Welcome back one and all, to the musings of me, Richard “Mongo” Hougland, long time minion of Dr Bob Tesla. Today I wanted to talk about the most recent marathon I finished over the weekend of March 18-19, 2017. I finished with a slightly bleary eye, exhaustion, and an appreciation for the feeling of waking up fresh from a nap. This made my 40-somethingth full marathon, and dozen or so half-marathons, and they are not getting any easier to finish.
What, you never thought I was the type to run a marathon? Well, you are right! I cannot run 100 yards without losing my breath. However, I can sit and watch movies all day long - which is what I did last weekend at the Bexley Drexel movie theater. The Drexel hosted the 30th Anniversary of the Ohio SciFi and Horror Movie Marathon and the turnout was strong, the movies entertaining, and the crowd satisfied.
Some of you have attended these movie marathons just like I have. Some have not even heard of them. But I have been attending these 24-hour events since SF Marathon 3 back in ’89 or so. Basically, what happens is that Bruce Bartoo (yes, that is his real name) and Joe Neff book the theater, schedule the movie lineup, and hope for the best (in behavior! ) from the rabid 'marathoids' in attendance.
There is almost always a costume contest, and assorted loot is distributed by various means. Souvenir tees, hoodies, and coffee mugs are sold, and SF geeks rejoice at The Adventures of Duck Dodgers in the 24 ½ century. This year, the marathon opened with the original paranoid classic, The Invasion of the Body Snatchers before plowing into City of Lost Children, Dune, the costume contest, Jodorowsky's Dune, the premiere of Nova Seed, Scanners, The World's End, and the '70s reboot of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
For the newbs in attendance who thought they were going to stay awake for every frame of all the movies, well, good luck on that one! As I attended the marathons over the years, I realized I did NOT have to stay awake for all the movies, which lessened the stress for me considerably. I have gradually evolved into the guy who picks one or two movies to nap through. Just stay awake for the ones you were looking forward to and hope you can see at least some of the other movies. So I power nap through a few, keep up the hydration, limit snacks, and try to enjoy the flicks! It seems to be working for me, at any rate.
As for 'reviews of the movies', I shall keep them short.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a modern classic, surprisingly well paced and suspenseful. A very good movie indeed!
City of Lost Children is a visual masterpiece, wonderfully written and acted, worthy of seeing just for the Octopus!
Dune is…..huge. A big freakin' adaption of Frank Herbert's novel of the same name, it has sheer spectacle, solid performances, and somewhat aging special effects. But is still a great movie, especially if you have read the novel!
Jodorowsky's Dune is a documentary about how Jodorowsky was the first to try and film this massive novel, the stars he was able to talk into committing to appear, and how it all went balls up. Possibly the greatest documentary ever about a film that DID NOT get made.
Next up was the Rock Hudson cultie from 1966, Seconds, which was very good and thought-provoking!
Neon Seed was this year's premiere, and for a cartoon, it wasn’t bad. However, since this is part of where I started to drift off, I cannot give a proper review other than to say it looked interesting. That also means I slept through most of the next two movies: Dark Star (no loss, as I have seen it on the big screen before) and Scanners (a Cronenberg classic).
We were now in the home stretch of the marathon as they showed Slither next (a whole column could be devoted to the travails of this cult masterpiece and its troubled history with the marathon). Slither is a gory, funny, scary, disgusting mashup of horror and alien invasion starring Nathan Fillion.
Simon Pegg then took us on a trek through the world's strangest pub crawl in The World's End.
And that left the last movie to be the '78 reboot of IotBS with Donald Sutherland. I managed to watch some of it, but honestly, I was so tired that I blinked through large patches of it.
Much like the Mihm marathon Dr. Bob hosted, these 24-hour marathons are fun if you have the spirit and stamina for them. Like a regular marathon, a certain degree of 'training ' is necessary. But the results can be very satisfying indeed.
So next time you hear about a 24-hour movie marathon coming up, don’t be afraid to try it. If you can stay up, it can be quite an adventure! Oh - do not be surprised if Dr. Bob hosts another marathon...and rumor has it they could all be Wild Eye Releasing movies!