Monday, October 27, 2014

Exhumed Films 24 Hour Horrorthon VIII - Keep Godzilla's Black Leather Monkey Pet 2 the Last Bog Day, Mary Blood of the Night

You refer to it as Christmas. The best day of the year. Halloween early. The day we all look forward to most (even more than Halloween itself). My birthday (because it has been on my birthday). It is the Exhumed 24 Hour Horrorthon. The third one of these mama jamas got me into 35mm screenings as if  it made me an addict; it pains me to miss events. I want to mainline celluloid with projector works. The screen is my spoon, I shall not want, but I want to see everything on film. I need that. We probably need to start the NA/AA equivalent of film addicts because I will surely need it soon (just wait till I start collecting trailers and build a mini-theater in my garage).

 The four of the apocalypse (the Fulci kind thus the strange phrasing) Jesse, Harry, Dan and Joseph are my Beatles. They are mentors. Spirit guides. These men have changed my life. I owe them a great deal of thanks, and I find it difficult to express it at times. They fill me with so much emotion that letting it out is tricky,  and so I'll simply recap the eighth horrorthon of the world. Hopefully someday I'll come up with a way to say thank you to them appropriately. Some way that makes sense to this whole crazy film/horror thing that makes my guts gooey like Sugar Daddy candy and sweet, courageous cider in my belly.

The Keep

Having just watched this on Netflix this year on the elliptical machine at the gym (not optimal by any means), I was pleased to see Exhumed give a much adored but unavailable title the main stage, front and center. This flick has had problems making it to DVD and Blu-ray due in part to a lack of extras available in the early 2000's if rumors are to be believed followed by a rights issue with the most amazing score by Tangerine Dream.

The screening was well received and a personal triumph for me. I love the effects and the print was as a gorgeous showcase on which to display them. What a cast. What a score. What a fun story with the bad guys being the Nazis and evil. This movie may have been cut to ribbons with a reported 40 minutes of footage left out from what it could have been (from what I was told), but it captures the imagination and is a shining example of what horror can be.

Note to perspective distro companies: You release this with extras featuring interviews, commentaries, an isolated score and keep the original poster/cover art. You then release the soundtrack from Tangerine Dream on vinyl featuring the classic artwork, gatefold and liner notes. Then you sell a limited edition package where you have the vinyl, the Blu-ray and a retro style standee for the movie featuring the keep from the cover art as a standee made of foam. Scream Factory. Death Waltz. I don't care who has the rights... you make this happen.

Black Magic

The Shaw Brothers are a staple of Exhumed Films whether at the horrorthon or eXfest or even double features. If one group of films has eluded my eyes it is the Shaw Brothers catalog and Exhumed puts them through my peepers at least once a year. I consider it mind expansion. Black Magic was a brilliant example of that.

The magic is beautifully voodoo/hoodoo-esque in Asian mystical fashion with creative spells and charms that are as entertaining as the questionable acting and dubbing. We laugh at movies like Black Magic because of budgetary issues or interpretation that may not always be according to Hoyle accurate. The Shaw Brothers always seem to find a way to produce a movie that takes traditional plots and spin them into clever, complex stories that are entertaining and filled with sex or comedy or action. Black Magic aka Jiang tou from 1975 is a shining example of that fact.

This was a crowd favorite. It surprised me, and the only question I have to Exhumed is what genre did it help to inspire? Any movies in particular that it influenced? Exhumed Films does not pre-list their movies and simply provides hints. The hint for this movie said it was genre influential.

Godzilla's Revenge

I bailed for this one. While I was initially excited to see the big monster movie, I'm afraid that watching baby Godzilla is not for me. I have seen this one before (though not projected), and I was hungry. I'll make sure to show it to my kids soon as penance for skipping this one.


I have listened to this soundtrack more than just about any soundtrack I own. I had R.A. Mihailoff sign a copy when I met him at Monster Mania. I loved it when it came out, and I still really enjoy it. We've all wondered when we'll see a Blu-ray with all the trimmings of this one. It deserves it.

The audience responded very well to it which ,as a few people have commented, is a surprise. Leatherface gets minimal love from horror fans though I still don't know why. It is a classic example of the end of 80's horror (coming out in 1990), and it's only flaw is that it didn't follow TCM2 with a direct sequel (TCM2 being my favorite of the series). Ken Foree is a bad ass hero and Kate Hodge holds down the fort well.

This print was edited as most if not all would be. Theatrically it was cut up (a sign of the times in 1990). So glad that Exhumed took a winning chance on this sequel.

Blue Monkey

This is the movie of the night for me. It had been recommended to me this year though I cannot remember by whom. It lived up that recommendation and prompted me to go on a license hunt and Blu-ray campaign to see this get into the proper hands. I don't expect the hunt to go very far, but man, if we can get this thing out there a new generation of fans is going to love this beautiful buggy, gross movie with Steve Railsback as our hero.

This print  was flawless. I mean just beautiful. Often times I say that some of the prints I watch at repertory screenings are perfect for inspiring the audience to see and care for a movie better, but this one came out of the can looking like a digitally restored piece of gold.

The movie itself is just fun and gross and fun and gross and fun and gross and sometimes a little scary too. This is a perfect horrorthon movie. It's one that few have seen projected. Not available on DVD or Blu-ray (so that limits the audience). It has perfect moments for applause and it movie at a nice clip with plenty of action.

Pet Sematary

I have a problem with this movie. I love it. I think it's a fantastic movie that deserves a tremendous amount of credit for being an effective piece of cinema that delivers on good fun, good gore, a Stephen King level plot and solid performances that create a deeply emotive experience. My problem: Gage dies and then comes back and then dies and it just makes me want to cry my eyes out. I suppose that it's always bothered me, but since having kids, it's like Jimbo-repellent. My wife won't let me screen it in the house, and I won't let me screen it in the house.

I watched it, and, as expected, I was very emotional. Before the screening, Dan Fraga made a good point. He said that too often the audience simply laughs and yells during screenings trying to make everything funny when a movie should be taken seriously as well. A horror movie from the 80's can be scary too. Do you think crowds during the 80's were laughing at dead Gage when his father was crying as he had to "put him down" a second time? Nope. They probably had a reaction similar to mine: heartbreak. Just when Gage makes his debut to Louis and up until the time when Gage departs the undead coil, I was getting ready to feel sad... and the audience laughed. They just laughed at his appearance and dialogue from Miko Hughes that was delivered perfectly to tug your heart strings. I remembered Dan's words and actually took them to heart suddenly aware that this might be one of those moments where we could take a film seriously instead of laughing it off. It was the only time I felt strangely distant from my horrothon friends (that and when they cheered on Night of 1000 Cats... a movie I didn't really get until my second viewing). I actually wanted to shush them.

It's a brilliant selection just the same. Print looked great. Truly a special work among all the King adaptations.

The Gate 2

I have shrugged off The Gate 2 for years! I didn't want to spoil the experience I had with the original, and not a goddamn person every said anything nice about it. I am absolutely thrilled that Exhumed screened it because it is sure to become one of my favorites. The Gate screened last year as the opening movie creating one of the most memorable 35mm screenings of my horrorthoning career. The Gate was a childhood favorite of mine that always creeped me out. The big screen made it feel as large as it felt when I was kid, having only seen it on the small screen.

The sequel picks up at a good spot after the original and brings back Terry, a fan favorite character. The special effects live up to the original through most of the movie, and the story line follows Terry as he evolves his fascination of the occult into a real hobby. He tries to use his newly acquired knowledge of the occult for good and ends up with Monkey's Paw results.

This may be another 1990 movie, but it carries with it all the trappings of an 80's film. One might even say that 1990 was the last good year for 80's horror.

Last House on Dead End Street

To be honest, I still don't know why everyone swoons over this movie. It bores me. It does not shock me. I know that shock is relative to the time frame in which a movie was released; for it not to shock me is unsurprising. The cult status precedes it and thus fans just love to love this movie. You know what I love about it? The poster art, tag line and title.

That being said, the audience really made this one come to laugh assisting with applause and laughter that created a semi-comedy out of this supposed shock fest. Seeing it projected, despite my lack of support for it, is a rare treat. I feel honored to have been in its presence when so few people get the chance. I do not take this privilege lightly. I know that this was special. I was it was more special to me.

The print was perfectly grindy and grimy. Excellent choice. Funny thing is... I'll buy it when it hits Blu-ray because of how it important it is. It has earned it's place in any good horror collection if for no other reason than reputation.

Every time I see that damn mask I think of Janus and expect a Criterion release. Also the movie's name lends it self to our buddy's blog, Last Blog on Dead End Street. Make sure to show Tom some love!

Guru the Mad Monk

Andy Milligan is growing on me, but it's taking some time. The minute that I heard this was screening at that it was Milligan movie I had a split reaction. I was hungry and wanted food... badly. I also wanted to run back in the movie and watched ten minutes of it. Milligan's movies feel very similar. I enjoy them, but I think I enjoy reading about him and his movies more than actually watching them. I read about him recently in Sleazoid Express which got me tickled to watch his movies. When I did, I just felt icky afterward and not entirely satisfied.

People throw The Ghastly Ones at me like it's some kind of legendary horror picture. I have found it difficult to sit through and boring. His films are pure trash and should be preserved and appreciated for that. This was a treat for his fans, and I'm glad Exhumed exposed more people to his work.

I just didn't have the patience to sit through it with an empty stomach in need of pizza and ice. I love the poster art!


This movie is like geriatric monster horror. It was perfect for that late night time slot, got a great crowd reaction and has a stellar title (Bog is such a hearty word in the mouth). The music featured in the movie really sets that rich, funny tone that evokes laughter even before the unintentionally humorous dialogue gets the audience rolling.  It's filled with scenes of desperately romantic lovemaking that border on watching your grandparents make out for extended periods of time. Still, I've never wanted to go dynamite fishing more, so it's got that going for it. Can you say Rifftrax? Mystery Science Theater 3000?

The monster is a let down and the kills are comedic (it's called Bog!). Turns out this one was shot in 1978 and took about six years to get a release. I remember seeing the VHS cover when I was a kid.

Mother's Day

I had guess Bloodsucking Freaks based on the hints provided by Exhumed. Turns out it was another movie distro'd by Troma. Mother's Day isn't my favorite hillbilly horror movie, but it certainly contains some entertaining scenes, quality violence and moments of humor. That being said, it's kind of a rapey and mean spirited. You don't screen I Spit at Your Grave or Cannibal Holocaust at a 24 Hour event because they are not feel good movies. That may be great pieces of horror cinema, but they won't make you cheer as much as they will make you feel icky inside (Pet Sematary actually felt slightly inappropriate too but only slightly). Mother's Day isn't exactly on par with I Spit or Cannibal Holocaust but it has moments that might put you off.

Note to Exhumed: Bloodsucking Freaks is equally mean spirited but at least you can serve penis shaped hot dogs prior to the screening of the movie to set the tone.

Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II

I hadn't seen this one since it was on non-pay cable as a kid. That means I had only seen it cut up, and it had been years. What a treat. It's a funny movie, that had a brilliant crowd reaction, cult fan favorite and captures that essence of the 80's and the horrorthon perfectly. I'm truly glad to have experienced this movie on the big screen. Great looking print, awesome kills.

Blood Rage

What a surprise this was! I had been eyeing up Blood Rage on just this year, and there it was! Of course it has the title card Nightmare at Shadow Woods, but I know it as Blood Rage. I had kept thinking it was a Thanksgiving horror movie that someone had recommended to me this past year, but obviously it wasn't.

This was a laugh riot, 80's slasher flick with twins, synths Carpenter score and moments of clearly intentional comedy. If you are a slasher movie person, this a mandatory pick up. Came out in 87, but looks older. After checking it out on IMDB, that's because it was shot in 83.

Count this up with some of the funnier movies Exhumed has screened over the years like Boardinghouse.

You can order it from VHSP:

Kingdom of the Spiders

This is a bucket list movie for me. As a kid I adored it and would always rewatch the version we taped off of the USA network. That meant it was slightly cut, but I didn't mind. This movie is responsible for my irrational fear of car visors and prop planes. It recently screened at the Alamo Drafthouse by Fangoria, a screening I had to miss due to a previously scheduled vacation. Please don't think for a second that I didn't consider leaving late for the vacation to go to the screening.

If you love William Shatner, hate spiders and want to laugh at some pretty hamfisted environmental/animal horror, please check this out. Not only will you be entertained, but you'll be terrified to go to Arizona. I had to stop in Arizona on a layover coming back from Vegas. I wouldn't leave the airplane and even looked out across the landscape as we descended thinking, where are all the goddamn spiders?

Kill em all with fire extinguishers. Send in the Shatner! This is the second year in a row that Exhumed nailed a movie that I needed to see from my childhood. Last year they screened Son of Blob which was a constant rewatcher for me.

Night of the Creeps

First off, Haunt Love nailed the mystery poster for this one and I wish I had bought it on the spot (you didn't know what it was until the end of the screening). I must pick it up. Great job on this poster and the Horrorthon poster itself.

This movie says Halloween! While it doesn't take place on Halloween it has all the key elements. Creepy, alien experiments, the walking undead, ax murderer, zombies, Tom Atkins, flamethrowers... This is what Fred Dekker does. He makes movies for scary occasions that equal points scary and entertaining with a hint of the sentimental and relatable characters. I had often said that I wanted to see that Rochester double feature with Monster Squad and Night of the Creeps that spawned that brilliant mash up poster that circles the web from time to time. Now I've seen half of it.

Wrap Up

This was one of the best line ups Exhumed has screened. From start to finish it had excellent variety, rarities, plenty to laugh at or be moderately scared by. The flow felt perfectly organic, and I truly didn't want to miss any of the movies even if I had to skip a couple to eat or give me ass a break.

Points of criticism: I wish Grindcore House had shown up. Would have meant not missing Guru as I would gladly have eaten a vegan sandwich with their coffee (I love their coffee).

The heat... sucked. Every year I sit in the same spot, claimed my spot and then realized that the AC wasn't on. Turns out they turn it off and that's it for the year. That means if it's 90 fucking degrees... it simply is 90 degrees. Floor level was comfortable. The upper seats were like a goddamn inferno! It only got worse over the course of the night as sweaty bodies kept the place warm and most. Then the motherfucking heat came on! I pounded fluid. I sweat through my shirt and couldn't get cool even with ice and a cold patch compress for medical use. Nothing worked. If it can be avoided next year, that would be great. If the heat could not come on to not further making it nauseating when it was simply annoying, better. The place was too packed to move seats once the movie had started, no lights to move our stuff even if we could move. If you didn't come to the top row, you probably didn't even know it was too hot because the heat only seemed to start 2/3rds up the bleacher. Next year we will sit lower. It was so hot that I didn't even want to eat ice cream for fear of getting nauseous.

Only one outside vendor all day and it was an Indian food truck. I like Indian food. I don't think the way I smell after eating Indian food is anything you want to be near. So it meant constantly trekking out to find food rather than staying close and taking in cool vendors. Loved the hot dog truck, spot burger and the Hawaiian tacos in the past. Fingers crossed for next year. Would have loved some gourmet grilled cheese.

Can you guys help work out a parking deal? Yeah I got a couple bucks off parking. I was there from 9am to 12pm the next day. I paid $44 to park and that was validated. The Science Center may have been a luxury, but there has to be a middle ground. Let's start working on this now if possible.

Points of awesome: the lineup was top fucking notch! One of the best ever. See all comments above.

The shirt is amazing. I love the classic House of Mystery design and will wear it with pride. Glad to hear it sold out.

The poster from Haunt Love ( is beautiful and will need to get the mystery poster. Support Haunt Love:

Picture courtesy of Haunt Love

I purchased The Car from Arrow and Nostril Picker. Thanks Diabolik for rocking my socks as always (yes I washed the socks after you rocked them).

Dan Fraga is the king of announcements. The prizes were great, and it is a pleasure to listen to you list the rules and prizes each year.

The Exhumed Films bumper was back and no glitches! This is important for me as a horrothoner. Your brand is the best on the market and your bumper shows it.

I loved catching up with all members of Exhumed Films. Someday we gotta get Harry to speak up front. If anyone wanted me to carry the metaphor of the Beatles to Exhumed further... Harry is the quiet one (George), Jesse Nelson is John Lennon (because he always says wonderfully inappropriate things that get him into trouble... Exhumed Films is bigger than Jesus). Joseph Gervasi is Ringo (because he has an amazing sense of humor) and Dan is Paul (the women love him and he's eloquent).

On to Exhumed IX where I will have my Horrorthoner tattoo in place,

Make sure you shop at DiabolikDVD which is belong to Jesse and Joe from Exhumed:

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1 comment:

  1. Great article! I only paid $10.00 to park at the science center, but had to wait for the attendant to come over and take my validated ticket.
    Here's my take on it: