the thread of this year's marathon was broken up into 6 unique themes, with a choice between a legitimate movie and a cheesy alternative (sometimes the lines were blurred, to be sure). we were also given out chezo cards (like bingo, but with more cheese) with items like "boobs" or "bazooka" to mark off, with prizes for the winners. there were concerns that people wouldn't be able to come because of easter weekend plans, but most of the usuals showed up.
teenage monsters: let the right one in (2008)
it was actually a tie vote with teen wolf (1985), with elias acting as the tie breaker and choosing the vampire movie, a film he confessed that he liked so much that he actually saw it twice last year. i've seen the internet bootleg of this movie and i can say that the dvd translation for the the english subtitle is a little off, although you still get the gist of the story. the second time watching it, i wonder if it's a period film, because the outfits seem very 1980's, and a rubik's cube functions as a plot device.
tough as nails: rocknrolla (2008)
once again another tie, this time with that patrick swayze classic roadhouse (1989), a perennial favorite amongst the female moviegoers (elias had to step in again to split the tie). say what you will about guy ritchie (all style, no substance; poor taste in women), but i personally love his picaresque movies populated with english gangsters and their quaint british accents. he also has great taste in music, which definitely adds to the cool factor of his films. the fact that jason statham is not in this movie doesn't make it any less good.
tony's bad girls: the babysitter (1969)
about 2 months ago elias asked if i wanted to contribute some movies to his marathon (since i've been to almost every single one, and stay through the whole event). i really wanted to expose people to the cult classic the babysitter (that was my cheese movie). for my more mainstream selection, i picked dick (1999), starring kirsten dunst and michelle williams about the watergate scandal. i actually felt embarrassed when the babysitter was playing because i suddenly realized how genuinely bad that movie is. fortunately the movie isn't very long, with a running time of just 75 minutes. i'd already wrote a review for the movie back in december when i first watched it (along with a review of weekend with the babysitter, the sort-of-remake).
trouble in paradise: hard ticket to hawaii (1987)
this was the crowd pleaser and easily the best movie of the whole marathon. the alternative was the spanish prisoner (1997), a david mamet film i believe elias selected for the sole reason that nobody would ever choose to see it, thereby guaranteeing a viewing of hard ticket to hawaii. directed and produced by andy sidaris, a name i'm very familiar with from when i used to have cinemax and watch all the late night b-movies, films thin on plot and heavy in the boobage department. sidaris ended up making 12 movies before his death in 2007. a modern day russ meyer, all his movies follow the same formula of babes with guns. to distinguish his films from others of this genre, his babes were from well-known men's magazines, and his movies can be rated by the number of playmates in the cast. hard ticket to hawaii is sidaris second movie, but the dvd transfer is crystal clear, although the fashion and technology are very much dated. with this single movie, one could almost completely fill a chezo card. the film has many unforgettable scenes, including a skating assassin using a blowdoll as a decoy and subsequently being shot to bits with a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, and a rat cancer contaminated poisonous snake exploding from a toilet seat. folks loved the movie so much, we ended up watching many more trailers for sidaris' other films.
a musical interlude: the apple (1980)
i'd forgotten i'd seen the apple before (or as i like to call it, the crapple). had i remembered, i would've picked sweeney todd (2007) instead. musicals are a tough sell for me. other than grease (1 and 2) and the rocky horror picture show, i don't like any of them. musicals work best in play form, but they don't translate well to celluloid. i'd seen the apple at dan's 24-hour movie marathon a few years ago. i didn't like it then and i still don't like it now. the only thing that made it bearable was figuring out that catherine mary stewart played the role of bibi; she also played regina in night of the comet (1984), one of my favorite 80's scifi movies. one of the dancers i recognized as slightly famous television actress finola hughes. i've also come to realize the numerous biblical references in the film, from adam & eve tasting the forbidden apple, to all the good people going up to heaven with "god" following a rapture-like event. let's just say i finally learned my lesson and i won't be seeing the apple again anytime soon. the movie was bad enough that minutes into the film, groaning members of the audience were trying to hijack the movie and persuade elias to show something else instead.
invaders from space: alien raiders (2008)
i voted for critters 2 (1988) just because i wanted to see that one scene where the space aliens arrive on earth and one of them chooses a playboy centerfold as its human shape, along with a giant staple on her stomach. alas, alien raiders won out, i think mostly because people were afraid of watching another cheesy movie. i'd never seen alien raiders before, but just a few minutes gave me all the info i need: direct-to-dvd, low budget, shot on HD cameras, with one or two slightly famous actors to give the film some star power. the famous actors in this case were 2 from fox tv shows, tony almeida (carlos bernard, 24) and benjamin miles "c-note" franklin (rockmond dunbar, prison break). elias made this surprising choice of film after seeing it at the recent boston scifi marathon, along with a cameo from the director himself. alien raiders is your basic "people trapped in a building/spaceship with a alien/monster that can impersonate anyone" plot. it builds on the "testing the captives to see which ones are aliens" scene (a la the thing) with one that involves chopping off pinky fingers to see if a new one will regenerate back (if it does, you're probably an alien). less than half way through the film i already knew the innocent cashier girl was anything but innocent. the movie title itself is kind of misleading, because i was imagining alien pirates plundering planet earth, but these are more like alien parasites that secretly live inside human hosts.
halfway home from central square i suddenly realized i left my camera back at elias and amanda's place. i did a quick u-turn to retrieve the camera, before getting some gas at the hess station.