August 3 -26, 2001

American Cinematheque Presents...

The 2nd Annual Festival of Fantasy, Horror & Science Fiction!

Series Compiled by Dennis Bartok, Chris D. and Gwen Deglise.

Our special thanks to Anthony Timpson, David Shultz, and Mitch Davis for their extraordinary help in organizing this series.

Shorts Program compiled by Andrew P. Crane. Thanks to: Carol Crowe/Apollo Cinema, Kathryn Ianotti/USC, David Russell/Big Film Shorts & John Halecky/IFILM.

Special Thanks:   John Kirk/MGM-UA; Jeff Joseph/SABUCAT; Stan Wertlieb/SWJ FILMS; Tyla Berchtold/SILVER NITRATE; Giampaolo Letta/MEDUSA FILMS; Adriana Chiesa Enterprises; Dario Argento; Camilla Cormanni/CINECITTA HOLDING; Michael Schlesinger/COLUMBIA PICTURES REPERTORY; Catherine Park/CJ ENTERTAINMENT; Hamish McAlpine/METRO TARTAN; Masaharu Ina and Tetsushi Sudo/TOHO CO.; Rhona Medina/URBAN VISION; Linda Evans-Smith and Marilee Womack/WARNER BROS. CLASSICS; Paul Lim/ASTRO; Fritz Herzog/ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURE ARTS & SCIENCES – Film Library; Dominique Brunet/STUDIO CANAL +; Anne Goodman/CRITERION PICTURES; Mike Thomas/RIALTO; Joe Dante; Anna Bechtol/A.D. VISION; Nico B.; Marc Walkow/THE CRITERION COLLECTION; Stuart Lisell; Vladimir Opela/NARODNI FILM ARCHIVE; Noah Cowan/COWBOY BOOKING; Simon Markham/LOUD MOUSE PROD. Gilles Boulanger/L’ETRANGE FESTIVAL; Cheng-Sim Lim/UCLA FILM & TV ARCHIVE.

Tickets available 30 days in advance.

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The Man of Steel, Hercules and Godzilla go head-to-head with giant apes, vampire hunters, New Age werewolves and more, in the Cinematheque’s 2nd Annual Festival of the wildest and most innovative genre films from around the world. This year’s series has even more of an international flavor, with new work from Italian horror maestro Dario Argento (SLEEPLESS), a pair of stunning new Japanese anime films (METROPOLIS and VAMPIRE HUNTER D – BLOODLUST), two startling revisionist horror films from England (BLOOD and DEAD CREATURES), a cross-genre international shorts program with several filmmakers in-person, a tribute to British sci-fi and horror legend Val Guest (THE CREEPING UNKNOWN), an ultra-rare Mexican horror double-feature, plus hidden treasures from Czechoslovakia, Poland, Australia and Hong Kong!

On Friday and Saturday nights during this series, there will be a book & poster sale of genre film related items. The following vendors will be present on select dates: Border's, Hollywood Book & Poster, Troma and treasures from the American Cinematheque Collections.

 

Friday, August 3 – 7:00 PM

L.A. Theatrical Premiere – Digitally Restored Version!!

SUPERMAN, 1978, Warner Bros. Classics, 151 min. The film that set the standard for all big screen comic-book adaptations before or since, director Richard Donner’s spectacular SUPERMAN has been digitally restored, with eight minutes of never-before-seen footage added including a pivotal scene with Marlon Brando as Superman’s father, Jor-El. Virtual unknown Christopher Reeve was brilliantly cast as the heroic Man of Steel and his bumbling counterpart Clark Kent, with terrific support from Margot Kidder as Lois Lane and Gene Hackman as Superman’s arch-nemesis, Lex Luthor.

 

Friday, August 3 – 10:15 PM

Dario Argento's Latest!!

SLEEPLESS, 2001, Silver Nitrate, 117 min. A return to spinetingling form as Italian horror maestro Dario Argento revisits giallo terrain with a vengeance. A frightened hooker absconds with a customer's scrapbook implicating him as a notorious serial killer. This twist of fate flips the switch on the once-dormant killer, and the maniac embarks on a new murder spree, something that lures detective Max von Sydow out of retirement. SLEEPLESS is filled to the brim with the gruesome and bravura set pieces that fans have come to expect from the leading director of Euro horror cinema. Dubbed.

 

Saturday, August 4 – 5:00 PM

L.A. Premiere – New U.K. Horror!

BLOOD, 1999, Loud Mouse Productions, 130 min. "Did you ever drink my blood?," the gorgeous, vampiric Lix (Lee Blakemore) plaintively asks the scientist who created her, in British director Charly Cantor’s unnerving and intensely erotic spin on vampire mythology. Lix is a genetically-engineered blood-bank, who has been kept Kaspar Hauser-like in a basement her whole life while a group of addicts feed on her narcotic blood. She’s rescued by Dr. Dyson (Adrian Rawlins) and brought to the apparent safety of his home, where she’s warily accepted by his wife and son. Soon, though, Lix’s presence starts to tear the family apart, as the at-first well meaning doctor takes the first taste of her blood ...

 

Saturday, August 4 – 8:00 PM

Japanese Monster Double-Header!!

MOTHRA, 1961, Columbia, 100 min. Giant caterpillar-turned-avenging insect Mothra wreaks havoc on Japan when its best friends -- two tiny, telepathic, singing sisters (played by real-life siblings Yumi and Emi Ito) -- are kidnapped by an unscrupulous promoter and forced to perform in a Tokyo nightclub! Classic oversized bug action from the master of Japanese monster movies, director Ishiro Honda. Dubbed.

GODZILLA VS. THE SEA MONSTER (aka EBIRAH, HORROR OF THE DEEP), 1966, Toho, 85 min. The Big G goes head-to-claw with an overgrown lobster named Ebirah, while guest-star Mothra attempts to stop the schemes of a terrorist organization called "Red Bamboo", in this tremendously entertaining (and all-too-rarely screened) fantasy from director Jun Fukuda. Dubbed.

 

Sunday, August 5 – 5:00 PM

THE WICKER MAN, 1973, Studio Canal +, 95 min. Dir. Robin Hardy. Puritanical policeman Edward Woodward investigates a girl's disappearance on a Scottish isle and has his world turned topsy-turvy when he confronts the natives' truly primitive natures, in this rarely-screened supernatural classic from writer Anthony Shaffer (SLEUTH). Christopher Lee co-stars as the enigmatic head of the local community, who plays an ancient and all-too-horrifying cat and mouse game with the idealistic policeman, with help from erotic nymph Britt Ekland.

 

Sunday, August 5 – 7:15 PM

L.A. Premiere – New Korean Horror!

THE ISLE, 2000, C.J. Entertainment, 90 min. Dir. Ki-Duk Kim. Imagine a psychological horror film directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, set on an unearthly, mist-shrouded Korean lake, and you have some idea of the strange, ambiguous power of this new film. Lonely girl Seoh Jung, ferrying food and hookers to fishermen’s houseboats on the resort lake, falls in love with fugitive killer Kim Yu-Seok. These two self-destructive souls may be seeking their own private sanctuary, but we soon learn they’re capable of surpassing the horrifying violence that’s been inflicted on them by abusive interlopers. Subtitled.

 

Wednesday, August 15 – 7:00 PM

The SCIENCE-FICTION, FANTASY & HORROR Shorts Program! Tanya Reihill’s "Betting The Game" (12 min, USA.) A kidnapper is in way over his head in this gruesome thriller. Mike Daly’s "Intransit" (7 min, UK.) One boy’s nightmare about the power of parental influence will leave you reeling. Chris Richard’s "Icarus" (8 min, Australia.) Beautiful cinematography marks this tale of a female astronaut thought lost forever. Guy Lampron’s "Sentinelles" (7 min, France.) Multi-award winning surreal, animated love story of gargoyles who come to life. Jean Painleve’s "Le Vampire" (The Vampire) (9 min, France.) Funny, yet creepy documentary on that icon of horror lore, the vampire bat. Set to music by Duke Ellington! Rogerio Brasil Ferrari’s "Paulo E Ana Luiza Em Porto Alegre" (Paulo and Ana Luiza in Porto Alegre) (15 min, Brazil.) That nice, hot couple next door. Combine explicit sex, gruesome violence & high production values. It will please some people and infuriate others. Suk Yee Cheung’s "Once Upon A Night" (12 min, USA.) Haunting ghost story, set in Hong Kong, based on ancient Chinese beliefs about the dead. Eric Anderson’s "Horses on Mars" (7.5 min, USA.) A microbe takes a delightfully quirky, 4 billion year journey home through the inner solar system. James Cunningham’s "Infection" (9 min, New Zealand.) Incredible mixture of live-action & digital animation give this futuristic thriller double-ammo to entertain!

Q & A to follow screening with filmmakers Tanya Reihill ("Betting The Game"), Suk Yee Cheung ("Once Upon A Night") & Eric Anderson ("Horses On Mars")

 

Wednesday, August 15 – 9:30 PM

Full-Length Director’s Cut –New 35 mm. Print! Director Tobe Hooper & Actor Steve Railsback In Person!!

LIFEFORCE, 1985, Columbia, 116 min. Sex-starved space vampire Mathilda May terrorizes the world while looking for something to wear, in director Tobe Hooper’s gleefully over-the-top sci-fi flick – one of the great pulp movies of the 1980’s -- here screened for the first time in the U.S. in its full-length, European version, featuring over 15 minutes of additional footage! Steve Railsback co-stars as the lovestruck astronaut dazzled by May’s charms, with help from Peter Firth and Patrick Stewart.

Discussion following with director Tobe Hooper & actor Steve Railsback (schedule permitting.)

 

Thursday, August 16 – 7:00 PM

THE INNOCENTS, 1961, 20th Century Fox, 99 min. Dir. Jack Clayton. Masterfully chilling adaptation of Henry James' Turn of the Screw, starring Deborah Kerr as a repressed, neurotic nanny who becomes convinced her young charges are possessed by her predecessors' vengeful ghosts. With Peter Wyngarde, Ralph Richardson.

 

Thursday, August 16 – 9:15 PM

Ultra-Rare Italian Horror Classic!

THE WITCH (LA STREGA DEL AMORE), 1966, 103 min. A hypnotic (and unjustly neglected) adaptation of Carlos Fuentes’ gothic novel Aura by Italian pulp director Damiano Damiani, THE WITCH stars Richard Johnson as an arrogant womanizer who’s being pursued by a mysterious Spanish countessa (Sarah Ferrati). He rejects her offer to work as librarian in her crumbling, cob-web filled mansion in Rome – until he gets an eyeful of her beautifully bewitching daughter, played by Rossana Schiaffino. Legendary Italian actor Gianmaria Volonte adds to the sinister atmosphere as the strangely-hysterical former librarian of the collection, in this exquisitely acted chamber drama of sorcery and sexual obsession. Dubbed.

 

Friday, August 17 – 7:00 PM

Special Sneak Preview – New Japanese Anime!!

METROPOLIS, 2001, Toho/Sony Repertory, 107 min. Dir. Rintaro (aka Shigeyuki Hayashi). Be among the first to see an advance screening of this exceptional new anime. Based on a classic manga by the late, great Osamu Tezuka (with whom Rintaro worked on such 1960’s classics as "Astro-Boy" and "Kimba"), METROPOLIS is not a remake of the legendary Fritz Lang silent – although it’s not without similarities. In an enormous, retro-future city where robots and androids do most of the work, there is nonetheless great unrest. The government is really a tool of the evil billionaire Duke Red, and the seeds of rebellion grow underground. Stir into this crucible of turbulence a young man, his detective uncle, a youthful assassin, and an angelic blonde who doesn’t realize just what she really is, and the result is as compelling as it is eye-popping, and as unusual as the Swing-era music on the soundtrack. Do not miss this rare opportunity to see and hear the original Japanese version with subtitles! "METROPOLIS is the new milestone in anime, a spectacular fusion of c.g. background with traditional character animation. It has beauty, power, mystery and above all ... heart. Images from this film will stay with you forever. My congratulations to Rintaro-san for his masterpiece." – James Cameron.

 

Friday, August 17 – 9:30 PM

Horror Maestro Mario Bava Double-Feature!!

HERCULES IN THE HAUNTED WORLD, 1961, 86 min. Italian fantasy/horror maestro Mario Bava’s CinemaScope spectacle is one of his most visually ravishing films, as strongman Reg Park descends into a phantasmagorical Underworld in search of a stone that will restore his beloved’s memory. With Christopher Lee. Dubbed.

New 35 mm. Print! PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES, 1966, MGM/UA, 86 min. Dir. Mario Bava. A doomed crew of astronauts (in eye-popping black leather space-suits) is stranded on a malevolent, mist-shrouded planet as an unseen force slowly drives them to madness and murder. With Barry Sullivan, Norma Bengel. Dubbed.

 

Saturday, August 18 – 5:00 PM

U.S. Premiere – New U.K. Horror!

DEAD CREATURES, 2001, Fangoria Presents, 90 min. Dir. Andrew Parkinson. Set in contemporary London, DEAD CREATURES follows a group of seemingly-normal young women who have all contracted a terrible, degenerative illness that forces them to murder and feed on human flesh. Adjusting to this inhuman way of existence, the girls read fashion magazines, talk about shagging boys, and try to eke some joy out of "living" in the time left to them. "Picture Mike Leigh or Ken Loach doing a personal horror film ... DEAD CREATURES is a world slowly rotting away, in quiet rooms and broken dreams." – Mitch Davis, FantAsia Festival.

 

Saturday, August 18 – 7:15 PM

Val Guest Tribute In-Person!!

New 35 mm. Print!! THE CREEPING UNKNOWN (aka THE QUATERMASS XPERIMENT), 1956, MGM/UA, 82 min. Along with its sequel QUATERMASS 2 and Don Siegel's INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, our choice hands down for the scariest science-fiction film from the 1950’s. Brian Donlevy stars as writer Nigel Kneale's no-nonsense rocket scientist Quatermass, bent on unlocking the mysteries of space, even if it means his only surviving astronaut (Richard Wordsworth) slowly mutates into an octopus-like blob monster! Directed by the master of British sci-fi and horror, Val Guest, THE CREEPING UNKNOWN hurtles along at breakneck pace, and served as storm warning of more Hammer horrors just over the horizon.

THE DAY THE EARTH CAUGHT FIRE, 1961, 99 min. One of director Val Guest's most critically acclaimed and rarely screened films, THE DAY THE EARTH CAUGHT FIRE is a chillingly prescient warning of ecological disaster, told with Guest’s typically hard-edged style and almost documentary-like attention to detail. The U.S. and Russia set off simultaneous nuclear bombs at opposite poles, resulting in the earth tottering off its axis to head for the sun. Co-starring Edward Judd and Leo McKern.

We’re very pleased that legendary director Val Guest will be joining us for Q&A between the films. Mr. Guest will also be signing copies of his new autobiography So You Want To Be In Pictures before and after the screening in the lobby!

 

Sunday, August 19 – 5:00 PM

"THE AMAZING SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY & HORROR TRAILER SHOW!!" – Come see the rarest of the rare trailers from the world’s largest trailer archive, SabuCat Productions! Titles will include the 1925 PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, great Universal horrors like FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN, and dye-transfer Technicolor gems like THE CLIMAX and WAR OF THE WORLDS, plus other long-lost, 2-minute treasures! Don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to see the most amazing and horrifying trailers ever made ... on the big screen!

 

Sunday, August 19 – 7:15 PM

GAMERA 2: ADVENT OF LEGION, 1996, AD Vision/Daiei, 99 min. Dir. Shusuke Kaneko. Forget the relatively-sedate Gamera movies of the 1960’s and 1970’s – Daiei Studios’ new, vastly improved Gamera is one rip-snorting, butt-kicking hunk of a flying space turtle, aided by some of the most impressive visual F/X in any Japanese monster flick. Here, Gamera goes up against the tag-team punch of giant, silicone-gobbling space insects and massive, sky-scraper splitting weeds from Hell ... Go Go Gamera!! With Toshiyuki Nagashima. Subtitled.

 

Wednesday, August 22 – 7:00 PM

KONGA, 1960, MGM/UA, 90 min. Dir. John Lemont. Psychotic botanist Michael Gough injects a gorilla with super-growth serum, in an attempt to impress one of his female biology students and take over England. Wildly deranged monster-ape madness ensues, featuring one of the all-time great "I-hate-mankind-so-why-don’t-you-love-me?" performances from Gough.

 

Wednesday, August 22 – 9:00 PM

Mexican Horror Double-Header!!

THE BRANIAC (EL BARON DEL TERROR), 1961, 80 min.. South-of-the-border cinema churned out many atmospheric horror films in the 1950’s and 60’s -- and this is one of the most certifiably insane! Veteran genre director Chano Urueta (a close pal of Sam Peckinpah’s, who also appears in THE WILD BUNCH) puts matinee idol Abel Salazar through his paces as a burned-at-the-stake baron who returns to earth on a comet, then changes at will into a hairy-faced monster to suck his victims' brains out through his long forked tongue!! Dubbed.

DR. TARR’S TORTURE DUNGEON (LA MANSION DE LA LOCURA), 1972, 88 min. Mexican director Juan Lopez Moctezuma (producer of Jodorowsky's EL TOPO) turns Edgar Allan Poe's System of Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether into a phantasmagorical black comedy, with equal measures of Bu˝uel, Fellini and Ken Russell, as a carriage full of 19th-century travelers stumble upon a lunatic asylum in the forest overrun by the psychotic inmates. With Claudio Brook. Dubbed. Note: This is the only surviving English-language print of this film. Unfortunately it is faded, but we are showing it because of its extreme rarity.

 

Thursday, August 23 -- 7:30 PM (Alternative Screen: Independent Film Showcase)

Co-Presented with IFP/West Festival Buzz

Hosted by Chris Gore of FilmThreat.com

"Director Dennis Przywara casts a critical eye in his inside look at fandom, while still maintaining the heart of a true fan." Chris Gore, FilmThreat.com

STAR WOIDS (80 min., 2001) Dennis Przywara’s documentary is the stranger than fiction story of STAR WARS fans (A.K.A. Starwoids) and their six week-line-waiting quest to be the first to see Episode I - The Phantom Menace on opening day. On April 7th, 1999, two lines formed at movie theatres on opposite ends of town – one at Westwood's Village (helmed by a 17-year-old movie addict who graduated high school early so he’d be free to wait in line) and the other at the Chinese in Hollywood (organized by website CountingDown.com). Each group fashioned their own laws, rules, and even governments while anticipating the first STAR WARS film in over 16 years. "Their battle becomes a metaphor for the real struggle going on with fans in the Star Wars universe – the true fans war against the commercialism that threatens to destroy all of fandom." (Gore). The filmmakers actually STOOD IN LINE with loyal fans from both lines for 42 days to capture and celebrate the passion, inspiration, and obsession of being a Star Wars fan. Chris Gore, who deemed STAR WOIDS, "by far the best documentary about waiting in line for Episode I that I have ever seen" (and he’s seen them all) will host a discussion with filmmaker Dennis Przywara, following the screening. IFP/West hosts a beverage reception for ticket buyers. Arrive early so you won’t have to wait in line!

With short film "Jar Jar Binks: The True Hollywood Story" (2000, 11 min.). The title says it all! Director/co-writer (with David Estes) Leif Einarsson. Producer Alok Mishra. Co-Producer Chris Ryan. Filmmakers in person.

 

Friday, August 24 – 7:00 PM

SOLD OUT! New Japanese Animation!!

VAMPIRE HUNTER D – BLOODLUST, 2001, Urban Vision, 102 min. Set in a supernatural world that’s equal parts Sergio Leone and BLADE, this astonishing, adrenaline-stoked animated film follows the enigmatic "D" as he slices and dices his way through snake-headed bloodsuckers, shadow creatures, bigoted humans and more, while attempting to stop the Romeo and Juliet romance of a beautiful young woman and a dashing vampire count. English language.

There will be a waiting list for this sold-out show. If you miss it tonight, look for it in local theatres this fall!

 

Friday, August 24 – 9:30 PM

Rediscovered Euro Sex/Fantasy Classic! New 35 mm. Print!!

THE BEAST (LA BETE), 1975, 104 min. Polish director Walerian Borowczyk's infamous piece of erotic fantasia was one of the most notorious underground movies of the 1970’s. Loosely inspired by "The Beauty and the Beast", LA BETE tells the story of an American heiress, Lucy Broadhurst, whose arranged marriage to a French nobleman is disturbed by troubling rumors of a massive, sexually voracious creature (with a VERY unique phallus) who prowls the corridors of her husband’s sprawling mansion. With Sirpa Lane, Lisbeth Hummel. No One Under 18 Will Be Admitted To This Screening. Subtitled.

 

Saturday, August 25 – 5:00 PM

Peter Weir’s Supernatural Classic – Restored 35 mm. Print!

THE LAST WAVE, 1977, The Criterion Collection, 106 min. Director Peter Weir’s haunting supernatural parable stars Richard Chamberlain as a lawyer hired to defend an Aboriginal man accused of murder; as he delves deeper and deeper into the case, Chamberlain starts experiencing hallucinatory dreams and premonitions of a terrible impending disaster in which he plays a pivotal role ... Unseen theatrically in many years, this brand-new print of THE LAST WAVE features a stunning 5.1 stereo soundtrack, courtesy of the Criterion Collection (who will be releasing the film on DVD this Fall) – don’t miss it!!

 

Saturday, August 25 – 7:15 PM

Director Joe Dante In Person!

THE HOWLING, 1981, Stuart Lisell, 91 min. TV anchorwoman Dee Wallace, traumatized after acting as bait for a Hollywood serial killer’s bloody demise, takes a sojourn in an Esalen-type retreat -- only to find the entire New Age community is made up of werewolves! Directed with tremendous energy and black humor by genre specialist Joe Dante (and co-written by indie film godfather John Sayles), this tongue-in-cheek chiller features a Who’s Who of great genre character actors including Patrick Macnee, Slim Pickens, John Carradine, Kevin McCarthy and Dick Miller. Discussion following with director Joe Dante (schedule permitting).

 

Saturday, August 25 – 9:45 PM

1970’s Hong Kong Monster Classic!!

INFRA-MAN, 1976, Shaw Bros./Astro, 92 min. Dir. Hua Shan. A hellzapoppin, live-action comic strip from the Shaw Brothers martial arts studio, inspired by the then-popular Japanese ULTRA-MAN TV series. A very special giant Monster Mash, with bionic hero Infra-Man created by top scientists to do battle with the underground minions unleashed by wicked Princess Dragon Mom! Designed for kids, but with all the deranged action set-pieces and bizarre production design adult Hong Kong cinema fans have grown to love. Co-starring Li Hsiu-hsien, Wang Hsieh. Dubbed.

 

Sunday, August 26 – 5:00 PM

Lost Czech Fantasy Classic – U.S. Premiere!

WHO KILLED JESSIE? (KDO CHCE ZABIT JESII?), 1965, Czechoslovensky Film, 80 min. Completely unknown in the U.S., this Pop-Art Czech fantasy from director Vaclav Vorlicek has been hailed by sci-fi guru Phil Hardy as "one of the loveliest comic-strip stories around, alongside Bava’s DANGER: DIABOLIK." A pair of married scientists (Jiri Sovak and Medricka) invent a device that allows them to project their dreams on a screen, and even manipulate the dreams themselves. But when the wife discovers her husband has been fantasizing about a gorgeous comic-book heroine named Jessie (Olga Shoberova), she attempts to "correct" his dreams – and inadvertently releases Jessie into the real world! Our enormous thanks to the Narodni Film Archive in Prague for loaning us this ultra-rare print for our Festival. Subtitled.

 

Sunday, August 26 – 6:45 PM

THE SARAGOSSA MANUSCRIPT, 1965, Cowboy Booking, 180 min. "I understand your mind is rebelling against improbable phenomenon," someone murmurs in Polish director Wojciech Has’ legendary occult masterpiece – a mesmerizing cascade of shadow boxes and cul-de-sacs, in which a Napoleonic officer (Zbigniew Cybulski) finds himself trapped within the story told by an ancient manuscript, one that sends him back repeatedly through time to challenge Death itself. Based on the 18th-century novel by Egyptologist and Freemason Jan Potocki, THE SARAGOSSA MANUSCRIPT was restored recently by the Pacific Film Archive and Cowboy Booking, with the help of Martin Scorsese and Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead (who acknowledged the film’s enormous influence on his music.) Subtitled.