Special Report: Mondo Movie Night #1 – By Jordan Garren

For years I’ve been simply dying to go to a comic book convention, horror movie convention, or a special screening of some new or long forgotten film. On Saturday, May 1st, I finally got my chance. The proprietor of www.spookydudes.com happens to be a former coworker of mine from my days at Suncoast Motion Picture Company. Because of him, I was lucky enough to be part of MONDO MOVIE NIGHT’S audience! “Let me tell you of the days, of high adventure!”

IN THE BEGINNING… I think it’s best to start out at the very beginning of my hectic Saturday. It was twelve midnight and I had just finished watching “Fear No Evil,” a lackluster teenage-antichrist film. Anchor Bay did a great job on the disc, but that still didn’t make the movie any better. Afterwards, I climbed in bed and picked up my copy of Stephen King’s romantic ghost story, “Bag of Bones.” I became so engrossed in the macabre tale that I lost all track of time. When I finally decided to quit it was 6:30 A.M.! Why is the time so important? Because I had to get up for work at 8:30 A.M.! Two hours after hitting the hay, I was up and rushing to get my tired body to work. Luckily it was an extremely slow day so I still had plenty of energy once I got home.

FINAL DESTINATION… Instead of quickly getting things together and hitting the road, I procrastinated. I sat around for a few hours before deciding to print up a bunch of Rogue Reviewer flyers to distribute at the event. With that done, I freshened up a bit, grabbed my digital camera, a change of clothes, and I rushed down to Scranton, PA as fast as I could. An hour later, after driving in excess speeds of 85 m.p.h. (in a 65 m.p.h. zone mind you) I had arrived at my first destination: Tara’s house. After rounding up my dearly beloved girlfriend, we visited my best friend’s parents (he’s currently in Italy) and stayed a bit too long. After an hour and a half of chatting and reminiscing, it was 10:30 P.M.! DAMN IT! We missed the first half hour of MONDO MOVIE NIGHT! After our departure from there, I was finally on my way to the movie theater (with a hungry and ill tempered female as my companion. “Sorry honey, but we’re late. We don’t have time to get you food!”). We finally arrived at Endless Mountain Cinema (Route 6, Scranton Carbondale Highway) at 11 P.M. The journey was finally over.

INSIDE THE THEATER… Once we were inside the building (I stupidly forgot about the aforementioned Rogue Reviewers flyers I brought with me) Tara and I quickly made our way into the theater. In a moment of indecision, we picked seats way in the back. This turned out to be a bad idea for two reasons. First off, I couldn’t get a decent picture with my digital camera in the poorly lit theater. Secondly, we ended up sitting with some extremely boring and somewhat contemptuous moviegoers; I’ll speak more on that on a minute. Anyway, by the time we were seated, the man of the hour, Doctor Zombie (Blake Monahan), was starting the SCREAMING CONTEST. Basically the audience would clap and cheer for the girl with the loudest and most blood-curdling scream. Ironically enough, the smallest girl involved took first place (The Mouse that Roared! HA!). Afterwards, came the HORROR TRIVIA CONTEST (I should’ve listened to Tara and got up there!). The questions were a mixed bag, ranging from easy ones like “After what World War II political figure was the cat in ‘Pet Semetary’ named after?” to tougher ones, such as “What three actors from the original ‘Dawn of the Dead’ had cameos in the recent remake?” I still can’t think of a third! (Ken Foree…. Tom Savini…. WHO ELSE?!) Finally, midnight had arrived and the 35MM filmstrip for “Blood Feast” began to roll. This is when I realized that Tara and I should’ve sat further up-front with all the fun people!

THE “BLOOD FEAST” BEGINS… Until this moment, I have never seen “Blood Feast” but I’ve heard plenty about it and the antics of it’s main character. After the opening scene, the movie had officially won me over. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, “Blood Feast” was the first gore film ever made. Directed by the notorious Herschell Gordon Lewis, “Blood Feast” is about Fuad Ramses (played gleefully by Mal Arnold), an odd fellow who worships the goddess Ishtar and collects a variety of body parts from a handful of young, beautiful women. Said body parts are to be used in an Egyptian blood-feast ritual, in honor of Ishtar. Can the local police force (made up of two moronic guys who can’t act) stop Fuad before his evil plans come to fruition? “I’ll never te-ell!” During the film, the audience (save for the boring lot sitting directly in front and beside us) was heckling the film and making some great jokes! I joined in on the fun but didn’t really get into it until the final moments of the film. I was a bit perturbed from really going all out because of the people ahead of me. I’d make a silly comment and then someone would turn around, stare at me for a few seconds, and then look back at the screen. Sheesh, sorry if I ruined your concentration! This however didn’t stop me once the film’s “big” chase scene had started. Fuad, who has a huge limp from time to time, manages to outpace a handful of cops. This is mostly because the cops are jogging slowly after him! Hahahaha! At that point I just threw caution to the wind and let the good times roll! (“Jeez, Fuad limped so fast he ended up in Nevada!”) Simply put, fans of classic b-movie fare must see this film. It’s definitely in the category of “so bad it’s good!”

The AFTERMATH… After “THE END” came up on the screen, everyone stood up and headed for the lobby. Once Tara and I got out there, we discovered a table full of cool stuff for sale. For about ten minutes (or probably longer), I was torn between a 13-inch Godzilla plush toy and a DVD-R of “Phantasm II/Phantasm III!” Sure there’s the third option of not buying anything but I wanted to make damn sure that I wasn’t going home empty handed (since I missed winning Mal Arnold’s autograph by ONE NUMBER!). I ended the torment and purchased the Godzilla plush toy and then said my goodnights to Doctor Zombie and company. Once I walked out into the parking lot, reality had set in… I had forgot to pass out flyers and I didn’t get ONE decent picture! That’ll definitely serve as a learning experience for future MONDO MOVIE NIGHTS. In any case, I had a total blast (as did Tara…. once she woke up). It had been one helluva day but it was all worth it in the end. At approximately 2:00 A.M. on Sunday, I finally got the rest I so badly wanted, and needed.

MONDO MOVIE NIGHT #2: I’m more than sure that this first MONDO MOVIE NIGHT was a huge success (at least it was in my eyes. There were people from Jersey and all over Pennsylvania in attendance!). Doctor Zombie definitely put on a great show and there was never a dull moment. If I have convinced you that this event is worth attending, then you best show up to MONDO MOVIE NIGHT #2 on Saturday, July 24th! The movie being featured on the big screen at midnight is Lucio Fulci’s classic “ZOMBIE!” The 35MM presentation is being courteously provided by SHRIEK SHOW to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the film and their DVD release of “ZOMBIE” on a two-disc set! For more details on MONDO MOVIE NIGHT #2, check out Doctor Zombie’s site, SPOOKYDUDES.COM for more details. Hope to see you there!