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Rants and Raves: Thrill-O-Rama!

FilmOut’s 12-Hour Horror Marathon

Credit: Columbia Pictures

Above: "Eyes of Laura Mars"

Celebrate Halloween early with FilmOut's 12-hour horror marathon, Thrill-O-Rama this Saturday noon to midnight at the Birch North Park Theater.

A 12-hour horror marathon is my idea of a great time. FilmOut programmer Michael McQuiggan continues to bring horror to San Diego with a collection of 1970s horror classics (okay a couple slip in at 1980). Here's your chance to see some fun horror films on the big screen. It's also a chance to see the original versions of John Carpenter's "The Fog" as well as "Black Christmas." I hope you'll join me on Saturday so we'll get more events like this in the future. You can come for individual films or stay -- like me -- for all six. Here are the trailers.

First up is John Carpenter's "The Fog" (1980) featuring his sexy wife Adrienne Barbeau as a husky-voiced late night DJ who notices something odd about the fog creeping in. This was remade badly in 2005.

Next up is Dan Curtis' "Burnt Offerings" (1976) starring Oliver Reed and Karen Black. This is rarely screened but it's from "Dark Shadows'" Curtis and that afternoon horror TV show is getting a remake with Johnny Depp. Here's the trailer with great cheesy 70s ad copy. It sounds quite similar to the Edgar Wright faux trailer "Don't" that was in "Grindhouse."

Then Faye Dunaway and Tommy Lee Jones star in the high fashion thriller "Eyes of Laura Mars" (1978). Dunaway is a fashion photographer whose Helmut Newton-like pics end up mirroring real crime scenes.

Fittingly, this fashion thriller is followed by Brian DePalma's "Dressed to Kill" (1980), which was promoted as "The latest fashion in murder." The film defies logic but then most of DePalma's do but it has so much style to burn that it's hard to ignore. When I was working for a local TV station and had the horrible job of censoring films for TV, one of the things I was forced to cut out was the scene in the cab where Angie Dickinson has sex with a stranger. You don't see anything but you hear her having an orgasm. That had to go. Her murder scene could remain intact but God forbid something as "obscene" as a woman enjoying sex remains in the film for viewers to see. I digress, so here's the trailer.

Another film that recently was remade gets showcased here: "Black Christmas" (1974) and remade very badly in 2006. The film stars the wonderful Olivia Hussey (an actress criminally underused in films) and Keir Dullea. The ads had the best tagline: "If this film doesn't make your skin crawl then it's on too tight." Here's a lengthy trailer for it.

And finally, Dario Argento's spaghetti horror classic, "Suspiria" (1977). This was Argento at his peak -- a wild fever dream of of boldly exploding colors and over the top violent set pieces. If you have never seen this film on the big screen, you must!

And for additional fun, check out the podcast by the San Diego-based Monster Island Resort in which host Miguel Rodriguez interviews Michael McQuiggan and San Diego Asian Film Festival's Extreme Programmer Phil Lorenzo about horror. Hope to see you at Thrill-O-Rama!

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