A quick rundown of this year’s Horror-Thon, which turned out to be my personal favorite thus far…
1. The Gate (1987) : I saw this at the New Beverly a few years ago with director Tibor Takacs in attendance. Fun, suburban kid-friendly horror.
2. Q (1982) : A winged serpent terrorizes NYC, but the real story concerns a two-bit hustler and his quest to get-rich-quick; a good example of a film playing out better in a theater than it does on home video. Typically genre-bending stuff from Larry Cohen who I had the pleasure to meet at this nerdy award show in L.A. last summer.
3. The Driller Killer (1979) : Arty slasher classic from director Abel Ferrara who also stars as the buffalo painter-turned-titular murderer. Much more worthwhile than I remembered it.
4. Xtro (1982) : Weirdo British sci-fi/horror with some memorably surreal sequences.
5. Halloween III (1982) : The Halloween entry that doesn’t feature Michael Myers. I was really excited when this one came on, and while it’s still a fun novelty, I’d forgotten that it’s a bit of a bore at times.
6. Suspiria (1977) : The Argento classic; endlessly interesting in a visual sense, a bit wacky plot-wise. I’ve seen this film at least four times and I still can’t tell you how it ends, I seem to check out about an hour into it.
7. C.H.U.D. (1984) : People love C.H.U.D. It was a treat on the big screen, but I’ve always felt that something about it is off, not enough quirk to be fun, too much quirk to take seriously.
8. The Night of a Thousand Cats (1972) : One of the highlights of the program was this virtually unknown weirdo slasher from Mexico’s Rene Cardona Jr. Usually there’s at least one specialist of the cinematic obscure that yells out “Yes!” upon seeing the opening title (or distributor logo) of a film, but the theater was silent this time around. Hip, weird, and easily mockable, the film follows a wealthy master of all methods of transportation who lures women to his castle where he displays their severed heads and feeds the rest of them to his giant pen full of cats. Guess how this one ends…
9. The Vampires’ Night Orgy (1974) : Boring Euro-sleaze, the audience seemed to agree.
10. The Hidden (1987) : Fun alien hunter film starring Kyle MacLachlan, way better than I remembered it.
11. Little Red Riding Hood and the Monsters (1962) : A typically strange K. Gordon Murray import. Seemed like the crowd was pretty split on this one though I consider it the highlight of the marathon, a TON of fun. I’m going to do a Murray marathon at PhilaMOCA at some point in the future.
12. Son of Blob (1972) : A pre-Dallas Larry Hagman directs this goofy sequel that turned out to be my breaking point. Thus I missed…
13. The Incredible Melting Man (1977)
14. Humongous (1982)
15. Dr. Butcher, M.D. (1979)
So there you go, a really strong program this year. Now I have to wait for the post-Horror-Thon depression to wear off so that I can begin counting down the days until next year’s installment.
Author: Eric Bresler
Eric is the Founder/Site Editor of Cinedelphia.com whose additional activities are numerous: Director/Curator of the Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art (PhilaMOCA), founder of Tokyo No Records, the brain behind Video Pirates, and active local film programmer including the Unknown Japan screening series. He’s served as a TLA Video Manager, Philadelphia Film Society Managing Director, and Adjunct Professor in Cinema Studies at Drexel University. He is shy and modest. Email Eric.