It's that time of year... No, not Halloween although I can see why you might think that I was referring to our favorite spoooooky holiday. I'm referring to Exhumed 24 Hour Horror-thon season. It's not really a season in the sense that you have multiple screenings or events that fill up the course of a month. When you sign on to attend the horror-thon put on by the good people at Exhumed Films you commit to approximately three months of anticipation, teasers and announcements that will fill your mind with wonder, your heart with longing and your nerves with the electro-shock chaos of plugging your face into a 220 electrical socket. Never heard of the Exhumed 24 Hour Horror-thon? Well let's get you acquainted and maybe on the guest list for next year as it's already SOLD OUT.
Exhumed Films offers an excellent history of the organization, secret society or horror moose lodge... whatever you'd like to call it... on their website HERE. The basic origin is that a bunch of horror loving dorks like the rest of us, Dan Fraga, Joseph A. Gervasi, Harry Guerro and Jesse Nelson, decided to put up or shut up and start showing horror movie (mostly older films and B pictures) in full on, gorgeous 35mm at select theatres in NJ and PA. As they grew they spread out, moved around and put together the horror fans ultimate goal in any viewing experience - a horror movie marathon lasts 24 hours; the horror-thon was born. They're the first that will tell you that they're not the first to run marathons of this type, but the care and attention to detail as well as film history they assist in preserving leaves many kindred organizations in the dust. They also have one of the best venues in all of horror-thoning, the International House at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. The seats are comfy (although there was a time previous to their renovations where butt numbing and as evil as some of the film).
While the good folks at Exhumed Films show double features of some of the same classic films they might show in their larger, 24 hour output, they have become infamous for the more elaborate horror-thon. Typically you'll see about fourteen films in total and a slew of trailers and short films in between. There are several underlying themes and traditions i.e. ending each year with a zombie picture. While the 24 hour horror-thon is an amazing draw, make sure to attend the double features throughout the year and other special events. Just this year Exhumed Films put on a Go Ape!, a Planet of the Apes marathon and eX-Fest, a "grindhouse" style movie festival. They do not show movies twice during the horror-thon so you best try to make your way to the next one or miss the chance to see some classics (at least at this festival).
Some things to note about this tremendous event:
Previous programs -
-The movies are not announced in advance with the exception of this year's African zombie film, The Dead. It's a very special showing. Each year the guys at Exhumed Films try to test your horror acuity by giving hints as to each movie. You have to guess. Just another fun bit of novelty at this already unique showing.
-Their rules are as important to follow as they are funny to take in. The rules and general announcements have are one of the defining features of this festival and should be adhered to and enjoyed at all costs. Remember not to open your lap tops. They'll tell you why when you get to the rules.
-There will be an Exhumed Halloween pumpkin as the horror-thon occurs within a couple weeks every year, the closer the better.
-Excellent vegan food will be made available by the Grindcore House. Keep body and mind refreshed with some of their amazing crafts.
-There will be vendors. They will have unique goods, and the poster created for the horror-thon (pictured here) will be sold in limited quantity. T-shirts will also be sold and Diabolik DVD will be their to ply you with your hard to find and unique DVD/Blu-Ray needs (obsessions). The Video Violence art show was also displaying some fantastic VHS artwork. Not just the cover boxes you love, but works of art created from them. It's not blashpeme. It's a thing of beauty.
-The Exhumed Films logo is played before the start of the horror-thon and definitely contributes to the overall sense of retro/nostalgia that this showing can inspire. Enjoy it.
- The cost is always reasonable. $25-$30 for 24 hours of anything is a steal, more so for the films these guys put on.
-The horror-thon will sell out. Buy tickets early or rest in peace. We'll gloat about what we saw later.
This horror-thon, now in its fifth year, is chock full of some of the most loving fans you can imagine fully stocked with caffeinated beverages and a burning desire for something truly special. They're just like you. When an on screen kill is outstanding, this audience erupts, but avoid the MST3K commentary track. Below are the line ups from previous years as well as some of the artwork from their beautiful crafted fliers, amazing wristbands (Space Invaders make a wrist band awesome FYI) and some of the poster art has been displayed throughout this article. Also I strongly urge you to go to the ultimate fan page on the subject. It's the closest thing to getting the full on Exhumed Films experience. Check 'em out HERE. Also, an amazing blog The Last Blog on Dead End Street has done a formal recap each year. It's very impressive. See links at the end of the this article to get a full run down of each film. Please make sure to visit and tell him "thank you" for the amazing record keeping HERE.
Exhumed Films 24 Hour Horror-thon 2007
3. Don't Be Afraid of the Dark
Exhumed Films 24 Hour Horror-thon 2008
Exhumed Films 24 Hour Hour Horror-thon 2009
Exhumed Films 24 Hour Horror-thon 2010
I will be recapping the the horror-thon this year in early November as it takes place October 29-30th. Over at my "home blog" DR. TERROR'S BLOG OF HORRORS, I'll be going over some of the more obscure and personally notable films shown at the previous festivals. Also, stay tuned for an interview with Exhumed Films founder Dan Fraga. Dan is one of the nicest guys you could ever meet as our the rest of the blokes who put on this production. He'll also knock you over with film knowledge, trivia and I believe has a direct line to the might Peking Man if you don't watch your step at the horror-thon. Beware. Take care. Beware!
Please enjoy the following recaps. Tremendous care was taken to create a record of this event.