Cody gets up close with Freddy's fingers of fate
The filmmaker-orchestrated mayhem at the New Beverly Cinema continues to rage on in periodic, two-week (or so) bursts… always unpredictable, never less than inspiring, not the least because of these double bills' ability to draw in die-hard aficionados as well as the passionately curious, those who could do with having what makes one film in a slasher franchise better than another explained to them versus those who are so enamoured they are mouthing the words to obscure Dokken tracks over the closing credits.
Russell (l) and Darabont wax Nightmare 3
Krueger always had a thing for the kids, Sour Patch or otherwise
The filmmakers meet a maelstrom of fans
Said credits, it should be noted, are for A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors, the disturbed-teens-in-peril opus widely regarded by those with discerning taste as the best of the Freddy Krueger sequels (Though many of the same would probably also single out Wes Craven's New Nightmare, although that delightful bit of 90's meta-horror is in a league of its own.) Leading the faithful is guest programmer, Juno scribe and all around mega-girl-geek Diablo Cody, who not only drew an enthusiastic 80's horror-loving crowd for the halfway point of her “Mondo Diablo” roster of double features but also produced not only Nightmare 3's writer-director Chuck Russell, but the one and only Frank Darabont, who long before worldwide acclaim with The Shawshank Redemption was cutting his teeth in the horror genre. (Those who grokked his remarkably horrific and satisfyingly bleak '07 King-based effort, The Mist, know full well that the shocks haven't quite left his system, either.) Both men engaged the crowd in a Q&A both revealing and hilarious (“I was just sitting over there thinking, 'I don't remember how we killed this fucking kid!,” Darabont laughed, not long before revealing that the uber-creepy Edgar Allen Poe quotation at the beginning of the film is in fact total bull-hockey… Russell made it up. Genius.)
Diablo chills with Holland
The Fright Night poster that gave us all nightmares! Surely the scariest Amanda Bearse has ever been. (Until perhaps the seventh season of Married… With Children)
The second course on Miss Cody's menu of prime 80's horror cuts, of course, was just as meaty – Tom Holland's 1985 gem “Fright Night,” an enduringly smart, frightening and funny yarn that strikes at every horror fan's worst nightmare: That their late-night spooky television viewing might one day hit dangerously close to home. After unspooling a hell of a good-looking print, Cody grilled director Holland about his inspirations for the boy-meets-vampire-next-door tale, and the typically on-point New Bev crowd came armed with all their burning questions waiting to be answered – Was Roddy McDowell his first choice for aging horror star Peter Vincent? (Absolutely, yes.) What the hell kind of ghoulie is handyman Billy Cole anyway? (“He's kind of like Renfield, isn't he, before he turns?…”) What's with bloodsucker Jerry Dandridge's constant fruit consumption? (He was cleaning his fangs… and that wasn't in the script, Chris Sarandon brought that to the table himself. Method genius!)
Mondo Diablo concludes at the New Beverly on Wednesday/Thursday with “Pretty In Pink” and “Desperately Seeking Susan”; guests TBA. See https://www.newbevcinema.com for details.