Frightfest 2004

I have had this unhealthy obsession with drive in movie theaters, especially since they’ve all started drying up. A company named Kerasotes owns all of the movie theaters in Rockford, and when I was in my teens working in one Kerasotes-managed theater got you free access to all the others. At that time they operated the Belford Drive-In, a twin screen operation. For two years, co-workers and I would get off work and head out to the drive in, sometimes sneaking in additional friends in the trunks of cars. All sorts of weirdness ensued, as we’d park our cars together in one of the back rows, and spend the night hopping from car to car, catching glimpses of whatever movies were showing on the dim Belford screens.

Unfortunately, the value of the land the theater sat on was more valuable than the business of paying customers (every night was busy, and weekends were packed). Kerasotes sold most of the property but kept a portion of it to open a 16 screen multiplex cinema mall.

There have been other drive-ins here in town over the years. The Robin Drive-In was located at the outskirts of town at the intersection of W. State and Meridian; the River Lane was either located somewhere in Loves Park (I remember seeing the back of the giant screen, but driving around now I can’t locate where it once stood); and the Sunset on Samuelson.

The Sunset Drive-In is actually still standing – last summer I went out and looked at the place. The sign is faded and can only be seen if you’re traveling East on Samuelson. The screen is still standing, and is still white after all these years, although it is heavily obscured by tree growth. The projection building /concession stand is massive (this theater easily held at least 1000 cars in its heyday), and although the structure is intact the interior looks like a bomb went off.

When I was growing up in the early 80’s, I remember ads in the newspaper for the latest XXX features playing at the Sunset, and I remember the controversy at the time surrounding it. In the 1940s-60’s, the Sunset was, like most drive-ins back then, showing mainstream fare. But by the late 70’s they had resorted to showing triple and quadruple features of sexploitation and horror. The public library has all of the back issues of the Rockford Register Star on microfiche, and ads from the late 70's advertised such lineups as The Swinging Cheerleaders and Maid in Sweden, a triple feature of Don’t Look in the Basement, Don’t Go in the House and Last House on the Left and the Dusk Till Dawn Horror Show on Halloween.

The only drive-in left within 40 miles is the Sky-Vu in Monroe, WI which we try to get to at least once a year. They’re a family friendly operation that plays double features of the biggest PG & PG-13 rated blockbusters (last year we caught Star Wars Episode III and Batman Begins).

In 2004 I began collecting Elite Entertainment’s series of Drive-In Discs, DVDs that contain a double feature of old public domain horror titles, such as The Giant Leeches and the Screaming Skull, or Giant Gila Monster with The Wasp Woman. The cool thing about these discs is that you can play the movies as part of a full “Night at the Drive-In” program, which comes complete with concession and intermission ads.

So, I thought we could do a drive-in theme for 2004’s Frightfest Halloween Horror Movie Marathon. In keeping with that idea, we prepared foods that you would find a drive-in theater – hot dogs, popcorn, chips, boxed candy, and a chilled pickle in a paper pouch – the Chilly Dilly pickle.

I also prepared a set of souvenirs that year, as some of the movies were sort of interactive. We also decided to forgo the trivia game in favor of the continuous drive-in program.

The program kicked off with a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, a staple of drive-in programs of yesteryear. That was followed by a series of drive-in ads such as: a stern warning to kids about making noise during the movie; another warning that “public displays of affection will not be tolerated”, an ad for Pic mosquito repellent; an ad for the snack bar; and finally a coming attractions announcement.

Trailers followed, including An American Werewolf in London, The Devil’s Rain (starring William Shatner, Tom Skerritt, Ernest Borgnine in full devil makeup, and made with the participation of Anton LaVey of the Church of Satan!), Exorcist II: The Heretic, The 7 Brothers Meet Dracula (“Black Belt vs Black Magic!” - so goofy, we had to track down the movie – it’s a hoot), and Kyoshi Kurosawa’s intense Cure.

Then it was time for the first movie – Ju-on: The Grudge. Following the success of Ring (1998) the Japanese film industry cranked out dozens of like-minded horror films trying to achieve the same success. Ju-on: The Grudge was directed by Shimizu Takashi, who has made a whole career out of serializing and remaking his one idea. Ju-on started as a pair of extremely successful made-for-video features which then lead to two Ju-on: The Grudge theatrical movies, and a remake for American audiences as The Grudge, with Sarah Michelle Gellar (The Grudge 2 is in production, with Takashi again directing, as I write this).

When someone dies in the grip of a powerful rage, we are informed, it gathers and takes effect in the places that person was alive - those who encounter it die and a new curse is born. The film opens on grainy black and white images of a man, Takeo (Matsuyama Takashi) murdering his wife Kayako (Fuji Takako) and their young son, Toshio (Ozeki Yuya) in their traditional Japanese home.

The rest of the film is broken into sometimes intersecting short stories about the lives affected by the curse. These segments jump backwards and forwards in time, identified only by the featured character’s name as the chapter title.

Rika – Social welfare volunteer Rika (Megumi Okina) is sent by her superiors to check on one of their clients when the regular nursemaid fails to report to work. Rika goes to the address she’s been given which is, of course, the cursed house. It is under new occupancy but it’s a mess. Trash litters every room and the only tenant seems to be an uncommunicative old woman, Sachie (Chikako Isomura). As Rika cleans up the house she hears a noise upstairs coming from a taped-up closet door. Inside she finds a young boy.

Rika cannot discover from the mute Sachie who the boy is. Her superiors tell her to wait for the owners of the house to return home. Questioning the boy, Rika learns his name is Toshio. Shortly thereafter, Rika finds a shadowy black shape hovering over Sachie. It is Kayako’s ghost – and as Rika makes eye contact with the spirit, horror overtakes her and she passes out.

Katsuya – Jumping back in time, we find the owners of the house, Katsuya (Tsuda Kanji) and wife Kazumi (Shuri Matsuda) concerned about Sachie’s well-being. Katsuya leaves for work and Kazumi, left alone with the old woman, begins hearing noises. Following them upstairs, she finds Toshio’s black cat (also killed in the opening scene) before we shock-cut to black.

Katsuya returns home and finds his wife has been literally scared to death. Toshio appears to him, screeching like a cat. Katsuya’s sister, Hitomi (Misaki Ito), arrives but he appears distant. He tells her that Kazumi has been with another man, and then repeats “That’s not my child! That’s not my child!” – clearly reliving events from the house’s earlier domestic nightmare. He shoo’s Hitomi out the door and then marches upstairs in moment reminiscent of Jack Nicholson’s possessed character in The Shining, to a room where the ghost of Kayako awaits.

Hitomi – Jumping forward in the timeline, parallel to the events in Rika’s segment, Hitomi calls the house to check on things but gets no answer. In the restroom she gets a return phone call from the house, but it’s a phantom calling. In the stall next to her a ghostly figure begins to emerge, but Hitomi flees – flagging down a security guard to check on things. Toshio’s specter appears to her on the elevator ride up to her apartment, and once inside she hides under the covers of her bed but finds Kayako’s ghost in there with her!

Toyama – Picking up where Rika’s story left off, her boss comes calling to check on her and finds Sachie dead and Rika in a state of shock. Police are summoned and find Katsuya and Kazumi’s bodies in the attic.

The detectives summon Yuji Toyama (Yoji Tanaka), the chief investigator on the original case, as his young daughter Izumi looks on. Toyama is shown a videotape of the haunting in Hitomi’s apartment hallway with the security guard. A black shadow draws the guard into the restroom and then approaches the screen in a shot reminiscent to that in Ring, except this one does not emerge from the television.

Realizing the old demons have returned, Toyama goes to the house with gas cans prepared to burn it down. He is distracted by the appearance of his daughter, Izumi (Misa Uehara), apparently from the future. Father and daughter stare at each other across time for a moment, before Izumi runs to meet her three friends upstairs. Toyama follows, but finds the ghost of Kayako crawling towards him down the stairs in a shot similar to the famous “spider-walk” scene deleted from the original Exorcist. The two other detectives burst in and are horrified by the phantom and apparently meet their ends.

Izumi – Many years later Izumi is all grown up; her father apparently went crazy and died. We learn that Izumi took three friends to the haunted house, all three of whom have since disappeared. Izumi believes they are coming for her, and locks herself in her bedroom. It doesn’t do any good as later that night the ghostly trio appears and advance on her, leading her into the clutches of Kayako.

Kayako – We catch up with Rika again in which we can only assume is now a parallel timeline to the Izumi story. She is being followed around by the ghost of Toshio, who apparently can only be seen in mirrors and by the elderly. Her friend Mariko (Kayoka Shibata) is a teacher and has been having problems with a kid in her class. She calls Rika from the kid’s house - but it’s Toshio! And she’s in his haunted house! Rika rushes back to the site of her most traumatic experience.

Mariko is seen briefly being hauled into the attic by a powerful force, but when she investigates Rika finds she is being pursued by the crawling Kayako. The ghostly Kayako, this time bloody, reveals to Rika through a torrent of images that she has always been trying to warn victims of the curse. The real killer is the ghost of her husband Takeo, who appears and advances on the screaming Rika before the film fades to black.

The plot may sound complicated, but the film's strength is not the story but the execution. The movie consists of scenes that start by isolating a character, exposing them to briefly glimpsed ghostly events, then pulling out the stops for the big final freak out – rinse & repeat. To director Takashi’s credit – he’s really good at doing it, obviously being able to recreate the same success five times to date. In a dark room, Ju-on: The Grudge packs more per-scares per minute than… well, any movie I can think of. It’s like the Airplane! of horror movies.

In the 8 days between finishing Juon: The Grudge 2 and starting The Grudge, Takashi shot (on digital video) another full feature, Marebito. Following Ring, Japanese cinema became overloaded with ghost stories involving young women with long black hair hanging over their faces killing people through telephones, televisions, cell phones, etc that the subgenre had all but burned itself out by 2002.

We played Ju-on: The Grudge for our guests the same day that the remake opened in American theaters, so none of them had a chance to have seen it. The film went over fairly well (I saw people jumping quite a bit) but was described as slow, repetitious and confusing. Not a promising way to start out the evening.

In between features we ran 10 minutes of drive-in intermission ads, including the famous “Lets All Go to the Lobby” clip with the dancing soft drinks & hot dogs; snack bar ads; ads for Dutch Treat Chocolate Drinks, Hot Toddy, and Chilly Dilly “the personality pickle”, “Huston’s Hallucinations” illusion show with “the girl in the topless swimsuit!”; and a Stop Pay TV ad.

In preparation for the next feature, the coming attractions reel featured haunted house movies (the trailer for the original Amityville Horror & The Haunting) and 3-D movies (Jaws 3-D & Friday the 13th Part 3 in 3D).

At this point a screen told patrons to don their 3-D glasses, which I created using a template in Photoshop. Applying my own graphics, I was able to make souvenir glasses for the next movie.

I’ve always been a 3-D addict, rushing out to see or buy even the crappiest 3-D movie or related thing. I have a collection of glasses on my basement wall, mostly the common red & blue kind that works for television and print, but only one of the polarized type used for theatrical exhibition.

Hollywood produced around 40 full color 3-D movies between 1953-54 prior to the invention of Cinemascope; in 1982-1983 a new processed was developed that allowed full color 3-D to be shown using a single strip of film, instead of the costly two-strip method used three decades before. A new boom of 3-D pictures exploded following the surprisingly successful release of the spaghetti Western, Comin’ At Ya! including: Friday the 13th Part 3, Jaws 3-D, Parasite (with Demi Moore), Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone, Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn, and Treasure of the Four Crowns (Friday the 13th Part 3 still screens to this day, ala Rocky Horror Picture Show, at revival houses). Beyond the gimmick of added dimension the films themselves were a pretty poor affair, and the fad was over by fall of 1983. In October of that year, Orion Pictures released Amityville 3-D.

The original Amityville Horror was supposedly based on a true haunting that occurred on Long Island in 1975. The second film, Amityville II: The Posession, detailed the original killings behind the haunting. For the third film in the series, the producers wisely invented their own story.

As the film begins, the house is the site of a midnight séance. Couple John (Tony Roberts) and Melanie (Candy Clark) meet with a husband and wife team of spiritualists to contact their son, Ricky, who has met an untimely end. The séance begins and strange phenomena begin to occur – including the appearance of a glowing ball of light that floats through the room. Leaping into action, John & Melanie are revealed to be undercover reporters for Reveal Magazine. The publication routinely debunks psychic phenomena and has sent the duo to investigate the infamous Amityville house - and they bring along an expert on the paranormal, Dr. Elliot West (Robert Joy) as well.

The next day, John & Melanie meet with Sanders (John Harkins), the realtor, whom they believe to be in cahoots with the phony mediums. Sanders complains that due to the house’s reputation he can’t sell it, and offers it to John for a price he can’t refuse.

The news doesn’t sit well with John’s ex-wife Nancy (Tess Harper), who doesn’t like the idea that their daughter, Susan (Lori Loughlin), will be spending time at the haunted house. John, a skeptic, dismisses all that stuff about the house being haunted, but strange things begin to happen nonetheless. Sanders visits the house alone, is attacked by thousands of flies in the upper attic room and subsequently dies of a heart attack; John is trapped in a runaway elevator at work; and Melanie has a close encounter of the ice kind while waiting for him at the house.

When discussing the event later, Melanie states that she will never go into the house again. As the Doubting Thomas, John asks her why she thinks none of these phenomena ever happen to him.

Nancy visits Dr. West to allay her fears of Susan spending time in the house. West explains that no one has ever been killed by a ghost. It’s always secondary causes, he explains, such as someone being startled and falling down a flight of stairs. Nancy is not satisfied.

Meanwhile, Susan and her friend Lisa (Meg Ryan) take a tour of the property as Lisa relates the gruesome history of murders famously committed inside the house. Lisa claims the house was built on the site of an ancient Indian burial ground and together they discover a covered well in the basement.

Driving home from work, Melanie’s loses control of her car, causing it to crash into a flatbed truck carrying pipes, one of which smashes through the windshield and protrudes into the audience. Trapped in her car, her briefcase suddenly catches fire. She had packed apparently flammable photos she had taken of Sanders, which, much like similar photos in The Omen, suggest supernatural involvement in his death. The pictures spontaneously combust and within seconds Melanie is toast.

Nancy has it out with John at his office after discovering Susan visited the house, forbidding her to ever set foot across the threshold again. Little does she know that at that exact moment, Susan, Lisa and their boyfriends visit the house on the pretext of holding a séance. They create a makeshift ouija board and ask it whether one of them is going to die. The lens moves to “yes” before flying across the room. Freaked out, the teens go down to the docks to go boating.

Nancy arrives at the house looking for Susan and is startled when she appears, soaking wet. Ignoring Nancy’s calls after her, Susan walks up the stairs and locks herself in her room. John arrives moments later and sees that a small crowd pulling someone from the water down by the docks. Gripped with a terrible feeling, he runs down and discovers the body is Susan’s. Nancy arrives but cannot believe her daughter is dead – after all, she’s just left Susan in the house.

John turns to West for help. Nancy stubbornly refuses to leave Susan’s attic room. West moves a team of undergrads onto the premises, carting all manner of scientific equipment along with the goal of discovering what supernatural power lurks in the house.

They get a break when Susan’s disembodied voice begins calling Nancy. This is followed by the appearance of a pink blob of protoplasm (a nice dimensional 3-D effect that contrasts the artificial glowing ball effect in the phony séance at the beginning). The blob leads Nancy down to the basement, where Dr. West’s monitors show that the well has become active again. He deduces that Susan’s soul is being manipulated by the house’s evil entity to lure Nancy into its clutches, and sets off to draw it out into the open.

The demonic being does appear (looking alarmingly fake) and pulls West into the bubbling well, freeing The Blob That Was Susan. John takes Nancy by the arm and attempts to escape the house as the angry evil force begins to blow it apart from the inside. Undergrads are crushed & speared as all sorts of debris is flung at them (and the audience) as our hero & heroine run the gauntlet, finally managing to break a window and escape. Once they are safe the house literally explodes, bringing an end to the story. For now…

This marked the last of the theatrically released sequels to The Amityville Horror. It was followed by the made for TV movie Amityville: The Evil Escapes, which documents the ghostly events plaguing a haunted lamp rescued from the house. Subsequent direct-to-video sequels used the same approach, chronicling hauntings that occur when someone buys a haunted piece of furniture; these include Amityville 1992: It’s About Time (haunted clock), Amityville: A New Generation (haunted mirror), The Amityville Curse (unrelated to the franchise except by name), and Amityville: Dollhouse (you guessed it). Following the success of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake, Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes produced a remake of the original film in 2005.

Amityville 3-D (shown on TV as Amityville: The Demon) is a very old fashioned type of ghost story. Its director, Richard Fleisher, was an old fashioned type of guy - having had a career that spanned 40 years and included 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) and Fantastic Voyage (1966). The cast, including Roberts and Harper, are of higher caliber than the genre usually attracts. And in contrast to the first two entries in the series, the film is rated PG and virtually without any gore. It takes a rational, scientific approach to ghosts and ghost hunting similar to sturdy classics such as The Haunting (1963). But unfortunately, in 2004 our audience had seen that ground covered many times before and the film played out derivative and familiar.

Another problem was the 3-D effect itself. Red/blue anaglyph 3-D is notoriously hard to achieve on home video. Although it can be done it requires a good amount of 3-D know how by the company in charge of authoring, knowledge that Sanctuary Visual Entertainment (the label that released the 3-D DVD version in the UK) apparently did not possess. Colors do not maintain the correct shades of red & blue for the glasses to filter out, resulting in a heavy amount of ghosting & fringing that destroys the illusion of depth. Some parts worked better than others, but the majority of Frightfest guests complained of a poor effect, hard to manage paper glasses (whoops!) and headaches.

Strike two!

Between this film and the next we ran a ten minute countdown clock made famous by drive-in intermissions. In between nature shots and whatnot an announcer counts down how much time is left until the next feature starts. This worked well for our purposes so that people could get up and go smoke, use the restroom or stretch their legs.

Next up, another coming attractions reel of mostly exploitation goodies, including the famous Blood Spattered Bride/I Dismember Mama combo trailer (featuring the Upchuck Cup), the rampant nudity of Virgin Witch (which I absolutely have to track down some day), Dawn of the Dead, and City of the Living Dead before launching into our last movie of the night, Luico Fulci’s gorehound classic, Zombie.

Zombie opens as a silhouetted figure fires a shot into the brain of a sheeted figure and then zooming in on the bloody wound for a close-up. Yes, we have returned to Lucio Fulci country, the Godfather of Gore whose blood-soaked opus The Beyond we screened for Frightfest 2001.

A directionless sailboat drifts into New York harbor. Two harbor patrolmen board and find it rotted and abandoned. Suddenly a large, crusty zombie staggers out of a closet and takes a bite out one of them before being blown away by his partner.

Journalist Peter West (Ian McCulloch) is dispatched by his editor (director Fulci in a cameo) to poke around. Sneaking on board after dark, West finds Ann Bowles (Tisa Farrow – Mia’s sister) also snooping aboard the ship. The ship belongs to Ann’s father, a doctor who has set up shop on the isle of Matul with scientist Dr. Menard (The Haunting’s Richard Johnson).

West suggests that they combine their efforts to get to the bottom of things. Arriving in the Carribean, they charter a boat from the team of Brian Hull (Al Cliver) and Susan Barrett (Auretta Gay).

On the island, Dr. Menard tries to deal with the outbreak of a zombie plague. This is much to the chagrin of his trophy wife, Paola (Olga Karlatos), who wants off the island right away. Menard has set up a makeshift hospital in an old church to treat the growing cases of natives dying from the mysterious disease. The dead are coming back to life before being ceremonially shot in the head and buried. These scenes give the film a dusty, humid atmosphere and a singluar Carribean flavor which has been missing from zombie films since White Zombie (1932).

Village local Lucas (Dakkar) suspects voodoo, as the constant drumbeat from the other side of the island suggests, but Dr. Menard dismisses this as ignorant superstition.

Meanwhile, on the boat en route to the island, Susan strips to do some topless snorkeling. While underwater, she spots a shark. Hiding in a coral reef, she is surprised to be attacked by an underwater zombie! In one of the most audacious and just plain goofy scenes in movie history, the naked scuba diver escapes the zombie when the shark zeroes in to attack it. The scene brings to mind all sorts of safety questions, as it features a man underwater in zombie makeup - without a visible air tank - provoking a real shark into chomping off a fake arm.

At her beach house, Paola showers in another gratuitous nude scene. After toweling off, she is attacked by a zombie that wanders into the house. In one of the scenes best remembered by those who have seen the movie, the creature grabs Paola by the hair and then draws her ever so slowly towards a large splinter which ultimately punctures her eyeball in graphic detail.

The boat carrying the Americans finally arrives on the island. Dr. Menard picks them up, explaining the ultimate fate of Ann’s father. He became infected with the zombie disease and died. Dr. Menard had to destroy him when the corpse returned to life.

The doctor asks the group if they wouldn’t mind checking on his wife while he deals with a new infection at the church. He then discovers that the victim of this newest case was attacked by a zombie within the village – the epidemic has finally come home. Menard puts everyone on alert.

In the meantime, our intrepid group of heroes arrives at the doctor’s house. They find a zombie smorgasbord as four rotting zombies feast on the bloody innards of Paola’s corpse. After battling their way out of the house, they run into a zombie in their jeep and swerve off the road into a tree.

Pressing on, they walk the rest of the way back to town. After West wrenches his ankle, he and Ann sit down to rest – in an overgrown graveyard of Spanish conquistadors! While our buddy West is putting the moves on Ann, the ground opens up and those old Spaniards start crawling out of their shallow graves. Susan is killed when a zombie takes a chunk out of her throat, unleashing a tidal wave of blood. West brains the creature with an old grave marker, cleaving it’s skull in two.

More zombies rise and pursue the remaining threesome. They make their way back to the church and barricade themselves in as the living dead congregate outside. Using firebombs and shotguns they defend themselves as the dead overtake the building. Menard and his staff are killed, but West, Ann and Brian - after setting the church on fire - escape out the back way. There, they confront the re-animated corpse of Susan who takes a bite out of Brian before being shot in the head.

The church and all the zombies inside burn as the survivors take to sea. Out on the open ocean Brian’s condition worsens. As they near the US they pick up a radio signal from New York – zombies have taken over. The boat attack victim has been patient zero, and the zombie apocalypse has begun – with hordes of the undead seen streaming across the Brooklyn Bridge. And below decks in the boat, undead Brian bangs against a bulkhead to be released…

Zombie has an interesting genesis. George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead went over so big in Italy that Italian director Dario Argento wanted in on the action if there was to be a sequel, and offered to produce Dawn of the Dead. Dawn of the Dead was released in Italy under the title Zombi and was such a success that director Lucio Fulci was hired to cash in with his own zombie film, which would be an unofficial prequel to Dawn. Zombie was released in Italy as Zombi 2 (and in the UK and other territories as Zombie Flesh Eaters). The success of Fulci’s film abroad spawned an entire genre of movies for the Italian film industry – the Italian Zombie Movie and its offshoot, the Cannibal Movie.

The film itself is less inept than some of Fulci’s other flicks, although it is still hampered by awkward dialogue written by someone to whom English is not a primary language, and usual Italian post sync dubbing issues. But for the most part Zombie functions as an atmospheric splatter flick. Like all of Fulci’s oeuvre, it lacks any compunction about showing long, lingering shots of graphic gore – so much so that the American distributor came up with the idea of handing out air-sickness bags to theater patrons (something I duplicated for Frightfest).

The makeup on the living dead themselves was handled by Fulci stalward Giannetto Di Rossi and is generally considered superior to the look of zombies in the George Romero film. Where Romero’s Dawn of the Dead zombies sport a shade of blue to suggest the recently dead, Di Rossi’s creations are caked with dirt and grime and look decayed. This is also true on Fulci’s follow up zombie movies, City of the Living Dead and The Beyond.

A minor classic in the gorehound Italian zombie subgenre of the horror genre, Zombie is worth checking out by any horror enthusiast. I heard later that this was considered to be the best film of the night, which says something about my programming skills as this was intended to be the goofball choice of the evening.

So that wrapped up Frightfest 2004. In lieu of a trivia game and prizes, we handed out the annual Frightfest music CD. Here’s the track listing for 2004:

Portrait of Terror – John Ottman (main title from Halloween H20)
The Bargain – from Trick or Treat
Ave Satani – Jerry Goldsmith (from The Omen)
Sweet Dreams (are made of this) – Marilyn Manson
Spooky Little Girl Like You – Tommy Fandango
Dark Shadows theme – Richard Corbert
Re-Animator – Richard Band
Gothic Girl – The 69 Eyes
Black Wings – Tom Waits
Zombie theme – GWAR
To the House (from House of 1000 Corpses) – Rob Zombie & Scott Humphries
The Carny – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
House on Haunted Hill main theme – Don Davis
Dracula’s Guest – from the Hammer House of Horror, read by Christopher Lee


Davros said…
Hi. Saw your blog about the infamous Sunset movie theatre. I lived almost directly across the street from this once great (now dump) place. Ive got a couple of years on you and the Sunset was a great place for us kids growing up. So many times, we'd sneak into the theatre and watch all the films. Yes, and it was quite an "informative" place for us impressionable youths when it switched over to the porn format. Haha. My neighborhood was at the center of the controversy. I could almost sit in my bedroom window and see have the movie screen. On a quiet summer night, the audio was easily heard. Ive long since moved away from Rockford, and most people laugh their head off when I tell them I grew up next to an outdoor porn theatre. Only in Rockford, sigh...

Here's a piece of comical history for you. There used to be a two-story house on the premises where the old concession stand used to be. It got boarded up and a new stand (I presume its the one still there) got built. Well, we used to rip the boards off the old consession stand and go up to the 2nd floor to watch the movies. Best seats in the house! It was a treasure trove too of all sorts of wacky movie theatre junk. Neon lights, manequins(?!), old popcorn machines, soda fountains, etc. Unfortunately, some other delinquents ruined everyones "fun" by torching the place to the ground.
Melody said…
Hey I was wondering if you knew what movie played as a double feature along with "Honey I shrunk the kids" at the Belford theater? I went there as a young kid and can't remember (it's driving me crazy)