Quarantine canceled the premiere of “Marathon After Midnight.” But that’s not all bad.
“I’ve spent the last six months refining and adding,” said director Richard Warner.
This movie is going to be significantly weirder than “Wilma the Witch,” the documentary about the hurricane. That was local attorney and filmmaker Richard Warner’s first foray in the visual arts. Now, he’s back with “Marathon After Midnight.” After more than four — nay, five — years of production, locals can have a sneak peek of the feature-length film on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 30-31 at 7 p.m. at Herbie’s Bar and Chowder House in Marathon.
“We have capacity for about 100 at each showing in the back garden. It will be like a drive-in movie, without the cars,” said Warner.
The filmmaker is honoring tickets that were previously sold. Ticket-holders will have priority seating if they arrive before 6:30 p.m. At 6:30 p.m. everyone can choose a seat at a table, and drinks and food will be sold and served in the socially distanced set up. The rest of the tickets will be sold at the door (no advance sales). In the event Friday night sells out, theater goers are encouraged to return the next evening.
Warner said the best way to describe this film is a mashup of “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Fawlty Towers,” “Dark Shadows,” “Blues Brothers” and “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”
“Oh, and it’s got lots of original rock music — little videos interspersed with the action. It’s like ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ or the Beatles’ ‘A Hard Day’s Night,’” said Warner.
While “G” rated, the plot of “Marathon After Midnight” is definitely strange.
It centers on a property rights dispute on Grassy Key. The neighbors are up in arms over a local bed-and-breakfast styled with Goth and Steampunk flair, owned by sister Roxanne (Lesley Aaron) and brother Mandrake (Bruce Schmitt).
The movie takes place on Halloween Eve in the year of our lord 2017. A number of strangers come to the door, either trick-or-treating or protesting. There’s also a side caper, where another contingent is trying B&E at the B&B to find a gold cross, supposedly buried on the property. “Marathon After Midnight” features about 100 all-local actors and singers. Look for cameos by attorney Bill Heffernan, Realtor Kathryn Rummery, radio newsman Bill Becker and Mike “Mr. Marathon” Puto.
Warner said Mike Puto plays himself, reprising his role as city manager.
“In the movie, he has a tragic end. He falls in love, and there’s a romantic dream sequence. That alone is worth the $30 ticket,” Warner said.
The movie night is a fundraiser for Forgotten Felines and the Marathon High School boys athletics program.
Also of note: there will be another showing on Feb. 13, 2021 at the Marathon Garden Club of the “director’s cut,” uncensored by Mrs. Warner, who has the final say and hopefully doesn’t read this newspaper.