What is October without horror movies? Well I have not been able to hit the cinemas as often as I like and I have missed out on more than one movie marathon the last few years, but you can’t keep a movie watcher like me down for long!
The Frida Cinema, down in Santa Ana has been on the revival cinema scene for a while now, since 2012. I’ve been following from afar loving their programming, wishing I could take the trek on down. Well, my time finally came as it was October and they announced their first Horror Movie Marathon event, CAMP FRIDA! This was to be camp themed and a handful of secret movies would be sandwiched between EVIL DEAD and EVIL DEAD 2. Yup two of my ALL TIME FAVES! So of course, my guy Dave and I got our tickets and counted down the days to go!
The theater is nestled in downtown Santa Ana and a Día De los Muertos event was going on, along with the High School Homecoming dance as kid were dressed to the nines ready to party. Being an L.A. nerd I worried about lining up early, but the vibe in Santa Ana is more chill when it comes to stuff like lines. So the bright side was Dave and I got to explore it up a bit, find a nice meal and power up before sitting down hours and hours.
The camp theme was in full effect with eager Counselor Aly and her pals coming out to instruct us of what was to come. The Main Lodge would house our movies and if we were 21 and up we could get some grown up drinks and bug juice throughout the night.
There was to be some fun camp activities, coloring time, a talent show, buttons for sale of all the movies to come. A Low-Budget camp, but all the fun!!! SOPHIE’S SWEETS Cupcakes were up for grabs for a little donation. There was a spinning wheel on stage! (What was it for!?!)
The Main Lodge was a small theater, seated over 300 campers if I’m not mistaken. The event hadn’t sold out, but it did fill up. Just as we filled seats counselors were in the aisles twirling around some pine scented air fresheners to give us the in the woods feel.
This event put on by the FRIDA had some promotion help from the students of CAL STATE FULLERTON, there was the #CAMPFRIDA on Snapchat filter to be used all night and more than a few selfies taken from the stage!
A while after 9pm ready to kick off the festivities, the crowd was asked by Brian, of who in the theater had never seen EVIL DEAD and about 20 people raised their hands. Someone shouted out a sort of boo, but more people rallied back with a cheer, because what’s a better place to see EVIL DEAD for the first time than in a theater, with lots of people reacting to the horror fun?! There was about another 20 plus people seeing EVIL DEAD for the first time on a big screen, though they’d see it a 100 times over. I’m in the lucky group who’s seen it so many times over and on a big screen too!
So EVIL DEAD hit the screen, this was no nonsense marathon, straight into the movies and horror of the night! I really have seen EVIL DEAD a bunch of times, and I plan to watch it many more. There’s always something special about watching it on a big screen. It still gets me to jump at times! I love seeing young BRUCE CAMPBELL. I bask in Sam Raimi’s direction. The sound assault of the Evil Dead attacking those young folks in the forest, the crowd truly enjoyed the ride! PARTY DOWN!
There was a 20 minute break next before the next film.
As a way to announce what the next secret movie to screen there was a little game! A picture was shown on the screen and people would raise their hand if they knew the answer….it was quite hard to not shout it out. There were pins made of those pictures and only a $1.00! I got myself a button or three before the night was done!
Next up was SLEEPAWAY CAMP. Yea! The crowd was so happy. Counselor Aly admitted she had only just seen the movie for the first time a while ago and was still reeling about the crop top shirts featured in the fim. I actually had never seen this one on a big screen. So that was way exciting for me. SLEEPAWAY CAMP has Angela and her cousin, who’s a camp going regular off to the woods with a bunch of other campers. Angela is a bit strange, doesn’t talk, doesn’t play the games and other boys and girls just want to pick on her. What is the secret here? People start getting injured or die! But who’s the killer? Hmmmm…I know most people are ready to spoil things, but what’s the fun in that? SLEEPAWAY CAMP is a crowd pleaser for sure!
After another break we were told there was to be two movies to choose from next! THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT or CABIN IN THE WOODS. It was rather nice that there was another option for those who can’t handle BLAIR WITCH shakey cam. My guy Dave was ready to go watch CABIN but stayed with me in the end. I hadn’t watched THE BLAIR WITCH since it first came out. I saw it twice in the theaters and found it to be creepy and that night was afraid of my dark room corners. The shakey cam didn’t bug me, just the creepy factor!
Watching BLAIR WITCH again was just as entertaining. The movie was quite a lightning moment back then and I’m glad I chose to watch it again this time out. Yes, I got creeped out! They just did a good job of setting up the documentary feel, and no one like getting trapped in the woods. That helpless feel, the urge to yell at the screen saying just follow the river downstream…but man, no one can scream like that Heather!
There was another 20 minute break as CABIN IN THE WOODS was still playing. I was going to watch, but had a comfy spot. Counselor Aly was out and her helpers passed out CAMP FRIDA postcards and they even offered to send them off for us!
Next up was a FRIDAY THE 13th movie! But what would it be? That’s where the spinning wheel came into play! Jason himself came to spin the wheel, but in the end he chased off Counselor Aly. UH OH!
THE FINAL CHAPTER started AND yeah we all know it was far from the Final one! There’s the handy recap from all the other movies! Yup, and though Jason was thought dead he’s soon back to killing, from the hospital to the woods. Oh, that poor hitchhiker! So who will Jason kill next? The family? Corey Feldman is a young horror make-up nut and his older teen sister enjoys the woods, hoping her divorced folks will get back together. The party Kids? A bunch of other kids are around just to party in a cabin, so we get the Crispin Glover dancing and lots of sex, sex. Jason is in slasher heaven! The viewing crowd ate this one up of course!
From Jason the back to camp times continued as our next film was THE BURNING.
Oh, before I forget…We were treated to a little video from Counselor Aly, seems she ran off to escape Jason and though she found safety in a tent, it didn’t last, poor Aly, R.I.P. (Good one Camp Friday, Good One!)
I first saw THE BURNING at a New Bev horrorthon, and I recall that the big disappointment was that the print we saw was missing some key kill scene. Well this time it was intact. I hadn’t seen THE BURNING since that last time. It’s a fun movie, I think a lot in attendance were seeing it for the first time. Especially when it came to the reaction of spotting Jason Alexander on screen. THE BURNING though got some interesting crowd reactions from the start as this one was a Weinstein production. Yup, when old Harvey’s name hit the screen twice, EVERYONE BOO-ED! Realizing a Weinstein had a hand in the screenplay, for me, it actually made all the skeezy guys in the movie MORE skeezy. GROSS!!! Yup. So we get an old camp, where a bad camp worker was burned ages ago by some mean kids, many years later that old camp guy is back for his revenge. Kids are getting killed while other teens are interested in doing it. I like seeing young Fisher Stevens in this movie. There’s good gore kills too, a fitting flick for the nights theme.
After THE BURNING we learned another movie would screen before EVIL DEAD 2! It was THE WITCH. I really like THE WITCH, but it’s a slow burn movie, takes it’s time and I was tired. The lure of EVIL DEAD 2 finale was hard to resist, but my guy Dave and I opted for an early out, so we could drive back to L.A. before AM traffic would be a bit worse for us, especially after not having slept for oh so many hours. Sadly we missed out on the end of the marathon award, but maybe next year!
I really can’t wait for the chance to get back to THE FRIDA, I had a blast, love the atmosphere and the people working there were super cool! This outing really made my October complete! Yup!
See you soon FRIDA! I shall return! Yup!