste. This did not happen. The movie was excellent. No one vomited and Grindhouse Releasing put together a very nice cut of the film. Impressive. I still have the soundtrack stuck in my head.
Zombie Holocaust aka Dr. Butcher, MD followed. The laughs abound in this picture. It was the only movie of the day that I thought I hadn’t seen, but it turns out I was wrong and enjoyed re-watching this classic thoroughly. It was almost like crowd participation with the number of one-liners, laughs and screams during this picture. Personal note that this movie is a must see for bad gore fans.
The final movie of the night was Return of the Living Dead. For a genre veteran this is standard fare and is a pleasure to see live. People truly love this picture and seeing with such a large group of adoring fans is an experience to have, truly. The only thing missing from this viewing was a bunch of Rocky Horror –esque costumed up motherfuckers with fan lines inserted.
Ultimately I had a great time on Saturday the 14th. I was impressed by the cuts of film these guys got and the sense of humor they were able to bring to the festival. I will say that the theatres seats were enough to give me “roid rage”. I will say that the smell of the popcorn turned my stomach more than Cannibal Holocaust. The drivers in Poughkeepsie at the Galleria are video game esque. They terrified me more than movies. I can safely say that I feared for my life at least five times on the way to the food court for dinner. The mall needs a site map. The shoppers need bumper cars. The food court had such security detail that one might have assumed maximum security prison rather than retail environment. If all the negative things I have to see are about the “extremities” of the mall in which this horror show was held then I think they’re doing ok.
Next show is in December and will feature Silent Night Deadly Night, Rolling Thunder (who’s trailer rocked the audience), Werewolf vs. the Vampire Woman and Texas Chainsaw Massacre!!! Clearly you need to go to this. I’m forgetting a film but it will come to me and will post it or you can just make it over to their website. Make no excuses. Car pool. The price of gas be damned. Support these guys. They’re horror show is growing and that’s good for everything we love.
Get ready for Hudson Horror Show IV, the show so shocking, they didn’t want you to see it! Bwahahaha
-Dr. Terror, very impressed.
PS. Why do all characters in the early 80’s horror movies smoke pipes? Someone’s either smoking a pipe in the most unusual places or lighting up a smoke in a hospital. What a changed world. Are pipes coming back in style?
(for completist... the festival schedule):
Doors open, Advance ticket holders let in first
Announcements and Giveaways
1 PM to 1:45 PM
DVD shorts, including ROID RAGE
1:45 to 2:00PM
35mm presentation begins with vintage trailers
2:00 to 3:30 PM
3:30 to 3:45 PM
3:45 to 4:00 PM
4:00 to 5:40PM
THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE
5:40 to 6:00PM
6:00 to 6:15 PM
6:15 to 7:45 PM
7:45 to 8:00 PM
8:00 to 8:15 PM
8:15 to 9:45 PM
DOCTOR BUTCHER M.D.
9:45 to 10:00 PM
10:00 to 10:30 PM
10:30 PM to 12:00 AM
RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD