Thursday, December 6, 2012

HUDSON HORROR SHOW 666: The Devil Made Him Recap It!!!

When you look into the horror show, the horror show also looks into you. I can safely say that Hudson Horror Show 666 was one of my favorite 35mm viewing experiences of all time, and that’s saying something. What made this event stand out more than some of my recent flings with the 35mm experience was the company and the audience. Now I will never say a bad word about the theatrical experiences put on by some of the good folks fighting the good fight to keep the celluloid flowing. There has been nothing short of pure love for the groups of horror dorks who show excellent double features, 24 hour marathons of maximum carnage and one off screenings of powerful films that invite pure nostalgic heroin into our eyeballs. The Hudson Horror Show crowd attracts the best kind of film lovers. It’s the kind of audience that is respectful (you’re cell phone glow will get you banished to the tenth level of Hell); The kind of audience that knows how to Mystery Science Theater 3000 a picture and chooses, reservedly, not to. This is the kind of audience that cares about the success of the show itself and demand its success; more horror movies…keeping America strong… you know the drill. You see the same folks that you might find at Exhumed Films’ shows and we all know that I would gladly help these guys get glory hole blowies at the drop of a hat in the worst neighborhoods on the wrong side of the tracks.

Let’s recap a bit so you know what to expect WHEN you get your ass of the couch, away from your Blu-ray player and into a theater with this rabble. There comes a time in life your life when you have to ask yourself just how large your TV screen can get. Can you it rival a theatrical movie screen? Do you have an in house projectionists? (not your mom making you meat loaf). Can you eat boiling hot Nathan’s hot dogs fresh outta the microwave?

My tour of Poughkeepsie continues, having gotten lost yet again in my pursuit of the Silver Cinema in the largest, labyrinth mall this side of Monroeville. The detour, due to some building repair, didn’t help my case and may I say that Poughkeepsie drivers… New York City cabbies fear you. Of course I made it all be it slightly later than last event. Last time I watched the vendors show up and got to meet some of the regulars and love them and damn were they good folks. This time, however, I was treated to a new meet and greet.

Jude Felton of the Lair of Filth and Justin LaLiberty, contributor to GeekNewWave and the Liberal Dead as well as regular on the Liberal Dead’s Dead Air podcast were in attendance. I sat with Jude through out the day, and no… there was no heavy or light petting of any kind. He was a gentleman only massaging my leg once (and I believe that was because he was trying to see if I did in fact have the rumored banana in my pocket at all times… I assure you it is chocolate covered). This was my first time meeting either fella and may I say in all seriousness that I have the deepest respect for both of these hoodlums. Justin is a true horror nerd. a film nerd and some might say a film snob, but I say he has EARNED that right to be a snob… He’s seen everything! The conversations you can have with Justin are the conversations that you will learn from or, hopefully, get drunk on good beer from if you are so fortunate.  Jude reviews are stellar, spot on and entertaining and he is a true gentleman, funny and down right thoughtful. Enough of this sausage fest… let’s talk about the show.

My first Hudson Horror Show was over a year ago and my write up can be review HERE. The lineup was off the chain featuring Cannibal Holocaust, Dr. Butcher M.D., Bird with the Crystal Plumage, Alligator and, the super fan favorite, Return of the Living Dead. By any stretch of the imagination this is a difficult schedule to beat. You know that a company respects its audience when it has the courtesy to ply them with branded vomit bags ala yesteryear featuring gummy body parts. Hudson Horror Show 666 sought to out due its predecessor and not necessarily in power of schedule but in obscurity, rarity and all around diversity of selection in their 666, demonic offering.

Before we bite into the juicy film selection, I wanted to say that the vendors tables are pretty darn fun. The selection has been growing and you can pick up everything from VHS to horror movie vinyl to old magazines, prints (large and small) and a wide selection of Grindhouse Releasing, Intervision and Severin Titles. You guys know what a fan boy I am for the holy triumvirate… speaking of which, the Hudson Horror Show T-shirt of which I am an owner is a fantastic, Satanic tribute to RUSH. Double sided, horror, prog rock love fest. Excellent design, fellas. One of the highlights of my day was hanging around with the VHSPS crew. I love their product and their persons. You should definitely support them for your out of prints horror needs. Best logo… maybe ever. We’ll be reviewing quite a few titles of theirs on IT CAME FROM 1980x coming up. Can’t wait to share the titles with you.

And now… On with the show…


If you haven’t seen The Devil’s Rain, it is a must. Shatner fans need apply and Ernest Borgnine aficionados, get your Airwolf hat and toy chopper out. The Devil’s Rain is a fan cult favorite. For me this film never really stood out beyond some fun effects work and seeing a few familiar faces doing a true to Satan horror flick about devil worship.  The name drop of Anton LaVey in the opening credits as a consultant is a clever marketing ploy, but I think you can see his influence. What you might not see is the John Travolta influence as he melts before your very eyes. 35mm and a big screen change a man and movie. As with many a film that I have come to love after seeing them in gorgeous 35mm, so now do I love The Devil’s Rain.  It wasn’t that I had previously disliked this movie, but more so that I now adore it. Take that Incredible Melting Man!


Next up was Black Christmas. Little known fact about Dr. Jimbo, I’m a Christmas horror junkie which is a relatively new change in my taste in film. Moreover I’m a holiday horror nut. Love ‘em all in all their campy, under-thought out, overly creative, garbage ways. Well, Black Christmas is an ACTUAL MOVIE and not a regurgitation of widely accepted holiday traditions gone awry. It’s a horror movie. It’s a slasher film and some say it’s the first slasher film if not the first slasher film to follow what would become a traditional American formula for killing young, sinful ladies. I love it beyond Bob Clark’s other magnum opus… Porky’s… oh wait… A Christmas Story. The only thing Margot Kidder forgot to do is to remove her clothes (because I’ll be damned if I don’t’ have a solid crush on her starting at Superman and working its devious way back to Amityville Horror). Olivia Hussey who would later star in Stephen King’s IT, is perfect as the terrified, sexy coed in fear for her life from her crazed eccentric boyfriend… oh and she’s mucho prego. Can anyone say unspecial delivery. This is a holiday treat boys and girls. The music is brilliant. The kills are groundbreaking and the obscene phone calls will put your calls to Moe’s tavern to shame. This is a real holiday treat to catch it on 35mm and the number one reason I came.


Switchblade Sisters turns the 80’s gangsploitation cinema on its ear with its comic genius and brutality though I think you find more than a few folks giving the upper edge to Class of 1984. I had no real expectation from this grindy, grimy flick but enjoyed it thoroughly.  The perfect blend of comedy and violence and trash. The only thing it’s missing is a catchy dance number or two featuring the Sharks and Jets, scantily clad and with pockets full of narcotics.


Phantasm II is staple in any horror nerd’s collection. You grow up with this series. You love it. It’s like one of the family. It’s the friend that never forgets your birthday. I don’t’ think I need to ramble with a love letter to the Coscarelli classic featuring Angus and the bunch, but the experience of watching it with an adoring crowd is special. The applause and laughter make the movie. Its fans loving the movie together, like an orgy of eyeballs, is exciting and endearing. This definitely frenzied the crowd for Re-animator. One 80’s classic deserves another and the order of operations with which the HHS crew display their films is chosen well and for max effect.



Now I had to get going at this point in the evening. Back to the dirty Jerz. I’ve got a baby at home that just isn’t sleeping through the night yet and it’s nearly a two hour drive. The other two features shown were Re-animator and Conan the Barbarian which is just about as eclectic a two selections as one might find on the big screen these days. I had previously seen this cut of Re-animator at Exhumed Films 24 Hour Horror-thon a few years back which didn’t make me want to see it any less, but did give me an excuse to myself to make my way homeward. Conan isn’t exactly my personal favorite Arnold flick, but it’s highly appropriate to show it and it’s a great way to end a long day in the theater. Take that you god awful remake!

I long for the seventh Hudson Horror Show. Nothing to announce yet, but soon we will find out what beautiful evil lurks in the heart of THE SHOW. I hope to attend and recap that as well and will keep you in the know when I know more. Until then, Hudson Horror Show, you put on something special this time around. I’m indebted to the kind of awesome that you do two times a year. When do we get a 24 hour offering? (wink wink, nudge nudge).

Thanks to Errol, Chris and the entire crew that make this kind of amazing happen and for giving me the opportunity to love and adore it (with a condom of course).

“Oooo baby, I wanna go. To the Hudson Horror Show” (set to some Ramones-ish cover song)

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