Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Obituary for a Horrorthon

Dearly Beloved,

We are gathered here to celebrate the life and times of the Philadelphia 24 Hour Horrorthon, which will take it’s final breath this weekend, at the International House.

Since 2008, the Horrorthon has been a gathering like no other, and created excitement that hadn’t been felt by the Philly horror community in a long time. On the final weekend of October, every year, the International House would screen 14 unknown films, back to back for 24 straight hours, either delighting or horrifying those in attendance, from well-known classics, to unknown schlock, and everything in between.

Started by the collective known as Exhumed Films, already doing 35mm film screenings since 1997, they decided to take it up a notch on their 10 year anniversary. Instead of double features, and all-nighters, the decision was made to attempt a full 24 hour horror movie marathon. “We’ll be lucky if it sells out,” they thought. While it did sell out, it took until the day of the show. Word of mouth spread, and the now annual Horrorthon has become a hot ticket in recent years, selling out in a matter of minutes.

Unfortunately, the International House has been sold, which means Exhumed Films is losing its home base. While they are building their own facility in New Jersey, it will not be an auditorium big enough to fit 400+, which means the Horrorthon, as we know it, is essentially dead.

Missed will be Dan and Joe’s opening announcements and prize giveaways, which got more out of hand every year.

Missed will be list of clues given out every year, to help the audience figure out which mystery movies will be screened.

Missed will be sitting in the I-House courtyard at 2am, skipping out on a film to have late-night discussions with both friends and strangers.

Missed will be coming back into the theater at 3am to a chorus of snores, farts, and beer bottles being kicked down the auditorium stairs.

Missed will be the free cereal provided early Sunday morning, to the brave folks, getting ready to be done with this herculean feat.

Remembered will be the friendships that were made, especially the friends who are no longer with us. Friends like James Harris, and Robert Taylor.

Remembered will be the countless hours of classic film trailers that were shown between films.

Remembered will be how incredibly hot and sweaty the theater would become towards the 12 hour mark.

Remembered will be the multitude of movies that were discovered during the Horrorthon’s history, including Dead & Buried, Phantom of the Paradise, and The Deadly Spawn.

Remembered will be the truly crazy films, that could’ve only been fun with the Horrorthon audience, including Boarding House, Lady Terminator, and Wicked, Wicked.

Remembered will be the time half the audience “took a walk” when they screened Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer.

Remembered, but certainly not missed, will be all the debris left behind by the audience, cleaned by the Exhumed crew, after the show ends.

Left to mourn are the 400+ who would fill the Molten Lava Theater for what had become like a new Christmas to many. 
“The surprise of what films would screen would be like gifts from Santa,” one attendee mused.

14 unknown horror films will be screened this weekend for what may be the final time. Who will survive, and what will be left of them?

While it will be very sad to see a 13 year tradition come to a close, the memories will last a lifetime.

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