The trailer for the Hudson Horror Show 7 is out. Tell us what you think!
Every year, the Silver Cinemas in Poughkeepsie, New York, host the Hudson Horror Show, celebrating cult horror and exploitation in a twelve-hour marathon filled with scary movie classics, giveaways, and advertising gems from the golden era of independent splatter cinema. There’s even a vendors’ room packed with fringe collectibles. Set for June 8, 2013, the seventh edition of the festival brings us five more demented features in 35-millimeter prints, making its entry price of $26 ($30 at the gate) a bargain for any devoted gore hound. Of course, that’s all predicated on the film selection, so let’s break it down.
Army of Darkness (1992)
The most recognisable film in the trailer has got to be Sam Raimi’s closing chapter to the Evil Dead trilogy, which just got the reboot treatment last April, courtesy of up-and-coming director Fede Alvarez. I must confess that the horror-adventure-comedy hybrid constitutes my least favourite entry in the series, but then The Evil Dead (1981) and Evil Dead II (1987) set the bar so high that nothing short of The Godfather (1972) with Deadites could have satisfied me. More to the point, Army of Darkness (or, as I like to call it, The Medieval Dead) makes for a great communal activity. There’s something truly enchaning about hearing a full theatre cheer Bruce Campbell as he winds his chainsaw prosthetic and utters the line, “Give me some sugar, baby!”
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)
On the subject of comedic chainsaw battles, the Horror Hudson Show is also presenting my favourite of the six Texas Chainsaw Massacre sequels, prequels, and remakes out there. Much like Raimi did with Evil Dead II, Tobe Hooper used the opportunity for a high-budget follow-up to poke fun at his own celebrated classic, ramping up the absurdity to both disturbing and hilarious effect. I suspect this is the flick contemporary gore hounds will be most tempted to skip, but I heartily recommend you check out The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 if only as a reminder of a time when movies about cannibal hillbillies with a fetish for dismemberment didn’t take themselves quite so seriously.
Gone with the Pope (1979)
I freely confess to never having seen Duke Mitchell’s follow-up to Massacre Mafia Style (1978). In fact, few people have, seeing as Mitchell ran out of money in post-production, condemning the film to Hollywood limbo until Bob Murawski and Sage Stallone (yup, the annoying kid from 1990’s Rocky V) assembled the footage last year. This alone ought to make Gone with the Pope worth the time of any exploitation cinema enthusiast, provided they like low-budget crime comedies about gangsters holding the Pope (Lorenzo Dardado) hostage for a dollar per Catholic. Really, who doesn’t?
The Super Inframan (1975)
As you might have expected, I saved the best for last: Hua Shan’s Infra-Man (a.k.a. The Super Inframan), a Hong Kong knock-off of Japan’s Ultraman but with more acrobatics and gloriously inappropriate violence. If you love seventies exploitation in all of its international flavours, you owe it to yourself to check out this hyperactive gem about a bionic super-hero (Li Hsui Hsien) warding off the attacks of a demon princess (Terry Liu) and her army of subterranean mutants. Beyond the cheesy special effects and campy production values lies a manic charm that can only be found in classic era Shaw Brothers films. Trust me: it’s worth the price of admission.
In fact, if these titles are anything to go by, I don’t imagine it’ll matter whether the mystery movie turns out to be the Citizen Cane (1941) of low-budget splatter flicks or some weird Twilight (2008) retrospective. People are going to be so jazzed up by then you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone not having a grand old time. If you want to join in on the fun, you can purchase your tickets in advance at the official Hudson Horror Show website or tempt your luck at the door with an extra four bucks in your pocket. Either way, we’ll see you there!