The world is horrible, that’s for sure but at least we all have Halloween. This year for the 7th Annual Spectacle Shriek Show we hope to – however briefly – help to take your mind off the impending nuclear strikes, natural disasters, sundowning “president,” bed bugs, the gathering darkness, and general malaise with a cavalcade of lady death rockers, turn of the century werewolves, cave monsters, carnivorous carnies, and globetrotting vampires. All this plus featured short films, regional news stories, cartoons, music videos, and more.
It’s time once more to turn off your brain, leave expectations at the door or at a nearby bodega, and settle in for roughly 12 to 14 hours of celebration.
We’re all in this together so make sure you bring enough candy corn to share.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21st – NOON-MIDNIGHT (ONE DAY ONLY!)
Noon: WOLF BLOOD
1:30pm: DIMENSION OF BLOOD / MONSTER IN THE GARAGE
3:00pm: DEAD GIRLS
4:30pm: VIDEO VIOLENCE (presented by Lunchmeat)
6:00pm: THE STRANGENESS
8:00pm: JUGULAR WINE: A VAMPIRE ODYSSEY (16mm)
10:30pm: MALATESTA’S CARNIVAL OF BLOOD (presented by AGFA)
Midnight: FATAL EXPOSURE
WOLF BLOOD: A TALE OF THE FOREST
dir. George Chesebro, 1925
68 min, USA
The earliest surviving werewolf film kicks off our seventh year. An important distinction to make since 1913’s THE WEREWOLF beat it out by 12 years but has sadly been lost to the ravages of time. Though this is Chesebro’s only directing credit, he would act in over 400 movies in his career.
Dick Bannister (director Chesebro pulling double duty) heads up a logging company in Canada is involved in a bloody dispute with rivals lead by Jules Deveroux (Roy Watson). While being visited by his boss and her pal the doctor – Dick is viciously attacked and left for dead. Dick is badly in need of a blood transfusion – with time running out and no human blood at the ready the doctor uses the next best thing – wolf blood.
While on the mend Dick has a series of nightmares about running with a pack of wolves. When the men in the rival camp wind up slaughtered, apparently by a wolf – Dick’s greatest fears seem to be realized. The rumor mills begin churning with word getting out that Dick is a horrid lycanthrope. Dick is faced with a harrowing choice: live on as a bloodthirsty beast or take his own life?
DIMENSION OF BLOOD / MONSTER IN THE GARAGE
dir. Joe Sherlock, 1996/1997
68 min, USA
The first two films by cult filmmaker and illustrator Joe Sherlock are a welcome addition to the Shriek Show canon. With 30 years of filmmaking under his belt, Joe has a deep love for all things horror, a penchant for practical effects, and a tongue planted firmly in his cheek. What would our marathon be without some rubber masks, homemade slime, or butchery on a budget? Nothing.
Direct from the back of the VHS:
Dr. Thomas Mobius is investigating the origins of strange lifeforms found in South America. Suddenly his world is turned upside down when he and lab assistant Rachel Roundtree meet up with government agents, genetic mutations, and the mysterious Man In Black. As gruesome murders surround them can the pair find out what the conspiracy is all about before it’s too late? Find out when you enter the DIMENSION OF BLOOD!
Poor Steve. He’s a slob and everyone gives him a hard time about it, including his lovely wife Edie. As they prepare for a big party, little do they know that a hungry alien creature has escaped from a crashed flying saucer and is hiding out in their garage. As the party gets underway various guests start disappearing. Will the rest survive when they meet face-to-face with the MONSTER IN THE GARAGE?!?
dir. Dennis Devine, 1990
105 min, USA
Lucy Lethal, Cynthia Slayed, Nancy Napalm, Randy Rot and Bertha Beirut are all members of the metal band Dead Girls. These girls are not fucking around either. All their songs are about murder, suicide, death, and carnage. This whole schtick comes back to bite them in their collective ass when a fan tries to commit suicide while listening to their latest single aptly titled YOU’VE GOT TO KILL YOURSELF on repeat. No ones ass is more bitten however than lead singer Bertha when she discovers this fan is none other than her younger sister.
After repeated attempts at getting the girls to switch it up and go in a direction that’s less gore and more Leslie Gore, Bertha decides the Dead Girls are in need of a vacation. So to hit the reset button the band high-tails it out of town to a cabin in the woods for some sun and fun.
Little do they know that lurking in the shadows is every woman’s nightmare – a man in a fedora. He also has a skull mask but still. The band members are picked off one by one in manners related to some of their more ghastly tunes. Who is this masked killer?
LUNCHMEAT PRESENTS: VIDEO VIOLENCE
dir. Gary Cohen, 1987
98 min, USA
Despite of a longtime working relationship with both Camp Motion Pictures and Lunchmeat, we’ve never shown a crown jewel in their catalog Gary Cohen’s New Jersey SOV slasherterpiece – VIDEO VIOLENCE. This year we’ve finally decided to remedy that.
Steve and his wife, fresh from NYC, have just opened a new video store in town full of horror buffs. When an unlabeled tape shows up in the return bin, the staff can’t contain their curiosity and when the spools begin to turn they find themselves witnessing a grisly murder! A gen-u-ine snuff film! Steve runs to the cops and upon returning finds the tape swapped and his clerk missing. Local weird-beards Howard and Eli have settled into a nice habit of killing travelers and derelicts who wander into their sleepy little backwater burg but will their taped escapades lead to their demise? How far can too far go? Find out what happens when renting is not enough!
Special thanks to Gary Cohen, Josh Schafer, and Paige Davis for their unending support and generosity.
dir. Melanie Anne Phillips, 1985
90 min, USA
An unsung behemoth of American horror, THE STRANGENESS encompasses many if not all the elements that make up what a true “Spectacle” movie is. Filmmaker Melanie Anne Phillips (who worked under the pseudonym David Michael Hillman) blends a stop motion, claustrophobia, homemade sets, and great characters into an impressive DIY terror slurry.
A group of friends explore an abandoned underground mine only to find themselves sharing it with a slimy, tentacled monster. They are slaughtered. Years later THE DESCENT would make audiences squirm with a glossy version of this Lovecraftian nightmare. Characters are swallowed by the dark, with one standout scene lit only by a series of camera flashes. While much of the film was shot on location, some was actually recreated in the directors grandparents garage.
But don’t just take it from us…
“The monster is creepy looking, even if you’re not afraid of vaginas and part of it certainly does look like one.” – IMDb user HEFILM, 2006
JUGULAR WINE: A VAMPIRE ODYSSEY
dir. Blair Murphy, 1994
90 min, USA
special 16mm presentation
The dulcet tone’s of Slick Willy’s sax drift through the air, the World Wide Web was shaping up to be the cesspool we now know as the internet, and Beanie Babies had just gone into production.
Also, INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE came out. A globetrotting, moody, celebrity-stuffed tale of the torments of the eternal.
Filmmaker Blair Murphy has just released JUGULAR WINE. A sprawling, atmospheric, cameo laden tale of the torments of the eternal.
While JUGULAR WINE may not have the scope of INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE it certainly has more than it’s share of heart. Murphy (who grew up in a funeral home and currently lives in a giant haunted hotel in PA) shot on location in Philly, Alaska, New Orleans, LA, and Utah to tell the tale of an anthropologist on the trail of a cult of vampires. Along the way he runs into the likes of Stan Lee, Henry Rollins, and more. Undoubtedly a most ambitious undertaking. Murphy cut his teeth as a cameraman for the late Prince.
We’re proudly presenting the directors personal 16mm print at the center of this years marathon!
AGFA presents: MALATESTA’S CARNIVAL OF BLOOD
dir. Christopher Speeth, 1973
74 min, USA
We are thrilled to have recently partnered with AGFA for screenings and have been chomping at the bit to show this slab of total insanity. It’s with great pleasure that we introduce our Shriek Show audience to the once-thought-lost-totally-bonkers MALATESTA’S CARNIVAL OF BLOOD!
From the AGFA website:
“Historically speaking, the carnival is where exploitation cinema learned most of its tricks.” — Stephen Thrower, author of Nightmare USA
On the surface, MALATESTA’S CARNIVAL OF BLOOD gives off the appearance of a throwaway bargain-bin curio — but once you dig even an inch below the surface, an entire ecosystem of crazy influences, found-garbage props in the style of “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse” and avant-garde techniques come into view. Plus, it’s entirely set in a rotting wooden 19th-century amusement park (which was bulldozed not long after the film was completed.)
Oh, and did we mention it co-stars “Fantasy Island” little person Herve Villechaize?
It’s tough to synopsize in one sentence, but here goes: an evil carnival impresario lures young people to work at his fun fair, so that he can feed them to the ravenous cannibals who live in a cave beneath the carnival and who watch arty silent horror film classics projected on the wall while they feast . . . ?
Why was this film made? Who cares?!
When a film’s end credits list a sound designer as providing “psychoacoustics,” you know it’s going to be a good time for cratediggers and other fans of the weird and rare.
(aka: MANGLED ALIVE)
dir. Peter B. Good, 1989
83 min, USA
As your brain slowly oozes out of your ears with only one film left to go you wonder “Surely there can’t be anything as nuts as that last movie. I love it here. I love Spectacle.”
Well, you’re mostly right.
The great-(great?)-grandson of Jack the Ripper -also named Jack – is a photographer. He drinks blood, photographs women in lingerie and kills them in weird ways like injecting them with acid. He also breaks the fourth wall a number of times.
Praised by Michael J. Weldon in the Psychotronic Film Guide for it’s “very good” cinematography and “very real” accents, Peter B. Good’s FATAL EXPOSURE brings another years marathon to a close. Worth noting that Good worked on Disney’s Wonderful World of Color which at one point also employed another Spectacle favorite – The Wizard of Speed and Time himself – Mike Jittlov. Oh and right after that he was director of photography on FACES OF DEATH III.