August 17 - September 10, 2000

 

American Cinematheque presents... The 1st Annual Festival of Fantasy, Horror & Science Fiction

 

NOTE: There are some schedule changes from what appears on the printed Cinematheque Calendar! This is the correct information.

Trailers of many of these films are available at Bijou Cafe!

Series Compiled by Dennis Bartok and Chris D.

Our enormous thanks to: Loris Curci at the FantaFestival in Rome and Mitch Davis at the FantAsia Festival in Montreal for their enthusiastic help and support. Also, our thanks to Bruce Goldstein at the Film Forum in New York for providing the inspiration for this series.

Special Thanks To: Joe Dante; Mike Hyatt; Marc Bovee/20th CENTURY FOX; Una Voetmann/TRUST FILM SALES; Isao Tsujimoto & Naoko Watanabe/THE JAPAN FOUNDATION – Los Angeles; Yoko Asakura, Kentaro Endo & Mick Nakajima/GAGA COMMUNICATIONS; Brian Claussen/SWANK MOTION PICTURES; John Kirk/MGM-UA; Mike Schlesinger/COLUMBIA PICTURES REPERTORY; John Soo/TAI SENG VIDEO; Heidi Kuebler, Leslie Fenady & Bill Rush/WARNER BROS.; Marilee Womack/WARNER BROS. CLASSICS; Susanna Gianandrea/RAI TRADE; David Keith/NEW LINE CINEMA; Harry Novak; Johnny Legend; Anne Wisniewski/CANAL +; Joshua Tager/IVY FILMS; Albert Dupontel; Peter Langs; Beth Accomando; Forrest Baston.

 

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EGYPTIAN THEATRE

Talking apes, Metaluna mutants, shrinking men, caged virgins, witches, enchanters and more … Welcome to the Cinematheque’s 1st Annual Festival of all things secret, sinister and space-age!! From the psychedelic paranoia of DARK CITY and HELLRAISER to the spectacular Hong Kong fantasia of ZU, WARRIORS OF THE MAGIC MOUNTAIN, to the apocalyptic visions of THIS ISLAND EARTH and PLANET OF THE APES, our series combines brand-new premieres, genre classics and lost treasures to bring you the wildest (and rarest) in the world of imaginative filmmaking.

A special highlight of the Festival will be in-person appearances by guests including actor Charlton Heston (PLANET OF THE APES), director Joseph Newman (THIS ISLAND EARTH), and acclaimed writers Clive Barker (HELLRAISER) and Richard Matheson (THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN, SOMEWHERE IN TIME).

Our series concludes with a special in-person tribute to director Nathan Juran, who created astounding, mythological worlds filled with giant cyclops, sorcerers and moon creatures in fantasy classics such as THE 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD and FIRST MEN IN THE MOON. Born in 1907, Juran studied architecture before becoming an art director in the mid-1930’s; he won an Academy Award for his work on HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY. In the early 1950’s, Juran began directing a series of imaginative, low-budget westerns and fantasy films, including 20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH and THE 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD, often featuring brilliant stop-motion animation by visual F/X pioneer Ray Harryhausen.

Thursday, August 17 – 7:00 PM

FANTASY/SCI-FI FEST

Charlton Heston In Person!! Brand New 35 mm. Print!

PLANET OF THE APES, 1968, 20th Century Fox, 119 min. Dir. Franklin Schaffner. One of the greatest modern sci-fi films, a combination of apocalyptic action and evolutionary parable. Astronaut Charlton Heston finds himself stranded on a strangely-familiar world; dominated by a race of highly-intelligent gorillas, chimpanzees and orangutans. Featuring amazingly-realistic monkey make-up by John Chambers, and a superb script by Rod Serling and Michael Wilson, based on Pierre Boulle’s acclaimed novel. Discussion following with actor Charlton Heston.

Thursday, August 17 – 10:15 PM

FANTASY/SCI-FI FEST

U.S. Theatrical Premiere!

POSSESSED (BESAT), 1999, Zentropa/Trust Film Sales, 99 min. Dir. Anders Ronnow-Klarlund. A Danish scientist (Ole Lemmeke) studying Ebola-type plagues receives startling evidence that evil may in fact be a virus, in this fast-moving nailbiter from Lars von Trier’s Zentropa Productions, mixing supernatural horror, astrological and science-fiction motifs – and culminating in a truly frightening climax. With Udo Kier (THE KINGDOM) as a fanatical renegade priest out to stop the satanic virus at any cost. Actor Udo Kier will introduce the screening.

 

Friday, August 18 – 7:00 PM

FANTASY/SCI-FI FEST

U.S. Premiere! Lost Japanese Horror Classic!!

HELL (JIGOKU), 1960, Kokusai Hoei, 100 min. Dir. Nobuo Nakagawa. This horrifically surreal vision of the underworld resembles Disneyland designed by the Marquis de Sade. Shigeru Amachi stars as a theology student led astray by nihilistic pal Yoichi Numata; their reckless pranks lead to the hit-and-run driving death of a drunken yakuza and the eventual poisoning of a group of party guests – after which is everyone is sent straight to Hell! The last half-hour of the film, featuring grotesque ogres, burning wheels of fire and mist-filled rivers of the damned, must be seen to be believed. The programming staff of the Cinematheque highly recommends this one which may not be familiar to American audiences. Print Courtesy the Japan Foundation.

 

Friday, August 18 – 9:15 PM

FANTASY/SCI-FI FEST

L.A. Theatrical Premiere!

FUDOH: THE NEW GENERATIONS, 1996, GaGa Communications, 100 min. An insanely perverse live-action manga, starring Shosuke Tanihara as Ricki Fudoh, an 18-year old yakuza who controls a gang of grade-school assassins and gorgeous teenage strippers capable of killing in unheard-of ways. When Fudoh’s own father decides to have him eliminated, an all-out war erupts featuring some of the most astounding action this side of a John Woo flick. FUDOH is the break-out film from one of Japan’s most explosively talented young directors, Takashi Miike. Warning: FUDOH features scenes of graphic violence and sexual situations. No one under 18 will be admitted.

Friday, August 18 – 11:30 PM

*DARK WATERS has been moved to Aug. 25

 

Saturday, August 19 – 5:00 PM

FANTASY/SCI-FI FEST

Director Joseph Newman In Person!! Rare I.B. Technicolor Print!

THIS ISLAND EARTH, 1955, Universal, 86 min. Scientists Rex Reason and Faith Domergue are kidnapped and transported through space to help save a dying planet, Metaluna, in this sublime classic of metaphysical 50’s sci-fi – seen here in a stunning, original dye-transfer print. Don’t miss this rare chance to hear one of Hollywood’s living legends, Joseph Newman (711 OCEAN DRIVE) share his memories of directing THIS ISLAND EARTH (he may also share his memories of working at the Egyptian Theatre the day it opened in 1922 …!) Discussion following with director Joseph Newman.

Saturday, August 19 – 7:30 PM

FANTASY/SCI-FI FEST

Italian Horror Maestros Michele Soavi & Dario Argento – Double Header!!

STAGEFRIGHT (DELIRIA), 1987, Italy, 95 min. The debut feature from director Michele Soavi (CEMETERY MAN), a former assistant to Argento and now regarded as one of the heavyweights in Italian horror. An escaped psychotic killer ravages the ranks of a theatrical troupe, all the time hiding his face beneath the giant owls’ head mask formerly belonging to the murdered lead actor. A bravura rollercoaster of suspense that asks: will heroine Barbara Cupisti be able to turn the tables? Or will she succumb to the carnage herself? "The best Italian horror film of the 1980’s" – Quentin Tarantino.

OPERA, 1987, MGM/UA, 100 min.  One of director Dario Argento’s greatest masterpieces, OPERA is a tour-de-force of deliriously cinematic set-pieces surrounding the murderous production of an operatic version of “Macbeth.” (The script was inspired by Argento’s own attempt to mount “Rigoletto”!) Argento’s camera moves like a thing possessed:  swooping, gliding, tracking a bullet through a peephole, and in one mindbending shot, whirling around the opera house on raven’s wings. *The Church was the previously announced film in this time slot. A complete print of it could not be found so opera will screen in its place.


Saturday, August 19 – 11:15 PM

FANTASY/SCI-FI FEST

BURN, WITCH, BURN (aka NIGHT OF THE EAGLE), 1962, MGM/UA, 90 min. Dir. Sidney Hayers. Professor Peter Wyngarde, a fervent debunker of all things supernatural, discovers that his scholastic success is due to voodoo spells cast by wife Janet Blair. When he forces her to give up her talismans and spells, the demonic forces of darkness descend, in this much-underrated horror classic that rivals THE INNOCENTS and CURSE OF THE DEMON in intelligent, hair-raising chills. Adapted by screenwriters Charles Beaumont and Richard Matheson from Fritz Leiber’s novel Conjure Wife.

Sunday, August 20 – 5:00 PM

FANTASY/SCI-FI FEST

Lost 60’s Psychedelic Horror Classic! Brand New 35 mm. Print!!

A QUIET PLACE IN THE COUNTRY, 1968, MGM/UA, 106 min. Avant-garde painter Franco Nero suffers from paranoid dreams brought on by the noise and pollution of urban life -- so he coaxes his mercenary agent (and lover) Vanessa Redgrave to rent him a dilapidated rural villa where he can finally get some work done. But Nero’s personal demons pursue him as he finds the house haunted by the vengeful ghost of a girl killed at the close of WWII. Director Elio Petri (THE 10TH VICTIM) creates a terrifyingly funny, surrealistic tour-de-force that is a kinetic visual feast of bizarre images and juxtapositions.

 

Sunday, August 20 – 7:15 PM

FANTASY/SCI-FI FEST

Hong Kong Fantasy Master Tsui Hark – Double-Feature!!

ZU, WARRIORS FROM THE MAGIC MOUNTAIN, 1982, Tai Seng, 94 min. Dir. Tsui Hark. One of the ultimate sword-and-sorcery extravaganzas. A disaffected warrior under the tutelage of two monks is drawn into a harrowing struggle amongst sorcerers and demons for world domination. Can he rescue the beautiful princess and prevent the re-emergence of the godlike Blood Monster?! Starring Adam Cheng, Yuen Biao, Brigitte Lin and Sammo Hung, with incredible fight choreography by experts Hung, Corey Yuen, and Ching Siu-Tung (from THE CHINESE GHOST STORY trilogy.)

WE’RE GOING TO EAT YOU (DIYU WE MEN), 1980, Hong Kong, 90 min. Director Tsui Hark melds kung-fu pyrotechnics with THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE in this jawdropping, edge-of-your-seat horror-comedy. In turn-of-the-century China, a suave, swellheaded police agent pursues a nefarious criminal across the river into a forgotten backwater village where all the inhabitants just happen to be cannibals! Supremely entertaining and ultra-rare.

 

Wednesday, August 23 – 7:00 PM

FANTASY/SCI-FI FEST

THE MASTERS OF TIME (LES MAÎTRES DU TEMPS), 1982, Roissy Films, 78 min. An 8-year old boy is marooned on an alien planet dominated by swarms of giant bees, and an aging astronaut and two telepathic gnomes are forced to come to his rescue, in French animator René Laloux’s marvelous follow-up to his classic FANTASTIC PLANET. Unreleased in the U.S., MASTERS was designed by noted graphic artist Moebius. A deliriously rare treat for animation and sci-fi buffs. Production Designer Moebius will appear for a discussion following the screening.

 

Wednesday, August 23 – 8:45 PM

FANTASY/SCI-FI FEST

Tribute to British Horror Legend Michael Reeves

A documentary about Michael Reeves "The Blood of the Beast: Michael Reeves (25 min.) has been added to this program. It will start at 9:00 PM and everything else will follow.

THE WITCHFINDER GENERAL (aka THE CONQUEROR WORM), 1968, MGM/UA, 98 min. Although he made only four features before his tragic death from a drug overdose at age 25, British director Michael Reeves left an indelible mark on gothic horror with his brooding tales of madness and hysteria. THE WITCHFINDER GENERAL stars Vincent Price as real-life witch-hunter Matthew Hopkins, dedicated to ridding England of suspected satanists, and instead falling prey to his own horrifying, repressive methods. Co-starring Ian Ogilvy and Hilary Dwyer.

THE SORCERERS, 1967, Allied Artists (Warner Classics), 87 min. Dir. Michael Reeves. Boris Karloff stars as Dr. Marcus Monsarrat, an elderly doctor who possesses a secret device that allows him to impose his consciousness, BEING JOHN MALKOVICH-style, on other people and live vicariously through them. Ian Ogilvy co-stars as the swinging teenager taken over by Karloff’s mind, in Reeves’ disturbing psycho-thriller.

Discussion between films with producer Philip Waddilove (WITCHFINDER GENERAL).

 

Friday, August 25 – 7:00 PM

FANTASY/SCI-FI FEST

Clive Barker In Person!!

HELLRAISER, 1987, Swank, 94 min. Director/writer Clive Barker’s astonishing fusion of supernatural horror and otherworldly fantasy stars Andrew Robinson and Clare Higgins as an unsuspecting British couple who come face to face with magical puzzle-boxes, skeletal ex-lovers and the Cenobites, a sado-masochistic race of pin-headed demons. "A return to the cutting edge of horror … inventively gruesome." – Phil Hardy. Discussion following with director Clive Barker and actress Ashley Laurence.

Friday, August 25 – 9:30 PM

FANTASY/SCI-FI FEST

U.S. Theatrical Premiere!

THE ARCANE ENCHANTER, 1996, RAI Trade, 98 min. Gorgeous, atmospheric Italian horror in the tradition of Mario Bava and Riccardo Freda, from the acclaimed director of ZEDER, Pupi Avati. In 18th-century Bologna, a young novice, Giacomo, is banished for sexual misconduct; he finds employment as apprentice to an infamous necromancer known as the Arcane Enchanter. As master and pupil begin to practice ancient, hermetic rituals and attempt to contact the dead, Giacomo becomes aware of a terrifying evil waiting to engulf them. Starring Carlo Cecchi, Stefano Dionisi.

 

Friday, August 25 – 11:30 PM (*Castle of Blood will play on Sun, Sept. 10 @ 7:30 PM)

FANTASY/SCI-FI FEST

L.A. Theatrical Premiere! Director Mariano Baino In Person!

DARK WATERS, 1994, Italy/Yugoslavia, 93 min. Something strange is going on in an isolated convent on a forgotten island in the Black Sea, and British Louise Salter, whose late father subsidized the religious order, is bent on unraveling the nightmarish mystery. Just who do these nuns worship – God or Satan? Or perhaps a mixture of both?? Director Mariano Baino conjures up a supernatural world of half-glimpsed madness, painting a waking nightmare from the same vibrant pallette that Bava, Argento, Soavi and Avati have drawn from. Primitive, real-life locations jack the goosebumps up that extra notch.

 

Saturday, August 26 – 5:00 PM

FANTASY/SCI-FI FEST

Director Alex Proyas In Person!!

DARK CITY, 1998, New Line, 100 min. One of the most spectacularly visual sci-fi/fantasies of the past decade. Trapped in a city of never-ending night, suspected serial killer Rufus Sewell and Jennifer Connelly try to evade the omnipotent, space-shifting aliens who control their existence. Director and co-writer Alex Proyas’ breathtaking vision of paranoia run amok combines elements of German Expressionism, 1940’s film noir, and 21st-century cinema wizardry into a non-stop thrill-ride of epic dimensions. A film that demands to be seen on the big screen.

We are very excited that director Alex Proyas will be traveling from his home in Australia to join us for this screening!

Saturday, August 26 – 7:30 PM

FANTASY/SCI-FI FEST

Ultra-Rare Lesbian Vampire Double-Header!!

CAGED VIRGINS (REQUIEM POUR UN VAMPIRE), 1971, Harry Novak, 88 min. One of the very few Jean Rollin pictures that actually saw American release, CAGED VIRGINS is a lyrically obsessive erotic poem of sex and death. Bankrobbing waifs Marie-Pierre Castel and Mirielle Dargent flee through the haunted French countryside at last finding refuge in the crumbling castle of an undead count and his vampire minions. Stunningly beautiful with a bewitching catalogue of images influenced by silent film, surrealist painting, comic strips and a disturbingly provincial Catholicism.

VAMPYRES – DAUGHTERS OF DRACULA, 1974, U.K./Spain, 84 min. Dir. Josef Larraz. Arguably one of the most perversely erotic, intoxicating horror films ever made. Lesbian murder victims Marianne Morris and Anulka return from the dead as hitchhiking vampires, luring lonely motorists to their doom as they pass the pair’s creepy country estate. Plus short, "Le Ciel de Sang" (The Sky of Blood), 1972, 3 min. A stark B&W tale of an 18th century female vampire directed by the Cinematheque’s own Chris D., recalling equal parts Hammer and Rollin, with a Buñuelian shock ending.

 

Saturday, August 26 – 11:00 PM

FANTASY/SCI-FI FEST

BERNIE, 1996, Canal +, 87 min. A hopelessly-insane man-child, Bernie, releases himself from a mental hospital, determined to find the parents who dumped him in a garbage chute as a baby, in French director/actor Albert Dupontel’s hilariously grotesque comedy – a kind of Frank Hennenlotter-meets-Paul Bartel gore-and-laugh fest. After Bernie discovers his father living in a homeless camp, he and Dad annihilate a household of uppercrust bourgeoisie trying to "liberate" his mother. Together, the three create a savage, tasteless parody of a normal loving family. With Claude Perron, Roland Blanche.

 

Sunday, August 27 – 5:00 PM

FANTASY/SCI-FI FEST

Richard Matheson In Person!!

THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN, 1957, Universal, 81 min. Dir. Jack Arnold. Based on his novel and screenplay, writer Richard Matheson’s landmark sci-fi story stars Grant Williams as a man who begins to shrink uncontrollably after he’s exposed to nuclear fallout. As he grows smaller and smaller, everyday objects – and animals -- take on a terrifying dimension. A stunning re-imagining of the world we live in, from the author of I Am Legend and countless film & television programs including HOUSE OF USHER, THE RAVEN, DUEL, and "The Twilight Zone."

Discussion following with author Richard Matheson.

Sunday, August 27 – 7:30 PM

FANTASY/SCI-FI FEST

Richard Matheson In Person!!

SOMEWHERE IN TIME, 1980, Universal, 104 min. Dir. Jeannot Szwarc. Christopher Reeve stars as a forlorn playwright who falls in love with the painting of a woman who died years before – then literally wills himself back in time to meet her. Jane Seymour co-stars in this lovely, intoxicating fantasy, one of the most ridiculously romantic films ever made – based on screenwriter Richard Matheson’s own novel, Bid Time Return. The official SOMEWHERE IN TIME fan site and some cool merchandise.

Author/screenwriter Richard Matheson scheduled to introduce screenings.

Friday, September 8 – 7:00 PM

FANTASY/SCI-FI FEST

Nathan Juran In Person!!

THE 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD, 1958, Columbia, 87 min. Director Nathan Juran’s marvelous fantasy follows the adventures of Sinbad (Kerwin Mathews) as he battles a phenomenal gallery of giant cyclops, two-headed birds, dragons and swordfighting skeletons, to save beautiful princess Kathryn Grant. Featuring one of Bernard Herrmann’s most memorable scores and astounding stop-motion animation by the legendary Ray Harryhausen. Discussion following with director Nathan Juran.

Friday, September 8 – 9:30 PM

FANTASY/SCI-FI FEST

ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT WOMAN, 1958, Allied Artists (Warner Bros.), 66 min. Dir. Nathan Juran (aka Nathan Hertz.) The absurdly surreal, over-the-top pinnacle of 1950’s sci-fi matinee thrillers. A rich alcoholic housewife (played by drive-in icon Allison Hayes) encounters a giant alien in the desert and then grows to mammoth proportions from his radioactive touch. To complicate matters, her oily husband Harry (William Hudson) is two-timing her with voluptuous barfly Yvette Vickers, and Hayes uses her newfound size to even the score! Much like fellow Allied Artists alumni Roger Corman, director Juran makes every shot and every dollar count, and keeps the action moving at all costs.

 

Saturday, September 9 – 6:00 PM

FANTASY/SCI-FI FEST

Nathan Juran In Person!!

FIRST MEN IN THE MOON, 1964, Columbia, 103 min. Dir. Nathan Juran. In Juran’s extremely entertaining adaptation of H.G. Wells’ novel, turn-of the century British inventor Lionel Jeffries enlists Edward Judd and fiancee Martha Hyer in his scheme to reach the moon using anti-gravity paint. Once the trio hits the lunar landscape, they’re captured by a weird subterranean insect race, the Selenites, and we’re treated to some of Ray Harryhausen’s most enjoyable special effects. An infectious blend of Victorian sci-fi, sweet humor and high adventure.

Discussion following with director Nathan Juran.

Saturday, September 9 – 8:45 PM

FANTASY/SCI-FI FEST

THE BRAIN FROM PLANET AROUS, 1958, Ivy Films, 70 min. Dir. Nathan Juran (aka Nathan Hertz.) Atomic scientist John Agar’s body is usurped by an evil superbrain from space and proceeds to aim for world domination with his death-ray vision! The new Agar also possesses an uncontrollable libido that fiancee Joyce Meadows somehow fails to appreciate. Meanwhile, a good superbrain tracks the evil one to Earth, hiding inside Meadows’ German Shepherd (!), in a plot to foil the insane monster. What are you waiting for??

20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH, 1957, Columbia, 82 min. An American spaceship returning from Venus crashlands off of Sicily with two passengers on board – pilot William Hopper, and a miniature reptile, who soon grows to monstrous proportions in Earth’s atmosphere. Director Nathan Juran’s first collaboration with F/X wizard Ray Harryhausen features a surprisingly-sympathetic monster, and an astounding climactic battle at the Roman Colosseum.

Actors John Agar and Robert Fuller will speak between the films.

Sunday, September 10 – 5:00 PM

FANTASY/SCI-FI FEST

JACK THE GIANT KILLER, 1962, MGM/UA, 94 min. Juran’s most underrated fantasy film, JACK THE GIANT KILLER follows the adventures of a young farmer (Kerwin Mathews) who slays a marauding giant – and incurs the wrath of a sorcerer (Torin Thatcher) bent on controlling England. Juran skillfully blends SINBAD-style adventure with a surprisingly-dark touch – including a truly terrifying attack at sea by hordes of glowing witches, and a sweet-faced young princess (Judi Meredith) who is transformed into her lusciously-wicked mirror image by the sorcerer!

Sunday, September 10 – 7:30 PM

FANTASY/SCI-FI FEST

CASTLE OF BLOOD (LA DANZA MACABRA), 1964, Italy, 85 min. Alongside BLACK SUNDAY and THE HORRIBLE DR. HICHCOCK this is Barbara Steele’s shining hour and director Antonio Margheriti’s masterpiece, a gruesome, spine-tingling and perversely beautiful hymn to love from beyond the grave. A visiting American journalist (George Riviere) is challenged by Edgar Allan Poe and friend Lord Blackwood to stay overnight in the latter’s haunted castle. What he finds there is a unrequited love for tragic ghost Elizabeth (Steele) and a host of undead murder victims thirsty for his blood.