INTERVIEW: Hudson Horror Show gears up for seventh bloody installment

Courtesy of Hudson Horror Show
Courtesy of Hudson Horror Show

Oh the horror!

The Hudson Horror Show returns June 8 with a bloody affair for its seventh installment. The 12-hour marathon, which has quickly become the go-to horror event in the New York region, will feature screenings of Army of Darkness, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Infra-Man, Gone with the Pope and a fifth secret feature.

Tickets are $26, or $30 on the day of the show. The event will take place at the gloriously old-school Silver Cinemas at South Hills Mall, 1895 South Road in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. The 35mm festival kicks off at 1 p.m. Click here for more information.

Recently, Chris Alo, co-producer of the event, shared his thoughts on the horror phenomenon. Here’s our email exchange …

Can you believe Hudson Horror Show has made it past the sixth installment? Can you believe it would still be going strong?

No, I’m shocked we made it beyond show#1! Tad Leger and I never thought that we would make it to our fourth year of doing shows. We really hoped we could pull off one show without losing too much money. It’s all because of the great people that keep coming out to see our shows, we cannot thank them enough. As long as people keep coming out, we’ll still keep putting on shows.

What has been the largest surprise of the marathon’s history?

Other than the fact that we are still here? I think the biggest surprise, at least to me, is the audience enjoys when we show something that isn’t a horror movie. I was pretty worried that the audience wouldn’t be into that, but they have really embraced it. The focus of our events will always be horror, but I’m glad we can show an exploitation movie, or a super violent action movie here and there.

How do you think fans enjoyed Part VI? Was there one movie where you were surprised by the reaction?

I think show six was great and I do think fans really enjoyed it. Again, relating to the previous question, I am always surprised by how the audience reacts to our non-horror movies. I assumed people would enjoy Conan the Barbarian, because everyone went crazy for the trailer show #5. But I admit, I was shocked that people really seemed to like Switchblade Sisters. It was a movie I’ve wanted to show for a long time, I didn’t know what people would think, but I was really glad it went over so well.

Is the plan to continue with two shows a year? Any plans to expand?

We really have no plans to expand beyond two shows per year. We looked into expanding into a local drive in, and we also thought about doing double features. But for various reasons, those ideas never got beyond the basic planning stage. I think we’ve been doing well with the twice a year format and it also keeps it special. If we did five shows per year, people might get bored of us quick.

What goes into the behind the scenes? How long does planning take?

Wow. There is a TON of work behind the scenes. I can say that if it wasn’t for the HH crew of Glen Baisley, Dan Deyo, Sean and Errol Mc Donnell and Marcos Carway, these shows would be impossible. Tad Leger and I are very lucky to have such great friends to help us out. We’ve had tons of other people help us out too, Grindhouse Releasing, Exhumed Films and many others. We’ve been very, very lucky.

To run a show like this, you need to do a lot. Tad and all of the guys wear many hats. You need to book the movie theater, contact people for film prints, negotiate clearances, create artwork for flyers and posters, do email blasts and promotions, reach out to horror websites, work with vendors, buy rare film trailers, drop off flyers at events, sell tickets, answer emails, the list goes on and on.

Planning each show takes months, which again, is probably why two shows per year works just fine. Everyone has a lot going on in their life, HH just adds to it.

Is the 12-hour limit set in stone, or have you thought about longer/shorter?

Again, I think the current format works pretty well. This is our fourth year of doing shows, without price increases, I might add. If we make it to a fifth anniversary, I wouldn’t mind expanding somewhat and throwing in some bonus movies for our faithful followers. No way in hell would we attempt a 24 hour show; I will leave that to the Gods of retro-horror programming, Exhumed Films. That show is the greatest show on Earth, but I would never, ever want to try and do a show that long. But I would totally be up for adding a few ultra rare obscurities as a bonus for our fifth anniversary. Let’s see if we make it!

By John Soltes / Publisher / John@HollywoodSoapbox.com

John Soltes

John Soltes is an award-winning journalist. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Earth Island Journal, The Hollywood Reporter, New Jersey Monthly and at Time.com, among other publications. E-mail him at john@hollywoodsoapbox.com

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