Monday, June 10, 2013

Hudson Horror Show 7: House by the Infra-Man

Hudson Horror Show 7 has come to a close, and the guys put on a damn fine show per my expectation. HHS specializes in doing a little something for everyone. You get to laugh and scream and have a damn good time. HHS7 sold out its remaining tickets moments after the doors opened on show day. If you were not in attendance I bet you'd love to know what you missed behind closed doors. That's why I'm here. I'm a spy in the house of horrors. Let's break it down like DJ Lance straight outta Yo Gabba Gabba.

I'd go to Hudson Horror Show regardless of what they put on the screen. Having a cavalcade of awesome features doesn't hurt, and of course have a mysterious movie that's only announced a week or so before the horror-thon piques your interest. The announced four were Army of Darkness, Texas Chainsaw Massacre II, Infra-Man and Gone with the Pople leaving one slot open to fill with pretty much anything. The Hudson Horror guys have screened everything from Pieces to Cannibal Holocaust to Alligator to Black Christmas. What could it possibly be? With  a mystery movie in the running I always hope for Tourist Trap or Motel Hell. I've never seen either movie on the big screen, and that needs to be remedied. Knowing that a print of Tourist Trap is out there and that it has been screened at festivals keeps my hopes strong. One day I'll see the Chuck Connors masterpiece on gorgeous 35mm. Not this time though. This time we went straight across the pond and went right for the boot. Italy.

Hey look! There I am with my arms crossed!
House by the Cemetery was the mystery movie. This is old news I suppose at this point, but it was perhaps the most important news to this Italian horror geek. After it was announced I made more than a few ingratiated posts both on the Dr. Terror Facebook page and over on the Hudson Horror Show page and founders' pages. I had missed House by the Cemetery when it screened a few years back at the Exhumed Films 24 Hour Horror-thon due to an illness at my home that forced me to leave the event early. I missed half of Friday the 13th Part II, Bug and of course, the Fulci classic, one of the three Gates of Hell trilogy films. I was heartbroken to miss it the first time. I was overjoyed to see it at Hudson Horror Show. That's how the festival opened up. Let's talk about the movies. Then we'll get into my "extracurriculars". 

Hudson Horror Show balances out their film selection with trailer fillers. The show was to open with the trailer for an indie production of Giant Spider. Unfortunately technical difficulties arose and, and we were unable to view the trailer. The movie can be purchased HERE and make sure you check out the music. The creators were on hand to promote and sell the film. I can tell you that we were able to watch a short bit of some of their other works on a trailer reel, and these guys are mondo talented (also available on the link above). Monster movies are alive and well and in capable hands.  The second trailer was another independent production, Midnight Show. Now if you read this frickin' thing you know that I have a big rubbery one for Midnight Show. Ever since I had the opportunity to see an early test, trailer reel at the Crystal Plumage Films showing of Demons/Bronx Warriors I've been hooked, following the filmmakers... stalking them. Watching their every goddamn move. The newly designed, Hudson Horror Show special trailer reel featured Her Time of the Month, Planet Mirror Ball and GOREGY. The audience response was energetic and made me wish Midnight Show as in the line up... again. Once this thing's finished it's gonna be a hit. It has to be. You can't stop laughing. You'll DIE of laughter! Check 'em out HERE on FaceBook and make sure to peruse their previously released trailers. 

There was an eclectic assortment of trailers throughout the rest of the night, that seemed to stretch out of the horror genre and into quite a few other related cult or exploitation categories. It's always nice to get turned on to new things. Even movies featuring trained Dobermans.

You need to see this for yourself:

House by the Cemetery - The crowd response was enthusastic though I wondered how many Italian Horror fans were in attendance. The girls behind me seemed to be quite disturbed the Fulci gore/blood bath. It entertained me to hear them disgusted. That's probaby not a nice thing for me to say, but crowd recation is half the reason you go to these things You can always watch House by the Cemetery in your living your, but you probably won't listen to yourself gasp at the brutality. Everyone loved the bad dubbing. That's a given with House by the Cemetery; it's something for which the movie is infamous. Strangely enough I found myself wondering what it would have been like to watch this with a more "civilian" crowd; a crowd that could be frightened by it instead of induced to laugh. A good choice. A great way to begin the show. Some of the best scratching of any print I've viewed at any of the horror-thons in Poughkeepsie or elsewhere.

Gone with the Pope - I avoided the trailer to this one and even refrained from reading anything about it. All I knew is that it was a Grindhouse Releasing distribution which definitely votes well for it being worth a watch. While I can safely say that it was not my favorite movie of the night, it didn't offer laugh or two. Watching ex-cons haphazardly kidnap the Pope to comedic effect was not exactly what I had in mind for a horror show. The audience enjoyed it. I laughed too. This one probalby doesn't fit within the standard "Doc Terror" wheelhouse. I suppose the story goes that the movie was unfinished for years and then was sort of pieced together from a nearly finished product. It felt disjointed. 

Infra-Man - before seeing this movie I was probably least excited to catch this on the big screen. Kaiju are growing on me, but it's all still new to me. Sure I dig the big names like Godzilla just fine, but when it comes to the more obscure pictures my knowledge base just falls apart. I have no frame of reference. This turned out to be a great surprise and perhaps the highlight of my evening (maybe even beyond seeing House by the Cemetery... no... YES!). Off the wall movie about a guy who has to go through a process to infuse himself with a bionic, cyborg esque suit of power, offer him tremendous strength and all to fight a pile of aliens each with its own super power. It was hoakie and looked completely dated; like the great great great grandfather of a Power Ranger.  And I loved it and laughed at it and I think everyone had a good time. Many Infra-Man fans were made that day I can tell you.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre II - Another film I had been longing to see on the big screen. I missed a screening of this as done by Exhumed Films in Philly this year featuring Bill Moseley as a special guest. I guess I was happy to meet Bill later at Monster Mania, but it was nice to right that wrong. I love TCMII. It's my favorite entry in the series. I love the gore and the Hopper, the Moseley and Stretch. The crazed chainsaw falic metaphor and the excellent soundtrack that I happily own on vinyl. This much gore on such a big screen is exciting, especially with Savini at the helm. Seeing this one, larger than life in front of you with a bunch of fans was a treat. I remembered the first time I watched it on VHS many years back. I remember re-renting it over and over again. I had never seen it like this and it completed the movie for me. While I loved the Blu-ray release this past year, 35mm is more exciting. The girls behind actually screamed full title boogie out loud. That's the second time I've heard that happen this year. The other time... the new Evil Dead. 

Army of Darkness - Sadly I had to leave to make to back to Jersey. The two hour ride home is fun and all but with a 19 month old at home, I still seem to be suffering sleepless nights and had to be home by 1am or so. I had missed this when it was initially released because my mother didn't want me to see it. She had no idea the crazed shit I had seen already. It holds a special place in my heart having been the center piece to many of my own personal horror-thons when I was much younger. It's a crowd please and a true comedy. 

The overall mix of movies trended toward comedy/black comedy which is fine. You need to give people something to feel good about and not every show can feature a vomit bag and patrons leaving the theater to actually puke. I suppose I usually want to see something a little more shocking and while House by the Cemetery and TCMII have enough gore to keep my appetite satiated, I think that Gone with the Pope may have pulled me out of the experience. It was so off genre that it brought me back into the theater rather than steeping me in celluloid. That's not to say it wasn't an excellent time. This show had two intenes moments for me as a theater patron; seeing House by the Cemetery on the big screen and learning that I adore Infra-Man. I think I was looking for a little more of the "horror" in the Hudson Horror Show. 

From our friends at HHS:

Beyond the movies I had a terrific time hanging out with friends and checking out a buffet of vendor tables. Everything from T-shirts to movies and vinyl, DVD, art, books... it's almost like a mini-con vendor room. I snagged a Return of the Living Dead Part II vinyl promo copy, Paganini Horror on VHS PAL, a copy of issue 3 of 68 Jungle Jim signed by the great Jeff Zornow who was present, a fun poster from Monster Are Good and a DVD triple threat of Bava films. Getting to chat with the my friends at VHSPS,  House of Myserious Secrets (who is sponsoring a giveaway for our upcoming Italian Horror Week), Tad Lager, graphic artist and friend as well as Jude Felton of the Lair of Filth. Meeting up with Carl Mazzella and Chris Beaumont was an absolute treat; new friends that I hope to see at future conventions and Hudson Horror Shows. 

The end of the night found  a bunch of us sitting around, "talking shop" and pretty much nerding out. I can safely say that it was at this time that I wished that I was a bigger part of this experience. Something felt like it was missing, talking to vendors who put their heart and soul into making their businesses work and helping to create the horror experience of generations of horror fans. Too much caffeine and a whole lotta darkness will get you thinking late into the evening after watching people scream for hours. The ride home was half trying to keep my eyes open and half wondering how I would be involved in any of this horror-verse in the future. Perhaps making it more of my life rather than simply carving out a spot on the weekends and after the kids hit the sack. Hudson Horror Show... Heavy, man. 

Hudson Horror Show 8... look for it soon. My guess would be end of November/Decemeber. We are not going to want to miss this. Make sure you're following them on Facebook, buy tickets early HERE when they go on sale and share their posts as they make them available. This thing is growing and it's great. It deserves its greatness. 


Special thanks to the guys at Hudson Horror Show for being a tremendous bunch of guys putting on another amazing show full of memories. Brothers in 35mm!