The Ohio Sci-Fi and Horror Marathons

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:49 pm 
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THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY!

(I'll just leave this here in case people want to comment. I don't have much to say before I crash, except that it was a fantastic time, phenomenal lineup, and I couldn't be more pleased.)

Feel free to make your feelings known here ...

EDIT1: Not much time, but I did want to bullet-point a few of the high points ...

  • INVASIONS OF BODY SNATCHING - There's not much I can say about these that hasn't been said. They're both textbook lessons in tension, pacing, and abject paranoia.
  • CITY OF LOST CHILDREN - This one in particular has great resonant memories going back to Marathon Days of Yore.
  • DUNE - Always loved it, and it's a legitimately great lead-in for ...
  • JODOROWSKY'S DUNE - This film is pretty incredible any time but SO much better with an audience.
  • SECONDS - Brilliant film, and one I was really glad to see make the lineup. It's got a lot to say and it says it with tension, creativity, and some astonishingly good visuals.
  • NOVA SEED - I have to say, I really like this film. The level of effort that went into it is quite impressive and I think it carries itself nicely. I love that it does its world building organically without a tremendous amount of exposition. I'd definitely call it a success.
  • SCANNERS - Not my favorite Cronenberg, if I'm to be honest, but it IS about time it showed at an Ohio marathon. Oh, and an exploding head. So that right there gives it the prize.
  • THE WORLD'S END - Frenetic and relentlessly comedic, yeah, this is truly a worthy closer for the Cornetto trilogy.
  • SLITHER - A foul-mouthed grotesquerie that never stops rolling. I love every frame of this film.

Really glad to see that almost all of the films were well received (and several were definite hits) ... and of course a huge thanks and shout out to, uh, well everybody.

Alright, back to cryo-stasis for a while ...

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:41 pm 
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I couldn't make it this year, but I have sympathetic back pain this year as if I had attended. Looking forward to hearing the reports.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 11:30 pm 
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Location: Akron, OH
I had an amazing time at the marathon. It was a great lineup and the crowd energy was really good, at least from where I was sitting. Thanks as always to all the organizers and behind the scenes folks for making it a great event! Here's my breakdown:

INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1956): Even though I can't help but notice the elements of cheese and things that don't hold up in 50s sci fi, this was a solid flick. Great kickoff to the paranoia/identity crisis theme of the marathon

CITY OF LOST CHILDREN: Enjoyed the enormous heart and inventiveness on display here, even though I rarely knew why anything was happening or who anybody was (admittedly I was nodding off a bit through the middle, but I don't think that was the only reason). I still think I like DELICATESSEN better.

Costume Contest: I like having it earlier in the evening. Big ups to the second place winner (Body Snatcher) for having a GREAT gag that she saved till the second round--I was genuinely surprised.

DUNE: This movie was a great big beautiful mess, and I was thoroughly engrossed the entire time. I read the first Dune book about ten years ago, but I'm not a super fan, so I didn't have any qualms from that angle. Some of the decisions with regards to pacing were so bad it was fascinating. For example, why have a five minute scene where Baron Harkonnen explains to the Atreides Mentat about having to milk a cat to survive (which never pays off or impacts anything), while rushing through the majority of both the love and war stories in a montage? Again, this was my first time seeing it and I want to do some reading on the making of this film; clearly there were problems behind the scenes, but I was definitely never bored.

JODOROWSKY'S DUNE: This was an amazing treat, especially with the producer Q&A. I love that Stephen has become a Columbus marathoid! Anyway, the documentary was really interesting and did a great job of telling the story in a visually dynamic way. I can't call myself an artist but I was still inspired. Time to track down THE HOLY MOUNTAIN.

SECONDS: I was expecting to doze off during this one, but the tension and character arc kept me invested the whole movie. I think the event flyer described it as an extended Twilight Zone episode, which seems apt. I'm not well versed in Frankenheimer films but I know he has some ardent fans, so I'm glad I got to see this.

NOVA SEED: Obviously some compromises had to be made given the small scale of this production, but the passion and creativity on display were obvious. To me, these interesting, independent projects are exactly the types of things the marathons should be supporting, so thanks to Bruce, Joe and the Drexel for showing it.

DARK STAR: I took a strategic sleep break during this one so I could stay awake for SCANNERS.

SCANNERS: Not sure how much of the goofiness was intentional in this one, and how much was a byproduct of the time and...Canada, I guess? But despite my love for THE BROOD and VIDEODROME, I didn't know how much I needed a goofier Cronenberg movie in my life. Still laughing at the gas station attendant yelling "OHHHH SHIIIIIT" as he fell over and dropped the pump. And who doesn't love that exploding head?

THE WORLD'S END: This was the only one I had seen before, and it was a classic example of how the Marathon crowd can make a movie twice as enjoyable. Great fit with both BODY SNATCHERS movies.

SLITHER: Some good effects and laughs, but this one got old for me pretty quickly. Still, as far as gross out, offensive sci fi/horror comedies go, it was light years better than NIGHT OF SOMETHING STRANGE and others of that tasteless ilk. Those juvenile independent genre filmmakers who love stupid genital gross out gags should at least aspire to the basic level of competence on display here. Still, I'm glad the SLITHER curse was finally broken, although I was secretly rooting for a glitch.

INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1978): Joe is not the only person I've heard to call this the best remake ever, and now I see why. I wish today's endless reboots would take heed of the way they kept what worked, changed what didn't, and put some artistry into the project rather than just making a lazy film and cashing in on the name recognition. Even after seeing both versions, I'm still hazy on some of the mechanics of the body snatching. Is there a maximum range where falling asleep will activate the duplicate body? Do the duplicates disintegrate after a while if they're not activated? I know it's not important but I'm just confused.

Thanks again to the dedicated people who make this event happen, and I'll hopefully see you all again soon!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:18 am 
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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.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 8:24 am 
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Sorry I don't get by as much. Sergei and I did have a good time at his first marathon. He understands a little better now why I haven't missed any of them. Trying to track down a picture to make Joe feel old, but until then I'll share this drawing that Sergei did for art class. Or I would but the 256 k attachment limit is, shall we say, limiting.

Stole wife's FaceBook account. You can find it here. https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_ ... 5090473787

Also, you may want to check the front page of the website. Unless we time travelled again I believe we did it in March not May. :lol:

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