Overnight Movie Marathon


Friday the 13th is a day to celebrate. The horror holiday hit this March, and I hosted an overnight movie marathon. This wasn't an obvious snooze-fest of back-to-back Jason movies. I carefully selected 6 spooky films to keep our hearts pumping from dusk til dawn. I aimed to screen movies that embraced the spirit of The Sewer Den - campy, entertaining, and oozing with sinister fun.



My apartment acted as our theater, and a total of 10 friends crammed inside for the event. All night long, there was plenty of coffee, tea, soda, popcorn, and snacks to keep the audience awake. If people were strong enough to survive the night without going home or falling asleep, I promised them we'd venture out for breakfast the next morning. My treat, of course.



Around 10pm we nestled into our seats, which ranged from the comfy couch to a slew of beach chairs perched in front of the TV. Before firing up the first movie, everyone received a Survival Kit.



These blood-red bags were filled with gear to help conquer the night - candy, (organic!) raisins, a red pen, a Rating Card, and a Survival Card.



The Rating Card was a simple journaling device that gave everyone the opportunity to note their opinions and thoughts for each movie throughout the night.



For the sentimental collectors out there, it could also be used as a keepsake (like a concert ticket or movie stub).



The Survival Card was another tool created to help keep people awake. My girlfriend, Jess, acted as "the killer" and determined whether a person had lived or died during each movie. If a person stayed awake, Jess drew a heart on their card (symbolizing that they had lived!). If a person dozed off, she would draw a skull (symbolizing that they had died!). Collect 6 hearts by the end of the night (one for each film), and you were rewarded with breakfast!



We also played a game that became referred to as, "Pass Jason." The hot potato-like activity had us passing around my 8-bit Jason plush every time there was an on-screen death. We ponied up $2 each, making the winning pot worth $20. Whoever held Jason in their hands when the final film ended took home the pool of cash.

Anticipation mounted as the games and activities were explained. After the madness was discussed and debated, the Overnight Movie Marathon was finally ready to begin!
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MOVIE 1: WOLFCOP (2014)

Curating 6 films is no easy task. There's a certain ebb and flow that's needed to make it a success. The peaks and valleys are crucial. Muck up the timing, and you risk losing your audience.

I wanted to kick off the event with a horror movie that offered plenty of laughs. We weren't watching Schindler's List here, so funny comments and witty commentary were encouraged. Wolfcop provided the perfect opportunity for audience members to bark entertaining remarks at the screen. With a brisk runtime of 79 minutes, the movie flew by and had everyone laughing.
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MOVIE 2: FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 3D (1982)

Before midnight hit, we had to at least watch one Friday The 13th film. I opted for the 3rd entry in the series. The 3D gimmick provided a jolt of excitement.



I ordered additional, Friday the 13th-branded glasses so everyone could enjoy the dimensional goofiness of the film. You can't have a notable movie marathon without watching a murder in 3D!
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BINGO

Before starting the 3rd film of the night, a new game was introduced - another fun incentive to stay awake. We played Overnight Movie Marathon Bingo. The gameplay followed the usual rules, but all of the spaces were occupied by horror movie-related words and phrases. These words consisted of visuals that could possibly appear on-screen, sounds that might be heard, or even phrases that could be uttered.

The game initiated much debate and kept everyone active. We had a blast keeping our eyes peeled and our ears alert in hopes of Bingo victory. Congratulations to Ben and Katrina, who each won a game and got a Starbucks gift card!
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MOVIE 3: NIGHT OF THE COMET (1984)

I took a big risk when curating my movie marathon lineup by choosing several films that I had never seen before - Night of the Comet being one of those. I had always heard stellar things about the film from fellow bloggers and fans of campy 80s flicks. After watching the trailer, the tone gelled with my Overnight Movie Marathon. Plus, the working title of the film was, "Teenage Mutant Horror Comet Zombies." How could The Sewer Den NOT include this?!

The risk paid off. Night of the Comet ended up being a favorite for many people.
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MOVIE 4: GINGER SNAPS (2000)

The second creature feature of the night was much different than our first. Ginger Snaps was light on laughs and heavy on teenage angst. Dealing with puberty AND becoming a werewolf? An interesting theme that hasn't been explored too much over the years. Not Turtles, but certainly Teenage Mutants!
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MOVIE 5: AUDIENCE CHOICE - DOLLS (1987)

I didn't want to call the shots throughout the entire event. For the fifth film of the night, I left it in the hands of the audience. I presented them with 3 movies that had the theme of "killer dolls." Child's Play, Child's Play 2, and Dolls were the options.


As you know, The Sewer Den is all about toy collecting. I was happy a dude when the gang selected Dolls as their Audience Choice film.
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MOVIE 6: THE MONSTER SQUAD (1987)

The final film of the night had to leave the audience laughing. After a night of terror, a lighthearted movie would do everyone some good. As the sun crept up from its slumber, The Monster Squad provided the perfect ending to a stellar movie lineup.



The Monster Squad was an important film to me as a kid. It inspired me to create my own squad with my friends, which I called "The Ninja Turtles Squad." For a Sewer Den-inspired movie marathon, how could this film not make the lineup?

With The Monster Squad closing the marathon, it also brought us our final on-screen death, which left the plush Jason in Katrina's hands. She emerged victorious in our "Pass Jason" contest and took home the $20 pot. Congrats!
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The credits rolled for the 6th and final film, marking the end of the event. We rose from our seats with bloodshot eyes and stiff limbs, and moseyed around the room like a bunch of zombies. The crew survived the night, but the damage had been done. Everyone was tired, only running on the coffee and popcorn that bubbled in our bellies. Despite the Survival Cards being riddled with hearts (alive!), most of the group opted for sleep instead of breakfast, escaping to their homes to slip into bed.



Bittersweet hugs and high-fives were exchanged as we deemed the Overnight Movie Marathon a complete success. Our survival group was a lively bunch that made the night truly entertaining. The awesome group of friends amplified the fun to levels I never imagined. A big THANKS to all of you.

Rest up, folks. Get your sleep and let the anticipation build. The Friday the 13th holiday strikes again this November. I hope you'll be dying for a few more horror movies by then...

10 comments:

  1. Oh man, this looks like a ton of fun. You can count me as another Night of the Comet and Monster Squad fan.

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    1. Night of the Comet is so fun! If time machines existed, I would use one just to have seen that movie 20 years ago. Who knows how my life could've turned out?!

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  2. Wow dude. You went all out for this! Wish I could have been a part of it. I would have made it through AND stayed for breakfast. LOL. Great post!

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    1. Same here! I'm not about to turn down some free food!

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  3. This sounds like it was a blast. I like that you added structure to the event with the Rating Card, Survival Card, and so on. Did you make up those yourself for the event? You could sell those as kits at party supply stores.

    You're right about programming an event like this being no easy task. I program a weekend of movie nights for my buddy Phil once or twice a year at his dog boarding facility. The facility is in a gorgeous wooded area, and Phil - who is a photographer - invites other photographers, models, and techs to spend the entire weekend. In the evenings we watch movies projected onto a giant screen outdoors.

    That can be a tough crowd for which to program movies, though I've had success with a pretty wide spectrum of genre movies over the years. We've watched Suspiria, Pontypool, Pieces, Kingdom Of The Spiders, and loads more. There's definitely an "ebb and flow" to maintaining interest, usually compounded for me by the fact that this crowd isn't comprised of dyed-in-the-wool genre fans. It can be a gamble guessing what will "play" well and what will fizzle.

    I was sweating it when I screened Beyond The Valley Dolls for a crowd of the uninitiated, and the audience didn't initially seem to be getting the vibe. That turned out to be one of our biggest successes. Everyone was fully engaged by the end. I count it as some kind of weird triumph that I introduced BVD to an appreciative audience that would probably have never seen it otherwise. It sounds like Night Of The Comet was your big crowd pleaser!

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    1. Thanks for the great comment! The concept of movie nights at the dog boarding facility is so cool. I love events that are held in unconventional locations.

      I've never seen Beyond The Valley Dolls, but after some research, it sounds like a wild and fun movie! I'll definitely have to check it out.

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  4. This sounds like an awesome night. Brilliant ideas for interaction. Glad so many liked Night of the Comet. Check out the fan site at www.nightofthecomet.info

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    1. Glad you enjoyed reading it! Thanks for the kind words. That website is AMAZING.

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    2. And whoever won those signed uzis on eBay is a lucky soul! (from the memorabilia section)

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