Hey everyone, Aaron here to bring you the report from the 5th Annual Incredible Two-Headed Horror Marathon: Don't Go Into The Drexel. I've been attending this event for seventeen years, and the other folks here at MovieWeb suggested I should cover the event here.
We had a pretty awesome line-up of films, including the midwest premiere of the hottest new vampire film out there - the incredible Let the Right One In. The line-up consisted of:
Kill, Baby, Kill
Meet the Feebles
The Marathon began at 10:00 EST on Saturday, October 18, 2008 and ran until noon(ish) on Sunday, October 19. So, without further ado, here's my recap of the event.
Kill, Baby, Kill
His movies are sometimes slow by today's standards, but Mario Bava holds an undeniable place in horror-film history, and this movie shows why. Ghost stories are often confusing, and this is no exception, but the acting is good, even with poorly done dubbing, and the film is beautifully shot. If you can find the film in Italian with subtitles, do so, but either way you owe it to yourself to check this out.
You haven't been paying attention to the horror movie scene if you haven't heard about Let the Right One In. The marathon was lucky enough to have the Midwest premiere of the film, and I can only say that everything you've heard about the film is absolutely true. The film is beautifully and eerily shot, and the performances are all top-notch - even with the language barrier. It isn't a fast paced movie by any stretch of the imagination, but the film never seemed to plod. One nice thing is that the movie doesn't spell everything out for you - there are mysteries left at the end of the film. Any fan of horror films in general, and vampire movies in particular, need to see this movie. And if at all possible, go see it before they remake it with an American cast and with a dumbed-down script. This movie is destined for my DVD shelf the moment it becomes available.
Meet the Feebles
Peter Jackson is now known for bringing us such films as The Lord of the Rings and King Kong - which explains why he has tried to distance himself somewhat from his earlier films Bad Taste, Dead Alive and Meet the Feebles. If Broadway's Avenue Q is an adult version of Sesame Street, then this movie is a grindhouse version of The Muppet Show. Raunchy, disgusting and vile, somehow it was still hilariously funny in parts. It failed to fit the marathon's tone in some ways due to not really being a horror movie, though it is undeniably horrible in many, many ways. Do not let the kiddies see this one, I implore you, but it's worth a watch - at least once.
This was the original John Carpenter-directed version of the film, and not the 2005 version of The Fog which featured Smallville's Tom Welling. As such, the film feels just a bit dated - there is no question that the film takes place firmly in the late 1970's. The plot is fairly simple, but effective enough, as zombie sailors come in out of the fog to get revenge. Plus it features awesome performances from Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh and Adrienne Barbeau. As is so often the case, skip the remake and watch this one. Carpenter isn't the master of his game with this movie, but this is a good, solid horror flick.
Movies that are about movies are always a bit of a gamble, and as much as I'd like to say that this film, about horrible things happening at a movie theatre where a horror film is being shown, that has horrible things happening in a movie theatre works, it doesn't quite. The intercutting between the movie being shown inside the movie, and the "reality" of the film is sometimes confusing and muddied. The "surprise" interaction between the two different realities caught some of my friends off-guard, but I saw it coming. It does set up the final scene of the movie effectively, however. I have to say that at this point in the marathon, I was no longer quite ready for this film, and I was sorely tempted to doze off during it. I didn't, but I somehow wish I had.
I desperately wish I'd been a wiser man and chosen to sleep through this film. I did not. In theory, this film is about an anthropology student who travels in to the jungle to disprove the "myth" of cannibalism for her doctoral thesis. With her, she brings her drug-dealing brother and a blonde friend who serves no purpose other than to be tortured later in the film. I say "in theory" because the plot in this film exists only to move you from one graphic depiction of torture and cannibalism to another. If you want to see skulls being sliced open, penis-decapitation and a woman hung up by hooks inserted into her breasts, then you're welcome to watch Cannibal Ferox. I, on the other hand, will pass.
Not to be confused with the 2006 remake (The Hills Have Eyes) is one of Wes Craven's earliest, and greatest, horror films. Made a full seven years before A Nightmare on Elm Street, this film also suffers a bit from being a product of it's time (it definitely feels like the late 70s throughout), but it still remains a really enjoyable bit of cinema. Being the last film of the marathon, I didn't enjoy it as much as I could have, but it is undoubtedly a classic.
To anyone who finds themselves in Ohio in October, I highly encourage them to attend this event. The people who put it on also organize a science-fiction movie marathon each spring, which is just as good of a time. To find out more about the event visit the official website.