GALAX — It’s a combination coolest Halloween Party and Carroll County’s counterpart of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” A benefit free screening of the 1980’s American horror movie “Parasite” will be held October 29 at the Historic Rex Theater in Galax by the “Friends of the Sidna Allen House.
Spokesperson Frank Levering was also one of three writers of the work. The other two sharing this honor are Michael Shoob and R. Allen Leider. Levering said participants are encouraged to dress up in costume for the event, which is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at the theater on 113 East Grayson Street. The work was among movies recently featured in a book by Italian film scholar Francesco Borseti titled “It Came From The 80s.”
“We’re screening this as a fundraiser because all we have recently raised will probably be used up in the initial stages of restoration to the Allen House,” said Levering. “It’s a Halloween-type experience where individuals can come in costume and have a good time at the Rex. Locally, to my knowledge, it hasn’t been played here, thank goodness. Seriously though. It’s a fun experience and a good cause. It played all over the world and for a time was second in New York when Chariots of Fire out. It caught everyone by surprise.”
Levering explained the idea came together when he recalled how in his younger days a Halloween party was always held as an open house for family and all their neighbors in Cana. He recalled how two low-key residents showed up dressed as convicts with an actual ball and chain. He also said his mother Miriam, became quite a seasonal sensation as “Madam Petrovski,” a mysterious European fortune teller.
“We’re trying to have a Halloween party like that at the Rex,” Levering said. “He noted local actress Kay Cox has even volunteered to come dressed as Demi Moore, who was one of the cast for the film.” Borseti’s work lovingly classes Parasite as a 1980s cult classic, “B horror movie.”
Its success came at a time when large studios were moving to large budget films, crowding out independent films. Technology (home video) gave B movies a needed boost as producers realized they could make science fiction, horror and fantasy pieces for the small screen, sidestepping Hollywood’s giants.
Levering credited independent movie producer-distributor Irwin Yablans for sealing the deal with amazing distribution for the horror film, which began to play to packed houses. Rows and rows of movie goers who made a personal connection with the film.
“We noticed everyone was talking to the movie. It was designed to be tongue in cheek. That’s the way we wrote it and it wound up working. Director Charles Band knew what he was doing. We had talent like Stan Winston and others as well. Actor Luca Bercovici was in the movie. He went on to direct Ghoulies, which became another cult classic.”
Admission to Parasite is free. Organizers are recommending donations of $5 per person. Levering said they will gladly accept less or more than that because they want as many as can to be involved. Levering indicated recent upswings in locally sourced foods naturally extends to locally sourced history. He also said recent plays about the historic Courthouse Tragedy are unique in the Arts being used to benefit a community project.
“The fact is most of that $80,000 we raised will be spent and leave us mostly tapped out. We’re back to fundraising again,” Levering said. “It helps us to think about history in trying to save the house. It’s gotten a lot of people fired up. People walk up and ask when are you gonna do the play? It’s snowballing. People are excited. That’s a 180 degree shift from how it was first perceived. Who knows where we are going from here?”
David Broyles may be reached at 276-779-4013 or on Twitter@CarrollNewsDave.