Horror for the casual insomniac
September 30, 2008 9:26 PM   Subscribe

Doomed Moviethon exists as an excuse for Richard Schmidt to go on insane, caffeine-fueled horror movie benders and record his impressions as sanity erodes... Could you do 28 Giallos in 60 hours? posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] (18 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I love this note recovered from the end of the '76 marathon:

“I can barely moves. My eyes are distant shores. Nobody feels this way while my cat coos in his sleep. Sorry almost made it.”
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 9:30 PM on September 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

I love running my own movie marathons, but the Doomed Moviethon guy is way more masochistic than I could ever hope to be.
posted by Donnie VandenBos at 9:34 PM on September 30, 2008

“I can barely moves. My eyes are distant shores.

Kind of how I felt after watching the entire Prisoner TV series in one roughly 15 hour session way back when in 1980s. That was enough. No more than four hours at a stretch ever since.
posted by philip-random at 9:42 PM on September 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

This is how I felt after watching the last presidential debate.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:24 PM on September 30, 2008 [2 favorites]

If I could figure out a way to get paid to do what this man does... well, my friends, I would then attain true heaven on Earth.

Aah, who am I kidding? I'd get bored a half-hour into it and turn on some Knight Rider reruns. "Enough gore! I wanna see a car that talks. Now that's entertainment."

Awesome post, though.
posted by Drainage! at 10:32 PM on September 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

If I could figure out a way to get paid to do what this man does... well, my friends, I would then attain true heaven on Earth.

You know, there are people who are paid to watch and listen to DVDs and Blu-rays for quality assurance purposes. It's so fun to watch them come in as bright young film-school grads chatting to each other about dramatic dyads. My colleagues and I snicker as they discuss Robert McKee and J.J. Abrams. Six months later, the new hires invariably have stopped watching TV and movies at home, and their spec scripts lay fallow on their laptops.

When did this happen to me, you ask? When I was assigned to a well-known social horror film from the mid-Seventies that I ended up watching twenty. four. times.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:56 PM on September 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

The only time I did this was when I watched the first season of 24 on DVD straight through with nothing but quick bathroom breaks. It comes out to less than 24 hours, of course, because there are no commercials on the DVD. Still something like 18 hours though.

The first season of 24 was actually rather good. It's been downhill ever since. Fast.
posted by Justinian at 1:06 AM on October 1, 2008

That makes the all-night Troma-thon I once went to a film festival seem once, seem slightly less than hard-core

I've not even got around to watching all of Lord Of The Rings back to back yet. (A friend of mine did it with some Tru Fans who paused the DVDs to play the bits from the Radio 4 drama version that the films missed out...)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:32 AM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]

The only time I did this was when I watched the first season of 24 on DVD

You guys are babies. The only time I ever watch television is like this... in weekend-long stints. If something is good, I want to watch all of it in an orgy of not-waiting-for-next-week. I'll usually d/l a season or three of a series, then digest them like a starving person eating their first horse. Most series are available stripped of commercials, which is wonderful because you actually end up saving time compared to the suckers who went and watched the episodes when they aired. I did this for the first two seasons of Lost. Did it again for the Wire, only those two seasons were back-to-back. I find I'm much more productive this way.

I could so get paid to do this. The only problem is that I don't have anything interesting to say at all about movies or television shows. It's one of those intensely personal, selfish joys in my life... one I don't have to explain or justify. At the end of watching 2 or 3 continuous days worth of movies or TV shows, I usually don't have any more keener insights than AWESOME or OH NO, ALL DONE.

I've not even got around to...

My GF insisted we watch all three LotR movies back-to-back... the extended versions, naturally.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:13 AM on October 1, 2008 [3 favorites]

Doomed Moviethon exists as an excuse for Richard Schmidt to go on insane, caffeine-fueled horror movie benders and record his impressions as sanity erodes...

Ripper Richard is a gangster
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 4:21 AM on October 1, 2008

Hmm, looking at the DVD-to-watch pile, the Ultimate Edition of Blade Runner is almost near the top, perhaps I can watch all of that in one go... or perhaps not.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:00 AM on October 1, 2008

This is great. While we're on personal marathon stories, I watched the whole 10 hour Vietnam: A Television History in one go. It gave me flashbacks.
posted by sswiller at 6:04 AM on October 1, 2008

A friend of mine wanted to see the anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion. So I brought the tapes I had over, and we watched it. The whole thing.

Thankfully I didn't have the movies, so he didn't get his sandpapered brain hideously shredded by the you-want-an-ending-you-got-an-ending-jerks last movie.

But yeah, we just sat there after the last episode ended for a little bit and decided never to do anything like that ever again.

....then a bit back, they ran the Lord of the Rings Trilogy Tuesday, where in a movie theatre setting, you got to watch the director's cut of Fellowship, then the director's cut of Two Towers, and then at 10:30, an hour and a half previous to the rest of the timezone's midnight showings, The Return of the King.

(The winning part of Trilogy Tuesday will, for me, be the two guys dressed as Ringwraiths, who swept up to the snackbar and hisses, in near-perfect Ringwrath voices, "Pooooopcorn.... twiiiiiizzzlersssssss....")
posted by mephron at 6:12 AM on October 1, 2008

For the past fifteen years or so, I've been attending a 24-hour Science-Fiction movie marathon in Boston. The traditional date is from noon Sunday to noon Monday on President's Day weekend. It's been going on for over 30 years now (it'll be 34 in 2009) and has nomadically roamed from theater to theater based on who wishes to devote 24 hours of its programming to the same bunch of weirdos. The marathon has indeed attracted a loyal following of die-hards, some of whom show up ouside the theater before 6:00 am that Sunday just to get their regular seats.

Just how much of a hardcore marathonner you are depends on your outlook. Some folks consider attending the full 24 hours as a victorious achievement. Others feel that you have to stay awake for the full 24 to consider yourself a true marathonner. It helps that you can purchase a bottomless mug of coffee at the concession stand, but care must be taken to not tweak yourself out on caffeine lest your heart try to leap out of your chest without the help of an alien facehugger.

The marathon pacing is an odd exercise in sleep dep. Time can often move fast during the day, mind you. It begins on a high-energy note, everybody eating an Atomic Fireball at the same time so the theater is full of ersatz cinnamon scent. The opening short is traditionally Duck Dodgers in the 24th 1/2 Century and everybody cheers along, giving rowdy cheers to Marvin the Martian and delivering Daffy's lines along with him ("Got the jump on you now with my Disintegrator Ray... and brother, when it disintegrates, it disintegrates! ... What do you know? It disintegrated.")

Once you hit the 6 hour mark, you can't believe you've got so much ahead of you, even though you've begun measuring time in two-hour scoops ("we've only seen three films so far!") The 8:00 pm to midnight section is the peak. Midnight rolls around and you're feeling kind of weird, but still up for more films. Things get quieter. People start nodding off in the theater or crash on the balcony landing or in another auditorium, or they just konk out in their own seat and begin to snore. The late-night slots are usually reserved for 'racier' fare, such as Barbarella or Attack of the Bee Girls or (in one notorious year) Demonlover. By about 6:30 or 7:00 in the morning you begin to prowl outside to find any breakfast shops opening up, and blinking in the sudden onset of sunlight. The streets are still empty for the most part, being President's Day and all.

And no matter what you do -- indulge in chemicalia up to stay awake or take a nap around 3 AM -- the last few hours of the marathon are a complete lucid blur. I saw Donnie Darko for the first time at 8:00 in the morning. The sleep deprivation made the movie a truly interesting experience. I didn't need to see it again, with or without commentary. I knew, man. Likewise, any TOHO monster movies shown at 5 or 6 am are the GREATEST THINGS YOU HAVE EVER SEEN.

By the time the last movie rolls around fatigue has truly set in and you walk out of the theater feeling like a goddamn survivor. Everybody's zombified at this point. You shamble around the theater, cleaning up (look at all those candy wrappers; did I really eat all that?) and eventually stumble outside with the rest of the crowd to the strains of "Happy Trails". You are grateful to those who showed a bit of foresight and brought along soap, deodorant and toothbrushes (the regulars know, oh, yes, they know.) The light outside is harsh, you're moving solely due to inertia, and your pillows and bags are all grubby. Any ride on the T is a bizarre experience in motion and time-compression. You finally get home and, after a few words to pets and loved ones, crash for 12 hours or so. Then you start counting down the days until next year. (In the first few years, those who stayed all the way through enjoyed a survivor's breakfast together, but this doesn't happen anymore. Officially, at least.)

For its 10th anniversary, the Marathon extended its run and presented a 36-hour schedule. This has not been duplicated since. We're crazy but for some reason we're not that crazy.
posted by Spatch at 7:33 AM on October 1, 2008 [3 favorites]

On a rainy Saturday afternoon in 1995 I watched The Andy Griffith Show for 12 hours straight, as part of a special TBS marathon.

I don't recommend it.
posted by tiger yang at 9:22 AM on October 1, 2008

I used to do live movie marathons here in D.C. before Beta and VHS. Hopped from one theater to another. Now the movie houses are all gone.
posted by doctorschlock at 10:52 AM on October 1, 2008

Just remembered a few years back renting the special edition version Black Hawk Down, and watching it all in one night... all the commentaries and the umpteen extras. I remember the sun was coming up when I finally finished. I've not seen the film since.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:42 PM on October 1, 2008

One rainy Saturday when my wife was out of town I watched ten episodes of The Sopranos in a row without breaking too much of a sweat. However, I had to call 911 and have them send over some guys with the Jaws of Life to pry me off the couch afterwards.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:54 PM on October 1, 2008

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