The trailer for the Hudson Horror Show 9 is out. Tell us what you think!
Okay, seriously, how much fun was that? I love it when cult cinephiles flaunt their mighty movie knowledge with rapid-fire cutaway gags celebrating the obscure. It reminds me of the vast and strangely versatile legacy we’ve inherited as twenty-first century filmgoers. More to the point, the trailer captures perfectly the spirit of the annual Hudson Horror Show, which pays tribute not just to the glory of old-school exploitation flicks but also to the strong sense of community one gets from sharing a cinematic moment with like-minded gore hounds.
The downside, of course, is that the advert doesn’t reveal what movies will be showcased at the Hudson Horror Show 9, so allow me to break it down. For those of you unfamiliar with the twelve-hour horror marathon, every year, the Empire South Hills 8 theatre in Poughkeepsie, New York, presents five cult classics in their original 35-millimeter glory and sets up a vendors’ room as well as giveaways, all for the low, low price of $26 ($30 at the gate) or, as I like to put it, the cost of a single 3D Imax screening of a Transformers sequel that looks exactly the same as the previous. This year, the event will take place on August 9 and will feature the following selection:
You want gore? The Hudson Horror Show 9 has got your gore right here: slasher flicks don’t get much more lurid than William Lustig’s Maniac, which tells of a serial killer (Joe Spinell) who displays women’s scalps on plastic mannequins in order to process his feelings about his dead abusive mom. What impresses me most about the film, though, is how many creepy locations and gory set pieces the director managed to throw in with a budget of only $350,000. If you enjoyed the 2012 remake starring Elijah Wood, you owe it to yourself to check out this nightmarish piece of cinematic dementia.
Mad Max (1979)
On the subject of thirty-year-old revivals, did you know George Miller is working on a fourth entry in the Mad Max series? Boasting such stars as Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, the unexpected sequel is set to come out in little under a year. This makes it an ideal time to revisit the movie that started it all and cheer as tough-as-nails road cop Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson) takes down the futuristic biker gang known as the Acolytes. Something about desert landscapes just pops on 35-millimeter print, so I consider this particular entry in the Hudson Horror Show 9 lineup an absolute must. Besides, it’s a good occasion to reminisce about the days when we could delight in watching a Mel Gibson performance without feeling guilty about it.
The Burning (1981)
Interestingly, I kind of feel the same about Tony Maylam’s The Burning. Co-written by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, whose shenanigans as bigwig Hollywood producers have been well advertised in the last two decades, the low-budget slasher tells of a camp caretaker (Lou David) knocking off horny teenagers after their stupid prank leaves him disfigured. It’s as campy (ba-dum-tish) as it sounds, and you’d be hard pressed to find anyone in the Hudson Horror Show 9 audience oblivious to the Weinsteins’ almost naïve attempts to cash in on the success of Friday the 13th (1980).
Lady Terminator (1989)
If you want shameless knock-offs though, look no further than Jalil Jackson’s Lady Terminator, an Indonesian B-masterpiece that manages to crib James Cameron’s sci-fi classic The Terminator (1984) without including a single robot or time travel element. Instead, we follow a young anthropologist (Barbara Anne Constable) as an ancient spirit possesses her by way of vaginal penetration and then proceeds to hunt down a pop singer (Claudia Angelique Rademaker) whose great grandfather, uh, turned the snake demon into a dagger or something. Highlights include such lines as, “Some strange woman starts shooting up people and, you won’t believe this, she can’t be killed!” and, “I’m not a lady; I’m an anthropologist!”
Two Mystery Movies!
Indeed, the Hudson Horror Show 9 is throwing in a bonus mystery presentation, bumping the film-count to a whopping six features for, again, only $26. That we almost lost this annual one-day film festival, when the Silver Cinemas shut down to become the Empire South Hills 8, speaks not just to the incredibly hard work the organisers have put into the event but to the increasing rarity of such 35-millimeter screenings, so don’t waste another minute: reserve your seat now at the official Hudson Horror Show website!