It's a safe assumption to make, that for the vast majority of readers here at ScreenAnarchy, and certainly anyone who's viewing this page right now, that October is probably your favorite month of the year.
I imagine many of you look forward year round to the horror movie discount sales at whatever brick and mortar stores in your area that still exist and carry a decent DVD selection.
It's safe to say that many of you have already written down the horror film schedules for television networks like Turner Classics, and are now programming your DVRs to record midnight showings of Val Lewton classics after you spent the evening watching Poltergeist
marathons on basic cable.
And most of you are already planning on attending a wide array of repertory screenings within your respective cities. Many of you will be watching the original Dead
trilogy by Romero on 35mm at some point, and probably Carpenter's Halloween
at another. Some of you may possibly see the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre
and for others, The Evil Dead.
And for the few, maybe something a bit harder like Fulci's The Beyond
But here in Philadelphia, we have something a little different happening right now.
The Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary art, in partnership with Exhumed Films, are currently presenting the world's first film festival dedicated exclusively to presenting made for television horror films.
And for those of you under the age of 35 who may have just groaned at the notion, here's a little context.
There was once a time before Netflix instant view, or even HBO, a time before SyFy Channel and Sharknados
Long before the days of VCRS and premium cable networks, there was the made for TV movie events.
Before the VHS revolution would render the TV movie archaic and antiquated, before the TV movie became a punchline synonymous with faded has-beens, third tier acting, and flat direction, these programs once attracted major talent.
The TV movie was where great directors earned their chops and developed their talent. It was where major actors competed for their Emmies rather than being the place where filmmakers careers later go to die and where actors fresh out of rehab with sex scandals try to come back.
Every Halloween season, basic network channels would lavishly spend major budgets on professional, theatrical quality productions.
Most of these films have been lost and or doomed to obscurity over time. While a few did make their way to VHS tapes which have become so rare that they now trade and sell at collectors' prices, almost none have ever seen any type of re-release on DVD or Blu Ray.
And so the Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art continues its developing tradition of presenting rare, electric, and one of a kind of programming by presenting some of the best examples of this long forgotten format which are all being projected on glorious 16mm film.
While the festival officially started Wednesday, October 9th, there are still four more nights for horror junkies to get an early fix and check out some unique gems that they've probably never heard of before.
For more information about Philly MOCA and the Tele-Terror Terror Fest, go to Cinedelphia.com
Per the official press release, a brief synopsis for the films still set the play through October 13thTHU OCTOBER 10, 8:00 PM:
BAD RONALD (1974)
A painfully shy teenager accidentally kills one of his tormentors and his ill mother hides him from the police in a hidden room.... One of the most disturbing, unforgettable made- for-television movies ever made! Stars Scott Jacoby, Pippa Scott, Dabney Coleman, and Kim Hunter.
A childless older couple discover a troubled teenager living in their basement crawlspace and adopt him as their own; trouble begins when they learn that their new "son" is wanted by the authorities. Stars Arthur Kennedy, Teresa Wright and Tom Happer; directed by John (Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark) Newland.
FRI OCTOBER 11, 8:00 PM:
THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE BELL (1970)
In this tense, stylish conspiracy thriller, the good life of a successful college professor is torn apart when a secret pact he made in his college days catches up with him. Stars Glenn Ford, Rosemary Forsyth, and Dean Jagger. Emmy-nominated for outstanding teleplay and direction.
TERROR ON THE BEACH (1973)
A family on a camping trip must learn to fight fire with fire when they're terrorized by a group of psychotic, dune-buggy-driving hippies. An effective exercise in survival terror that's part Duel and looks forward to such '70's shockers as The Hills Have Eyes. Stars Dennis Weaver, Susan Dey and Estelle Parsons.
SAT OCTOBER 12, 4:00 PM:
HORROR AT 37,000 FEET (1973)
In this campy slice of supernatural hokum, a flight from England is in for a very bumpy ride to say the least, when a demonic force takes exception to the transportation of recently excavated relics from a cursed abbey. Some of the passengers in mortal danger are: Roy (The Invaders) Thinnes, Buddy Ebsen, Chuck Connors, Paul Winfield, France Nuyen and William Shatner, as a disillusioned, alcoholic priest.
Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry serves up this wild pre-X-Files occult thriller starring Robert Culp, Gig Young, John Hurt and Majel Barrett. An eminent criminologist/occult aficionado enlists the help of a skeptical friend, when he accepts an assignment to investigate the mysterious happenings on the grounds of a British family estate. Creature effects by Stuart (Star Wars) Freeborn!
SAT OCTOBER 12, 8:00 PM:
WHERE HAVE ALL THE PEOPLE GONE (1974)
Here's a telefilm that's reminiscent of Richard Matheson's I Am Legend and presages Post-apocalyptical films like Night Of The Comet! A family returns from a trip in the Sierra mountains to discover a drastically de-populated earth. Directed by John Llewellyn Moxey (a director more closely associated with the tele-terror film than perhaps any other, due to the success of 1972's The Night Stalker), from a teleplay by Lewis John (Seconds) Carlino and Sandor (The Amityville Horror) Stern. Starring Peter Graves, Kathleen Quinlan and Verna Bloom.
LOOK WHAT'S HAPPENED TO ROSEMARY'S BABY (1976)
"Satan's child comes of age!" This weird, forgotten sequel to Ira Levin's/Roman Polanski's horror classic focuses upon the conflicted adult son of Rosemary Woodhouse, as he attempts to resist his dark impulses and the influence of the evil cult grooming him to become the Anti-Christ. Stephen (A History Of Violence, Pontypool) Mchattie stars alongside Patty Duke, Ray Milland, Broderick Crawford, and Ruth Gordon reprising her role from the original film.
SUN OCTOBER 13, 6:00 PM:
DYING ROOM ONLY (1973)
Richard Matheson scripted this nerve-jangling suspenser about a woman who suspects foul play when her husband mysteriously vanishes from a roadside diner and the locals become extremely uncooperative. Starring Cloris Leachman, Ross Martin, Ned Beatty, Dana Elcar and Dabney Coleman.
Kirk Douglas -- as you've never seen him before! -- stars as an unhinged high school teacher who enacts desperate revenge on his ex-wife (Jean Seberg) for separating him from their son. A taut film co-starring John Vernon that was released theatrically in the UK.
STRANGER IN OUR HOUSE (1978)
The first foray into tele-terror for Wes Craven, after having directed such iconic '70's horror films as The Last House On The Left and The Hills Have Eyes! Linda Blair stars as a teenager whose life is turned upside down when her witchcraft-practicing cousin moves in and begins taking over the family home. Based on the book Summer of Fear, by Philadelphia-born bestselling novelist Lois (I Know What You Did Last Summer) Duncan. Co-starring Lee Purcell, Jeremy Slate and featuring an early appearance by Fran Drescher.
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