Cinefamily's 3rd Annual October Horror Film Fest -- A Spooky Good Time
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The last date listed for Cinefamily's 3rd Annual October Horror Film Fest -- A Spooky Good Time was Thursday October 28, 2010 / 8:00pm (Double Feature: All The Colors of the Dark (uncut Italian version) + The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh ).
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Free cider and Count Chocula cereal. Cobwebs adorning the pictures of silent film stars. DJ playing wonderfully quirky, retro Halloween music. A "ghost" floating along the wall. A unique mix of Halloween shorts including an early tour of the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland featuring a young Kurt Russell and Donny Osmond. Watching a Pete Smith Speciality with 3-D glasses. A virtual slide show.
An unforgettable night and one of the best events I've ever attended in LA. A great taste of LA for my sister who was visiting. Already looking forward to next year! Cinefamily really puts their heart into everything they do!
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Great evening! Loved seeing the documentary and seeing the filmmakers in person was a total bonus! Also; the theatre serves yummy cupcakes and ice cream sandwiches from MILK - whoo hoo!!! Cinefamily, you complete me... and thanks for keeping one...continued
*October 2, 8:00pm
Classic Horror: *_*13 Ghosts *_
A baker’s dozen is ready to spook you in William Castle’s 13 Ghosts! In this freaky creeper, the occultist Dr. Zorba leaves to his nephew in his will a humongous haunted mansion full of a dozen spooks that take a variety of crazy forms, like safari animals and skeletons on fire! When you arrive to the theater, you will find that Castle has brought quite a tricky treat in the form of Dr Zorba’s patented Ghost Viewer. With the Ghost Viewer in hand, you will have the choice during the film to use it to prove your bravery and set eyes upon each of the unlucky 13, or use it to make them disappear and hope that what you can’t see, can’t hurt you!
*October 3, 8:00pm
Pet Sematary, with director Mary Lambert in person*
In the ‘80s Stephen King became a legitimate brand name, and as a result, movie screens were hit with a deluge of somewhat-poor King adaptations — but then came Mary Lambert’s Pet Sematary in 1989. Lambert, a talented young director then making music videos for Madonna and Janet Jackson, showed it was possible to adapt King’s material straightforwardly and still make a genuinely spooky film. Lambert manages to mine genuine scares and dread from an admittedly goofy but simple premise: a burial ground outside of a small-town pet cemetery has the power to resurrect whatever or whoever is buried in it — but, like in all good versions of The Monkey’s Paw, there’s a catch. Lambert shows particular skill at taking King’s creepiest characters and incarnating them in flesh: the late great Fred Gwynne’s take on Jud Crandall, the nightmare-inducing invalid shut-in Zelda (in a daring cross-gender casting coup, played by Andrew Hubatsek), and the skin-crawling presence of murderous baby revenant Gage Creed. Mary Lambert will appear live for a Q&A after the film — and stick around for Pet Sematary Two after intermission!
*October 5, 8:00pm
Cartoon Monster Mash!*
A triple-headed monster of an animation show! The annual Halloween showcase begins with animation historian Jerry Beck presenting a collection of classic animated monster cartoons and clips, including The Groovie Goolies, Milton the Monster, and King Kong. Then, he’ll be joined by the creative weirdos from Screen Novelties, one of the foremost stop-motion animation studios, who have curated a special spooktastic show featuring several monster movies of their own along with clips and shorts of their most dearly beloved creepy creations. And finally, as the witching hour approaches, the night concludes with a rare screening of Disney’s classic The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, featuring the head-rolling Halloween favorite The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (along with the autumnal treasure The Wind in the Willows). It’s a night of gruesome goodies!
*October 6, 8:00pm
Clara Bow in Poisoned Paradise: *_*The Forbidden Story of Monte Carlo *_
Romantic Monte Carlo. Apparently, a forbidden place. A place where deadly-yet-fun sins, such as greed and lust, are the dealers in the house of Passionate Melodrama — and the house always wins. The perfect setting for a radiantly young Clara Bow in one of her earliest leading roles, to teethe on the scenery — and for the audience to watch, enraptured, as she learns to demolish it completely with her trademark wit and sparkle. See Clara as an independent gamblin’ lady! Look as she loses it all and goes to live “like brother and sister” with a handsome young artist! Hey, that’s not what brothers and sisters ought to do! Lustrously photographed by Karl Struss, later the cinematographer of Sunrise and the 1925 version of Ben-Hur, it’s one of Clara’s three collaborations with director Louis J. Gasnier, a man who knew serious European sophistication (probably owing to his native French-ness).
*October 7, 8:00pm, 10:30pm
Dario Argento Double Feature: Deep Red and Opera
Deep Red (uncut!)*
Dario Argento fans love arguing over whether this or Suspiria is his best film, but there’s a good case to be made that this isn’t just his finest achievement but also the best giallo ever made, period. David Hemmings (in one of his best roles) plays an English pianist who witnesses the brutal murder of his psychic neighbor and is drawn into a nightmarish web of clues involving grisly children’s drawings, a nasty Christmas double homicide from the past, a ghoulish lullaby, and a rising body count (including one standout scene swiped by John Carpenter for Halloween). Driven by Goblin’s ferocious and legendary rock score, this all-time Italian classic features some of the scariest images Argento ever put on film. Don’t even think of missing this one, proudly presented here in its 30-minutes-longer, richer uncut Italian version in a very rare 35mm screening.
Largely considered to be his last truly great work, Dario Argento’s Opera possesses most of the stylistic hallmarks the mad Italian director is known for: crazy camera movements, unconventional scoring and song placement, tricked-out lighting and Hitchcock-on-PCP sequences of suspense and violence. The story is simply a reworking of Phantom of The Opera by way of the giallo, the genre Argento had undisputably mastered at this point in his career.
*October 8, 8:00pm, 9:45pm
Crazy Japanese Double Feature: Mutant Girls Squad and *_*Alien vs. Ninja
Mutant Girls Squad *_
At 2009’s NYAFF, action choreographer/director Tak Sakaguchi (Be A Man! Samurai School_), director/special effects genius Yoshihiro Nishimura (Tokyo Gore Police_) and cherubic pervert Noboru Iguchi (Robogeisha) got drunk and vowed to make a movie together. For better or worse, this splatter-ific, hyperactive take on X-Men is going to shock, horrify and delight you. Close in tone to Tokyo Gore Police’s Cronenberg’s liberation anthems…Mutant Girls Squad is cheap, tacky and weird. But it’s also clear that for all its awkward moments and low-budget restrictions, it’s a successful melding of these three directors into one giant, bloody robot, ready to crush the normals and gleefully transgress all the boundaries of good taste.
*Alien Vs. Ninja *
In medieval Japan, no one can hear you scream! It came to this planet for the thrill of the hunt but it picked the wrong man! It’s an alien, a big disgusting alien who wants to rip out intestines and tear off heads. It comes from a planet where everything is goopy and disgusting and the only language it speaks is horrible violence. It is unstoppable. It is unkillable. It is unbeatable. But it made one mistake: It forgot to make itself ninja-proof. Like some kind of ultra-stupid, ultra-gory version of the Mighty Moronic Power Rangers, Alien Vs. Ninja is the kind of boneheaded movie that does exactly what it says on the box. There are ninjas, and they fight an alien and by the end so many buckets of gore have been emptied, so many prop swords have been soaked in green alien gunk and so many copyright laws have been violated that the entire Dumb Movies Genre needs to go on vacation!
*October 8, 11:59pm
Stephen King’s *_*Dreamcatcher *_
Directed by Hollywood writing legend Lawrence Kasdan and based on a novel King wrote in a haze of painkillers after a car accident, Dreamcatcher is a wild mish-mash of some of King’s more celebrated works, coupled with wacky new concepts like anal aliens and bizarro government cover-ups. Your brain will boil as each reel gets progressively crazier than the last, culminating in a wack-a-do finale that will leave you stupefied and gibbering in your seat. Dreamcatcher is a gonzo film-lover’s dream: an expensive, wildly entertaining film that you will never, ever forget. Starring Jason Lee, Thomas Jane, Tom Sizemore, Donnie Wahlberg, and Morgan Freeman (sporting some of the strangest prosthetic eyebrows since Space: 1999). Do not miss this unique cinematic experience!
*October 10, 8:00pm
American Psycho (10th Anniversary Screening, with the Director in Person!) *
Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho is one of those books that runs a high risk of being adapted into an intellectually impoverished genre pic — but in director Mary Harron’s hands, a fine book is adapted into a film as delectable for the mind as it is for the senses. Harron’s film explodes right through Ellis’ carefully arranged infinity pool of staggering surface; it takes the central Bateman character and lays bare his deeply buried emotional core, which turns out to be just as fascinatingly horrifying and fun as the elegantly designed and gruesome murder sequences. Cherished for its black humor and pop wit, Harron’s portrait of boredom, excess, narcissism and evil bears the traces of her roots as an O.G. punk in the ’70s, and applies them to a film that takes a hard, cool, high-art look at the grotesque moral grand guignol that was the American ’80s. Mary Harron and co-writer Guinevere Turner will both be at the Cinefamily in person for a Q&A after the film!
*October 12, 8:00pm, 10:00pm
Double Feature — Herschell Gordon Lewis: The Godfather of Gore and *_*Two Thousand Maniacs! *_
Herschell Gordon Lewis: The Godfather of Gore
The definitive portrait of Herschell Gordon Lewis, one of the godfathers of exploitation movies! Featuring John Waters, drive-in movie critic Joe Bob Briggs, Lewis’s legendary early producer David F. Friedman, Herschell himself, and testimony from the people who were actually there! You’ll witness Lewis’s beginnings in the bare-naked innocent era of “nudie cuties,” just before he shocked the world with Blood Feast, the first-ever gore film — and then you’ll be treated to a madcap whirl of his notorious, controversial career, featuring Two Thousand Maniacs!, She-Devils On Wheels, Blast-Off Girls, Just For the Hell of It and the incredible The Wizard of Gore! The Godfather of Gore leaves you laughing and screaming at some of the most amazing movies to ever play American theaters! Director Frank Henenlotter and producer Mike Vraney will be here in person for a Q&A in-between the films!
*Two Thousand Maniacs! *
This indisputable masterwork from H.G. Lewis pits a carload of Yankee tourists (including Playboy pinup Connie Mason, one of America’s finest worst actresses) against an entire town of vengeful Southerners with a bloody supernatural secret. Lewis’s follow-up to the smash hit Blood Feast finds just the right mixture of black humor, infectious music, and harrowing bloodshed, with three murder scenes involving a switchblade, a boulder, and the world’s nastiest barrel roll that have all become iconic horror moments. Audiences had no idea what to expect when this gore-sprayed sickie unspooled at drive-ins across the country, and today it still remains a shocking, unforgettable experience, despite its influence on everything from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre to a pair of recent sequel/remakes.
*October 14, 8:00pm, 9:45pm, 11:30pm
Umberto Lenzi Giallo Triple Feature
_*Paranoia*_* – 8:00pm *
Also known as Orgasmo, Paranoia is one of the sexiest, yet most undervalued gialli of its time. Don’t go in expecting a double-digit body count or an unseen killer wearing shiny leather gloves; Paranoia is a perverse game of cat-and-mouse played by wealthy widow Carroll Baker (throwing herself into the role with naked abandon) and dubious houseguests Lou Castel and Colette Descombes.
*Eyeball **- 9:45pm *
With its abundance of empty-headed victims and suspects, its thumping, cheeky Bruno Nicolai score, and trendy lesbi-antics, Eyeball is a tasty slice of giallo provolone for any fan of cheese, Italian style. Playing like an insane mash-up of Ten Little Indians and_ If It’s Tuesday, This Must be Belgium_, it follows a progressively shrinking busload of tourists through sunny Barcelona as a red-gloved killer with a penchant for eyeball-plucking takes their lives and their left eyes.
Dirty Pictures* – 11:30pm *
Leave it to Italian genre king Umberto Lenzi to find the worm in the big juicy apple of ‘70s free love and permissiveness. With cinematographer Alfio Contini (The Night Porter) behind the camera, Lenzi downplays explicit sexuality in favor of gialloesque stalkery, and stars Irene Papas and the smokin’ Ornella Muti keep things steamy.
*October 15, 2010 – 8:00pm, 10:15pm
**Double Feature: _The House of the Devil _(director Ti West in person!) + Dead Alive
The House Of The Devil – 8:00pm *
Existing in the same thoughtful oddball horror-zone as Drag Me To Hell and Let the Right One In_, The House of the Devil _(2009) made waves with horror fans for its build-up driven plot and nods to horror classics. Co-starring horror cult faves Tom Noonan and Mary Woronov, this slow-burn mood piece tracks the fate of Samantha, a college student who unwittingly accepts the terror-wrought nightmare of her life after signing up for a babysitting gig with the creepiest couple this side of “Mom and Dad” from The People Under The Stairs! Ti West will be here for a Q&A after the film!
Dead Alive_* – 10:15pm *
Years before Peter Jackson was winning Oscars for family-friendly fare about cuddly Hobbits, he made this wildly enjoyable blood-drenched zombie comedy, one of the best pieces of splatstick ever made. After sharpening his blades with the lo-fi wonders Bad Taste and Meet The Feebles, the New Zealander co-wrote and shot this mad, over-the-top opus warning us all about the dangers of being bitten by a Sumatran rat-monkey. Once that happens to the lead guy’s mother…well, let’s just say Bactine and bedrest ain’t gonna save her. Thus begins a cavalcade of squirting pus jokes, zombie babies, preening spleens, and possibly the bloodiest climax ever filmed. Who knew lawnmowers had a “zombie” setting?
*October 16, 2010 – 6:00pm, 7:45pm
William Castle: Strait-Jacket + *_Homicidal *_
Strait-Jacket – 6:00pm *
It’s a night of William Castle psychodrama! First, we break out of the loony bin with Strait-Jacket. What’s the gimmick, you may ask? Well, technically none — but one could argue that having Joan Crawford (pitched at full What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? tilt) as a recovering axe-murderess is pretty carny in and of itself. Her scene-devouring performance is amazing, and “Psycho” novelist Robert Bloch’s script is a twisty delight that delivers tension and surprises a-plenty.
_*Homicidal*_* – 7:45pm *
With the murderous mood set, we then get positively _Homicidal _with William Castle’s fevered riff on Psycho that ups the Hitchcock’s ante every chance it gets. The enigmatic Jean Arless will leave an almost as much of an impression on the audience as she does on her victims in this film that is so intense and terrifying that we will take a “Fright Break” before the last reel in order to give those too scared to continue a chance to collect a refund before the final mindblowing twist is untwisted. Those brave enough to stay out of Coward’s Corner will have bragging rights that they doubled up on the crazy and lived to tell the tale — just so long as they don’t tell the secret!
*October 19, 2010 – 8:00pm
*_*Demon Lover Diary (*_*rare 16mm screening!) *
Young cameraman Jeff Kreines found himself in the center of a movie-making maelstrom in 1975, when he was hired by brash, self-obsessed first-time filmmakers Donald Jackson and Jerry Younkins to serve on their first chaotic venture into production: the no-budget, regional trash-horror juggernaut Demon Lover (aka The Devil Master_). Kreines’ filmmaker girlfriend Joel DeMott had the right instinct to point her own 16mm camera on the whole tension-laden tumultuous affair — and the legendary Demon Lover Diary_ was the result. _ Demon Lover Diary_’s power lies not only with its novelty (an unrivaled peek into the making of an ultra-obscure 1970s trash film), but also with its blunt, unfiltered snapshot of human obsession. Prepare to be haunted by this glorious hybrid of the Maysles at their most affecting and gutter-horror at its most sublime.
*October 21, 2010: 8:00pm, 9:45pm, 11:45pm
**Giallo Triple Feature (feat. sneak preview of_ Amer_!) *
Amer -* 8:00pm *
In a defiantly dreamlike atypical structure, this eye-poppingly lurid tale (shot on super-saturated 35mm slide film) follows our heroine’s psychosexual, psychedelic awakening and decline as a traumatized child, burgeoning adolescent, and wanton adult. All in all, hang onto your Freud, because this is one exploration of the male gaze, the female body, and the erotic (and horrific) terrain in between that no self-respecting art- or genre-lover should miss.
Perfume of the Lady In Black -_ 9:45pm *
Is it a giallo or is it a Polanski-esque psychological creeper? Perfume of the Lady In Black is both. Prepare for a trip into the fraught mind of “Silvia” (scream queen Mimsy Farmer in her greatest role), a work-obsessed young woman haunted by visions of the eponymous woman in black and a ghostly young girl in white — but shot with a hot yellow color scheme and bursting into stylish, grisly episodes with enough regularity to satisfy even the most sated giallista. An unmissable high point of Italian delirium.
What Have You Done To Solange? -* 11:45pm*
Schoolgirls gone bad, a knife-wielding killer, and nasty secrets involving an illegal abortion are just a few of the shocks awaiting you in this note-perfect example of the giallo, one which went unrecognized for decades in America but is now recognized as one of the genre’s essential classics.
*October 22, 2010 – 8:00pm
Movie All-Nighter: Creepshow *_+ *_*Night Train To Terror *
Most movie all-nighters have five movies, six movies, tops — that’s nothing. How about SIXTEEN different horror stories, one after another? They said it couldn’t be done, but we’ve found a way: our dark secret is the “omnibus” movie, in which several short films (often with different casts and directors) are bundled under one umbrella. The Diabolical Dr. Cinefamily is gonna stitch together several of these anthology films, exhibiting classic five-for-one winners (like Creepshow) in their entirety or just grabbing a favorite single short from another! And to kick off the night, we promise a rare 35mm screening of — Night Train To Terror.
What would happen if God and the Devil decided the fate of mankind while on a train ride? This is a question that has plagued us for eons, a question that the producers of 1985’s horror anthology Night Train To Terror felt compelled to answer. Well, OK, maybe what they felt compelled to do was take three trashy, unreleasable horror films they collectively owned, stitch ‘em together haphazardly and re-release them as an anthology. The result is a barely comprehensible jumble of scenes and story threads that ends up feeling like an experimental piece filtered through an ‘80s horror cheese sensibility. MTV-reject rock bands, occult Nazis, stop-motion giant insects, Cameron Mitchell — you just never know what this crazy movie is going to throw at you next. This will likely NEVER screen again in 35mm in the U.S., so make sure you catch it while you have the chance!
*October 23, 2010: 6:00pm, 7:45pm
William Castle: Macabre + *_Mr. Sardonicus *_
_*Macabre*_* – 6:00pm *
Macabre is a taut little race-the-clock picture about a kidnapped doctor’s daughter and the his panicked attempts to save her! This was Castle’s first foray into horror (though he’d made some fine noir thrillers), and there’s the extra pleasure of the ever-jovial Jim Backus (Mr. Howell from “Gilligan’s Island”, and the voice of Mr. Magoo) sliming it up in a script by regular Castle pen-man Robb White. And don’t worry about the welfare of the loved ones you may have to leave at home this night because, just as Castle did back in 1958, each and every member of the audience for this show will be issued a certificate for a $1,000 life insurance policy — from Lloyd’s of London! — to cover anyone who dies of fright during the screening.
Mr. Sardonicus* – 7:30pm *
Those who survive the treacherous waters of Macabre are then invited to spend an evening with Mr. Sardonicus, a man whose face has become monstrous after a great trauma, and the strain to find a cure has curdled his soul to match his hideous visage. Castle said that this film was his favorite to make and it’s easy to tell why: from the gothic trappings to the wild makeup effects, there are few films that mix fun and fright in such a weird way.
*October 24, 2010 – 8:00pm
Director Katt Shea in person: Stripped To Kill + *_Poison Ivy*_
Katt Shea, in a story that sounds like it could belong to one of the sexy but tough heroines in her films, rolled into Hollywood when she was only nineteen years old. After brief stints modelling and studying at UCLA, she began to work in the Corman exploitation factory/film school. Tonight we’ll be privileged to have Katt her in our midst to screen that smartly sleazy debut that started it all, Stripped To Kill, as well as her Sundance breakout, the film that re-introduced the world to a very now-grown-up Drew Barrymore — Poison Ivy. Stripped To Kill serves up the tale of a tomboyish cop forced to go undercover as a nudie dancer in order to catch a killer. Way-out strip routines bordering on performance art and tasty kills alternate with an insightful look at the reality of the exotic dancer’s lives. Poison Ivy stands out from the pack of ‘90’s “home invasion” thrillers to show us a sociopath who exposes the darkness at the heart of a well-to-do suburban family. Katt Shea will be here to answer your questions in a Q&A session between the films!
*October 26, 2010 – 8:00pm, 10:00pm
**Ken Russell Double Feature: Lair of the White Worm + Gothic
*_*Lair of the White Worm -_ 8:00pm *
First up, Russell tackles an adaptation of Bram Stoker’s bizarre story of a worm cult terrorizing the British countryside, coming up with an outrageous, campy cult classic that delivers so much entertainment value per minute it’ll make your head spin. Slinky Amanda Donohoe stars as the high priestess of a pagan god who’s risen again to claim fresh victims, with a foppish, very young Hugh Grant leading the attack against her as the descendant of her ancient rival.
_*Gothic*_* – 10:00pm *
The late Natasha Richardson became an instant star in the making with her harrowing turn as Mary Shelley, who spends a fateful weekend in 1816 with Lord Byron (Gabriel Byrne) and her poet lover Percy (Julian Sands) — a short span of time that would inspire her to write “Frankenstein”. Along with her unstable cousin and the repressed, gay Dr. Polidori, they each agree to come up with a scary story and descend into a night filled with monsters, hallucinations, drug use, masturbatory stigmata, eyeballs appearing in female breasts, and a pounding score by ‘80s synth-pop god Thomas Dolby! *
*October 28, 2010 – 8:00pm, 9:45pm
**Giallos: All The Colors of the Dark (uncut Italian version) + The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh *
All The Colors of the Dark – 8:00pm *
One of the wildest, trippiest thrillers to come out of Italy, this nightmarish mixture of Rosemary’s Baby and_ Blood and Black Lace_ was the second hit teaming of director Sergio Martino and his voluptuous leading lady Edwige Fenech. Here she plays a London wife recovering from a car crash and miscarriage whose best friend decides to help her out by — uh, initiating her into a Satanic cult where she’s forced to drink fox blood and participate in an orgy. Bruno Nicolai’s incredible sitar-laced score and a staggering experimental opening nightmare sequence are just the icing on this very decadent cake (shown very heavily cut in the U.S. as They’re Coming to Get You), proudly presented in an extremely rare uncut 35mm presentation you’ll probably never see in L.A. again!
The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh* – 9:45pm *
Stunning Euro screen goddess Edwige Fenech shot a huge dose of sexual adrenaline into the Italian thriller craze with this landmark mixture of horror and twisty mystery, courtesy of stylish director Sergio Martino. Here, she plays the dissatisfied wife of a diplomat who’s still haunted by visions of a perverse relationship with her knife-wielding ex — one who used to play weird rape games during rainstorms and is now popping up to send her roses and menacing death threats. Will Fenech go mad from all these disturbing dreams? Or is someone trying to drive her mad?