It’s still probably early enough that you haven’t made plans for Halloween yet, so let Cinedelphia offer a sinister suggestion. On October 31st, 2013, Halloween night, PhilaMOCA will be presenting a mind-blowing double feature when they screen two truly obscure finds in the only films Chester N. Turner ever directed: Black Devil Doll From Hell (1984) and Tales from the Quadead Zone (1987). If this isn’t enough to entice you, consider this: both films will be presented by the man himself, Chester N. Turner. Limited to VHS-only releases in the 1980s with virtually no literature available on their curious existence, Turner’s films have gained a loyal cult following amongst lovers of the cinematically bizarre.
Black Devil Doll From Hell is one of those shot-on-VHS oddities that has to be seen to be believed. God-fearing churchgoer Helen (Shirley Jones) is strangely drawn to a dreadlocks-clad ventriloquist dummy in an antique store. She brings the doll home where it comes to life and teaches her the joys of puppet sex while uttering phrases like “Before I give you a lesson in pleasure, I’m going to give you a lesson in pain!” Wonderfully awkward and affecting, Black Devil Doll From Hell is a gleeful exploitation masterpiece with an ever-growing following that is more than well-deserved.
Tales from the Quadead Zone is probably best known as the current record holder for most valuable VHS tape amongst collectors (the most recent publicly sold copy went for $700+). It’s Turner’s camcorder-clad take on the anthology horror film featuring endearingly lo-tech special effects laden stories that range from the fate of an abusive husband to the tale of a zombie clown from Hell. As enjoyable as it is rare.
Widely believed to have renounced his filmmaking career prior to his alleged death decades ago, Turner was discovered in 2012 to be still alive and well and living in Chicago by indie distributor Massacre Video. He’s actually quite proud of his films and hopes to return to filmmaking in the near future. This appearance will be his fourth-ever public appearance and first in Philadelphia.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
7:00 PM Doors open / meet & greet
7:30 PM Talk with Chester N. Turner
8:00 PM BLACK DEVIL DOLL FROM HELL
9:30 PM TALES FROM THE QUADEAD ZONE
Advance ticket link:
Author: Robert Skvarla
Robert is a contributing writer at Cinedelphia who is finishing up his undergrad at Temple University in Strategic Communication. He writes for a number of local publications including City Paper and in the past has failed to maintain a series of rambling blogs related to pop culture. In his free time, he also enjoys strange music, offbeat art, and weird people. Follow him on Twitter @RobertSkvarla.