This past weekend I attended Music Box Massacre 4, the 24-hour all horror film festival, for the first time. And while I only stayed for a 7 hour chunk of the festivities (I do need my beauty sleep), I can assure you all it’s was an amazing experience, one I will most definitely attend every year from now on.
I arrived around 5:30pm, shortly after the film May began. I had been very familiar with the film, but watching it with a crowd put it in a whole new light for me. People laughed at things I never before thought were funny, and shouted things at the screen ala Rocky Horror Picture Show. Very fun stuff.
After a short intermission, Clive Barker (!) took the stage and talked about his new film Midnight Meat Train, which he was about to screen for us. He badmouthed Lionsgate, which everyone applauded. Such is the stress of being a horror filmmaker: your visions aren’t always going to be to the big studios likings. It was exciting to hear that the version he was showing us would never be up on the big screen again. The film displayed all the nuances you’d expect from Barker: An overly curious person uncovering Hellish tenants, graphic deaths and gore, but also relationships between the characters that are as important as the scares. After the film, the ever gracious Barker signed autographs in the lobby.
Last on the list was Friday the 13th 4: The Final Chapter. Director Joseph Zito took the stage and talked about what a pleasure it was screening this film for big audiences. He wryly joked about how the studios in 1984 told him to “kill jason once and for all”, because, “we want this to be the final Friday“. Ha! Again, the film was met with RHPS-esque comments from the audience; hooting at the nudity, laughing at the poor acting, and cheering the graphic deaths. It ended with a partial standing ovation.
The Music Box has always been a favorite place of mine. They show every type of film there, but for a horror fan it’s like time traveling back to the year these movies came out. It’s incredible! They have my full support…and I will be seeing them again next year.