I was commenting to a friend that the Exhumed Films 24-Hour Horror-thon 2011 is the premiere film-going experience in the world. After much deliberation I stand by that. Can you name any other 24-hour film festivals? The only one I know about is Harry Knowles’ Butt-numb-a-thon. But that doesn’t show as many movies and half of those you will be able to see in the theater in a regular release.
As you can see from my previous write-ups the Exhumed Films horror-thon is a great mix of quality, obscurity, and an opportunity that should not be missed:
2011 was no exception. In fact, the line-up was even better than usual:
A unique, dreamlike opening leads into a story of a motorcycles, resurrection, and toads. The leader of a motorcycle gang learns how to live forever and leads invincible cyclists on a rampage through the English country side. This film truly is a combination of two genres, supernatural horror and cycle-sploitation, and it manages to be the best of both.
As fun as one would expect. Japan, a force to be reckoned with when it comes to giant monsters, creates another one with this tale of a mining company that accidentally digs up giant bugs that terrorize the town. But that is only the beginning. The bugs are being eaten by something that hatched out of a huge prehistoric egg. One is reminded of the dwarves of Moria, who delved too greedily and too deep.
What if a famous horror icon died, but instead of going quietly he left behind a cursed mausoleum tourist attraction? And what if a group of teenage fans stole (kidnapped?) his dead body and used it for a night of goofy fun? Some funny yet disturbing scenes lead up to a fun supernatural slasher. The future horror icon is Jeffrey Combs (as one of the students), but Ferdy Mayne as the great Conrad Radzoff is the real star of the film.
This film does some important things that good films do. It makes you feel something, it creates a style that compliments the story, and uses a script that is unique but logically sound. It is the story of a murderer, based on Henry Lee Lucas, and a small segment of his life. A great film full of an independent film-making spirit, strong performances, and an ending that will stay with you.
Over-hyped. It is an above-average new zombie-film, but that isn’t saying much. It does a few things well but too many things wrong. The good: a cool African backdrop, realistic slowly moving zombies, and an ability to create fear using them. The bad: over-the-top use of music and slow motion, and a lack of urgency in the story set-up. But worst of all is that it brings absolutely nothing new to a played-out genre.
It’s a familiar formula: a teenager, teased and bullied for years, finally fights back with the help of supernatural powers. The hook for this film is that the teenager is a rock and roll metalhead and his powers are in the form of a dead musician’s advice coming from a vinyl record played in reverse. Yes, it is is goofy and fun as it sounds, and it includes Gene Simmons and Ozzy Osbourne in some great cameos.
A bizarre, creepy film about a woman and her unhealthy obsession with the nephew she has been raising since he was a toddler. When he gets old enough to potentially move away from home, she does everything in her power to keep him there. Yes, its disturbing, but it has a perverted energy and a powerhouse performance by Susan Tyrrell that make it fascinating.
I just saw this in the theater a week earlier. I feel honored, because it is a remarkable film. It’s an adaptation of Frankenstein involving dead prostitutes. It shouldn’t work but it does because Henenlotter has a way of setting up a tone where everything makes sense and the subject matter doesn’t feel as sleazy as it sounds. James Lonrinz is a riot as well. I don’t feel bad saying I love this movie.
I enjoyed this film, but this was at the point in the marathon where I started to lose it a bit. I liked what I saw. Bernie Casey is very likable as a black doctor searching for a cure, and also very terrifying as the white murderer he turns into when his new drug doesn’t work as expected. Yes, I just described a blaxploitation version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Another film I missed most of, but I did get to see a naked wolf woman tearing men’s throats out before I fell asleep. Was this a standard Euro-horror sexploitation film or something more? One of the bad things of 24-hour horror-thons is not being able to stay awake the whole time to find out.
#11 – Thought-provoking, intellectual genre masterpiece that serves as a metaphor for the fragility of the human condition (…just kidding. This is a goofy gore/sleaze-fest that will probably make your brain hurt with its sheer stupidity. It’s 5:30 in the morning, what did you expect?
It starts with a feel-good 50s-style opening where a man with a meat-cleaver is gunned down by the police. The two nephews he leaves behind grow up to be the brains and the brawn behind a vegetarian diner that is actually serving human flesh. Together with their uncle who is now only a brain in a jar, they set about trying to bring an ancient goddess back to life. This film has a deserved cult-following due to a good mix of gore and humor. My favorite was the deep-fried head scene.
I like how “star-studded” was in quotes. But with names like Jason Alexander, Fisher Stevens, and Holly Hunter the quotes are deserved. It’s about a deranged summer camp caretaker getting revenge on young kids that accidentally burned him. It’s an above average slasher-flick, but again, that is not saying much.
I love Stephen King, but I always avoided this film that he wrote and directed because I heard it was horrible. But from the opening scene on I was pleasantly surprised. The Earth passes through the tail of a comet, which causes all electronics and machines to come to life and attack humans. The story centers around a group of people stuck at a truck stop, surrounded by a convoy of killer trucks. It is a fun, big-budget siege story that has all the trappings of a good genre film.
#14 – For the first time ever, the Horror-thon does not end with a zombie film. In fact, it technically doesn’t even end with a horror movie. Instead, we close with this jaw-droppingly ridiculous/offensive/just-plain-wrong cult film favorite
This was the only film that I managed to guess based on the above clues. But I don’t think I guessed it. I wanted to see this film so badly on the big screen that I willed the print into the projector with the power of my mind. Peter Jackson directs this infamous puppet film with no-holds-barred gusto. The plot manages to weave many intriguing story lines into one coherent piece, and wraps them up with a flourish. A great film to end with and the highlight of the night.
Where would I rank this Horror-thon? The films were definitely the most consistent in quality, the most varied, and the most obscure. For me, that is what makes the Exhumed Films horror-thon so important, and that is why this has been my most favorite so far.