Quick Q+A: The Twin Cities Psychotronic Film Society + Scares That Care Marathon

scares that care

While a lot of the schlocky films regularly shown throughout Twincy have their scary moments, they’re nowhere as scary as fighting illness, burns, or breast cancer in the real world. That’s the mentality of non-profit group Scares That Care, who are partnering with the crazies in the Twin Cities Psychotronic Film Society for 12-hour scare maratharon to raise money. The admission is a sliding scale of donations, and we strongly recommend going for one, two, or all of the showings throughout the day and making a big donation when you get there. 

Before the physical and psychological endurance test, we checked in with Psychotron Daniel McNellie about the team-up, the movie selections, all the additional fun of the event, and more.

Secrets of the City: How did you get hooked up with Scares That Care—which is such an awesome organization—for the marathon?

Daniel Mcnellie: Donald from Scares that Cares has been coming to our events for awhile now and after finally getting to know him he mentioned doing a benefit screening. I’m always down to do benefits any chance we can, Earth is a pretty scary place these days, and I think people really need to be kind and help each other whenever they can. I was trying to think of a way to make it unique and fun as opposed to just a normal screening, so I put together the 12 hour marathon, hoping an all day open marathon would be able to raise a bit more than a single screening, since people have busy schedules.

Nobody will be turned away, and people can give what they can at the door any time throughout the day.

The Psychotrons have been on such a programming tear for these last few months, how will you still have cult film material to show??

Believe me, there’s no end to the material we could show, through various private collections/archives, constant discovery of new outside artist filmmakers, etc. We haven’t even had a chance yet to show the more rare and weird stuff that I originally set out to do. In my free time (not very much since our daughter was born) I’m constantly searching out completely off the radar stuff from outsider artists. It’s taken me to some strange places around the U.S. for sure. Be it from a flier hanging on a street-pole, to going through phone books trying to track down a guy in the deep south who made some 8mm shorts in the 80’s, there’s no end to finding new and interesting things.

Last year I came across a 2 part urban action film series shot on VHS in the 80’s in a Chicago housing project that was discovered in the directors closet by his son. It was never released and nobody knows anything about it, including the son. Would love to show it here, but again, would anyone show up?

Do you agree with our assessment that this event fits nicely in our new golden age of the local B-Movie scene?

I hope there is a golden age with weirdo cult movies happening! That’s the hard part about doing this, the average person generally doesn’t like to get too adventurous in their movie viewings. That’s why you have to do mainstream stuff like Evil Dead, which I love as well, but that is what brings people, which will hopefully in turn allow the weirder stuff to happen. Showing movies is tough these days anywhere, your average person doesn’t hold the social experience as high as say, going to a bar or watching live music. I personally think the experience of being in a theater where everybody is in the same mindset and totally engaged with the film (for better or worse) is just as powerful and fun as any other form of entertainment, and we’ve all made a lot of great new friends just from interacting with people before or after a screening.

But in the end, I’m honestly just grateful to be able to put on all these events for people to enjoy either way, regardless of attendance.

What percent do you think will make it the whole 12 hours? We’d guess 50% because there are some real maniacs here in the film scene.

I’m guessing at the end of the final movie it will be me, Donald from Scares That Care, a couple sleeping people, and maybe a couple of the fellow TCPFS folks. I usually attend various 12 and 24 hour marathons throughout the country so I’ve become good at pulling through these, but I know how brutal they can get though. You need to average about 1 large red bull and large black coffee per movie at some of the 24 hour ones. Maybe half of that at the 12 hour ones. The best part is when you finally get to sleep your brain is all destroyed and you have crazy dreams/night terrors. Worst part is when you’re sick for the next 2 days. This is also a test run for a 24 hour (all rare 35mm films) we’re trying to plan. if this goes well, that could happen sooner rather than later.

If people had to pick just one time to stop in and see some crazy stuff, would you recommend 7 PM and, as you say, “LGBTQ equivalent to THE ROOM”? How bonkers is that going to be!?

9 PM is the one you don’t want to miss. Trust me, you haven’t seen it, and it’ll be a blast. Even the people trying to guess what it is are all wrong. The 7 PM LGBTQ equivalent to the room is another insane one though, haha. I came across the LGBTQ film on one of my digs and started spreading it to friends and some programmers a few years ago and they love it, so hopefully it will find an audience someday because it’s a riot. Honestly every movie at this is tons of fun and there’s maybe only 2 movies that people might have seen before. We’ll hand out cheat sheets with clues at the door and the trailers leading up to each film will hint at whats about to come.

The thing I hope people will keep in mind is that when I programmed this marathon i did it in a very specific way. It’s not just random movies I wanted to show. They flow in such a way to compliment each other and mess with the audiences expectations and minds, especially with the final movie. Wooooo boy…if you sit through the whole marathon, you’ll probably be delirious by then and this one is gonna make your head explode from laughing at the chaos that unfolds, But if you’re just coming in, you’re gonna think everyone laughing in that theater is a complete moron or insane.

Can you give us a scoop on some of the surprises you’ve been teasing for the event? (If not we understand.)

Hmm, I think we announced most of them. Bunch of cool raffle prizes throughout the night donated from various people/businesses, free food from Raising Canes later in the evening, a lot of giveaways from Surly brewing throughout the night, more giveaways we can’t talk about till day of, so you just gotta show up.

I just really hope people will take the time to consider coming to the event. This is a chance to do some good by helping others who are less fortunate and see some rare, fun movies on the big screen.

The 12 Hour Movie Masochist Marathon takes over the Parkway Theater on Saturday, November 18th.