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Tuesday, October 27

12 hours of Terror Recap

The 5th Annual 12 Hours of Terror festival at the Belcourt Theater in Nashville was a smashing success! Over 200 people crammed into the historic 1966 Hall for twelve straight hours of fright and fun. The movies were an interesting mix this year, ranging from sci-fi to horror and schlock. My son Luke and I arrived early and a line quickly formed outside the theater that wound down the building and around the corner.

The festivities kicked off with something new this year, a short set from Nashville's own THE BOO DUDES, a costumed band comprised of a werewolf lead singer/guitarist, Dracula on keys, the Headless Horseman on drums, an alien guitarist, and a mad scientist on the mixing board. What's not to love?

 They were fun and funny, entertaining the audience before the first film of the night, John Carpenter's THE THING.

 The Boo Dudes then kept the fun rolling as they returned for a second set. Next up on the film-front was a totally insane foreign film called THE BOXER'S OMEN, introduced by the Nashville Scene's Jim Ridley.

Full of blood, vomit, martial arts and magic, this was the type of gonzo feature I've come to appreciate at these shows.

The third feature I had the pleasure to introduce - from 1979, TOURIST TRAP.

Starring Chuck Connors and Tanya Roberts, this is a pretty surreal movie that, while not as full-out insane as the previous film, is still equally-enjoyable for its own merits. Connors is great as a creepy owner of an abandoned tourist trap called Slauson's Lost Oasis and Western Town. Fun film.

 As we exited the theater after Tourist Trap we found the lobby completely transformed. The Belcourt ghouls had been busy, as the lobby was decorated with bats, blood, black lights and body parts.

The frights continued with a period piece called EYES OF FIRE.  Introduced by the Belcourt's Jason Shawhan, this one featured 1700s witchcraft on the American frontier.

Next up was another new feature - the Belcourt's Zack Hall brought his monthly feature WEEKNIGHT REWIND to the Hellcourt for a special segment they called SHRIEKNIGHT REWIND.

 Zack brought three films - on glorious VHS - and read the back of the box and showed a showed a short clip from each. Then it was up to the audience, as they voted on which film to see.

I was particularly happy, as one of my all-time favorite films won the day, TRICK OR TREAT, the rock n' roll masterpiece featuring music from Fastway. Great eye opener late in the evening/early morning.

This was followed by some 80s low-budget fun, DEADLY SPAWN. Once again introduced by Jim Ridley, I had always wanted to see this creature feature but never had the pleasure. Talk about getting a lot of bang for your buck, that's exactly the case with this film. Low budget, big effects. Big fun.

Last but certainly not least was the remake of THE BLOB from 1988. Definitely one of the more worthy remakes, I had forgotten just how fun this one is.

As the final moments of the splatacular feature played on the screen the Belcourt staff encouraged all those still there to gather in front of the theater for a group photo. As you can see, quite the collection of intrepid film-goers braved the night.

All of the films were on 35mm with the exception of The Blob and The Thing, which were DCP, and Trick or Treat, which was presented on VHS (VHS is Alive!!). A huge thanks to everyone who attended, and especially to the Belcourt staff who worked so hard to put this event together.

My son took this picture of me posing with Jim Ridley and Jason Shawhan after the final film. It was a great event, and I look forward to next year's event!

*Special thanks to Jason Shawhan for the loan of the photos!

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