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2013 RONDO AWARD
MUSIC BOX MASSACRE 2
Once again, we have put our self through an endurance test of madness. But we have survived! For 2 years now, we have attended the Music Box Massacre, put on by Rusty Nails. And each time, we've had a blast. Although, this year was a little different. Last year we were in the theatre enjoying all the great movies. But this year, we decided to set up a table in the lobby, selling our wares and promoting our site. It was a touch choice, since they were playing so many movies that we really would have like to have seen on the big screen. But alas, we decided for the promotion aspect. Did it work? Who knows. But it did give me the get the chance to talk to a lot of different horror fans throughout the marathon. It almost seemed like it gave them a place to come out to after each movie for someone to talk to. And that is just fine with us.
We were right next to Jill & company from Lix, which can be enough entertainment alone for the marathon. From watching Jill trying to hula-hoop and eat pizza, or seeing the "Man-Child" Chris change his pants out on the sidewalk, it's always something. Fun stuff, folks. Fun stuff. At least it was fun enough to keep me awake for most of the time.
I was pleasantly surprised to see the large line outside the Music Box early Saturday morning. These are the serious horror fans. These are the ones that wanted to be there from the very beginning, and quite a few of them were there until the very end. The film fest started off with the classic German silent film THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI, with a live organ accompaniment. Very, very cool. And it met with a huge applause, which to me showed that these "horror fans" were not just all about guts and gore. But they were willing and able to sit through a silent film, that was made almost 100 years ago and enjoy the hell out of it. And that made me feel pretty good.
Next up was probably the most famous of all horror sequels, THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN. Other than some really lame humor, you can't go wrong with that film. Just don't read too much into it. Please.
But after that, one that I really wish I could have caught, was the 3-D screening of IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE. We had seen this film on DVD a few years ago, but it would have been very cool to see this on the big screen in the 3-D format. Oh well. But once again, the theater was packed full of plenty of faces with those funny looking glasses on.
Next up was one of the more darker films that Roger Corman did in his Edgar Allan Poe series, MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH, starring Vincent Price and Hazel Court. Price's performance was very dark and evil here, almost close to that as he was in Michael Reeves' WITCHFINDER GENERAL.
The next two screenings were both from the featured guest, Joe Dante. They screened Dante's episode from the Masters of Horror series, HOMECOMING, and his admitted JAWS rip-off, PIRANHA. Even though "fish movies" usually bother me ever since JAWS, I've always enjoyed PIRANHA. It's so well made, with enough humor and gore, to make everyone happy. And do you think that you could have a campful of kids getting munched by killer fish today? Don't think so.
After the film, Dante have a very long Q&A, answering all sorts of questions about his films. Dante is a horror fan as much as we all were. So it was great to see one of us, who has made it to mainstream Hollywood, still have his love of the genre. We even had the chance to ask him about the famous tagline from film SCREAMERS, where it stated that you will actually see a man turned inside out. I had read conflicting stories where both Dante and Jim Wynorski were claiming credit (or responsibility, depending on your view) for adding that to the poster, even though nothing remotely close to that happens in the movie. But according to Dante, Wynorski wasn't working for New World at that time, so it was him. There...now I can rest easily.
After the Dante Q&A, while he was signing in the lobby, they screened LET'S SCARE JESSICA TO DEATH. Folks, this is one film that should be more well known. It is simply a great horror movie. Plenty of chills and atmosphere. I strongly suggest that all horror fans give this one a try. It has recently been released on DVD so it is available to all. After the film, the director, John Hancock was there for a Q&A, and then came out to the lobby to sign autographs. And I do have to say that I was wonderfully shocked to see so many people in line to get his autograph.
The night continued with a screening of John Carpenter's THE THING, which is one of my all-time favorite films. Funny how that film bombed when it first opened, but now is considered a classic. Makes you wonder sometimes, doesn't it? Being out in the lobby, I pretty much tell where the movie was by the sound of the audience. Whether it was from the laughing or the screams, it was a loud crowd.
After that was Fred Dekker's NIGHT OF THE CREEPS. It's been years since I seen that, and snuck into the theater a few times to catch a few minutes. What a great movie. Between the killer slugs and Tom Atkin's role as a hard-boiled cop, it's lots of fun. Why is that not on DVD???
Then they played some Italian movie called ZOMBIE. We had at least been able to catch this uber-classic at the Music Box some time ago when they were playing it for one of their midnight movies. So I didn't feel that bad missing it this time. But damn, do I love that movie.
The next two films were kind of blur to me. First it was FRIDAY THE 13th Part 2, where I was desperately trying to keep awake out in the lobby. The sun was just starting to come out, which was helping. But not by much. But to my amazement, the theater still had quite a few people still in there.
By the time the next film started, Dario Argento's DEEP RED, I decided to skip to the van and try and get a hour or two of rest, to take the edge off. I thought I would be able to drift off pretty quickly, but didn't realize just how cold it had gotten outside. So I laid there and shivered for about 30 minutes before sleep hit. I woke up about an hour later, which was good enough for me. Though it did take me about another 30 minute to warm up and stop the teeth from chattering.
As AMERICAN WEREWOLF started, we decided that it was time to start packing up. Didn't think we'd have any last minute sales at the end, figuring it would be all the people could do to stagger out to their cars or their way home.
None the less, it was a lot of fun. I know we will be there next year to do it all over again. Not sure yet if we'll have a table or not, but we are going to be there no matter what. Thanks again to Rusty Nails for giving all us horror fans one hell of a 24-hour celebration!