Daily Illuminator

July 27, 2004: Braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaains.

Saturday night (and Sunday morning) I attended a "Rolling Roadshow" sponsored by SJ Games' favorite theater, the Alamo Drafthouse. (And by SJ Games' favorite, I mean my favorite.) They brought in George A. Romero for the Roadshow of the Living Dead -- and we all were pretty undead, by the end of the night -- out at a reconstructed farm village in northeast Austin. Folks sat in folding chairs, on blankets or cushions, and one group settled into an old couch they trucked in with them. Food and drinks were available, and Mr. Romero was there to sign many hundreds of items and do a Q&A before the movies started. All in all, a very cool experience indeed, and I'm glad I went (especially as, ashamed as I am to admit it, I hadn't seen any of these movies -- in fact, the only Romero movie I had seen before last night was Knightriders, which was the favorite movie of one of my college roommates).

Movies shown were:

  • Night of the Living Dead. Fun movie, although I wish we'd had a better print; there were several obvious splices and the film actually broke right at the beginning of the movie (before the people have even gotten out of the car at the cemetery).
  • The Crazies. I'm not sure how I feel about this one; it didn't seem like it hung together too well. (In fairness, this could have something to do with my two visits to the porta-potty line during this movie; I scaled back my liquid consumption for the rest of the night.) I won't say I disliked it, but I didn't like it a lot, either.
  • Creepshow. I had heard very mixed things about this movie, but I was thoroughly entertained. This was a last-minute substitution for Martin, as the only print the Drafthouse could locate was so warped that it was unshowable. While I think I would have preferred to see Martin, Creepshow was a perfectly fine substitute.
  • Day of the Dead. This was a cool way to end the marathon; at several points I found myself gripping the ends of my armrests, arms rigid, waiting for the situation to resolve itself. This isn't a movie I'd want to watch over and over, but it was entertaining and had plenty of "You FOOL!!" moments from the audience.
The crowd was really into the whole thing, which made it a lot more fun for everyone. Lots of laughter, cheering, and even applause when particularly loathsome characters met their grisly ends. My only major disappointment was that they couldn't track down a usable print of Dawn of the Dead so they could show the whole trilogy. Now I'll have to track it down myself.
-- Andrew Hackard, Managing Editor

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