*Just as nostalgic baseball fans flock to conventions to collect cards, autographs, memorabilia and to have their pictures taken with their idols of yesteryear, and the way in which Trekkies gather regularly to reminisce in similar fashion with Star Trek cast members, horror flicks have their own rabid base of devotees who frequent conventions for an opportunity to press the flesh with scream queens and other legends of the genre.
I was already aware of this phenomenon prior to watching Saturday Nightmares because of Steve, a friend who has routinely invited me to join him on his periodic pilgrimage to this or that fright film reunion. The movie was directed in a style reminiscent of Michael Moore by Michael Stever who narrates the blow-by-blow. The expo was staged earlier this year at a cavernous, multi-tiered Loews theater replete with high ceilings and ornate carvings located in Jersey City, New Jersey a landmark which somehow miraculously eluded the wrecker’s ball.
The event was ostensibly a tribute to the films of George Romero (Night of the Living Dead), and featured not only the director himself on the dais, but numerous gracefully-aging thespians who had starred in his classics, such as Adrienne Barbeau (Creepshow), John Amplas (Martin) and Ken Foree (Dawn of the Dead).
Highlights include Barbeau revealing the fact that she hates watching horror movies, even though her ex-husband, John Carpenter, directed Halloween and numerous other scary movies. Foree, who is African-American, surprised those in attendance when speaking about President Obama by saying, “I didn’t vote for that sonofabitch.” Even more outrageous were the foul-mouthed antics of scene stealer Joe Pilato (Day of the Dead) whose profane language had to be bleeped repeatedly.
Unfortunately, the film’s low-production leave a lot to be desired, given sound so muffled in spots that subtitles were necessary. Still, those technical deficiencies are unlikely to interfere with the enjoyment of those in the target demographic, namely, the sort of folks you see in the audience here appropriately dressed like zombies for the costume contest portion of the program.
A treat strictly for fright fanatics, since what’s captured on tape falls far short of its pretentious self-billing as “The Ultimate Horror Expo of All Time.”
Very Good (2.5 stars)
In English with occasional subtitles.
Running time: 46 Minutes
Distributor: Michael Stever, Inc.
DVD Extras: Original Saturday Nightmares commercial.
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Saturday Nightmares will be screening along with John Carpenter’s “The Thing” on October 22nd & 23rd at 11PM at Chelsea Cinema in NYC located at 23rd St. and 8th Avenue.