Tag Archives: Scary Sleepover

IN A YEAR THAT TOOK EVERYTHING, ADAM GREEN NEVER STOPPED GIVING

It has been a year of loss and pain. Our lives have been turned upside down, put on hold, or altered forever. One way or another, not a single one of us has been spared from the scars. Our nation has experienced a lifetime of trauma in less than a single calendar year, to say nothing of the upheaval of the social battles that have been fought day after day not only this year but for the past four and beyond.

We are hurting mentally and physically, emotionally and financially. We have experienced holidays where we have been unable to see our family and friends. The easy fixes of the past–going to the movies or a ballgame, swinging by the pub for a few beers with loved ones, or just popping by for a visit–have been ripped away from us. Each day blurs into the next, with nothing to look forward to that would offer the slightest variation between Tuesday and Saturday, and it has left us feeling very alone.

Experts have informed us time and again to stay in touch with those closest to us because it’s important to combat the isolation as much as social distancing will allow. That calling or texting or Zooming with those we love, however briefly, will help to alleviate the loneliness that has characterized 2020.

But despite not a single paycheck coming in for the entirety of this horrific year—a stark and terrifying reality that far too many can relate to—Adam Green never stopped giving. Never stopped reaching out. Never stopped providing us with something to look forward to. Hours upon hours of preparation fueled by nothing but a desire to keep people connected or giving them a reason to forget for a few hours.

The first image of the CORONAPOCAPLYSE appeared on March 23 with Green seated at a table rocking glasses and a Holliston tee shirt, a steaming cup of coffee to his right, about to embark on a fireside chat of sorts. Whether you call it fatherly or grandfatherly, for the next three days the filmmaker became a calming comforter as he read I, Survivor, the fictitious novel he co-wrote with Joe Knetter outlining the life story and harrowing events of the Honey Island Swamp massacre experienced by Hatchet III‘s (2013) Andrew Yong (Parry Shen). The worries and fears of the world raging outside the walls of our homes slipped away and for a few hours everything was alright. We could breathe. We could smile. Because we were together.

Every day through April 19, Green aired a live stream on YouTube to provide an outlet for those alienated from their lives. From features including DIGGING UP THE MARROW (2014) and the HATCHET series to every episode of HOLLISTON (2012) and ArieScope’s Halloween shorts, Green shared his library of creativity free of charge and it touched countless lives.

When the original CORONAPOCALYPSE came to a close, Green looked into the camera and offered a simple but touching message: “We’ll get through this,” continuing, “stay safe. Stay healthy. Keep being nice to each other. And keep talking to each other because talking helps.”

The shot faded from Green to a scene from HOLLISTON where his character felt as though he’d reached the end of his rope, that he couldn’t go on. And Oderus Urungus (the late Dave Brockie) delivered as motivational a speech as Adam’s imaginary friend was capable, asking “what it would have been like if (he’d) hung in there for just one more day,” echoing the words of Green’s close friend Dee Snider who encouraged him to chase his dream before HATCHET (2006) came to fruition with the words, “don’t you ever give up.”

With the gorgeous “Flying Theme” from E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (1982) swelling underneath, images of Green’s work began cycling through to the beats of the John Williams before a message appeared:

“This was Adam Green’s CORONAPOCALYPSE.” but as the music continued powering us through tears, “Adam Green’s” faded into “OUR,” and if it hadn’t already been clear before, it was beyond dispute in the moment: this was not about anything more than giving the fans something to hang on to. Hope that the sun would shine again, and that the pandemic would one day fade into memory.

To the right of the screen was a chat, and as the final images played out, it was clear how much the CORONAPOCALYPSE had meant to so many:

“Got out of work just in time to cry.”

“It’s been a great 28 days!”

“THIS WAS EPIC.”

“Beautiful.”

“JUST ONE MORE DAY!”

“Thank you Adam and the whole @ArieScope family. I love you all and I will always remember and be grateful for this.”

Just before the final note rang out, in a nod to Snider and HOLLISTON and SCARY SLEEPOVER, one fan wrote “METAL!” Clearly, the Movie Crypt Fam is just that–family.

It didn’t end there, however. In September, CORONAPOCALYPSE II streamed the entire HATCHET and HOLLISTON series on back-to-back nights and again provided something to look forward to–an event filled with laughs and togetherness.

All the while, not a single week of the Movie Crypt podcast (hosted by Green and fellow director and HOLLISTON co-star Joe Lynch) was missed because of the pandemic.

To say nothing of the resurrection of the SCARY SLEEPOVER (2015) series in July with comedian Doug Benson, where Green once more demonstrated his deep understanding of what the people needed–an oasis.

The final two episodes of SCARY SLEEPOVER strategically aired on Thanksgiving and Christmas nights featuring fan favorites Corri English (HOLLISTON) and Parry Shen (HATCHET series), respectively. For many, holidays normally spent in the company of loved ones were instead endured alone, until 6 o’clock Pacific when Green and his guests delivered conversation and smiles and laughs and memories that left all who watched them feeling a bit less isolated.

Then came Yorkiethon 5, the Movie Crypt’s annual fundraiser for the Save a Yorkie Rescue for abandoned and abused Yorkshire Terriers. For years Green and Lynch welcomed guests into the ArieScope Studio for a 48-hour marathon where their motto is “we stay awake so they don’t get put to sleep.” But with the Coronavirus, having guests was not an option, so Green and company simply Zoomed with the likes of Anthony Mackie and Barbara Crampton and Joe Bob Briggs and raised nearly $30,000 in a year when money has been (for nearly everyone) harder to part with than ever before.

And all that, the streams and podcasts and series, without a single paycheck coming in for Green himself.

In a year where it seems everything has been taken away from us, Adam Green has never stopped giving. From laughs to love, Adam Green selflessly devoted innumerable hours of his time to give us what we needed more than anything–hope.

Those who follow Green know that he’s an empath with an enormous heart, but never has his love for the fans been more evident than in the most difficult year of our lives. Before signing off on the first CORONAPOCALYPSE (which this writer still can’t watch without tearing up), Green said “I hope that you get everything that you want in life. I love you,” and it’s time we make it clear that the feeling is very mutual.

“Keep being nice to each other. And keep talking to each other because talking helps.” Green wasn’t merely pontificating, he was simply informing us of what he planned to do. And he kept his word.

May you get everything you want in life, Adam Green, because no one deserves it more. We can never thank him enough for what he’s given us these past ten months, but what we can do is make two things abundantly clear: we are grateful, and we love him back.

Adam Green Saved My Life

I’ve been suicidal since December. For as long as I can remember, the disconnect and loneliness of depression has crept in and out of my life, but this stretch has been different, its grip has been unrelenting for the past seven months. The story never changes, on its face I have nothing to be depressed about, no reason to no longer want to be here—I have great friends, am very active, go to the gym every day, make decent money—but it doesn’t change the fact that thoughts of ending it all are a part of my daily life. When you feel as though you’re trapped in a hopeless prison and derive no lasting happiness or fulfillment in the things you once enjoyed, the idea of it being over is enticing. Some days are better than others, but make no mistake, that monster lurks in the shadows each and every day, and the ideations have intensified to the point where thoughts of actually following through have invaded my mind. But when that happens, you have to find an outlet.

One of the worst days occurred a few weeks ago. I struggled through work, mentally isolating myself from everyone and everything important to me, and when it came time to clear out, the decision had already been made to skip the gym or eat healthy food and pick up a pizza and some Mountain Dew, even some Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and head home to lay down and binge watch a little program I’d just discovered called Scary Sleepover.

I wondered if there were enough episodes to get through the night or if I would have to lean on go-tos like Ash vs Evil Dead or Hannibal, but I was thrilled to learn that there were two seasons to draw from, and knew I had something to distract my mind until I could go to bed.

Scary SleepoverFrom the HATCHET franchise to DIGGING UP THE MARROW to the Movie Crypt podcast, I have long been a fan of Adam Green’s work. Like me, he’s a horror freak and makes me laugh, and what’s more, it just feels like he’s one of us—a horror fan who followed his dream and made good—so we just can’t help but love a guy like that. To say nothing of the (as Tony Todd put it) “eye candy” at the ArieScope studio (circling back to Hannibal), because if there was one place I’d want to live aside from Dr. Lecter’s office, it would be Green’s studio because Mr. Todd was right, the surroundings and humor and camaraderie are a little slice of heaven.

From the moment Kane Hodder walked through the door with a goofy “Hiii!” in the first episode, I was transported to a place where my mind was calm and that feeling of hopelessness dissipated. Though momentary, for those who live with overwhelming thoughts as I do, that temporary reprieve is all we can ever ask for. Adam Green gave it to me that night.

As the episodes wore on (Season 1 in particular), however, I couldn’t help but start to draw parallels to my own life. Not making horror films or commiserating with celebrities obviously, but in the friendships that Green shared with so many.

When Kane fell asleep in the initial episode, Green tossed some unsavory comments his way to see if he’d truly nodded off, and when he directed a sped up “FREDDY VS. JASON” at the horror icon, doing the Dew nearly became a spit take. It was the kind of thing my buddy Tyler would do to fuck with me if he thought I’d drifted on him.

Danielle Harris revealed that E.T. terrified her to this day, and when she opened her eyes and saw Spielberg’s alien facing her from the next cushion over she leapt up screaming and exclaimed “Dick!” Thoughts of my friend Elle and her hilarious reactions to being scared danced through my head.

Later Sid Haig grumpily came through the door and declared “Ya know what? My pajamas are gonna be better than yours” and maintained half-smirked eye contact that kinda sorta felt like “Did I stutter, bitch?” It was exactly that playful shit-talk that my friend Erik unleashes whether we’re together or just texting. And when he blurted “Pizza and pajamas. What’s betterrr?” I knew my initial take was spot on, because Erik too can dance between intimidating and idiotic at the drop of a hat.

HaigThen it was the ridiculously cute ramblings of Laura Ortiz and her constant stream of “Hey Adams” that led to questions like “Why are stars?” Though the gag was that she wouldn’t stop talking and let Green go to sleep, you couldn’t help but smile each time it happened, which of course was the point. Ortiz and my friend Jay have effortless adorability in common.

When Zach Galligan dropped by and Green asked him if he could just talk about what “Phoebe (Cates) smells like that would be awesome,” the size of my smile nearly shattered my face because Ms. Cates being the top of the mountain has been a running inside joke between my friend Chad and I for years. And yes, “Moving in Stereo” is stuck in my head as I type this.

Brea Grant plainly stating “I grew up as a girl” before cracking up at the realization of what she’d said couldn’t help but remind me of Alyssa, who says goofy shit like that all the time. Sometimes it’s deliberate, other times not, but she always laughs it off, and it’s never anything short of endearing.

And when Bill Moseley talked about his children having sleepovers and Green wondered if he’d ever scared any of them off, Otis just replied that while he didn’t think so “I’ve never seen the same kid twice, let’s put it that way.” Me and one of my oldest friends, Dan can be having a serious conversation that quickly has us cackling, and that matter of fact exchange and the laughter it created felt very familiar to me.

The sleepovers conjured memories of an all-night, horror marathon drinking game some friends and I shared a few months back. It was just a stack of movies and laughs and beer until the sun came up, and it was as much fun as I’ve had in a long time.

OrtizIt all culminated in the first episode of Season 2, though, when Tony Todd shared the story of his brother Donald, who had passed a few weeks prior to that shoot.

Todd’s powerful voice softened and tears escaped his eyes as he shared memories of his sibling, who had been institutionalized when Todd was just four years old. The larger than life actor described the image that adorned the funeral form.

“On the cover was this horribly misshapen, man-monster with these spindly legs, accordion arms, big forehead, huge jaw—and I thought to myself ‘Oh my God, some of these monsters that I get offered to play, that’s him, that’s it.’” Todd spoke of legacy and that he was working for his unseen muse, and that his brother no longer had to struggle to walk or deal with pain, that he’d been freed of that burden, and it was more than Adam Green could take.

The host broke down and asked the crew to stop rolling. When the episode came to a close, it faded to black with a single message, “For Donald.”

When you feel like your life isn’t worth living, that you are that misshapen figure, and that you are inconsequential, empathy from others makes you emotional, and that exchange, Green’s reaction, and the lasting image of the episode’s dedication had me pressing pause and purging emotions that had been building up for far too long.

Creatures are as much as part of the horror genre as slashers and buckets of blood, and I am nothing if not a creature of habit. Comfort food doesn’t have to be pizza and Mountain Dew, it can be a series of web shorts or a film or an album that takes you to a better place. For the past few weeks, whenever I need respite, I pull up Scary Sleepover and it helps me get through the day, to get to sleep, to carry on.

But it has less to do with Green or the guests as much as what it reminds me of: the friendships that I share with people who make me smile, who help me through the tough times, who truly care about me.

And what Green said about Ortiz applies to one and all, “my life would suck without [them] in it,” because they are a reason for me to stay, and it was a reminder that I needed very badly.

I’ve made it through the past few weeks and I’m here today, and Adam Green’s Scary Sleepover has been a big reason why. I’ve never met him, he wouldn’t know me if he saw me, but the reality is that he’s saved my life more than once, and I can never thank him enough.

Hodder