The Music Box’s 24 hour horror movie marathon is always a delight. There is something intoxicating about the temporary community that forms for one weekend every October. This is a place for the unabashed horror lover, and even if you normally wouldn’t consider yourself one, you will get swept up in the tsunami of a few hundred other audience members cheering when Christopher Lee appears for a cameo, or groaning at a particularly gory death scene.
That being said, I unfortunately only stayed for the first half, but a handful of the movies I did get to see had fat characters:
Seven Footprints to Satan (1929, dir. Benjamin Christensen)
The link goes to a full version on YouTube, thanks public domain! Jim (Creighton Hale) is a wealthy young man who wants to go on an expedition to Africa, but gets caught up trying to help his fiancee Eve (Thelma Todd) catch a thief… which leads them to a bizarre mansion filled with trap doors and sadistic Satan-worshipping cultists. A few of the nefarious cultists are fat, but given the spectacle that this film makes of other kinds of transgressive bodies (including a little person and other actors some very grotesque special effects makeup), it seems merely incidental. It just gets weirder as it goes along, definitely give it a shot.
Street Trash (1987, dir. J. Michael Munro)
Only caught the last half of this one, about a group of homeless people living in a junk yard who drink tainted booze that causes them to melt. This one gets compared to/mistaken for Troma Studios’ work pretty often, in that it’s unapologetically trashy and cartoonishly vile. In true “this offends everyone!” style, a lot of the jokes and characterizations are based on stereotypes, including two fat characters who are included for a grotesque factor. While most of the victims of the killer liquor melt into colorful puddles, the fat bum who drinks it swells up and explodes, burping and farting the whole time. The other fat character is the owner of the junkyard; maybe he has a nuanced plotline in the first half of the film that I missed, but in the second half he rapes a woman’s corpse. So there’s that. Most of the exploding man can be seen in the trailer, here. (As you might have guessed by now, it’s very cartoonishly gory.)
Another Evil (2016, dir. Carson D. Mell)
I was quite taken with this horror-comedy about a haunted house situation where things get even weirder once mild-mannered homeowner Dan (Steve Zissis) hires “ghost assassin” Os (Mark Proksch) to get rid of the ghosts. The film becomes a bromance of sorts set within a horror film, and the film has a charming down-to-earthy quality that has a lot to do with the ghost hunters being two paunchy average Joes.
I didn’t stick around after that, but the last film of the festival this year was Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, which I wrote about two Halloweens ago.
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