When it comes to the movies that means horror movies and movie marathons, horror marathons! I've said it once and I'll say it again and again, the grooviest revival movie theater in Los Angeles is THE NEW BEVERLY CINEMA! Yup! For the third year in a row they have put on an awesome ALL NIGHT HORROR SHOW! Midnight Man Phil programed the big event and made this movie watching fanatic extremely happy! Honestly I'm still energized and on a movie watching high because of the movie watching fun I had, yup! (Look at how many times I've already said movie!)
The big show went down on Saturday October 8, 2010. With a starting time of 7:30 p.m. the line began at 5 p.m. and I was there about 5:15 p.m. along with many fellow New Beverly regulars. Folks were in their PJ's and most comfy clothes ready to settle in their seats for 12+ hours of cinematic magic.
The night was a SOLD OUT show but there was still a steady Stand By line that was quickly gaining more people hoping to join the festivities. (It makes this movie geek happy to see so many folks excited to watch movies.)
Seated beside my guy Dave in our usual seats and my Dad a row behind us, I was most anxious for it to being. Everyone was buzzing and chatting sharing their guesses as to what the SECRET MOVIE was going to be. Many people were seeing many of the films in the line up for the first time, or just for them for the first time on a big screen. Actually most of the movies were NEW for me and that was exciting!
Just as it turned 7:30 p.m. Phil came on down to the front to get the movies started on time! He was excited and claimed to be more enthusiastic than anyone else there! Phil's gal Jackie joined him down in front and they raffled off a few goodies. There were bits and pieces from Phil's own collection; things like a HELLRAISER Cassette Tape, a 2000 Maniacs Novelization, a CD of his own music (I dig his noise, BTW Phil) and a big VHS box of SILENT NIGHT DEADLY NIGHT (which my friend Jen won, her ticket number was right before mine!!! Grrr!) and a Freddy Kruger Yo-Yo still in it's original packaging!
TENEBRAE was first, and Phil shared he wasn't sure which version was about to be screened, but the print came from Australia. From there the lights dimmed and a Woody Wood Pecker cartoon titled FRANKENSTYME started the show. A SCHLITZ commercial screened next followed by the trailer for I DISMEMBERED MAMA (Love ended in murder!).
TENEBRAE - Directed by Dario Argento - We follow the acclaimed author Peter Neal (Anthony Franciosa) who's out promoting his new book TENEBRAE in Italy. Once he arrives we find there's a copy cat killer on the loose looking to get Mr Neal's attention. Who is the killer? Who's going to be murdered next? John Saxon is Bullmer, Peter Neal's agent and he always wears a fine black hat. I found it to be an intense film. Argento really can set up a good stalking scene, chase and blood splatter that deserve a big screen viewing. It was one of my favorite films of the night.
The things I learned in TENEBRAE: Fences are no good in Italy, they don't stop dogs or people.
After a movie break Phil came back to introduce the Fulci film THE GATES OF HELL and said how the Fulci films have always been a highlight at the HORROR SHOW. He's right when he says Fulci is amazing with an audience. Phil thanked GRINDHOUSE RELEASING for providing the print we were about to watch.
Trailers: DR BUTCHER M.D. - MEDICAL DEVIANT (I've seen it!), A Fleischmann's Margarine commercial, and MEAT CLEAVER MASSACRE.
I had actually seen THE GATES OF HELL back in 2007 at the Aero's Horrorthon and I'm going to quote myself here for the description of the movie:
Lucio Fulci's THE GATES OF HELL: A priest kills himself in a cemetery and unlocks a gate to hell. The town is in trouble, and the gate has to be closed by All Saint’s day or else the dead will take over the earth!!! There’s A LOT of gross stuff in this film, the grossest being the girl who pukes up her insides, intestines and all...There were a lot of violent deaths involving brain extraction...The film was a bit too slow at times,...
That's still all true, I think it played better this time out though as there was a full house watching it, but I think this may have been an edited version from what I remember. I felt like the Puke scene was shorter than what I had seen before. It's still as gross as ever and gee, Fulci loves to string out his ambiguous endings and then BAMM leave you hanging.
I did scribble down this line though that was one of my favorites from THE GATES OF HELL: "I don't believe in the Twilight Zone so I guess I'll call the police on this matter." And the SCHLITZ neon sign in the film, placed outside the bar made everyone watching giggle.
Phil commented on the "gross shit" in GATE but was most confused by the young boys mother who was way too old. Yup, "nobody makes movies like Italians."
Phil then plugged that he had special posters created for the night featuring TENEBRAE and THE GATES OF HELL and yes I had bought one before the show began! (Now I need to find space for it on my wall!)
The next film THE EVIL was just released on DVD, but this print was pretty rare and Phil said they saved it from Uruguay. Yup, we were in for a treat!
TRAILERS: THE EVICTORS (with Jessica Harper, and I've seen this one too!), THE UNHOLY, a Spaghetti-O's commercial, Spaghetti-O's with sliced franks, yum, and lastly BEYOND THE DOOR.
THE EVIL - A haunted house film from 1978 with Richard Crenna as a psychologist. He and his wife rent this huge mansion and hope to clean it up and turn it into a clinic with the help of some colleagues and students. Richard Crenna is the non believer who opens up a sealed hatch in the basement unleashing the devil and everyone is locked in the house with no way out.
I quickly recognized actress Mary Louise Weller who was also in ANIMAL HOUSE as Mandy Pepperidge, she was a student helping tidy up. Actually THE EVIL had some familiar scenes and I realized I had seen some bits and pieces before. There's some solid kills inside the house with laughing spirits, a killer dog and a fantastic "I made it out" moment that of course goes awry. My favorite creepy house bit was a mantel head piece turning. Though the print seemed to be missing a few scenes and jumped suddenly it was a good time.
As the late night arrived Phil made his final appearance before the crowd announcing "This is the time of night where I disappoint everyone." (If you were at last year's Horror Show you'll get the joke, but really it wasn't so bad.)
Someone in the audience shouted back to Phil, "if it sucks I turn my cell phone on!" (Phil was wearing a shirt that said TURN OFF YOUR PHONE) Phil went on to say, "If you like it tell me, if not, shut the fuck up." And then he told us that the remaining four films would be grinding till dawn with no more breaks, he walked off and the lights went down. Phil had said nothing about what the secret film was gonna be and we all had to wait for the trailers to end to find out.
First we saw a HARDEE'S commercial about the Burger Wars, a cartoon with HONEY HALFWITCH called TRICK OR CHEAT, and the trailer for KING KONG LIVES (Remember Linda Hamilton in that one?).
And ladies and gentleman the SECRET MOVIE was TRICK OR TREAT (1986). The audience cheered and my friend Johnny Carpenter was most excited shouting a big THANK YOU to Phil. This was my first time watching TRICK OR TREAT and it was pretty amazing.
Marc Price, a.k.a. Skippy from Family Ties is Eddie Weinbauer. Eddie is an unhappy outcast teenager who calls himself RAGMAN and loves HEAVY METAL. His favorite singer is Sammi Curr who's also went to his High School. Eddie believes he's the only one who truly gets Sammi's music. Since Eddie is picked on by the popular kids he is ready to exact some revenge as he learns Sammi Curr has died. Eddie gets his hands on Sammi's last record and find a secret message by playing it backwards and the bullies get busted and beat up. All the while Sammi is also trying to reach back from the grave to do some killing of his own. (How SHOCKER is that?) What's not to love about a Heavy Metal concert at the school dance? A ghost singer wielding an electrified guitar that kills? Yeah, seriously?! Then there's Gene Simmons as Nuke the DJ and Ozzy as a wholesome TV spokesman against the evils of ROCK AND ROLL. Oh it's ridiculous and highly entertaining.
TRAILERS: THE UNDEAD, TARANTULA, THE VULTURE, and THE BLOB.
THE GIANT CLAW from 1957 was next and it was awesome. I'm a sucker for old films and I love the monster movies of the 50's. I'd never seen all of THE GIANT CLAW, and many New Beverly regulars are familiar with it thanks to Joe Dante and his screening of THE MOVIE ORGY which featured the giant bird quite a bit. I'm bet that also was a reason behind Phil choosing the film.
In THE GIANT CLAW there's UFO sightings that turn out to be a GIANT vulture like bird that is almost untraceable due to the fact it's made of Antimatter. As planes are destroyed, and people all over the world are forced to stay inside a pilot and scientists find a way to destroy it. This was a blast with a crowd and kept people awake as I heard lots of laughs and cheers throughout.
Next up came trailers for EMBRYO, HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP (it was a fun midnight movie a while back), and XTRO.
BREEDERS is set in New York where there's a strange creature on the loose attacking and raping virgins. Yup, virgins. The creature assumes the identity of various men who attack these virginal women on the streets, in their home or at their studios while they're stretching and working out in the nude. No matter how you describe this movie it might sound like a must see, right? Well it's pretty bad, the acting is terrible, but the girls are screamers, the monster is dumb and it's really just something to show off T&A to boys. I didn't sleep through it, so it did hold me attention, but I can't seriously say it's a good film.
TRAILERS: THE SLAYER (If it's only a night mare why is everyone dead?), ABC cartoon commercial about eating healthy (remember those?), BOARDING HOUSE and something else? (I can't read my scribbles, hee.)
THE OUTING was the last film of the night. Three wanna be crooks break into an old woman's house looking for money. They find a magic lamp and the genie kills them. (Though we didn't get to see it, I believe there was a scene missing.) The lamp then is taken to a Texas museum and the curator's daughter Alex finds the bracelet connected to the lamp. When Alex and her friends spend the night in the museum the genie begins to kill them off once they're all paired off in their own make out basement rooms. It's a tad slow but pretty comical at times with WTF moments. (Alex's ex-boyfriend and his friend are also in the museum, they're often a bit too close to each other *wink*, as they are looking for revenge of their own.) In the end it reminded me of WISHMASTER.
And with the last movie seen, including a post credit bit in THE OUTING the night was coming to an end in the wee hours of the new morning. A Mister Magoo cartoon ran, MISTER MAGOO MEETS FRANKENSTEIN, WOODY WOODPECKER returned in WITCH CRAFT followed by the US ARMY Band playing the National Anthem, a TV Sign Off sort of thing. Then the National Anthem played again this time with SING ALONG subtitles and yes the remaining New Beverly audience sang along.
Projectionist Adam ran on down as the lights went up and said THANKS to all how came. He was most proud having projected the whole night's show and he said he would see us all again next year!
There was still a good crowd inside the theater, everyone was stretching and gathering up their gear to get on out and get to bed. I gave Phil a high five on the way out and thanked him for the fun. It was almost 8:30 a.m. as folks lingered outside a bit to say goodbyes, share favorites, and we found out who slept through what. Hey, I didn't sleep at all, mind you!!!
It absolutely was a fantastic HORROR SHOW and I could have gone for even more movies even after all that.
My favorites of the night were TENEBRAE and THE GIANT CLAW. The major themes of the night between the movies were: Death by Electrocutions, Impalement, Death by fire, and Animal Attacks.
Yes indeed, I am already looking forward to what Phil and the New Beverly will do next year. Since I got all caught up on my sleep, I think I'll go watch some more movies. YUP YUP YUP!