By U.R. Stuckhere
Staff Enter-detain-ment Writer
Since the beginning, grindhouse movie theaters all over America have shown low-budget, “B” movies with ramped-up violence and gore to compete with big budget, “A” pictures that are otherwise beyond competition. Now, a group of ghouls from Transyl-vein-ia is upping the stakes by introducing the most real experiences you can hope for in a theater -- actual blood, guts, ghouls and gore right there in audiences’ laps.
Filmmaker and showman William Castle (1914-1977) brought fake skeletons to the theaters and floated them over moviegoers for his 1959 film “House on Haunted Hill.” He put buzzers in the seats for his next project, “The Tingler,” of the same year. Pictures shot in 3-D brought crowds closer to the action, and gimmicks like Rumble-Rama shook theaters to add more life to the experience.
“Then there was the grindhouse cinema of the ‘70s, which was so visceral that it mentally scarred audiences,” said movie showmonster Cecil B. DeShrill, who’s responsible for a new terror coming to grindhouse theaters all over the U.S. “That’s all great, but we wanted to take everything that’s been done in the past and bring it to the next level. So we got a few hundred ghouls together and we’re entering these American grindhouse movie theaters where people want more out of their buck-fifty for a double-feature, and whether they’re watching a couple of horror movies or not, we’re literally going after them for their lives.”
You can imagine the horror on audience members’ faces and the joy on the faces of the ghouls when people find out it isn’t a gag.
“I never was so scared,” said one moviegoer in Detroit, MI, who now travels with DeShrill’s ghouls following his demise at one of the earlier ghoul visits to these theaters. “The gore was all real and I literally ran out of the building for my life. This thing coming after me chased me out into the park across the street until I couldn’t run any further and I finally succumbed to the evil force. I’m quite happy living as a ghoul now. I’m exacting my revenge every night on other poor souls who happen to go into these theaters for a cheap, new and amazing movie-going experience. There’s really no escaping, and people are really digging it.”
Last night, at a theater in the Catskills, young Dr. Frankenstein and his Creature performed a song-and-dance number of “Puttin’ on the Ritz” before going after the audience. To the Creature’s great fortune, the crowd attacked him with torches, and later burned the whole place down.
“This is the kind of thing you just don’t get in Hollywood,” the Creature said as he put out the flames on his back after fleeing the blazing structure. “We’re hoping to keep this going all the way through to Halloween.”
Grindhouse theaters have always offered a fairly high degree of danger. DeShrill and his ghouls are blowing the top off each and every venue they visit.
For a list of theaters near you, go to GrindhouseGhouls.mon.