Jun 4, 2023

Dusk Til Dawn Under The Full Moon

The original plan for Werewolf Weekend was a double feature on Friday night followed by another double feature on Saturday night.  That couldn't happen due to downed power lines which caused a blackout to most of the area on Friday night.  Instead of two nights of double features, Saturday night turned into an epic dusk-til-dawn quadruple feature that kicked off with An American Werewolf In London, followed by The Howling, then Teen Wolf, and finally Silver Bullet (show banner designed by Andrew Kern).

The poster for Werewolf Weekend was illustrated by Grant Hurlbert.  This is his first poster for the Mahoning that I'm aware of, but he has a lot of impressive artwork on his Instagram profile.  I picked mine up on Friday night, and they sold out pretty quickly on Saturday.  It's easy to see why because this is pretty badass!  I hope he does more of then this season.

The Slaughtered Lamb Pub on the moors in Yorkshire may not serve food, but the Mahoning Snack Bar certainly does.  The special burger for the night was The Bangers & Mash Burger which was a delicious part of your complete pre-show.

The special burger for Werewolf Weekend was a reference to the pub that David and Jack visit at the start of the first film of the night, which was An American Werewolf In London.  This is another one of the movies that I saw for the first time when I worked at Blowout Video as a teenager and brought home the VHS tape, and I'm pretty sure that last night was my second time seeing it.  It's a damn good horror movie that I don't think I fully appreciated until I saw it on the big screen at the Mahoning.  I'm sure that part of the reason is that my memory jumbled together plot elements from this movie with its 1997 sequel that I saw in theaters during its original theatrical run: An American Werewolf In Paris.  The sequel is pretty terrible. but the 1981 original An American Werewolf In London is an absolute must-see.

The second movie of the night was The Howling.  It's the second time that I got to see this 1981 horror classic on 35mm at the Mahoning because it was the movie that closed out the 2021 season on Halloween night (with the movie's star Dee Wallace in attendance!).  That night was the first time I saw the movie and it quickly became my favorite werewolf horror film of all time.  If you haven't seen it before, I strongly recommend it.  You can stream it on Shudder.

The third movie of the night is the 1985 comedy Teen Wolf.  This was the main reason I was excited to come to the drive-in on Friday night before we knew about the power outage.  I grew up with this movie, and with the Saturday morning cartoon series that was based on the movie.

Finally, the night ended with the movie that based on the Stephen King novella that Louie gave us a dramatic reading on on Friday night.  The novella is called Cycle Of The Werewolf, but the movie adaptation that hit screens three years later is called Silver Bullet.  This weekend was my first experience with the book and the movie.  There are quite a few differences between the two, but I found both to be very enjoyable.  Gary Busey as a drunken uncle with a heart of gold is just about the most perfect casting I've ever seen, and he did a fantastic job in the role, as did Corey Haim (despite the fact that I thought it was Ben Savage, even though he would have been far too young for the role back in 1985).

The sun began to rise during the final scene of Silver Bullet, making this a true dusk-til-dawn experience.

I honestly didn't expect that I was going to be able to stay up for all four movies, but somehow I did, and I managed to do it without any coffee or energy drinks... just a whole lot of Coke Zero Starlight.  There's going to be a retro toy market, followed by a screening of Pee Wee's Big Adventure on Sunday night at the Mahoning.  I'll be operating on just a few hours sleep, but I'll be there!