Review of The Loft’s All Nite Scream-O-Rama! 2015 Edition


All Nite Scream-O-Rama



Being my third All Nite Scream-O-Rama, there was some hefty competition with previous entries containing bona fide classic (prints of Phantasm, Nightmare on Elm Street, Creepshow) while also discovering new favorites like the Manitou (still one of the most WTF experiences committed to celluloid) and of course the chance to associate with kindred spirits, win big trivia prizes and attempt stave off “those little slices of death” we all loathe. The 2015 ensemble had plenty to offer though and after a belated departure from Phoenix, Victor and I were able to secure seats (and complimentary barf bags) just as the show was beginning…


Friday the 13th

The slashing started off right with a 35th Anniversary showing of Friday the 13th via a UK Unrated print that looked and sounded great. Crowd commentary was fast and fun (equally awesome was the eternal enjoyment of watching those who’ve never seen it) with this one and despite seeing it countless times, it never ceases to amaze me how vicious this flick is and despite its creators intentions had many of the trappings of a franchise. Admiration was also intensified for both Adrienne King and Betsy Palmer who play their respective parts with such conviction and intensity, especially in regard to its violent crescendo; a film as immortal as Jason Voorhees himself.



Dario Argento’s masterpiece Suspiria (and my favorite of his vast pantheon of work) was projected in another absolutely gorgeous Unrated UK print which I’d blessed to see once before at the dearly departed but always cherished Madcap. It’s beautiful cinematography, intriguing plot, haunting Goblin score (my pick for their finest offering as well) and arguably the most brutal opening kill in the history of horror, this initial entry in the “Three Mothers” trilogy remains it’s standout and one of the defining tentpoles of extreme Italy.



With fond childhood memories (actually saw this one in the theaters opening weekend) but vague recollections since that screening, it all came flooding back with this early 90s gem. Filled to the 10 gallon brim with genuine laughs and seismic terror, Tremors is a vintage monster movie made in an era that was just beginning to fully embrace digital technology and computer effects but instead of the often hokey acting/sets of that period or an attempt for serious social allegory, Tremors just revels in building suspense, drinking beer and raising hell. If you haven’t checked this out in a while or want to see what a SyFy original picture SHOULD look like, then grab your elephant gun and head on down to Perfection, Nevada…


The Fly

On the eve of its 30th Anniversary, one of Cronenberg’s greatest took center stage as the Witching Hour chimed in. Having never seen it theatrically, I was beyond excited to feast upon its veritable buffet of viscera. The pacing is tight, the makeup effects are still astounding and Brundle’s deterioration still elicited plenty of “ewws” from the crowd who recoiled in horror at each stage of metamorphosis. The Fly, much like The Thing is a film with great source material that was perfected, not because of advancements in technology or filmmaking but for its willingness to go to very dark corners of humanity, to the gooey heart of the matter and not shy away from all the gory glory.


The Incredible Melting Man

I love melt movies (Street Trash, Slime City, Body Melt…well that’s about it) and while TIMM is not my all-time favorite of the slimy subgenre, Rick Baker’s effects and the MST3K/RiffTrax ready plot and dialogue (was even shown on the latter) make it a fun popcorn flick and audience participation favorite. (Post script: RIP Rainbeaux Smith.)


Wolf Creek

The anniversary activities rolled on with Wolf Creek, celebrating its first decade of debauchery. Distinctly remember checking this one out shortly after I moved to Arizona and really dug it; in the midst of the mid 00s focus on Saw, Hostel and House of 1000 Corpses, this Down Under flick had a true 70s grit and undeniably mean spirit. It mixed current found footage claustrophobia with classic exploitation flair while John Jarrat as Mick Taylor who plays a psychotic Crocodile Dundee to the knife hilt.



Victor and I fell asleep for a good chunk of this (and probably fueled our dreams with cascades of psychedelic phantasmagoria) but we ended up waking up for the last thirty minutes or so, enjoying the absolutely crazy climax of a completely insane film. If you haven’t experienced House (this Japanese entry, not the equally awesome William Katt starring 80s horror comedy kingpin) whether it’s in your own home or with a few hundred strangers at 5am over orange juice and assorted breakfast pastries.


Won a sweet Bates Motel night light while Victor snagged DVDs of Circus of Terror and Invasion of the Body Snatchers made this a fun road trip; The Loft is not just a Tucson institute but an Arizona state treasure. The only theater with print film, a fantastic patron system and a genuine sense of community- we love The Loft!