American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre Presents...
Making Movie History for 80 Years!

Click to Print Page 1 or Page 2 or Full Text of July/August Schedule!

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Series compiled by: Dennis Bartok and Chris D. Short Films compiled by Andrew P. Crane.
Special Thanks to: Paul Ginsburg/UNIVERSAL DISTRIBUTION; Sunmin Park and Jeffrey Winter/MAXMEDIA; Michael Grant/MOONSTONE ENTERTAINMENT; Adam Gierasch; Tama Hamalian; Mike Schlesinger/COLUMBIA PICTURES REPERTORY; Amy Lewin/PARAMOUNT PICTURES REPERTORY; John Kirk, Irene Ramos and Latanya Taylor/MGM-UA; Margo Coughlin and Danielle Garnier/MANGA; Antoine Cochet/PATHE INT’L; Germaine Simiens/CONCORDE-NEW HORIZON; Todd Wiener/UCLA FILM & TV ARCHIVE; Irena Kovarova; Vladimir Opela/NARODNI FILM ARCHIVE; The Czech Center, N.Y.; Rebecca Green/LIONS GATE FILMS; Rick Arens/ROXIE RELEASING; Vincenzo Natali; Steve Hoban/49th PARALLEL FILMS; Mark Ward/ANCHOR BAY; Nigel Kneale; Peter Sasdy; Polly Eckles/BBC; Veronica Taylor/BRITISH FILM INSTITUTE; Florence Dauman and Raphael Streit/ARGOS FILMS; Peter Marai; Matthew Dravitzki/WINGNUT FILMS; Pamela Harvey-Whyte/NEW ZEALAND FILM COMMISSION; Kyoko Hirano/JAPAN SOCIETY; Reiko Sakuma/KANSAI TV; Yoshino Sasaki/ALTAMIRA PICTURES; Marilee Womack/WARNER BROS. CLASSICS; Jamie Lee/MIROVISION; Mark Altman and Steven A. Simak/ CINEFANTASTIQUE MAGAZINE; Carl Morano/MEDIA BLASTERS; Forrest Ackerman; David Shultz.

Photos:

1.  I PASS FOR HUMAN (August 20th)

2. Caroline Munro (courtesy of Marvin Paige Archives)

3. MALPERTIUS (courtesy of David Del Valle Archive)

 

 

 

 

Tickets available 30 days in advance. Tickets are $9 general admission unless noted otherwise.
Sold out programs will be indicated here if sold out 24 hours in advance of screening date.
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The American Cinematheque is a non-profit 501 (C) (3) organization.
The Film Programs of the American Cinematheque are presented at the magnificently renovated, historic 1922 Grauman's Hollywood Egyptian Theatre. Located at 6712 Hollywood Boulevard.
Photo Credit: Randall Michelson. Detail of Egyptian Theatre Ceiling.

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<<< August 5-29, 2004 >>>

5th Annual Festival of Fantasy, Horror & Science-Fiction

 

Summer is here, and the Cinematheque’s 5th Annual Festival of all things unknown, unseen and unearthly is back with a vengeance!! This year’s series kicks off with a 20th Anniversary Screening of one of the most transgressive cult movies of the 1980s, director Alex Cox’s REPO MAN, followed by an in-person mini-tribute to acclaimed 1970’s scream queen and cult icon, British actress Caroline Munro, with rare screenings of such films as CAPTAIN KRONOS, VAMPIRE HUNTER and STARCRASH.

This year’s Fest features L.A. premieres of brand-new films from around the globe including director Tobe Hooper’s 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 Argento’s new giallo THE CARD PLAYER; French filmmaker Eric Vallette’s 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 Kurosawa’s latest, DOPPELGANGER; and the Cinematheque’s own Chris D.’s junkie/ghost/vampire drama I PASS FOR HUMAN - !

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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 Sherman’s rarely-screend 70’s 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 50’s B&W sci-fi flicks, THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN’T 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 60’s productions as THE END OF AUGUST AT THE HOTEL OZONE and VOYAGE TO THE END OF THE UNIVERSE.

We’re very pleased to welcome as in-person guests for this year’s 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 Cox’s 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 Aldrich’s 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:

SKY BLUE, 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 Ecoban’s security force. If you’re a fan of BLADE RUNNER/GHOST IN THE SHELL type sci-fi, we guarantee you’ll 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 adaptation.

 

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 we’ve 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!

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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.

Note: Caroline Munro will be available two hours before showtime in the Egyptian Theatre courtyard to sign autographs]

 

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 Fisher’s atmospheric thriller not only has the distinction of being Oliver Reed’s 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 Hammer’s most satisfying vampire pictures.

 

Sunday, August 8 – 1:00 PM

Children’s Matinee – Caroline Munro Tribute:

Autograph Signing Information Listed Below!

New 35mm Print! AT THE EARTH’S 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 1970’s 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 autographs]

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 films).

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 Andre’s "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 Mehta’s "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 Elliott’s "Duel" (4 min.) Animated fantasy tale about the struggle between wisdom and ambition.; Nirvan Mullick’s "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 Harman’s "Daddy’s Boy" (10 min.) This British short will make you pause at taking up with a butcher, no matter how cute!; U.S. Premiere! Tinieblas Gonzalez’s "Ecosistma" (9 min.) This Basque short is a creepy, creatively-shot short about the horror of natural selection.; Aristomenis Tsirbas’s "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 ("Terra").

 

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 that’s 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 Romero’s 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 you’ve never seen this hackles-raising classic on the big screen, here’s your chance.

DEATH LINE (aka RAW MEAT), 1972, MGM/UA, 87 min. Director Gary Sherman’s 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]

Free Screening:

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 this event.]

 

Saturday, August 14 – 6:00 PM

Los Angeles Premiere:

NOTHING, 2003, 49th Parallel Prod., 90 min. Canadian director Vincenzo Natali’s (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 heads…! 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 Björk’s 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 Argento’s (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, we’re 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 Jackson’s 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 O’Herne and Peter Jackson himself. [Note: Both films contain graphic violence and adult material. No one under 18 will be admitted to these screenings.]

 

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 that’s 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 they’ve 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 Screening:

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 Feature:

HOUSE OF USHER, 1960, MGM/UA, 85 min. Director Roger Corman’s 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 Madeline’s lover Philip (Mark Damon) arrives to fetch her, he’s 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 he’s 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 50’s Double-Header:

THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN’T 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 she’s 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, Leith’s 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 don’t 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 hadn’t bargained for: a titanic bird resembling a cross between a hideously deformed marionette and a cartoonish piñata! Bizarre doesn’t even begin to describe the unnerving result. Ah, the days before CGI - !

 

Sunday, August 22 – 7:30 PM

Pavel Juracek Tribute:

"Joseph Kilian" ("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 he’ll 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 "Gulliver’s Travel," updated to modern day. After crashing his car to avoid a rabbit, Gulliver discovers a pocket watch in the hare’s 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 Juracek’s journals, this idiosyncratic documentary on his life and career mixes rare archival footage and photographs with re-enacted scenes from Juracek’s 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 subtitles.]

 

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 Katsu’s final appearance in the role he created. Although there hadn’t 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 Katsu’s 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 Kitano’s 2003 film and one of the finest in the Blind Swordsman series. [In Japanese with English subtitles.]

 

Wednesday, August 25 – 7:30 PM

Forry Ackerman’s Favorite Flicks Nite!

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.

DRACULA’S DAUGHTER, 1936, Universal, 71 min. Dir. Lambert Hillyer. Dracula’s 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 Helsing’s 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 Kümel’s 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 otherDaughters of darkness (2) (Kümel).jpg (7478 bytes) 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 D’UNE MAISON MAUDITE), 1971, Belgium Cinémathèque Royale, 125 min. Director Harry Kümel’s 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 "director’s cut,"MALPERTIUSTWO.jpg (7335 bytes) 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 D’UNE 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 Kümel’s 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 L’AMOUR), 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 Lampo’s 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

Double Feature:

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 Kümel’s 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.