Horror-Rama was back this year and I had an absolute blast. You never know how these events are gonna go in these uncertain times, but the turnout was great and people looked thrilled to be mingling again. On the Friday night, there was an extra special 40th anniversary screening of a film you know is very near and dear to my heart.
This was the very same Deadly Eyes print that used to play at Trash Palace back in the day. It has changed hands, but it still looks as hairy as ever. However, THIS time I was tapped to moderate the Q&A with special guests Lisa Langlois and Lesleh Donaldson. I'd never done one before, but confidence in the fact I knew the movie inside and out helped combat the nerves.
It went really well. I was amazed and excited that so many in attendance hadn't seen it. I thought that with the Shout Factory Blu-ray, it might have got more eyeballs on it, but I've come to find that was only a small run and now out-of-print.
For the Q&A, because it was a two-reel, one-projector affair, we did it in three parts - intro, intermission and audience questions at the end. We talked about how they both came to work on the film, the various Toronto locations and just how God damn cold it was that winter.
|Lisa Langlois, Lesleh Donaldsen and some schmo.|
Someone brought up the Imdb trivia (that I'm currently trying to get removed) about a dog suffocating in his rat suit. I'd been preparing for this eventuality and we all had a lengthy discussion about it. I believe it untrue for not only the fact that the dogs were trained for months in LA to wear the rat suits, the headpieces had the jaws cut out of them. Tell me how a dog suffocates when its mouth isn't covered...
Lisa has said on several occasions that someone on the crew told her a dog had a heart attack from the anxiety of wearing the suit, but others state the opposite. If you listen to Al Apone (the FX supervisor for the suits on set) on the Blu-ray supplemental, he maintains that apart from one dog getting hospitalized from something it ate at the kennel they were being kept, no harm came to any of them. I also contacted the film's production manager (whom I met many years ago at TIFF and also worked on The Brain) and he corroborated this story.
But anyway, the night was awesome and it was just the first day of three! Saturday, I was basically there the entire day. There was a bunch of great Q&A's and I got to see people I hadn't seen in ages like Stacey from the OG Trash Palace, Brad from Poster-Mortem and Chris from Little Ghosts.
The Q&A with Thom Matthews was great and thankfully went beyond just his work on Friday 6 and ROTLD. There were actually multiple questions about his many films with Albert Pyun and how his contracting business led him to renovate Ozzy Osbourne's house, much of it while there were shooting their reality show.
The big get was Caroline Munro, who was absolutely lovely, an English rose of the highest order. Super humble and eager to talk about her experiences working with likes of Christopher Lee, Roger Moore and Joe Spinnell. Both her Q&A and screening event at the end of the day were fantastic fun.
Throw in the Adventures in Canadian Cinema with Langlois, Donaldsen, Lynne Griffin and Sean Sullivan and you have yourself some CanCon overload. I also got to catch up with Kier-La Janisse who was in town for the event.
|Lesleh Donaldson, Sean Sullivan, Lynne Griffin & Lisa Langlois|
In terms of loot, it is true that was wallet was rendered significantly lighter come Monday. Not only did I get my hands on Vinegar Syndrome's Thriller release (which had eluded me at Fantasia), but also this random Beta tape.
I mean it was in such good condition, I couldn't let the fact I don't have a player stop me. I also got a Deadly Eyes long print from the only one of TP's four screenings that I missed, as well as a piece of art I first saw online many years ago and always wanted to own.
It really was a terrific weekend and totally worth battling the horrendous traffic both days. Congrats to Chris, Ali & Luis for putting on such a great show.