The trailer for the Hudson Horror Show 8 is out. Tell us what you think!
Since 2010, the Horror Hudson Show at the Silver Cinemas in Poughkeepsie, New York, has celebrated horror and exploitation in twelve-hour cinematic marathons featuring cult scary movies, giveaways, and even a vendors’ room for those looking to stack up on their fringe collectibles. For the bargain price of $26 ($30 at the gate), devoted gore hounds can partake in the eight edition of the festival, which starts at 1 p.m. on November 16, 2013. As usual, five demented splatter flicks will be presented, so let’s break down the selection.
Escape from New York (1981)
For its eighth edition, the Horror Hudson Show is screening not one but two John Carpenter classics. Set in 1997, the first tells of a true-blue anarchist (Kurt Russell) rescuing the President (Donald Pleasence) from the nation’s largest security prison: New York City. Light on plot but full of ideas, the sci-fi thriller may have overshot in its offbeat depiction of the “future”, but its social satire remains as relevant today as it was over three decades ago. Carpenter shot Escape from New York in reaction to the 1972-1974 Watergate scandals, and his gloriously over-the-top cynicism is felt in every scene. In what other Hollywood motion picture will you hear the President of the United States screaming, “You’re the Duke! You’re A-number one!” while firing a machine gun?
The Thing (1982)
Our second John Carpenter flick is my favourite and possibly the best remake ever to grace the silver screen. Adapted from Christian Nyby’s The Thing from Another World (1951), it follows a research team in the Antarctic as they uncover a shape-shifting alien and fall prey to their own, often justified paranoia. Kurt Russell (yup, he’s back) gives a fantastic performance as our pragmatic anti-hero, but the real star consists of Rob Bottin’s practical effects, which are guaranteed to haunt your nightmares for years to come. If you haven’t already seen this sci-fi gem, I urge you to crawl from under that rock immediately so as not to miss a unique opportunity to experience The Thing in 35mm print.
Invasion of the Bee Girls (1973)
I was first exposed to this cinematic oddity at the tender age of eight, after sneaking out of bed to sample some of that naughty, grown-up TV I wasn’t allowed to watch. Back then, I still believed in cooties, so the appeal of genetically engineered beauties boinking their prey to death flew right over my head, as did the scene in which the titular bee girls rub white goo over another woman’s breasts. Look, Denis Sanders’ sexploitation B flick isn’t my cup of tea, but, if you’re going to see Invasion of the Bee Girls, it ought to be at the Horror Hudson Show, surrounded by open-minded cinephiles who’ll know to celebrate its incomparable camp value. One of them might even explain the birds and the bees to you, as my mom did to me the next morning.
Horror Express (1972)
Once again, I saved the best for last: set in 1906, Horror Express stars Christopher Lee as an irascible jerk transporting a prehistoric human fossil from China to England through the fabled trans-Siberian train line. Trouble is, the fossil comes to life and escapes its crate, boiling the brains of every passenger it comes across. The creature’s unlikely familiarity with early twentieth century locks comprises just one of a series of absurd twists that drive the movie straight off the rails, so to speak, into certifiably bonkers territory. Playing against type, Peter Cushing also shows up as a debonair sidekick who ends up doing all the work. This movie has really got it all: mutant cavemen, snooty Englishmen, satanic entities, extraterrestrials, bloodthirsty Cossacks, and even zombies!
I don’t know how the fifth, mystery movie can beat Eugenio Martín’s Horror Express, but the fine administrators of the Hudson Horror Show 8 have promised a bona fide scary movie chuck full of terrifying bits and pieces. As we all know, getting the bejesus scared out of you makes for a wonderful communal activity, so buy your tickets now at the official Hudson Horror Show website, or you can try your luck at the gate with an extra four dollars in your pocket. See you there!