The 10th Annual Shock Around The Clock – Columbus, OH

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I’m preparing to head to Columbus, OH from my home here in Bloomington, IN for the 10th Annual Shock Around The Clock 24-Hour Horror Movie Marathon. Last year was my first time at this event and I had a great time. I’m also very proud to report that I managed to make it the entire 24 hours last year. Let’s see if I can do it again.

Here is the schedule for this year’s event.

Schedule

I’m looking forward to seeing this year’s lineup. There are a few that I have seen many times and enjoyed, a few I have never seen and one that I have seen once and didn’t understand (I bet you can guess which one).

I’ll pop in after each film and give my thoughts. These won’t be full reviews, just quick impressions. Most of the intermissions between the films are only 10 or 15 minutes. I’m not going to have time to hit the restroom, get my nicotine fix, refill my coffee and write a complete review.

11:31AM – SATURDAY

Made it to the Marathon, got checked in, picked my seat and bought a coffee mug & t-shirt.

The coffee mug is a nice touch. You pay 15 bucks for the mug and get unlimited coffee for an additional $5. It saved my life last year, I’m sure it will come in handy again.

2:21PM – SATURDAY

From Dusk Til Dawn

Film Number 1

From Dusk Til Dawn (1996)

Director: Robert Rodriguez

They couldn’t have picked a better film to kick this marathon off. I hadn’t seen this one in a long time. I always remembered this a being a better movie before the change in story (seems silly to not say it but everyone is so picky about spoilers these days). I forgot how much fun this is and the fun continues all the way until the end. There are a few things that don’t quite work and the film opens with some extremely dated dialogue but for the most part it’s just great.

As for me, I’m starting to get a headache which is going to make this a very difficult event if I can’t kick it. Luckily, I thought ahead and I have headache meds.

After every film I’m going to try to remember to post a picture of the theater sign so you can see the progression of the night. This one isn’t very different than the first because it’s not that much later.

Going to grab a drink and some pizza and settle in for The Innocents.

MARATHON RANKING SO FAR:
1. From Dusk Til Dawn

4:26PM – SATURDAY

The Innocents

Film Number 2

The Innocents (1961)

Director: Jack Clayton

This is one of the films on the schedule that I was most looking forward to. I have heard about The Innocents but had never seen it.

There is an upside and a downside to watching a classic movie in a theater. The downside is that there is a lot of dated, and unintentionally funny, dialogue and the modern audience can’t help but laugh. Certainly there was plenty of laughter during From Dusk Til Dawn but that was laughing with the movie as opposed to this, which was laughing at the movie. The laughter only serves to pull me out of the film, to it’s credit it still managed to come off as atmospheric and creepy.

The upside to seeing a film like this one in the theater is obvious. The photography on The Innocents is stunning and the black and white looks gorgeous on the big screen.

I’m glad that these classics get a spot on the program, last year it was Val Lewton’s Cat People. I don’t live in a city with a ton of repertory screenings, so this is likely the only opportunity that I will have to see them on the big screen.

On the personal front, I’m feeling good. A little food, some caffeine and Excedrin and that headache was dead before it started. I did notice my first foul smell of the marathon during The Innocents. Smelled like someone was eating something with a funk.

Here’s the theater sign now….

And here’s my partner for this marathon.

This is the t-shirt I picked up. They also had black but I liked the color option and I think purple is a good color on me, probably because I should have been a King instead of whatever it is that I am.

MARATHON RANKING SO FAR
1. From Dusk Til Dawn
2. The Innocents

6:33PM – SATURDAY

Haz

Film Number 3

The Midwest Premiere of Hagazussa: A Heathen’s Curse (2018)

Director: Lukas Feigelfeld

WOW!! I’m not sure how to summarize what I just saw. Narratively this film is a challenge. It’s a German film set in the 15th century. Beyond that, it’s going to take a long time to digest what exactly was going on with this movie. Unfortunately, the marathon one after another format doesn’t give me that kind of time.

Technically speaking, this is nearly flawless work. The visuals are breathtaking, the lead actress carries the movie with a tremendous performance and the score is used sparingly yet effectively. All of these elements create an ominous atmosphere that surrounds the film. It’s captivating even if it’s nearly impossible to figure out what the filmmaker is trying to say.

This seems to be the least well received movie so far. There was an audible groan at one point when it seemed that the film had reached its end, only to continue. I applaud the programmers of the marathon for scheduling this one. They had to know that it wouldn’t be for everyone but the audience needs to be challenged every now and then, even if they don’t know it.

The lights are on now….

I haven’t seen Scream For Help but it’s been described as a “sleazy slasher” which is right up my alley.

MARATHON RANKING SO FAR
1. From Dusk Til Dawn
2. Hagazussa
3. The Innocents

8:32PM – SATURDAY

Scream For Help

Film Number 4

Scream For Help (1984)

Director: Michael Winner

Well, I don’t know about slasher but sleazy sure is correct. I don’t know if I have ever seen a more 80’s movie than this. Every single thing in every single frame is dated.

Unless they were trying to make some sort of parody, there is no way the filmmakers can be pleased with having made a movie this completely awful. The only thing it has going for it is that it’s bad in that so bad it’s good kind of way. With a theater full of people laughing at it, it’s pretty entertaining. Standing on it’s own, this film is a train wreck. This could very well be both the worst movie and the most entertaining movie of the entire event.

Outside now….

Just heard a lady walking by the theater say to the guy she was with, “Have you ever seen an Albert Hitchcock movie?” ALBERT!!!

Time to head down the block and grab some ice cream. This place is great.

Went with a double scoop of their seasonal which is cinnamon and it’s delicious.

Up next is the classic Pumpkinhead. This should be interesting. Up until recently, I thought I had seen this one. Turns out, nope. Time to cross one off the shame list.

MARATHON RANKING SO FAR
1. From Dusk Til Dawn
2. Hagazussa
3. The Innocents
4. Scream For Help

10:33PM – SATURDAY

Pumpkinhead

Film Number 5

35mm screening of Pumpkinhead (1988)

Director: Stan Winston

One thing is for certain, the 1980’s didn’t give a damn. They’d kill a kid just to have a jumping off point for a movie.

And what a movie it was. Pumpkinhead is an 80’s movie in all the best ways. Just a fun, fantastic monster movie.

I’m glad that I finally got the chance to see it and seeing it for the first time on the big screen with a 35mm print was a real treat.

I’m feeling strong but we haven’t gotten to the tough part of the marathon yet.

Here’s the theater at the moment.

MARATHON RANKING SO FAR
1. Pumpkinhead
2. From Dusk Til Dawn
3. Hagazussa
4. The Innocents
5. Scream For Help

12:20AM – SUNDAY

Luz

Film Number 6

The Ohio Premiere of Luz (2018)

Director: Tilman Singer

I came into Luz with a completely blank slate. I had no idea what it was about, where it came from or anything else.

Turns out this is the 2nd German film in the marathon. The narrative structure is a bit confusing, not as much as the other German film but still confusing. Luz requires you to connect the dots by yourself along the way.

This is a highly stylized film. At times there are long awkward pauses in the conversations and the director just lets them breathe. He is also fond of wide shots that leave the middle of the frame empty with the characters off to the side and small on the screen. He certainly has a style all his own and that is refreshing to see.

Overall, Luz is a trip to watch. It’s an intense story that plays out quickly over the films short runtime. Apparently it has been picked up by a new distribution company and will hopefully see a wider release here in the states.

We have made it to the halfway point and I’m starting to see some people leave. Makes me feel like a trooper.

Earlier I mentioned that there was one movie in the marathon that I had seen before but didn’t understand. I don’t think that it’s any surprise that it is the next one. Here’s hoping I can survive David Lynch.

The theater now…(starting to think this doesn’t add as much as I had hoped but I feel committed to it at this point).

MARATHON RANKING SO FAR
1. Pumpkinhead
2. From Dusk Til Dawn
3. Luz
4. Hagazussa
5. The Innocents
6. Scream For Help

2:51AM – SUNDAY

Lost Highway

Film Number 7

Lost Highway (1997)

Director: David Lynch

Update: I still don’t understand Lost Highway. There are some cool moments and creepy ideas in there but as a whole, I don’t get it. It’s more than just this one film though. Whenever I watch David Lynch I recognize that the movie I’m seeing is well made technically speaking, he’s a wonderful director. I also recognize that there is more than likely something interesting happening underneath the surface. The problem is, I don’t get it. I don’t understand what he is trying to say with any of his films and I don’t connect with the material in any way. I wish I did. Watching his work makes me feel like I’m shallow and dumb because I don’t understand why the things that are happening are happening.

Confession: I got hungry and left an hour and 15 minutes into the movie. I was already beyond lost in there anyway and I was starving. Seemed like the perfect time to duck out, hit the drive thru, refuel and reset.

I did stick around long enough to see Richard Pryor. Such a joy to see him on-screen again.

Here’s the uninformative picture.

I know nothing about the next movie in the lineup but I am excited to see it because it’s making its US premiere.

MARATHON RANKING SO FAR
1. Pumpkinhead
2. From Dusk Til Dawn
3. Luz
4. Hagazussa
5. The Innocents
6. Scream For Help
7. Lost Highway

4:43AM – SUNDAY

Crystal Eyes

Film Number 8

The U.S. Premiere of Crystal Eyes (2018)

Directors: Ezequiel Endelman & Leandro Montejano

Crystal Eyes is a film out of Argentina that is a tribute to Italian horror. It’s lovingly crafted and mostly well executed. There are a couple of issues, mainly that it could have wrapped up much quicker than it did.

Usually if I see more than one director listed on a film it gives me pause. It generally leads to a mess because the film isn’t following a single vision. This duo seemed to be on the same page though and it wasn’t an issue.

I enjoyed Crystal Eyes quite a bit. I’m sure that’s partially because I’m a fan of Italian horror films. Which means that I can’t wait for the next movie. I’m starting to feel the sleepiness though. Really hoping that another cup of coffee will be the jolt I need.

Here’s the night

MARATHON RANKING SO FAR
1. Pumpkinhead
2. Crystal Eyes
3. From Dusk Til Dawn
4. Luz
5. Hagazussa
6. The Innocents
7. Scream For Help
8. Lost Highway

7:11AM – SUNDAY

Deep Red

Film Number 9

Deep Red (1975)

Director: Dario Argento

Argento is one of my favorite directors and Deep Red is one of his best films. There isn’t much else to say about this one.

I just had a doughnut which really hit the spot. I might have to grab a couple more. Starting to get really tired and beginning to think I may not make it the entire 24 hours without a bit of sleep.

Here’s what the sky looks like now. Starting to lighten up a little bit although it’s hard to tell in this picture.

I’m looking forward to Night Of The Demons. I have never seen the original, only the remake. Hopefully I can stay awake.

MARATHON RANKING SO FAR
1. Deep Red
2. Pumpkinhead
3. Crystal Eyes
4. From Dusk Til Dawn
5. Luz
6. Hagazussa
7. The Innocents
8. Scream For Help
9. Lost Highway

9:16AM – SUNDAY

Night Of The Demons

Film Number 10

35mm screening of Night Of The Demons (1988)

Director: Kevin Tenney

So as it turns out, the only people who could possibly like Night Of The Demons are the people who like it for reasons of nostalgia. Anyone who didn’t see this movie when they were younger will immediately realize that it’s not any good. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that the remake is much better.

The whole thing is centered on 9 or 10 high school kids getting together for the lamest party ever at an old funeral home. I should also mention that these are 9 or 10 of the most obnoxious kids to ever exist. All of the characters are like the worst bullies from your high school. The dialogue is some of the worst I have ever heard and when they aren’t saying something completely dated or stupid, they are giving more exposition so you are aware of how super creepy this funeral home is. Night Of The Demons was a huge letdown for me.

Here’s the stupid sky…

Terror Train is up next. I love this movie. Can’t wait to wash that last one out of my brain.

MARATHON RANKING SO FAR
1. Deep Red
2. Pumpkinhead
3. Crystal Eyes
4. From Dusk Til Dawn
5. Luz
6. Hagazussa
7. The Innocents
8. Scream For Help
9. Lost Highway
10. Night Of The Demons

7:01AM – MONDAY

Terror Train

Film Number 11

Terror Train (1980)

Director: Roger Spottiswoode

So, if you were paying attention to the time stamps, you’ll see that it is now Monday morning. No, they didn’t take us hostage in the movie theater. My phone died and I’m just now getting to finish this recap.

Terror Train is one of my favorite slasher movies. It’s outrageous! Not in the sense that it has over the top gore or that the kills are elaborate or inventive, as a matter of fact neither of those things are true about this film. Just the fact that it exists is outrageous. I’m sure in 1980 a lot of people wanted to make a slasher film, many of them wanted Jamie Lee Curtis in that film and some may have even wanted to set it on a train…all of that wasn’t enough for Terror Train though. Not only is it a slasher film starring Jamie Lee Curtis that is set on a train, they added a costume party to the mix and David Copperfield doing magic. David Freakin’ Copperfield!!!

Seeing this on the big screen was a huge treat for me. I loved it and the rest of the audience seemed receptive as well.

I didn’t get a picture of the theater this time so I thought I would show some of the things that decorated the lobby of the Drexel during this event.

And here was my view for slightly over 24 hours.

MARATHON RANKING SO FAR
1. Deep Red
2. Terror Train
3. Pumpkinhead
4. Crystal Eyes
5. From Dusk Til Dawn
6. Luz
7. Hagazussa
8. The Innocents
9. Scream For Help
10. Lost Highway
11. Night Of The Demons

7:16AM – MONDAY

In The Mouth Of Madness

Film Number 12

In The Mouth Of Madness (1994)

Director: John Carpenter

This is it. The final movie in the 24-Hour Marathon. It’s always exciting to make it to the end but also a bit sad because it’s over for another year.

I had never seen In The Mouth Of Madness. It’s been streaming on one of the services I have and I was going to watch it but then it was announced that it would be part of the marathon and I decided to hold off. What better way to watch it for the first time?

It’s a head trip of a movie. Sam Neil is brilliant in the film, John Carpenter is John Carpenter, which is to say that he made another great movie. It’s a complex story but I never felt lost or thrown off, I attribute that to Carpenter’s skill as a storyteller.

MARATHON RANKING
1. Deep Red
2. Terror Train
3. In The Mouth Of Madness
4. Pumpkinhead
5. Crystal Eyes
6. From Dusk Til Dawn
7. Luz
8. Hagazussa
9. The Innocents
10. Scream For Help
11. Lost Highway
12. Night Of The Demons

And here is what it’s all about.

This certificate is presented to anyone still standing after the final film.

That’s it. For the second year in a row, I sat through 24-Hours of horror movies and lived to tell about it. It’s an endurance test and by the time I finished the 4 hour drive home my back and legs were killing me. I slept well in my cozy bed though, woke up this morning and I’m already looking forward to doing it again next year.

Before we leave, let’s take one last look at the Drexel Theater.


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