In recognition of the upcoming Exhumed Films 24-Hour Horror-thon 2010, I am reposting my entry on the first 24-hour show they put on. I missed 2008 (one of the biggest regrets of my life), but you can read my take on the 2009 show here. See you in October!
I have to thank the guys at Exhumed Films for putting on such a great Halloween show. For their tenth anniversary(!) they decided to do something huge. 24 hours straight. 14 films with non-stop trailers in between. Also, no one in the audience knew what movies were being played until they unspooled in front of them.
From Noon on a Saturday to Noon on a Sunday I was in heaven. A smelly uncomfortable greasy heaven, but it was a still heaven. I physically recovered quickly, but mentally I wanted to stay away from people and movie theaters for awhile. That is why it has taken me over a month to gather my thoughts for this review of the event.
Below you will find a description given to the audience by Exhumed Films of what movie was going to play. Under that is my quick review. Click on the description to see what the film was.
#1 – Slasher Classic The perfect film to start the show with. Everyone has seen this movie a hundred times, and most of the people at the show have probably seen it in the theater. It epitomizes the genre. I always liked it for its simplicity, and how the director creates tension with music and simple camera work. It’s also quite fun to watch, especially with an audience. This was a safe film choice for them to make.
#2 – Giant Monster Movie The most famous giant monster in the history of cinema stars in this campy sci-fi action romp. This time, he fights a robot version of himself, which is controlled by gorilla-like aliens intent on taking over Tokyo. He also gets some help from an ancient creature. This was a lot of fun, and new to most people in the theater. Not a good film by any means, but it will definitely make you appreciate man-in-suit madness.
#3 – Creepy, Beloved, Made for Television Movie This was a creepy little movie. A professional couple move into an old house. While the husband is away from work they wife is tormented by these little demon things that live in the basement. She tries to tell people but no one believes her until its too late. The generation of mood is effective, and the creatures are pulled off without making everyone laugh at them. It definitely is a product of the 70s, but it ages well.
#4 – Gruesome Favorite That Doesn’t Easily Fall Into Any Particular Genre Wow! I never realized how much I liked this film. I had seen it before, but I was really tired at the time. This viewing I was riveted from start to finish. It’s brutal and eerie and moves along efficiently from what mind-bending scene to the next. There were parts I didn’t understand (The old guy with the birds), but largely this film creates a believable mythology that draws you in. This seems to be staple of this writer/director, and this film, his most famous, is a classic for a reason.
#5 – “Sort-of-living-dead-but-not-exactly” Classic Another “classic”. This one I’m sure most of the audience had seen many times before. Still, it didn’t lessen their enthusiasm. This one did well with the low budget it had. The tall man is creepy, the flying silver balls are even cooler, and the dwarf things are freaky. It really goes all out to be strange and bloody and it does do the job. Not a great film, but definitely entertaining.
#6 – Sleazy/Infamous/Absurdist Slasher Guilty Pleasure Another “Wow!” for this film. Everyone involved with this film knew exactly what they were doing. This was a tongue-in-cheek slasher film that played everything seriously but really knew what buttons to push to make you laugh or squirm. A killer is loose on a college campus, and its up to an intrepid student and some ineffective cops to stop him. But who is he? Is he the creepy teacher, the chain-saw wielding custodian? From one of the best opening scenes ever, to the crazy unbelievable last scene, this movie had me the whole time. Highly recommended for “Absurdist Slasher” film fans.
#7 – Comedy/Monster Movie Favorite Well, it definitely is one of my favorite comedy/monster movies. I had seen it for the first time at a previous Exhumed showing and I was blown away then. This time, I was still thoroughly entertained. The director really knows how to tread that thin line between humor and horror. Add to that some great special make-up effects, a tight simple script, and a great ending and you have a thoroughly enjoyable viewing for any evening.
#8 – Vampire Cult Classic Now this was a clever choice. I had never seen this film before, but I was always a fan of the genre, and crossing vampires into it was a great idea. The story is standard, and the relationships and motivations of people are a bit confusing. Maybe it was just the fact that I was starting to get quite tired at the time. Still, it kept me awake and entertained with its blood and funky music.
#9 – Sleazy/Infamous/Absurdist Zombie Guilty Pleasure This film was pretty bad. But at least it had its campy funny moments. The zombies were gross. All sort of dry and covered in worms. The story and direction is nothing to speak of. A bunch of people staying at an Italian estate are attacked by zombies. To be honest, I don’t remember why. There was a creepy “child” (see #10), though. The actor playing him must have been thirty, and he kept trying to get a little too close to his mother. That was strange, but the audience really got a kick out of his and her demise.
#10 – A real obscurity that you won’t think is a horror movie until its final moments, at which point you’ll say to yourself, “Jesus Christ, this is the most horrific thing I have ever seen in my life. These nightmarish images are forever burned my brain. I cannot believe what I have just been subjected to. Damn you to hell, Exhumed Films!” What can be said about this film? A teenage after school special type story from the sixties. It really is a great time capsule. The dancing was my favorite part. Despite its genre, it was thoroughly engaging at 2am, and the audience did squirm and scream at the sight of graphic pregnancy footage. This film was a surprise, and a welcome change from the classic horror.
#11 – Ridiculously goofy/trashy monster movie guilty pleasure From what everyone was saying afterwards, this was the most reviled film shown that evening. An ancient vampire teams up with a abnormal servant to fight a modern prometheus. At least that is what I remember. He had this ring that disintegrated people, and he used it to destroy all the cobwebs in the abandoned lab before he got started with his evil plan. I had seen this film once before at Exhumed. I wasn’t impressed then, even though it had a camp charm about it. I definitely wasn’t impressed watching it this time at 4am.
#12 – “Sort-of-living-dead-but-not-exactly” cult classic This film has to be seen to be believed. An Italian zombie film about demons let loose in a movie theater. It makes no sense, but its wall to wall disgusting gore, crazy outfits, over-the-top dialog, punk music, and aviation accidents. This is one of those films that if you watch late at night you won’t be sure what was a dream and what wasn’t. It isn’t an intelligent film, but my god its worth seeing during the wee hours you should be asleep.
#13 – Campy Monster Movie Cult Classic Contrary to the previous film, this one is quite intelligent. It is written by John Sayles, and tells the story of a ridiculed cop and his obsession with catching a giant man-eating alligator thats living in the sewers. There are some good special effects. The tension is doled out slowly with brief glimpses of the creature before finally seeing it in the larger than life last third. There is some light social commentary in the script as well. Class conflict, animal experimentation, big-city politics. Overall its a well-made take an a standard urban legend.
#14 – Zombie Move That Makes Me Sick To My Guts Every Time I See It I never really liked this film. It is gory, for sure. There is a scene where a women pukes up her entire intestinal tract, and another one where a guy gets a power-drill through the head. The story involves the standard Fulci tripe. I don’t remember and I don’t care to remember exactly what it was about. Not a good film to end the night on, but I know why they did it. This was the first film they ever showed at Exhumed Films. Still, the audience seemed to like it, even after 22 hours of films. If it wasn’t for the glory of finishing the night, I would have left.
Overall, the event was grand. I was hoping for some rarer films, but the classics are always fun. The crowd was decent and only started to get on my nerves after the first 10 films. I was proud that I only left the theater twice to use the bathroom (during credit sequences), and that I brought enough food and drink to last me the whole time.
This probably is going to stand as one of the premiere film-going events of my lifetime. It will be hard to top. Exhumed Films did right for their tenth anniversary, and I’m hoping that they I get to see another ten more.