|5th Annual Festival of
Fantasy, Horror & Science-Fiction
Summer is here, and the Cinematheques 5th
Annual Festival of all things unknown, unseen and unearthly is back with a vengeance!!
This years series kicks off with a 20th Anniversary Screening of one of
the most transgressive cult movies of the 1980s, director Alex Coxs REPO MAN,
followed by an in-person mini-tribute to acclaimed 1970s scream queen and cult icon,
British actress Caroline Munro, with rare screenings of such films as CAPTAIN
KRONOS, VAMPIRE HUNTER and STARCRASH.
This years Fest features L.A. premieres of brand-new films
from around the globe including director Tobe Hoopers gory, goose-bumpy chiller THE
TOOLBOX MURDERS; the visually stunning Korean sci-fi animated film SKY BLUE; the Spierig Brothers
exhilarating zombie pic UNDEAD; Dario Argentos new giallo THE CARD
PLAYER; French filmmaker Eric Vallettes macabre occult prison opus MALEFIQUE;
gonzo, politically incorrect anime DEAD LEAVES; a program of exciting new shorts,
including the acclaimed "Man Without a Head", with several filmmakers in
person, acclaimed Japanese director Kiyoshi Kurosawas latest, DOPPELGANGER;
and the Cinematheques own Chris D.s junkie/ghost/vampire drama I PASS
FOR HUMAN - !
Of course the Fest also features a number of older treasures,
including a pre-LORD OF THE RINGS Peter Jackson double header of MEET THE FEEBLES/BAD
TASTE; a terrific Hammer Films double bill of CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF/BRIDES
OF DRACULA; a 50th Anniversary screening of the giant
ants-in-the-L.A.-sewers classic THEM!; the original, unsurpassed NIGHT OF THE
LIVING DEAD by George Romero, paired with Gary Shermans rarely-screend 70s
British chiller DEATH LINE; and the L.A. Premiere of a previously lost BBC
ghost story written by legendary author Nigel Kneale, "THE STONE TAPE."
along with a Roger Corman/Vincent Price double header of THE HOUSE OF USHER/TOMB OF
LIGEIA; a pair of demented 50s B&W sci-fi flicks, THE BRAIN THAT
WOULDNT DIE/THE GIANT CLAW; and a mini-tribute to noted
screenwriter/director Pavel Juracek (1935 1989), an unheralded pioneer of
the Czech New Wave who brought a rare intellectual and thematic weight to such rarely-seen
60s productions as THE END OF AUGUST AT THE HOTEL OZONE and VOYAGE
TO THE END OF THE UNIVERSE.
Were very pleased to welcome as
in-person guests for this years series: actors Olivia Barash, Sy Richardson, Del
Zamora, Biff Yeager and Dick Rude (REPO MAN), Angela Bettis (THE TOOLBOX MURDERS) and of
course Caroline Munro; directors Tobe Hooper (THE TOOLBOX MURDERS), Eric Valette
(MALEFIQUE) and Vincenzo Natali (NOTHING); screenwriters Adam Gierasch and co-writer Jace
Anderson (THE TOOLBOX MURDERS); and producers Sunmin Park (SKY BLUE).
Thursday, August 5 8:00 PM
Special 20th Anniversary
Screening New 35mm Print!
REPO MAN, 1984, Universal, 92 min.
Director Alex Coxs debut feature has the distinction of probably being the
only punk rock/sci-fi/crime/comedy in film history, a deliriously screwball odyssey
through the backstreets of Los Angeles. Veteran repo warhorse Bud (Harry Dean Stanton
in one of his funniest roles) breaks in new repo man Otto (Emilio Estevez) while
tracking a vintage Chevy Malibu driven by a lobotomized nuclear physicist (Fox Harris).
But the two soon find everyone else in L.A. is also after the car, including ruthless Feds
hoping to retrieve the radioactive alien corpse in the trunk! A dead-on satire of early
80s pop culture and coming-of-age teen comedies, not to mention sci-fi and film noir
(with an affectionate nod to Robert Aldrichs KISS ME DEADLY). Discussion
following with actors Olivia Barash, Sy Richardson, Del Zamora, Biff Yeager, Tracey Walter
& Dick Rude.
Friday, August 6 7:00 PM
Los Angeles Premiere:
2004, Maxmedia, 86 min. Dir. Moon-saeng Kim. One of the most visually stunning animated
science-fiction films ever made, SKY BLUE is set in a post-apocalyptic future where the
fortunate few are gathered in a protected mega-city called Ecoban, while others are left
to perish in the polluted wastelands outside. A daring young rebel named Suha decides to
challenge the status quo and runs smack into his childhood love, gorgeous,
gun-toting Jay, now a member of Ecobans security force. If youre a fan of
BLADE RUNNER/GHOST IN THE SHELL type sci-fi, we guarantee youll get a blast out of
SKY BLUE. A selection of the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. Discussion
following with Sunmin Park, writer/producer and director of the English-language
Friday, August 6 9:30 PM
THE TOOLBOX MURDERS, 2004,
Moonstone Ent., 90 min. Legendary horror meister Tobe Hooper (THE TEXAS CHAINSAW
MASSACRE, LIFEFORCE) is back in fine form with this bone-chilling Hollywood horror story.
Dark-eyed siren Angela Bettis (MAY) moves into the run-down Lusman Apartment
Building with her husband, only to discover there are a few little "quirks" in
the old place
like a drill-wielding madman, a dope-smoking super and some very
strange occult symbols in the décor. Although it has the same title as the 1978 Cameron
Mitchell-starring gore-fest, this is much more in the vein of classic Dario Argento
chillers like INFERNO and DEEP RED. Discussion following with
director Tobe Hooper, actor/co-writer, actress Sherri Moon, actors Brent Roam &
Greg Travis, Adam Gierasch, co-writer Jace Anderson and Dean Jones, make-up artist.
[Actress Angela Bettis will not be in attendance as was originally announced.]
Saturday, August 7 3:00 PM
New Japanese Anime Sneak Preview:
DEAD LEAVES, 2004, Manga
Ent./Production I.G., 58 min. Dir. Hiroyuki Imaishi. Strap yourself in for the most wildly
demented Japanese anime weve EVER seen, an incredibly mutated sci-fi/sex/action
flick that plays like Paul Verhoeven, MAD magazine and artist Richard Williams thrown into
a blender. From Production I.G., the groundbreaking studio behind BLOOD THE LAST
VAMPIRE, DEAD LEAVES is set on a satellite prison in space filled with unwanted mutants.
Our "heroes" are a skinny guy with a TV for a head and an incredibly hot chick
with a psychic eyeball. Together they lead their fellow prisoners (including a dude with a
huge drill for a prongster) on a hellzapoppin escape filled with blood, bullets and
more flying body parts than we can count. [Please note that DEAD
LEAVES features extreme, cartoon-style violence and sexual situations. No one under 18
will be admitted to the screening.] The first 30 people to enter the theatre will
receive a DEAD LEAVES poster.
Saturday, August 7 5:00 PM
Caroline Munro Tribute In Person!
Autograph Signing Information Below!
New 35 mm. Print! THE
GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD, 1974, Columbia, 105 min. Dir. Gordon
Hessler. A rousing sequel to the classic 7th VOYAGE OF SINBAD, GOLDEN VOYAGE follows our
resourceful hero (played by John Phillip Law, from DANGER: DIABOLIK) as he tries to
solve the riddle of a mysterious occult map with the help of heavenly Caroline Munro.
Features some of Ray Harryhausen's most imaginative "Dynamation"
creations, highlighted by an astounding sword battle with a six-armed living statue.
CAPTAIN KRONOS, VAMPIRE HUNTER, 1973, Paramount, 91
min. Dir. Brian Clemens. KRONOS recasts the vampire myth as samurai adventure, with the
dashing Kronos (Horst Janson) hacking up the undead like a gothic Toshiro Mifune.
The divine Caroline Munro nearly walks away with the film as Kronos love
interest, in this handsome and very rarely-screened Hammer Films production.
Discussion between films with actress Caroline Munro. Actor
John Philip Law to intro the screening of SINBAD.
Munro will be available two hours before showtime in the Egyptian Theatre courtyard to
Saturday, August 7 9:30 PM
Hammer Horror Classics Double Feature:
New Print of Full-length Version!
THE CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF, 1961, Universal, 93
min. Director Terence Fishers atmospheric thriller not only has the
distinction of being Oliver Reeds first leading role, but also Hammer
Studios only werewolf film. And a chillingly fine werewolf film it is, with cursed
Reed the offspring born on Christmas day to a mute servant girl (Yvonne Romain) raped by a
bestial beggar (Richard Wordsworth) in the dungeons of the sadistic Marques Siniestro
(deliciously depraved Anthony Dawson). Kindly Don Alfredo (Clifford Evans) raises Reed in
a good home, but when the sensitive young man reaches puberty and his desires are
thwarted, the result is a frenzy of bloody carnage.
THE BRIDES OF DRACULA, 1960,
Universal, 85 min. Dir. Terence Fisher. When Christopher Lee temporarily balked at
getting typecast as the undead count, Hammer had to create a new bloodsucking villain,
Baron Meinster (David Peel), for their second Dracula installment. Chained in his castle
lair by his conflicted mother (Martita Hunt), the Baron is unwittingly released by a
stranded French schoolteacher, Marianne (Yvonne Monlaur), and proceeds to wreak havoc
amongst the local female population. Luckily, Marianne is rescued by traveling vampire
hunter Dr. Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) and the battle of good and evil begins in
earnest. A rip-roaring tall tale and one of Hammers most satisfying vampire
Sunday, August 8 1:00 PM
Childrens Matinee Caroline
Autograph Signing Information Listed
New 35mm Print!
AT THE EARTHS CORE, 1976, MGM/UA, 90
min. Dir. Kevin Connor. Eccentric Victorian scientist Peter Cushing and brash
American cohort Doug McClure try out a new earth-drilling machine and wind up
(where else??) in a subterranean world of dinosaurs, devil bats and luscious Princess Dia
(Caroline Munro). Cheesey as all hell (dig those bat costumes!) and just as
entertaining, featuring Munro at her loveliest. The perfect 1970s suburban multiplex
matinee. Actress Caroline Munro to introduce screening. This
screening is dedicated to Producer Max Rosenberg
who passed away in June.
Sunday, August 8 4:00 PM
Los Angeles Premiere:
MALEFIQUE, 2002, Pathe International,
90 min. French director Eric Valette makes a very impressive feature debut with
this wicked and suspenseful thriller about four not-very-compatible prisoners stuck in a
cell together, who discover an occult diary in the wall written by a former inmate. The
diary holds the key to escaping into another dimension but at what price? Terrific
performances all around, especially comic actor Clovis Cornillac as a hulking brute with
some, ah, unique appendages
Discussion following with
director Eric Valette.
Sunday, August 8 6:30 PM
Caroline Munro Tribute In Person!
Note: Caroline Munro
will be available two hours before showtime in the Egyptian Theatre courtyard to sign
STARCRASH, 1979, Concorde/New
Horizons, 92 min. Dir. Luigi Cozzi (aka Lewis Coates). The 1970s saw many comic book style
heroines popping up in genre films, and Caroline Munro gets to do her
Barbarella-best in her turn as Stella Starr, allied with Akton (Marjoe Gortner) against
the wicked Count Zarth Arn (Joe Spinell). A supremely goofy, whacked out knock-off of STAR
WARS, BARBARELLA and the old FLASH GORDON serials. Co-starring David Hasselhoff (!) and Christopher
Plummer as Emperor of the Universe, with a fine score by John Barry (of the James Bond
THE SPY WHO LOVED ME, 1977,
MGM/UA, 125 min. Dir. Lewis Gilbert. Easily the best of the 1970s Bond films, SPY stars
the impeccable Roger Moore as 007, teamed with icy Russian agent Barbara Bach
against underwater kingpin Curt Jurgens and his lethal arsenal which includes
metal-toothed hitman Jaws (Richard Kiel) and femme fatale Naomi (Caroline
Munro). Terrific stunts, a sharp, witty script by Christopher Wood and sexy,
world-saving adventure courtesy of Moore & co. Everything a Bond film should be. Discussion between films with actress Caroline Munro.
Wednesday, August 11 7:00 PM
Fantasy, Horror & Sci-Fi Shorts Program
L.A. Premiere! Rene Andres "An Enchanted
Tale" (7 min.) An ancient fairy tale erupts on the shores of a large city,
proving that the supernatural can still play a role in the modern world.; U.S.
Premiere! Richie Mehtas "System Of Units" (21 min.) In the near
future, the entire world is online. Simple concepts of art, emotion and even love have
vanished. One man tries to change that.; Colin Elliotts "Duel" (4
min.) Animated fantasy tale about the struggle between wisdom and ambition.; Nirvan
Mullicks "The Box Man" (5 min.) An eerie stop-motion short about
alienation and the fear of being seen. Based on a 1974 novel by Japanese existentialist
writer Kobo Abe (Woman in the Dunes).; L.A. Premiere! Toni Harmans "Daddys
Boy" (10 min.) This British short will make you pause at taking up with a
butcher, no matter how cute!; U.S. Premiere! Tinieblas Gonzalezs "Ecosistma"
(9 min.) This Basque short is a creepy, creatively-shot short about the horror of natural
selection.; Aristomenis Tsirbass "Terra" (6 min.) From the director
of "The Freak" comes this all-CGI short about a curious alien creature who must
discover the terrifying truth behind a mysterious object in the sky; Juan Solanas
"The Man Without a Head" ("L Homme sans Tete," 18 min.)
Gorgeous, award-winning fantasy piece, about, literally, the title character. Discussion following with filmmakers Colin Elliot
("Duel"), Nirvan Mullick ("The Box Man") & Aristomenis Tsirbas
Wednesday, August 11 9:15 PM
Pavel Juracek Tribute:
END OF AUGUST AT THE HOTEL OZONE (KONEC
SRPNA V HOTELU OZON), 1966, 80 min. Dir. Jan Schmidt. Scr. By Pavel Juracek.
Decades after a nuclear holocaust and the world is devoid of men, leaving only an isolated
band of feral young women on horseback roaming the forests of Europe until they
reach the last vestige of civilization, the Hotel Ozone. Superb, thought-provoking sci-fi,
something like Andrei Tarkovsky directing MAD MAX with an all-female cast, with memorable
b&w cinematography by Jiri Macak.
VOYAGE TO THE END OF THE UNIVERSE
(IKARIE XB-1), 1963, 84 min. Dir. Jindrich Polak. Scr. By Pavel Juracek and Jindrich
Polak. Another Czech sci-fi rarity, this was briefly released in the U.S. in the early
60s by AIP and then promptly disappeared until now. A crew of astronauts
encounter a deadly plague during a cross-galaxy voyage, in this excellent precursor to
both "Star Trek" and 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. Another beautiful b&w film, with
eye-popping 60s Euro pop-art design. Prints courtesy the Narodni Film Archive in
Prague. [Both films in Czech with English subtitles.]
Friday, August 13 7:00 PM
Los Angeles Premiere:
UNDEAD, 2003, Lions Gate, 104 min.
Australian directors Michael & Peter Spierig make a gory, gleeful splash with
their debut feature, a combo splatter zombie/alien invasion/Spaghetti Western flick
thats created significant buzz on the international festival circuit. Felicity
Mason stars as blasé beauty queen Rene, desperate to escape the backwater town of
Berkeley especially once a meteor shower starts, turning all of her neighbors into
flesh-eating zombies! With Mungo McKay as a very offbeat action hero, a bearded,
hulking giant who wields a nasty triple-barrelled shotgun. [UNDEAD will soon be released
in the U.S. by Lions Gate.]
Friday, August 13 9:15 PM
Living Dead Double Header!!
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, 1968,
Roxie Releasing, 96 min. Director George Romeros unqualified masterpiece pits
a handful of citizens holed up in a farmhouse against a newly revived horde of
flesh-eating zombies. The cast of talented unknowns headed by Duane Jones are all
alarmingly believable as they fight for life, trying to escape a bad dream that gets
uncompromisingly worse and more horrifying as the hours crawl by. If youve never
seen this hackles-raising classic on the big screen, heres your chance.
DEATH LINE (aka RAW MEAT), 1972,
MGM/UA, 87 min. Director Gary Shermans debut feature is a gruesomely
convincing precursor to 28 DAYS LATER, about the cannibalistic descendant of long- dead
survivors of a 70-year old tunnel cave-in, living in the London Underground. When a top
government official is snatched from the subway platform late one night, vexed Inspector
Calhoun (Donald Pleasence) finally begins to take seriously the missing persons
reports that have long plagued the area. Hip couple Alex and Patricia (David Ladd, Sharon
Gurney) are sucked into the nightmare when Patricia is kidnapped by the brute as a
prospective mate. A wonderfully ghastly evocation of dank subterranean terror.
The previously announced BUCK ROGERS event has been
postponed until Nov. 9. Stay tuned for details. If you purchased tickets, please bring
them to the box office for a refund. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Saturday, August 14 3:00 PM [Spielberg Theatre]
VINCENT PRICE THE SINISTER
IMAGE, 1987, Allday Ent., 62 min. Prior to our Vincent Price double-bill on
8/21, join us for this in-depth video interview with the legendary actor and horror/sci-fi
expert David Del Valle conducted in 1987, where Price discusses his entire career
including such classics as THE FLY, HOUSE OF WAX and many others. Introduction
to screening by David Del Valle. [Note: There is no admission charge to
Saturday, August 14 6:00 PM
Los Angeles Premiere:
NOTHING, 2003, 49th Parallel
Prod., 90 min. Canadian director Vincenzo Natalis (CUBE, CYPHER) whimsical
and refreshingly original fantasy plays something like Terry Gilliam directing
"Waiting For Godot." Two lifelong friends and total losers (played with scuzzy
humor by David Hewlett and co-writer Andrew Miller) are facing multiple
disasters (police, tear gas, a demonic Girl Scout) on the worst day of their lives
when they suddenly find themselves transported into
Nothing. A white void, zippo,
absolute emptiness. With their trusty turtle Stan and their beloved video games, the pair
set out to explore what Nothing really is. And stick around for those bouncing
! Discussion following with
director Vincenzo Natali and actor/screenwriter Andrew Miller.
Saturday, August 14 8:30 PM
New from Dario Argento!
THE CARD PLAYER (IL CARTAIO), 2004,
Anchor Bay, 96 min. Police detective Anna Mari (superb Stefania Rocca, looking like
Björks sexy older sister) teams up with UK cop Liam Cunningham (John Brennan of DOG
SOLDIERS) to find a serial killer who plays internet poker with the police for the fate of
his captive victims. Director Dario Argentos (SUSPIRIA, DEEP RED) new giallo
thriller is intense and straightforward, a streamlined reinvention of the genre painted in
bleakly cold hues and nightmarish darkness. [THE CARD PLAYER will soon be released in the
U.S. by Anchor Bay Entertainment.] [English dubbed version.]
Sunday, August 15 4:00 PM
L.A. Theatrical Premiere
"Lost" Nigel Kneale Classic:
"THE STONE TAPE," 1972,
BBC, 90 min. A major rediscovery, this long-lost BBC television program scripted by
legendary British writer Nigel Kneale (of Quatermass fame) and directed by Peter
Sasdy (TASTE THE BLOOD OF DRACULA) was recently rescued by the British Film Institute.
A group of cocky young electronics researchers move into a centuries-old British country
house as their new H.Q. but one room retains the "memories" of
inhabitants from ages past. Instead of leaving the house to its ghosts, the young upstarts
decide to challenge the spirits with all the newfangled gadgets at their disposal. Jane
Asher (DEEP END) delivers a terrific performance as the only member of the team with
psychic abilities. As terrifying as THE HAUNTING or THE INNOCENTS, and not to be missed!
[Please note: admission charge for this program is suggested donation only.]
Sunday, August 15 6:00 PM
Rene Laloux Memorial Screening:
FANTASTIC PLANET (LA PLANETE
SAUVAGE), 1973, Argos Films, 72 min. In memory of visionary French director and
animator Rene Laloux, who passed away recently, were honored to screen his
masterpiece, FANTASTIC PLANET, an astonishingly beautiful and otherworldly vision of a
far-distant planet where humans are kept as pets by a race of gigantic, blue-skinned
overlords called The Traags. With incredible design work by Roland Topor, and a
mind-blowing progressive rock score by Alain Goraguer. Winner of the Special Grand Prize
at the Cannes Film Festival in 1973. [In French with English subtitles.]
Friday, August 20 7:00 PM
Los Angeles Premiere!
I PASS FOR HUMAN, 2004, Poison Fang
Films, 103 min. Cinematheque programming staff member Chris D. (also renowned as
lead singer of seminal L.A. punk band The Flesh Eaters) makes his directorial debut with
this gritty, hypnotic junkie/ghost movie that plays like Jean Rollin directing PANIC IN
NEEDLE PARK - ! Eleanor Whitledge stars as a young woman distraught over the recent
overdose of her musician boyfriend; soon, she too is sucked into the black whirlpool of
addiction. Is it the heroin that makes her see strange vampiric figures lurking the mean
streets of L.A. or are these demons real? Josh Coxx ("Strong
Medicine") co-stars as a fellow addict trying to help her back into the light, with
support from indie icon Mary Woronov (EATING RAOUL) as a sympathetic doctor and John
Diehl (STARGATE, JURASSIC PARK III). Music by Shepherd Stevenson, Danny Carey of Tool
and J.G. Thirlwell with songs by Lydia Lunch/Rowland Howard, The Hangmen, The Flesh Eaters
and The Birthday Party. Discussion following with
writer/director Chris D. and producer Lynne Margulies.
Friday, August 20 9:45 PM
Before "Lord Of The Rings"
Early Peter Jackson Double Header!
MEET THE FEEBLES, 1989,
WingNut Films, 94 min. Director Peter Jackson takes us on a wildly satiric ride
dedicated to anyone who ever had naughty thoughts about those furry puppets seen on
morning TV kids shows. Behind the scenes at the "Meet The Feebles" show,
we glimpse these "lovable" fuzzy-wuzzies as anything-but; indeed, they are just
as lustful, backstabbing and homicidal as their human counterparts! One of the greatest
puppet movies ever made, and definitely the sickest.
BAD TASTE, 1987, New Zealand Film
Commission/WingNut Films, 91 min. Director Peter Jacksons first film is a
mind-bending, sci-fi splatter comedy following some good old boys attempting to defend
backwater New Zealand from aliens intent on marketing the human race as fast food for
their inexhaustible supply of interstellar patrons. A gloriously gross, lo-tech and funny
debut for a filmmaker who went on to win the Oscar for Best Director! With Terry Potter,
Craig Smith, Peter OHerne and Peter Jackson himself. [Note: Both films contain
graphic violence and adult material. No one under 18 will be admitted to these
Saturday, August 21 2:00 PM
Los Angeles Premiere!!
"GHOSTS AT SCHOOL" (GAKKO
NO KAIDAN), 1997 2001, Kansai TV/Altamira Pictures, 102 min. Four episodes drawn
from the wickedly inventive Japanese TV series "Ghosts At School," a "Night
Gallery" type series thats been running since 1994, featuring some of the best
and brightest new horror directors in the country. Cinematheque favorite Kiyoshi
Kurosawa (CURE) delivers an enigmatic mini-masterpiece with "The Strange Story
Of An Abandoned Schoo," following the unexplained happenings in a high school
facing demolition. And just before making his breakout hit THE RING, director Hideo
Nakata helmed the eerily-similar "Video Of Spirit," about a group of
girls in a high school photo club who believe theyve captured a ghost on video! Plus
episodes from directors Shinobu Yaguchi (RING O) and Norio Tsuruta (WATERBOYS). [In
Japanese with English subtitles.]
Saturday, August 21 5:00 PM
Special 50th Anniversary
THEM!, 1954, Warner Bros., 94 min.
Director Gordon Douglas (KISS TOMORROW GOODBYE) was an unheralded tough guy
director from the 1940s - 1960s who deserves far more recognition and this high
profile, giant-bugs-on-the-loose movie is prime evidence why. From an
expertly-ochestrated, you-are-there delivery that starts in the spooky New Mexico desert
with mysteriously savage murders and ends with the military duking it out with a horde of
giant ants in the storm drains beneath L.A., director Douglas delivers crackerjack matinee
material that is as entertaining for adults as kids. With James Whitmore, Edmond
Gwenn, James Arness and Joan Weldon.
Saturday, August 21 7:30 PM
Vincent Price/Roger Corman Double
HOUSE OF USHER, 1960, MGM/UA, 85
min. Director Roger Cormans first in his atmosphere- saturated series of
Edgar Allan Poe adaptations starring the great Vincent Price. Here, Price appears
with a shock of white hair and sans moustache as the ultra-sensitive Roderick Usher, a
recluse who is over-protective of his younger sister, Madeline (Myrna Fahey). When
Madelines lover Philip (Mark Damon) arrives to fetch her, hes horrified to
find her suffering from catalepsy and the whole Usher household under the shadow of a
doom-laden curse that threatens to destroy him as well.
TOMB OF LIGEIA, 1964, MGM/UA, 81
min. The last and some say the greatest of the Roger Corman/Vincent
Price/Edgar Allan Poe cycle is one of the high watermarks of 1960s horror, a gorgeous,
color-drenched meditation on marital fidelity from beyond the grave. Price is at his very
best as the black-clad nobleman (dig those mod shades hes wearing!), pursued by
multiple incarnations of his dead wife. Scripted by Robert Towne of CHINATOWN fame,
with wonderful cinematography by Hammer Films vet Arthur Grant. Discussion between films with director Roger Corman.
Sunday, August 22 4:00 PM
Gonzo 50s Double-Header:
THE BRAIN THAT
WOULDNT DIE, 1962, MGM/UA, 82 min. Dir. Joseph Green. A
megalomaniacal surgeon (Jason Evers) is driving near his upstate New York home with his
nurse fianceé (Virginia Leith of KISS BEFORE DYING) when they have an accident, and
shes decapitated. He spirits her head to his nearby house and manages to keep it
alive in his threadbare basement lab while he searches local strip clubs for a suitable
new body! Meanwhile, Leiths embittered head conspires with the monster that Evers
keeps locked in the closet! Jawdropping drive-in madness with equal doses of grisly mayhem
and sleaze/noir ambience. They dont make em like this anymore!
New 35 mm. Print!
THE GIANT CLAW, 1957, Columbia, 75 min. Fred F. Sears
(EARTH VS. THE FLYING SAUCERS) does his best to direct this unintentionally surreal,
monster-bird-from-space opus. Jeff Morrow and sexy Mara Corday join a cast of hundreds
fleeing from one of the goofiest-looking big creatures to ever hit the silver screen.
Producer Sam Katzman farmed out the effects to a small Mexican SFX house and got something
he hadnt bargained for: a titanic bird resembling a cross between a hideously
deformed marionette and a cartoonish piñata! Bizarre doesnt even begin to describe
the unnerving result. Ah, the days before CGI - !
Sunday, August 22 7:30 PM
Pavel Juracek Tribute:
("Postava K Podpirani"), 1963, 38 min. Dirs. Jan Schmidt and Pavel
Juracek. This stunning, Kafka-esque short follows a man who sees a shop marked
"Cat Rentals," and rents a kitty for the day. But when he tries to return the
animal, the shop has vanished. Terrified by the late fees hell incur, he searches
desperately for the one official who can help him: Joseph Killian.
CASE FOR A ROOKIE HANGMAN (PRIPAD
PRO ZACINAJICIHO KATA), 1969, 102 min. Dir. and scr. Pavel Juracek. Brilliant,
surrealist feature inspired by the third section of "Gullivers Travel,"
updated to modern day. After crashing his car to avoid a rabbit, Gulliver discovers a
pocket watch in the hares clothes and he immediately plunges into Balnibarbi,
a world of complete absurdity.
Feature and short followed by the documentary: THE KEY TO DEFINING DWARVES, OR THE LAST TRAVEL OF LEMUEL GULLIVER,
2002, 58 min. Dir. Martin Sulik. Inspired by Juraceks journals, this idiosyncratic
documentary on his life and career mixes rare archival footage and photographs with
re-enacted scenes from Juraceks past. [Prints courtesy the Narodni Film Archive in
Prague.] [All films in Czech with English subtitles.]
Tuesday, August 24 7:00 PM
New from Kiyoshi Kurosawa:
DOPPELGÄNGER, 2003, Mirovision, 107 min. Japanese director Kiyoshi
Kurosawa and his CURE star, Koji Yakusho, return with this wildly eccentric,
black comic fantasy about the dual nature of mankind. Hayasaki (Yakusho) is a brilliant if
overworked scientist struggling to perfect his latest invention, a bionic wheelchair to
assist paraplegics. In the midst of repeated failures and pressure from his corporate
bosses, Hayasaki suddenly confronts his exact double: a doppelgänger who is as
hot-tempered and impulsive as he is distant and repressed. This enigmatic
"other" yanks Hayasaki from his daily routine, and sends him crashing headlong
into a very strange and typically Kurosawa-esque future. [In Japanese with English
Tuesday, August 24 9:15 PM
L.A. Theatrical Premiere!!
ZATOICHI, 1989, Media Blasters, 116
min. Shintaro Katsu not only starred-in but directed this lyrical, bloodsoaked 26th
entry in the Zatoichi/Blind Swordsman saga notable as Katsus final appearance
in the role he created. Although there hadnt been a Zatoichi film since 1973, Katsu
had successfully taken the series to Japanese television in the mid-1970s, and one can see
the influence here with a wealth of character detail not always found in the movies. Katsu
was approaching 60 at the time of this finale, yet his blind masseur is still wandering
the back roads of 19th century Japan, pursued by yakuza killers lured by the
bounty on his head. Along the way, he encounters a destitute artist samurai (Ken Ogata),
makes love to a tattooed female gambler (Kanako Higuchi) and must dodge sharp steel from
two rival gang bosses (Yuya Uchida and Katsus real life son, Takeo Okumura). The
customary swordfight climax, where Zatoichi dispatches scores of opponents, is epic in
stature and not-to-be-missed! See the inspiration for Takeshi Kitanos 2003 film and
one of the finest in the Blind Swordsman series. [In Japanese with English subtitles.]
Wednesday, August 25 7:30 PM
Forry Ackermans Favorite Flicks
MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE, 1932,
Universal, 61 min. Director Robert Florey (BEAST WITH FIVE FINGERS) follows the
exploits of discredited scientist Dr. Mirakle (Bela Lugosi) as he travels with a
fly-by-night carnival by day and experiments on Parisian street women by night, injecting
them with the blood of his killer ape, Erik. A very creepy adaptation of the famous Edgar
Allan Poe mystery with a macabre German Expressionist influence. Pre-Code Hollywood horror
at its best! With Leon Ames.
1936, Universal, 71 min. Dir. Lambert Hillyer. Draculas tormented
daughter, Countess Marya (Gloria Holden), longs to escape the bloodsucking curse
visited on her by her father in this haunting sequel to the Bela Lugosi original. But her
efforts to do so prove futile as she stalks young women and attempts to seduce Dr. Van
Helsings colleague, Dr. Garth (Otto Kruger), away from the realm of the living. A
surprisingly effective little chiller with a good cast that also includes Edward Van
Sloan, Marguerite Churchill and Irving Pichel. Introduction to
screening by "Dr. Acula" himself, Forry Ackerman, creator of "Famous
Monsters Magazine" - !
Friday, August 27 7:00 PM
DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS (LES
LEVRES ROUGES), 1971, Royal Film Archive, 100 min. Director Harry Kümels
most famous and popular film is a sumptuous re-working of the legend of the lesbian
vampire, the Hungarian Countess Elisabeth Bathory, seductively incarnated by the immortal Delphine
Seyrig. When a honeymooning couple are stranded in a hotel in off-season Ostend, they
find the only other guests are the mysterious
countess and her exotic female companion. With Andrea Rau, Paul Esser, Danielle Ouimet.
[In English.] Discussion following with director Harry Kümel
and actor John Karlen (DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS).
Friday, August 27 9:30 PM
With the support of the Flemish Community
MALPERTUIS: HISTORY OF A CURSED HOUSE
(MALPERTUIS: HISTOIRE DUNE MAISON MAUDITE), 1971, Belgium Cinémathèque Royale, 125
min. Director Harry Kümels surrealist cult classic has been more talked
about than seen since its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in 1972, when it was shown
in a hastily shortened English-language version which distributors subsequently hacked
down even further. Now the Belgium Cinémathèque Royale has worked with Kümel to produce
a definitive "directors cut," Flemish-language version of over two hours
longer than has ever been seen before, and giving its labyrinthine story far greater
clarity and depth. Of course, to "explain" MALPERTUIS or to reveal its final
twist would be to spoil the fun. Based on the famous fantasy novel by Belgian writer Jean
Ray, most celebrated for his Harry Dickson detective stories, the film follows handsome
young sailor Yann (Mathieu Carrière) on his return home to the family mansion of
Malpertuis where his dying Uncle Cassavius (Orson Welles) has summoned his
relatives for the reading of his will. Once inside Malpertuis, a haunted house of endless
corridors and hidden chambers, Yann finds it impossible to escape, and he is entranced by
three young women there: his cynical sister Nancy, the lubricious Alice and the exotic
Euryale, all of whom are played by an unexpectedly sensuous Susan Hampshire. Filmed in
luscious color by Gerry Fisher with a haunting Georges Delerue score, MALPERTUIS is a
dream film unlike any other, and can now be seen in its full glory. With Sylvie Vartan,
Johnny Halliday. [In Flemish with English subtitles.] Director
Harry Kümel to introduce screening.
Saturday, August 28 5:00 PM
With the support of the Flemish Community
MALPERTUIS: HISTORY OF A CURSED HOUSE (MALPERTUIS:
HISTOIRE DUNE MAISON MAUDITE), 1971, 125 min. [For description, see 8/27.] Discussion following with director Harry Kümel.
Saturday, August 28 8:00 PM
Double Feature L.A. Premieres!!
MONSIEUR HAWARDEN, 1968,
Royal Film Archive, 101 min. Based on a true story, Harry Kümels stylish
first feature (shot in elegant black and white) plays with sexual ambiguity and social
manners. The Monsieur of the title is a woman, who disguises herself as a man
when forced to flee from a duel, and enters into relationships with her travelling
companion (female) and a young farmboy (who fails to realize her true gender!).
THE SECRET LOVE (SECRETS DE
LAMOUR), 1986, Royal Film Archive, 85 min. Dir. Harry Kümel. Compiled from
the infamous sex series, "Série Rose," made for French TV (on which Kümel
worked alongside the likes of Walerian Borowczyk), this light-hearted erotic entertainment
features three period stories by Marguerite de Navarre, Restif de la Bretonne and Guy de
Maupassant, entitled "The Spanking;" "The Pupil" and "The
Greenhouse." [Note: Due to sexual content, no one under 18 admitted to this program.]
[Both films in Dutch with English subtitles.] Director Harry
Kümel to introduce screenings.
Sunday, August 29 4:00 PM
With the support of the Flemish Community
THE COMING OF JOACHIM STILLER, 1976,
Belgium Cinémathèque Royale, 120 min. Dir. Harry Kümel. Condensed from a hugely
successful television series, this feature film of magic realist Hubert
Lampos novel about a possible second coming of the Savior begins with a journalist
witnessing three strange workmen digging up a road for no apparent purpose. He files a
story, and in response hears from Mr. Stiller, whose letter is postmarked 50 years
earlier. [In Flemish with English subtitles]
Sunday, August 29 6:30 PM
THE LOST PARADISE (HET VERLOREN
PARADIJS), 1978, Royal Film Archive, 96 min. Dir. Harry Kümel. Described by the
director as a love story with a political twist, this bizarre comedy centers
on the conflict between a mayor determined to protect his bird sanctuary against highway
construction, and the local villagers whose homes are threatened. Matters take on a
surreal twist when the local burgomaster enlists the help of a beautiful prostitute.
ELINE VERE, 1991, Royal Film
Archive, 117 min. Director Harry Kümels most ambitious film to date is an
elegant costume drama based on the Flemish classic of 1898 by Louis Couperus. Desperate to
escape her stodgy bourgeois family, the beautiful Eline (Marianne Basler) successively
falls in love with three totally unsuitable men. The film moves from ironic comedy to a
stunning tragic denouement played out to Wagner. With Monique van der Ven, Thom Hoffman,
Aurore Clément. [Both films in Dutch with English subtitles.] Discussion
between films with director Harry Kümel.