Halloween Begins Today! A preview of October’s programming with Paul Freitag-Fey
The entire month of October we celebrate Halloween with a series of horror movies selected by longtime Comfort Film contributor and Daily Grindhouse writer Paul Freitag-Fey. All provided by the American Genre Film Archive, this month’s program promises you the best in exploitation, camp and the the truly absurd.
Paul: DEMON WIND I watched for the first time on Cinemax back in high school, and it's always stuck with me as a ridiculously entertaining EVIL DEAD rip-off. It never attempts to be any more than it is -- a bunch of kids getting killed by some evil presence in the woods -- but it does it with a degree of energy that's never dull. The VHS box had a lenticular cover that made it a hit at video stores.
Paul: SOMETIMES AUNT MARTHA DOES DREADFUL THINGS is a pretty amazing movie that I saw on video shelves for ages and finally watched a few years ago when researching the use of drag in exploitation films. It's a weird, twisted crime story about a pair of criminals on the run that may or may not be in a sexual relationship, and man, does that Aunt Martha live up to the title. I really just wanted to throw some negligibly queer sleaze in there.
Paul: MALATESTA'S CARNIVAL OF BLOOD is probably the oddest film of the bunch, a surreal tale of a family that visits a carnival with a dark side. It's one that I keep coming back to, and should be a hit for anyone who's a fan of the genuinely offbeat cult films like DR. CALIGARI, THUNDERCRACK! or DEMENTIA. It was basically unknown for decades before getting re-issued on DVD.
Paul: TRUTH OR DARE?: A CRITICAL MADNESS is a piece of low-budget '80s sleaze that defies any explanation. It's about a serial killer, I guess, but so much about it makes so little sense that it almost feels like an inept art film. I recall stumbling across this in the VHS days in a local video store among the treasure trove of sleazy box art and being too intimidated to rent it. Years later, I finally took the plunge and yeah, it's sleazy as hell, but it's so insane that you can't possibly take it seriously.
I asked Paul about his plans for Halloween, and how he Intended to celebrate.
Paul: I love Halloween. Any excuse to watch a bunch of horror movies and dress up in costumes and embrace the spooky nature of everything around. Other than the Comfort Station, I don't have any huge plans beyond attending Cinema Wasteland in Cleveland, and figuring out what costume my 5-month-old son should have. He's probably a bit young to trick or treat yet.
Come to the Comfort Station at 8pm tonight, October 3rd, to see the first film in our October series, Demon Wind. Free admission, as always.