Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Exhumed FIlms Horrorthon Year 5: Brand-spanking new!

It's been just about ten months since the 5th annual Exhumed Films Horrorthon ended, and I'm late with my review of it. There have been several fantastic blogs that have already done the task of reviewing this event, so my blog is less than necessary. Hell, at this point I actually toyed with the idea of not even bothering. Personal demons have kept me from writing recently, so letting said demons win and skipping this was not something I wanted to do. So here we stand-- late. But as they say, better late than blahblah.
This year's event ended up happening on one of the most miserable autumn weekends in recorded history for the Philadelphia area: below-average temperatures, freezing rain, sleet and icey roads. This would, in fact, make it the most ideal weekend in stay in a movie theater for 24 straight hours.
I arrived at the I-House with my friend Tiffs(link) at 9am and got a good spot in line. Got to meet Chris Alo(hudson horror show), and talk with friends Dan Tabor(link) & Thomas Bryce(blog link) until the doors opened at 11am.
I picked up my tickets, purchased a few DVDs from DiabolikDVD(The awesome Arrow Video bluray of City of the Living Dead and the Return of the Living Dead documentary), and proceeded to find our seats.
Before we knew it, Noon was upon us and it was time for announcements from the Exhumed guys and some prize giveaways(I won nothing).
Alright, onto the movies!
This year, EF chose to only show movies that they've never screened in their 14 year history, which made for the most diverse Horror-thon yet.
Like previous years, I'll post the clue, then my guess(if I had one), and then the answer.

12:20PM - Fun 1970s British film that successfully combines two specific horror and exploitation genres
My guess was The Wicker Man, but instead we got:

The Death Wheelers(aka Psychomania!)

I was pretty disappointed that this was not Wicker Man, but this ended up being a really fun movie. Still not quite sure what the giant frog in the chair was all about. Just what was the sandwich that Tom ate while questioning if his butler was the living dead?  We actually became hilariously obsessed with that sandwich-eating scene. So much so that we were devastated to find out that the DVD release OMITTED that scene for whatever reason! We will not rest until a complete cut of Psychomania is released upon the world! A Sandwich Special Edition!

2:00PM - Giant monster movie classic
The second movie of the horrorthon is always set for some sort of giant monster movie, and every year I guess the lovably horrid Godzilla's Revenge, which was not to be shown yet again this year. Instead, we got:


I did not want to sit through Rodan. I had seen it before and found it pretty dull. Sadly at this point the DiabolikDVD table had shut down, and it was freezing rain out, so I had very little to do for 90 minutes.

3:40PM - Little seen supernatural shocker that marks the horror debut of a future genre icon.
I have no idea what my guess was, or even if I had one.
What we ended up with was:


This was ok. This movie was equal parts amusing and bore-fest. It left very little in the way of a lasting impression.
Jeffery Combs is the "genre icon", BTW.

5:10PM - Just when you thought we were having fun, along comes movie #4 to completely depress you with it's stark brutality and nihilism.
Oh hell, here's another where I haven't the foggiest what my guess was. Probably Maniac. Which it wasn't.
What we were raped with was:

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

Ah, what fun. Here's my 4-word impression of the horror-thon up till this point, describing each movie: Fun. Fun. Fun. Raaaaape.
This one, I have to admit, was a nice surprise. Despite how rough this movie is(the final scene actually upset my stomach pretty badly), it's one of the stand-out horror films of the 90s(not a hard task actually). What was interesting is the amount of people standing outside to wait for Henry to end may have been equal or greater than the amount of people that stayed to watch it.
Later when I had asked one of the EF guys as to why they chose to show this, despite claiming that the 'thon would never show anything that was "too heavy", he said that they had rented this print of Henry awhile ago, but never found a date to screen it. They needed to show it somewhere so the rental would not have been a waste of money. Makes sense.

6:40PM: Dinner Break: They showed some Three Stooges and assorted trailers. No Mr. Magoo, thank Jebus.

7:20PM: Zombie Movie

The Dead

The Exhumed FIlms Horror-thon has gotten so famous that people now want to debut new movies at the event. This year we got the British zombie film The Dead. BIG TIME mixed reactions over this one. I very much liked it, while my good friend Jesse Draham booed it loudly as the credits rolled. You just can't please everyone.

9:00PM - Totally stupid, totally awesome Satanic silliness
My guess was probably Evil Speak, but that movie isn't very silly. Instead, we spoke in tongues while they showed us:

Trick or Treat

Satanic silliness indeed! Forget the both Gene Simmons and Ozzy Osbourne appear, I was way more excited to see Skippy from Family Ties star as a nerdy teen who worships the frontman of a metal rock group. Great stuff with some hilarious scenes. This would've been the best movie of the show, if not for a fantastic Frankenstein adaptation shown later in the program.

10:50PM - Underappreciated over-the-top slasher/psychosexual thriller
I had no guess here. We got statutory raped with:

Night Warning

Besides the fantastic Family Truckster beheading in the in the opening, there isn't a whole lot that spells "horror" in this movie until the ending. Definitely a lot of woman-on-boy jailbait fun and while-you-were-sleeping neck-licking. Eww. Good movie, though.
Every now and then you can catch the whole film on youtube, but then whomever owns the rights has it taken down.
Ya know what, that's fine. I understand not wanting your intellectual property available for free. I respect that. But as long as you do not have a legal means for us to see your movie, that is on DVD or even a digital download, then I do not feel pity when you movie or music is available for free, illegally  to the masses.

12:45AM - Unconventional adaptation of a literary horror classic #1
I probably guessed some Hammer Horror film, but I really should've read into the word "unconventional" a wee bit more. We shared some stems with:


My crew and l agreed- THIS was the best movie of the whole event this year. This one had it all: lawnmower dismemberment, dirty 1980's New York City, exploding hookers, super-crack, and the finest performance of Frankenstein's Monster this side of Robert Diniro. If only this movie had a chainsaw fight or Viggo Mortensen, it would've been perfect.

2:15AM - Unconventional adaptation of a horror classic #2
No clue. Had no guess. What we got was the blaxploitation classic:

Decision for Doom(Aka Dr. Black and Mr. Hyde)

This one was a bit more slow moving than the previous feature, but it WAS heavy with Pimps, so I can dig it. This starred the always-awesome Bernie Casey.

4:00AM - Infamous, sleazy and bizarre Euro-horror/sexploitation movie
At this point I was barely conscious. We howled at the moon with:

Legend of the Wolf Woman

This movie featured our first bare vagina of the night, right as the movie began. You'd figure that'd be enough to keep me awake. It wasn't. Zzzz.
Thankfully, this movie is on Youtube in it's full nude-y glory, so I'll get a second shot at it this year.

5:30Am - 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 it's sheer stupidity. It's 5:30 in the morning, what did you expect?)
After a hint like that, combined with my growing insanity, my guess was Birth of a Nation(not really). We were instead sevred up a plate of:

Blood Diner

This movie was good, goofy fun. The cold-open alone almost made it "best movie of the 'thon", but plot-wise it was a little too similar to Frankenhooker.

7:30AM - "Star studded" slasher semi-classic
I heard someone else guess that this was going to be The Burning. They were right!

The Burning

There's really not much I can say about this slasher film. It's not bad, but I don't feel it broke any new ground. A third viewing may change my mind.
Two things: I'm surprised that there was never a sequel, and I'm surprised that there's never been a Cropsy action figure. Must be rights issues.

9:15AM - Usually this is the spot where we show an Animals Attack film. Well, there are no animals here, but people definitely get attacked silly scifi/action/horror amalgam.
I'm pretty sure I guessed Tremors, but instead we got run-over by:

Maximum Overdrive

At this point for me, the event was not fun anymore. Dumb fighting between some of the people that came with me, added to the fact that I had broke my phone, pretty much ruined my taste for the Horror-thon. We left just a few minutes into this. l failed you, blog-reading public.

10:45AM - For the first time ever, the Horror-thon does not end with a zombie film. In fact, it technically doesn't end with a horror film. Instead, we close with this ridiculous/offensive/just-plain-wrong cult film favorite.
Before I left, I heard rumblings that this was going to be Meet the Feebles. Guess what?

Meet the Feebles

I was home and in bed by the time this feature even began, so I have no idea how I would've reacted to it. I'm pretty sure it would've involved sudden eye-bleeding.
This is another movie that does not have a proper US DVD release. I wonder how Peter Jackson feels about Feebles at this point in his Oscar-winning career?

'Thon Highpoints: Frankenhooker, Psychomania, Trick or Treat
'Thon Lowpoints: Rodan, Frightmare, Decision for Doom

Good show this year. So far EF has not matched the awesomeness that was the 2nd Horror-thon, but that's a hard show to beat.
As I finish writing this, we are roughly two months from this year's show. I apologize for my extreme tardiness and promise to be much more prompt for the next event.

Update and stuff...

Hey, long time no blog. Sorry bout that. I have no real excuse as to why I haven't posted here. I've had lots of good ideas, but I have motivation issues. It seems the closer we get to October, the more likely I am to post, but really I should be writing year round.
If I knew I had more readers, I'd probably post more, but i can't get more readers until I post more. Oh those double edged swords.

We were only there for 2 hours, as we had other plans later that night. I brought my friend Laura, who had never been to the horror con before. She seemed to like it, and said that she enjoyed how "into it" I was. We only attempted to meet 2 celebrities: Jesus from True Blood and Glen from Walking Dead. Since Jesus was a no-show and Glen was charging $30 for a signature, we met no one. We did have a good time walking around the sales floor(watching Laura avoid the scary clowns on stilts was doubly fun). As usual, I spent a load of cash on movies. Here's what i added to my ever-growing collection:
(these are all standard releases, unless otherwise noted)
-Twilight Zone: The Movie
-The Horror Hall of Fame 3(bootleg)
-Highway to Hell(bootleg)
-Paranormal Activity 2
-Hostel Part 3
-The Fog(Original)
-Dead Alive(I got sick of waiting for a better release, since I normally hate bare bones DVDs)
-Return of the Living Dead - Region B Blu Ray(A really cool, extras-packed release. I plan on buying a region-free player some day)
-The Boogans
-The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh
A few of these were bought at the DiabolikDVD booth, who are also part of the Exhumed Films gang, responsible for the annual Horror-thon that I can't shut up about.
Joe seemed tired, so I really didn't get to talk to him, but Jesse had a nice present for me: a collection of Exhumed Films print ads from their 15 year history. About a year ago, I let Jesse know that I collected and saved all the current flyer ads that they released, and he said to remind him to bring me some extra ones that he had lying around. He went above and beyond the call of duty and gave me some awesome old flyers, some going back to their first show back in 1997! Laura and Jesse(who are both ball busters) joked that I was gonna start "scrap booking" these things. joking or not, I'm considering it.
I'm gonna try and scan a few of the more important flyers and post them to the Exhumed Films Horror-thon Facebook fan-page that I built. So, keep an eye out.
We left the con promptly at 6:30 so we could make it to the city by 8 and meet my friend Tiff for Exhumed Films Kung Fu double feature of Miami Connection and L.A. Streetfighters. Much like the con, this was Laura's first time at EF, and making it harder was the fact they were purposely screening a movie that is bad(but fun with an audience), but Laura seemed to really enjoy it. Later I remembered that she grew up watching Mystery Science Theater 3000, so I had nothing to worry about. Miami Connection was funnier(and more inept) than expected, but we did not stay for L.A. Streetfighters, as we were all pretty beat. The next EF show is at the end of October: The mighty 666th Annual 24 Hour Horror-thon! Speaking of Horror-thons...
I have been gathering "fantasy football" style Horror-thons from various people for a special feature that I am going to begin posting next month. These fantasy 'thons will range from nobodies(me and my friends), to fellow bloggers(Freddie Young, Rick Romanowski and Sean McLaughlin) to horror big-wigs, like Chris Alo of the Hudson Horror Show and Mr. Lobo & his wife Dixie.
I'm still wrestling with how to handle posting these, but most likely I'll just post what they wrote and add my 2 cents when needed. We'll see what happens the first week of September.
From there we roll right into our favorite month of the year: October! Thus will start the 5th annual 31 Days of Horror(hashtag #31DaysOfHorror on Twitter), but only my 2nd year of actually chronicling it on my blog. This year I will have a few themes, and I have a few movies already planned out on when I want to watch them.
I plan on starting the month out with the original version of The Fog. Also right away I'll be doing a 4-day Scream-fest, watching all 4 Scream movies for 4 days straight. That will crossover with my theme for Tuesdays, which for the whole month of October will be known as "Part 2sday", which, as you may have guessed, will only feature films that are a part two. Friday and Saturdays will most likely feature weirder and sleazier fair, like shot on video features.
Later in the month, I will have the Saw-a-thon, which will be a 7 day event of watching all 7 Saw films back-to-back. Halloween night will be a Ty West double feature with House of the Devil and The Innkeepers.
Another new feature this year will be the running body count, keeping count of all on-screen deaths. Let's see how much death one person can watch in a month's time. I'll be keeping track of all this in real-time on my Twitter(@WetOREO), and then covering it all weekly here.
Last thing: To try and keep things going for my writing, I am taking some cues from Thomas Bryce and John Squiers' blogs, by that I mean I am going to write about some other topics that are dear to me but aren't horror. So, expect some music related blogs to be posted in the coming months. I also plan on a blog about the death of Nintendo Power(my first magazine subscription), and about the 10th anniversary of House of 1,000 Corpses.
Thanks for reading, and see ya'll next week!