Wow, 30 years. For any of us that have been doing this since the Drexel North days, the merits alone of having made it this far elevate this year on a pedestal.
Even for virgin attendees, I can only imagine it will still hold up as a memorable year. The marriage proposal. Cake (and eat it, too). Jiminy Gravity upsetting Zardoz from his throne. A killer film lineup. Private video from the Marathon vault playing in between films.
I came this year with the only hangover in my 21-year SciFi Marathon experience. Seriously, I was probably literally dying. But with fierce dedication and a cocktail of meds generously handed me from a dozen different directions, I not only survived, but thrived.
My personal summary of events:
-Previous Night: Commencement of 21-year tradition of card playing, warming up for the big event with Sci-fi movies playing simultaneously, marathon reminiscing until 3am, and something new - Martinis.
-8:30am: Taking my place in line.
-9:30am: Cold begins to penetrate my layers. I start shuffling in place to generate warmth
-10:00am: I can no longer concentrate on what my Marathon partner is saying, or see well, as my hangover is now in full red alarm mode and my head feels like it's being "scanned" by Michael Ironside.
-10:10am: Others in our party show up, wonder why my complexion is green
-10:20ish: I see Joe and cameras. I try to avoid getting caught on camera and thus immortalized in my current suffering state for the next thousand years, but I also quietly take relief in the fact that the appearance of Joe might mean the doors are about to open
10:30ish: Doors open. I offer up a prayer of thanksgiving for Joe.
-10:30-Noon: While dying, I peek around to catch the sights and sounds. LOVE seeing the film footage from previous years. I really hope Joe can get these posted online in a database of years, sort of like Hall of Marathonia does with summaries and film lineups. It could be done on the Facebook page. The problem with only running them at the Marathon is that they run while lights are on, so many of the images are impossible to make out. To be able to go on the Facebook page and view them at leisure would be super nostalgic, fun, and rekindle Marathon spirit.
-12:00 Noon:INVASION OF BODY SNATCHERS (1956) One of my favorite films of all time. Loved opening with it, and even in my crippling state and while trying desperately to sleep in little spurts, I was still able to enjoy it. (The only other year I ever slept during the first movie was at the Continent in 1999 for the 17th SciFi Marathon, due to exhaustion for other reasons.)
-1:45pm: CITY OF LOST CHILDREN I mercifully, but VERY regrettably slept through nearly all of this. I say regrettably, because this is one of my favorite all-time films ever shown at the Marathon and left an enormous impression on me in 1996 when we saw it at the Riffe Center for the 10th SciFi Marathon. It's so strange and artfully realized. I have been waiting forever to have it play again at a marathon, my wish comes true, and I totally blow it. However, sleeping through this film allows me to go on to enjoy the rest of the event in good health.
-4:30pm: COSTUME CONTEST This has just been getting better the last several years, we seem to be on a roll. The creativity of some has boosted the creativity of others, I dig it. Was looking forward to seeing what Zardoz could come up with, and though hilarious, I had higher hopes for him. Kudos to the two Body Snatcher pod participants. Especially the lady who revealed the pod's transformation in the second round With the life-sized picture of her own face lol! That was classic. And Jimminy Gravity "sort of" blowing his load by the third round after singing There's A Gravity Shortage. What a riot, great stuff.
-4:45pm: DUNE Awesome, awesome, awesome. By now I was completely cured from my hangover woes. I can't express how much I enjoyed seeing this on the big screen, especially considering its follow up feature. And what a terrific print. Very nice quality to the picture.
-7:30pm: JODOROWSKY'S DUNE Two very big thumbs up. A fabulous documentary. Beautiful, passionate, hilarious, and just plain interesting. Don't think I've enjoyed a documentary type film so much since Atomic Cafe. "I was raping Frank Herbert" may be one of my favorite new Marathon quotes of all time.
-9:45pm: SECONDS (1966) Had never seen this, knew nothing about it really. I enjoyed the experience, but a little tough to stay awake for simply because of the style of filmmaking used here.
-12:30am: NOVA SEED I love animation and applaud any creative effort in this genre, especially traditional animation as opposed to computer generated. But being honest, this one bored me. After about thirty minutes I decided it was a good time to get up and move around, check messsages, post a few things to social media. I never returned to my seat for this film. It's no Iron Giant. I enjoyed the uniqueness of the film and I'm overall glad to be able to say I was there the year it played. Sounds like I'm contradicting myself, but the regulars know what I mean.
-2:30am: DARK STAR Not a favorite. But Marathon appropriate, no complaints.
-4:00am: SCANNERS Loved it. Had seen it displayed in video stores for years, have seen it available for streaming for years. I'm so satisfied that my first experience of finally viewing it was with the Marathon crowd. Perfect.
-6:00am: THE WORLD'S END Man, Joe and Bruce nailed the timing of this one. It played at a perfect hour, and at a perfect spot in amongst the older films. Great, great Marathon movie. Extremely gratifying.
-8:10am: SLITHER Another one I had never seen, although opportunities had abounded over the years (not to mention at the SciFi Marathon itself.) But again, I'm very glad to have never seen it sooner. I knew nothing about it really, and experiencing it fresh at the big 30th Anniversary Ohio Science Fiction Marathon was extremely gratifying, perfectly placed on the scheduled lineup.
-10:00am: INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1978) Ah, so much praise, and now some criticism. I found this film almost unbearable and chose to sleep through the final half of it. It's not Bruce or Joe's fault, and it could only have appropriately been scheduled as the last film, so no complaints there. I just find certain types of 70s films almost unbearable anyway, especially when said films exaggerate what was already clownish, stomach-turning styles of dress and attitudes. I found Donald Sutherland gross to watch in this, and the acting annoying. The flirty relationship between him and his granddaugh... I mean, love interest, is gross and completely unbelievable. The major redeeming feature? Kevin McCarthy's cameo. It would have been nice to run this sometime in the middle of the night and then end with THE INVASION (2007) with Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, but hey, all things considered, this year was pretty darn near perfection.
I applaud Bruce and Joe and everybody who made this year happen. And one final edit: It is obvious that the team worked hard to ensure all of the old favorites got included this year (Duck Dodgers, Gravity, Spaceboy, Bread, Loaf, etc.) Superb job, guys, just a spectacular year.