CUFF screens Halloween horror sequels straight on until morning

The good people at the Calgary Underground Film Festival know that what you really want to do this weekend is marathon your way through seven horror movies in a row…and they, of course, have got you covered.

This year’s gimmick is that we’re watching one film each from several beloved horror movie franchises, but with an original twist. The third film in the lineup is Halloween 3, the fourth is A Nightmare on Elm Street 4, and so on, right up to the just-released seventh film in the Child’s Play franchise, Cult of Chucky.

“We were able to get our ideal lineup,” says CUFF programmer and event organizer Brennan Tilley. “There is no film we would have rather played and were unable to book.”

Let’s take a look at the lineup, shall we?

Things kick off promptly at 7:00 pm, with the original Fright Night (1985). Most horror franchises begin with their strongest entry, so the contest for the No. 1 slot was fierce, but the CUFF team feels confident with their choice. Who could forget Amanda Bearse’s giant vampire mouth?

In the “Part Two” slot, we’ve got The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986), and let’s face it, that’s definitely the most enjoyable film in that franchise. It drops the sweaty anguish of the first film in favour of rollicking comedy, and it even has a chainsaw fight. What other first sequel can boast that? (Hey, wait a minute … Phantasm 2 has a chainsaw fight as well! Why isn’t Phantasm 2 in this lineup? Or the first Phantasm, for that matter? Ah well …)

“Threequels” are notoriously difficult to pull off, and the legendary Halloween franchise did it by ditching everything we expected to see. No Michael Myers, no panicky babysitter, no haunted, gun-toting psychiatrist … Halloween 3: Season of the Witch  (1982) is a completely unconnected film about cursed Halloween masks. The franchise would never make such an unorthodox move again.

At this point, the clock strikes midnight, and there’s a costume contest for all the attendees. Stretch those legs, show off your “sexy witch” outfit, and refill your energy drink, ’cuz there’s more to come!

Wait, where’s Freddy? Ah, here’s A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988). The guy’s certainly getting cornier, but he’s not quite insufferable yet. Perfect for sleepy audiences in the wee hours.

“We expect a noticeable change in the vibe after the fourth film,” says Brennan. “The party atmosphere transitions to a feeling of being part of a committed group of fans.”

Welp, it’s 2 a.m., and time to whip out Final Destination 5 (2011), which is apparently the funniest and highest rated film in the Final Destination series according to Really! I love the fact that this series removes the psycho killer from the psycho killer genre. The killer is Death itself! (Well, actually it’s the screenwriters, but let’s not be pedantic.)

Next up is Jason Lives! Friday the 13th Part VI (1986). Yep. Makes sense. Moving on …

Congratulations! You made it to morning! Enjoy a free breakfast, and the unrated cut of Cult of Chucky (2017).

More than 70 people made it this far during the 2015 Halloween Movie Marathon. This year, let’s make it 100! Those slow, staggering figures you see squinting in the morning light aren’t zombies; they’re just moviegoers who have finished watching 12 hours of horror films. Braaaaiiiiiinnnnnssss …

The 2017 Halloween Horror Movie Marathon begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28th at the Globe Cinema (617 – 8th Ave SW). Tickets are $20, or $18 for CUFF members. Ages 18+ only. Concession stand will be open all night, with bar service until 2 a.m. Costumes are encouraged, and free breakfast will be provided in the morning. For details, go to

John Tebbutt is the Video Vulture. He has been writing about obscure and ridiculous cinema since 1997. You can keep up with his nonsense on his websiteFacebook and Twitter. Check out the latest episode of his online series here.