My good friend Cat (or @cahcat for those of you on Twitter) has talked me up about the Bev's Annual All Night Horrorthon since we met and when the date was finally announced I made sure to get my ticket. Phil Blankenship who runs a majority of the midnight programming at the swankiest and coolest revival theater in Los Angeles teased a line-up over the course of August and September and by the time the official line-up was announced, I was boiling with excitement for my first all nighter at the Bev. An event I had to coax my wife into attending. Now my wonderful wife loves the movies, just like me, but she was a little hesitant about 12 hours of straight movie watching. We've done it before, but that was on our own and in the leisure of our own home. Watching 7 movies in a row in a theater is a whole different beast not to mention 10 times better. There is something indescribable about a sold out crowd all ready to enjoy 12 hours plus of horror.
I'd like to start by talking briefly about the line-up itself. Out of the 7 movies scheduled to run I'd seen 2 of them previously. Well I'd actually seen 3 of them, but I did not know that until the movie began. Let me explain, of the 7 movies scheduled to play, 1 of them remains secret until it runs. So again going in I only knew for sure I'd seen 2 of the movies. Scheduled to play were Dario Argento's "Tenebrae," Lucio Fulci's "The Gates of Hell" aka "The City of the Living Dead," Gus Trikonis's "The Evil," Fred F. Sears's "The Giant Claw," Tim Kincaid's "Breeders," Tom Daley's "The Outing" and last but not least a secret movie. The secret movie actually played in 4th spot of the evening and was something everyone was buzzing about. What could it be, would it be another dud, or possibly a home run. I say dud, because apparently Phil's last secret movie at the 2nd Annual Horrorthon did not go over too well. That was not the case this time! The secret movie is a mainly an unknown gem titled "Trick or Treat" directed by Charles Martin Smith. A movie that feels like it disappeared out of existence, but thankfully our pal Phil Blankenship located it for us to see and enjoy.
Before I get into the meat of the post and get more in depth on each film showcased I want to talk a little more about all of the awesome programming in between. Like I said earlier, Phil did a knock out job of keeping a running theme throughout everything. The evening began and ended with Halloween themed Woody Woodpecker cartoons. Both were hysterical and a time machine to my youth. I loved Woody Woodpecker as a kid, that damn bird always had me in stitches. Nothing much has changed either, I laughed my ass off watching the reminiscent cartoons. We also got a classic Mr. Magoo cartoon. One that conveniently kept the running theme of when animals or creatures attack. The difference was, no one EVER harms Mr. Magoo. Even though crocodiles and other vile creatures tried their best to get him, Mr. Magoo always escaped their clutches inadvertently turning the tables on them. As for the trailers played, most were amusing and horror films that horror fans should make time to see (especially if they've previously not seen them). Highlights of the trailers were "Meat Cleaver Massacre," "I Dismembered Mama," "Beyond the Door," "King Kong Lives," "The Blob," "Humanoids from the Deep" and "Xtro." Their were plenty of other trailers that tickled the sense, but those previously listed took home top honors.
Instead of covering the night and movies featured beat for beat, I've decided to cover them in order of best to worst.
@EFContentment pointed out in his rundown of the evening, Trick or Treat features an 80's metal head (Skippy) who is mysteriously a loner in a period of time when 50% of teen males were actually metal heads. Regardless of the fact Ragman is a loner, he must defeat his metal idol who is trying to return from the afterlife while still showing off his teased hair and leather straps. Trick or Treat also has two rock legends cameos, but I'm not going to spoil them. You need to track this movie down yourself and find out who they are. Cheaters can just go to imdb.com, but I suggest watching the movie and letting it be a surprise.
The last two films shown were a tremendous dip in quality. While they provided some form entertainment, they were honestly more tedious to get through then the earlier 5 films. The good side of this was anybody struggling to stay awake really didn't miss much. Actually I'm jealous they were able to sleep through them, while I only dozed off for a small amount of time here and there. At the start of the evening Phil gave us all breaks in between the films, but from feature number 4 on, we just slammed straight through until daylight.
The final reel of the Horrorthon was something only those of us born before the days of cable would remember. It was the sing-along Star Spangled Banner our National Anthem that use to run at the end of operating hours. Yup, that's right, TV hasn't always been 24 hours a day. Anyways the Bev ran the Anthem and just like in my classroom a majority of the attendees sang along. It was a perfect closing to an awesome event. As we stumbled out of the New Beverly we gave Phil props for a wonderful evening and began to reminisce with friends outside. Being my first all nighter at the Bev, I can't wait for more. I am already excited for next year's 4th Annual Horrorthon with 7 more wildly entertaining films. Bring it on Phil, I'm ready for whatever you throw at me! To everyone I shared the experience with, thank you. It was a magical evening, one that I will never forget.