Without Exhumed Films, I wouldn't love movies as much as I do. I wouldn't be watching them with most of my waking hours. I wouldn't be seeking out 35/16mm screenings. I damn sure wouldn't be writing for BMD or Fangoria or running one of the world's last video stores.
Both Phil and I have written about the NJ/Philly horror screening collective on numerous occasions (hell, we fucking met for the first time at one of their shows back in the day). This weekend, they'll be hosting their most popular event: the 24-Hour Horror Thon (which I'm headed out to, and will be bringing you another write-up for). Since '97, EF's been doing double, triple, quadruple and even marathon billings of great genre screenings. One of their members, Harry Guerro, is one of the biggest collectors of repertory prints in the whole world. If you've been to a Terror Tuesday or Weird Wednesday in the past, oh, forever, chances are you've seen one of his jewels unspool for you on the big screen.
The boys from Exhumed - Dan Fraga, Jesse Nelson, Joseph Gervasi, and Mr. Guerro - have been bopping from venue to venue since the '90s, where they started in Mount Ephraim's dilapidated Harwan Theatre. They've hosted shows at the historic Pittman (before it caught fire), and recently moved to the Lightbox on UPenn's campus. During the summer, they put on bills at the Mahoning Drive-In, a true old school open air venue in Lehighton, PA. In short, it's all about the experience at an EF show, as they're not just holing up in some random megaplex and showing DCPs*.
Now, Exhumed Films want to open their very own home, and have launched a fundraiser to do so. Simply called “The Space,” this new institution will be located in Southern New Jersey and not just be a dedicated screening arena for the group. It will also serve as an archive for Harry's massive 35mm print collection and a physical store front for Diabolik DVD (the incredible cult and import physical media hub run by Jesse and Joseph). If that weren't enough reason to support “The Space,” there will also be an old school arcade with a curated video game selection to complete the '80s nostalgia trip.
Exhumed have already leased the property, and begun performing repairs. With the help of the Lightbox, they've even secured a shiny 35mm projector. But they need so much more to make this place as spiffy as Satan would prefer. So, if you've got a spare chunk of change, consider putting it toward this great cause. They're offering up great prizes (including the chance to program your own shows once "The Space" opens), but above all else, you'd be helping some true cinephiles continue to educate and inspire generations of film fans to come.
So, go on. I've already made my donation. Join in and help these guys construct something really special. Then we can all head to "The Space" and have our eyeballs melted by Exhumed Films' incredible taste and celluloid selection.
*Though, to be fair, they did at one point utilize a Cinemark in Somerdale, NJ, yet stayed true to their celluloid dreams.