What we have here are essentially outtakes from a recent Fearnet post on this coming weekend’s Horror-Thon (you still have a small window to win a pair of tickets to the sold out event here). So here are some enjoyably random memories courtesy of Joseph A. Gervasi…
* It was at the second EF horrorthon that a bunch of us decided to buy a turducken and cook it on site. For those unfamiliar with the turducken, it’s a duck within a chicken inside a turkey stuffed with sausage and ground mouse meat. We had to order this from a “special meats” provider down south (where farm animals are cheap and fit quite naturally within one another) and have it shipped to us in a frozen blob of grotesque. Thanks to a convivial relationship between the International House and a church across the street, we were given permission to use the church’s oven for the many hours it would take to bake the behemoth. M— and I entered during a welfare rights group meeting. We were met with some furrowed brows and looks of consternation from those gathered. We cheerfully commandeered the oven in their little kitchen and set the turducken a-cookin’. For hours it simmered in its own mixed bloods. Then I received a phone call from the pastor of the church whose oven we were to use. He was wondering where we were, as he’d been waiting for us to come over for hours. Lightbulb flash! We were using the wrong church to bake the nesting doll of savory meats. With stealth we set about yanking the turducken from the oven and circumventing the welfare rights folks, who were surely moments away from passing a resolution stating they were entitled to a percentage of our feast. Carrying a carcass that was sizzling, spitting — and yet with internal rodent flesh still ice-freezy inside — across Chestnut street without burning our hands and splashing flesh-magma down our shirts required delicate balance. The pastor was happy to see us (gawd knows why) and we were happy to place the turducken in the proper oven for the hours that remained for it to bake. The Turducken Crew posed for a photo wearing our hand-screened t-shirts courtesy of Justin before tucking in to our delectable memento mori. Upon gorging ourselves, we rode the warm waves of trypophan into slumber as the movies ceaselessly unspooled.
* Of all the “special guests” we’ve had down for our events, there is one director in particular whose behavior I found the most amusing. For some reason lost to my foggy memory, I couldn’t meet him in Philly when he came down from New York, so I asked my then-girlfriend, A— , to entertain him for a few hours before they’d have to take the train to New Jersey for the screening of his films. He wanted to go to a bar straightaway, so she took him to one and he proceeded to drink in earnest as they talked. She didn’t drink at the time, so he was flying solo in the booze department. On the way to Jersey he wound up falling asleep on her while they rode the train. A— found it rather endearing. Fortunately, he managed to regain some semblance of composure when he arrived at the restaurant with the EF members and friends. I think it was the additional intake of alcohol that got him back on his feet.
* We always suspected that the manager of the Hoyt’s was pocketing the rental money we paid him and not passing on to corporate the fact that a group of weirdos was showing corrosive trash in one of the theaters in its chain. The fuck if we cared. The Hoyt’s was and remains my favorite former EF venue despite the fact that when they suddenly went out of business they threw some of our precious trailers in their dumpster. I’ll retain a warm place in my heart for the dilapidated charms of the Harwan and its retarded Crypt Keeper of a ticket-ripper Howard (as much for the pre-Cabbage Collective hardcore punk shows I was involved with some years before than for the first few EF screenings). I’ve little positive to say about Broadway Theatre other than it was a gorgeous old wreck, but run by pseudo-pious Christians whose timorous, murine faces begged to be smacked. The Hoyt’s was tops because we’d be showing the last movies of the night, so every yahoo off the street (and they were legion) would come in to the multiplex looking for whatever Hollywood product was on the marquee and find that all of the regular screenings had ended and only a double-feature of, say, Italian cannibal films was playing. More often than not, they’d go with the forward momentum and “Ah, what the hell?”-it into the theatre. I’m quite certain the site of a woman’s rubbery breasts being consumed by Italians in filthy loincloths while kitted out in brown-face and hag-hair wigs so as to look like South American savages left a more lasting impression on them than the Adam Sandler movie they came to see. I found that the sight of these people filing into our screenings among the reprobates that comprise our regular attendees stimulated my desire to subvert the ignorant public’s expectations of the theatre-going experience. There are those who left the Hoyt’s with one helluva first date story. I can only hope that some left with prematurely terminated pregnancies as well.
The always eagerly-anticipated 24 Hour Horror-Thon will be held next Saturday-Sunday.