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Dusk Till Dawn: Rock and Roll
Horror marathons with a theme.
Welcome back to another month of Dusk Till Dawn - our (fictional) all-night horror movie marathons! This month's theme is horror movies featuring the thing that has scared generations of parents - rock and roll music! I am, of course, including everything from heavy metal to opera, but I think you'll see why...
I forgot to mention last month that we will usually be showing trailers in between each movie, as is the custom at so many great all-nighter marathons. I will start programming those trailers next month - this month we will be showing music videos or concert footage between each film! All titles are a secret until they unspool, so the trailers (or music videos!) might give you a hint as to what’s to come.
We are, of course, watching everything on 35mm - unless we couldn’t get a print.
And the concession stand is open all night!
7:00p-8:30p: Black Roses (1988)
Teens in a small conservative town are turned into evil demons thanks to the music of the titular heavy metal band.
pre-show: "Iron Eagle (Never Say Die)" - King Kobra, "Hunger" - King Kobra
Is metal ruining your child's mind? Poisoning them? Well, in Black Roses, it literally is - kids who listen to this band are being turned into heavy metal demons!
This movie is a ton of silly fun. It's very cheesy, has the practical effects and makeup that we all miss, and is the exact kind of '80s horror film that works best on VHS.
So why watch it on the big-screen? Well, even silly video store movies deserve big-screen love and it'll be a great warmup to the festivities - even if it has (arguably) the best ending of the whole night. The tagline on the poster is "TURN UP THE VOLUME, TURN DOWN THE LIGHTS, BUT DON'T WATCH IT ALONE!" Great advice that we will be following to kick off our night.
8:35p-9:55p: Scooby-Doo! and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery (2015)
We join the Gang at KISS World – the all-things-KISS theme park, as they investigate a series of strange hauntings. With help from KISS, they discover that the Crimson Witch has returned to summon The Destroyer from the alternate dimension of Kissteria!
pre-show: "Rock and Roll All Nite" - Kiss, "Hex Girl" - The Hex Girls
If you know me, you know that I love Scooby-Doo. This is another one of their celebrity team-ups in the vein of the old New Scooby-Doo Movies show (what a sentence!) and sees the gang visiting a KISS-themed theme park. It's a ton of fun and I think may have single-handedly turned me into a KISS fan - especially when you see everyone (except Fred because he's a loser) wearing the iconic makeup. It's adorable. Or whatever you want to call it.
The witch they are looking for is pretty spooky and the KISS guys are actually magic, so it'll work well in the early hours of this marathon as gateway-horror.
10:00p-11:40p: Trick or Treat (1986)
Eddie Weinbauer, a metalhead teen who is bullied at school, looks to his heavy metal superstar idol, Sammi Curr, for guidance. When Curr is killed in a hotel fire, Eddie becomes the recipient of the only copy of Curr’s unreleased album, which, when played backwards, brings Sammi back to life. As Halloween approaches, Eddie begins to realize that this isn’t only rock ’n roll…it’s life and death.
pre-show: "Detroit Rock City" - Kiss, "Paranoid" - Black Sabbath
For a long time, this movie has been pretty hard to see. I watched it for the first time on Facebook Video, a VHS pan and scan rip with giant Spanish subtitles that took up half the screen.
Because of that elusivity, it's become a bit of a cult classic. Particularly so for the movie’s Halloween setting. However, that's changed now! Synapse is putting the film out on 4K with a nice restoration currently streaming on Screambox.
But you want to see it on the big screen, don't you? Me too! The primetime spot is perfect for this cult movie. Oh! And Gene Simmons and Ozzy Osbourne make cameos, if you weren't convinced.
11:45p-1:15a: Phantom of the Paradise (1974)
In this rock opera hybrid of Phantom of the Opera and Faust, fledgling singer-songwriter Winslow Leach finds himself double-crossed by the nefarious music producer Swan, who steals both his music and the girl Leach wants to sing it, Phoenix, for the grand opening of his rock palace, The Paradise. After Swan sends Leach to prison for trespassing, Leach endures a freak accident which leaves him disfigured and plans his revenge on both Swan and The Paradise, becoming the Phantom of the Paradise.
pre-show: "Help Me, Rhonda" - The Beach Boys, "The Music of the Night" - Michael Crawford
There's no better movie for the midnight slot than one of the greatest midnight movies of all time, Brian DePalma's campy rock opera about how pop music sucks. With jokes aimed at greaser groups of the '50s and bands like The Beach Boys, it's got the musical chops to back up that very criticism.
It's weird, it's wild, it's the only thing we could show in this spot.
1:20a-3:10a: Opera (1987)
A young opera singer is stalked by a deranged fan bent on killing the people associated with her to claim her for himself.
pre-show: Anna Netrebko singing Lady Macbeth from Verdi’s Macbeth
We do actually have to get scary at some point, right? Well, here we go - from a take on Phantom of the Opera to Dario Argento’s Opera.
You may say, “But opera isn’t rock and roll!” Sure. But Argento treats it like it is. Using Verdi’s Macbeth (the most rock of Shakespeare tales and a relentlessly dark operatic adaptation) as a backdrop and with a pulsating metal tempo, Argento has made a gorey, gross, and seriously suspenseful giallo. It’s awesome. And will play perfectly in the middle of the night - where the Italians belong.
3:15a-5:15a: Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)
A depressed musician reunites with his lover in the desolate streets of Detroit. Though their romance has endured several centuries, it is tested by the arrival of her capricious and unpredictable younger sister.
pre-show: "Love Interruption" - Jack White, "Soul Dracula" - Hot Blood
I was working at a movie theater when this came out and let me tell you - people hated this movie. One of the higher walk-out rates during my time there. I just remember people using the word "boring" over and over again. That's the only criticism I remember.
Well, they're the ones who bought the ticket to the Jim Jarmusch-directed, Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston starring movie about horny vampire musicians. What did they want! This is exactly what you should expect from that sentence!
You did not buy a ticket for that, you bought a ticket for an overnight marathon and this is my way of punishing those who are still awake at 4:00am, because this is essentially a vibe-riddled hangout movie and the last thing you should be watching if you're trying to stay awake - even if it is pretty awesome.
We move to our final film, the second in my accidental Anton Yelchin double...
5:20a-6:55a: Green Room (2015)
A punk rock band becomes trapped in a secluded venue after finding a scene of violence. For what they saw, the band themselves become targets of violence from a gang of white power skinheads, who want to eliminate all evidence of the crime.
pre-show: "Sinister Purpose” - Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Nazi Punks F*ck Off" - The Dead Kennedys
On the other hand, folks love this movie. It’s largely considered a banger.
I must confess - I just don't get this movie in the same way that everyone else seems to. I'm very clearly alone in that (and that's okay) but it leaves me cold. I didn't even finish it the first time I watched it. After this last time through, I’m still looking for that magical viewing. Maybe it will be at the end of an awesome all-night marathon with a bunch of people who dig it.
Thanks for coming, folks! Don’t forget - people who show their wristbands at the box office get $5 off next month’s marathon!
Credit: Each plot synopsis comes from Letterboxd via TMDb.
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