LINKS TO THE PORT MANTEAU OF HORROR

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

EXHUMED FILMS' SEVENTH 24 HOUR OFFERING RECAP: When it Rains it Stiglitzes

Another one in the books as they say. Exhumed Films 7th Annual 24 Hour Horror-thon has come and gone. That means that all of us are left to play the metaphorical toys (movies) that Exhumed Films (Santa Claus and the Elves) have left under the tree (the I-house). Now that it is Monday morning, and I have had one night of semi-sleep, I am feeling the Horror-thon hangover knowing that I will have to wait another year to get my 35mm fix from the EF crew. They deliver a selection that is difficult to match. While the 7th offering didn’t necessarily offer an overabundance of franchise dominated material or even gigantor names, its variety and pacing was near perfect. It was not my favorite Horror-thon to date (this is reserved for my first, number 3). It was not my least favorite which was last year’s but least favorite is just for ranking purposes and should not imply that I disliked it.

I’m going to offer some thought on each of the movies below. These are not formal critiques but simply perceptions based on either seeing them on 35mm, with a group of people or seeing them for the first time.

Demon Knight

This is a classic watch for me. I loved it the first time I had the pleasure of enjoying it on the small screen though I was too young to catch it in the theaters on its first outing. The soundtrack was pivotal and inspirational, and watching it again especially on a large screen helps you to hear just where they used all my favorites. Thrill Kill Kult, Pantera, Machinehead, Gravediggaz. Brilliant way to start off the night. I was worried when I saw a movie from the 90’s at the helm of this great ship horror-thon, but this quickly put my mind at ease.

Monkey Shines

I haven’t watched Monkey Shines since I was a kid. At that time, I hated it and didn’t quite get it, but I’m thinking now that it possibly had to do with the fact that I was watching it on TV on the USA Network. It would have had to have been cut to ribbons to account for all the naked, hairy man ass. A fun movie that the crowd turned into an epic comic screening. I was however somewhat disappointed that Exhumed Films decided to stray from the second movie, giant monster flick spot.

FleshEater aka Revenge of the Living Zombies

Moral of the movie: If you see Bill Hinzman’s name on a movie more than one time in the credits (as an actor), get ready for lots of boobies, blood, B and bad acting. What a fabulous treat. I wouldn’t have lasted five minutes watching this in my living room, but the Exhumed crowd knew how to make this fun. Epic near date rape committed by that girlie in the barn. Impossibly bad. Impeccably hilarious.

Manson of the Doomed

Not my favorite choice for a third spot movie, but it worked out nicely. Stan Winston effects are always a treat. This felt more like a 3am feature than a prime time viewing movie. Plenty of blood to go around. Good crowd response. Definitely a sleeper, but a wide awake Exhumed audience knew just what to do with this off beat flick.

Inferno

Argento in a large group watches slow. I’m all for the three mothers trilogy, well… maybe two thirds of it, but this movie crawls along until the end where the whole thing pops. I’m glad to have witnessed it on the big screen and having two “Argento” movies in one night had the Italian Horror fan in me revved up. It really is stunning on the big screen as was Suspiria last year, and I suppose the way to look at a screening of Inferno is that it completes a though (having the first of the three mothers screened last year).

Interlude Short: Monsters Crash the Pajama Party

Picture as posted by Exhumed Films
One of my favorite cover/poster arts of all time
Shock. Awe. Wow. Having this 60’s classic on screen is a treat for the younger horror fan in me, and, having never seen it before, I feel blessed to have experienced in with a live audience. The poster art for this has always allured me. What’s better is that the Exhumed guys had guys in monster suits attack the crowd, running up and down to which the audience responded with appropriate screams, laughter and amazement. Truly a special experience. Damn those costumes were good. This the first time I’ve experienced anything quite this interactive at a theater going experience save for maybe the Rocky Horror experience. Now I truly want to see some William Castle classics revisited with appropriate theater gimmicks.

Alice Cooper: Welcome to My Nightmare

Watching an Alice Cooper concert performance was fun, but felt completely out of place during the Horror-thon. I suppose if I was going to have this experience anywhere this would be the group with which to do it, but I’m not sure that it personally felt right. It was an opportunity to catch up on some of the lesser known classics of Cooper’s work and made me realize that I may be more of a KISS fan than a Cooper fan from an early theatrical perspective… if that makes any sense.

Tintorera aka Tiger Shark

The highly of the evening or at least the funniest damn thing that could have been screened on par with Raw Force, Boardinghouse, Night of 1000 Cats or Lady Terminator. This Stiglitz classic was the perfect follow up to the Alice Cooper screening. It brought the whole Horror-thon square back to reality. Not only is this movie full of gorgeous naked people, but it has the best comedic dubbing I’ve seen in quite some time. This should go down in Exhumed Films history with the other so-bad-it’s-perfect -creenings.

House on Sorority Row

This slasher classic played perfectly at the right time of night. It’s iconic 80’s. I very much understand why the description on the guess ballot read as it did, vague but to the point.

Night Train to Terror

I’ve wanted to see this classic for some time especially since Vinegar Syndrome put it out on Blu-ray this year. Seeing it on 35mm clearly is the way to enjoy it with a large group of animated, tired fiends in tow. I’m not sure I would have enjoyed this debacle alone late at night nearly as much as I did with this crowd. The constant, recurrent, band music reminded me of Driller Killer only this time the rest of the movie was funny and over the top enough to sustain a group screening. Love the boobs. Love the premise. Well done.

Shivers aka They Came from Within aka The Parasite Murders

Classic Cronenberg and well timed for the point in the evening where you just need something completely off putting. It’s not my favorite Cronenberg but I love it more after this experience.

Golden Voyage of Sinbad

Snooze time. I’m afraid I don’t go in for this type of movie or at least not after a sleepless night. Harryhausen’s genius isn’t lost on me, but I suppose after screening something that felt similar to this at a previous Exhumed Horror-thon (Hercules in the Haunted World) I’m spoiled.

Toxic Zombies

As soon as the credits played I went to find coffee. I watched Toxic Zombies earlier this year and find it to be one of the few horror movies I actually hate. Slow moving. It’s bad, but not so bad that I laugh at it. Plenty of zombie movies in the sea, this one isn’t meant for me. I did manage to come back in the theater for the ending which was my favorite part of this baddie when I watched it as part of the 1980 Challenge earlier this year. It’s better on the big screen with a crowd. It’s still not good. I still might buy it for the damn cover/poster.

Darkman

The description on this time slot had me concerned as well. An action movie… so late the in the night… what could it be? Well this was a perfect treat. I’ve enjoyed Darkman since I as a kid, and even more now. We’ll be getting a Blu-ray edition of this later this year from Scream Factory, so this bears even more relevance now that I’ve had the chance to see it theatrically. I missed it as a kid. The wide cityscapes and huge effects pieces feel so much bigger on a large screen. I’d say this is the only way to see this picture, but we’ll wait to see how SF makes it great in 2014.

Demons 2

I had no idea what this could be and then somewhere in the middle of the night it dawned on me that it would be Demons 2. I said that out loud at one point, and was happy to see this dream recognized. Ever since I was a kid reading Fangoria, Demons 2 has held a special place in my heart in a different way than other Italian Horror. I always forget Demons 2 when I tell people that my first Italian Horror movies is 7 Doors of Death because I didn’t know either was Italian when I watched them. I wasn’t aware of the Italian connection until Zombie and Suspiria. It plays perfect on a big screen and Bobby Rhodes makes the damn movie. Funny. Gory. Perfect. This means I've seen Demons and Demons 2 on 35mm... shall I go for Demons 3: Ogre?

Notes on the event outside of the auditorium:

Beautiful Haunt Love poster that came with accompanying Death Wheelers Mask (not pictured). 
Spot Burger wasn’t there which was an utter disappointment, but I did get to try and breakfast hot dog from Dapper Dog, a Hawaiian chicken taco with guava sauce from PoiDog and vegan ice cream. Grindcore House’s sandwiches were the perfect midnight snack (and lunch the next day).

Justin Miller’s poster (Haunt Love's) and mask for the event completely floored me. I am a proud owner of this year’s combo package. I can’t wait to test out its blacklight sensitivity and have it hanging in my dungeon. Simply perfect. I also picked up a new Horror-thon tee. This may be my favorite design to date. I’ll wear it with pride. The Exhumed Films’ giveaways this year were tremendous.

I loved meeting friends including those I hadn’t met before. Dan Taylor, Heather Seebach, Shaun Casper… it was a pleasure. The two guys sitting down the aisle from me and the folks sitting behind me, I had a blast with you as well though I didn’t catch your names (or maybe my 24 hour brain just fogged them out). I loved catching up with some of the Exhumed Films crew, Tiff, Walter P., Thomas Kingsmill, Chris Lipinski and missed friend Nick Lombardo who was laid up in the hospital due to an unfortunate event the night before.

Doc TERROR

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