Sunday, November 4, 2012

Exhumed Films Horror-Thon Year 666: Mark of the Beast!

The sixth annual Exhumed Films Horror-thon has come to pass, and it left a swath of destruction in it's path. And by destruction, I mean around 400 happy horror fans, because most would agree that this year's event was the most fun 'thon yet.
Here's a quick list of some of the wonderment's we witnessed on screen: dirty, gritty 1980's New York City, parasitic aliens, zombies, wild witches, melting men, carnivorous kitties, and a squeaky-voiced skunk named Stinky.
Some notes to go through before I get to the movies themselves:
-I've been to 5 straight Horror-thons, and this year l FINALLY got a good night's sleep beforehand. I took a sleeping pill and went to bed at 8pm the night before, and proceeded to sleep till 6:30 the next morn. This made ALL the difference for this year's show.
-My friends who joined me this year were great company for the whole event. Tiffs, James, Phil, Jesse, Jenna and her boyfriend Al could not have been better movie-watching partners, and I owe each of them a million thanks you's(although Phil started snoring during the first movie, so boo to Phil).
-The International House was hot as BALLS this year. They really need to work on this issue.
-Back in 2008, I wrote a Horror-thon review blog on Myspace, in which I suggested that they start turning on the lights dimly during the trailers between each movie. This year, they finally started doing this. A HUGE thank you to whomever's idea this was, because it helped quite a bit.

Now we are ready to talk Horror-thon. Like previous years, I'll give the clue, my guess(if I had one), the answer, and then my reaction. The Exhumed Films audience is a notoriously rowdy bunch, going nuts over the best/funniesnt/most outragious scenes in each movie, so this year I'm adding in whatever the audiences favorite moments were, which will be labeled as "Crowd Pleaser."
That's enough of my gum flappin', let's all get to the movies!
Dan & Joe from Exhumed started things off at roughly 11:50am to give away all the prizes, including a small collection of horror comics donated from yours truly, to advertise my rukey-duke blog. I hope whomever won the comics actually enjoyed them.

12:15PM - An appropriately demonic movie to kick off Horror-thon Part 666
My very excited guess was The Exorcist. I was wrong. Instead we get bit by trollish demons with...

The Gate
Watch the trailer here
Watch the Angry Video Game Nerd's review here
Whoa. Way to read my mind, EF. I mean, this movie was definitely on the list of films that I was going to watch in October but never got around to. I know, I know, an '80s classic like this, I have no excuse for never seeing it, but having my first time be in glorious 35mm makes it all the better.
When lightening strikes a tree in the backyard of a curious kid and his heavy metal-lovin' friend, they discover that the tree was covering up a gate to Hell itself. Soon, the two kids and older sister are bombarded with crazy hallucinations, including dog-headed people and melty-faced parents, all the while a group of foot-tall goblins start invading the house and try biting the shit out of the kids.
Good, fun movie, and the perfect way to kick-off this year's Horror-thon!
Crowd Pleaser: Since this was the opening movie, the crowd was way pumped, so there were way too many scenes that caused rowdiness.
Although, the scene where a young Stephen Dorff innocently asked his friend: "Ya wanna come over later and fool around?"
...yeah, the crowd loved this.

1:55PM - Giant monster movie, though not necessarily the type you might expect
My old guess used to be Godzilla's Revenge, since they always show a "giant monster movie" in the 2nd spot, but this year my guess was Super Infra-Man. Neither was correct. Instead we got our heads bitten off by:

Q: The Winged Serpent
Watch the trailer here
Watch the Angry Video Game Nerd's review here
Now we are 2 for 2 with movies that l was planning on watching for October but never got around to.
Aztec cultists in modern-day New York City(modern by way of 1981) end up bringing a beast back to life, a winged God named Quetzalcoatl(his friends simply call him Q, for short). Q flys around, biting the heads off of window washers and eating female sunbathers whole, all the while David Caradine and Richard Roundtree try to figure out why the hell blood & body parts are littering the streets of NYC.
The only person to have any info is a two-bit thug, played by Michael Moriarty(looking here like the love child of actor Simon Pegg and comedian Bill Burr), and he's not telling anyone what he knows for anything less than $1,000,000.
This is a damn fun movie, not only because of the serpent violently eating people, but for the entertaining characters as well.
Crowd Pleaser: The final battle between the police and Q; everytime he grabbed and threw someone to their death(in a very low-budget looking fashion) the audience ate it up.
Also bonus points to Moriarty and his thug character. Almost everything he says is gold.

3:40PM - Sleazy, '70s psychotic/sorta-slasher cinema
I don't think I had a guess for this one. We were served up a notorious Video Nasty in:

The Driller Killer
Watch the trailer here
Watch the full movie here
And now we are 3 for 3 when it comes to movies l was gonna watch. This is getting creepy.
THIS is what happens when the art film meet the slasher flick. I know this was not a popular opinion amongst my friends, but I loved this movie. It features 3 of my favorite things: Dirty, grimy 1970s era New York City, noise rock that's supposed to be music but probably isn't and mindless gore with a random power tool. I seriously doubt that there wasn't one member of the cast or crew not on some sorta drug during filming.
This movie isn't for everyone. Now that I think about it, it's barely for anyone. Any movie that gets described as being "sleazy" somehow ends up being the most entertaining, and for me, this one was no exception.
Crowd Pleaser: Despite how much I loved Driller Killer, it IS slow, so it kinda lulled the audience into a quiet comfort. They came to life during the Drill-Kill montage late in the film.

7:10PM - Well regarded, nasty little sci-fi/horror oddity
My guess was Galaxy of Terror, but instead we gave birth to a full grown English man in:

Watch the trailer here
Watch the full movie here
Watch Siskel & Ebert's review here
Watch the Angry Video Game Nerd's review here
I came into this one late, as I was buying a burger outside with Dr. Terror. When I got back to the theater and settled in, THIS was the first thing I saw. I knew l was in for a treat after that scene...
The rest of the movie is great. It's violent, it's sleazy and it makes barely any sense. I've always wanted to see Xtro and I'm glad the Horror-thon was my first exposure to it.
Crowd Pleaser: Well, besides the other scene I posted, this one also had the crowd in hysterics. Skip ahead to 3:45.

7:10PM - One of the most divisive horror films of all time - wait for the title screen, then either sit back and enjoy or or take the opportunity to catch some dinner
I had no guess, but my good friend Jesse guessed Halloween 3. He was right!

Halloween lll: Season of the Witch
Watch the trailer here
Watch the full movie here
Ah, another mind-reading from Exhumed Films, but this time it's a movie I *DID* watch this month. I only stuck around long enough to watch the scene where you see the consequences of wearing a Silver Shamrock mask, which I still say is one of the most disturbing deaths in movie history. I know that's a mouthful, but I stand by it.
H3 holds up perfectly, and is loved more today than when it was released 20 years ago.
Crowd Pleaser: Anytime Tom Atkins womanizes or boozes it up, the crowd loved it.

9:00PM - Euro-Horror Classic
I guessed The Wicker Man, because my knowledge of European horror is fucking pathetic. Instead, our heads were smashed through windows with:

Watch the trailer here
Watch the full movie here
Almost, Exhumed Films. Almost. I had watched a Dario Argento film  in October, but it was Phenomenon(The Creepers).
I did not stick around for this showing, as I needed a break. I watched the final half hour. I swear Argento is obsessed with slowly smashing girl's heads through plate-glass windows.
Also an interesting factoid, Argento wanted this movie to be school girls, but the producers wouldn't let him go with a young cast. In a brilliant move, Argento dressed the adult cast like little girls and made their dialogue kid-like. Smart man.
Crowd Pleaser: Since I missed 3/4s of the movie, I missed any and all instances of the crowd losing their shit.

10:40PM - Cannibal Movie, though though not necessarily the type you might expect
I guessed Parents, starring Randy Quaid, which most people thought was a fantastic guess. I was wrong. Instead, we took one more trip to dirty New York City with:

Watch the trailer here
Watch the full movie here
Watch the sequel, C.H.U.D. 2: Bud the Chud here
I was happy to be wrong, as CHUD is a fun movie, made even better with the Exhumed crowd. My only complaint about CHUD, is that their aren't enough CHUDs to be seen. This movie is kinda the opposite of Q; meaning that there's not enough of a human to monster ratio. Despite this, CHUD's still an '80s classic.
Crowd Pleaser: The Secret Service Agent eating Daniel Stern's quarter to keep him from phoning the press about the CHUDs had the crowd in hysterics.

12:24AM - Bizzaro horror/exploitation rarity directed by an infamous foreign filmmaker; screened here in an extended cut never before seen on video or DVD
That clue was way too deep for me to make a guess. Despite this, we were ground-up and fed to:

Night of A Thousand Cats
Watch the trailer here
As much as one enjoys seeing all the classics at the Horror-thon, the other side of the coin is all the movies you never heard of or would've seen, added with the hungry EF crowd, making unforgettable movie-watching moments.
Night of a Thousand Cats was the movie most of us had never heard of, and most would admit that it was the best film of the weekend.
From what I can remember, the plot revolved around an eccentric playboy, who would pick-up women with his helicopter to take to his castle(?). After a nice dinner, we see that this playboy has removed the lady fair's head, to add to his collection. He then grounds her body into mincemeat and feeds it to a pen of 1,000 feral felines. This happens repeatedly for 90 minutes. Hilarity ensues.
Crowd Pleaser: Two that I can remember: First was the playboy feeding his man-servant to the cats because he became better than him at Chess; and then there was THIS scene.

1:50AM - Sexy vampires having sexy sex
Deep down I hoped for The Lost Boys, but I knew better. Instead, we lacked sex with:

The Vampires' Night Orgy
Watch the trailer here
Watch the full movie here
I bailed on this movie. Sorry.
Crowd Pleaser: What part of "bailed" did you not understand?

3:15AM - Fun, underrated sci-fi/action movie
I think I had a guess, but I can't for the life of me remember what it was. Still, we had a parasitic alien shoved down our throat by:

The Hidden
Watch the trailer here
Watch the full movie here
This movie was the shot of adrenaline the crowd needed after the previous film lulled most of them to sleep.
A parasitic alien jumps from body to body, enjoying the finer things in life, all while avoiding the police(both Earth-bound and the intergalactic variety). Good stuff, and I was shocked to find out that my parents LOVE this movie. They were excited for me that the Horror-thon screened it. Craziness.
Also, I'm almost convinced that Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday  completely lifted the "lizard-like parasite jumping into people's bodies through their mouths" from The Hidden.
Crowd Pleaser: The crowd loved pretty much anything having to do with the alien fucking with people.

5:00AM - A wonderful movie for children, provided that the children are all fucked up on LSD
My guess was the H.R. Puffnstuff movie. Instead, we were decimated with:

Little Red Riding Hood and the Monsters
Watch the trailer here
Watch the full movie here(if you dare)
Yeah, no one in the theater was fully prepared for this. All joking aside, I loved this. It's a goofy, quasi-racist Spanish kids movie from the early 1960s. What the hell else would you expect from it?
I only lasted about 30 minutes in, as I dozed off long enough to miss the rest. I love dumb crap like this...
Crowd Pleaser: The opening musical number. It's a real hum-dinger.

6:30AM - Loopy, sureal sequel to a bona-fide horror classic
I was root-root-rooting for Psycho 2, but that's neither loopy, nor surreal. So my next guess was The Exorcist 2: The Heretic. Instead, we were all devoured by:

Son of Blob(aka Beware the Blob)
Watch the trailer here
Watch the full movie here
Who knew the Blob could procreate?? Much like the previous feature, I have a feeling I loved(most) of this movie more than the rest of the audience. The true surreal oddness to this movie melded perfectly with the 6AM showtime. I wasn't sure if the opening credits were as odd as I remembered, which featured a kitten frolicking in the grass to a bizarre remix of what can only be described of Nightmare Circus music, until I re-watched it on Youtube. I once again fell asleep after about halfway, but I woke up before the end. I'll be giving this one a second view soon.
Crowd Pleaser: None that I can remember, but I know my friend Tiffs hated it when the Blob ate the kitten. I find her hate adorable.

8:10AM - Schlocky "special effectsploitation" film that's really just an update of the 1950s style monster movie
No guess. No mas. All the while, we melted away with:

The Incredible Melting Man
Watch the trailer here
Watch Mike and the Bots from Mystery Science Theater 3000 riff the full movie here
It's funny, because my buddy Jesse and I were talking about how EF seems to avoid showing any films that MST3K had riffed. It's pretty funny to be proven wrong in just a matter of hours.
This is a good movie, but it's slow as balls. It even sent Dr. Terror home early.
Crowd Pleaser: The horny old couple who randomly go picking for fruit in the middle of the night.

9:40AM - Slasher movie that was a staple of late-night HBO programming in the early '80s
I guessed New Year's Evil. Others guessed the Prowler. Instead, we went camping with:

Watch the trailer here
I'd never heard of Humongous. It seemed like just another "kids go camping and get killed by a thing" movie. I'll re-watch and give a better review on another day.
Crowd Pleaser: None that i can remember.

11:15AM - Zombie movie that is ridiculously stupid, shamelessly derivative, and totally trashy...which is why we love it so much
My first guess was Zombie, even before I had seen the hint sheet, because it was Exhumed Films 15th birthday, and Zombie was one of the first movies they ever screened. That guess went out the window when the word "stupid" and "derivative" were in the hint, because Zombie is considered a classic amongst Horror-Hounds.
I proceeded to change my guess to Dr. Butcher M.D. ... I was right!

Dr. Butcher M.D.(aka Zombie Holocaust)
Watch the trailer here
I have an odd history with this movie. As a kid, it was one of the VHS boxes that I would stare at in the horror section of my local video store while my folks looked for a new release to watch as a family on a Saturday night. The cover art, mixed with the images on the reverse of the sleeve, freaked me the hell out, but I could not stop looking at it, no matter how much it supposedly scared me. I was definitely born to be a fan of horror.
What about the movie? Oh yeah... It's a lot of fun. See it soon.
Crowd Pleaser: The guy eating a heart right from a corpses chest, then jumping to his death(with no cut-away, mind you) is pretty awesome.
And thus we ended the 6th annual Exhumed Films 24 Hour Horror-thon on a high note. A big THANK YOU to Dan, Jesse, Joe and Harry for making this yearly tradition something truly special, and making us all feel like little kids on Christmas morning all over again.
Thank you to Justin Miller(who, without his glasses, kinda looks like Will Wheaton) of HauntLove for the amazing posters and hint sheet design. Thank you to the International House for putting up with us mutants taking over the theater for a full day, once a year.
And most of all, thank you to anyone who reads my stuff. Each and every one of you has a special place in my dead heart.
See ya'll next year!