FilmScene hosts horror movie marathon

FilmScene presents third annual FilmScream event, screening six horror movies in 12 hours

Adrian Enzastiga, Art's Reporter

From Bloodfest to jump-scare, nobody can deny that horror movies have a significant footing in Hollywood. The genre was showcased Oct. 12-13 in Iowa City in form of a movie marathon.

FilmScene, 118 E. College St, put on its third-annual FilmScream event, a scary-movie marathon consisting of six classic to new horror films. The marathon stretched 12 hours from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. General admission was $40, $25 for UI students.

Each year, FilmScream offers two secret screenings, which are usually not revealed until the opening title once everyone is seated. These are early screenings for movies that have not been released in theaters.

The marathon kicked off with the first secret screening of the night, Killer Kate!, directed by Elliot Feld. Killer Kate! is set to hit theaters Oct. 26. The second secret screening has yet to be revealed.

FilmScene projectionist and the facilities manager Ross Meyer facilitated the event all night. He said FilmScream is a great way to interact with other horror-film fanatics.

“You watch six movies together, you have breakfast together, it’s a good way to turn a solitary movie experience into this great communal activity,” Meyer said. “By the time the sun rises, you’re going to make friends with some people.”

Dedicated FilmScream attendee Jamie Ellis has developed a strategy for surviving 12 hours of spooks and gore.

“They do free coffee all night, which is like a blessing and a curse,” Ellis said. “Pick a movie to sleep through, and you’ll be fine … It’s like you’re tired, but you don’t want to go to sleep because it’s so exciting. It’s like a ride-or-die situation. Either you make it or you don’t, and most people don’t. I’m not a quitter. I just won’t leave.”

Many of the movies are old or retro, including a double feature of Zombie, which will consist of Zombie (also known as Zombi 2) and Zombi 3.

Zombie is pretty famous for a scene in which a zombie fights a shark, and it’s a real shark, real underwater photography. It’s bonkers, ridiculous,” Meyer said. “Zombie 3 turns it up even further with crazy, over-the-top shenanigans, you got a lot of different visions all meshing together.”

The fourth movie will be The Mask shown in 3D, with glasses provided. This one is unique in that the glasses represent the mask that the characters in the movie put on, so it immerses the audience directly into the movie. The Mask had a restoration opening at the Toronto Film Festival recently.

“You see what the characters in the movie are seeing, which is crazy weird, psychedelic imagery floating around in the air,” Meyer said. “I think 3D movies are fun, especially when they’re on the verge of a little silly like this.”

The night will close with 1980s Fright Night, a “fun-filled” borderline comedy that tests the line regarding diverse cinema.

“The film is also adopted as this great piece of queer cinema,” Meyer said. “Maybe people didn’t realize it, but I think a lot of the cast and creative elements behind the film, whether out or closeted, were either gay or lesbian. I’m always excited to have more diverse elements on screen. The genre allows for a more diverse vision of what fantastic scary movies can be and should be.”

Meyer said he would like to reintroduce these “B movies” to a modern audience.

“The ‘B movies’ are what kept a lot of places in business,” Meyer said. “In these days, they can be swept back under the rug if you don’t pull ’em back out and remind people that this is an important part of the history of independent film.”

No matter the genre, if it makes a person feel, Meyer said, the film has done its job.

“I like movies that have an emotional impact, whether that’s through laughter or through a boogie man jumping out and scaring you out of your wits,” Meyer said. “I think that’s exciting. The worst thing a movie can be is boring.”