I wouldn't say my knowledge of Italian Horror is by any means all that extensive, but when Dr. Jimmy Terror first sent me a message asking for me to take part in his blog's "Italian Horror Week" I was more then happy to say "Yes"! I went back and forth on trying to make a decision on what exactly I was going to write about, but in the end I choose to recap last month's "Italian Horror Splatter-fest" at TheColonial Theatre in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. For those not in the know, This Theatre is the same place where the 1958 film "The Blob" was shot, with one of the most memorable scenes being when all the moviegoers are running out of the theatre trying not to become Blobfood!
Over 50 Years later The Colonial is still the premier spot for any Horror Enthusiast, every First Friday they show a Classic Slasher Film in 35mm (recently it was a double feature of Nightmare On Elm Stret 4 & 5) and every year in July they host their Annual "Blobfest" to honor our jelly-like Hero! But last month the guys who run the First Friday Fright Night decided to do something different and put together an All Night Italian Horror Splatter-fest!
"Grim Reaper" (aka Anthropophagus), "Nightmares in a Damaged Brain", "Screamers" (aka Island of the Fishmen)," Shock" (aka Beyond the Door II), and "City of the Walking Dead" (aka Nightmare City) were all part of this Blood Drenched Splatter-fest!
I got to the Colonial a good hour before the show and meet up with Jimmy in the lobby, together we hit a nearby convenience to load up on Redbulls and snacks to to ensure that we would last the whole night. When we got back to the theatre we were happy to see a lot of great people we both knew also made the right call and came out to the Splatter-fest!
Sean from http://www.vhsps.com/ , Joe from http://www.diabolikdvd.com/ and Kevin of http://www.houseofmysterioussecrets.com/ all joined us upstairs in the Colonial's Balcony, always my preferred seats. We were treated to some trailers courtesy of http://www.exhumedfilms.com/ 's Harry before the first feature and also in between movies the rest of the night, here were some of my favorites:
Sweet Body of Deborah trailer
Schizoid (1980) Trailer
The Complete List of Trailers Shown During The Night - " Suspiria", "Black Sunday", "Terror Creatures from the Grave", "Murder Clinic", "The Psychic, "Schizoid", "Sweet Body of Deborah", "Something Creeping in the Dark", "Next Victim, Mill of the Stone Women", "The Ghost, Blood and Black Lace", "Twitch of the Death Nerve", "Beyond the Door", "Hex Massacre and Lucifer's Curse" (double feature), "Canivourous, Cat O' Nine Tails", "Demons", "Cemetery Man", and "Conquest"!
Grim Reaper kicked things off for the night, I hear that the "Anthropophagus" cut of the movie is a bloodier affair, but I was still very satisfied with what I saw. The movie's writer and director Joe D'Amato is mostly know for making sequels for the softcore porn series "Emanuelle" but did a a hell of job with setting a eerie tone as soon as main group of characters get on the abandoned island and featured some unexpected kills. Nobody was safe in this one, including a blind girl and pregnant lady. After the movie Sean filled me in on some of the stuff that was missing from the "Anthropophagus" cut, after much thought I think it may have been for the better.
"Nightmares in a Damaged Brain", the second feature of the night, was also the best one in my opinion, even though I never seen the movie until that night, I was aware of a couple of the death scenes from seeing the youtube clips over the years. The opening scenes that take place up and down New York's famed 34th Street made me jealous that I never got the chance to experience it for myself and the practical gore effects throughout the movie are a thing of beauty! This was a real crowd pleaser and I'm glad I got the chance to see it in this way!
"Screamers" (aka Island of the Fishmen) was up next, leading up too the night I heard it was a bad movie from a couple of friends but I gotta say that besides "Nightmares" this was my pick for the movie I had the most fun watching that night. If you ever read my blog, you'd know I am a huge fan of the TheGill-Man, so all this underwater creatures were right up my alley!
Also around this time there was a live Bat flying around the theatre for some reason, and while this had me on edge the rest of the night it also helped enhance the viewing experience!
The last film of the night was "Nightmare City", since it was my first time viewing it, I think I was the only person there who didn't know about the horrible twist ending coming! I rather enjoyed everything leading up to that point though, for a cheap Zombie film it did break a lot of new ground for it's era.
By this time it was past 3:30 in the morning, Jimmy, Sean, and I hung out some in the lobby some before rightfully getting kicked out by the colonial worker who wanted to get the hell home, before I left I made sure I grabbed the official poster for the night though!
As you can imagine this whole event was a blast to attend! Major props to the First Friday Crew (Nick, Joel, and Chuck) for putting together this spectacular event, it without a doubt a crash course for me into what besides "Giallos" Italian Horror has to offer!
I am pretty sure there will be a second edition of this Italian Horror Splatter-fest event next year, and I pretty sure Jimmy and I will be at that too . . . I hope you can join us!
TOM BRYCE - "You Can follow me and SMF on it's Facebook Page Right Here." Not only is Tom Bryce's writing a pleasure to read, it's current. Tom has the uncanny ability to show up at nearly every major horror happening on the eastern seaboard. It's completely impressive. His poster collection must be exceptional as he's always finding the new up and coming artist prints and posting them. I imagine his home to be a gallery of horror unparalleled by any in the western hemisphere.