Alamo Drafthouse: The Graveyard Shift: Full Moon Double Feature

Posted: August 15, 2011 in Event Review
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Event: Graveyard Shift: Full Moon Double Feature: An American Werewolf in London (1981) & Fright Night (1985)

Where: Alamo Drafthouse, West Oaks Mall #429, Houston, TX 77082

When: Saturday, August 13th, 8 p.m.

Event Description: The Graveyard Shift is a new monthly event at the West Oaks Drafthouse where classic horror cinema is shown.  This is not merely a screening of the movie however; it is accompanied by some great vintage trailers that fit into the theme of the night, as well as fun, games and prizes galore.

My Thoughts: This would be my second outing at The Graveyard Shift, and after seeing The Fly last month, I was really excited to see both An American Werewolf in London and Fright Night this time around.  I made sure to purchase a ticket in advance, and I was really glad I did, as the theatre was packed.  It was the first sellout for The Graveyard Shift but I doubt it will be the last.

Organizer Robert Saucedo had his usual array of free goodies this month including Fright Night remake posters, Fright Night tattoos, vampire fangs and last, but certainly not least, free Moon Pies!  Rotten Cotton was in the house as well with a table full of American Werewolf and Fright Night t-shirts.  It looked like most of the Werewolf shirts were gone by the end of the night, with one of them being in my possession.  Yet another worthy addition to my collection of horror t-shirts.

Prior to An American Werewolf, the audience was treated to a few trailers and clips from notable werewolf movies such as The Howling and Company of Wolves, as well as Michael Jackson’s Thriller video.  It was pretty damn cool seeing that video on the big screen.  Robert introduced the movie and Alan Cerny, writer for Ain’t It Cool News, who also spoke a bit about Werewolf.  I was surprised at the number of people in the theatre that were first time viewers for both movies!  I was admittedly a bit jealous that all these people were experiencing these movies for the first time on the big screen with an audience full of genre fans.

It was amazing being in the theatre and witnessing the reactions of the viewers, from the laughs to the gasps, and just how silent the audience was during the legendary transformation scene.  Werewolf was another great addition to The Graveyard Shift.

After Werewolf, it was time to take a quick break and play some games.  Robert unveiled an original painting of David Naughton in the buff, to which a bunch of balloons was attached.  A couple of audience members got to throw darts at the balloons in an attempt to win some vintage VHS tapes, ranging from awesome (American Werewolf) to not quite as awesome (Blade II).  Next up was a mannequin in a coffin that bore an uncanny resemblance to a certain vampire from Twilight.  Some very lucky audience members got to be blindfolded (or double eyepatched) and stake the vampire.  Did I mention that Robert was wearing a bat costume, complete with a working head the entire time?

Rob the Bat with the doomed Vampire

I grabbed this picture of Robert's Facebook Page

After the games it was time for the trivia contest, which I look forward to.  Unfortunately, the quartet of contestants chosen this time around knew nothing about horror movies, or at least nothing about the movies of the night.  It’s tough to have a successful trivia event when no one knows the answer.  Robert adjusted on the fly and gave away the prizes to other audience members.  Maybe some qualifying questions are needed next time around?

So, after a bit of a fizzle with the trivia, it was time for Fright Night, for real.  More trailers led into the movie, including a trailer for Bram Stoker’s Dracula that I didn’t recall seeing before.  I love the vintage trailers before the movies, the more vintage the better.

While it was cool seeing Fright Night, it didn’t quite compare to the awesomeness of Werewolf.  Fright Night is a cool flick in its own right, but Werewolf is the best werewolf movie made, in both my opinion and in the opinion of many fans.  It was still fun to watch the movie with an audience though; the laughs, gasps, and jumps really amplify the experience, which in essence, is what The Graveyard Shift is all about.

If you live in the Houston area and are a fan of horror movies, this monthly event is a must for you to check out.  Buy your tickets in advance though, as it looks like this is only going to get more popular with time. 

  1. Contestant#4 says:

    Perhaps the trivia would have gone better before 5 pints of beer….

  2. shnsjolin says:

    If you are who I think you are, you guys were sitting right in front of me, and you went through a couple of growlers at least. I can probably forgive that…probably.

  3. nsidious9 says:

    or maybe choose contestants that know their stuff instead of people that do not. In other words ask for people who WANT to be in it and not raffled.

  4. shnsjolin says:

    Well, that’s tough, as all contestants last night knew they were in for trivia, and yet all stood up. It’s up to the people chosen to decide if they are up for it in that case, that is why I like the idea of a qualifying question, something easy enough to see if they know “anything.” Rob told me he realized the issue and is coming up with a different approach and I have faith he will do what it takes to make it better.

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