Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The Evil Dead: How I brought the most ferocious original film to Maine

I originally posted this on an old blog back in 2010.  I decided to repost it today because The Evil Dead screened 10 years ago today, September 23, 2010, at the Nickelodeon.  Incidentally I also had a hand in connecting Grindhouse Releasing with Pride's Corner Drive In in Westbrook where the 2020 The Evil Dead Drive-In Tour kicked off!  I love this film!

In the late winter of 2010 I checked out Bruce Campbell’s website for any news and appearance updates, a site I check weekly.  I was exceptionally excited to discover that Grindhouse Releasing had manufactured a new print of Evil Dead and that it was making the rounds to local cinemas.

I am a HUGE movie fan; in fact it is accurate to say that I like movies better than TV Shows.  I love going to the theater on seeing movies as they were made to be seen, on the big screen.  When I see a movie trailer I make an immediate decision on whether I going to watch it or not, and then if I want to see it on DVD or on the big screen.

Evil Dead is a movie that I have ALWAYS wanted to see on the big screen and never had the opportunity to due to being born in 1979.  Well now was my opportunity, and I wasn’t going to miss it.

Checking the list, and because of work, I decided that I would hit the Brattle Theater in CambridgeMA where they would be screening it July 9th – 11th.  It became an obsession over the next several months checking the website for updates on screening times, can I pre-buy tickets, and ect.  I also noticed that during several special screenings the Brattle will have appearances by either actors, directors, or anyone involved in the movie for a discussion at a particular screening.  Are they going to have one for Evil Dead?  No they didn’t but at the time the possibility was there. 

As the date drew near things started to fall apart and come crashing down around me.  First of all, they only had screenings at midnight the 9th & 10th and a 10pm screening on the 11th.  I live in Maine, 334 miles round trip from the Brattle Theater.  These show times were not going to work out for me and my friends to be able to make the trip down.

The thought of being so close to fulfilling a lifelong dream and being denied was infuriating!

So I e-mailed Grindhouse Releasing explaining my dilemma and asking what a local theater would need to do to get the print for a screening.  I heard back from David Szulkin of Grindhouse almost immediately and armed with the info I needed contacted Railroad Square Cinema in WatervilleMaine.

Railroad Square is my local art house style theater only 30 miles from home.  It is also home to the Maine International Film Festival which is in its 13th year this year.  The owner felt that Evil Dead just wouldn’t draw at the theater and that he would need to sell a minimum of 100 tickets over 2 shows to break even.  He told me that if I could guarantee a pre-sale of 100 tickets then he would bring it in. 

I tried, and I had A LOT of people interested, but without a date to tell people no one wanted to commit to something that might happen.  Waterville is a college town pick a date in the fall and Evil Dead will sell out based on that alone.  But he wouldn’t take the chance, what a load of crap!  

The guys at Grindhouse were supportive and felt the same I did. 

Not to be deterred I contact no less then a dozen independent theaters across the state and was either told they were not interested or never got a reply.  Finally David Scott of Patriot Cinemas, owners of a half dozen theaters including the Nickelodeon in PortlandME was interested.  In fact, it seems he wasn’t even aware that the movie was available. 

A few more e-mails later between myself and the 2 David’s resulted in The Nick bringing in Evil Dead for 2 screenings on Thursday September 23rd!  Finally, after what seemed like an eternity the 23rd rolled around.  I traveled down to the Nick with my pal John and his sister and we met a couple more friends for dinner.  We met about a dozen more acquaintances at The Nick itself for the film. 

We bought tickets in advance and were glad we did as the show was SOLD OUT for the first screening and they were turning people away.  As we were coming out the line for the second was huge!  I found out later that it was almost another sell out.  Either way it did well enough that The Nick held it over the following week on the 30th for another 2 screenings.  According to friends they did extremely well that night too.  I guess the guy at Railroad Square was dead on with his assumptions.   

We got into our seats and the projector kicked on.  I don’t know about you guys, but I love the sound the projector rolling, there is just something about it.  As the awesome retro style commercials and trailers for other Grindhouse Releasing films rolled I couldn’t help but feel vindicated!  After months of being excited then disappointed and working hard to try to convince someone to show this movie it was finally happening.  A lifelong dream was coming true.  Most of all, I couldn’t honestly say that I made this happen!

The movie was, of course, awesome and it was quite an experience to say the least.  Even though I knew there was no PS we still stayed until the credit had stopped. 

I e-mailed both David Scott and David Szulkin after thanking them and talking about the experience in general.  A few weeks later The Nick screened another Grindhouse Release entitled Maniac!.  A very gruesome horror flick that came out in 1981.  That too was right up my alley.

My experience with the 2 guys I e-mail from Grindhouse Releasing was awesome!  Same with David Scott from Patriot Cinemas.  Like me they all love movies and are excited to talk about them.  I have since then attended a few events at The Nick and keep checking Grindhouse’s website for upcoming releases. 

Until Next Time!

Monday, September 21, 2020

Halloween by Curtis Richards

The 1978 John Carpenter film Halloween is one of my favorite movies, I've even had the chance to see it at Pride's Corner Drive In a couple years ago as a double feature with the original Nightmare on Elm Street.  Back in 1979, a year after the movie was released, a novelization based on the original Halloween screenplay was released.  I learned about it a few years ago and have not been able to find a copy for under $100.   However, I didn't manage to find a epub copy thanks to the internet.

I read the book over the course of several evenings on my kindle before bed, and I found a few differences between the book and the movie but for the most part it follows the movie pretty spot on.   Unlike the movie we get the see Michael Myers point of view and get a look at what is going on in his mind.

One big differences in the book that is not in the movie the inclusion of Samhain and some backstory of the Myers family.  

If you're a fan of the movie you need to read this book, I"m not going to spoil it here for you.  I will tell you that I enjoyed the book, I enjoyed what was added to the story that we didn't get in the movie.  

If you need help getting a digital copy of the book leave a comment and I'll help you out. 

Until Next Time!

Friday, September 18, 2020

Book Club: Things I Can't Explain Chapters 13 & 14

Welcome to the Things I Can't Explain Book Club, this post I'm looking at chapters 13 & 14.  You can read my buddy Brandon's thoughts on the chapters here.  You and read about the other chapters by looking at this blogs past posts.

In my last post I made a mistake, I read ahead a chapter and when I sat down to write I focused on chapter 13 instead of 12.  In Chapter 12 we learned about what Ferguson did to end up in prison, in chapter 13 Clarissa visited Ferg in prison to get some help for her new financial story that she had to write for Nuzegeek. 

Chapter 14: Clarissa has spent the week trying to find the right topic for her pitch and is coming up dry.  Thinking of her mentor Hugh he would always say to hit the streets, there's a story in every gutter.  So that is what she does.  She hits the streets and comes up an angle of DIY the Do It Yourself trend.  The chapter ends with Clarissa dreading the fact that her ex-boyfriend Norm is coming right towards her! 

Until Next Time!

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Book Club: Things I Can't Explain Chapters 11 & 12

Welcome to the Things I Can't Explain Book Club, this post I'm looking at chapters 11 & 12.  You can read my buddy Brandon's thoughts on the chapters here.  You and read about the other chapters by looking at this blogs past posts.

Chapter 11: This chapter is only two pages and it's a heated exchange from beginning to end between Clarissa and Dartmoor.  With door barely closed behind them from the publications owners office, Dartmoor tells Clarissa that she will never get this job.  The reason, her brother Ferguson Darling.

Thoughts: Short chapter but a lot to unpack.  Clarissa stands up for herself in an unexpected fiery way.  A lot of the comments that she typically says to herself she actually says out loud putting Darty in his place.  She also mentions Ferguson has a rap sheet so it would appear he had a run in with the law.

Chapter 12:  We finally get the low down on little Ferguson Darling.  Turns out he got in over his head and, allegedly, unknown to him was working for the Russians and lost millions of dollars in unscrupulous financial transactions and was sentenced to federal prison.  Clarissa goes and visits Ferguson in prison to get some help with her new potential job.  

Thoughts:  I thought everything about Ferguson was portrayed way to over the top!  Paying off the guards with tofu cookies to chain him up, the fake grill, his vernacular, it was slapstick comedy.  

I will say I'm enjoying the book and I'm enjoying where the story is going and it makes me want to continue to read  it. 

Until Next Time!

Monday, September 7, 2020

Book Club: Things I Can't Explain Chapters 9 & 10

Welcome to the Things I Can't Explain Book Club, this post I'm looking at chapters 9 & 10.  You can read my buddy Brandon's thoughts on the chapters here.  You and read about the other chapters by looking at this blogs past posts.

Chapter 9: We meet Clarissa's friend Jody who sent her the panicked messaged at the end of chapter 8.  Turns out Jody is a model who has is have a breakdown at a photo shoot and needs Clarissa to help calm her down.  The reason for her panic attack, she had sex the previous night and fell out of bed upon climaxing, breaking her partners arm and bruising herself. Apparently this is an affliction that she has suffered since the first time she has sex in high school.  At the end of the chapter the name Genelle Waterman is mentioned by Jody but she can't recall what she was going to tell Clarissa, who isn't pleased to hear the name.

Thoughts: It's a bit funny that we get a Clarissa list of different coffee types and her thoughts on the type of person that drinks it.  For instance MACCHIATO: You're a coffee snob who pretends to be Italian and likes to look like you're drinking something special.  This is the exact drink her best friend Jody is drinking.  I would what Clarissa would think about the fact that I don't consume or like the flavor of coffee.  I'm also not a fan of Jody's vernacular.

Chapter 10: Clarissa makes it to the interview just on time.  The first person she runs into after getting off the elevator doesn't go well and of course we later learn he is the Financial Editor for the publication, and of course he's teased as a possible love interest for she finds him attractive.  For those keeping score that's three in the book so far.  The interview goes well, Clarissa knows nothing about finance however recommends that they need a finance reporter that people like her can relate to, people that don't have money at all.  She is granted a one article try-out.

Thoughts: Early in the chapter Clarissa was giving us the definition of spunky which lead to Moxie.  The first thing I thought of was the delicious beverage, the official soft drink of Maine.  The book stated Moxie was the brand name of a bitter nonalcoholic drink.  Which is also accurate.

I'm looking forward to my what is to come in this book.

Until Next Time!

Sunday, September 6, 2020

August Movies Watched

Here is a recap of all the flicks that I watched in August and my thoughts on them.

I have my older kids every other extended weekend.  My son and I have taken to watching a movie almost every night together and it's a mixed bag each and every time.

Super Troopers 2, the not as good as the original sequel from Broken Lizard.  Still very funny and enjoyable.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, the Steve Martin and John Candy classic that actually holds up.

Paradise Beach, watched this on Netflix, you should just avoid it.  A bank heist goes wrong, one guy goes to jail for 15 years, he gets out and meets up with his gang in another country, everything goes wrong.

Summer Rental, John Candy's first feature film, it's been years since I saw it.  Watched this on a movie night with my cousins Jonny & Jason

Blow The Man Down, Amazon original murder mystery that takes place in a fictional Maine own and was actually filmed in Maine.

What Keeps You Alive, watched this psychological thriller on Netflix, I enjoyed the hell out of it and would give it a hard sell. 

In Search of Darkness - Amazing Documentary on 80's Horror films can't recommended it enough if you can find a copy of it to watch.

You Should Have Left - Kevin bacon flick about a supernatural house, I got this from the Redbox, it was okay

Disney's Robin Hood - this animated one for a family movie night, it was Wesley's request for popcorn and a movie and we all obliged 

Project Power - Netflix original flick about a pill that gives people powers for five minutes.  starring Jamie Foxx and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, solid flick and well worth your time.

Sleepaway Camp - I got the Shout Factory BluRay for a great price, I had never seen the unedited movie before and holy shit that ending. 

Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers and  Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland - I watched both of these on Amazon Prime, Pamela Springsteen, sister of The Boss, stars at the titular character.  Lots of boobs along with some campy violent kills make for a pair of fun movies.

Short Circuit - Another movie night with the cousins, I haven't watched it in YEARS and it's still decent for what it is. 

The Evil Dead - FINALLY AT THE DRIVE IN! Best pal John and I attended the Skowhegan Drive-In for this Grindhouse Releasing tour of his amazing classic flick! 

Pieces - second feature at the drive-in with The Evil Dead, it was amazingly bad in that awesome go out of your way to watch it way.

Inglorious Basterds - another movie night with my son

Phineas & Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe - A popcorn and movie afternoon with Wesley and Addison, Phineas and Ferb may just be the best kids cartoon that I didn't grow up on. 

Saw IV - I randomly put this movie on and Canaan joined me, he's seen them all. 

Silence of the Lambs - I've been watching Hannibal the series on Netflix, this was on Netflix and I hadn't seen it in years, thought it was a good time for a re-watch. 

Saw V - Canaan wanted to watch this the next night.  Saw is probably the best horror franchise of the early 2000's. 

Until Next Time!

Book Club: Things I Can't Explain Chapters 7 & 8

Welcome to the Things I Can't Explain Book Club, this post I'm looking at chapters 7 & 8.  You can read my buddy Brandon's thoughts on the chapters here.

Chapter 7:  Clarissa land a job interview to be a financial investigative journalist, something she states she is not at all qualified for.  The remainder of the chapter we find all about Sam and what he is up to now.  In short he is a globe trotting marine biologist surfer who doesn't do social media and barely does cell phones, he still likes to write letters.  Which I can get behind.

Chapter 8: This chapter focuses on her clothing style choice and her closet.  She even mentions her mom's style and could immediately see Janet Darling from the TV show in my mind.  The chapter finishes when we meet a new friend named Jody who sends Clarissa a panicked text that "IT HAPPENED AGAIN"

Thoughts: Both of these chapters were short and neither contained any information that I need to take a deep dive on.   I am happy that we got more information on Sam and what he is up to.  I know the show was called Clarissa Explains It All and there were several secondary characters, but to me Sam was essentially the co-star of the show.

Until Next Time!