Earlier this month, I attended the Up All Night: Pay to Get Out Horror Movie Marathon at the Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington, Long Island, New York. This is the second year I’ve done this, so it’s now an annual tradition for me. The theater hosts many special events throughout the year, but for horror fans their movie marathons are something special. This year, 7 films were advertised with a mystery 8th film to cap off the marathon before a special bagel breakfast for those who survived the evening, along with the guaranteed $10 refund. Here’s a rundown of my experience at this year’s event, which took place on Saturday, August 3, 2019.
Confession: I did NOT survive the night. With my wife needing the car early on a Sunday morning and with my stomach doing backflips, I ducked out around 6AM before film #7. But alas there was a packed crowd, horror t-shirts galore, and many were still there as sunrise came.
To help the audience stay awake, the Cinema Arts Centre leaves the concession stand open all night. Coffee, beer, popcorn, and snacks are available throughout marathon with special hot-food options running till midnight. But let’s talk about the films. Like last year, there was an eclectic mix of horror from different periods and eras, mixing more mainstream films with lesser-seen B-flicks and a mystery classic. Here was this year’s schedule:
Movie #1 – 8:20 PM – Killer Klowns From Outer Space
The perfect choice for a marathon opener, the Chiodo Brothers’ hilarious 1988 horror comedy drew massive cheers from the packed crowd. Full of amazing practical effects and costumes, an awesome 80’s soundtrack, and some legitimate creepy moments (especially for clown-phobic people like me), KKFOS is a must-see.
Movie #2 – 9:58 PM – The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
From horror comedy to a legit contender for greatest horror film ever, Tobe Hooper’s 1974 sun-scorched dive into madness. No matter how many times I’ve seen it, the film retains its visceral feel and insane tension until the final shots of the late Gunnar Hansen spinning his chainsaw on a Texas road. This drew a lot of love from the fans in attendance.
Movie #3 – 11:31 PM – They Live
Speaking of drawing love from the audience, John Carpenter’s 1987 sci-fi horror film They Live was next and from the opening musical beats the director and composer’s iconic score, the fans were cheering. A film full of great moments from star Roddy Piper’s epic “Chew bubblegum and kick ass” line to Piper and Keith David’s 5+ wrestling fight in an alley, Carpenter’s take down of Reagan-era capitalism is even scarier today because it was unknowingly prophetic. Another great crowd pleaser.
Movie #4 – 1:12 AM – The Devil’s Rejects
Making one of the best four film mini marathons, Rob Zombie’s gritty, dirty, and disgusting road flick, The Devil’s Rejects is the rockstar turned director’s tour de force. Featuring menacing performances from Bill Moseley, Sid Haig, and William Forsythe, Zombie’s style hits all the marks here. Add in one of the great horror endings ever, and suffice to say the crowd was still plenty crazy nearing the 3 o’clock hour.
Movie #5 – 3:06 AM – X-tro
After four classics, the marathon turned to some oddball films in its second half as some audience members began to calm and nap a bit. X-tro is an absolute crazy experience. An alien kidnaps a boy’s father only to return as an evil fanged looking E.T. years later. The alien monster attacks a woman who then gives birth to… the grown man who disappeared. Yeah, it’s freaking crazy. There’s too much insanity to discuss here, but I remembered the VHS box from the video store and was glad to finally see this.
Movie #6 – 4:35 AM – Deranged: AKA Deranged: Confessions of a Necrophile
My final viewing, as the combo of coffee and beer was doing a number on my stomach, this weird film from 1974 is probably the most accurate, if not strangest take on the Ed Gein crimes. Here, an overbearing mother passes away leaving Ezra Cobb (Roberts Blossom) alone. He digs her up and soon he’s surrounded by corpses and body parts. The film is played for laughs, which is a bizarre decision by the directors to put it mildly. If nothing else, this is a nice curiosity considering Gein was also the inspiration for Psycho and Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Like I said it was 6AM, my stomach was rumbling and I’m a sucker for a traffic-free ride, so I left. Movie #7 was The Incredible Melting Man from 1977 and the mystery eighth film was Carpenter’s original classic Halloween from 1978.
The Cinema Arts Centre is not a haven for horror fans, as they host tons of film events for all fans. Go to their website at cinemaartscentre.org to check out their events calendar. On August 27th and 28th, they’re hosting a special two-night presentation of Crispin Glover’s films with the star live in attendance performing and taking part in a Q&A. September 13th, which happens to be Friday the 13th, will see a Friday the 13th double feature. The Cinema Arts Centre is located at 423 Park Avenue, Huntington, New York, 11743 not far from NYC. I can’t wait till next year’s marathon!
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