Welcome to another installment of 31 Days of Halloween! This is our chance to set the mood for the spookiest and scariest month of the year as we focus our attention on horror and Halloween fun. For the month of October we’ll be sharing various pieces of underappreciated scary books, comics, movies, and television to help keep you terrified and entertained all the way up to Halloween.
The Alamo Drafthouse in El Paso held its first ever Dismember the Alamo. The event was an all-night affair that included four mystery movies, a costume contest, and giveaways. Host Rob Saucedo flew in from Houston to emcee the event. My friend Clara and I went in full costume for what promised to be a fun, if terrifying, night.
Rob built up the tension perfectly for the first movie of the night. He began by introducing an underrated horror movie from the 1990s with a memorable performance from Billy Zane. The movie was based on a television series that was based on a comic book. To start Dismember the Alamo we watched Tales From the Crypt: Demon Knight.
Demon Knight is a movie that I have wanted to see but have never gotten around to. It was a fun horror movie and Billy Zane does in fact put on a great performance. There is also a great soundtrack that includes Filter, Ministry, and the Rollins Band that will bring a smile to fans of industrial rock. The movie never takes itself too seriously while telling a scary story. Plus, you have the Crypt Keeper in all his pun-tastic gory. This was the perfect movie to start off the night.
After a brief intermission, we had our costume contest. Wednesday and Pugsley from the Addams Family were there along with an extra from a pirate movie, a member of the Rockford Peaches and Nightman. The audience voted on a winner that would be announced before the final movie.
Unless they are particularly good, I am not a huge fan of “When Animals Attack” horror movies, which is why I was a little dismayed when Rob began introducing his next film. When he told the audience that the next movie we were going to see was Shakma, my reservations quickly went away. This was another movie I had heard of but never seen.
Unlike the previous movie, Shakma is played completely straight. The problem with the movie is the monster is a baboon that cannot help but look cute even during the movie’s most chilling moments. This discrepancy should ruin the movie, but somehow it makes even better. The movie is filled with sketchy acting, has an adorable killer, and is propped up by a ridiculous premise. And it all works perfectly.
Rob mentioned that the next movie was part of the body horror genre and mentioned David Cronenberg and The Fly. When names like that are mentioned, it is hard not to be impressed. The next showing was one that I had never heard of. The third movie for Dismember the Alamo was Street Trash.
Well, the title is half correct. I like overly exaggerated gross out humor as much as the next person — Troma Entertainment has put out some real fun movies, for example. I just prefer when the nonsense I watch makes a little sense. The most offensive part of this movie was not the constant racist jokes, misogyny, or the genital keep away scene. I was most offended by how aggressively bad the movie was. It was fine for a movie marathon, but I never want to see it again.
In between the third and final movies, Rob announced the winner of the costume contest. The extra from the pirate movie won the audience vote and her prize was the Hellraiser soundtrack on vinyl from Mondo! An awesome prize for a deserving winner. The rest of us did not go away empty handed as we got horror movie Blu-Rays.
There had been two movies I had never seen and one movie I have never even heard of, so it would make sense that the final movie of the night was something I had seen before. Thankfully, I had not seen it since I was a child and I was happy when I heard the last movie of the night would be Waxwork.
Starring Zach Galligan of Gremlins fame, Waxwork is a fun movie that follows many of the tropes of the horror genre. There are monsters, a deal with the Devil, and a prophecy that has to be stopped. Add a solid cast with homages to horror movies of the past and you have the perfect way to Dismember the Alamo.
I had no idea what to expect from Dismember the Alamo. All I knew was that I would be watching four horror movies. I think the event was a success. There were three entertaining movies, and the one I did not care for was at least something I had never seen before. Seeing the different costumes in the contest was fun and Robert Saucedo did a great job as our host for the evening. The giveaways were awesome and best of all we were told that the Alamo Drafthouse here in El Paso would be showing horror movies on a weekly basis next year. Overall, Dismember the Alamo was a great event and I already cannot wait for next year’s. But next time I am winning the costume contest.
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