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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 12:28 am 
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This future A-List Oscar winner's debut bowed at SF11.

As the days until SF25 dwindle away, my thoughts (par usuale) turn to Marathon bygone. So here's yet another variation on the question I seem to ask every year around this time: what have been the best and worst Marathons you've attended?

Now, I posited this question over on the Boston board a few months ago, and no one quite had the guts to admit that a Marathon could possibly be less than stellar. The general response was "I love 'em all!" or "There are only good Marathons and better Marathons!" So, if the concept of an okay or bad Marathon offends your delicate sensibilities, maybe I can rephrase it as "Best Marathon" and "Least Favorite Marathon." Hugs for all, yes?

The criteria for these two selections? Well, you need to have actually attended the events (see this IS a bit different than the normal question.) I'm assuming everyone will discuss a Columbus Marathon, since that seems to be the common thread that binds us here. I'll let you decide whether you choose Sci-Fi or Horror Marathons (mix and match if you wish) but keep the selections to the 24-Hour (or more format.)

For films lists from every SF Marathon, feel free to consult the following archive, hosted and compiled by our invaluable ally Dave Zecchini: http://www.vitruvianzeke.com/Marathonia/Marathonia.html

My least favorite Marathon would probably be SF12 at the Riffe Center. Yes, it featured the (ahem) thrill of performing in the now legendary production of GRAVITY: IT'S ALIVE!!!, but there were just too many new, non-premiere movies filling out the schedule. Choosing one or two of MARS ATTACKS, GATTACA, STARSHIP TROOPERS or STARGATE would've been fine, but none of them were essential picks, and all were between one and four years old. As well, although I have a soft spot for THEM!, seeing it in place of EARTH GIRLS ARE EASY was a major disappointment. That leaves the rare, Scorsese-owned print of ROCKETSHIP X-M (pretty cool), INFRA-MAN (legendary), LOST WORLD (always welcome with live music), the premiere of SPACE TRUCKERS (not bad, but not one of Stuart Gordon's best) and a pink print of DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS. Only ten films in total, with the equivalent of about half a good lineup.

My favorite? This is tough. I didn't start attending until SF7 at the dear, departed Drexel North in 1993 (R.I.P.), so I missed some prime, early, vital years of this thing of ours. That first year is still pretty tough to beat, and serves as a primer for what makes a great Marathon from a booking and pacing standpoint. The event was bookended by the 1956 and 1978 INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, two classics that are different enough to be powerful in their own ways, echoing each other perfectly at noon and noon. The afternoon fare is killer, the 3-D CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON followed by the rare print of the rousing 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA. The premieres (BLOBBERMOUTH, THE DARK HALF and the Midwest bow for THE ABYSS: THE DIRECTOR’S CUT) were not the best in Marathon history, but they were all different and entertaining. Plus, their timing was perfect: BLOBBERMOUTH was raucous fun for the dinnertime hour, ABYSS a majestic and sober experience in the prime time slot and DARK HALF a re-invigorating shot of gore and suspense at 4am.

And speaking of a perfectly timed crowd goosing…ROBOCOP 2 at 6am? Awesome. A great example of a semi-mediocre flick that worked great in its timeslot. Plus, the lineup had PLAN NINE FROM OUTER SPACE, the schlocky and creepy CRAWLING EYE and rare Toho fare in THE MYSTERIANS. All in all, this is still a phenomenal lineup.

But I’m also torn by my allegiances to my first Horror Marathon, that fall of 1993. What a cavalcade of modern fright classics: THE SHINING, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, THE EXORCIST, HALLOWEEN, EVIL DEAD 2, ARMY OF DARKNESS, TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE. Plus, the premiere of Del Toro’s CRONOS and the highly enjoyable Yuzna gorefest RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD 3 (ah, Mindy Clarke…va-va-voom!). It’s a solid slate, top to bottom. I guess I’d give SF7 the nod, if only because a great deal of this Horror Marathons personal appeal lies in the fact that I’d never seen most of the movies. From an objective standpoint, SF7 is the more diverse and successful lineup.

I want to make special, out-of-competition mention of my final 24-Hour Horrorthon at Studio 35, which I’m excluding from the main answer due to my deep and personal involvement with its organization. Of all the Marathons I’ve organized, this was the most fully realized one I had the privilege of putting together. The concept was solid, the decorations were top notch (eternal thanks to Todd, Shawna, Brian, Rose, Matt and Jeff for their amazing artistic skills and general dedication to the event) and the crowd was fantastic. The lineup was as follows:

THE LAST MAN ON EARTH
Stuart Gordon’s KING OF THE ANTS (Midwest Premiere)
I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD
DON’T LOOK NOW 2: I’M STILL NOT LOOKING
The WORLD PREMIERE of Kevin S. O’Brien’s SANDWICH
VERSUS (Ohio Premiere)
FREAKS
PIECES
ICHI THE KILLER (Columbus Premiere)
Lucio Fulci’s ZOMBIE
THE HUNGER
DEAD ALIVE

George Romero remains my favorite guest, from a personal and professional perspective. It was the realization of a long-held dream to bring him to the Marathon, and I’ll always remember it as being special. As well, I got to realize another dream by re-uniting the cast and crew of NIGHT OF THE LIVING BREAD for the SANDWICH premiere and giving Kevin quite possibly the greatest ongoing tribute he’ll ever receive at a Marathon. See Kevin, my loyalty still lies with the Secret Bread Empire. Having both of those in-Marathon events made me feel like I had closed a loop in Horrorthon history. Not to say that I closed Horrothon history, but you get the point. Or maybe you don’t…


Last edited by Joe Neff on Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 2:31 pm 
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This ego-maniacal Oscar telecast watcher
made his marathon bow in 2004 at SF21!




I will never forget my first: SF6 in 1992. If every first time marathoid had the same visceral experience as I did, there would be more of us. This included my first ever viewings of Dune, Metropolis, 2010, A Clockwork Orange, and Planet of the Apes. Wow, talk about an initiation! My eyes were opened to a brand new world of Science Fiction beyond Star Wars and Star Trek. My only gripe was that I slept alot. But, even considering all that, I still wouldn't classify that year as my "favorite." And for me, that's what makes these things so special year after year.

If you put a gun to my head and made me choose my favorite, I would say SF7, the very next year:

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
Creature From the Black Lagoon
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Blobbermouth
The Crawling Eye
The Abyss (The Director's Cut)
The Mysterians
Plan 9 from Outer Space
The Dark Half
Robocop 2
Battle Beyond the Stars
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)


There are many different reasons why things in our lives are special to us, just as there are many reasons why a particular marathon may be your favorite, not just because of the film selection. I can't really pinpoint one thing about it, but first of all, I did not slepp a wink other than the occasional 5 minute nod. Secondly, there was a very cohesive ebb and flow to it. Invasion of the Body Snatchers and it's remake are two of my favorite films of all time, so those book ends were a treat. Blobbermouth was a hoot. The Dark Half, while underwhelming, was a last minute surprise not even on the program and I was a huge King fan at the time. The Mysterians quickly became my favorite Japanese Monster Movie, a genre I don't really like. Being amongst the first in the world to see the Director's Cut of The Abyss in a time before the saturated DVD market was very special, and a rare case in which the new cut is a hugely satisfying different experience. That year we were also presented with the rare discovery 12:01PM with Kurtwood "you dumbass" Smith, the short film that inspired Groundhog Day.
So many memories...

That's not to say I haven't liked the 10 other marathons I have attended since. Last year's came really close, Automatons notwithstanding. From beginning to end as a cohesive unit, last years marathon was as solid as could be. Think of Automatons as just a bad piece of lettuce on an otherwise tasty burger. It was the largest number of features in a while (keep it coming, Bruce!), and probably the best final film in Marathon history in the rousingly upbeat Flash Gordon, although one could make a case for the equally thrilling overlooked gem Equilibrium.

Now on to the bad. Do I have to?

Well, every marathon has it's good points, but the marathon I was most miserable during was the final Night of the Living Drexel in 1994. I give you exhibit A:

THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES
THE TINGLER
A CHINESE GHOST STORY 2
PUMPINHEAD 2
DAWN OF THE DEAD
MOSQUITO
HAUNTED SYMPHONY
VAMPYRES: DAUGHTERS OF DRACULA
SCARS OF DRACULA
SPIDER BABY
IT'S ALIVE
THE FOG


You're saying "Are you crazy? What about Dawn of the Dead?" Yeah, what about it? To keep the analogy going, it was like a good slice of tomato on an otherwise crappy burger. I was so angry with the so-called "premeires" that I still to this day consider Vampyres: Daughters of Dracula my least favorite film of all time. At least I was awake enough to appreciate the other good slice of tomato in the lineup of Spider Baby. If you haven't seen that one, check it out. it's available on DVD.

To keep on the subject of Science Fiction Marathons, i think the one I was most disappointed with was SF8. Although it began with a bang, one of my all time favorites Close encounters of the Third Kind, it went downhill from there. I like Buckaroo Banzai, though not as much as some, but I was knocked out by the time it rolled around and missed most of it. T2 is a good ender, but it was kind of played out at the time. After the giddy excitement I felt after my first two marathons, this one was a big letdown.

There was a time in the mid nineties when the "premeires" forced on us were nothing short of garbage (see Mosquito, Haunted Symphony, above). SF8 had the direct to video trite Knights, and SF9 included Digital Man and Mind Ripper in an otherwise stellar lineup. If you take Helix...Loaded!, and the aforementioned Automatons out of the equation, I think the premeires have been much more hits than misses since back in the final years of the Drexel North. i think we could all agree that most have been at least interesting and marathon worthy, even if they are not your personal cup of tea.

They have announced less than half of the films so far, and I am still giddy with anticipation. Here's to keeping the momentum going this year!

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Last edited by IamJacksUserID on Wed Mar 26, 2008 6:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 3:44 pm 
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SF7 was my favorite too... huge turnout... THE ABYSS...

As far as SF8... we received that print of T2 in terrible condition... not only was it damaged, but there were no heads, tails or reel bands... I remember being falling-over tired and scrambling to get it in the correct order and runnable by its starting time.

That was the marathon with the brittle print of Battle Beyond the Stars, right? Ugh... we were doing everything we could but it kept breaking every 20-30 seconds until we finally gave up...


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 4:22 pm 
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When I said "played out," I wasn't reffering to the quality of the print. I just meant that it was a recent film that had lost it's "cool" factor by the time it played the marathon. Even though it is a classic film, my reaction to it at the time was "meh."

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 5:33 pm 
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I understand that there may be some who didn't care for VAMPYRES, but did it really go over as badly as IamJacks seems to indicate? It has a decent rating on imdB, pretty good history in the genre books on Vampires in the movies, was well-received when it came out on DVD etc. I got a chance to see it on the big screen at the American Cinematheque a few years back, and it played well. Heck, I think it's one of the most underrated of all Vampire films - not necessarily a "great film", but an overlooked one.

IamJacksUserID wrote:
Image

This ego-maniacal Oscar telecast watcher
made his marathon bow in 1994 at SF21!




I will never forget my first: SF6 in 1992. If every first time marathoid had the same visceral experience as I did, there would be more of us. This included my first ever viewings of Dune, Metropolis, 2010, A Clockwork Orange, and Planet of the Apes. Wow, talk about an initiation! My eyes were opened to a brand new world of Science Fiction beyond Star Wars and Star Trek. My only gripe was that I slept alot. But, even considering all that, I still wouldn't classify that year as my "favorite." And for me, that's what makes these things so special year after year.

If you put a gun to my head and made me choose my favorite, I would say SF7, the very next year:

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
Creature From the Black Lagoon
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Blobbermouth
The Crawling Eye
The Abyss (The Director's Cut)
The Mysterians
Plan 9 from Outer Space
The Dark Half
Robocop 2
Battle Beyond the Stars
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)


There are many different reasons why things in our lives are special to us, just as there are many reasons why a particular marathon may be your favorite, not just because of the film selection. I can't really pinpoint one thing about it, but first of all, I did not slepp a wink other than the occasional 5 minute nod. Secondly, there was a very cohesive ebb and flow to it. Invasion of the Body Snatchers and it's remake are two of my favorite films of all time, so those book ends were a treat. Blobbermouth was a hoot. The Dark Half, while underwhelming, was a last minute surprise not even on the program and I was a huge King fan at the time. The Mysterians quickly became my favorite Japanese Monster Movie, a genre I don't really like. Being amongst the first in the world to see the Director's Cut of The Abyss in a time before the saturated DVD market was very special, and a rare case in which the new cut is a hugely satisfying different experience. That year we were also presented with the rare discovery 12:01PM with Kurtwood "you dumbass" Smith, the short film that inspired Groundhog Day.
So many memories...

That's not to say I haven't liked the 10 other marathons I have attended since. Last year's came really close, Automatons notwithstanding. From beginning to end as a cohesive unit, last years marathon was as solid as could be. Think of Automatons as just a bad piece of lettuce on an otherwise tasty burger. It was the largest number of features in a while (keep it coming, Bruce!), and probably the best final film in Marathon history in the rousingly upbeat Flash Gordon, although one could make a case for the equally thrilling overlooked gem Equilibrium.

Now on to the bad. Do I have to?

Well, every marathon has it's good points, but the marathon I was most miserable during was the final Night of the Living Drexel in 1994. I give you exhibit A:

THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES
THE TINGLER
A CHINESE GHOST STORY 2
PUMPINHEAD 2
DAWN OF THE DEAD
MOSQUITO
HAUNTED SYMPHONY
VAMPYRES: DAUGHTERS OF DRACULA
SCARS OF DRACULA
SPIDER BABY
IT'S ALIVE
THE FOG


You're saying "Are you crazy? What about Dawn of the Dead?" Yeah, what about it? To keep the analogy going, it was like a good slice of tomato on an otherwise crappy burger. I was so angry with the so-called "premeires" that I still to this day consider Vampyres: Daughters of Dracula my least favorite film of all time. At least I was awake enough to appreciate the other good slice of tomato in the lineup of Spider Baby. If you haven't seen that one, check it out. it's available on DVD.

To keep on the subject of Science Fiction Marathons, i think the one I was most disappointed with was SF8. Although it began with a bang, one of my all time favorites Close encounters of the Third Kind, it went downhill from there. I like Buckaroo Banzai, though not as much as some, but I was knocked out by the time it rolled around and missed most of it. T2 is a good ender, but it was kind of played out at the time. After the giddy excitement I felt after my first two marathons, this one was a big letdown.

There was a time in the mid nineties when the "premeires" forced on us were nothing short of garbage (see Mosquito, Haunted Symphony, above). SF8 had the direct to video trite Knights, and SF9 included Digital Man and Mind Ripper in an otherwise stellar lineup. If you take Helix...Loaded!, and the aforementioned Automatons out of the equation, I think the premeires have been much more hits than misses since back in the final years of the Drexel North. i think we could all agree that most have been at least interesting and marathon worthy, even if they are not your personal cup of tea.

They have announced less than half of the films so far, and I am still giddy with anticipation. Here's to keeping the momentum going this year!

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:37 pm 
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I've been to all the marathons from the beginning in the 80s and have a fondness for the Drexel North ones(even the Schlock Around The Clocks) cause they were bigger and better and actually events as compared to the smaller more cozy ones done of late. Maybe it was because of my youth but it seems like they were going onward and upward and spine tingling fun whereas I think today they seem to lack the passion of the ones years ago. They keep getting smaller and smaller and lack the eventfulness of the past ones. Even my girl commented on the lack of fun,freebies(including posters at the end),guests,setup,bringing in of food and drink,etc. The last couple sci-fi and horror marathons were cool but just lacked passion and event status of past events. I remember when you would hear Bruce and Jeff on 610WTVN or WNCI in radio ads or interviews,see commercials on local TV,big guests(even Jim Van Bebber was in attendance during the horror),see flyers all over High Street and beyond and word of mouth was energetic.
Now it seems like just a night out for people to just stop by and visit on the way to Starbucks or some such thing. Having traveled to conventions,marathons,etc, since I've been out of high school it just seems our beloved marathon has grown somewhat stagnant and become more of a local semi-event as opposed to the country event it had been. I think the date change from a couple years ago had something to do with it since alot of people got screwed out of their travel plans and stopped coming due to the bitterness of that event.
To make a nice big comeback it may take a bigger and better sized marathon with prizes,big guests,bigger theater,MUCHO advance advertisement and notice and all around eventfulness to bring in the people who come from out of state to make it worth the trip and make it more of an epic event as it had been in the past.
I know we can't bring back the Drexel North days but we as fans of the event who grew up with it would like to see it rise to the event we all remember and although it sounds like I'm harping,I am not. I've enjoyed every marathon and want to see it do well again to the quality I know it can. How about it?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:27 pm 
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Not sure if I am really qualified to give an opinion on this seeing how I have only attended a few marathons over the years, but anyway...

My least favorite?

Probably last year believe it or not.

Getting to the marathon late and having to pretty much stand in the theater through 12 Monkeys was a pain, me and my friend didn't snag seats until afterward. Getting overhyped for films that I had never seen before that ended up disapointing me didn't help either, I was really banking on those seeing how the films in the lineup I had seen didn't really do anything for me. Normally I go on a DVD buying binge after a marathon, after last year's all I bought was FIDO.

Quote:
I think today they seem to lack the passion of the ones years ago. They keep getting smaller and smaller and lack the eventfulness of the past ones. Even my girl commented on the lack of fun,freebies(including posters at the end),guests,setup,bringing in of food and drink,etc. The last couple sci-fi and horror marathons were cool but just lacked passion and event status of past events.


I pretty much agree with this, but I don't think it can be helped though, it is obviously getting harder to pull an event like this off as the years go by. Take that and combine it with rising prices and falling attendance and you're really fighting an uphill battle. That's why though we have to be especially appreciative of Bruce for all his efforts and tireless labors.


Now...my favorite?

That would be my first, which was SF20. Being my first it was of course a special experience for me. I had never been to the Arena Grand theater before that time either, and even looking back on previous film lineups this one had to be my absolute favorite filmwise as well. We also had a great crowd that year MST3000wise and the Chicago Hot Dog/Ben & Jerry's next door was a real treat. No marathon experience I have had since has topped that one.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:39 pm 
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IamJacksUserID wrote:
Now on to the bad. Do I have to?

Well, every marathon has it's good points, but the marathon I was most miserable during was the final Night of the Living Drexel in 1994. I give you exhibit A:

THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES
THE TINGLER
A CHINESE GHOST STORY 2
PUMPINHEAD 2
DAWN OF THE DEAD
MOSQUITO
HAUNTED SYMPHONY
VAMPYRES: DAUGHTERS OF DRACULA
SCARS OF DRACULA
SPIDER BABY
IT'S ALIVE
THE FOG


You're saying "Are you crazy? What about Dawn of the Dead?" Yeah, what about it? To keep the analogy going, it was like a good slice of tomato on an otherwise crappy burger. I was so angry with the so-called "premeires" that I still to this day consider Vampyres: Daughters of Dracula my least favorite film of all time. At least I was awake enough to appreciate the other good slice of tomato in the lineup of Spider Baby. If you haven't seen that one, check it out. it's available on DVD.


L.A. Connection wrote:
I understand that there may be some who didn't care for VAMPYRES, but did it really go over as badly as IamJacks seems to indicate? It has a decent rating on imdB, pretty good history in the genre books on Vampires in the movies, was well-received when it came out on DVD etc. I got a chance to see it on the big screen at the American Cinematheque a few years back, and it played well. Heck, I think it's one of the most underrated of all Vampire films - not necessarily a "great film", but an overlooked one.


Hey, this conversation seems VERY familiar...
http://sf.theboard.net/cgi-bin/yabb2/Ya ... 7922/15#15

IamJacksUserID wrote:
To keep on the subject of Science Fiction Marathons, i think the one I was most disappointed with was SF8. Although it began with a bang, one of my all time favorites Close encounters of the Third Kind, it went downhill from there. I like Buckaroo Banzai, though not as much as some, but I was knocked out by the time it rolled around and missed most of it. T2 is a good ender, but it was kind of played out at the time. After the giddy excitement I felt after my first two marathons, this one was a big letdown.


See, I think this lineup was almost as solid as SF7...and my cohorts and I had to stand in the back of the theater from 4pm-8pm waiting to get seats, so my experience of the event was somewhat limited. Damn you, L'IL ABNER!!! (http://www.scifimarathon.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=358)

Anyway, SF8 began and ended with modern classics (CLOSE ENCOUNTERS and T2), featured a 3-D classic in IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE, rarely screened gems (GHIDRAH and DESTINATION MOON) and burgeoning cult classics in BUCKAROO BANZAI and STAR TREK II. As a premiere, KNIGHTS may have been just okay, but Kathy Long's Q+A was engaging and entertaining. Add the Ohio Premiere of the rousing ZEIRAM and the Midwest Premiere of the underrated BODY SNATCHERS and you have one of the more solid slates of films to play in the event's history. And I haven't even mentioned Ed Kemmer and SPACE PATROL!

Astral Projection wrote:
SF7 was my favorite too... huge turnout... THE ABYSS...

As far as SF8... we received that print of T2 in terrible condition... not only was it damaged, but there were no heads, tails or reel bands... I remember being falling-over tired and scrambling to get it in the correct order and runnable by its starting time.

That was the marathon with the brittle print of Battle Beyond the Stars, right? Ugh... we were doing everything we could but it kept breaking every 20-30 seconds until we finally gave up...


The infamous BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS! It was the next to last film at SF7. I remember exiting the Marathon after INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS to find a small styrofoam cup hanging from the inner lobby door with free souvenir pieces of the broken BATTLE within. Too bad I didn't take one. Did any of you?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:32 am 
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I know that it got discussed on the Boston board. But, I thought that here, others besides Joe & IamJacks could chime in on whether VAMPYRES was truly that poorly received. Or, simply, whether VAMPYRES is that poor!!

Joe Neff wrote:
IamJacksUserID wrote:
You're saying "Are you crazy? What about Dawn of the Dead?" Yeah, what about it? To keep the analogy going, it was like a good slice of tomato on an otherwise crappy burger. I was so angry with the so-called "premeires" that I still to this day consider Vampyres: Daughters of Dracula my least favorite film of all time. At least I was awake enough to appreciate the other good slice of tomato in the lineup of Spider Baby. If you haven't seen that one, check it out. it's available on DVD.


L.A. Connection wrote:
I understand that there may be some who didn't care for VAMPYRES, but did it really go over as badly as IamJacks seems to indicate? It has a decent rating on imdB, pretty good history in the genre books on Vampires in the movies, was well-received when it came out on DVD etc. I got a chance to see it on the big screen at the American Cinematheque a few years back, and it played well. Heck, I think it's one of the most underrated of all Vampire films - not necessarily a "great film", but an overlooked one.


Hey, this conversation seems VERY familiar...
http://sf.theboard.net/cgi-bin/yabb2/Ya ... 7922/15#15
ou?

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 6:36 pm 
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Here we go again. Sigh... I don't care if other people liked Vampyres, it was my personal worst marathon experience for a number of different reasons, not all of which were the general artistic merits of the film. I can't speak for anyone else and their tastes, but I do remember a few nasty callouts during that film from the few others who were actually awake at the time. If you enjoy that movie, fine, good for you. Movies resonate differently for different people.

As for your defense of SF8, Joe. You make some fair points, but you asked me to pick a "worst" and that's the one I thought of. I have had a memorable experience without exception at ALL twelve Science Fiction marathons I have attended, that one for me just didn't gel very well for me as a whole and I slept a lot more than I wanted to. That was the last one my future wife attended as well, so I think she had the same vibe.
There was a point during that marathon where I was feeling very uneasy, it was sometime between 4 and 8 PM when there were some strange cohorts lurking about in the back of the theater.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 6:55 pm 
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Infra-Kid wrote:
I've been to all the marathons from the beginning in the 80s and have a fondness for the Drexel North ones(even the Schlock Around The Clocks) cause they were bigger and better and actually events as compared to the smaller more cozy ones done of late. Maybe it was because of my youth but it seems like they were going onward and upward and spine tingling fun whereas I think today they seem to lack the passion of the ones years ago. They keep getting smaller and smaller and lack the eventfulness of the past ones. Even my girl commented on the lack of fun,freebies(including posters at the end),guests,setup,bringing in of food and drink,etc. The last couple sci-fi and horror marathons were cool but just lacked passion and event status of past events. I remember when you would hear Bruce and Jeff on 610WTVN or WNCI in radio ads or interviews,see commercials on local TV,big guests(even Jim Van Bebber was in attendance during the horror),see flyers all over High Street and beyond and word of mouth was energetic.
Now it seems like just a night out for people to just stop by and visit on the way to Starbucks or some such thing. Having traveled to conventions,marathons,etc, since I've been out of high school it just seems our beloved marathon has grown somewhat stagnant and become more of a local semi-event as opposed to the country event it had been. I think the date change from a couple years ago had something to do with it since alot of people got screwed out of their travel plans and stopped coming due to the bitterness of that event.
To make a nice big comeback it may take a bigger and better sized marathon with prizes,big guests,bigger theater,MUCHO advance advertisement and notice and all around eventfulness to bring in the people who come from out of state to make it worth the trip and make it more of an epic event as it had been in the past.
I know we can't bring back the Drexel North days but we as fans of the event who grew up with it would like to see it rise to the event we all remember and although it sounds like I'm harping,I am not. I've enjoyed every marathon and want to see it do well again to the quality I know it can. How about it?


Sure, the marathon was consistently attended by twice as many fans back in the day, but it was never anywhere near the epic, countrywide event you are remembering. We old timers all have a fondness and a passion for the way the marathon used to be, but let's not kid ourselves. I don't live in Ohio anymore, so what you say about the advertisement, flyers and word of mouth may all be true, but I don't think that the dramatic dropoff in attendance is due to a lack of passion either from the organizers or the audience. It's merely a matter of circumstance due to unreliable dates and locations.
We all have things in our youth that we reflect on with rose-colored glasses as they say. I know that Kingdom of the Crystal Skull just will not be the same experience as when I saw Raiders for the first time, going in with no knowledge or expectations. But that doesn't mean I'm not giddy with anticipation to see it. Times have changed, the world has changed. And Bruce has to work harder and harder every year to keep this thing going. And you know what? We are still here, somewhere, wherever that may be. That has to say something for passion, right?


As for all the decorations, goodie bags and general extracurricular stuff: I could care less about all of the free crap we get, it has always been about the movies for me. The trip from out of state has always been "worth it" to me. And do you know who handles and organizes all of that extra stuff? VOLUNTEERS! So, we really have no one to blame but ourselves if we don't think the marathon and the crowds are as into it as they should be.

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Last edited by IamJacksUserID on Wed Mar 26, 2008 7:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 6:57 pm 
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I really liked SF8. Knights had Lance Hendrikson and Kathy Long was an excellent guest. Zeiram was absolutely
AWESOME! This was at the beginning of my "Asian" action/fantasy cinema obsession, which started after seeing
Chinese Ghost Story. Plus I actually loved Abel Ferrar's Bodysnatchers. Zeiram and Bodysnatchers were two of the
better premieres that the Sci-fi marathon has landed. Knights was just an added bonus. Yes, if Kathy Long hadn't
been there...it wouldn't have been nearly as cool. I still remember her story about road rage (kicking 2 road rage
victims butts) to this day. Not my favorite, but definitely not my worst.

Hmmmm, favorite though....I think I have written about this before, so I will go with my least favorite. The last
Horror marathon at the Drexel. Oh man! Was that brutal! Didn't have much sleep the night before, so I ended up
sleeping through half the event. Plus it was the 3 worst premieres of all time - Mosquito, Pumpkinhead 2, and The
Haunted Symphony - OH MY! Dawn of the Dead, Spider Baby, Chinese Ghost Story 2, and The Fog were the only really
good films. OK...Dr. Phibes and The Tingler weren't bad. It was just the premieres were so terrible and Columbus
usually lands pretty good premieres. I'm sure it had something to do with the fact I only got 4 hours of sleep the
night before too.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:24 am 
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Ahhh... The best SF marathon in my memory was SF5. It was my second SF and 4th marathon and I was probably at the peak of my marathon mania. The bookending of The Thing '51 and The Thing '82 was perfect. Seeing Death Race 2000 for the first time ever with 600 marathoids is one of my favorite movie memories ever. Meet the Applegates and Frankenstein Unbound, while not great movies, were fun premieres when I was 16. My friend Dave was able to go to his first marathon after not being allowed to go to the two before that. Tremors in the middle of the night was a blast, Hardware was a decent surprise, and this was before home theater systems, or even letterboxed videos so recent theatrical releases weren't such a negative as they are to me now.

The worst, I'd have to say was the 23rd, a couple of years ago. Of course there were highlights: Godzilla Final Wars, Westworld, old friends, etc.... But only 10 features was really disappointing. And I really didn't like a few of them either like the russian premiere, whatever it was called. There was way too many shorts and serials too. I would have liked the shorts program more if it was broken up into 2 halves-that late at night I needed another feature to get me going. Last year's marathon more than made up for it and was one of the best lineups ever in my opinion.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 1:46 am 
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The link above did not work for me, so I'm going purely from memory. But I think my all-time favorite will always be my first: 1996 (SF10?) at the Riffe Center. Alien and Aliens bookended, Blade Runner played that year, and the premieres were City of Lost Children, Tremors 2 and Cemetery Man. Correct me if I'm mixing some things up, but that's the way I remember it. Feel free to fill in the blanks as well.

I'll never forget watching Alien (for the first time on the big screen) and hearing people applaud enthusiastically for the names of Sigourney Weaver and Ridley Scott in the opening credits. That's when I knew I was among like-minded souls. I don't think I had ever seen an audience cheer for a director before! I think that was the year of the Godzilla incident as well, I wasn't far from the stage when that happened. Strangely enough, that only made me love the marathon more.

My least favorite marathons are the ones I was unable to attend, and usually was stuck at home wishing I was there. I can't think of one where I hated every single film (though last year came close) and had a really awful time. I always prefer the lineups that are mostly good films (like my first), but I've learned to appreciate the cheese as well. I just don't want an entire marathon full of it.

Anyone see this week's South Park? Heavy Metal should definitely play some year...


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:26 am 
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I've been coming to these things for a good many years (1st Horror 'thon was my first) and it's always about the people, and films, but I digress. I am with other people and saying that my least favorite experiences have always been when we focus on really bad premieres!! I don't care about Automatons, the Russian space program, or that huge mistake Ed Wood doc!!!! My favorites have been when we have some good old films from the 70's and 80's. I work in theaters and I know that you CAN get prints, what it comes down to is cost. In Cjicago this weekend they are showing a print of the 80's animated Transformers film, if this is available just imagine the possibilities. I don't remember numbers or anything but My favorite thon has been the one at the Arena Grand and it closed with The Road Warrior (or as the imported print we got Mad Max 2, I'm geeky about these type of things). It was a good mix of friends and good films!!!!!!!

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Last edited by airportman73 on Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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