All Night Horror Madness 3!

Matt Palmer brings another slice of old-school horror to the Cameo with the third <b>All Night Horror Madness!</b>

Feature by Alastair Roy | 29 Sep 2011

With Summer as short-lived as a pretty blond in a slasher flick, it’s time to embrace Autumn’s blood-soaked reds at All Night Horror Madness 3. So pop an Adderall, snuggle up and let the Cameo treat you to an old-school horror sleepover.

First up is The Evil Dead (1981). Rougher around the edges than its sequel/re-make, it’s also a little scarier too, with Spider-Man director Sam Raimi playing less for laughs here – more for kicks, scrapes and axes to the shin. College kids retreat to a cabin in the woods for some extracurricular activities. Study has followed them there, however, with The Book of the Dead waiting like a sinister York notes. When the dead possess Ash’s (Bruce Campbell) mates, our square-jawed hero has to grow a set and bludgeon the Liberace faced demons back to hell. With camera work Orson Welles would be proud of, The Evil Dead is the Don of comic horror.

To quote possibly the best film tagline ever, Pieces (1982) is ‘exactly what you think it is’: basically it's Benny Hill... if he ever caught up with his victims. When a mother stops her young son from finishing his jigsaw puzzle, the boy skips any kicking-and-screaming and goes straight for the kill – chopping her up with an axe. Fast forward 40 years and body parts of young women start showing up on a college campus. A desperate dean brings in cop Riggs (not Mel Gibson, but smoking hot Lynda Day George) to investigate. Undercover as a tennis instructor, she attempts to pick up the pieces as the grown-up killer with new balls makes his own jigsaw puzzle. Sleazy shower scenes, short tennis skirts and chainsawed limbs are all present and correct – it was acceptable in the 80s.

Before the trashy excesses of the decade that fashion forgot, however, John Carpenter offered the ascetic masterpiece Halloween (1978). Like the nutjob from Pieces, Michael Myers starts young – killing his big sis with a butcher's knife aged six. After 15 years locked up with only gloomy psychiatrist Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance) for company, Myers cracks and displaces his rage on younger sis Laurie. There’s always the feeling that Michael is watching, in the background, like a homicidal twitcher. Carpenter later put his stalker-cam filming down to lack of money, but thankfully there wasn’t the budget for big effects because what he creates is far creepier for its less-is-more approach.  A masterclass of horror and suspense, Halloween has aged as kindly as scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis.

If you’re in danger of nodding off, the dawning of psychedelic 70s offering Blue Sunshine (1978) on the horizon will wake you from your slumber. A house party is cut short when a guy loses all his hair and murders fellow revellers . Wrongly accused of the massacre, Jerry Zipkin (Zalman King) goes all Kojak to hunt down the real killer. The trail gets tricky when more bald-headed madmen rise up like ugly acid flashbacks and only a showdown at a disco can put things straight. With its funky filters and surreal storyline, Blue Sunshine is the anti-drugs film David Lynch never made.

Get down to the Cameo on 15 October for this speedball mix of classic horror screening on 35mm prints, cut with vintage trailers and a free raffle. Zing. 

The Evil Dead (1981)

Pieces (1982)

Halloween (1978)

Blue Sunshine (1978)

All Night Horror Madness 3! takes place 15 Oct at the Cameo in Edinburgh. A similar night of horror takes place in Glasgow at the Grosvenor 12 Nov with is slightly different line up: Halloween, Pieces, The Evil Dead and (in Glasgow only) camp classic Flesh For Frankenstein