American Cinematheque's Festival of Sci Fi, Fantasy & Horror

RECYCLE - the new film from the Pang Brothers (THE EYE) makes its U.S. debut at the Cinematheque festival.The American Cinematheque will soon be launching its eighth annual Festival of Sci Fi, Fantasy, and Horror, which will screen at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood and the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica. Special events will include the U.S. debut of RE-CYCLE (the new film from EYE-directors Danny & Oxide Pang), a colorized, digitally restored version of FORBIDDEN ZONE (with additional guests not mentioned in our first post about the event here), a live presentation called The Lydeckers: Special Effects Pioneers (including a tour of the Lydecker House in Studio City), the debut of BRINGING GODZILLA DOWN TO SIZE (a documentary by kaiju experts Norman England and Steve Ryfle), the U.S. debut of STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS, a double bill of ALIEN and ALIENS (both of which made their debuts at the Egyptian Theatre), a LORD OF THE RINGS marathon (featuring all three feature films in one day), a tribute to the late makeup effects artist Stan Winston, and a post-apocalyptic weekend (featuring WIZARDS, DAMNATION ALLEY, A BOY AND HIS DOG, THE LAST MAN ON EARTH, THE OMEGA MAN, and 12 MONKEYS).
Read a complete schedule of events below the fold.

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Wednesday, July 30

  • FORBIDDEN ZONE (1980). Director Richard Elfman will answer questions after the screening of his cult film, which co-stars Herve Villechaize and Danny Elfman. Cast members Susan Tyrrell and Matthew Bright will join Elfman, along with other members of the cast and crew. 8:00pm. Purchase tickets.

Thursday, July 31

  • HELLRIDE (2008).  Actor Larry Bishop (who appeared in the ’60s cult flick WILD IN THE STREETS) returns to star in and direct this post-apocalyptic biker flick, which features appearances by Dennis Hopper and David Carradine. Presented in conjunction with Screamfest LA. Larry Bishop and other cast and crew will discuss the film. 7:30pm

Friday, August 1

  • JACK THE RIPPER (1959) and A STUDY IN TERROR (1965). The first is an ultra-rare thriller detailing a fictionalized version of the police hunt for the Whitechapel murderer. The second features Sherlock Holmes (John Neville, portraying a rather merry version of the famous detective) on the trail of the Ripper. 7:30pm
  • RE-CYCLE (2008). An author tries a new subject – ghosts – and finds the things she writes come to life. From Danny & Oxide Pang. Midnight.

Saturday, August 2

  • Lydeckers: Special Effects Pioneers & Streamline Modern Architecture. The Lydcecker’s perfected the art of miniature wire work to simulate airplanes. Some of their technical know-how went into the futuristic desing of the Lydecker House (now a Historic Monument), where this event will take place, featuring film clips and reminiscences of the late effects pioneers. 2:00pm
  • Euro-Horror Triple Feature: THE VAMPIRE LOVERS (1970), THE VAMPIRE AND THE BALLERINA (1960), and THE TELL-TALE HEART (1960). I’m not sure how “Euro” VAMPIRE LOVERS is – it’s from England’s Hammer films, a lusty, erotic retelling of J. Sheridan LeFanu’s vampire classic “Carmilla.” 7:30pm

Sunday, August 3

  • Giant Monster Night: BRINGING GODZILLA DOWN TO SIZE (2008), WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS (1966), and MOTHRA (1961). The new documentary from producers Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski includes interviews with veterans of the Godzilla film series: leading man Akira Takarada, suitmation actor Harua Nakajima, Kiroshi Koizumi, and others. Ryfle and Godziszewski  will speak after their film. 7:30pm

Friday, August 8

  • Christopher Lee, Hammer Studios Pirate Double Feature: THE PIRATES OF BLOOD RIVER (1962) and THE DEVIL-SHIP PIRATES (1964). Hammer was famous for making horror films, but they dabbled in other genres, including these two adventure pics, featuring their resident monster actor Lee. 7:30pm

Saturday, August 9

  • 1950s Sci Fi Triple Feature: IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA (1955), KRONOS (1957), EARTH VS. THE FLYING SAUCERS (1956).  Ray Harryhausen fans should thrill to the first and third titles, which feature the master’s excellent stop-motion special effects. 7:30pm.

Sunday, August 10

  • U.S. Premier fundraiser benefiting the Cinematheque: STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS. The animated feature film fills in the gap between ATTACK OF THE CLONES and REVENGE OF THE SITH. Director Dave Filoni and producer Catherine Winder will be on hand to discuss the film. 4:00pm
  • Hammer Studios Double Feature: TERROR OF THE TONGS (1961) and THE CAMP ON BLOOD ISLAND (1958). Christopher Lee plays a dastardly Oriental villain in the mold of Fu Manchu in the first film; the second is a prisoner of war film set in a Japanese POW camp. 7:30pm

Wednesday, August 13

  • Fantasy, Horror and Sci-Fi Shorts. 7:30pm

Thursday, August 14

  • Mod Arthouse Madness Double Feature: DEEP END (1971) and THE WITCHES (Le Streghe, 1967). The first is an odd melodrama about an adolescent boy (John Moulder-Brown) obsessed with a young woman (Paul McCartney’s former girlfriend Jane Asher). The second is an anthology, starring Silvana Mangano in five episodes directed by the likes of Luchino Visconti, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Vittorio De Sica. A young Clint Eastwood (then known only for his TV work on RAWHIDE) co-stars in the De Sica episode. 7:30pm

Friday, August 14

  • Peter Cushing Sci-Fi Triple Feature: THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN OF THE HIMALAYAS (1957), ISLAND OF TERROR (1966), and ISLAND OF THE BURNING DAMNED (1967). Horror star Peter Cushing headlines three nifty films that should please his fans. The first is an early Hammer effort; the second two, although not Hammer horrors, were directed by frequent Hammer helmer Terence Fisher. Christopher Lee co-stars in the third film. 7:30pm

Saturday, August 16

  • PROMETHEUS TRIUMPHANT – A FUGUE IN THE KEY OF FLESH (2007). An attempt to recreate old-fashioned German Expressionism in the manner of CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI, including black-and-white photography and inter-title cards, this is a tragic tale about a many seeking a cure for the plague that has afflicted his lover. 5:00pm
  • Triple Shock Feature: DEMENTIA 13 (1963),  CURSE OF THE FACELESS MAN (1958), and FRANKENSTEIN’S DAUGHTER (1958). Francis Ford Coppola is probably cringing to see his debut DEMENTIA 13 (a black-and-white psycho-thriller in the mold of PSYCHO) on a triple bill with the other two titles. Actor Richard Anderson (CURSE OF THE FACELESS MAN) will appear between the first two films. 7:30pm.

Sunday, August 17

  • Vintage Sci-Fi Double Feature: ROBINSON CRUSOE ON MARS (1964) and MUTINY IN OUTER SPACE (1965). 7:30pm.

Wednesday, August 20

  • Pre-Code Hollywood Horror Double Feature: ISLAND OF LOST SOULS (1932) and KONGO (1932). The first is a wonderful adaptation of H. G. Wells’ Island of Dr. Moreau, starring Charles Laughton and Bela Lugosi. The second is less horror than melodrama – a remake of director Tod Browning’s silent Lon Chaney-starrer WEST OF ZANZIBAR. 7:30pm

Thursday, August 21

  • Egyptian Theatre 85th Anniversary Double Feature: ALIEN (1979) and ALIENS (1986). The two good aliens movies screen together, in their original theatrical versions. 7:30pm.

Purchase tickets for this theatre.

Saturday, August 2

  • LORD OF THE RINGS Marathon: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING (2001), THE TWO TOWERS (2002), and THE RETURN OF THE KING (2003). The extended versions of all three films will be shown. The screening will be introduced by Greg Hildenbrandt, known for his Tolkien artwork. 5:00pm.

Friday, August 15

  • A Tribute to Stan Winston: ALIENS (1986) and PUMPKINHEAD (1988). The late Stan Winston provided monster makeup effects for the first film, and he directed the second – a tale of a monster brought to live by a rural man seeking revenge for the accidental death of his son. 7:30pm.

Saturday, August 16

  •  Tribute to Stan Winston: PREDATOR (1987) and PREDATOR 2 (1990). More monster makeup effecst from the late Stan Winston. 7:30pm.

Friday, August 22

  • Post-Apocalyptic Film Festival Triple Feature, Day 1: WIZARDS (1977), DAMNATION ALLEY (1977) and A BOY AND HIS DOG (1975). The first is Ralph Bakshi’s animated fantasy flick. The second is about a super motor home that takes a licking and keeps on ticking. The last is the the cult flick starring a young Don Johnson as a man with a telepathic dog for a sidekick. Special guests, giveaways, and free pop corn and soda. 7:30pm.

Saturday, August 23

  • Post-Apocalyptic Film Festival Triple Feature, Day 2: THE LAST MAN ON EARTH (1964), THE OMEGA MAN (1971), and 12 MONKEYS (1996). Special guests, giveaways, and free pop corn and soda. 7:30pm.

Upcoming Festivals and Conventions

You might think the Halloween season would be the peak time for festivals devoted to horror and fantasy films, but these fests actually seem to be year-round perennials. Here are a few worth checking out, if you live in the area:

  • NEVERMORE: Running February 22 through 24 at the Carolina Theatrein Durham, North Carolina, this fest offers a mix of new and old feature films and shorts. Highlights include a 35 print of Daro Argento’s 1982 masterpiece TENEBRE (seldom screened in uncut form in the U.S.), a revival screening of HIGHLANDER, and a screening of SHROOMS, the scary Irish film that went over so well at Screamfest in Hollywood last year.
  • THE 33RD ANNUAL BOSTON SCIENCE-FICTION FILM FESTIVAL: Screening at the Somerville Theatre Sunday and Monday, February 17 and 18, this year’s fest is themed “The Future is Passe” and will include older films that depict a future radically different from the one we ended up with, such as A BOY AND HIS DOG. Learn more at the official website.
  • OMEGACON: Scheduled for March 14 through 16 at the Sheraton Hotel in Birmingham, Alabama, this convention has a guest list including Ray Park (X-MEN, THE PHANTOM MENACE), Richard Hatch (BATTLESTAR GALACTICA), Ben Bova, and more.

Slamdance horror lineup

The Slamdance Film Festival takes place in head-to-head competition with the Sundance Film Festival, January 17-25 in Park City, Utah. There will be a few horror-related films worth checking out:

  • “Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer” starring Robert Englund
  • “Trailer Park of Terror”
  • “Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story” a documentary about the kate filmmaker known for his gimmicky horror flicks. With John Landis, Roger Corman, Marcel Marceau and Joe Dante. 
  • “Paranormal Activity:” Like THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, this pretends to be found footage of an actual event; although the gambit seems tired, Oren Peli’s supernatural thriller is actually pretty effective. (Read our account of the film’s screening at this year’s Screamfest.)