The New Beverly held their annual all-night horrorthon, from dusk 'till dawn, 7:30pm to 7:30am. This was my 3rd horrorthon.
Six films were screened with a collection of trailers and shorts scattered throughout the evening.
The slate featured "Beyond the Door," "The Creature from the Black Lagoon," "Hell Night, "Brain Damage," "The Pit and the Pendulum" and "Horror Planet."
BEYOND THE DOOR (1974) *1/2 D: Ovidio G. Assonitis. Juliet Mills, Gabriele Lavia, Richard Johnson.
You know you're in trouble when the film opens with a disembodied voice addressing the audience. In this head-scratcher of an "Exorcist" rip-off, a pregnant woman begins to exhibit odd behavior that goes beyond morning sickness and mood swings.
The story makes no sense but it does have some decent moments of possession and some priceless dialogue delivered by the children. Overall, it was a pretty bad movie.
THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON (1954) **** D: Jack Arnold. Richard Carlson, Julia Adams, Richard Denning
An entertaining monster movie that still holds up to this day. This was shown in old-school 3-D with the red and blue 3-D glasses. The 3-D was okay but it really made the film pretty dark.
After discovering a never-before-seen prehistoric fossil, a scientific expedition returns to the site to see what else they can find. Upon arrival they are attacked by a creature that will not let them leave.
Solidly edited and directed, this "man in suit" monster movie is played straight and doesn't devolve into a goofy creature feature. You can see how this film influenced future monster movie classics like "Jaws" or "The Thing."
It's definitely worth a look.
HELL NIGHT (1981) *** D: Tom DeSimone. Linda Blair, Peter Barton, Vincent Van Patten
As part of the initiation, a group of pledges must spend the night in a huge mansion that was the site of a family homicide years before.
This is a fairly entertaining '80s film with all the bells and whistles of a typical '80s slasher film. You have your heroes, you have your killer, now who will survive the night.
I'm rather surprised this one hasn't been remade yet.
BRAIN DAMAGE (1988) *** D: Frank Henenlotter. Rick Hearst, Gordon MacDonald, Jennifer Lowry
An average, likable guy finds himself under the control of a talking, slimy, brain-like parasite.
I remember seeing this when it came out on VHS. This is the first time I've seen it since and I found myself liking it more then my initial viewing.
It's quirky, bizarre sci-fi-horror with a touch of drama thrown in for good measure.
If you've enjoyed Basket Case or even Frankenhooker, this is worth a look.
THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM (1991) ***1/2 D: Stuart Gordon. Lance Henriksen, Jeffrey Combs, Rona De Ricci, Jonathan Fuller
Stuart Gordon directs this solid retelling of Edgar Allen Poe's classic tale.
A couple is thrust into the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition and the vengeful hand of Torquemada, the Grand Inquisitor.
Lance Henriksen is awesome as Torquemada. You can see and feel his angst as he struggles with his emotions regarding a woman prisoner who has been branded a witch.
The dialogue is very much of the '90s but that doesn't deter the enjoyment of the feature. It has black humor, gore and gratuitous nudity.
It has quite a few memorable set pieces. One in particular is a woman's act of vengeance against the people who are about to burn her.
I remember thinking it was just okay when I first saw it on VHS. I really enjoyed it now.
HORROR PLANET (1981) *1/2 D: Norman J. Warren. Robin Clarke, Judy Geeson, Stephanie Beacham.
On a distant planet, a archaeological dig site is in danger when one of the crew is impregnated by a alien life form.
This "Alien" rip-off just keeps going and going and going and going.
Bad acting, a laughable looking alien, drawn out scenes, definitely yawn inducing...which probably explains why I dozed off a few times during this one.
For the last film, this was a tough one to get through.
Through the course of the evening there were shorts and trailers shown.
HAIR-RAISING HARE (1946) ***** D: Chuck Jones. Mel Blanc
This classic Bugs Bunny cartoon finds Bugs facing off with a big orange hairball and a Peter Lorre-looking mad scientist.
Full of classic sight gags, 4th wall breaking moments, simply a great time.
-There was a short that featured an interview with Bela Lugosi. It ended in bizarre fashion as the exclaimed "Pardon me. I am coming." This brought a laugh from the audience as they didn't know what he was talking about or where that came from. Clearly he was messing with the interviewer as he is seen laughing as she runs away.
-Trailers from various horror films were shown. A few that I remember were Alien, Aliens, Alligator, The Rats are Coming! The Werewolves are Here!, Demon Seed, The Omen.
Overall this was another solid horrorthon. Not as good as the year before, so far my favorite night was my 1st which was for 2nd annual horrorthon. I look forward to next year's event.