Before we kick off - SPOILER ALERT! All the movies discussed are well over a decade old but just in case - I will be spoiling them, you have been warned.
Our celluloid offerings to the gods of horror cinema started with 1974 Italian movie 'The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue' aka 'Let Sleeping Corpses Lie' aka 'Non si deve profanare il sonno dei morti' (which translates to great title of 'You must not desecrate the sleep of the dead').
From the get-go this film is a twisty bastard as the action actually takes place in South Gate not Manchester, so immediately you're on edge, questioning everything - What's going on? Where the hell IS Windemere? Isn't there a lake? Why do all the policemen in this village have such weird accents? How complicated is an ant's nervous system? Do sound radiation zombism complaints get addressed to the Department of Agriculture or does it sit with the local council?
Soon these questions are replaced by affirmative statements such as 'Yes Edna, George is rather a presumptuous cigarette and car stealing sumbitch but by God if he isn't the greatest towel utilising escape artist this country has ever known!'
I think I was just hoping for more because I really liked Basketcase (which enjoys a small reference during the subway scene) and Brain Damage just misses mark for me.
Ahead of our third movie - the surprise movie - the organiser of AllNightHorrorMadness held the traditional raffle. Sweet prizes included some incredible original art works and free tickets to the next event in October. ANHM veterans everywhere clapped and smiled as the winning numbers were called, all the while our souls tormented with a thousand self-inflcited Chinese burns at the woe of not winning, AGAIN. Our nails dug deep into the generous leather seats as we choked back the words 'I volunteer as tribute!'
I will reveal only one word pertaining to the second most glorious thing about this movie - JORTS.
Here we have vampires as they probably should be portrayed. Shrewd, seductive, but ultimately hideous power mad monsters bent on satisfying their own ends for greed not love.
I was properly creeped out by Dandrige's seduction of the teenage Amy and found it quite disturbing because it looked a lot like what it is was - grooming. I did however have a lot of time for Roddy McDowall's Hammer Horror style late night host Peter Vincent, who's transformation from disbelieving quick-cash down-and-out to coward to real life hero was genuinely pleasing to watch. Fright Night stood as probably being the best put together movie of the night with much tighter direction, less shemping and better dialogue than all the other films. This is reflected in the fact it was popular enough to spawn a recent remake.
Demons is Italian movie directed by Lamberto Bava and produced by Dario Argento. The movie is set in Berlin and even though the majority of the film takes place inside the Metropole Movie Theatre, the European feel is evident throughout. There's a lot of running in this movie and atmospheric curtains. The novelty of having us watch an audience watching a horror film only for things to become really horrible is pretty neat and the shooting style gives it a different pace and feel than a more US style tense smash and slash. Note to viewer, Tony the Pimp has all the best lines but George (another George - George is clearly a hero name) gets to wield a demon slicing Samuri sword while riding a motorbike through the cinema aisles, something every child has surely has dreamt of from a young age.
As we drove home to our respective beds and breakfast rolls, we talked shop. Kitsch Kat felt this was ANHM's strongest line-up yet and Adevnturous Angela was happy to have survived the night awake and in tact. Rockin' Roy really enjoyed the night and basically felt fine as he works night shifts and would have been up watching TV anyway, but we were all in agreement that we're up for the next event! Check the ANHM Facebook Page for developments.
I didn't sleep much after this and went out to see Ugly Duckling and Fingathing - gig chat in the next blog.