Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Countdown Day 14: More on Drive-In Super Monster-Rama 2009

Above, an ironically-named sign we passed near the theater.Click on any pic to enlarge it.

Here we are, deep in the Halloween season, and almost a month past the event--but here's the second half of my post on DRIVE-IN SUPER MONSTERAMA 2009. (the first half is here.) Attending the event certainly felt like kickoff to Halloween season to me and Jane.

The whole event had a Halloween atmosphere. Especially one of the cartoons shown:

I'd never seen a Honey Halfwitch cartoon before--but the Monster-Rama duo of Harry Guerro and George Reis had dug one up. (See a pic of Harry and George at this post.) Okay, I can cross that off my list!

Also Halloweenie was the theater snack bar:

Attendance was high, and people came from as far as New Hampshire to see the show. In fact, the cinephiles and horror freaks were so dead-icated to seeing old horror films and previews that some watched them on small screens during the intermissions:

One of those long-distance travelers was Mark Nelson of the fantastic SATURDAY FRIGHT SPECIAL tv show and curator for the annual SPOOKTACULAR event at the Colonial Theater in New Hampshire--here he is above, watching on a laptop beautifully restored rare previews of old movies from the Golden Age.

This year's Monster-Rama had a huge plus not featured in the previous year's: images of Barbara Steele! Shown in the otherwise soporific Terror Creatures From Beyond the Grave AND The Crimson Cult, Steele's beauty would make any film event special. Here, take a look. From TCFBTG:
And from TCC:
I've never seen Steele lovelier than in this movie, where she's horny all the time.

Oh, and speaking of funny headdresses, a preview for Hammer's She had the classic loveliness of Ursula Undress to gaze on, and like Steele, she could wear ANY hat and still look great:

Not so Christopher Lee, also in the same film:

He looks like a beatnik version of Evel Knievel in that helmet and Van Dyke.

Speaking of Lee, here he is playing Charlie Manson from the little-seen softcore 1950s musical horror film, Squeaky Fromme Gets the Grease:

Again, there were some great titles included in the trailers and shorts:

with great images to set a creepy mood--

And classic films starring the GREATS in horror film (and horror radio) history:

That's the face of the man who spooked America with his War of the Worlds Halloween episode of the radio series Mercury Theatre On the Air. This is not:

This trailer was the first time I'd ever seen any footage from Necromancy, a horror film that starred Orson Welles. It was directed by Bert I. Gordon, director of films like King Dinosaur, Beginning of the End, and Village of the Giants. (Welles taking direction from Gordon is a mind-boggling but amusing thought.) After Necromancy was made, a rumor was reported* that Gordon was next going to direct Welles in a remake of Island of Lost Souls, with Welles as the Island. Sadly, it was not to be.

This trailer did not refer to Welles.

Some great faces on view in the lineup of films and trailers, like Vincent Price (of course)--

--as seen in Scream and Scream Again, a sometimes unintentionally funny film. One comedy highlight was seeing a policeman throwing rocks at a murderous android, who is escaping the cop's custody by climbing a very steep hill, almost as high and vertical as a mountain cliff face. The main cop picks up a rock that appeared to weigh ten pounds or more, and with one hand, throws it hundreds of feet nearly straight up, hitting the hand of the previously invulnerable android. Naturally, this causes the android to lose his grip and fall.

Other faces seen were lesser known icons of horror, like Reggie Nalder of Salem's Lot fame:

But there was more than just great faces on view--

This masked creature is the kind I want at my door on Halloween! Woo woo!

What wonderful gals on view. Like Ingrid Pitt in the screening of The Vampire Lovers:

There she is, nibbling on the ear of this guy--

who looked kinda like Klaus Maria (MARIA?) Brandauer, but wasn't. Anyway, I think she was trying to give him pierced ears:

I preferred seeing Ingrid putting the bite on other members of the cast, as in this shot:

Pitt played a character who, in the course of the story, is known by the names "Marcilla," "Mircalla," and "Carmilla." I was hoping the movie lasted long enough that her character finally had no choice but to be called "Icramall," but it ended before then, sadly.

The best gal at the event was this lady--Dolores Mallik. Like her daughter Emma Ross (the manager) and son-in-law Todd Ament (the owner and perfectly professional projectionist), she was very friendly, and regaled me with stories about seeing Lon Chaney, Jr. as the Wolf Man in the Universal movies when they were released to theaters, and how handsome she and her girlfriends thought Chaney was. (She didn't comment on how handsome she thought Max Cheney was--is!--but that's okay.) A soft-spoken, polite woman, she had hidden reserves of strength for dealing with drunken severed heads and other fractious customers:

Below, she displays her secret super-power: electrifying objects with the touch of her hand! (Her idol Lon Chaney did the same thing in the film Man Made Monster, no doubt inspiring her to become the cool superheroine she is.)

I would make the pun that she was re-volt-ing, but she was just too nice and too much fun to say that about. She and her family make going to the Riverside a very pleasant experience.

Can't wait 'til next year!

*the rumor was reported first in this very post! TDSH makes movie history!


Monster Dad said...

Hey Max. I'm just re-visiting you great posts about the 2009 Monster-Rama show. Hilarious and entertaining look at an awesome event! I still regret not being able to make it to the first three Monster-Ramas, but am so incredibly glad I was able to make it to last year's one. It was great to meet you and so many other wonderful scary movie fans! I'm hoping to make it again this year for the fifth installment! I've put up a couple blogs about the 2010 Monster-Rama (it only took me nine months!)

Max the drunken severed head said...

Thanks for the complimentary comments, Glen! Your posts are even better than mine!


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