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2013 RONDO AWARD
BOX MASSACRE 6
Another year, and another 24 hours of movie madness. That is what the Music Box Massacre is all about. Started back in 2005, this little film fest has consistently pulled in a huge crowd of die hard movie fans that sit through hours upon hours of horror movies, enduring the not-so comfortable seats, and enjoying all the glorious horrors that are projected upon the screen.
The first movie in this year’s Massacre was Lon Chaney Sr. PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. How cool was it to see a theater filled with anxious horror fans to watch an 85 year old movie. And to make it even better, there was a live organ accompaniment with the movie. Nice to see that many fans there to watch this classic.
The next film up was THE RAVEN, which was the 2nd pairing of Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi. We were still watching our table for both of these films. But the next one, the original THE WOLF MAN with Lon Chaney Jr. is one that we really wanted to see on the big screen. So we did sit in for that and really enjoyed it. So great to see these classics on the big screen, the way they were meant to be seen. This pretty much was the last of the Universal classics that I have seen on the big screen (most at this very theatre!).
After that, we went back to our table in the lobby and the massive amount of people out there. I guess that is one of the bad things about the Massacre. Since it does sell out every year, and the Music Box is not the biggest theater, it can get pretty crowded in there between movies. So much so that it’s hard for the people just to walk out of the theater, let alone try and shop at the dealers sprawled out in the lobby. But it doesn’t stop from everyone from having a good time.
The next film was George Romero’s early film SEASON OF THE WITCH, and star Jan White was appearing there for a Q&A. I was happy to see a better response to the screening than I would have thought, since it’s not really a horror film. I was even more surprised at the people that got in line to get her autograph. Had to make her feel pretty cool to see that big of a response.
But the next film that I think was a big draw and one of the funniest and wackiest horror movies out there was KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE. While it is basically a comedy, there are enough twisted and dark elements in there that I just love. And creators Charlie and Stephen Chiodo were there to meet their fans. They had brought a bunch of cool stuff, such as posters, artwork, and even some official KILLER KLOWNS popcorn…which of course we had to buy some of for our collection. Of course, horror fans have seen their work in countless films over the years, especially creating all of the title characters from the CRITTERS series. Just look up their filmography one time to see all the amazing work that they have created over the years.
Frank Henenlotter’s BASKET CASE is one of those cult films that must be seen by any horror fan. And now at this year’s Massacre, not only did the crowd have the chance to see it on the big screen, but they also got to meet the star of the film, Kevin Van Hentenryck. Granted, he left his brother Belial at home in the wicker basket. His Q&A session was very funny and had the audience laughing quite a bit during it.
Usually, we have stayed behind our table most of the evening, usually packing up somewhere in the early hours of the morning. But this time, we were going to do something a little different. Mainly because we wanted to actually catch some of the films later in the schedule. So we ended up packing up near the end of BASKET CASE, loaded our van up, and then found a empty seat in the theater in time to catch most of PET SEMETARY. It had been many years since I had seen this film. Sure, there was a lot more humor in there than I remember, but it had plenty of creepy moments. The parts with little Gage were scary, creepy, funny, as well as heartbreaking.
The next film, Tobe Hooper’s THE FUNHOUSE, was one that we had seen many times before. We really wanted to see the next couple of films, so we decided to try and catch a few minutes of sleep during this film. But for some strange reason, we either couldn’t get comfortable enough, or just couldn’t find the right spot in those theater chairs and could not fall asleep. So we watched the film none the less. Other than the great makeup design by Rick Baker, the movie is not a highlight of the marathon.
Any chance that you have the opportunity to see any film from Lucio Fulci on the big screen, you should grab that chance. This year, they were showing HOUSE BY THE CEMETARY, one that I had never caught on the big screen. So I was pretty excited for this one. I was surprised at the different music used in the very beginning of the film, but it seemed like that was the only part that was different. Strange. But the rest of the movie was a real joy to see. Sure, there might be a few things that don’t entirely make sense, but who are we kidding? It’s a Fulci film! Just sit back and enjoy!
The next film playing was going to be the last one we planned on staying for. Mainly because we knew we’d be sleeping through the rest and we still had an hour drive home before we could crash. But we knew we had to stay for the chance to see Vincent Price in THEATER OF BLOOD. Price plays a hammy Shakespearian actor who goes after the critics that he thinks ruined his career. Price and company really goes overboard on the acting here, which makes it even more entertaining. A lot of fun.
There were only two more films left in the lineup, the 50th Anniversary of PSYCHO and FRIGHT NIGHT. As much as we’d love to have stayed for them, we knew we’d be snoozing and make it even harder to make it home. So we ended our participation in this year’s Music Box Massacre. We had a blast as usual, and actually caught more films this year than we have since that very first year. We are going to try and continue that next year as well.
Thanks again to everyone who stopped by our table during the event. It was a lot of fun to hang out and talk movies with a bunch of like-minded horror fans. Always a great time. See you next year!