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Shocking Around the Clock in Bexley this Weekend

Hope Madden Hope Madden Shocking Around the Clock in Bexley this WeekendPhoto by Walker Evans.
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The time has come again to test your mettle and stay up for 24 solid hours of blood spilling, victim-killing mayhem. Running from noon on Saturday, October 14 to noon(ish) on Sunday, October 15, Shock Around the Clock returns this weekend to Bexley’s Drexel Theatre, so gird your loins.

Once again the brainchild of Bruce Bartoo and Joe Neff, the lineup consists of tributes, premieres and the occasional oddity. According to Neff, much of the lineup almost dictated itself due to the recent passing of so many genre greats.

“George Romero’s untimely death really inspired us to shift direction for part of the lineup,” Neff says.

Alongside a screening of his 1982 anthology-style film Creepshow, Neff and Bartoo plan to run through a nearly-complete retrospective of the director’s career with 35mm trailers.

“He’s too much of an icon not to devote major event space to,” Neff says.

Romero, who died this past July, is just one of many genre losses.

“We already had Near Dark booked as a Bill Paxton tribute back in the spring,” Neff says. “And Jonathan Demme’s passing made Silence of the Lambs seem like a natural fit.

“Tobe Hooper’s passing has transformed The Funhouse into a tribute to his career, as well,” he continues. “In fact, this might be one of the more death-haunted Horror Marathons we’ve had in quite some time. Silence of the Lambs even features Tom Petty’s American Girl.”

It won’t all be homage and honor, though. Shock Around the Clock 2017 has, as usual, its share of premieres as well.

“We always like to showcase films by emerging directors as premieres,” Neff says. “Replace held great appeal due to its audacious sense of style and sharp feminist critique of modern standards of beauty and aging. And hey, we never turn down a chance to see Barbara Crampton on screen.”

The marathon’s second premiere, Sequence Break, is a bit of a sentimental favorite.

Sequence Break continues our circuitous path through the Stuart Gordon universe,” Neff says. “He’s been a two-time guest (1992 and 2009) and his extended group of players and partners keep popping up in other films we show.”

Sequence Break director Graham Skipper is the connector. Skipper played Herbert West in Gordon’s Re-Animator: The Musical, and he also starred in Beyond the Gates, which premiered at Shock Around the Clock 2016.

“Premieres are always exciting,” Neff says. “They can often be a totally unknown prospect that the crowd can greatly elevate.”

Other highlights include David Lynch’s mindbender Eraserhead, the 1942 classic Cat People, The Gate and Brian Yuzna’s Society.

Society has developed quite the cult following since we hosted its U.S. Premiere in 1991,” Neff says. “It seems even more relevant in this day and age.”

Along with the slate of films, Shock 2017 will feature a variety of contests as well as a slew of shorts and 35mm trailers.

For Bartoo, though, the reason to come has always been the community.

“This is first and foremost about the experience of being part of a unique and special crowd,” he says. “Spending 24 hours together in the theatre sharing the same horrifying shocks, dumbfoundingly stupid surprises, and the occasional indignities and compromises that surviving 24 hours entails, onscreen and off, creates a bond that can’t really found anywhere else. The audience emerges at the end, and most do stay for the entire 24 hours, with a twisted sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.”

Full line-up
• Creepshow (Romero tribute)
• Replace (Ohio premiere)
• Sequence Break (Ohio premiere)
• Near Dark (35mm)
• The Gate
• The Silence of the Lambs
• Eraserhead (DCP restoration)
• Cat People
• The Funhouse
• Phenomena
• Society (DCP Restoration)

Tickets are $40 in advance, $45 day of. They are available at Drexel Theatre (2254 E. Main St,), Laughing Ogre Comics (4258 N. High St.) or online HERE.

Read more from Hope at MADDWOLF and listen to her podcasts FRIGHT CLUB and THE SCREENING ROOM.


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