So as you may recall, I was REALLY EXCITED about the return of the Drunken Zombie Deadly Double Feature on February 4th. From checking out the Hollywood Vampires’ Facebook and Twitter pages, you’ve probably figured out that it went well. But just how well did it go?
These double features are some of my favorite things in the whole world, and I’m not even kidding. For me, it’s a call back to a simpler time where late-night creature double-features were an everyday thing on the weekends, and people would cough up a few bucks to go sit in the dark for a few hours watching movies that — while they weren’t great films in mainstream terms– were a lot of fun. And that’s what it boils down to for me.
I LOVE going to the movies, but anymore, I can’t find a new movie I want to watch on my own TV, let alone leave the house for.
I refuse to have anything to do with 3D unless somebody like William Castle’s involved. I don’t care how much CGI George Lucas, James Cameron, or whoever made that shitty Clash Of The Titans remake barfed all over the screen. Modern superhero movies largely bore me because anymore, I want superheroes with a Silver Age mentality, and I ain’t gonna get it from Hollywood (though I’m still holding out for a Batman: Brave And The Bold film). The only reboot I’ve really enjoyed was the new Star Trek.
And since Pixar doesn’t crank out a new movie every month, I don’t have a lot of reasons to go to the movies these days.
Except for the Drunken Zombie Deadly Double Features, which combine independent cinema with classic bad movies… and a theatre full of cretinous goons hollering at the screen. Not only do I see movies I actually LIKE and WANT to see, but I’m encouraged to make fun of them — it’s seriously a live-action Mystery Science Theatre 3000 vibe, though with a lot more profanity.
It’s a hilarious, geeky, and somewhat anarchic experience I can’t get anywhere else.
When the Double Features went on hiatus last September, the Drunken Zombie guys half-joked about putting me on suicide watch, I was so distraught by the end of such a unique and wonderful thing. But thankfully, they came roaring back last Saturday!
Armed with Ed Wood-styled flying saucers made from pie tins and yarn — which were given out to everybody who came — we settled into the theatre and proceeded to make asses of ourselves for over three hours… and it was magnificent.
First up was Attack Of The Moon Zombies, a retro-styled film made to look, sound, and feel like a cheesy old 50′s science-fiction film. Like the other two Christopher Mihm films I’ve seen at past Double Features — It Came From Another World and Cave Women On Mars — it was dead-on fun, playing it delightfully, innocently straightforward.
We yelled, screamed, and carried on on like a pack of brain-damaged primates tossed a steak dinner after months of starvation… then genius happened.
About 2/3 of the way through, one guy exclaimed, as if in surprise, “Hey, this isn’t War Horse!” and walked out. He even shut the door behind himself. And he didn’t come back. We sat looking after him for about fifteen seconds, and then broke into applause. It was hilarious! He eventually came back when Plan 9 was getting started, and we gave him another round of clapping.
Ah, Plan 9. We tore the shit out of the Greatest Worst Movie Of All Time.
It didn’t let up once. We ripped on the bad special effects, horrible dialogue, wooden acting, and Tor Johnson stumbling out of his grave. I yelled for Boris Karloff’s blood in mimicry of Bela Lugosi from the Ed Wood film, and somebody else did a dead-on Count Chocula impersonation while Bela was whipping his cape around. Profanities were howled, horrific sex jokes were made, and we laughed so hard we could barely breathe.
And it just got funnier when Bela Lugosi’s stand-on, Doctor Tom Mason — as Bela — was menacing Paula Trent. You see, Bela didn’t actually “star” in the movie… he died before it was made, and Ed Wood used footage of Bela from before he died in the film. Mostly it was Bela lurking around a fake cemetery, mourning at a grave, and sneaking into a house while wearing his vampire cape. In the scenes where Bela’s character was supposed to be actually DOING something, Ed Wood just substituted Doctor Tom, who held a cape up over his face… Ed Wood surmised that Doctor Tom looked enough like Bela from the eyes up that nobody would know the difference. Uh huh.
So during the scene were Doctor Tom was lurching after Paula across her bedroom, Drunken Zombie’s Wes came sneaking across the theatre with a cape over HIS face, just like Doctor Tom! And he timed it perfectly, so that he went out of view just at the same time Doctor Tom did… at first we didn’t know what the hell was going on, and then we hooted and applauded like maniacs. Genius struck again.
I’ve been to every single one of these, and Saturday’s show was one of the best ones EVER… the movies were dreadfully great and the crowd was so into it, it was ridiculous. So much fun energy and good-natured chaos — everybody went home exhausted and happy. Well, at least everybody I saw. It’s possible a few people came expecting one thing and left in horror once we got going. These things aren’t for the weak of heart or sensitive of humor.
If you’re anywhere near the Peoria area and you’re even marginally a geek who likes to make fun of movies, you’ve GOT to come to the Drunken Zombie Deadly Double Features. Finding something like this is such a rarity in this day and age, and help make sure it lives for many years to come by heading on down to the Landmark Theatre every month and supporting it… bring your friends, because the more, the merrier!
The next one’s on March 3rd, featuring House Of Black Wings (I think that was the title, but I DO know it was an H.P. Lovecraft adaption) and House Of Mystery, an old black-and-white murder movie that had a guy in a gorilla suit in the trailer. I’ll post updates and reminders in the future, or you can just join the Drunken Zombie Deadly Double Feature Facebook group and stay on top of all the latest news and developments…
It was a tremendously good time, and my thanks to the Drunken Zombie guys for making it happen once again.